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A vampire ([ vamˈpiːɐ̯ ] or [ ˈvampiːɐ̯ ]; outdated also vampire ) is a blood-sucking night figure in popular belief and mythology . This is usually a resuscitated human corpse that feeds on human or animal blood and - depending on the culture and myth - is endowed with various supernatural powers.

Sometimes the word “vampire” also denotes non-human figures such as demons or animals (e.g. bats , dogs , spiders ). The vampire bats (Desmodontinae) are named after the mythological vampire figure, the only group of mammals that feed exclusively on the blood of other animals.

Philip Burne-Jones : The Vampire, 1897

History and myth

Origin of name

Alexander the Great fights bloodthirsty fruit bats, Ms. around 1300

There is disagreement about the etymological origin of the word “vampire” used in Europe. What is certain is that the Hungarian term "vampire", which is derived from Polish, dominated international literature by 1732 at the latest. Originating from the Slavic language area, the word spread to Western Europe, where it was modified in the individual countries; in Italy, Spain and Portugal, for example , the creature is called vampiro , in Denmark and Sweden vampyr . The Baltic languages ​​also know the word, which is associated with the Bulgarian vapir , which comes from a Macedonian dialect and means something like "winged being". Others attribute the word "vampire" to the Serbo-Croatian or Lithuanian language . In southern Russia, Bohemia and Montenegro and parts of Serbia, the vampire being is called wukodalak, vurkulaka or vrykolaka , which is derived from the Greek for "wolf-haired". The Serbs know the terms vampire, lampir, lapir, upir and upirina . In Albanian , the vampire beings are referred to as vampire or dhampire . The latter consists of the word parts dham "tooth" and pir "drink". In the Ukraine the figure is called Upyr , in Belarus and Slovakia upir and in Poland the terms upior, upierzyc and wapierz are common. The suffix pir stands for a "winged or feathered being". The first name as Upir can be found for a prince named Upir Lichyi, mentioned in 1047 AD, in the vicinity of Novgorod , in the north-west of Greater Russia. In western Russia there are also places called Upiry and Upirow, whose inhabitants boast of being descended from vampires.

Origin of the vampire belief

Skeleton from the vampire grave of Sozopol , exhibited in the National Historical Museum in Sofia .

Ethnologists largely agree that the templates for the vampire belief that has become known in Europe originally originated in Southeastern Europe. The research results are only inconsistent in the exact localization. Some sources place the origin of the vampire belief in Bulgaria and Serbia, others go from Turkey. The vampire belief is widespread in the Carpathian region and the Balkans, in Romania ( Transylvania ), Hungary , in eastern Austria , Bulgaria , Albania , Serbia and in Greece . According to social anthropological understanding, it is a phenomenon in which someone is sought for the damage to individuals or the village community through diseases, poor harvests or the like. The vampires' “ blood sucking ” is not one of the elements that have been passed down in popular belief, leaving the grave, which had to be examined by the village community, is more important. If a non-decomposed corpse was found in the suspicious grave (Peter Kreuter mentions a crooked cross or a mouse hole as clues), it was killed again in various ways and then burned, which in most films still represents the end of a vampire. In the Orthodox Christian faith in Southeastern Europe relatively large distance of priests in the dying process and the lack of a death Sacrament can thereby be seen as favoring a blurring of the boundary between the living and the dead.

Another variation of the vampire belief can be found in the old Romanian and Albanian folk beliefs; the strigoi . The word is of Latin origin, where strix means something like "witch". In contrast to Upir and the Greek vampires, the Wrukolakas , Strigoi are exclusively human and not demonic souls who have returned from the dead. Strigoi are also divided into two categories: strigoi morți and strigoi vii . The former are undead, the latter are cursed people while they are still alive, who have to become Strigoi after they die . This happens through descent from a strigoi mort or, less often, through serious sins committed by the mother. Anatomical deviations are interpreted as signs of such a curse, such as tail-like spinal processes or parts of the amniotic sac that have grown onto the head, which in Romanian vernacular are called caul (from Latin calautica , `` amniotic sac '' , originally `` hood '', see `` lucky hood '' ).

