I encountered the Vampire tale first through the movies, staying up late Friday and Saturday nights watching Bela Lugosi, John Carradine and then Christopher Lee portray Dracula. The Count was the epitome of evil, his whole existence on this Earth one purpose, to feed and create more of his kind. Vampirism was like a plague, spreading in a geometric progression as soon as the initial vampire infected a region. One became two, became four, became eight, until even the completely ignorant could see that things were not as they were supposed to be. My next exposure to the Creature of the Night was the Bram Stoker novel, Dracula, told in the form of letters and diary entries, and telling the story of the Count’s invasion of the British Isles. I read the book for the first time when I was nine, and found the lead antagonist to be even more terrifying than he was portrayed in the movies. Immensely strong, able to turn into both a bat and a wolf, as well as a cloud of mist, Dracula could also control animals such as bats, wolves and swarms of rats. His most terrifying power, at least for this young boy, was is ability to actually walk around in the daylight. He slept the morning in his coffin, then was up and about the London streets.
There have been other vampires after Dracula, and variations of the abilities of the most popular undead. Some could turn into bats, some could fly without a change. All had the compulsion to drink blood, killing and changing their victim into something just like them. Count Orloff, Blacula, Salem’s Lot, all portrayed vampires as evil. Evil in the sense that there really was no good in them. They were children of Satan, plain and simple, and were here on Earth to damn the souls of the living into the existence of the undead. They really didn’t have any other purpose. They didn’t sit in board rooms or go clubbing after they made their kill. They rose, they hunted, and they went back to their sleeping arrangements until the sun went down again.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy the vampire tales where the undead do more than just eat and sleep, like some kind of undead relatives in the home for an extended visit. The Lost Boys, Buffy, Blade, Underworld, Dark Shadows, the German film We Are The Night. All portrayed vampires as having a good time, partying the night away. But they still needed to feed, to kill, to continue their lifestyle (or is that undeathstyle). Vampires could even be portrayed as sympathetic creatures at times. Most didn’t ask for this existence, and most could see no way out. Their very instincts betrayed them, their behavior programed for survival at all costs.
Then there are the vampire stories in which they are portrayed as some kind of Flintstones or Jetsons, regular people who just have an eating disorder. Even these can be interesting with interesting characters. Kindred: The Embraced come to mind, where some of the vampires were evil, some were good, but all tried to fit into society in some manner. But to this reader one of the most interesting things about vampires is the evil that dwells within them. It might be an evil that they despise themselves, but it is still the dominant feature of their personality.
When I wrote The Hunger I tried to go back to the roots of the Vampire, or at least my roots in this genre. The protagonist, Lucinda Taylor, is a vampire, and as such she must kill on an almost nightly basis. It is like being addicted to drugs, if she doesn’t get her fix she reverts to the beast. Instead she feeds on the very people who tormented her in life, the pimps, drug dealers and crime bosses. And using the disease model of vampirism, she decapitates her kills so they can’t rise again to become the kind of killer she does not wish to be. There was a term that I remember from some fantasy novel I read back in the 1960s, It takes evil to fight evil. So it all goes back to that, vampires were made to be evil, and should always remain such.
yes Vampire should be Evil creatures not these teen Vampires of twilight
the legnd of Dracula was about an Dark killer who preyed on his victims
some of the women & childen thats how vampires where in the classic
universal – hammer studios horror movies
Its all christian BS – There Religion needs to stay away from a creature that needs human life to survive. I prefer Anne Rices notion in Queen of the damned as Vampires are Pre Christian and there crap has no effect cause it wouldn’t if you actually were attacked by a Vampire…
yes jp vanir some chrisitians think that holloween & vampires are evil one
they are fearful of things that they dont under stand like greate stories that
anne rice & bram stoker written with a good story plots and telling their stories
about the Queen of the Damed or Dracula by bram stoker anne rice
who a christian herself wrote the wolf gift. i dont think christians would
know the devil if they met him in public. christians who witness agaist
never seen evil the war in Iraq war is Evil – not fictional vampires
I do agree with that – War is very much evil. I only wish people weren’t so hateful towards each other and didn’t have the love of money or the need to take over as much property as they can no matter who they hurt. It is a sad world – I only hope we don’t end up blowing it all up one day…
As children, we tend to see the world in black and white. Things are good, or evil. Villains have no redeeming characteristics, and heroes have no serious flaws. Then we grow up. Vampires have also grown up. This is not wrong. It’s maturity, and creativity. Perhaps you see killing off crime lords as evil, but is it, really? By whose standards? I think it was a rather poor example of ‘evil’, and a rather good example of the changes that the fictional vampire has gone through. It can now be a complex character, and is far more interesting as a result.
Donna michele Frerstrom
yes as children we tend to the world in black & white and not in shads of grey
there is good and Evil in this big world of ours and if vampires realy existed
in our modern day history our law enfocemet would have their hands ful
thats someting to think about.
I think good and evil are simply boring. A complex morality is far more interesting.
speaking of gothic vampires nbc television is bring Dracula to tv this fall
Vampires have (and have to deal with) a predatory instinct, but “all evil” is a caricature, not a character. Ingrid Pitt played Carmilla perfectly in “The Vampire Lovers” as a predator, but emotionally vulnerable at times.
