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Our Vampires Are Different

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"People have different standards when it comes to arguing what is and isn't a vampire..."

A Sub-Trope of Our Monsters Are Different. This one deals with everyone's favorite undead bloodsuckers.

The purpose of vampires in the story varies quite widely. They may serve as the Big Bad or as a metaphor for something, be it addiction or denial of aging, or even communicable diseases like the plague or an STD. There is some danger of the vampire character being too on-the-nose for the metaphor.

The "baseline rules" below are strongly influenced by Hollywood tradition, and not "real" vampire folklore, or even classic vampire fiction. For instance, as (properly) shown in the 1992 Dracula with Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder, and in 2003's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Dracula and other "folkloric" vampires were at the most inconvenienced by sunlight, not killed instantly. More to the point, sunlight didn't cause vampires to go up like flash paper in the original novel, nor in earlier vampire lore. Sunlight causing a vampire to suffer pain and damage, burst out in glitter, smolder, or go up like a one-man pyrotechnic show was created by the movies, from Nosferatu (1922) and onward.

Modern vampire treatment in popular culture is usually divided into cycles. The Malignant cycle (1931 -1948), the Erotic cycle (1950 -1985), the Sympathetic cycle (1987 -2001), the Individualist cycle (2003- present day). Malignant, meaning vampires are treated as creatures of pure horror, as popular in the early films like Nosferatu, and Universal films. Erotic, meaning they were considered evil but alluring, such as the Hammer films. Sympathetic, meaning they were seen as tragic monsters that were to be pitied, but still feared, although they could sometimes be redeemed usually by becoming human once more. And Individualist meaning that they could be bad, good, or in between, much like humans, and their transformation to vampirism did not imply a change in morality.

The sheer number of different and contradictory myths that have built up around vampires over the years have made it difficult to explore all of them in great detail. To deal with this, writers have started putting multiple types of vampire into their setting, with the explanation that different myths describe different types of vampire. These are often referred to as "bloodlines", although any term suggesting shared descent or culture may also be used. Particularly common types include a more refined and high-class one with little beyond tasteful fangs to mark them outwardly, sometimes embodying the more recent view of vampires as seductive predators; a more bestial, highly monstrous one, typically called "strigoi" or "nosferatu", which may be visibly batlike even in human form; and an especially corpse-like one that puts particular weight on vampires' undead nature.

Differences may be reinforced by spelling it "Vampyre", or using a clever synonym like "nosferatu", "sanguinarian" or "strigoi". The term comes from Serbian vampir (вампир). If the differences are emphasized by overt mocking of other authors and unused vampire tropes it becomes Your Vampires Suck.

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A work will usually address these baseline rules even if they're not enforced. Sometimes an unused rule will be explained away as a Fake Weakness propagated by the vampires themselves.