Strigoi are believed to visit relatives of the deceased and want to take some of them with them. In order to create a border between the realm of the dead and the living, spindles with thread are put around the grave and set on fire at funerals. Soap, razors and mirrors are often placed in the grave as grave goods so that the dead have no reason to return to the realm of the living and to appear as Strigoi. This belief is widespread in Romania and in the Eastern countries (Europe). Sometimes a red-hot iron is rammed into the heart of the dead. This is to prevent the dead from becoming a Strigoi. In rare cases, Strigoi visit relatives to make them sick or to kill them.

There are myths around the world about vampires or beings who share important properties with them, for example:

The first known alleged vampire came from Croatia , from the small village of Kringa ( Istria ), and is said to have died there in 1652. He was a farmer and was named Jure Grando . He is said to have climbed out of his grave in 1672 and terrorized the village several times. This vampire is mentioned for the first time in European literature in the book by Johann Weichard Valvasor . Johann Joseph von Görres took over this story in his multi-volume work Die christliche Mystik , which was printed in Regensburg from 1836–1842.

The vampirism derived from the vampire myth goes back to the superstition that drinking blood, as the essence of life, is life-giving. In this context, Erzsébet Báthory (Elisabeth Bathory), who was notorious as the "Blood Countess" and came from a Hungarian noble family, is known. After the death of her husband, she is said to have bathed in the blood of over six hundred virgin maids who were lured to her castle by promises to keep herself young. However, this assumption has never been substantiated or proven. The activities of Countess Báthory did not contribute to the development of the vampire myth in Eastern Europe either.

Modern vampire myths

John Polidori , J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1814–1873) and Abraham “Bram” Stoker can be considered the founding fathers of the modern vampire myth . While the former aroused general interest in the figure of the vampire, it was Stoker who shaped the concrete image of the vampire.

Most of the vampire types spread internationally by the media and their names were determined by the British occultist Montague Summers (1880-1948). Summers was convinced of the existence of vampires and werewolves and declared every conceivable haunted creature to be a vampire as proof of his thesis, if the folk tradition of the country in question said that it was bloodsucking or something similar, even if this being was the definition of one developed by Summers himself Undead disagreed.

The most famous vampire that exists in Romanian folk mythology is Dracula ( Vlad III. Drăculea ), who is based on Vlad Țepeș ("Vlad the Impaler"). It seems to be the product of a mistranslation that was put into the world by a Scottish author in the 19th century and given all sorts of fantastic properties by relevant non-fiction authors in the 20th century until it was established in the vampire lexicons.

To this day there seems to be a belief in vampires or vampire-like figures among various ethnic groups in Asia , Africa and South America , but also in Eastern Europe . The internet in particular has emerged as a popular medium of dissemination.

The last, internationally sensational case of vampire belief in Europe dates back to 2005: the body of a deceased villager was excavated in the Romanian village of Marotinu de Sus. He was suspected of wreaking havoc at night as Strigoi - the local form of the vampire. Family members cut out the corpse's heart, burned it, dissolved the ashes in water, and drank the solution.

Vampires in German-speaking countries

In the 18th century in particular, many vampire cases were reported, mostly from villages in southeastern Europe . After the end of the last Turkish war in 1718, some parts of the country, e.g. B. Northern Serbia and part of Bosnia fell to Austria . These parts of the country were settled with Christian Orthodox refugees who had the special status of duty-free military farmers. They took care of the agricultural development as well as the border security, so that for the first time vampire reports also reached the German-speaking area.

Regular vampire epidemics were reported from Eastern European villages between 1718 and 1732 . One of the first and best known reports is from 1724/25 and concerns the village of Kisolova in eastern central Serbia. The provisional camera Frombald was charged with clearing up the vampire cases. His report was published in the Austrian state newspaper on July 21, 1725. Frombald described what he experienced in Kisolova. In this village, for no apparent reason, the population was dying more often, nine people of different ages died within eight days after a one-day illness that they had allegedly had already suffered. For it was Petar Blagojevich (also: actually Blagojević Plagojevic) blamed a ten-week had died earlier. On the death bed, all the sick testified that they had been strangled in their sleep by Plogojowitz, which was later interpreted as the act of a vampire. The grave of Plogojowitz was opened and the corpse was allegedly found in the state of a vampire: It was still quite undecayed, had a fresh color and had hardly any odor of decay. In addition, the skin, hair, and nails grew back after the original skin and nails peeled off. Fresh blood, believed to be the blood of the victims, was found in the orifices. The villagers therefore decided to stake the body and then burn it.

