VampiresÂ areÂ mythologicalÂ orÂ folkloricÂ beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence generally in the form of blood of living creatures, regardless of whether they areÂ undeadÂ or a living person/being.Â Although vampiric entities have beenÂ recorded in many cultures, and may go back to "prehistoricÂ times",Â the termÂ vampireÂ was not popularized until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as theÂ BalkansÂ and Eastern Europe,Â although local variants were also known by different names, such asÂ vrykolakasÂ inÂ GreeceÂ andÂ strigoiÂ inÂ Romania. This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led toÂ mass hysteriaÂ and in some cases resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism.
While even folkloric vampires of the Balkans and Eastern Europe had a wide range of appearance ranging from nearly human to bloated rotting corpses, it was interpretation of the vampire by theÂ Christian ChurchÂ and the success ofÂ vampire literature,Â namelyÂ John Polidori's 1819 novellaÂ The Vampyrethat established the archetype of charismatic and sophisticated vampire; it is arguably the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century,inspiring such works asÂ Varney the VampireÂ and eventuallyÂ Dracula.Â The VampyreÂ was itself based onÂ Lord Byron's unfinished story "Fragment of a Novel", also known as "The Burial: A Fragment", published in 1819.
However, it isÂ Bram Stoker's 1897 novelÂ DraculaÂ that is remembered as the quintessentialÂ vampire novelÂ and which provided the basis of modern vampire fiction.Â DraculaÂ drew on earlier mythologies ofÂ werewolvesÂ and similar legendary demons and "was to voice the anxieties of an age", and the "fears of lateVictorianÂ patriarchy".Â The success of this book spawned a distinctive vampireÂ genre, still popular in the 21st century, with books, films, video games, and television shows. The vampire is such a dominant figure in the horror genre that literary historianÂ Susan SellersÂ places the current vampire myth in the "comparative safety of nightmare fantasy".
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2Â Folk beliefs
2.1Â Description and common attributes
2.1.1Â Creating vampires
2.1.2Â Identifying vampires
22.214.171.124Â Methods of destruction
2.2Â Ancient beliefs
2.4Â Medieval and later European folklore
2.5Â Non-European beliefs
2.5.2Â The Americas
2.6Â Modern beliefs
2.6.1Â Collective noun
3Â Origins of vampire beliefs
3.1Â Slavic spiritualism
3.2.2Â Premature burial
3.3Â Psychodynamic understanding
3.4Â Political interpretation
3.6Â Modern vampire subcultures
3.7Â Vampire bats
4Â In modern fiction
4.2Â Film and television
7Â External links
TheÂ Oxford English DictionaryÂ dates the first appearance of the wordÂ vampireÂ in English from 1734, in a travelogue titledÂ Travels of Three English GentlemenÂ published in theÂ Harleian MiscellanyÂ in 1745.Â Vampires had already been discussed in FrenchÂ and German literature.Â AfterÂ AustriaÂ gained control of northernÂ SerbiaÂ andÂ OlteniaÂ with theÂ Treaty of PassarowitzÂ in 1718, officials noted the local practice of exhuming bodies and "killing vampires".Â These reports, prepared between 1725 and 1732, received widespread publicity.
The English term was derived (possibly via FrenchÂ vampyre) from the GermanÂ Vampir, in turn derived in the early 18th century from theÂ SerbianÂ Ð²Ð°Ð¼Ð¿Ð¸Ñ€/vampir,Â whenÂ Arnold Paole, a purported vampire inÂ SerbiaÂ was described during the time Serbia was incorporated into theÂ Austrian Empire.
The Serbian form has parallels in virtually allÂ Slavic languages:Â BulgarianÂ andÂ MacedonianÂ Ð²Ð°Ð¼Ð¿Ð¸Ñ€ (vampir),Â CroatianÂ vampir,Â CzechÂ andÂ SlovakÂ upír,Â PolishÂ wÄ…pierz, and (perhapsÂ East Slavic-influenced)Â upiór,Â UkrainianÂ ÑƒÐ¿Ð¸Ñ€ (upyr), Russian ÑƒÐ¿Ñ‹Ñ€ÑŒ (upyr'),Â BelarusianÂ ÑƒÐ¿Ñ‹Ñ€ (upyr), fromÂ Old East SlavicÂ ÑƒÐ¿Ð¸Ñ€ÑŒ (upir'). (Note that many of these languages have also borrowed forms such as "vampir/wampir" subsequently from the West; these are distinct from the original local words for the creature.) The exact etymology is unclear.Â Among the proposedÂ proto-SlavicÂ forms are *Ç«pyrÑŒÂ and *Ç«pirÑŒ.Â Another, less widespread theory, is that the Slavic languages have borrowed the word from aÂ TurkicÂ term for "witch" (e.g.,Â TatarÂ ubyr).
Czech linguist Václav Machek proposesÂ SlovakÂ verb "vrepiÅ¥ sa" (stick to, thrust into), or its hypothetical anagram "vperiÅ¥ sa" (in Czech, archaic verb "vpeÅ™it" means "to thrust violently") as an etymological background, and thus translates "upír" as "someone who thrusts, bites".Â 
An early use of theÂ Old RussianÂ word is in the anti-paganÂ treatise "Word of Saint Grigoriy", dated variously to the 11th-13th centuries, where pagan worship ofÂ upyriÂ is reported.
See also:Â List of vampires in folklore and mythology
The notion of vampirism has existed for millennia; cultures such as theÂ Mesopotamians,Â Hebrews,Â Ancient Greeks, andÂ RomansÂ had tales of demons and spirits which are considered precursors to modern vampires. However, despite the occurrence of vampire-like creatures in these ancient civilizations, the folklore for the entity we know today as the vampire originates almost exclusively from early-18th-century southeastern Europe,Â whenÂ verbal traditionsÂ of many ethnic groups of the region were recorded and published. In most cases, vampires areÂ revenantsÂ of evil beings, suicide victims, orÂ witches, but they can also be created by a malevolent spiritÂ possessingÂ a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire. Belief in such legends became so pervasive that in some areas it causedÂ mass hysteriaÂ and evenÂ public executionsÂ of people believed to be vampires.
Description and common attributes
Further information:Â List of vampire traits in folklore and fiction
Vampyren, "The Vampire", byÂ Edvard Munch
It is difficult to make a single, definitive description of the folkloric vampire, though there are several elements common to many European legends. Vampires were usually reported as bloated in appearance, and ruddy, purplish, or dark in colour; these characteristics were often attributed to the recent drinking of blood. Indeed, blood was often seen seeping from the mouth and nose when one was seen in its shroud or coffin and its left eye was often open.Â It would be clad in the linen shroud it was buried in, and its teeth, hair, and nails may have grown somewhat, though in general fangs were not a feature.