    The baseline rules for vampires are... 
  • They need blood. Mostly. Usually Vampires go insane/grow weak/die without it, or degenerate into mindless, rabid monsters.
  • Vampires are usually viral. In many tales or stories, their affliction is treated as a curse or supernatural corruption that can be spread to normal humans (or other creatures if there are other races besides humans). Of course this lead to a chicken-or-egg scenario where one questions where vampirism came from in the first place. This is usually explained in the form of Monster Progenitor or Patient Zero who somehow became the first of their kind and spread it to others. While the simplest and most common way to become a vampire is by infection, Other methods which may have cause the first of the species to come about could be due to a Deal with the Devil by making a pact with dark supernatural forces, Ritual Magic that calls on dark powers to change someone into a vampire, or just being such an evil monstrous bastard that God Is Displeased and curses them or the final act that caused the transformation was symbolic and so depraved that it make the person a magnet for evil mystical energy that transforms them. Suffice it to say, Vampires created by these methods are usually much stronger than the average vampire and may have additional abilities or their weaknesses are reduced with some of them even being removed.
    • They are capable of changing human beings into other vampires. Folkloric vampires were not so: one became a vampire after being cursed by one's parents, or dying by suicide, or after practising witchcraft, or being a werewolf or being born dead. Some say that Stoker's Dracula needed to go through a more elaborate process to make another vampire, but that bowdlerized versions removed the detail where he made the victims drink his blood to begin the transformation, but there is really no indication of this in the text—Mina is forced to drink his blood to establish a stronger psychic bond, and it is explicitly stated that a victim will, at natural death, become a vampire from just a bite.
    • The more involved procedure has regained popularity and explains why not every victim of a vampire becomes one and, by extension, their rarity such as in Vampire: The Masquerade, True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries; at the very least, it explains why the 'vampire plague' scenario many heroes from Stoker onward try to prevent didn't happen thousands of years back. Some still use the "drained to near-death and left for dead" approach, but the modern blood-drinking-and-sharing offspring are usually beholden as servants to the parent vampire until released. Very few have the Heroic Willpower needed to resist becoming fully evil. Attempting to change a loved one into an eternal companion this way rarely works either because the vampire in the equation cares about them so much that they don’t wanna risk killing them and/or Said loved one would rather be dead than undead.
    • Modern versions that don't have such a process often blur the line between vampire and zombie, sometimes leading to a full-on Vampire Apocalypse because of a runaway Viral Transformation. Worse, sometimes Vampires who don't keep fed turn into Zombies.
    • Sometimes, vampirism is tied to the creator. Depending on how important the infectee is to the plot, killing the Vampire Monarch will either turn all of their "children" back into humans, or kill all of their creations with them. In some cases, killing the lower level vampires will do nothing to those they have sired; only the one at the top of the pyramid is tied in this way. There may be a psychic bond between creator and created.
      • Recently, the idea has arisen that vampires judge each other by how far removed they are from a "source". The highest social status belongs to a Vampire Monarch who somehow became a vampire without being turned by one via bite; or else the next person below them if their spawn gets a Klingon Promotion.
      • Of course, there can also be a fusion of "types". A vampire may create mindless undead slaves via simple feeding (often referred to as "spawn"), but to create a thinking vampire with the potential for the gambits of powers, the full process is needed.
      • Or they create living servants like ghouls or blood-slaves who feed on their blood, get power from it somehow, and protect their masters any way they can. Vampire blood has often been depicted as having the power to extend the natural lifespan of ordinary humans, allowing them to bribe mortals to their service with drops of blood.
  • Vampires are almost always inhumanly strong, fast, and durable, often to the point of being Immune to Bullets and most other mundane weapons. For some, especially more modern ones, this is where it ends, making them effectively little more than intelligent (and stylish) super-zombies. While it depends on the type of Vampire (usually the supernatural type) then tend to get Stronger with Age. This is for various reason which could be due to mastering their own powers, slowly gaining more dark power overtime, or that their long lifespans allow them to learn much more than mortals including magic and improving their mystical gifts.
    • A variation of this is to give them their own unique "gifts" (telepathy, for example) that make them more distinct from their brethren, though all share the same aforementioned set of "normal" vampire powers.
