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As the Sun Rises the Dead Sleep

A vampire is known to sleep from dawn to dusk, since of course, the rays of the sun are particularly harmful to them. Truth is the idea of a vampire running to its coffin to hide from the day’s first light is something that mostly came from books and movies, it’s not a theme often used in folklore. But there are a few old tales of vampires that require sleep during the day. Like in Russian lore, there is a story of a hero is saved from death by the coming of dawn, for when the sun rose the vampire hunting the hero instantly fell to the ground asleep. Then there is another vampire myth from Crete that says the vampire is only able to sleep on Saturdays.

As I said, a vampire sleeping is mostly the creation of imaginative novelists. Once again we have Bram Stoker and his novel Dracula to thank for the spread of the idea of slumbering vampires. Remember how Jonathan Harker discovers that the Count has to sleep in one of fifty dirt filled boxes? Like most well known Dracula facts this idea spread and stuck, so now most assume that all vampires sleep in coffins.

Nowadays you have an assortment of vampires in film and in books taking dirt naps. In Anne Rice’s novels dawn tends to trigger most of the vampires to sleep against their will. Then we have shows like Buffy, Angel and even the new Vampire Diaries that often show us clips of the vampires sleeping. But then you have the famed Twilight novels and movies in which is it pointed out that Edward doesn’t have a bed, why? Because as he tells Bella, he doesn’t sleep. These are vampires from the entertainment world though. In old folklore and legends some vampires sleep, but many don’t require sleep at all, some don’t even need to hide from the rays of the sun, they can walk around during the day without any harm coming to them (like the aswang).

So once again we learn that movies and books don’t always have it right.

– Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).

anne riceaswangBella Swanbram stokerdraculaEdward CullenThe Vampire DiariestwilightvampireVampire Diariesvampire lorevampire sleep

Moonlight • November 30, 2009


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  • Christine

    In folklore and classic literature like Dracula and Carmilla vampires walked happily in sunlight. It was 1922 Nosferatu which added vampires-burn-in-the-sun-nonsense.

  • Vampire18

    i think that everyone has a different idea about vampires. they are suppose to be immortal right? so the real question is- do immortals really need sleep or can they do without? everyone thinks in different ways so it is no surprie to me that there are different stories and myths about vampires needing sleep or not. in my opinion i think every living, or at least moving, reature in this world- including vampires- need to sleep at some point, whether it be at night like humans, the day like some myths, or just sporatically, we all need to sleep at some time to allow our brains to relax and reorganize the understanding process.