The causes of vampiric generation were many and varied in original folklore. InÂ SlavicÂ and Chinese traditions, any corpse that was jumped over by an animal, particularly a dog or a cat, was feared to become one of the undead.Â A body with a wound that had not been treated with boiling water was also at risk. In Russian folklore, vampires were said to have once been witches or people who had rebelled against theÂ Russian Orthodox ChurchÂ while they were alive.
Cultural practices often arose that were intended to prevent a recently deceased loved one from turning into an undead revenant. Burying a corpse upside-down was widespread, as was placing earthly objects, such asÂ scythesÂ orÂ sickles,Â near the grave to satisfy any demons entering the body or to appease the dead so that it would not wish to arise from its coffin. This method resembles theÂ Ancient GreekÂ practice of placing anÂ obolus in the corpse's mouthÂ to pay the toll to cross theÂ River StyxÂ in the underworld; it has been argued that instead, the coin was intended to ward off any evil spirits from entering the body, and this may have influenced later vampire folklore. This tradition persisted in modern Greek folklore about theÂ vrykolakas,Â in which a wax cross and piece of pottery with the inscription "Jesus ChristÂ conquers" were placed on the corpse to prevent the body from becoming a vampire.Â Other methods commonly practised in Europe included severing theÂ tendonsÂ at the knees or placingÂ poppyÂ seeds,Â millet, or sand on the ground at the grave site of a presumed vampire; this was intended to keep the vampire occupied all night by counting the fallen grains,Â indicating an association of vampires withÂ arithmomania. Similar Chinese narratives state that if a vampire-like being came across a sack of rice, it would have to count every grain; this is a theme encountered in myths from theÂ IndianÂ subcontinent, as well as in South American tales of witches and other sorts of evil or mischievous spirits or beings.Â InÂ AlbanianÂ folklore, theÂ dhampirÂ is the son of theÂ karkanxhollÂ or theÂ lugat. If the karkanxholl sleeps with his wife, and she is impregnated with a child, the offspring is calledÂ dhampirÂ and has the unique ability to discern the karkanxholl; from this derives the expressionÂ the dhampir knows the lugat. TheÂ lugatÂ cannot be seen, he can only be killed by the dhampir, who himself is usually the son of a lugat. In different regions, animals can be revenants as lugats; also, living people during their sleep.Â DhampirajÂ is also an Albanian surname.
Many elaborate rituals were used to identify a vampire. One method of finding a vampire's grave involved leading a virgin boy through a graveyard or church grounds on a virgin stallion-the horse would supposedly baulk at the grave in question.Â Generally a black horse was required, though in Albania it should be white.Â Holes appearing in the earth over a grave were taken as a sign of vampirism.
Corpses thought to be vampires were generally described as having a healthier appearance than expected, plump and showing little or no signs of decomposition.Â In some cases, when suspected graves were opened, villagers even described the corpse as having fresh blood from a victim all over its face.Â Evidence that a vampire was active in a given locality included death of cattle, sheep, relatives or neighbours. Folkloric vampires could also make their presence felt by engaging in minorÂ poltergeist-like activity, such as hurling stones on roofs or moving household objects,Â andÂ pressingÂ on people in their sleep.
An image fromÂ Max Ernst'sÂ Une Semaine de Bonté
Apotropaics, items able to ward off revenants, are common in vampire folklore. Garlic is a common example,Â a branch ofÂ wild roseÂ andÂ hawthornÂ plant are said to harm vampires, and in Europe, sprinkling mustard seeds on the roof of a house was said to keep them away.Â Other apotropaics include sacred items, for example aÂ crucifix,Â rosary, orÂ holy water. Vampires are said to be unable to walk onÂ consecratedÂ ground, such as that of churches or temples, or cross running water.Â Although not traditionally regarded as an apotropaic,Â mirrorsÂ have been used to ward off vampires when placed, facing outwards, on a door (in some cultures, vampires do not have a reflection and sometimes do not cast a shadow, perhaps as a manifestation of the vampire's lack of a soul).Â This attribute, although not universal (the GreekÂ vrykolakas/tympaniosÂ was capable of both reflection and shadow), was used byÂ Bram StokerÂ inÂ DraculaÂ and has remained popular with subsequent authors and filmmakers.Â Some traditions also hold that a vampire cannot enter a house unless invited by the owner, although after the first invitation they can come and go as they please.Â Though folkloric vampires were believed to be more active at night, they were not generally considered vulnerable to sunlight.
Methods of destruction
Methods of destroying suspected vampires varied, withÂ stakingÂ the most commonly cited method, particularly in southern Slavic cultures.Â AshÂ was the preferred wood in Russia and the Baltic states,Â orÂ hawthornÂ in Serbia,Â with a record ofÂ oakÂ inÂ Silesia.Â Potential vampires were most often staked through the heart, though the mouth was targeted in Russia and northern GermanyÂ and the stomach in north-eastern Serbia.Â Piercing the skin of the chest was a way of "deflating" the bloated vampire; this is similar to the act of burying sharp objects, such asÂ sickles, in with the corpse, so that they may penetrate the skin if the body bloats sufficiently while transforming into a revenant.Â DecapitationÂ was the preferred method in German and western Slavic areas, with the head buried between the feet, behind theÂ buttocksÂ or away from the body.Â This act was seen as a way of hastening the departure of the soul, which in some cultures, was said to linger in the corpse. The vampire's head, body, or clothes could also be spiked and pinned to the earth to prevent rising.Â GypsiesÂ drove steel or iron needles into a corpse's heart and placed bits of steel in the mouth, over the eyes, ears and between the fingers at the time of burial. They also placed hawthorn in the corpse's sock or drove a hawthorn stake through the legs. In a 16th-century burial nearÂ Venice, a brick forced into the mouth of a female corpse has been interpreted as a vampire-slaying ritual by the archaeologists who discovered it in 2006.Â Further measures included pouring boiling water over the grave or complete incineration of the body. In the Balkans, a vampire could also be killed by being shot or drowned, by repeating the funeral service, by sprinklingÂ holy waterÂ on the body, or byÂ exorcism. In Romania, garlic could be placed in the mouth, and as recently as the 19th century, the precaution of shooting a bullet through theÂ coffinÂ was taken. For resistant cases, the body wasdismemberedÂ and the pieces burned, mixed with water, and administered to family members as a cure. In Saxon regions of Germany, a lemon was placed in the mouth of suspected vampires.
In Bulgaria, over 100 skeletons with metal objects, such as plough bits, embedded in the torso have been discovered.