The report caused a lot of sensation, but the belief in vampires in Eastern Europe was quickly forgotten in German-speaking countries. Most of the time, medics or clergy were sent to the affected villages to clear up the vampire cases. They exhumed the alleged vampires and wrote - often detailed - reports about the plague. They also made sure that all suspect bodies were beheaded and cremated.

From 1732 the numerous vampire reports were viewed from a different point of view and, above all, scientifically and medically examined. Numerous dissertations on this topic were published. In 1732, the reports on the vampire myth were also heard by the French and Dutch public through the publication of reports from the fortified villages in various newspapers. The doctors and theologians sent to the corresponding regions often attributed the deaths to a previously unknown disease . If victims of the epidemic were buried too superficially, it could still be transmitted, which should explain the increased deaths in the villages.

All the characteristics typical of a “vampire” can be traced back and explained to natural causes of the body, according to Michael Ranft , who was the first to react to the report from 1725 from Kisolova. He wrote various treatises, such as B. the Dissertatio historico-critica de masticatione mortuorum in tumulis or the chewing and smacking of the dead in graves . He rationalized all vampire characteristics, e.g. B. the chewing and smacking with processes of putrefaction and the noises of corpse eating , the incorruptibility with the dependence on environmental influences and the constitution of the deceased as well as the fresh blood on the body orifices of the alleged vampires with reddish colored water and secretions . He attributed the traits supposedly recognized by doctors and other people to fear, superstition and an exaggerated imagination.

Augustin Calmet , a French Benedictine scholar, explained in his 1745 book Scholars Negotiations of the Matter of the Appearances of Spirits and Vampires in Hungary and Moravia that there were reports of vampires as early as 1680, especially from the Serbian and Slavonic languages Language area. He too found natural causes for the vampire marks.

In 1755 Gerard van Swieten was sent to Moravia to clarify the vampire situation there. Van Swieten was the personal physician of Maria Theresa , the Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia . He examined the alleged vampire cases thoroughly and wrote a sober report in which he - similar to Ranft - gave natural causes as an explanation for the vampire belief.

Thus Gerard van Swieten is probably one of the most important fighters against the so-called superstition of the "simple" people. On the basis of his report, Maria Theresa issued a decree on the subject of vampires, which forbade all traditional defensive measures such as staking, beheading and burning. In addition, she decreed that references to so-called resurrected dead should no longer be reported to the church, which was still promoting superstition, but to the authorities. In addition, in 1756 she sent the German surgeon Georg Tallar to the areas affected by the belief in vampires to re-examine the situation and to write a new report. Eastern Europe in particular was seen as backward and in need of civilization at the time. In the 18th century it was considered the opposite of Western and Central Europe, which described itself as enlightened. The Enlightenment saw it as a scandal that such a "superstition" could even arise.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau described the vampire myth of the 18th century very accurately :

“S'il y eût jamais au monde une histoire garantie et prouvée, c'est cell des vampires. Rien ne manque: rapports officiels, témoignages de personnes de qualité, de chirurgiens, de prêtres, de juges: l'évidence est complète. Et malgré tout cela, qui croit aux vampires? »

“[Translated roughly:] If there was ever a proven and tested history in the world, it was that of the vampires. Nothing is missing: official reports, testimony from sources, surgeons, priests, judges: the evidence is complete. But apart from all that, who believes in vampires? "

The church that supposedly encouraged superstition - so z. B. the opinion of Maria Theresa - was at least partially cleared up and opposed the "measures" against vampires. Pope Benedict XIV wrote a letter in response to a Polish archbishop's request about how to proceed against the “vampires”, although he was able to fall back on van Swieten's report. The Pope, who was regarded as progressive and promoter of the Enlightenment, made it clear in his letter that he considered the vampire belief to be nonsense and indicated to the Archbishop that it was up to him to eradicate this "superstition". He also advised him to remove those priests who were still promoting superstition from their office.

In Germany the term "vampire" has been around since 1720, i. H. documented since the first reports about the so-called “Serbian vampires” (Kisolova, Medveca). Earlier evidence, such as the farewell speech circulating on the Internet ("You call us vampires") by a French nobleman named Villain de Boaz who was allegedly executed in Münster in 1643, has proven to be a pseudopoetic forgery. Goethe's ballad The Bride of Corinth (1797) processed the vampire myth - at least in echoes - literarily. His undead bride does not suck blood, but takes her lover with her to the grave.

