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Vampires in popular culture

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Title: Vampires in popular culture  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Magician (fantasy), Sava Savanović, Vampires in popular culture, Stock characters, Ivan the Fool
Collection: Topics in Popular Culture, Vampires, Vampires in Popular Culture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Vampires in popular culture

Vampires in popular culture includes vampire ballet, films, literature, music, opera, theatre, opera, paintings and video games.


  • Comic books and graphic novels 1
  • Films 2
  • Folklore 3
  • Gaming 4
    • GURP games 4.1
    • Trading Card games 4.2
    • Video games 4.3
  • Manga 5
  • Music 6
    • Artists 6.1
    • Songs 6.2
  • Paintings 7
  • Television 8
  • Theatre 9
  • Other vampire references 10
    • Darkseekers 10.1
    • Moroi 10.2
    • Penanggalan 10.3
      • Film 10.3.1
      • Print media 10.3.2
      • Other 10.3.3
    • Shtriga 10.4
    • Strigoi 10.5
      • Books 10.5.1
      • Games 10.5.2
      • Movies 10.5.3
      • Music 10.5.4
      • Television 10.5.5
    • Strix 10.6
    • Wurdulac 10.7
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13

Comic books and graphic novels

Vampirella #1 (September 1969). Cover art by Frank Frazetta.


A promotional poster for the 1922 film Nosferatu.
The 1956 Vampire Moth was the first Japanese film in the vampire genre.
Christopher Lee portrayed Count Dracula in the celebrated Hammer Horror series of films, starting with Dracula in 1958.

The Vampire (1913, directed by Robert G. Vignola), also co-written by Vignola, is the earliest vampire film.

These were derived from the writer Rudyard Kipling who was inspired by a vampiress painted by Philip Burne-Jones, an image typical of the era in 1897, to write his poem 'The Vampire'. Like much of Kipling's verse it was incredibly popular, and its refrain: A fool there was . . . , describing a seduced man, became the title of the popular film A Fool There Was that made Theda Bara a star, the poem being used in its publicity. On this account, in early American slang the femme fatale was called a vamp, short for vampiress.[1]

A real supernatural vampire features in the landmark Nosferatu (1922 Germany, directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau). This was an unlicensed version of Bram Stoker's Dracula, based so closely on the novel that the estate sued and won, with all copies ordered to be destroyed. (It would be painstakingly restored in 1994 by a team of European scholars from the five surviving prints that had escaped destruction). Nosferatu is the first film to feature a Vampire's death by sunlight, which formerly only weakened vampires.

The next classic treatment of the vampire legend was in Universal's Dracula starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. Five years after the release of the film, Universal released Dracula's Daughter, a direct sequel that starts immediately after the end of the first film. A second sequel, Son of Dracula, starring Lon Chaney, Jr. followed in 1943. Despite his apparent death in the 1931 film, the Count returned to life in three more Universal films of the mid-1940s: 1944's House of Frankenstein, 1945's House of Dracula and 1948's Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. While Lugosi had played a vampire in two other movies during the 1930s and 1940s, it was only in this final film that he played Count Dracula onscreen for the second (and last) time.

Dracula was reincarnated for a new generation in the celebrated Hammer Horror series of films, starring Christopher Lee as the Count. The first of these films Dracula (1958) was followed by seven sequels. Lee returned as Dracula in all but two of these. A distinct subgenre of vampire films, ultimately inspired by Le Fanu's Carmilla explored the topic of the lesbian vampire. The first of these was Blood and Roses (1960) by Roger Vadim. More explicit lesbian content was provided in Hammer Studios Karnstein trilogy. The first of these, The Vampire Lovers, (1970), starring Ingrid Pitt and Madeleine Smith, was a relatively straightforward re-telling of LeFanu's novella, but with more overt violence and sexuality. Later films in this subgenre such as Vampyres (1974) became even more explicit in their depiction of sex, nudity and violence.

Beginning with the absurd Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995 USA, directed by Mel Brooks) with Canadian Leslie Nielsen giving it a comic twist.

Another development in some vampire films has been a change from supernatural horror to science fictional explanations of vampirism. The Last Man on Earth (Italy 1964, directed by Ubaldo Ragona) and The Omega Man (1971 USA, directed by Boris Sagal), both based on Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend, are two examples. Vampirism is explained as a kind of virus in David Cronenberg's Rabid (1976 Canada), Red-Blooded American Girl (1990 Canada, directed by David Blyth) and Michael and Peter Spierig's Daybreakers (2009 United States).