LilithÂ (1892), byÂ John Collier
Tales of supernatural beings consuming the blood or flesh of the living have been found in nearly every culture around the world for many centuries.Â Today, we would associate these entities with vampires, but in ancient times, the termÂ vampireÂ did not exist; blood drinking and similar activities were attributed toÂ demonsorÂ spiritsÂ who would eat flesh and drink blood; even theÂ DevilÂ was considered synonymous with the vampire.Â Almost every nation has associated blood drinking with some kind of revenant or demon, or in some cases a deity. InÂ India, for example, tales ofÂ vetÄlas, ghoul-like beings that inhabit corpses, have been compiled in theÂ BaitÄl PacÄ«sÄ«; a prominent story in theÂ KathÄsaritsÄgaraÂ tells of KingÂ VikramÄdityaÂ and his nightly quests to capture an elusive one.Â PiÅ›Äca, the returned spirits of evil-doers or those who died insane, also bear vampiric attributes.Â TheÂ PersiansÂ were one of the first civilizations to have tales of blood-drinking demons: creatures attempting to drink blood from men were depicted on excavatedÂ potteryÂ shards.Â AncientÂ BabyloniaÂ andÂ AssyriaÂ had tales of the mythicalLilitu,Â synonymous with and giving rise toÂ LilithÂ (HebrewÂ ×œ×™×œ×™×ª) and her daughters theÂ LiluÂ fromÂ Hebrew demonology. Lilitu was considered a demon and was often depicted as subsisting on the blood of babies.Â AndÂ Estries, female shape changing, blood drinking demons, were said to roam the night among the population, seeking victims. According toÂ Sefer Hasidim,Â EstriesÂ were creatures created in the twilight hours before God rested.Â And injured Estrie could be healed by eating bread and salt given her by her attacker.
AncientÂ GreekÂ andÂ Roman mythologyÂ described theÂ Empusae,Â theÂ Lamia,Â and theÂ striges. Over time the first two terms became general words to describe witches and demons respectively. Empusa was the daughter of the goddessÂ HecateÂ and was described as a demonic,Â bronze-footed creature. She feasted on blood by transforming into a young woman and seduced men as they slept before drinking their blood.Â The Lamia preyed on young children in their beds at night, sucking their blood, as did theÂ gelloudesÂ orÂ Gello.Â Like the Lamia, theÂ strigesÂ feasted on children, but also preyed on young men. They were described as having the bodies of crows or birds in general, and were later incorporated into Roman mythology asÂ strix, a kind of nocturnal bird that fed on human flesh and blood.
With the arrival of Christianity in Greece, and other parts of Europe, the vampire "began to take on decidedly Christian characteristics."Â As various regions of the continentÂ converted to Christianity, the vampire was viewed as "a dead person who retained a semblance of life and could leave its grave-much in the same way that Jesus had risen after his death and burial and appeared before his followers."Â In theÂ Middle Ages, theÂ Christian ChurchÂ reinterpreted vampires from their previous folk existence into minions ofÂ Satan, and used anallegoryÂ to communicate a doctrine to Christians: "Just as a vampire takes a sinner's very spirit into itself by drinking his blood, so also can a righteous Christian by drinking Christ's blood take the divine spirit into himself."Â The interpretation of vampires under the Christian Church established connotations that are still associated in the vampire genre today.Â For example, the "ability of the cross to hurt and ward off vampires is distinctly due to its Christian association."
Medieval and later European folklore
Main article:Â Vampire folklore by region
Many of the myths surrounding vampires originated during theÂ medieval period. The 12th-century English historians and chroniclersÂ Walter MapÂ andÂ William of NewburghÂ recorded accounts of revenants,Â though records in English legends of vampiric beings after this date are scant.Â The Old NorseÂ draugrÂ is another medieval example of an undead creature with similarities to vampires.
Vampires proper originate in folklore widely reported from Eastern Europe in the late 17th and 18th centuries. These tales formed the basis of the vampire legend that later entered Germany and England, where they were subsequently embellished and popularized. One of the earliest recordings of vampire activity came from the region ofÂ IstriaÂ in modernÂ Croatia, in 1672.Â Local reports cited the local vampireÂ Giure GrandoÂ of the village Khring nearÂ TinjanÂ as the cause of panic among the villagers.Â A former peasant, Guire died in 1656; however, local villagers claimed he returned from the dead and began drinking blood from the people and sexually harassing his widow. The village leader ordered a stake to be driven through his heart, but when the method failed to kill him, he was subsequently beheaded with better results.
During the 18th century, there was a frenzy of vampire sightings in Eastern Europe, with frequent stakings and grave diggings to identify and kill the potential revenants; even government officials engaged in the hunting and staking of vampires.Â Despite being called theÂ Age of Enlightenment, during which most folkloric legends were quelled, the belief in vampires increased dramatically, resulting in a mass hysteria throughout most of Europe.Â The panic began with an outbreak of alleged vampire attacks inÂ East PrussiaÂ in 1721 and in theÂ Habsburg MonarchyÂ from 1725 to 1734, which spread to other localities. Two famous vampire cases, the first to be officially recorded, involved the corpses ofÂ Peter PlogojowitzÂ andÂ Arnold PaoleÂ fromÂ Serbia. Plogojowitz was reported to have died at the age of 62, but allegedly returned after his death asking his son for food. When the son refused, he was found dead the following day. Plogojowitz supposedly returned and attacked some neighbours who died from loss of blood.Â In the second case, Paole, an ex-soldier turned farmer who allegedly was attacked by a vampire years before, died whileÂ haying. After his death, people began to die in the surrounding area and it was widely believed that Paole had returned to prey on the neighbours.Â Another famous Serbian legend involving vampires concentrates around a certainÂ Sava SavanoviÄ‡Â living in a watermill and killing and drinking blood from millers. The character was later used in a story written byÂ SerbianÂ writerÂ Milovan GliÅ¡iÄ‡Â and in the Serbian 1973 horror filmÂ LeptiricaÂ inspired by the story.
The two incidents were well-documented: government officials examined the bodies, wrote case reports, and published books throughout Europe.Â The hysteria, commonly referred to as the "18th-Century Vampire Controversy", raged for a generation. The problem was exacerbated by rural epidemics of so-claimed vampire attacks, undoubtedly caused by the higher amount of superstition that was present in village communities, with locals digging up bodies and in some cases, staking them. Although many scholars reported during this period that vampires did not exist, and attributed reports to premature burial orÂ rabies,Â superstitiousÂ belief increased.Â Dom Augustine Calmet, a well-respected FrenchÂ theologianÂ and scholar, put together a comprehensive treatise in 1746, which was ambiguous concerning the existence of vampires. Calmet amassed reports of vampire incidents; numerous readers, including both a criticalÂ VoltaireÂ and supportivedemonologists, interpreted the treatise as claiming that vampires existed.Â In hisÂ Philosophical Dictionary,Â Voltaire wrote:
These vampires were corpses, who went out of their graves at night to suck the blood of the living, either at their throats or stomachs, after which they returned to their cemeteries. The persons so sucked waned, grew pale, and fell intoÂ consumption; while the sucking corpses grew fat, got rosy, and enjoyed an excellent appetite. It was inÂ Poland, Hungary,Silesia,Â Moravia, Austria, andÂ Lorraine, that the dead made this good cheer.