    • The original folklorish vamps were either disease ridden monstrosities or soul-sucking ghosts; in either case, their mere presence was likely to harm you, and though you could ward them off at night you couldn't actually kill them until the daylight hours, and sometimes you couldn't properly kill them at all since, being evil spirits, the best you could do is stop them from coming back.
    • The traditional Victorian vampire has a range of supernatural abilities. Dracula had shape-shifting, limited flight, control over animals and the weather, the ability to scale walls, and other gifts, on top of the standard vampire strengths. It is unclear if this is due to Dracula studying Black Magic to enhance his skills (and this type of vampirism can come with an innate ability to learn that as well — it's also implied that this may have been how Dracula became a vampire) or if it was due to his advanced age. It's possible that both might be true.
    • The strength of a vampire can sometimes be determined by its age, with older vampires usually (though not always) being stronger than younger ones. Sometimes this merely means that they are stronger and harder to kill, if it means anything at all. Some may evolve (or de-volve) into something closer resembling some progenitor vampire race, which can occur either gradually or in spurts, which makes them yet more superhuman.
    • In other cases, the vamp can age into an outright Humanoid Abomination which will usually mean they are much more powerful, though some may understandably lament their transformation into outright monstrosities and more obvious loss of humanity; this, again, may happen gradually or in spurts. The ones who won the Superpower Lottery have, either naturally or through using their immortal lifespan to acquire ridiculous amounts of magical power, evolved into outright Gods of Evil, and are a menace to the entire world.
    • Sometimes a vampire can be damaged by mundane weapons, and will feel pain and suffer consequences (for example, if you shoot them in the knee, they can't walk) — but it won't kill them, and they’ll eventually heal from all injuries. (Quite often, the vampire has to drink blood to heal.) In other cases, mundane weapons do nothing at all — weapons pass through the vampire like a ghost, or bounce off, or the vampire's flesh heals as soon as the weapon is removed.
    • Another possibility if Overwhelming force or a medium-powered Cool Sword or general low-key Magic Spell (but not their specific vulnerability) is used is to turn into mist and return to their coffin, incapacitated until the next sunset.
  • Achilles Heels
    • Wooden Stake through the heart. In most modern depictions, this is fatal; in the original folklore, it merely stops the vampire from leaving his coffin. In most of the older stories, one had to use a hammer or a gravedigger's shovel to drive the stake in, which meant that vampire stakings mainly happened during the day when the vampire was asleep, but recently, it's become oddly easy to do by hand. Remember, the ribs are there to prevent just such an occurrence. In some cases, a special specimen of wood is needed for the stake to be effective, commonly Hawthorn, and occasionally it needs to be blessed or enchanted, but not all vampires are this picky about what goes through their chests.
    • Decapitation - As with the aforementioned stake, this one works not only on vampires but on (almost) everything. Sometimes, these two weaknesses get combined, where the vamp can regenerate their head and a wooden stake through the heart merely renders them inert, meaning that one needs to put a stake through the heart and then cut off the head in order to truly kill it.
    • Fire - another one that can be used to deal with most other supernaturals and also humans, although it varies between interpretations on just how much you need. Really, the only common Achilles's Heel definitely unique to vampires is...
    • Direct sunlight. This is actually a modern invention; much newer than you'd think. In old legends, they actually had to sleep in their coffin during the day, but sunlight wasn't fatal. They were merely dormant during the day, making it "easy" to sneak up on them. Nowadays, they just hole up inside, and sunlight literally has the power to make them spontaneously combust. Sometimes this is specifically ultraviolet radiation; sunlight is dangerous, but a lightbulb is not. When UV radiation is what makes sunlight harmful to vampires, this also would explain why they've "become" vulnerable to it despite it being more or less harmless in earlier legends: ozone depletion means more UV radiation gets through the upper atmosphere. Meaning that bursting into flames is the vampire version of skin cancer.
      • Weakness to sunlight often varies by age. Depending on the setting, elder vampires are either resistant (or fully impervious) to sunlight, or sometimes more vulnerable to it than younger vamps because they're so far removed from their humanity.
      • An interesting inversion are Arabian vampires. They're active during the day and sleep at night, since people were naturally more afraid of the daytime in the desert.