Race has been another theme, as exemplified by the blaxploitation picture Blacula (1972) and several sequels.

Since the time of Bela Lugosi's Dracula (1931) the vampire, male or female, has usually been portrayed as an alluring sex symbol. There is, however, a very small subgenre, pioneered in Murnau's seminal Nosferatu (1922) in which the vampire is depicted in the hideous lineaments of the creature of European folklore. Max Schrek's disturbing portrayal of this role in Murnau's film was copied by Klaus Kinski in Werner Herzog's remake Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979). In Shadow of the Vampire (2000, directed by E. Elias Merhige), Willem Dafoe plays Max Schrek, himself, though portrayed here as an actual vampire. Dafoe's character is the ugly, disgusting creature of the original Nosferatu. The main tradition has, however, been to portray the vampire in terms of a predatory sexuality. Christopher Lee, Delphine Seyrig, Frank Langella, and Lauren Hutton are just a few examples of actors who brought great sex-appeal into their portrayal of the vampire.

A major character in most vampire films is the vampire slayer, of which Stoker's Abraham Van Helsing is a prototype. However, killing vampires has changed. Where Van Helsing relied on a stake through the heart, in Vampires 1998 USA, directed by John Carpenter, Jack Crow (James Woods) has a heavily armed squad of vampire hunters, and in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992 USA, directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui), writer Joss Whedon (who created TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spinoff Angel) attached The Slayer, Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson in the film, Sarah Michelle Gellar in the TV series), to a network of Watchers and mystically endowed her with superhuman powers.

The 1973 Serbian horror film Leptirica ("The She-Butterfly") was inspired by the story of Sava Savanović.

Other notable Vampire movies also include the following, but not limited to:

  • "Dracula" (1931) starred Bela Lugosi as well he starred in "Vampire Over London" (1952) both of which are B/W films.
  • "The Horror of Dracula" (1958) starring Peter Cushing (playing Dr. Van Helsing) and co-stars with Christopher Lee. Christopher Lee's saga of vampire films also includes the following as he personified Dracula in "Dracula" Prince of Darkness" (1966), "Dracula Had Risen From the Grave" (1968), "Count Dracula" plus "Taste the Blood of Dracula," and "Scars of Dracula" all in (1970). Followed up with "Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) -co-starring again with Peter Cushing, as Van Helsing- then "The Satanic Rites Of Dracula" with Peter Cushing (1973), and "Dracula and Son" (1976). While Peter Cushing was also in "Vampire Lovers" (1970), "The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires" and "Tender Dracula" (1974).
  • "The Atomic Age Vampire" (1960) B/W film aka "Seddok, l’erede di Satana" starring Alberto Lupo, Susanne Loret, and Sergio Fantoni. Directed by Anton Giulo Majano with both an Italian and English version of this film released. A girl Jeanette Moreneau (Susanne Loret) who gets her face mangled in a car accident. Only the mysterious Dr. Levin (Alberto Lupo) can save her face...but at what cost? (A 70-minute cartoon animated version of this film reflecting its story line was released in 2009).
  • "Queen Of Blood" (1966) starred John Saxon as well as Basil Rathbone and shared two elements in common (that being a derelict spaceship that harbors a female vampiric alien played by Florence Marly as the Alien Queen) as is the case too in the much later 1985 Sci-Fi thriller called "Lifeforce."
  • "Requiem for a Vampire" (1971) while a mainstream film not widely shown due to its dubious odd-ball content, the film containing full frontal nudity regarding a bizarre tale that includes bats engaged in coitus with women. This film starred Marie-Pierre Castel, Mireille Dargent, and Piilippe Gaste.
  • "Horror Express" (1972) is not a vampire movie in the eyes of some, and then again it is a vampire film in the eyes of others. Like the movie "Lifeforce" that breaks the mold of one's lifeforce or i.e. blood being drawn from a person by biting them, mysteriously drawn from their mouths, or as in this film a person's soul or spirit if you will is removed from them leaving them dead with their essence all that they were being drawn out through their eyes... This film has a sinister character, call him vampiric or prehistoric man, or demon or devil if you will! The idea is not rightly spelled out with this sinister character attacking passengers aboard a rail road passenger train (an idea that appears likewise to be shared to some degree in Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's "The Strain" with its original vampire character -in this horror TV series- bearing the marks of the devil too, if you will). "Horror Express" stars Peter Cushing, Telly Savalas, and Christopher Lee.
  • "Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter" (1974) featuring Caroline Munro (in the starring role as Carla) in this UK film which also starred (Captain Kronos) Horst Janson, (Dr. Marcus) John Carson, (Grost) John Cater; as well as Shane Briant as (Paul Durwood), and others.
  • "Nosferatu the Vampyre" (1979) "Werner Herzog's Nosferatue, the Vampyre portrayed by Klaus Kinski as Count Dracula a well meaning replica of Max Schreck's vampire in F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu. As well "Shadow of the Vampire" (2000) picked up the gauntlet and went further being inspired by the classic too in its attempt to pay homage to F.W. Murnau's silent horror classic Nosferatu, while including comic elements to the classic. All of which is also outlined above.
  • A TV film called "Salem's Lot" (1979) was made starring David Soul, who was more popularly known from his TV series "Starsky and Hutch" (1975-1979). This movie was then again remade in (2004) with the same title in (2004) starring Rob Lowe.
  • "Lifeforce" (1985) film that contained a lot of nudity throughout the film as a female vampire seduces and kisses men to drain out their life force and leaves them dried out like some mummified corpses. This film has different bases for vampire folklore and has them seeded here from another planet coming here on a spaceship. Starred Steven Railsback and Mathilda May.
  • One of the first popular vampire films of its decade there came out at the theaters a movie called "Lost Boys" in (1987) which quickly became a teen hearttrob film of girls at the time. It starred Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, and Jason Patric.
  • "Near Dark" (1987) starred both Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen then in (2009) Lance did another vampire movie that shared a similar plot twist although the film itself with respect to the entirety of the script was different. However, if you've seen "Near Dark" this second film may not hold as much of a novelty as far as the plot twist goes; or vice versa if you've seen "Daybreakers" Lance's second vampire movie before "Near Dark." Both of these actors Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen have also prominently starred together in the (1986) Sci-fi film "Aliens."
  • "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992). This film is based off the 1897 book. The film starred Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, and Anthony Hopkins.
  • "Innocent Blood" (1992) contains brief nudity in a scene in opening of the feature in its theatrical release. The film is what is considered a 'dark comedy' with the female vampire having a moral angle to kill but bad people, and thus her involvement with the mob. This film starred: Anne Parillaud (Marie the vampire), David Proval (Lenny), Robert Luggia (Sal "The Shark"), Rocco Sisto (Gilly), Chazz Palminteri (Tony), Anthony LaPaglia (Joe Gennaro), Don Rickless (Emanuel Bergman), and Christopher Lee (as Count Dracula).
  • A somewhat more popular of the light hearted vampire films was "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in (1992), featuring a high school girl who found herself gifted with fighting skills to kill vampires, and its spinoff TV series mentioned above.