The controversy only ceased when EmpressÂ Maria Theresa of AustriaÂ sent her personal physician,Â Gerard van Swieten, to investigate the claims of vampiric entities. He concluded that vampires did not exist and the Empress passed laws prohibiting the opening of graves and desecration of bodies, sounding the end of the vampire epidemics. Despite this condemnation, the vampire lived on in artistic works and in local superstition.
Various regions of Africa have folkloric tales of beings with vampiric abilities: in West Africa theÂ AshantiÂ people tell of the iron-toothed and tree-dwellingÂ asanbosam,Â and theÂ Ewe peopleÂ of theadze,Â which can take the form of aÂ fireflyÂ and hunts children.Â The eastern Cape region has theÂ impundulu,Â which can take the form of a large taloned bird and can summon thunder and lightning, and theÂ BetsileoÂ people ofÂ MadagascarÂ tell of theÂ ramanga, an outlaw or living vampire who drinks the blood and eats the nail clippings of nobles.
TheÂ LoogarooÂ is an example of how a vampire belief can result from a combination of beliefs, here a mixture of French and African Vodu orÂ voodoo. The termÂ LoogarooÂ possibly comes from the FrenchÂ loup-garouÂ (meaning "werewolf") and is common in theÂ culture of Mauritius. However, the stories of theÂ LoogarooÂ are widespread through theÂ Caribbean IslandsÂ andÂ LouisianaÂ in the United States.Â Similar female monsters are theÂ SoucouyantÂ ofÂ Trinidad, and theÂ TundaÂ andÂ PatasolaÂ ofÂ ColombianÂ folklore, while theÂ MapucheÂ of southernÂ ChileÂ have the bloodsucking snake known as theÂ Peuchen.Â Aloe veraÂ hung backwards behind or near a door was thought to ward off vampiric beings in South American superstition.Â Aztec mythology described tales of theÂ Cihuateteo, skeletal-faced spirits of those who died in childbirth who stole children and entered into sexual liaisons with the living, driving them mad.
During the late 18th and 19th centuries the belief in vampires was widespread in parts of New England, particularly inÂ Rhode IslandÂ and EasternÂ Connecticut. There are many documented cases of families disinterring loved ones and removing their hearts in the belief that the deceased was a vampire who was responsible for sickness and death in the family, although the term "vampire" was never actually used to describe the deceased. The deadly diseaseÂ tuberculosis, or "consumption" as it was known at the time, was believed to be caused by nightly visitations on the part of a dead family member who had died of consumption themselves.Â The most famous, and most recently recorded, case of suspected vampirism is that of nineteen-year-oldÂ Mercy Brown, who died inExeter, Rhode IslandÂ in 1892. Her father, assisted by the family physician, removed her from her tomb two months after her death, cut out her heart and burned it to ashes.
Rooted in older folklore, the modern belief in vampires spread throughout Asia with tales of ghoulish entities from the mainland, to vampiric beings from the islands of Southeast Asia.
South Asia also developed other vampiric legends. TheÂ BhÅ«taÂ orÂ PrétÂ is the soul of a man who died an untimely death. It wanders around animating dead bodies at night, attacking the living much like aÂ ghoul.Â In northern India, there is theÂ BrahmarÄkÅžhasa, a vampire-like creature with a head encircled by intestines and a skull from which it drank blood. The figure of theÂ VetalaÂ who appears in South Asian legend and story may sometimes be rendered as "Vampire" (see the section on "Ancient Beliefs" above).
Although vampires have appeared inÂ Japanese cinemaÂ since the late 1950s, the folklore behind it is western in origin.Â However, theÂ NukekubiÂ is a being whose head and neck detach from its body to fly about seeking human prey at night.Â There's also the Kitsune who are spiritual vampires that need life force to survive and use magic. As such, they acquire it from making love with humans.
TheÂ manananggalÂ of Philippine mythology
Legends of female vampire-like beings who can detach parts of their upper body also occur in theÂ Philippines, Malaysia andÂ Indonesia. There are two main vampire-like creatures in theÂ Philippines: theÂ TagalogÂ mandurugoÂ ("blood-sucker") and theÂ VisayanÂ manananggalÂ ("self-segmenter"). The mandurugo is a variety of theÂ aswangÂ that takes the form of an attractive girl by day, and develops wings and a long, hollow, thread-like tongue by night. The tongue is used to suck up blood from a sleeping victim. TheÂ manananggalÂ is described as being an older, beautiful woman capable of severing its upper torso in order to fly into the night with huge bat-like wings and prey on unsuspecting, sleeping pregnant women in their homes. They use an elongated proboscis-like tongue to suckÂ fetusesÂ from these pregnant women. They also prefer to eat entrails (specifically theÂ heartÂ and theÂ liver) and the phlegm of sick people.
TheÂ MalaysianÂ PenanggalanÂ may be either a beautiful old or young woman who obtained her beauty through the active use ofÂ black magicÂ or other unnatural means, and is most commonly described in local folklore to be dark or demonic in nature. She is able to detach her fanged head which flies around in the night looking for blood, typically from pregnant women.Â Malaysians would hangÂ jerujuÂ (thistles) around the doors and windows of houses, hoping theÂ PenanggalanÂ would not enter for fear of catching its intestines on the thorns.Â TheÂ LeyakÂ is a similar being fromÂ Balinese folklore.Â AKuntilanakÂ orÂ MatianakÂ in Indonesia,Â orÂ PontianakÂ orÂ LangsuirÂ in Malaysia,Â is a woman who died during childbirth and became undead, seeking revenge and terrorizing villages. She appeared as an attractive woman with long black hair that covered a hole in the back of her neck, with which she sucked the blood of children. Filling the hole with her hair would drive her off. Corpses had their mouths filled with glass beads, eggs under each armpit, and needles in their palms to prevent them from becomingÂ langsuir.Â This description would also fit theÂ Sundel Bolongs.
Jiang ShiÂ (simplified Chinese:Â åƒµå°¸;Â traditional Chinese:Â åƒµå± or æ®å±;Â pinyin:Â jiÄngshÄ«; literally "stiff corpse"), sometimes called "Chinese vampires" by Westerners, are reanimated corpses that hop around, killing living creatures to absorb life essence (qì) from their victims. They are said to be created when a person's soul (é„Â pò) fails to leave the deceased's body.Â However, some have disputed the comparison ofÂ jiang shiÂ with vampires, asÂ jiang shiare usually mindless creatures with no independent thought.Â One unusual feature of this monster is its greenish-white furry skin, perhaps derived from fungus orÂ mouldÂ growing on corpses.