In German-speaking countries, the vampire belief in its pure form has not been proven, although there are numerous indications, for example parallel beliefs and measures that could be taken against a revenant . According to the idea in large parts of Germany, the undead continued to lie in the grave and, as a so-called after - eater, sucked the life force from its survivors. Already in the 14th to 17th centuries there was a belief in “after-death” in Europe, in killing revenants and after-eaters. They should sit upright in the grave and suck out the life energy of their relatives by chewing on the shroud or on their own extremities and bring them to their grave. The deaths continued until the shroud was consumed; During this time a smacking sound could be heard from the grave.

The "red-slayer" (Pomerania, East Prussia) and the "double suckers" (Wendland) are figures that come very close to the figure of the classic vampire, and their fight is similar to that of the Southeast European vampires in every detail.

As some vampire handbooks report, there is a notion in South America that vampires can turn into bats . The specific source evidence that the metamorphosis is actually widespread there is never included. If these reports of metamorphosis correspond to reality, this would probably be due to the fact that there is a group of bats in South America ( vampire bats ) that feed exclusively on blood, but mostly on animal blood. The reports of vampire bat attacks on humans are partly speculative or sensational fantasy products, but something like this actually happens occasionally. This shows the historical relationship between the subject of the vampire and the belief in were- beings (also known as lycanthropes).

Attributed properties

The different traditions of the vampire myth describe various special characteristics and properties that make up today's concept of the vampire. Such marks have been handed down from a wide variety of sources, with different levels of detail. It is estimated that only a fraction of the myths of that time has survived, which nevertheless allows a uniform description of a vampire to a certain extent.

Accordingly, vampires are undead creatures in human form who live in their graves and sleep in their coffins during the day. They are distinguished by their pale appearance and feed exclusively on blood . This is probably why vampires have abnormal teeth, which are said to be characterized above all by their pointed canines, which are used as biting tools. In many ancient depictions there is talk of two, less often four, canine teeth. With these, vampires inflict a bite wound on their victims, who are primarily human, which is said to be mostly in the neck area of ​​the artery. They then drink from the blood of their victims to quench their thirst for blood. According to other representations, vampires are said to be human, but they can turn into bats or giant bat-like creatures. You can go up walls too.

Ernst Stöhrs Vampir (1899) seems to combine the attributes of physical strength, sex drive and attraction.

Immortality is ascribed to the vampire as an essential characteristic, which - combined with his usually superhuman physical strength and blood hunger - accounts for a large part of the horror of the vampire myth. In addition, vampires are assigned a pronounced sex drive. Vampires are said to have a strong attraction for the gender they have chosen and to be seductive artists.

Those bitten by vampires would become vampires themselves. In some legends, however, several types of vampire bites are documented. Some say that the vampire can decide whether to turn his victim into a vampire or a ghoul , a kind of serving zombie . It is known that the ghoul has nothing to do with the traditional vampire myth because it has its origins in the Arab-Persian myth circle and is a corpse-eating demon. Still other stories say that a vampire victim can only become a vampire if an unclean animal, such as a cat, jumped over its corpse or open grave. Another variant says that the vampire victim only becomes a vampire when he has drunk blood that has flowed through the vampire's veins.

In some legends, vampires can turn into bats or (less often) into wolves , although it has now been proven that the bat mutation does not occur in Romanian folk mythology. Vampires are mostly seen as nocturnal; they dissolve in dust or burn on contact with the sun's rays. For this reason, they would generally be sensitive to light of any kind. This seems to be primarily an invention of the director Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau for his film Nosferatu . The Stoker submission does not mention such a susceptibility; instead, it only speaks of a weakening of the vampire during the day. It is also often said that they do not have a mirror image . It is also reported that vampires are afraid of water and are unable to cross flowing waters on their own. This is only possible for them at a turning point.

Vampires can only enter an inhabited building for the first time if a resident has asked them to. He can then no longer be prevented from entering the building repeatedly. Furthermore, vampires are often said to have the ability to recover from injuries very quickly, thanks to their vampire blood. Therefore, the vampire blood can also heal human injuries when it is in the human organism. However, if a person dies with vampire blood in the organism, he also becomes a vampire.