  • "Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles" (1994) starred Tom Cruise with Brad Pitt, and co-starred actors Antonio Banderas, Kirsten Dunst & Christian Slater. (This film is based off an Anne Rice book as is also the movie "Queen of the Damned" mentioned below).
  • "Embrace of a Vampire" (1995) a cable TV movie contains some nudity involving a human and her vampire lover with the human girl being played by Alyssa Milano in her most revealing role.
  • "From Dusk till Dawn" (1996) over the top Quentin Tarantino film story which inspired a sequel film and in 2014 inspired a TV series spinoff. This movie was notably starring Selma Hayek, George Clooney, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Harvey Keitel, and John Saxon. The film opens with some wild foul statements, and outside of Ms. Hayek this movie contains some unattractive nudity in a later scene within the movie and a few less than tasteful guitars being played that are composed of human body parts; so if you get beyond that, you're into the film. This movie now looks tame however; as far as shock effects go, as here described compared to those portrayed in the cable TV series "The Strain."
  • The "Blade" (1998) and its saga of three films starring Wesley Snipes, one begins to noticeably see a change in the genre of what has been considered the original origins of vampires in popular culture (from that of its original folklore).
  • "Queen of the Damned" (2002) regarding a queen vampire played by the beautiful and late actress Aaliyah. Part of the films plot deals with a rockstar vampire named Lestat (Stuart Townsend) who's music wakes up the Queen of the damned. The film is based off Anne Rice novels called "The Vampire Chronicles" with the one bearing the title of this movie was published in 1988. Her writings are also responsible for the film "Interview with the Vampire" and the book by the same title was published in 1976 the first of her vampire book series.
  • "Underworld" (2003) with its saga of films - are very popular including a story line of wolf Lycans fighting vampires in a well brushed out visuals and CGI effects not completely unlike the "Twilight" saga of films that likewise have the same conflict occurring between rivaling factions of wolves and vampires. Starring Kate Beckinsale as the leding role in this series of movies.
  • "Van Helsing" (2004) starred Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale (more popularly known in the Sci-fi community for her portrayal of Selene in the "Underworld" saga of films); while this films is said to get a remake starring Tom Cruise.
  • "30 Days of Night" (2007) film directed by David Slade about an Alaskan town plunged into darkness with the misfortune of there being vampires there and all mayhem breaks out.
  • "I Am Legend" (2007) film starring Will Smith with a sequel in the works. Original film is called "The Last Man on Earth" starring Vincent Price available in its original B/W release or now in a colorized version as well. A more well known first remake was "Omega Man" starring Charlton Heston, or which inspired "I Am Legend" film that contained vampires as well as dog vampires all of which had slight zombie features too. These films are all from a book by the title of this film outlined here; and none of the films follow what is contained in the last couple of pages of the book. Another interesting point to note in the "Omega Man" film we find Chuck a white gentleman being the last man on earth as he meets his love interest, or passion a black woman (Rosalind Cash) the last woman on earth that has not become infected with the virus as is the rest of humanity. While in the film version of "I Am Legend" Will Smith a black man meets a Latina women, who is the last woman apparently on earth; and they don't really get along very well. There is a DVD of "I Am Legend" which includes an alternative ending version.
  • Then there are the "Twilight" saga films beginning in (2008) which also featured Native American flash backs in time as the film deals with what it calls werewolves (but would be technically 'skinwalkers') verses or in conflict with a vampire clan with one of each of them, a vampire (Robert Pattinson) playing Edward Cullen, and Native American changeling (Taylor Lautner) biding for the hand of a mortal girl Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). Notably there are other Native American actors in this saga of films besides Lautner with Native ancestry of (Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes, on his mother's side) playing Jacob Black, they -other natives- include Gil Birmingham (Comanche) who played Billy Black, and Julia Jones (Choctaw and Chickasaw) who played Leah Clearwater. Edward Cullen the vampire most prominently featured in these movies could go outside in the daylight it is explained since the geography they lived in was mostly overcast while he sparkles... however, this is never touched upon again in the saga of these movies; nor is he seen sparkling again. And, while this film became a hearttrob film for a new generation of young girl moviegoers like "Lost Boys" was of previous generations it is also a notable film to modern day Generation X and Millennials who are hardcore vampire film buffs.
  • "Dracula Untold" (2014). Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans) plays a troubled hero in that he becomes a vampire, in his case a blessing and a curse at the same time! You see he under goes this transformation simply because of his learning that the Sultan is shortly readying for battle and needs to muster to himself an army of 1,000 boys; those he will recruit to himself, whether they want to join or not, while one of those boys would be Vlad's own son. Thus, Vlad vows to find a way, one way or another to protect his family at all cost; as they are all that matter to him! He learns of this mysterious cave where it is said dwells a creature of amidst strength, a vampire who can grant him this same practically invincible strength... and thus he becomes the bloodsucking Dracula destroying all enemies that would stand before him! Directed by Gary Shore, and also starring Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon, Charles Dance, as well as Art Parkinson. The film is based on the character in Bram Stoker the novel.