In modern fiction, the vampire tends to be depicted as a suave, charismatic villain.Â Despite the general disbelief in vampiric entities, occasional sightings of vampires are reported. Indeed, vampire hunting societies still exist, although they are largely formed for social reasons.Â Allegations of vampire attacks swept through the African country ofÂ MalawiÂ during late 2002 and early 2003, with mobs stoning one individual to death and attacking at least four others, including GovernorÂ Eric Chiwaya, based on the belief that the government was colluding with vampires.
In early 1970 local press spread rumours that a vampire hauntedÂ Highgate CemeteryÂ in London. Amateur vampire hunters flocked in large numbers to the cemetery. Several books have been written about the case, notably by Sean Manchester, a local man who was among the first to suggest the existence of the "Highgate Vampire" and who later claimed to haveÂ exorcisedÂ and destroyed a whole nest of vampires in the area.Â In January 2005, rumours circulated that an attacker had bitten a number of people inÂ Birmingham, England, fuelling concerns about a vampire roaming the streets. However, local police stated that no such crime had been reported and that the case appears to be anÂ urban legend.
In 2006, a physics professor at theÂ University of Central FloridaÂ wrote a paper arguing that it is mathematically impossible for vampires to exist, based onÂ geometric progression. According to the paper, if the first vampire had appeared on 1 January 1600, and it fed once a month (which is less often than what is depicted in films and folklore), and every victim turned into a vampire, then within two and a half years the entire human population of the time would have become vampires.Â The paper made no attempt to address the credibility of the assumption that every vampire victim would turn into a vampire.
In one of the more notable cases of vampiric entities in the modern age, theÂ chupacabraÂ ("goat-sucker") ofÂ Puerto RicoÂ andÂ MexicoÂ is said to be a creature that feeds upon the flesh or drinks the blood ofÂ domesticated animals, leading some to consider it a kind of vampire. The "chupacabra hysteria" was frequently associated with deep economic and political crises, particularly during the mid-1990s.
In Europe, where much of the vampire folklore originates, the vampire is usually considered a fictitious being, although many communities may have embraced the revenant for economic purposes. In some cases, especially in small localities, vampire superstition is still rampant and sightings or claims of vampire attacks occur frequently. InÂ RomaniaÂ during February 2004, several relatives of Toma Petre feared that he had become a vampire. They dug up his corpse, tore out his heart, burned it, and mixed the ashes with water in order to drink it.
Vampirism and theÂ Vampire lifestyleÂ also represent a relevant part of modern day'sÂ occultistÂ movements. The mythos of the vampire, hisÂ magickalÂ qualities, allure, and predatory archetype express a strong symbolism that can be used in ritual, energy work, and magick, and can even be adopted as a spiritual system.Â The vampire has been part of the occult society in Europe for centuries and has spread into the American sub-culture as well for more than a decade, being strongly influenced by and mixed with theÂ neo gothicÂ aesthetics.
'Coven' has been used as a collective noun for vampires, possibly based on theÂ WiccanÂ usage. An alternative collective noun is a 'house' of vampires.Â David Malki, author ofÂ Wondermark, suggests in Wondermark No. 566 the use of the collective noun 'basement', as in "A basement of vampires."
Origins of vampire beliefs
Le Vampire, lithograph by R. de Moraine inÂ FévalÂ (1851-1852)
Commentators have offered many theories for the origins of vampire beliefs, trying to explain the superstition - and sometimesÂ mass hysteriaÂ - caused by vampires. Everything ranging fromÂ premature burialÂ to the early ignorance of the body'sÂ decompositionÂ cycle after death has been cited as the cause for the belief in vampires.
Although many cultures possess revenantÂ superstitionsÂ comparable to the Eastern European vampire, theÂ SlavicÂ vampire is the revenant superstition that pervades popular culture's concept of vampire. The roots of vampire belief in Slavic culture are based to a large extent in the spiritual beliefs and practices of pre-Christianized Slavic peoples and their understanding of life after death. Despite a lack ofÂ pre-Christian Slavic writingsÂ describing the details of the "Old Religion", manyÂ paganÂ spiritual beliefs and rituals have been sustained by Slavic peoples even after their lands were Christianized. Examples of such beliefs and practices includeÂ ancestor worship,Â household spirits, and beliefs about theÂ soulÂ after death. The origins of vampire beliefs in Slavic regions can be traced to the complex structure of Slavic spiritualism.
Demons and spirits served important functions inÂ pre-industrialÂ Slavic societies and were considered to be very interactive in the lives and domains of humans. Some spirits were benevolent and could be helpful in human tasks, others were harmful and often destructive. Examples of such spirits areDomovoi,Â Rusalka,Â Vila,Â Kikimora,Â Poludnitsa, andÂ Vodyanoy. These spirits were also considered to be derived from ancestors or certain deceased humans. Such spirits could appear at will in various forms including that of different animals or human form. Some of these spirits could also participate in malevolent activity to harm humans, such as drowning humans, obstructing the harvest, or sucking the blood of livestock and sometimes humans. Hence, theÂ SlavsÂ were obliged to appease these spirits to prevent the spirits from their potential for erratic and destructive behaviour.
Common Slavic belief indicates a stark distinction between soul and body. The soul is not considered to be perishable. The Slavs believed that upon death the soul would go out of the body and wander about its neighbourhood and workplace for 40 days before moving on to an eternal afterlife.Because of this, it was considered necessary to leave a window or door open in the house for the soul to pass through at its leisure. During this time the soul was believed to have the capability of re-entering the corpse of the deceased. Much like the spirits mentioned earlier, the passing soul could either bless or wreak havoc on its family and neighbours during its 40 days of passing. Upon an individual's death, much stress was placed on properÂ burial ritesÂ to ensure the soul's purity and peace as it separated from the body. The death of an unbaptized child, a violent or an untimely death, or the death of a grievous sinner (such as a sorcerer or murderer) were all grounds for a soul to become unclean after death. A soul could also be made unclean if its body were not given a proper burial. Alternatively, a body not given a proper burial could be susceptible to possession by other unclean souls and spirits. Slavs feared unclean souls because of their potential for taking vengeance.
From these deeply implicated beliefs pertaining to death and the soul derives the invention of the Slavic concept ofÂ vampir. A vampire is the manifestation of anÂ unclean spiritÂ possessing a decomposing body. This undead creature is considered to be vengeful and jealous towards the living and needing the blood of the living to sustain its body's existence.Â Although this concept of vampire exists in slightly deviating forms throughoutÂ Slavic countriesÂ and some of their non-Slavic neighbours, it is possible to trace the development of vampire belief to Slavic spiritualism pre-existing Christianity in Slavic regions.
Paul Barber in his bookÂ Vampires, Burial and DeathÂ has described that belief in vampires resulted from people ofÂ pre-industrial societiesÂ attempting to explain the natural, but to them inexplicable, process of death and decomposition.
