The long canine fangs of a vampire shining in the moonlight right before they sink them into the throat of some poor defenseless human. Sound familiar? Fangs are yet another example of the way in which authors and films have made an otherwise unrelated characteristic one of the most recognized traits of the undead.
The truth is that in folklore, there are very very few vampires with these special deadly fangs. In, fact many vamps in folklore either have normal teeth or a pointed and barbed tongue, especially in Bulgaria, Russia and among the eastern Slavs.
It was of course literature that brought on the idea of vamps having sharp fangs, it added to the horror and terror of these creatures of the night – a crueler way to drink down that tasty blood. Count Dracula and Varney both had elongated canines, while in the 1922 flick, Nosferatu, with Count Orlock, was shown with these crazy rodent-like fangs. The impact of these ghastly pearly whites inspired more to follow suit. Drakula Istanbulda (1953) had them and then all of the Hammer Film vamps did as well. So began the trend.
Nowadays, plastic or wax fangs are essential in any vampire costume. Plus the majority of modern vampire movies, TV shows and books feature vamps with long deadly fangs, like True Blood or Underworld. But some new authors are ignoring that cliché idea and shaking things up by not giving their characters long fangs, like Twilight and House of Night.
Personally, I love fangs; they’re way sexier and badass than regular boring human teeth.
“The fair girl went on her knees and bent over me, fairly gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal… I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the supersensitive skin of my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there.”
– Bram Stoker, Dracula