GURP games

  • The Third Edition GURPS tabletop role-playing game system supplement Blood Types lists 47 different "species" of vampires describing 30 of them from both folklore and fiction in 23 listings (several are simply different names for the same type of vampire; for example the Burma's Kephn is considered a male version of the Penanggalen)

Trading Card games

  • In the trading card game Magic:The Gathering, vampires are quite iconic creatures of the colors black and red. Most of them share the ability to fly and to grow stronger (via +1/+1 counters) by dealing mortal damage to other creatures or to the players(according to the idea of gaining power from the blood of their victims).
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, vampire are all zombie-type monster cards: "Patrician of Darkness", "Vampire Lord", "Vampire Lady" and "Red-Moon Baby" ("Vampire Baby" in Japanese version). In Yu-Gi-Oh! R manga, the character Tilla Mook uses the card monster "Curse of Vampire".

Video games

The 1986 French video game Vampire was one of the first video games to feature vampires.

Video game series featuring vampires primarily use Dracula or Dracula-inspired characters. Konami's Castlevania series is the longest running series which uses the Dracula legend, though its writers have made their own alterations to the legend. An exception to this trend is the Legacy of Kain video game series, which features vampires set in an entirely fictional world called Nosgoth. Video game series such as Konami's Castlevania and role-playing games such as Vampire: the Masquerade have been especially successful and influential. Other vampires seen in games include:

  • BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger features Rachel Alucard as a vampire who carries a cat-like umbrella named Nago and is occupied by a red bat familiar named Gii.
  • The video game series Boktai revolves around the Vampire Hunter Django. However, even though the games sometimes equalize the terms of Vampire and Immortal, there are only a few true vampires in the games, such as the Count of Groundsoaking Blood.
  • Several Buffy the Vampire Slayer video games have been released.
  • The video game series Castlevania establishes a new origin for Dracula and chronicles the never ending struggle between him and the Belmont clan of vampire hunters stretching from the 11th century all the way to the 21st century.
  • The comedy game Conker's Bad Fur Day features a Dracula-like vampire who is often insulted by Conker. He dies by falling into a grinder due to extreme blood drinking.
  • The Darkstalkers (1994) fighting game series (known as Vampire Savior in Japan) features a vampire along with other mythological and horror-themed characters.
  • The Elder Scrolls game series involves vampires created by demon lord. They have all the typical attributes, but some (though not all) can walk in sunlight if they have fed on a victim.
  • The scrolling shooter Embodiment of Scarlet Devil features two vampire sisters as the final boss and the extra stage boss. The older of the two, Remilia Scarlet, became playable in two later games of the Touhou Project.
  • In the Guilty Gear series, Slayer is introduced in Guilty Gear XX as the first, and currently only, vampire so far in the series. He is a Nightwalker, though unlike other vampires, he seems to be unaffected by sunlight. He is also seen drinking blood from his own wife Sharon before a match, although Sharon is immortal.
  • Video game series Metal Gear Solid includes a character called Vamp, who drinks blood and appears to be immortal (though in Metal Gear Solid 4, it is discovered that this is due to nanobots in his body). At first glance, it could be noticed that his name stems from his Vampiric abilities, but actually comes from his bisexuality.
  • Mortal Kombat series, there's a species of vampires, although Nitara is thus far, the only vampire known in the series.
  • In Rosenkreuzstilette, regardless of whether the player is playing Spiritia or Grolla, the player meets Graf Michael Sepperin, who is vampiric in appearance and acts like Dracula in the Castlevania series, as the boss of Sepperin Stage 4. He reappears in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel as the boss of Iris Stage 1.
  • The video game series Shadow Hearts have four known vampires (Three playable) in the games (though hardly stereotypical).
  • Shadowrun features vampires whose existence is explained by a resurgence of the Human Meta-Human Vampiric Virus. As such, the afflicted are not undead, but instead are still alive but radically changed by the retrovirus. They normally do not suffer from the supernatural limitations such as crosses, but still are vulnerable to sunlight.
  • The Sims 2: Nightlife, the second expansion pack for popular series The Sims 2, introduces vampires to the game. These vampires in this game follow many fictional conventions, such sleeping in ornate coffins, wearing gothic clothing, and being able to transform into bats. Vampirism can be spread between game characters through biting. If caught outside during the day, a Sim Vampire's will soon die. In The Sims 3: Late Night, Vampires make a return. Unlike in Nightlife, these vampires live longer than normal Sims, won't die in the Sun but will suffer burns, get sick from eating Sim Food with Garlic, and drink Plasma either by biting a Sim, Plasma pack, or Plasma Fruit. They still can die from normal deaths that happens to a normal Sim, with the exception of Hunger in where it is replaced by Thirst.
  • Role-playing games such as Vampire: The Masquerade (1992), in which the participants play the roles of fictional vampires (for specifics, see vampires in the World of Darkness).
  • In the tabletop wargame Warhammer Fantasy, Vampire Counts are one of the playable forces.




Theatres des Vampires is a gothic black metal band fully concentrating on vampire themes.



The Vampire, by Philip Burne-Jones.