      • The idea that sunlight isn't fatal has undergone somewhat of a resurgence. The vampires in L.J. Smith's Night World series can survive exposure to sunlight, but it inhibits their powers. The vampires in Moonlight can survive exposure to sunlight for a limited amount of time. Vampires in the the Night Huntress series aren't really bothered by the sun, but they do tend to sunburn easily (then quickly heal, peel, and do it again), are somewhat weaker, and newly made vampires fall asleep involuntarily during the day. In some folklore, vampires were actually at their strongest at high noon, when their shadow was at its smallest. They were weakest at dusk, when their shadow was at its longest.
      • This rule doesn’t apply for vampire werewolf hybrids and as an added bonus they don’t have the werewolf witnesses i.e. vulnerability to silver either.
    • If they exist in the story, magical weapons or other supernatural creatures might also have special abilities to kill vampires.
    • Cannot bear the touch of special symbolic items, like silver, similar to werewolves or other supernatural beings; silver is toxic or burns them. This may relate back to the days when silver was thought to be solid-light, and as a symbol of the light, would harm anything non-human. Silver has become popular in recent years as authors try to avoid what some consider Unfortunate Implications of crosses' (or other religious symbols') having power. Silver isn't alone, however, as some folklore also mentions garlic for its pungent scent, which spirits both good and ill are normally repulsed by (although in some variants it's the flowers of the garlic plant, for their flowery sweetness) or maybe just because it smells bad to people with really sensitive noses, pure rough wood for its connection to nature, and salt for its ability to ward off spirits and other nasty beings as it represents purity of soul. Garlic and salt are also used widely as preservatives, especially in pickling; driving off and preventing decay is anathema to their kind. They also can harmed by magically augmented weapons and ammunition.
    • The Vampire Hunter. Someone with a special destiny, equipment, powers, or training for taking on vampires. In some legends, vampires can mate with humans to produce dhampyrs, beings that are often born with an instinctual hatred for vampires and occasionally an innate ability or advantage to destroy them.
    • Attempting to cross flowing water (e.g., rivers and oceans). Frequently interpreted to mean vampires can't cross flowing water. The effects of flowing water vary greatly depending on the story. Dracula, for example, could cross running water at the slack or flood of the tide. Sometimes, being immersed in water is enough to outright kill a vampire.
    • Crosses, and possibly other religious symbols depending on the belief of the wielder. Originally, it had to be a full-blown crucifix (that is, a cross with a figure of Jesus on it). In modern renditions, this is usually subject to the faith of the wielder, the vampire, both, or neither. For instance, if a character is a devout Jew, then they could use the Star of David to ward off a vampire, and in one Doctor Who episode, a devoted Red Army member used a Soviet star to repel vampires. Then you can have a vampire who carries their own crucifix, being a believer too, like Henry Fitzroy in Blood Ties. He also prays and goes to confession (he figures that he is subject to the same sins as humans, and needs to do penance for them). Fortunately, he is a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire. But sometimes just being in an old church or some other holy ground can harm the vampire even if no living person is present. Sometimes, the religion the symbols represent have to have been around during the vampire's lifetime to have any effect. If a vampire predates all modern religions, don't go reaching for your crucifix.
    • Religious music can have this effect too. In Vampire in Brooklyn, when Maximilian impersonates the heroine's pastor, the gospel choir's singing — even humming — causes him discomfort. And in Werewolf: The Apocalypse, it's suggested that Native American tribal songs and drums can drive away vampires.
    • Holy Water often burns vampires like acid; drinking or total immersion in it will obviously exacerbate the effects, and are generally lethal.
    • Communion Host (in Bram Stoker's novel, it was used to seal a crypt and prevent a vampire from entering their coffin at sunrise, and to draw a circle that vampires could not enter or leave).
    • White roses / roses in general (might have connection with beliefs that roses will not grow over a grave). According to Dracula, a branch of wild rose laid on a coffin could stop the vampire in it from leaving (but wouldn't hurt them).
    • Garlic or Onions, although this was more to ward off vampires, not harm them, Mustard seed for Arabian Vampires who are Djinn-augmented Humans to start with..
    • Thorns (especially hawthorn) in Middle- and Eastern European folklore
    • Wolf's Bane (Aconite), a plant featured prominently in the 1930s Dracula film, but also Foxglove (Digitalis) and Holly Bushes.
    • Also, folklore tells us vampires get disoriented (or even driven mad) At the Crossroads, and cannot tell one direction for another. Urban vampires seem to have developed a strong resistance to this weakness, especially those that frequent downtown districts (probably by building up an immunity from all the intersections).
