What is a Vampire?

What is a vampire? It seems like such an absurd question to ask, however, it’s been a topic of debate for years. It seems that everyone has a different opinion when it comes to what a vampire is or what a vampire “should” be. For some a vampire is simply a creature that drinks blood. But for others it’s much more complicated, they have all kinds of rules and criteria for what a vampire is. I’m on the simple side of the debate…

5 Victoria FrancesPersonally, I feel that a vampire is a being that feeds on the blood of another. Simple. That is the basis of what a vampire is – a blood drinker. Truthfully, there is no right or wrong vampire, it simply needs to follow that one rule and that rule is feeding on another’s blood (or in some cases, life force/energy). That’s how I see it, but others disagree and have countless rules and regulations when it comes to what a vampire is “supposed to be.” Like, a vampire has to be scary, a vampire has to be evil, a vampire has to look a very specific way (no sparkling blah blah) … etc. I think that’s all nonsense. To me a vampire is a creature that drinks blood. It can be evil, it can be wholesome, it can sparkle if the author wants it to, it can have glowing eyes and rotting flesh, it could be mindless, or it could be intelligent, and so on. No right or wrong. Vampires are universal.

But what do you think? Are you one of those people who feel that a vampire has to be something specific? That there is a right and wrong kind of vampire? I am not asking for your favorite “type” of vampire, but what you think a vampire should be or is. Everyone has their preferences, but your least favorites aren’t wrong, are they? I think a sparkling vampire is ridiculous, but it’s not necessarily wrong, because there is no right or wrong when it comes to what a vampire is. Or so I think.

To me, a vampire can look however it wants or act however it wants. A vampire is whatever the storyteller wants it to be.

What do you think?

– Moonlight

By 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).


  1. what is a Vampire they are creatures of fantasy – Bram stoker brought the vampire
    know as Dracula to life in his Novel Dracula that was the blue print for the vampires
    us fans of vampire movies enjoyed on the big screen – Television like Dark shadows
    that aired of day time tv from 1966- 1971

  2. I agree with you that vampires are universal creatures. Their appeal lies in their adaptability and the way that they can be customized to reflect whatever purpose the author has for them. They’re one of the great symbolic creatures of our time.

    Like everyone else, I have my favorite styles of vampires and ones that I don’t like, but really there is room for everyone’s vampire ideas in the world.

  3. I’ve always been fascinated with how to define the term vampire. I can accept the various definitions of what makes a vampire, most especially the similarities of creatures in the lore of different cultures. However, I do feel the vampire -should- be more horror, less romance. The vampire of legend and lore was almost always a monster. My initial interest in the vampire was the horror, and I prefer it that way.

  4. Vampires have been around a long long time before Hollywood or theses writers were even a speck of thought or egg (LOL) and most people don’t even know the mythology, legends and tales of the Vampire. They have been around for thousands of years and maybe even longer as the written language hasn’t even been around that long and then it was just word of moth and carvings on rocks. Bram Stoker wasn’t by far the first person to write about the Vampire (Vampyre) – not by far. I have been a Vampirologist for over a decade now (well over 12 years) and have come across many many types of Vampires that most have no idea about. I guess most people are just into there “Entertainment” – fictional books, TV, and movies and unlike me don’t put too much thought into it. Unfortunately I am cursed with OCD (Vampirologist w/ OCD kinda comical in a way) and must get down deep into the bottom of things that peak my interest ect. I hole heartedly agree that the Vampire basically is a blood drinker as well as life force/energy. Even the Vampire bat is still a Vampire even though it is a living creature – so another question could arise from that: What about a “human” who drinks blood from another? Does that not make them a type of Vampire then? I wold have to believe so after all I have researched and seen for myself. I also study many other supernatural things but not sure if Supernaturalologist is a word cause I have never came a crossed that just Vampiriologist. Sorry I go on too long sometimes lol…

  5. To me, the ideal vampire has to be a mix of the natural and supernatural; the mundane and the magical. Human enough for us to relate to them, but with a substantial difference in their perspective on life/existence.