'The Vampire' (1897) by Philip Burne-Jones depicts an alluring female vampire crouched over a male victim. The model was the famous actress Mrs Patrick Campbell. This femme fatale inspired a poem of the same name (also 1897) by Rudyard Kipling. Like much of Kipling's verse it was incredibly popular, and its inspired many early silent films whose 'vampires' were actually 'vamps' rather than being supernatural undead blood-suckers. The poem's refrain: A fool there was . . . , describing a seduced man, became the title of the popular film A Fool There Was (1915) which made Theda Bara a star, and the archetypal cinematic 'vamp'.[2]


  • "Dark Shadows" (1966 - 1971) an early TV series featuring vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid), followed up by a short lived series remake "Dark Shadows (1991 TV series) this time starring Ben Cross in the title role of the vampire; and a Johnny Depp inspired comedy "Darks Shadows (film)" remake in (2012). All of these presentations of vampires cared over the mystic of vampires still wearing black capes as popularized in early vampire films (which undoubtable attempts to mimic vampire bat wings).
  • "Star Trek" (1966) The Original Series - Episode called "The Man Trap" there is a creature that lives with a man on a remote planet that the away team and Captain Kirk... encounter which appears to be a female human, but is otherwise a hideous chameleon like creature that can take on human like appearances. This creature makes its way aboard their spaceship the Enterprise and kills several. The creature, killing people, is but pseudo vampiric in type as it looks nothing like a vampire, but draws others life force from them by sucking all the salt from their beings. This well known series starred William Shatner as (Captain James T. Kirk) and Leonard Nimoy as (Mr. Spock) and then there are the other characters, the Doctor Bones (Deforest Kelly), the Engineer Scotty (James Doohan), the Nurse Chapel (Majel Barrett), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), and Sulu (George Takei).
  • "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" This is a (1972 - 1975) series in which Kolchak discovers an overlooked victim from a crime scene, now turned vampire has made her way from Las Vegas to LA in episode #4, called "The Vampire" (1974) which is a sequel of the first of the two TV movies, the series being inspired as such from "The Night Stalker" movie which also had vampires (a TV movie made in 1972 and also starring Darren McGavin). See List of Kolchak: The Night Stalker episodes. [Darren McGavin is well known and remembered by many for his starring role as the father in the Christmas movie called "A Christmas Story" (1983)]. There was a very short lived remake of this series simply called "Night Stalker" (2005) starring Stuart Townsend rather as Carl Kolchak and co-starring Gabrielle Union, all the while McGavin was still alive and in which he himself was CGI'd from the original series as a cameo into this remake in one episode.
  • "The Curse Of Dracula" (1979-). Count Dracula is alive and well and teaching college in 1979. The series's Director: Jeffrey Hayden, Richard Milton. Lasted one season in length. And this series featured stars were: Michael Nouri (as Dracula), Stephen Johnson, Carol Baxter, Antoinette Stella. I believe this was the series that featured flash-back memories of Count Dracula, the vampire using sepia-tone to emphasis it was a different era of time. (Michael Nouri later would star in the popular film of its era "Flashdance" in 1983; and later also in the 1987 Sci-fi movie "The Hidden").
  • "Dracula: The Series" (1990). This show was a Saturday morning feature with Van Helsing descendants, and vampires, one particularly lead vampire being was one played by (Geraint Wyn Davies), who later also starred in another vampire TV series called "Forever Knight."
  • "Forever Knight" (1992 - 1996) a Canadian TV series featuring a vampire known as Nick, or properly known as Det. Nicholas 'Nick' Knight (Geraint Wyn Davies) who works at night and is also on the police force as their detective. Starred alongside, or that is working as a character on the series was also Catherine Disher (Dr. Natalie Lambert). In some episodes of this series Nicks eyes would change to a silver white color.
  • "Outer Limits" The New Series (1995) in an episode called "Caught In the Act" starring Alyssa Milano (Hannah Valesic) as a small town girl when a mysterious object comes crashes through her ceiling into her bedroom, the chaste Hannah is then turned into this lustful girl with a vampiric type entity inhabiting her which demands sex from everyone she meets and in the process then begins absorbing their energy from them till they fall dead... the only question being will it be any different with her boyfriend with which they were both previously waiting till marriage? Also starring Jason London as (Jay Patton), and Saul Rubineck as (Professor Hugaro), and Kavan Smith as the (Quarterback).