I agree with most of these comments and yes there are no Absolutes everyone has the ability to do good things or Evil things given the chance. Vampires are merely the Predators of the Human Race and of course the Humans are going to count that off as Evil cause they must be top of the food chain but in all truth there is NO top of the food chain and any wild animal would snack on a human if he needed to to survive BUT that doesn’t make them evil – they are just survivors…
You can tell that vampires have fallen hard from their horror genre roots when people argue that they can’t be pure evil because they have to be characters that are relatable and emotional and on and on, blah blah blah. That’s all bogus. Great (and original) vampire stories can be told with vampires who are pure evil, and the trick to doing that is having great human characters. Vampires would need to be fleshed out and relatable if they were your protagonists, of course. But all that is is wish fulfillment for people who see vampires in a romantic light to start with. They are not required to be protagonists, especially in the horror genre where (in my opinion) they truly belong. H.P. Lovecraft created monsters so alien and strange they couldn’t be protagonists, but the stories worked because they were told by ordinary human beings. The trick is having great human characters. Simple as that. Read “The Strain trilogy” by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Vampires are monstrous here, terrifying even. The only ounce of humanity they truly have left is the desire to seek out their loved ones so they can be turned. But the human characters (our protagonists) are great.
I am not a vampire and I don’t obsess over wanting to be one or anything, but, if I ever saw a vampire that was about to be attacked by a hunter, as a vampire lover, I would at least try to save them. I know that, if they do exist, a lot of vampires would probably be of the type that would only ever kill when absolutely necessary. They may well need to feed off of others in order to keep their lives, whether they be undead or not, or just to survive life-threatening situations.
As for the religious arguments against them, I believe that the only reason why they are scared of crucifixes is because they are frequently stabbed with them. I also think that they may only get headaches from looking at them because they make them remember all of their friends and family that may have been stabbed by them. I also believe that something must be added to Holy water to make it burn vampires since just being blessed by anyone, even a priest or preacher, would not make it powerful enough to harm them. I have even heard that they may still be able to be Christians after they have been turned. All they would have to do is wear shades and fake body tan, not go to church on sunny days and avoid the Holy objects that could harm them.
The vampire in the movie “Dark Shadows” certainly was not purely evil. He did kill a few people, but this was probably out of thirst, not out of brutality. He also saved a young girl from death by falling from a cliff.
In the children’s film “The Little Vampire”, the main human character is saved by at least one vampire on two occasions; once from being hit by a truck and then again after he had been locked up in a coffin.
There is also an old story that was written in 1914 called “Aylmer Vance and the Vampire”. This features a vampire that saves a couple from dying.
Even old legends are not without good vampires. Although the idea of the Stregoni Benefici was used for the “Twilight” series, the legend did exist beforehand. These are good vampires that are archenemies with the evil ones, and these ones help sick people, too.
Watch the documentary “Vampire Secrets”. On that one, they managed to use technology to prove that this one lady was definitely a psychic vampire (one that feeds off of the mental energy of others, as opposed to their blood). If she were really all that evil, would she not have been too dangerous to feature on the programme without being restrained? She was not restrained at any point in the documentary, by the way.
Before we start bashing them for what they have supposedly done to humans, think about what humans have done to them. Throughout the years, according to movies, legends, books and other stories, humans have used Holy water to burn vampires, as well as tricking them and/or somehow keeping them in the sun, locking them in coffins and allowing them to suffocate, staking them through the heart and otherwise torturing, maiming and killing them. Think about it this way. You are a vampire. You are of the type that have vampiric traits in your appearance, such as pale skin and red eyes. You cannot go into any public place without experiencing persecution and having everyone else there afraid of you. You want to make friends, or even just ask someone something, but you cannot get near anyone without them backing away, insulting you and trying to ward you off, even though you have no intention of harming them. They just think that, because you are a vampire, you want to kill them. All you want to do is just ask them something or befriend them, and/or mind your own business, but you cannot do this because are so feared and persecuted. Everyone thinks that you just want to drain their blood, but you don’t.
There are now loads of alternatives in which vampires can use to get the blood that they need to drink. Vampires can now drink fake blood, blood banks, animal blood* and even human blood that they will have collected or had collected from people, without killing them. Some vampires have even been known to heal any cut that they make after they have fed from the person. The person would probably then only get ill to the same extent as if they had the flu after that. They may even ask the person first before they feed and/or have a willing donor, if they are able to cope with their blood supply coming from just one person and not being all that varied.
Just like with everything else, if they do exist, vampires could be friendly, peace-loving creatures as well. There is good and bad in everything.
I don’t know why something must be considered evil simply for eating its natural food source? Obviously the food chain is there for a reason and as it is a chain (circular) and not a mountain humans are not at the top of the food chain despite what the want to believe so it is not evil to eat (or drink) humans. I am sure many of the vampires don’t always treat there food as bad as many of the humans in the slaughterhouses and some of them may even be decent about it. I always liked the guy Crepsley in Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant as he glamoured his donor to not remember being fed on and not feel pain and believe that to even be possible in the Vampire mythology ect.
Wow. I just had to express just how much I like your comment and totally agree with you. A vampire is not “evil” simply for feeding on humans any more than a lion is “evil” simply for hunting and killing zebras in order to live. If the zebra could think to the same extent as we can, they may well view lions in the same way as some people view vampires. “They are the unholy personification of evil” and “they are disgusting, vile, barbaric cruel beasts who should be wiped out”. Of course, none of this is true. They are simply trying to stay alive.
I, too, LOVE “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant”. It is definitely one of my favourite vampire movies. I also absolutely love Mr Crepsley. In fact, I think he and Angle from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” are my favourite fictional vampires.
I agree that vampires should be evil. And yeah it’s evil to eat people. I can’t believe people are literally arguing in favor of eating people at if it’s the same as eating animals. Here’s a hint on morality; if your survival is dependant on murdering people the only moral thing to do is to let yourself die. The thing is vampires simply do not make compelling “good” characters. Just look at the mess of Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Vampire Academy, Twilight, etc. It’s all garbage. They should just be horror monsters like normal. All this lovey goo-goo eyes teeny-bopper vampires are just childish wish fulfillment fantasy for horny idiots.