    • They cannot enter a home unless invited in by someone. This can range from killing them to simply that they physically can't enter. However, it is still a large disadvantage. The original Dracula was able to skirt around this problem if he had already drunk the blood of someone inside (Lucy sleepwalked, so he bit her when she left the house at night). Some versions allow the invitation to be revoked in an instant, others require elaborate ceremonies, while some do not allow the invitation to ever be revoked. In any case, locked doors are never an obstacle to an invited vampire. In other cases the invitation may need to be renewed every time the vampire returns. In some modern versions (Being Human) the Vampire will begin to spontaneously combust if he crosses a threshold without an invitation, though elder Vampires are completely immune to this. True Blood showed the logical downside to this flaw: all restrictions are lifted if the vampire buys the house. Fright Night (2011) uses a different loophole: you don't need to get into the house if you can just set it on fire. In the Angel episode When detective Lockley was drowning herself in the shower Angel was able to walk in in order to save her like he already had an invitation when he didn’t: It turns out the powers that be circumvented the rule.
    • In some folklore, vampires are all stricken with a debilitating obsession with numbers, if you throw a quantity of small objects on the ground in front of them (seeds, grain, beads etc.) they will not be able to resist the urge to pick it up and count it; this affords the victim time to either run away or kill the vampire. ("Three! Three mustard seeds! Muha-ha-ha!"). Putting said objects into a vampire's coffin keeps them busy counting as well. Sometimes, the urge is powerful enough that you can force the vampire to expose itself to dawn. Sometimes it is not an "urge", but they are somehow forced to count those objects.
    • Some folklore claim the only way to permanently kill a vampire is to hammer a stake through its heart, shove garlic in its mouth, cut off its head, tear off its ears, dismember it, burn the pieces in a fire, and then scatter the ashes across holy ground. A few old folklore suggest that even this only works until a full moon shines on the ash. This was all based on the theory that vampires were corpses animated by evil spirits. Doing all these things rendered the corpse unusable by the spirit. By contrast, the easiest supposed way to stop a vampire is finding their coffin and turning them face down to make them "bite the dust, not people".
  • Mandatory tell-tale.
    • No reflection (often because the vampire has no soul, but see below). This sometimes extends to shadows. But it depends on the vampire apparently. In one medium there are several types of vamps who have various weaknesses. In more recent examples this has been 'modernized' in terms of the vampire not being able to be picked up by audio or video recording or transmitting equipment. The original reason for this is because early mirrors contained silver, and older cameras had mirrors and made use of silver in the film chemicals. With modern mirrors using cheaper aluminum and most cameras being digital now, this aspect of vampirism isn't as common as it once was.
    • No heartbeat/breath. They still have functioning lungs, since they must take breaths to speak, but they have no fear of drowning and can't be detected by heartbeat.
    • No mortal-brain activity (making them easily recognized by telepaths). However other vampires can seemingly pick up on the minds of each other, thus some vampires have 'unique' mental signals that mortal telepaths cannot detect. This extends to some vampires having the power to dominate the will of other vampires.
    • Physical features, such as being exceedingly pale, having unusual eyes (see Glowing Eyes of Doom), and, of course, fangs. In folklore, there were numerous physical telltales - eyebrows that met over the nose, fingers all the same length, hair in the center of the palms or backward-facing palms - that are rarely included in modern versions. The original novel-version Dracula has practically all of them. If they can hide some or all of them, dropping the disguise constitutes using Game Face. Sometimes vampires will become more and more human-like in appearance as they consume more blood/live longer. Sometimes... not.
    • Body temperature: Vampires, being dead, are almost always at room temperature or colder.
    • The smell of decay or of graveyard earth can also be a factor. For ones depicted as possessed corpses this might be obvious even to humans, in other depictions it only may be that other creatures with Super Senses (like werewolves) can detect vampires by scent.
  • Immortality
    • The Ageless / Long-Lived: Vampires don't age as we mortals do. Sometimes, this is genuine eternal youth. Sometimes long periods of time undead can result in a pretty inhuman-looking character. Sometimes, they age like us, just at a much slower rate.
    • Life Drinker: Rarely, the vampire is immortal but must restore his/her youth by drinking blood. In abstinence, they "age", and immediately begin to grow young after they've fed. This originated with Dracula and with persistent stories about one Elizabeth Báthory's bathing habits.
    • Related, they usually suffer from Creative Sterility and/or the Immortal Procreation Clause. In regards to the latter, they usually cannot beget any children unless it's a male vampire and a live woman, in which case a Dhampyr is the result. They may however be capable of turning a child into a vampire, which results in an ageless Undead Child. If it's a "living" vampire species this is usually waived.