  • "Kindred" The Embrace" (1996). This series features a conclave of vampires highly organized like a mob. The police detective in this series is Frank Kohanek played by (C. Thomas Howell).
  • "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997) inspired from the movie of the same title, while this series starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as (Buffy), David Boreanaz as (Angel) and others. And again we see a love interest that in this case is hopeless between a Vampire and the slayer, considering a plot twist regarding his vampire nature in this plot twist. Angel is the led vampire in this series as well as others, one called Spike. In one episode Angel finds a 'daylight ring' for lack of a better term, not called that in the episode and is able to step out into the daylight he'd so long to see again... (this idea of a ring and what is called a 'daylight ring' allowing a vampire to walk in daylight is later picked up and made an intricate part in the TV series "Vampire Diaries" & "The Originals").
  • "Earth: Final Conflict" (1997-2002) In the fifth and final season of this series there is a departure from the current story line of the show than that of all the earlier seasons, and replacing the Taelons with the newly born and more aggressive alien race who are energy vampires called the Atavus. (Not your traditional vampires as one would think of traditional vampires from the lore; but vampiric in type, thus as such, some would not consider or think of these beings as vampires).
  • "Angel" (1999) not to be confused with another Sci-fi TV series called "Dark Angel" (with Jessica Alba). While this series starred David Boreanaz, and was a spinoff of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Unlike most vampires in the Whedonverse, Angel was cursed with a soul. If he is ever to experience a moment of perfect happiness, he will lose the soul and become Angelus, the ruthless and bloodthirsty vampire who he was in the past. Angel seeks redemption for his crimes by helping others who have supernatural problems.
  • "Blood Ties" (2006 - 2008) based on the "Blood Books" by Tanya Huff. This series was a supernatural drama that revolves around Vicki Nelson (Christina Cox) a former homicide cop now a private investigator and one Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid) a 470-year-old vampire. Together they form a team which solving cases and dealing with the supernatural world. Similar to the TV series "Angel."
  • "Moonlight (TV series)" (2007 - 2008) starred Alex O'Loughlin who's character (Mick St. John) a vampire who's love interest is a mortal woman played be actress Beth Turner who plays (Sophia Myles); a TV series very similar in many ways to the TV series "Forever Knight."
  • "Blade: The Series" (2008) inspired by "Blade" saga of films minus Wesley Snipes as the led role. Like the movie Blade is only half vampire, (long story) so he can effortlessly walk in the day light and is not called a vampire as he actually slays them, and is called a "Daywalker" since sunlight doesn't bother him in the least as previously stated!
  • "True Blood" (2008- ) a cable TV series included excessive nudity, as well as a host of other supernatural beings in the plot story line. The opening episode begins with Granny Stackhouse, Charles Stackhouse and his sister a telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse (half fairy) encountering a mysterious Southern Louisiana gentleman and vampire named Bill Compton at Sam Merlot's bar and grill where Sookie works. (This series continues the folklore vampires can not walk in the daylight).
  • "The Vampire Dairies" (2009) plot eventually has two brothers biding over the hand of a mortal girl who looks like a vampire girl they knew generations ago. Perhaps borrowing or shall I say possibly inspired in a small way with respect to romance from the "Twilight" films. The vampires have 'daylight rings' made by witches that allow for them to walk in the day light.
  • Being Human (2011-2014) a higher calibre American remake series of an English Sci-Fi TV series which included Vampires for which the series focused upon, and again wolves and in this series also disembodied spirits, and witches too. Like many plots this one too has a romance with the led vampire and once moral girl Sally (that's not the complete story though). This series shares similarities with the "Highlander" TV series whereas Aidan Waite (Sam Witer) who is the lead Vampire in "Being Human" also has memory flashbacks not unlike that of Duncan McCloud in "Highlander." Also starring in this series is Sally Malik (Meaghan Rath), their friend Josh Levison (Sam Huntington), and Josh's girlfriend as well as their friend Nora Sergeant (Kristen Hager), Kenny (Conner Price), and Bishop who is Aidan's maker (Mark Pellegrino), among many others. Mark Pellegrino was quick to be picked up to star in another Sci-Fi TV series called "Tomorrow People" (2013-2014).
