Top 10 Vampire Myths—Busted
They simply just suck.
If Helen was the face that launched a thousand ships, Bram Stoker was the author who launched a thousand vampires. Thanks to 1897’s Dracula, vampires earned a place in pop culture.
Countless adaptations have portrayed vampires possessing mysterious (and sometimes downright weird) attributes/abilities. But are they all based on ancient legend? Let’s crack some of them open.
1. Vampires don’t transform into bats.
Fun fact: Stoker wrote some of Dracula’s key parts while in Whitby, England—a town with a lot of bats. However, European lore has shown vampires shape-shifting into commonly known animals (dogs, cats, and pigs, to name a few).
Maybe Stoker thought bloodsuckers wouldn’t be menacing if they didn’t turn to an animal most people are afraid of. After all, who’d be terrified of a cute little puppy?
2. The absence of vampires’ reflections is nonsense.
Although there’s plenty of folklore about mirrors and the dead and mirrors and spirits, none of that exist about our favorite fanged creatures. Stoker may have played up this myth to highlight Count Dracula’s soulless nature.
3. Vampires can’t cast shadows? Think again.
The concept of shadowless vamps may just be another one of Stoker’s ways to ramp up Dracula’s unnatural and supernatural self. This doesn’t come as a surprise for someone like him, who was a theater manager.
4. Vampires can cross running water.
Ancient lore portrays other supernatural creatures (witches, ghosts, and spirits) having this disadvantage. Apparently, the same can’t be said for vampires.
5. Sunlight doesn’t kill vampires.
Unlike the previous myths, this wasn’t Stoker’s invention. Instead, this was made famous in 1922’s Nosferatu.
The movie came about after a German company failed to obtain film rights to Dracula when Stoker’s widow, Florence, refused to sell them. To that end, the company took and changed the novel’s key elements and plagiarized it.
6. Vampires don’t sleep in their native earth.
Most vampire tales would tell you that bloodsuckers sleep in their graves. There’s no mention about them carrying their grave dirt around with them. Count Dracula and his brides, however, do.
7. “Nosferatu” doesn’t mean vampires. It isn’t even a real word.
Stoker lifted the name from author Emily de Laszowski Gerard, who wrote about the superstitions she encountered during her stay in Transylvania. 1922’s Nosferatu took it one step further and elevated it in pop culture.
8. Vampires aren’t undead.
European lore has described them in numerous terms. However, Stoker’s use of this description makes them seem scarier, which makes sense for his novel.
9. Count Dracula wasn’t based on the real Vlad Tepes.
Although Vlad committed many atrocities against people, there wasn’t evidence that support he was a bloodsucker. Apparently, Stoker just borrowed his nickname, “Dracula,” just because of the way it sounded.
10. Stoker hasn’t even been to Transylvania.
However, he visited Switzerland, using the Swiss mountains as basis for Borgo Pass and the surroundings around Dracula’s castle.
Nowadays, vampire novels are more than just thrill-inducing. They can go from being the most romantic thing you’ve read to being adventures that’ll leave you hanging on the edge of your seats.
Quest of the Bloodline is a dystopian story with a hint of romance. Think of it as a Divergent and The Hunger Games series’ vampire crossover. Make sure to grab a copy once it hits bookstores.
Father Sebastiaan, contributor. 2016. “10 Major Myths about Vampires.” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/father-sebastiaan/10-major-myths-about-vamp_b_9146700.html.