Further details about vampires are not very common, such as stuffing silver coins into the mouth of the vampire victim to prevent him from turning into an undead. Examples of the different myths can be found by looking through the work Reasonable and Christian Thoughts about the Vampires by Johann Christoph Harenberg , written in 1733 , which contains relevant accounts from this period, including an often cited report by the military doctor Johann Flückinger. Legends provided passive protection against vampires, some of which were well established in the 18th century. Garlic and depictions of a crucifix are said to serve as a deterrent. However, after an experimental study with leeches , the efficacy attributed to garlic has been questioned. Furthermore, holy water is said to cause harm to vampires. The latter in particular underlines the idea of ​​the “demonic character” of a vampire. Ways to destroy a vampire were, the heads and especially the piles (beating of a wooden peg right through the heart ). In some representations, however, the stake only leads to a kind of rigor mortis that can be ended by pulling out the stake. A combined method from these two practices ( heads and stakes) should also prevent the vampire from returning as undead. In this method, the vampire is staked and the creature's head is severed with a gravedigger's spade. The dead man's mouth is then filled with garlic.

In other regions, people placed objects in the coffins of the dead to prevent the dead from climbing out of their graves. This should be done by “dealing” with these items in their grave, such as B. fishing nets or poppy seeds in the graves. Every year the dead should open a knot or eat a poppy seed and be occupied with it.

Scientific attempts to explain legends

The Canadian scientist David Dolphin of the University of British Columbia believes he has discovered that the vampire superstition possibly led to the legend of werewolves and vampires through an inherited metabolic disorder called porphyria . In porphyria sufferers, so-called porphyrins are formed due to a disruption in hemoglobin formation . This disturbance in the production of the red blood pigment leads to extreme sensitivity to light in the sick , which is caused either by an inherited genetic defect or by poisoning, for example by lead or other chemicals. As a result, the biochemical basic products for the production of hemoglobin accumulate in the body, which leads to irregular abdominal cramps, depression and, in severe cases, to the shrinking of the lips and palate and protruding teeth, whereby the teeth are always strikingly colored due to a blood-red coating. This creates the visual impression that you are supposedly dealing with a “vampire” who has just had a “blood meal”. The legendary sensitivity to light, which occurs synchronously, can lead to the sick person's nose and fingers becoming crippled under the influence of sunlight. Garlic, recommended in popular superstition against vampirism, has a poisonous effect on porphyria sufferers because the dialkyl sulfide contained in garlic aggravates symptoms. The inherited form of porphyria was particularly common in British and German royal families. So should George III. and his descendants suffered from it. Nowadays, incurable patients are relieved by injections of blood pigments. Since this was not possible in the past, Dolphin suspects that the sick at the time drank large amounts of blood to alleviate their suffering, which may have earned them a reputation for being vampires. The suffering of the King of Great Britain and Ireland George III. arranged the scientists Martin J. Warren and David M. Hunt to exhumate and posthumous DNA analysis of two descendants of the king. Mutations suggestive of porphyria were detected. In a descendant of George III who died in 1972. Porphyria was diagnosed during his lifetime. The coroner at the University of Vienna, Christian Reiter, put forward another thesis. In the Vienna Hofkammerarchiv he found logs of a puzzling epidemic that raged on the Serbian border between 1720 and 1725. In the feverish delirium, the sick mentioned that their life force was stolen from the dead. Thereupon the Serbian population blamed vampires for the evil and in order to get rid of the supposedly undead, they were exhumed, staked, beheaded and burned. The evidence of vampirism at that time, such as delayed decomposition, quiet smacking and blood residues around the nose and mouth, can now be scientifically explained and can be traced back to the exclusion of air and to phenomena that occur during putrefactive processes. The cause of the epidemic was probably the anthrax pathogen .

Vampires in the media

Works of literature

Nosferatu- type vampire (illustration)

The vampire first became famous through its romanticized portrayal in literature. The first vampire novel Dracula by Abraham "Bram" Stoker (1897), but also the earlier stories Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1872) and John Polidoris The Vampyre (1819), laid the foundation for this and gave the dangerous monster longings and soul. The name of Stoker's vampire, Dracula, became the epitome of the original vampire. The Romanian prince Vlad III was named after Stoker's Dracula, even if only to a limited extent . Drăculea , also called "Vlad Țepeș" (Vlad, the Impaler), because in Romanian tradition the prince is never portrayed as a bloodsucker or undead, but he is said to have occasionally drunk the blood of killed enemies in bowls. In modern literature, the subject is dealt with in the Chronicle of the Vampires by Anne Rice and Stephenie Meyers Bis (s) zum Dawn or in Angela Sommer-Bodenburg 's children's book series The Little Vampire .

Stage works

Polidoris The Vampyre was arranged for the stage by James Planché in 1820; In 1822, the German play Der Vampyr oder die Todten-Braut by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter appeared - also after Polidori .

The opera Der Vampyr by Heinrich Marschner based on a libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück , which premiered in Leipzig in 1828 and enjoyed success throughout Europe in the 19th century, is based on the aforementioned dramatizations by Planché and Ritter . In its partly grandiose gloom, the work is said to have influenced Richard Wagner's opera Der Fliegende Holländer .

On May 25, 1857, the vampire material was picked up in the musical theater of the "Komische Zauberballet Morgano", which was designed by the Berlin royal ballet director Paul Taglioni and set to music by the court composer Peter Ludwig Hertel . The action takes place in Hungary at the time of the Thirty Years War in a magic castle inhabited by vampires.

In 1995 the musical " Dracula " was premiered in Prague . In the plot, the life of Vlad Tepes is linked to Stoker's vampire novel of the same name.

In 1997, a musical version of Roman Polański's film classic Dance of the Vampires was released . Jim Steinmann provided the music

In 1999 the vampire musical "Dracula ... until the blood freezes in your veins" was premiered by Sina Selensky . The work offers a mixture of Stoker's novel and the Rocky Horror Picture Show .

On New York's Broadway three vampire musicals were shown: Dance of the Vampires , Dracula the Musical and Lestat . However, none of these musicals were successful. In 2003, "Dance of the Vampires" was on Broadway for a month. "Dracula the Musical" was shown for five months in 2005 and "Lestat" was canceled in 2006 after two months.

Movie and TV

see main articles: Vampire Movie , List of Vampire Movies and Dracula Movies

1912, the first long vampire movie appeared Vampyrdanserinden of August Blom in Denmark. Since Friedrich Murnau's film Nosferatu , numerous other filmic and literary works on the subject of vampires have been created, including a. Dracula ( Tod Browning , 1931), Vampyr - The Dream of Allan Gray ( Carl Theodor Dreyer , 1932), Plan 9 from Outer Space ( Edward D. Wood, Jr. , 1959), Nosferatu - Phantom of the Night ( Werner Herzog , 1979 ), Roman Polański's Dance of the Vampires , Wes Craven presents Dracula , Blade , Van Helsing , Underworld , Queen of the Damned , Interview with a Vampire , The Lost Boys , From Dusk Till Dawn and the TV series Dark Shadows , Nick Knight - The Vampircop , Buffy - The Vampire Slayer , Angel - Hunters of Darkness , Blood Ties , Moonlight , Being Human (UK & US ), The Strain and True Blood , as well as the novel adaptations of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight - Bis (s) zum Dawn and Bram Stoker's Dracula .

Mel Brooks parodied Dracula in his film Dracula - Dead But Happy . 30 Days of Night is a 2007 horror film with slightly different vampires. The Vampire Princess is an Austrian documentary from 2007. So Dark the Night is a Swedish film that was shot in 2008 based on the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist . In 2010 the vampire series The Vampire Diaries was published based on the book series by Lisa Jane Smith , the first volume of which was published in 1991. The Austrian film comedy Therapy for a Vampire and the New Zealand horror comedy 5 Zimmer Küche Sarg were released in 2014. A TV series based on 5 Zimmer Küche Sarg started in 2019.

Vampires in video games

Vampires are part of numerous video games of various kinds. In licensed games that are based on famous vampire films, vampires appear as units of an army (for example in the Heroes of Might and Magic series), controllable protagonists ( Legacy of Kain , Vampires: The Masquerade - Redemption & Bloodlines ) or antagonists ( Castlevania ).

Vampires in other media

In several role-playing games, vampires are treated as antagonists or monsters. However, some role-playing games treat the vampire theme as a central part of the game, such as: B. in the licensed products of the television series Buffy - Under the Spell of Demons and Angel - Hunters of Darkness or in the colloquially simply referred to as "Vampire" role-playing games Vampire: The Masquerade or Vampire: Requiem . In Vampires: The Masquerade , Cain is described as the father of the vampires, while the god-imposed mark of Cain is vampirism.

Half vampires

In addition to the classic vampire, modern horror and fantasy literature also knows the fictional character of the half-vampire or half-vampire . This figure is mainly used in literature and film for the struggle for “good and bad”. As a hybrid between humans and vampires, the half-vampire usually takes the side of humans and fills the role of a vampire hunter (→ Dhampire ).

"Real Vampires"

see main article: Vampire (lifestyle)

The term Real Vampires or Modern Vampires encompasses people of all ages who pay homage to the (presumed) lifestyle of a vampire - mostly in terms of clothing, appearance, false teeth, etc. - but also with extremes such as drinking blood. The scene should not be confused with theistic Satanism , although there is some overlap. Very often the followers of this scene are equated with the Goths , since the "vampire cult", as it is called in the scene, can also be found in the Gothic scene. Nevertheless, the real vampire cult is an independent culture that has been around for decades.

See also

  • Adze , vampire of the Ewe in West Africa
  • Chupacabra , vampire-like mythical creature in Latin America
  • Dwojeduschnik , vampire in Slavic popular belief
  • Arnold Paole , 18th century Serbian outlaw who allegedly became a vampire after his death
  • Soucouyant , vampire-like mythical creature in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Porphyria ; a disease with various manifestations that may resemble the vampire characteristics described


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  • Hagen Schaub: Traces of Blood: The History of the Vampires. On the trail of a myth. Graz 2008, ISBN 978-3-7011-7628-1 .
  • Eric W. Steinhauer: Vampyrology for librarians - a cultural-scientific reading of the vampire . Eisenhut, Hagen-Berchum 2011, ISBN 978-3-942090-06-3 .
  • Montague Summers : The Vampire. His Kith and Kin . London 1928.
  • Montague Summers: The Vampire in Europe. London 1929 (as a reprint from The Vampire in Lore and Legend. New York 2002).
  • Claude Lecouteux: The History of the Vampires: Metamorphosis of a Myth. Patmos 2008. ISBN 978-3-491-96235-4 .

Film studies literature

  • Margit Dorn: Vampire Films and Their Social Functions. A contribution to the history of the genre (= European university publications : Series 30, Theater, Film and Television Studies; Volume 60), also Lüneburg, Univ., Diss., 1994, Verlag Peter Lang, 1994 ISBN 3-631-47774-0 , ISBN 978-3-631-47774-8 .
  • Jelka Göbel: New Millennium, New Vampire Film? Continuity and change in a genre , Tectum Verlag, 2012 ISBN 3-8288-2946-5 , ISBN 978-3-8288-2946-6 .
  • Uli Jung: Dracula. Film analytical studies for the functionalization of a motif of Victorian popular literature , (= international film history; Volume 4), at the same time Trier, Univ., Diss., 1997, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 1997 ISBN 3-88476-259-1 , ISBN 978-3-88476 -259-2 .
  • Stefan Keppler, Michael Will (ed.): The vampire film. Classics of the genre in individual interpretations. Würzburg 2006, ISBN 978-3-8260-3157-1 .

Historical works

(sorted by date)