    “Supernatural” may simply mean the parts of nature unknown to our science. ;)

  6. I agree with you. A vampire drinks blood, or somehow draws the lifeforce/energy from another living being. I’m not sure they are any more evil than the lion who kills the gazelle, or the wolf pack who takes down a caribou. They are, above all, a predator, though perhaps in some cases, they possess the ability to feed from their prey without necessarily having to kill it.

    Nearly every culture has vampiric beings in their mythologies, and they are likely viewed to be just as evil as a man-eating tiger.

  7. I disagree somewhat. My definition is that a Vampire is a reanimated corpse that rises from it’s grave by night and drinks the blood of the living. Not all Vampires are undead, mind you, but the ones that I study are (the Slavic ones). They are evil, voracious predators that will suck you dry and kick your corpse aside. Sunlight doesn’t hurt them, and the best way to kill them is to decapitate and burn the bodies afterwards. The stake through the chest only holds them down. A living person that drinks another’s blood or steals their lifeforce is vampiric in their feeding, but they are not vampires per say. I mean no offense, and I just wanted to give my opinion on the subject.

  8. My requirements for vampirehood are rather basic:
    1) Fanged
    2) Undead
    3) Dependant on blood to survive

    As far as I’m concerned everything else is completely negotiable apart from these three criteria. They can be beautiful or hideous, benevolent or antagonistic, a sophisticated lady/gentlemen or a feral monster.

  9. in my opinion, a vampire is dark and mysterious. It really don’t matter if they’re evil or not, “sparkling” or just plain “human.” what I think matters most of all is… they HAVE to have fangs, not sharp teeth all over their mouths ( top picture), they rely on blood, and they must look human enough to blend in with everyone else. Vampires are like humans because if they didnt look or act like us then they’d be……… some made up creature. Don’t get me wrong now, im not trying to say that vampiresor real or not but I seriously think people take advantage of these vampires and turn them into something there not. Vampires can be sweet, loving, nice, and cute all at the same time.But, they can also be ugly, rude mean, and slopy too. it just depends on who the person is that makes up how they want the vampire to look. it really don’t matter, but it does matter on if they look human or not, thats my concern in this catagory!!!!!!!!!!!!!! VAMPIRES RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. It may be ridiculous t you, but I have my pet peeves when it comes to vampires:


    1.) Reanimated corpse
    2.) Must drink blood to sustain itself
    3.) Has no soul (or can be cursed with a soul by gypsies, or win it back in demon tournament)
    4.) Has a set of retractable [canine] fangs
    5.) Glowing red eyes (or yellow, or orange)
    6.) Immortality
    7.) Heals quickly
    8.) Claws
    9.) Casts no reflection
    10.) Can only be killed by:
    a. wooden stake through heart
    b. exposure to sunlight will cause the body to burst into flames
    c. garlic
    d. silver
    e. holy water or other religious items such as crosses, etc.
    f. decapitation
    g. fire
    11.) Must sleep during the day (in a coffin, bed, or hanging upside down in a cave like a bat)

    1. Too much Buffy, Dan.

      There is great difficulty in determining what a vampire is or should be as it depends on the culture in question. American culture has bred its own vampires. I call them Vampirus hollywoodensis to be a bit snarky. It is true that among European myths the vampires tend (note I said tend not absolutely are) to have characteristics of a corpse that feeds on blood and is not harmed by the sun. Their weaknesses vary a bit with region, but Dracula, as he is in the book, is a reasonable distillation of the myths. Africa and the Orient have vastly different blood drinkers. Now that is another way to think about the issue. Vampire, the word itself, is European. It is related to upir, oupir, oubir, and others. So if we think of vampires in a sort of patent way, Europe holds the original patent. Scientifically, the original name or description of a species holds precedence. Maybe that should be the way we deal with vampires. There are many parasites Some drink blood, some eat flesh and some are like the wifi connection on a smart phone and suck up all the power in your batteries, but VAMPIRES are blood drinking corpses that are monsters. They have to be because that is the origin of the term. Anything else is a parasite, but cannot be included in the clade of vampire because of precedent.

  11. Each of you have said everything there is about the vampire that he/she is, leaving me with only one thing for sure to say about the vampire, that many and even yourselves have stated to be true about this dark and deadly Immortal- vampires are blood craving mad!!!!

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