    Somewhat-common additional (mostly modern) rules for vampires are... 
  • Cannot be photographed or caught on video, often an extension of the "no reflection" rule. This may also be related to the silver rule; mirrors and photographic film are both (usually) made from silver. It may also apply only to SLR and TLR cameras, where a mirror deflects the image from lens to film.
    • In Moonlight, Mick explains in a voiceover that he could not be photographed when silver was used in film, but digital cameras have changed all that.
    • In the TV series Ultraviolet (1998) (unrelated to the film), the vampire hunters use sights that pretty much amount to video cameras strapped to their guns in order to tell vampire from non-vampire.
    • In the anime Magical Pokaan, Pachira does not show up on a normal digital camera but is perfectly visible when viewed with an infrared camera.
    • One episode of True Blood has Jessica visit Bill because she doesn't know how to admit to Hoyt that she fed on a stranger in Fangtasia. Bill asks if she was videotaped or photographed doing so because he can't protect her as her maker if that's the case.
  • Cannot be heard over phone lines, another logical conclusion of the "no reflections" law.
  • If there are any actual Holy Relics lying around, these things will often kill a vampire even if they're just in close proximity. Again, some variations have the relics' effectiveness dependent on the faith of the wielder, the vampire, or both.
  • Can turn into bats, wisps of smoke, or wolves for travel. (Bats are by far the most common.) A rare transformation featuring prominently in early literature (such as Dracula) was the ability to turn into elemental dust in moonlight. A connection to bats isn't part of older vampire folklore because all vampire bats are native only to the New World, and wolves aren't used today because of the rivalry between vampires and werewolves.
  • Relatedly, can turn into other creatures that drink blood: vampire bats, mosquitoes, ticks. (Sometimes they become a single creature, more rarely a whole flock/swarm.)
  • Unaided flight in human form.
  • Can spider-climb up walls.
  • Have a hierarchy of strength or other powers based on age or generation. Older Vampires or those from a previous generation tend to be more powerful than the younger. For example, a Vampire's sire (the one who changed them) may be more powerful.
  • Older Vampires may be more gothic and classic in depiction. Younger ones are more modern.
  • Creating too many vampires generally "spreads the bloodline thin" and leads to too many weak or crazy vampires.
  • Older and earlier generation vampires are often more powerful, but may be affected by sunlight etc whereas younger ones may not.
  • Can pass through locked doors. Can sometimes alter their bodies to slip through impossibly small spaces by turning into mist or smoke.
  • Can mesmerize mortals into doing their bidding, most often by looking straight into their eyes.
  • If killed, can be restored to unlife with the proper procedure. One early version of this, appearing in both pre-Dracula stories The Vampyre and Varney the Vampyre, is that a vampire will be revived and healed automatically if its corpse is bathed in moonlight. Another common variant has vampires that turn to dust or ash when killed resurrect if the remains are mixed with fresh human blood. In some universes staked vampires will resurrect if anyone pulls the stake out of their remains before they've decayed to absolutely nothing.
  • Animals react with fear or aggression towards them.
  • Conversely vampires can sometimes command the loyalty of animals, particularly nocturnal ones such as wolves.
  • Sometimes, vampires have two options of converting their prey a la The Virus. With some effort and rule-following, they can be changed into full, if younger, vampires. Sometimes, they have the option of just making either zombie-like or less powerful (often carnivorous) vampire slaves. Killing a vampire also kills any vampires that particular one created by the above means. Occasionally, it just restores them to non-vampiric life.
  • Must sleep in the soil from their homeland/original grave.
  • There are two social profiles for vampires. The first is a loner who may keep a cadre of vampire slaves and possibly a mate. Dracula fits this profile. The second is a "vampire society" where houses of vampiric lineages act and compete within a Masquerade.
  • The Undead: Technically, they are dead. Pretty spry for a dead guy, though. Alternatively, they may be perfectly alive, just of a different (sub-)species of humans, like werewolves. Level of "deadness" varies. On one side of the spectrum, it's just lack of heartbeat and skin that's cool to the touch. On the other, they're literally a moving, rotten animated corpse.
  • Modern updates of the vampire legend may completely avoid using the word "vampire" to describe them; see the "Curse of Fenric", Ultraviolet (2006), and Preacher examples below. The protagonists of Vampire: The Masquerade are called vampires, but do not like to call themselves such: they prefer "Kindred" or "Cainites", thank you very much.
  • Level of retained humanity also varies immensely, from being ravenous, soulless monsters incapable of passing for anything but the above, to being soulless monsters who are very good at pretending to be their former selves, to being basically normal folks Blessed with Suck (or Cursed with Awesome, depending on viewpoint) and either a desire to be human again or are dedicated to using their powers for good.
  • Occasionally suffer from severe OCD. One folkloric method of dealing with Vampires was to drop thousands of grains of rice in their coffin, the theory being they'd be compelled to count them all when they awake, wasting the whole night instead of getting up and terrorizing people.
    • The folklore version also is told with sesame seeds, and may also extend to any small, numerous nut or grain, if not any particulate (handfuls of sawdust?). Fairies also have this problem.
    • Dropping a bunch where you stand is a known way to escape the OCD variant of vampire.
    • A similar folklore variant involves hanging a sieve, colander, or other household item that's full of holes outside your front door. That way, the vampire will stop and count all the holes, leaving them vulnerable at sunrise. ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! FOUR GRAINS OF SAND! AH-HA-HA-HA!
    • Apparently poppy seeds were used to great effect in Greece, as they had the additional benefit of putting the vampire to "sleep".
  • Also on the OCD theme, vampires will, like fairies, be obsessed with out of place and messily-tied knots, and must stop what they're doing to untie them.
  • Act like Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula.
  • Sometimes use Vampire Vords.
  • May or may not be at war with werewolves. If there are werewolves (or other supernatural beings such as The Fair Folk) around, attempting to mix the two (by 'converting' a werewolf into a vampire) may be impossible, dangerous, or simply against the rules of The Masquerade. In the case of Faeries, Demons or similar otherworldly beings, drinking their blood will generally cause the Mushroom Samba, possibly combined with strange random supernatural effects such as precognitive flashes or a delirious walk in daylight with no other ill effects. This differs in folklore, where vampires often have the ability to turn into wolfmen, and werewolves who are killed can return as vampires.
  • Sometimes instantly turn to dust or dissipate completely when killed, an idea believed to have first turned up in Stoker's Dracula. This may ignore mass-energy conservation, as in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or release enough energy to cause serious damage to anything nearby, as in Ultraviolet (1998) and From Dusk Till Dawn.
  • Their nocturnal existence naturally predisposes them to operate night clubs.