People sometimes suspected vampirism when a cadaver did not look as they thought a normal corpse should when disinterred. However, rates of decomposition vary depending on temperature and soil composition, and many of the signs are little known. This has led vampire hunters to mistakenly conclude that a dead body had not decomposed at all, or, ironically, to interpret signs of decomposition as signs of continued life.Â Corpses swell as gases from decomposition accumulate in the torso and the increased pressure forces blood to ooze from the nose and mouth. This causes the body to look "plump," "well-fed," and "ruddy"-changes that are all the more striking if the person was pale or thin in life. In theÂ Arnold Paole case, an old woman's exhumed corpse was judged by her neighbours to look more plump and healthy than she had ever looked in life.Â The exuding blood gave the impression that the corpse had recently been engaging in vampiric activity.Â Darkening of the skin is also caused by decomposition.Â The staking of a swollen, decomposing body could cause the body to bleed and force the accumulated gases to escape the body. This could produce a groan-like sound when the gases moved past the vocal cords, or a sound reminiscent ofÂ flatulenceÂ when they passed through the anus. The official reporting on thePeter PlogojowitzÂ case speaks of "other wild signs which I pass by out of high respect".
After death, the skin and gums lose fluids and contract, exposing the roots of the hair, nails, and teeth, even teeth that were concealed in the jaw. This can produce the illusion that the hair, nails, and teeth have grown. At a certain stage, the nails fall off and the skin peels away, as reported in the Plogojowitz case-theÂ dermisÂ andÂ nail bedsÂ emerging underneath were interpreted as "new skin" and "new nails".
It has also been hypothesized that vampire legends were influenced by individuals beingÂ buried aliveÂ because of shortcomings in the medical knowledge of the time. In some cases in which people reported sounds emanating from a specific coffin, it was later dug up and fingernail marks were discovered on the inside from the victim trying to escape. In other cases the person would hit their heads, noses or faces and it would appear that they had been "feeding."Â A problem with this theory is the question of how people presumably buried alive managed to stay alive for any extended period without food, water or fresh air. An alternate explanation for noise is the bubbling of escaping gases from natural decomposition of bodies.Â Another likely cause of disordered tombs isÂ grave robbing.
Folkloric vampirism has been associated with clusters of deaths from unidentifiable or mysterious illnesses, usually within the same family or the same small community.Â The epidemic allusion is obvious in the classical cases ofÂ Peter PlogojowitzÂ andÂ Arnold Paole, and even more so in the case ofÂ Mercy BrownÂ and in the vampire beliefs of New England generally, where a specific disease,Â tuberculosis, was associated with outbreaks of vampirism. As with the pneumonic form ofÂ bubonic plague, it was associated with breakdown of lung tissue which would cause blood to appear at the lips.
In 1985 biochemistÂ David DolphinÂ proposed a link between the rare blood disorderÂ porphyriaÂ and vampire folklore. Noting that the condition is treated by intravenousÂ haem, he suggested that the consumption of large amounts of blood may result in haem being transported somehow across the stomach wall and into the bloodstream. Thus vampires were merely sufferers of porphyria seeking to replace haem and alleviate their symptoms.Â The theory has been rebuffed medically as suggestions that porphyria sufferers crave the haem in human blood, or that the consumption of blood might ease the symptoms of porphyria, are based on a misunderstanding of the disease. Furthermore, Dolphin was noted to have confused fictional (bloodsucking) vampires with those of folklore, many of whom were not noted to drink blood.Â Similarly, a parallel is made between sensitivity to sunlight by sufferers, yet this was associated with fictional and not folkloric vampires. In any case, Dolphin did not go on to publish his work more widely.Â Despite being dismissed by experts, the link gained media attentionÂ and entered popular modern folklore.
RabiesÂ has been linked with vampire folklore. Dr Juan Gómez-Alonso, a neurologist at Xeral Hospital inÂ Vigo, Spain, examined this possibility in a report inÂ Neurology. The susceptibility to garlic and light could be due to hypersensitivity, which is a symptom of rabies. The disease can also affect portions of the brain that could lead to disturbance of normal sleep patterns (thus becoming nocturnal) andÂ hypersexuality. Legend once said a man was not rabid if he could look at his own reflection (an allusion to the legend that vampires have no reflection). Wolves and bats, which are often associated with vampires, can be carriers of rabies. The disease can also lead to a drive to bite others and to a bloody frothing at the mouth.
In his 1931 treatiseÂ On the Nightmare,Â WelshÂ psychoanalystÂ Ernest JonesÂ noted that vampires are symbolic of several unconscious drives andÂ defence mechanisms. Emotions such as love, guilt, and hate fuel the idea of the return of the dead to the grave. Desiring a reunion with loved ones, mourners mayÂ projectÂ the idea that the recently dead must in return yearn the same. From this arises the belief that folkloric vampires and revenants visit relatives, particularly their spouses, first.Â In cases where there was unconscious guilt associated with the relationship, however, the wish for reunion may be subverted by anxiety. This may lead toÂ repression, whichÂ Sigmund FreudÂ had linked with the development of morbid dread.Â Jones surmised in this case the original wish of a (sexual) reunion may be drastically changed: desire is replaced by fear; love is replaced by sadism, and the object or loved one is replaced by an unknown entity. The sexual aspect may or may not be present.Â Some modern critics have proposed a simpler theory: People identify with immortal vampires because, by so doing, they overcome, or at least temporarily escape from, their fear of dying.
The innate sexuality of bloodsucking can be seen in its intrinsic connection withÂ cannibalismÂ and folkloric one withÂ incubus-like behaviour. Many legends report various beings draining other fluids from victims, an unconscious association withÂ semenÂ being obvious. Finally Jones notes that when more normal aspects of sexuality are repressed, regressed forms may be expressed, in particularÂ sadism; he felt thatÂ oral sadismÂ is integral in vampiric behaviour.
The reinvention of the vampire myth in the modern era is not without political overtones.Â The aristocratic Count Dracula, alone in his castle apart from a few demented retainers, appearing only at night to feed on his peasantry, is symbolic of the parasiticÂ Ancien regime. In his entry for "Vampires" in the Dictionnaire philosophique (1764), Voltaire notices how the end of the 18th century coincided with the decline of the folkloric belief in the existence of vampires but that now "there were stock-jobbers, brokers, and men of business, who sucked the blood of the people in broad daylight; but they were not dead, though corrupted. These true suckers lived not in cemeteries, but in very agreeable palaces".Â Marx similarly famously defined capital as "dead labour which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks".Â In Das Kapital Marx repeatedly refers to capital as a vampire, because of its monstrous metabolism: according to the German philosopher and revolutionary, in fact, capital is capable at once to suck living labour out of the workers and to transform them in an integral part of itself (variable capital).Â Werner Herzog, in hisÂ Nosferatu the Vampyre, gives this political interpretation an extra ironic twist when protagonistÂ Jonathon Harker, a middle-class solicitor, becomes the next vampire; in this way the capitalistÂ bourgeoisÂ becomes the next parasitic class.