  • WSGE : Acts- wise and awkward relation of those vampires or people-suckers, Which in this and previous years, in the kingdom of Servien were created. August Martini, Leipzig 1732 ( digitization, Wikisource ).
  • WSGE: Curieuse And very wonderful RELATION, of which new things appear in the service of blood suckers or VAMPYRS, communicated from authentic news, and accompanied by historical and philosophical reflections by WSGE [Sl] 1732 ( digitization, Wikisource ).
  • Gottlob Heinrich Vogt : Kurtzes Bedencken of those acts-like relations because of their vampires, or people and cattle suckers . August Martini, Leipzig 1732 ( digitization, Wikisource ; a contradiction to the work of WSGE, called Welt-Geiste)
  • Johann Christoph Harenberg : Reasonable and Christian Thoughts on the Vampires or Bluhtsaugende Todten , Wolfenbüttel 1733 ( digitization, Wikisource ).
  • Michael Ranft : A treatise on the chewing and smacking of the dead in graves, in which the true nature of those hungarian vampires and blood-suckers is shown, and all writings that have come to light on this matter are reviewed. Teubners Buchladen, 1734 ( digitization, Wikisource ; revised new edition: UBooks-Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-86608-015-8 )
  • Augustin Calmet : Dissertations on the apparitions des ans, des demons et des esprits. Et sur les revenans et vampires de Hongrie, de Boheme, de Moravie et de Silerie. 1746; German scholar negotiating the matter of the apparitions of ghosts and vampires in Hungary and Moravia. 1749 ( Webrepro, digitized version; revised new edition: Edition Roter Drache, 2007, ISBN 978-3-939459-03-3 )

Compilations of historical texts

  • Klaus Hamberger: Mortuus non murders. Documents on Vampirism 1689–1791. Vienna 1992. ISBN 978-3-85132-025-1 .
  • Klaus Hamberger: About vampirism: medical histories and interpretation patterns 1808–1899. Vienna 1992. ISBN 978-3-85132-026-8 .
  • Dieter Sturm, Klaus Völker (ed.): From those vampires or people suckers. Seals and documents. Hanser, Munich 1968.

Web links

Wikisource: Vampire  sources and full texts
Wiktionary: Vampire  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Vampire  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Markus Heitz: Vampires! Vampires! - Everything about bloodsuckers . Piper, Munich 2008, p. 131.
  2. ^ Friedrich Kluge, edited by Elmar Seebold: Etymological Dictionary of the German Language. 24th, revised and expanded edition. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2001, p. 948
  3. ^ Matthew Bunson: Das Buch der Vampire , Scherz Verlag, pp. 273f
  4. Norbert Borrmann: Vampirism or the longing for immortality . Diederichs Verlag, p. 13.
  5. Markus Heitz: Vampires! Vampires! - Everything about bloodsuckers . Piper, Munich 2008, pp. 128f
  6. Markus Heitz: Vampires! Vampires! - Everything about bloodsuckers . Piper, Munich 2008, p. 133.
  7. ^ Report of the British daily newspaper The Observer
  8. Frombald: Copia of a letter from the Gradisker District. in: eLib, ed. eLibrary project, in: (February 29, 2008).
  9. ^ Augustin Calmet: Scholarly negotiation of the matter of the apparitions of spirits, and of vampires in Hungary and Moravia. Edition Roter Drache, 2007, ( digitized version ).
  10. Michael Ranft : Treatise on the chewing and smacking of the dead in graves, in which the true nature of those hungarian vampires and blood-suckers is shown, also all writings that have come to light on this matter are reviewed. Teubner's bookshop, 1734
  11. ^ Eduard Hoffmann-Krayer, Hanns Baechtold-Staeubli (ed.): Concise dictionary of German superstition . Vol. 6, reprint. de Gruyter, Berlin 2002, p. 819, ISBN 3-11-006594-0
  12. Johann Christoph Harenberg: Reasonable and Christian Thoughts about the Vampires (1733)
  13. Johann Flückinger: Reasonable and Christian Thoughts on the Vampires. (The file-based report on the vampires, as reported at Medvegia in Servien on the Türckische Gräntzen, is said to have been.)
  14. H. Sandvik, A. Baerheim: (? Does garlic protect against vampires An experimental study). In: Tidsskr. Nor. Laying forums. , 114 (30), 1994, pp. 3583-3586. PMID 7825135 (article in Norwegian; English abstract)
  15. a b "Vampires" suffer from a hereditary disease. Fear of garlic and sunlight due to genetic defects? Epidemics fueled superstition. in Die Welt October 31, 2000, accessed November 26, 2014.
  16. Marc Roberts Team: Lexicon of Satanism and the witchcraft. VF Collector Verlag, Graz 2004, ISBN 3-85365-205-0 , p. 174.
  17. ^ Critics lay into Elton's musical. . In: . April 26, 2006. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  18. Dan Martin: Top-10 most important vampire programs in TV history . June 19, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  19. ^ Zeenat Burns: Ranked: Vampire TV Shows. Only some of these shows suck. . In: Metacritic .com . June 9, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2014.