Believe it or not animals and vampires have a big part in vampire folklore. Sometimes it’s simply the malevolent vampire controlling the animal, making it carry out his evil deeds, or it’s the animal itself that is the bloodsucker.
According to the vampire-crazed gypsies in Yugoslavia damn near anyone or anything can become a creature of the night aka vampire. On their list of possible vampires they have dogs, cats, horses, sheep and even… chickens. Can you imagine a vampire chicken? Pretty ridiculous. But out of all these vampire animals the one that they were the most fearful of were vampire snakes due to Satan’s ties to snakes.
Then you have the tradition that says if a certain animal, like a cat or dog, jumps over a corpse then that body will turn into a vampire. Or some other stories saying that if the dog or cat jumps over the corpse the soul of the person will then enter the animal.
You also have the belief that some vampires can control an assortment of animals like wolves, flies, cats, dogs, butterflies, and the well known vampire bat. But it’s not always that they can control animals, some tales say that they can also transform into the animal, especially bats, but also rats and even frogs.
Animals can be used against vampire as well. Horses were once used to find the grave of a vampire, while black dogs and black crows were said to make excellent vampire hunters. And Romanian gypsies believed that some cemeteries were guarded by vampire killing white wolves. So animals can be pretty useful for the vampire hunters.
Now when you come across a growling dog or a snake in the grass you’ll probably wonder if it’s a vampire or if it’s a wicked creature being controlled by a vampire. Who knows for sure. But if you wake up one night with your pet cat Fluffy sitting on your chest, staring at you with glowing eyes you better hope it’s kitty kibble it wants… and not your blood.