A number of murderers have performed seemingly vampiric rituals upon their victims.Â Serial killersÂ Peter KürtenÂ andÂ Richard Trenton ChaseÂ were both called "vampires" in theÂ tabloidsÂ after they were discovered drinking the blood of the people they murdered. Similarly, in 1932, an unsolved murder case inÂ Stockholm, Sweden was nicknamed the "Vampire murder", because of the circumstances of the victim's death.Â The late-16th-century Hungarian countess and mass murdererÂ Elizabeth BáthoryÂ became particularly infamous in later centuries' works, which depicted her bathing in her victims' blood in order to retain beauty or youth.
Modern vampire subcultures
Vampire lifestyleÂ is a term for a contemporary subculture of people, largely within theÂ Goth subculture, who consume the blood of others as a pastime; drawing from the rich recent history of popular culture related to cult symbolism,Â horror films, the fiction ofÂ Anne Rice, and the styles of Victorian England.Â Active vampirism within the vampire subculture includes both blood-related vampirism, commonly referred to asÂ sanguine vampirism, andÂ psychic vampirism, or supposed feeding fromÂ pranicÂ energy.
Main article:Â Vampire bat
AÂ vampire batÂ in Peru
Although many cultures have stories about them,Â vampire batsÂ have only recently become an integral part of the traditional vampire lore. Indeed, vampire bats were only integrated into vampire folklore when they were discovered on the South American mainland in the 16th century.Â Although there are no vampire bats in Europe,Â batsÂ andÂ owlsÂ have long been associated with the supernatural and omens, although mainly because of their nocturnal habits,Â and in modern EnglishÂ heraldicÂ tradition, a bat means "Awareness of the powers of darkness and chaos".
The three species of actualÂ vampire batsÂ are allÂ endemicÂ to Latin America, and there is no evidence to suggest that they had anyÂ Old WorldÂ relatives within human memory. It is therefore impossible that the folkloric vampire represents a distorted presentation or memory of the vampire bat. The bats were named after the folkloric vampire rather than vice versa; theÂ Oxford English DictionaryÂ records their folkloric use in English from 1734 and the zoological not until 1774. Although the vampire bat's bite is usually not harmful to a person, the bat has been known to actively feed on humans and large prey such as cattle and often leave the trademark, two-prong bite mark on its victim's skin.
The literaryÂ DraculaÂ transforms into a bat several times in the novel, and vampire bats themselves are mentioned twice in it. The 1927 stage production ofDraculaÂ followed the novel in having Dracula turn into a bat, as did theÂ film, whereÂ Béla LugosiÂ would transform into a bat.Â The bat transformation scene would again be used byÂ Lon Chaney Jr.Â in 1943'sÂ Son of Dracula.
In modern fiction
Count DraculaÂ as portrayed byÂ Béla LugosiÂ in 1931'sÂ Dracula
Main article:Â List of fictional vampires
The vampire is now a fixture in popular fiction. Such fiction began with 18th-century poetry and continued with 19th-century short stories, the first and most influential of which wasÂ John Polidori'sÂ The VampyreÂ (1819), featuring the vampireÂ Lord Ruthven. Lord Ruthven's exploits were further explored in a series of vampire plays in which he was the anti-hero. The vampire theme continued inÂ penny dreadfulÂ serial publications such asÂ Varney the Vampire(1847) and culminated in the pre-eminent vampire novel of all time:Â DraculaÂ byÂ Bram Stoker, published in 1897.Â Over time, some attributes now regarded as integral became incorporated into the vampire's profile: fangs and vulnerability to sunlight appeared over the course of the 19th century, with Varney the Vampire andÂ Count DraculaÂ both bearing protruding teeth,Â andÂ Murnau'sÂ NosferatuÂ (1922) fearing daylight.Â The cloak appeared in stage productions of the 1920s, with a high collar introduced by playwrightÂ Hamilton DeaneÂ to help Dracula 'vanish' on stage.Â Lord Ruthven and Varney were able to be healed by moonlight, although no account of this is known in traditional folklore.Â Implied though not often explicitly documented in folklore,Â immortalityÂ is one attribute which features heavily in vampire film and literature. Much is made of the price of eternal life, namely the incessant need for blood of former equals.
Main article:Â Vampire literature
"Carmilla" byÂ D. H. Friston, 1872, fromThe Dark Blue
The vampire or revenant first appeared in poems such asÂ The VampireÂ (1748) byÂ Heinrich August Ossenfelder,Â LenoreÂ (1773) byÂ Gottfried August Bürger,Die Braut von CorinthÂ (The Bride of CorinthÂ (1797) byÂ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,Â Robert Southey'sÂ Thalaba the DestroyerÂ (1801), John Stagg's "The Vampyre" (1810),Â Percy Bysshe Shelley'sÂ "The Spectral Horseman"Â (1810) ("Nor a yelling vampire reeking with gore") and "Ballad" inÂ St. IrvyneÂ (1811) about a reanimated corpse, Sister Rosa,Â Samuel Taylor Coleridge's unfinishedÂ ChristabelÂ andÂ Lord Byron'sÂ The Giaour.Â Byron was also credited with the first prose fiction piece concerned with vampires:Â The VampyreÂ (1819). However this was in reality authored by Byron's personal physician,Â John Polidori, who adapted an enigmatic fragmentary tale of his illustrious patient, "Fragment of a Novel" (1819), also known as "The Burial: A Fragment".Â Byron's own dominating personality, mediated by his loverÂ Lady Caroline LambÂ in her unflatteringÂ roman-a-clef,Â GlenarvonÂ (a Gothic fantasia based on Byron's wild life), was used as a model for Polidori's undead protagonistÂ Lord Ruthven.Â The VampyreÂ was highly successful and the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century.
Varney the VampireÂ was a landmark popular mid-Victorian eraÂ gothic horrorÂ story byÂ James Malcolm RymerÂ (alternatively attributed toÂ Thomas Preskett Prest), which first appeared from 1845 to 1847 in a series of pamphlets generally referred to asÂ penny dreadfulsÂ because of their inexpensive price and typically gruesome contents. The story was published in book form in 1847 and runs to 868 double-columned pages. It has a distinctly suspenseful style, using vivid imagery to describe the horrifying exploits of Varney.Â Another important addition to the genre wasÂ Sheridan Le Fanu'sÂ lesbian vampireÂ storyÂ CarmillaÂ (1871). Like Varney before her, the vampire Carmilla is portrayed in a somewhat sympathetic light as the compulsion of her condition is highlighted.
No effort to depict vampires in popular fiction was as influential or as definitive asÂ Bram Stoker'sÂ DraculaÂ (1897).Â Its portrayal of vampirism as a disease of contagious demonic possession, with its undertones of sex, blood and death, struck a chord inÂ VictorianÂ Europe whereÂ tuberculosisÂ andÂ syphilisÂ were common. The vampiric traits described in Stoker's work merged with and dominated folkloric tradition, eventually evolving into the modern fictional vampire. Drawing on past works such asÂ The VampyreÂ and "Carmilla", Stoker began to research his new book in the late 19th century, reading works such asÂ The Land Beyond the ForestÂ (1888) byÂ Emily GerardÂ and other books about Transylvania and vampires. In London, a colleague mentioned to him the story ofÂ Vlad Å¢epeÅŸ, the "real-life Dracula," and Stoker immediately incorporated this story into his book. The first chapter of the book was omitted when it was published in 1897, but it was released in 1914 asDracula's Guest.
The 21st century has brought more examples of vampire fiction, such asÂ J.R. Ward'sÂ Black Dagger BrotherhoodÂ series, and other highly popular vampire books which appeal to teenagers and young adults. Such vampiricÂ paranormal romanceÂ novels and allied vampiricÂ chick-litÂ and vampiricÂ occult detectiveÂ stories are a remarkably popular and ever-expanding contemporary publishing phenomenon.Â L.A. Banks'Â The Vampire Huntress Legend Series,Â Laurell K. Hamilton's eroticÂ Anita Blake: Vampire HunterÂ series, andÂ Kim Harrison'sÂ The HollowsÂ series, portray the vampire in a variety of new perspectives, some of them unrelated to the original legends.
The latter part of the 20th century saw the rise of multi-volume vampire epics. The first of these was Gothic romance writerÂ Marilyn Ross'Â Barnabas CollinsÂ series (1966-71), loosely based on the contemporary American TV seriesÂ Dark Shadows. It also set the trend for seeing vampires as poeticÂ tragic heroesÂ rather than as the more traditional embodiment of evil. This formula was followed in novelistÂ Anne Rice's highly popular and influentialÂ Vampire ChroniclesÂ (1976-2003).Â Vampires in theÂ TwilightÂ seriesÂ (2005-2008) byÂ Stephenie MeyerÂ ignore the effects of garlic and crosses, and are not harmed by sunlight (although it does reveal their supernatural nature).Â Richelle MeadÂ further deviates from traditional vampires in herÂ Vampire AcademyÂ seriesÂ (2007-present), basing the novels on Romanian lore with two races of vampires, one good and one evil, as well as half-vampires.
Film and television
Main article:Â Vampire film
Iconic scene fromÂ F. W. Murnau'sNosferatu, 1922
Considered one of the preeminent figures of the classic horror film, the vampire has proven to be a rich subject for the film and gaming industries.Â Dracula is a major characterÂ in more films than any other butÂ Sherlock Holmes, and many early films were either based on the novel ofÂ DraculaÂ or closely derived from it. These included the landmark 1922 German silent filmÂ Nosferatu, directed byÂ F. W. MurnauÂ and featuring the first film portrayal of Dracula-although names and characters were intended to mimicÂ Dracula's, Murnau could not obtain permission to do so from Stoker's widow, and had to alter many aspects of the film. In addition to this film was Universal'sÂ DraculaÂ (1931), starringÂ Béla LugosiÂ as the Count in what was the first talking film to portray Dracula. The decade saw several more vampire films, most notablyÂ Dracula's DaughterÂ in 1936.
The legend of the vampire was cemented in the film industry when Dracula was reincarnated for a new generation with the celebratedÂ Hammer Horrorseries of films, starringÂ Christopher LeeÂ as the Count. The successful 1958Â DraculaÂ starring Lee was followed by seven sequels. Lee returned as Dracula in all but two of these and became well known in the role.Â By the 1970s, vampires in films had diversified with works such asÂ Count Yorga, Vampire(1970), an African Count in 1972'sÂ Blacula, the BBC'sÂ Count DraculaÂ featuring French actorÂ Louis JourdanÂ as Dracula andÂ Frank FinlayÂ as Abraham Van Helsing, and a Nosferatu-like vampire in 1979'sÂ Salem's Lot, and a remake ofÂ NosferatuÂ itself, titledÂ Nosferatu the VampyreÂ withÂ Klaus KinskiÂ the same year. Several films featured female, often lesbian, vampire antagonists such as Hammer Horror'sÂ The Vampire LoversÂ (1970) based on Carmilla, though the plotlines still revolved around a central evil vampire character.
The pilot for the Dan Curtis 1972 television seriesÂ Kolchak: The Night StalkerÂ revolved around reporter Carl Kolchak hunting a vampire on the Las Vegas strip. Later films showed more diversity in plotline, with some focusing on the vampire-hunter, such asÂ BladeÂ in theÂ Marvel Comics'Â BladeÂ films and the filmÂ Buffy the Vampire Slayer.Â Buffy, released in 1992, foreshadowed a vampiric presence on television, with adaptation to a long-running hitÂ TV seriesÂ of the same name and its spin-offÂ Angel. Still others showed the vampire as protagonist, such as 1983'sÂ The Hunger, 1994'sInterview with the Vampire: The Vampire ChroniclesÂ and its indirect sequel of sortsÂ Queen of the Damned, and the 2007 seriesÂ Moonlight.Â Bram Stoker's DraculaÂ was a noteworthy 1992 film which became the then-highest grossing vampire film ever.Â This increase of interest in vampiric plotlines led to the vampire being depicted in films such asÂ UnderworldÂ andÂ Van Helsing, and the RussianÂ Night WatchÂ and a TV miniseries remake ofÂ 'Salem's Lot, both from 2004. The seriesÂ Blood TiesÂ premiered onÂ Lifetime TelevisionÂ in 2007, featuring a character portrayed as Henry Fitzroy, illegitimate son ofÂ Henry VIII of EnglandÂ turned vampire, in modern-dayÂ Toronto, with a female former Toronto detective in the starring role. A 2008 series from HBO, entitledÂ True Blood, gives aSouthernÂ take to the vampire theme.Â Another popular vampire-related show is CW'sÂ The Vampire Diaries. The continuing popularity of the vampire theme has been ascribed to a combination of two factors: the representation ofÂ sexualityÂ and the perennial dread of mortality.Â Another "vampiric" series that has recently come out is theÂ Twilight Saga, a series of films based on the book series of the same name.
TheÂ role-playing gameÂ Vampire: the MasqueradeÂ has been influential upon modern vampire fiction and elements of its terminology, such asÂ embraceÂ andÂ sire, have become widely used. Popularvideo games about vampiresÂ includeÂ Cast