    Their preternatural powers can include... 


See also Looks Like Orlok.

Given that vampires are by definition fictional, No Real Life Examples, Please!

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    Comic Strips 
  • Scary Gary: Gary is a fairly classic vampire (burns in sunlight, can turn into a bat, sleeps in a coffin, etc.), but he isn’t exactly what someone would imagine the average vampire to look or act like after his Heel–Face Turn.
    Kid: So you’re a real vampire?
    Gary: That’s right.
    Kid: You don’t look like the ones on tv.
    Gary: You’re probably wondering where my black cape is, huh?
    Kid: More like why you’re so fat and doughy.

  • Due to his iconic stature and Public Domain (read: free) status, Dracula often appears in Pinball games with a horror theme:
  • In Zaccaria's Magic Castle, the Dracula Expy "Zaccula" appears in the castle gateway during the game.
  • Nosferatu has a cartoonish vampire with bright green skin who gets noticeably drunk from drinking blood out of wine bottles.

    Professional Wrestling 

  • Vampires do not often feature in the radio medium, although the BBC has in the past dramatised Bram Stoker's Dracula for radio performance, in both straight and comedy parody versions.
  • The surrealist BBC Radio Four comedy series The Burkiss Way once did an extended parody of Dracula. The naive young lawyer arrives in Transylvania to realise things are not what they seem. In fear and panic, Harker protects himself as best he can:
    I laid a semi-circle of nuns around the bed and tied an archbishop and a rural dean to each bedpost. Finally I hung Cliff Richard up over the bedhead...


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Japanese Vampire, European Vampire


Kain's Empire

In the world of Legacy of Kain, vampires evolve over time. As fledglings they resemble your traditional pale skinned human but eventually they gain talons and hooves to replace their hands and feet, and those who live a millennium, like the titular character, Kain, can become draconic in appearance with scaly green skin, but other types of mutations can also occur.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / OurVampiresAreDifferent

Media sources: