When a character becomes infected with The Virus or a Viral Transformation, typically thanks to a run-in with a vampire, werewolf, space alien, nano machine cyborg or weirder fare, the victim will take a while to change into their new form. During that time, they will start exhibiting a lot of the strange behavior and physical changes as a symptom of the transformation. Either they or an observant loved one will have a dawning "Oh, Crap!" reaction as they notices the change into a non-human critter.
Subtrope of Slow Transformation. Compare Zombie Infectee. See also Body Horror. In a lot of cases, Transhuman Treachery is the result.
Common signs include:
- Not Himself: Behavior changes, either becoming more aggressive, randy, emotionless or even listless. They may also suddenly change their interests, such as a Bookworm not wanting to read anymore or The Teetotaler suddenly drinking alcohol.
- Horror Hunger: Food preference and hunger usually changes quite a bit. Once the Horror Hunger starts kicking in the character will crave raw meats (and braaaaains!) or will inexplicably go vegan, eat only sugar, virgin flesh, etc.
- Glamour Failure: Reflections fade, hair grows in strange places (or falls out), larger sinister fangs, etc.
- Aversions to common things: Holy Burns Evil, Weakened by the Light, Mundane Solution, Weaksauce Weakness, and/or Depleted Phlebotinum Shells will anger, frighten, repel or harm the character.
- Changes in appearance: Undeathly Pallor will kick in, Tainted Veins will appear all over the body, they'll show Mind-Control Eyes, teeth, nails, and hair may fall out or grow abundantly in the wrong places.
- Injuries: The typical double puncture marks for vampires, slashes for werewolves, and swollen rashes from most other infections.
- New friends: Typically, the one who infected the character is now their new BFF, who they will follow around like a puppy. They will encourage the infectee to believe nothing is wrong.
- Power Incontinence: They exhibit strange new abilities, typically Does Not Know His Own Strength.
- Feeling unwell: The victim may have a headache or feel tired.
If More than Mind Control is involved, it's up to a loved one to notice the change and save their friend... or put them out of their misery. Alternately, if the character isn't under mental thrall, now's a good time to become a Vampire Refugee with Heroic Willpower. Who knows? Maybe a cure is possible, or at least redemption via Ascended Demon-hood.
How To Spot Monster Victims
- Is Someone Close To You Under The Control of Hideous Creatures from Beyond?!
One of the most serious problems facing the youth, middle aged and elderly today is the supernatural and fantastical. Part of the problem is that it's just so darn tootin' hard to tell whether Jimmy is depressed because he lost the big game or because emotion eating aliens are draining his will to live. That there's a Fantasy Kitchen Sink worth of creepy crawlies out there just waiting to make Joe and Jane Q. Public into dinner doesn't help.
That's why your good old benevolent Government has issued these simple guidelines to tell when a stranger, friend, relative or loved one is under the thrall of blood sucking abominations! If they have two or more of the signs below call your local witch hunter immediately!
- Is little Johnny Not Himself? Maybe he acts more aggressive, randy, emotionless or even listless?
- Is Sally eating more than her girlish figure would imply? Is she eating more rare USDA approved AAA steak than the whole offensive line of the local sports team? Call the hospital... after getting an endorsement deal!
- Is hubby dearest not shaving, yet still baby faced? Does he avoid mirrors? Ladies, use your compact to check if he still has a reflection!.
- If your dear wife's pearly whites are a bit pointier than you remember, don't call a dentist, call the pound!
- If your neighbor refuses your barbecue invites, but shows up after dark, consider installing a UV light by your doorstep and inviting him over for tomato juice!
- Puberty is a time of large and scary changes in boys and girls, but if a classmate you know starts getting pale, very very hairy, or hollow eyes, consider advising a nearby Reasonable Authority Figure that Billy doesn't need a special talk, but a containment cell!
- Making friends can be difficult, which is why we should always try to make new ones! However, if one of your friends leaves your group and joins a new, strange person, they may be dangerous!
- Parents, if your children come home with "hickies", they may be doing more than parking in lover's lane (have you talked to them about that, by the way?) you should be concerned The Devil doesn't sink his claws in them.
With that out of the way, remember: Be vigilant! Humans have to stick together! How else are we going to beat those Damn Dirty Communists?!
- Kei Kurono's brother, in Gantz, starts turning into a "vampire". Symptoms are apathy, lack of sympathy for other humans and loss of appetite (for regular food).
- Many cases in Shiki. One example being an elderly woman who supposedly "died" then came back to her daughter's house with no idea what happened to her. The daughter tries to feed her real food but she can't seem to keep it down. It isn't till the daughter cuts herself that the woman reacts to the blood and instantly starts to lap it up.
- Megumi is one of the earlier examples. When the new residents of the village move in, she get curious and goes to their manor to see what they're like. The owners invite her to come in... and suddenly grows deathly ill the following day, getting weaker and weaker before ultimately dying.
- In Tokyo Ghoul, this begins to happen to Ken Kaneki after he's released from the hospital following an organ transplant. He notices that he never ate anything while hospitalized, and suddenly his favorite foods taste disgusting. This leads to him slowly realizing that Warm Blood Bags Are Everywhere, and finally seeing his new Game Face in a mirror. To cope with this, he begins wearing a medical eyepatch to hide his kakugan. Eventually, Anteiku takes him in, hiring him as a part-time waiter as he befriends the Ghoul staff and begins slowly pulling away from his human life. His Muggle Best Friend, Hide, comments subtly on his changes but doesn't press him further. It turns out that he figured it out early on, but waited patiently for Kaneki to tell him. In the anime, he confesses to having felt left behind and excluded from Kaneki's new life.
- In an old X-Men issue, young Kitty Pryde returns from a visit with her family to find that Storm had fallen mysteriously ill after a mugging. In addition to general debilitation to the point of being bedridden; Kitty noted that Ororo was oddly sensitive to sunlight, flinched from the sight of her Magen David pendant, and had taken to wearing an odd scarf... so when Dracula showed up for his visit that night the girl had already loaded up on vampire hunting gear and launched an ambush (too bad she led in with the crucifix).
- Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): In this Godzilla MonsterVerse fanfiction, some of the Virus Victim Symptoms of being infected by the Many (a Flood-style combination of The Virus and The Assimilator) are relayed. According to an unreliably dazed POV in Chapter 17, a child victim had an Allergic to Evil reaction and fell sick after being exposed. In the case of an infected Titan, his wound leaks pus and itches and suffers Ominous Hair Loss in the affected area, before Many tissue painfully bursts through the infected area and he feels the Many's Horror Hunger settling in him. Loss of color and the Prophet Eyes ensue afterwards.
- Sometimes there's a telepathic connection between vampire and bite victim: Each can see what the other sees. John Carpenter's Vampires movie has this example.
- In The Lost Boys, the main character shows the usual symptoms: He enjoys very rare meat (I think he drinks a cup of blood from a steak), and has an aversion to sunlight.
- This happens in Once Bitten, notably with bite marks in the inner thigh, making for a hilarious attempt at a locker room confirmation of his being a vampire victim.
- Sex Machine undergoes this in the film From Dusk Till Dawn after being bitten by a vamped Richie. As he's listening to the others talk, the sound suddenly drowns in his hearing replaced by a raspy demonic voice ordering him to kill the others. He then notices fangs in his mouth and his hands turn more monstrous which he quickly tries to hide. It's all played for laughs of course till he completely turns and bites an unsuspecting Frost.
- District 9 has a sci-fi version of this, once Wikus' arm begins to turn prawn.
- Almost completely averted in John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), where The Thing imitates whoever it infects so perfectly (in looks AND personality) that it's practically invisible, allowing it to be one of the most Paranoia Fuel inducing films imaginable.
- Classic case in the first Count Yorga. A woman named Erica gets bitten at the start of the film. Prior before this, she was shown to be quite perky. But after Yorga's attack, she's despondent and listless. When her boyfriend, Paul, calls to check in on her the following day, it shown that she completely trashed her place and drops her phone on the floor when it rings, looking at it as if she can't understand what it is anymore. When Paul and fellow friend, Micheal, understandably go to her house out of worry, they find that Erica chased down and is now eating chunks out of her pet kitten. When she notices them she screams like a banshee and warns them not to come near her. However she suddenly recognizes Paul and becomes more seductive. It's then she comes to her senses, realizes what has happened and breaks down into Paul's arms. After calling their doctor friend, Hayes, they do a blood transfusion where Erica mutters something to "Not let it happen", begging Paul to forgive her and even asking to be killed. When asked what she's afraid of however, she can't say what as if something is keeping her from telling her friends. Ultimately however she succumbs to the vampirism and turns completely, becoming Yorga's third bride.
- In Bram Stoker's Dracula, after Lucy is bitten a first time. Arthur comes to visit while she's trying on a wedding dress. As they talk, Lucy notes that her hearing is getting surprisingly good to the point she can hear servants on the other side of the house and mice crawling around in the walls but keeps having nightmares. After the second bite, she's bedridden and suddenly acts much more aggressive when she gets a whiff of garlic put by her bedside. When Quincy tries to calm her down, she suddenly sprouts fangs and nearly bites him if Van Helsing hadn't pulled him away. When they sedate her, they see that her fangs have receded but are quite noticeable on her gums in front of her regular teeth.
- Later after Mina is bitten and drinks some of Dracula's blood. she likewise has fangs forming on her gums, has a psychic link to Dracula and nearly succumbs to the vampirism at a camp stop when Dracula's brides try to coax her into biting Van Helsing before he brings her back to her senses with a wafer. She even somehow gains powers by being able to summon clouds to aid Dracula in the final battle.
- In Bite, receiving a mysterious insect bite in Costa Rica first makes Casey sick, pale, and unable to keep solid food down, but eventually she becomes aggressive and territorial, redecorating her apartment with sheets of resin and a layer of gelatinous eggs, and eventually attacking and killing people, focusing on those who have caused her the most problems throughout the movie.
- Bram Stokers Van Helsing: The film follows Van Helsing trying his best to keep Lucy from turning. However after Dracula's third bite, he's uncertain if he can despite his treatments. And indeed when Arthur is looking over Lucy, she suddenly seems rather perky and flirty, asking him to kiss her. When he tries to tell her that Helsing ordered her to rest, her voice suddenly deepens in an inhuman tone, now "demanding" he kiss her. Van Helsing and Seward walk in just as Lucy suddenly grows fangs and tries to bite Arthur before Van Helsing manages to pull him away.
- Lucy shows symptoms as Dracula takes more of her blood becoming more weak and susceptible to his power. At first it being odd nightmares and sleepwalking being more frequent. But after being bitten a third time, her condition worsens quickly, she rips up a letter at one point and continues the motion even when it's taken from her as if she's under a spell, it noted that she looks odd when she sleeps - looking stronger when not awake yet weaker when she is especially at night. Eventually the protagonists realize her bite marks are completely gone and her canines are noticeable sharper. When she sees Arthur, her demeanor turns completely seductive though she has a glazed, dull look in her eyes before she tries to "kiss" him. Helsing realizes it's the vampire in her talking and keeps Arthur from her and indeed for a moment she goes into rage before coming to her senses and eventually dying. Helsing bitterly notes that the Lucy they know is dead and has now been corrupted into a vampire.
- Likewise Mina shows vampiric traits after Dracula bites her and forces her to drink his blood. A wafer Helsing tries to bless her with burns her skin and leaves an imprint on her, her canines start getting longer and sharper and the heroes find she has a telepathic connection with Dracula and use it to track him down though over time the hypnosis to activate the connection starts to fail, indicating that Dracula's power over her is growing and he can block it out. What's more, as the trip to the castle goes on, Mina loses her appetite for regular food and falls into a sleep during the day she can't be woken from. Yet creepily enough when night falls, she's much more active and exuberant until dawn. So much so that Helsing can't go to sleep at one point during a camp stop due to her just blankly staring at him all night, fearful that she could pounce on him at any moment. When the brides attack the campsite later on, Mina feels a strong connection to them and a part of her wants to go to them. But due the makeshift barrier Van Helsing made, she prevented from leaving it and Helsing is relived with this and Mina's fearful expressions since it means she isn't under Dracula's control just yet.
- Subverted in Fred Saberhagen's version of the tale, The Dracula Tape. Here, vampires aren't actually vulnerable to holy items (Dracula suspects that the holy wafer pieces used to stop Lucy Westenra from leaving her grave were mixed with a heavy dose of garlic, which is a problem for them especially when young), and so Mina isn't either; her burn is explained away as psychosomatic, a result of van Helsing all but hypnotizing her and her own conflicted feelings about starting to fall in love with the Count, and the alleged telepathic connection is just one big fib from start to finish.
- Akin to the aforementioned effects in True Blood, in ''The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries', Sookie has been on the receiving end of enough of Eric's blood that he's wary of giving her much more, or else she'll be a vampire herself. This effectively cranks their relationship up several notches, since they thrive on each others' emotions.
- In Harry Potter, Bill suffers from a mild version after being attacked by Fenrir Greyback.
- In Galaxy of Fear: The Planet Plague, Tash gets increasingly irritable and angry, thinking of Revenge for her family, as a rash swells and spreads on her arm. Turns out it and her anger are connected. Eventually it starts leaking Blob Monster ooze that starts moving around, but it subsides when she makes herself calm down, and then she manages it until she can be treated and cured.
- In The Troop, people infested with mutant tapeworms become ravenously hungry, progressing from Big Eater to Extreme Omnivore, smell like rotting fruit, lose weight incredibly rapidly, and develop golf-ball sized cysts on their bodies.
- Hollow Kingdom (2019) begins with Big Jim not eating, missing events he was looking forward to, pacing in circles, and drooling excessively. S.T. initially believes his caretaker is merely sick, but these things are all signs that the man has succumbed to the same undead state as the rest of Seattle's population.
- In True Blood, Bill can, because he has had so much of Sookie's blood, tell when she's in trouble. Eric can as well.
- Invoked in The Office (US), after an encounter with a bat trapped in the building, Jim starts faking symptoms of vampirism (getting burned on garlic bread, for instance) to fool with Dwight.
- Near the end of season 2 of House, with a real but unknown disease. The patient of the week goes through a series of symptoms: laughing at things one wouldn't normally find funny, then going blind without realizing it, followed by hyperalgesia and then cardiac arrest. And then, while testing the patient, Dr. Foreman starts laughing.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Identity Crisis", after going on a mission 'five years ago' (meaning five years before the start of the series), Geordi and his friend Susanna Leijten become extremely sensitive to light and fidgety. No, they're not turning into vampires, they're turning into aliens.
- When Nina is bitten by a werewolf in Angel, she starts having symptoms. She's nauseated, especially by the smell of meat, she has cravings for meat, and her senses are heightened.
- In The Bite, Rachel notices the following symptoms in those infected with Sun-9: blue veins spreading from the point of infection, decreasing blood pressure, an absentminded tendency to snap their jaws shut, and increasing appetite. The final stage of the infection involves collapsing dead and resurrecting as a zombie.
- In several Urban Fantasy series, the Alpha werewolf has supernatural connectivity and power over his pack.
- In Gian-Carlo Menotti's opera Help, Help, the Globolinks!, the first change that happens to humans who have been touched by Globolinks is that they become unable to speak in a human voice.
- In BIONICLE, the first symptom of The Dreaming Plague is that the victim loses the ability to dream, which in turn leads to irritability, which escalates into violence and ultimately madness.
- In Darkwood, a plague infects many people within an unknown Polish forest that turns them into feral monsters. The Protagonist himself has a case of Horror Hunger, no longer needing to eat and drink yet craving strange mushrooms growing in the forest. Fortunately his case is more mild than others; he’s able to still eat regular food and drink fresh water without issues, but as he continues to cook mushrooms and meat from infected animals into a liquid concoction that he injects into himself to strengthen himself, the abilities he gains noticeably makes him more like the vicious Savages and monsters in the forest. Looking at a mirror also reveals that his skin has turn an eerie pale shade of white, plus when he talks to people they notice his face has become disfigured.
- Symptoms of Xehanort posession in the Kingdom Hearts series include yellow eyes, pointed ears, and eventually silver hair and acting more like a Cold Ham.
- Dracula: Ruler of the Night:
- Along with the usual sharpened canines, Lucy cites her senses becoming sharper then normal. Like she can see a speck of dust from across the room and hear several rooms beyond her bedroom wall. The protagonists also notice Lucy's ears are likewise becoming more oddly misshapen and the paler she gets after each bite. Indeed, after the third bite, it turns completely pointed for a moment when she tries to "kiss" Arthur before Helsing stops her. When they see her again as a vampire, the ear is permanently pointed.
- Likewise when Mina is bitten the first time, not only do mini-fangs appear in her mouth but her hair likewise begins to grow out more. Even trying to style it and cut doesn't seem to stop it. By the time the confrontation with Dracula, it's grown down her back, giving out Peek A Bangs, and seemingly moving on it's own in a ethereal manner as she grows closer toward becoming a vampire.
- In Surviving Romance the initial symptoms of a zombie infection are similar to that of a cold, most notably coughing. These are followed by bloodshot eyes, which quickly turn red with black sclera, and blue skin, as the infection reaches its high point. If you're infected by a bite, the area around it will turn blue much sooner.
- Total Undead Drama: Happens to Leonard after he gets bitten by a newly turned Staci. Sky and Zoey manage to pull him away before he's drained and escape thanks to the coming dawn. But he later cite feeling strange and not himself, by nightfall he gain partial vampire symptoms like his fingernail getting longer, his ears becoming pointed and poking though his hoodie, red tint in his eyes and mini fangs on the side of his buck teeth. But what's more he starts speaking in a deep inhuman like tone and feeling the urge to act on some immoral thoughts he wouldn't otherwise.
Leonard: It f-feels weird, as if I'm becoming something like a goblin or orc only more b-bat related. I c-can feel my body rippling and shifting! I'm t-trying to resist but it's so strong (Voice warping) like its a hidden part of me I wanna become. (Normal) N-No I'm a good wizard. A hero wizard! (warped tone) But maybe nothing wrong with dark wizardy either. The potential I could learn, a true king I can serve, the "fun" I can have once I show Tammy. (Normal tone, shaking head, in a fetal position) Ahh the lewd thoughts! The lewd thoughts! They won't go away! Someone help me! Help...(warped tone) ...mmEEEMMMM Taaammmmy! (Wags his tongue which has suddenly become more fork like) HASSSS!
- Nate Is Late: In "The Werewolf", Nate and Malika come across a woman named Pat who is a werewolf that had her change suppress by an amulet. When it got lost, she ends up turning into her beast form at the smell of food. Nate ends up getting scratched by her and almost immediately the change starts occurring with him getting dog ears. As the episode goes on more changes come about including acting like a dog, gaining fangs, a tail sprouting from his behind and ultimately turning completely. Though luckily by then they've found Pat, help her control her instincts and get Nate cured.