  • "The Originals" (2013) a spinoff of "The Vampire Dairies" TV series. This series deals with a family whom first became vampires, and while their abilities where much more played up in "The Vampire Dairies" TV series their abilities don't seem to be as novel as they did, or extra ordinary as they did in the previous TV series. In this series there is often a brooding faction between witches of the court of New Orleans and the vampires; as well as some shape shifter wolves (to make a long story short).
  • "Dracula" (2013-2014) starred Jonathan Rhys Meyers (is Dracula incognito as Alexander Grayson/Vlad Tepes), Jessica De Gouw, Thomas Kretschmann (a young dubious Abraham Van Helsing), Jonathan Harker (would be Fiancé to Mina), Katie McGarath (Mina's BFF and unbeknowns to her bi-curious about her, played by Lucy Westenra), and finally Nonso Anozle long time friend and bodyguard of Dracula (R.M. Renfield). The mystic of Count Dracula as a wealthy and seductive force to be reckoned with is outline and further embellished is this drama telling the story of his character and genius with his being both an entrepreneur and an inventor, a Tesla of his times! Also this drama's sub theme deals with his obsession with being able to permanently walk in sunlight; while seeking a romantic liaison with a girl by the name of Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw) that appears to be a doppelganger or unknowns to her a reincarnation of his past lover. He carries out his business transactions all the while hiding from a secret society cult that has sought to destroy all vampires for centuries whom are played by a cast of characters, and namely by one Lady Jayne Wetherby (Victoria Smurfit). [R.M. Renfield can at this time contemporarily be seen starring in the movie "Ender's Game" (2013)].
  • "From Dusk till Dawn" (2014) a series inspired by the movie by the same name.
  • "Grimm (TV series)" season 3, episode 14 called “Mommy Dearest” (2014) List of Grimm episodes is a show about a Grimm whose name is Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) an American police officer whom is one who can see people who have this alternative animal side literally which can in some cases be evil. This episode uses a figure taken from Filipino folklore. The Aswang, a creature (someone with an evil side let loose) typically something like a cross between a vampire and a werewolf, a humanoid shape-shifter that feeds on unborn infants of pregnant women. As such this creature has a long serpent like tongue as also featured although differently in the TV series "The Strain." This creature is witnessed by Sgt. Wu (Reggie Lee) whom has never to this point seen such, though only usually seen by Nick and his team; while this creature featured in this episode of "Grimm" can be said to be but pseudo vampiric in type. [Bitsie Tulloch plays Nick's wife (Juliette Silverton), and Russell Hornsby plays Nick's partner (Hank Griffin) also a police officer who knows Nick's supernatural abilities].
  • "The Strain" (2014) is a very bizarre TV series to say the least! Also, it doesn't include any romance whatsoever. And, there is an overlord vampire of sorts or original vampire in this series that is very powerful and very much resembles Satan or the Grim Reaper... Consider a hot point of interest contemporary to another hot Sci-fi series called "The Walking Dead" and in fact the Vampire genre is very different in this series here discussed as they, those vampires under the infuence of the original vampire are mostly zombie like, but for a few that are given greater mental exercise over their faculties. It may seem like the idea of having a virus being partly the cause of people become infected and turning into vampires is original to this series, but it is not except that they are showing the virus worm like spores that infect people in this series; whereas this idea is original to "I Am Legend" a remake of other of films. Also, the long tongue like stinger they draw out your blood with is not wholly a new concept either that departs from fangs and sucking blood as vampires generally do in other films. No, this departure from fangs was also featured in a "Blade" movie sequel with vampires having enlarged inhuman mouths with which to kill their human quarry.

(This isn't an exhaustive list, as it is not including all the Netflix, and Cable TV vampire series, past, present or current available on DVD, streamed or watched by many live).


Other vampire references

Many regional vampire myths, or other creatures similar to or related to vampires have appeared in popular culture.


  • In the film I Am Legend, a mutated virus turns some humans and dogs into vampiric beings, called "Darkseekers", that prey on unmutated humans and dogs.


  • In the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), Count Dracula calls his wolf pet by the names strigoi and moroi.
  • Mike Mignola's Right Hand of Doom, from the Hellboy series features a female vampire proclaiming that the vârcolac (singular entity here) is the master of the moroii and strigoi.
  • Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series features Moroi as the protagonists and Strigoi as the antagonists.



Both Penanggalan and Mystics in Bali feature actor W.D. Mochtar as the priest who fights the Penanggalan. Both The Witch With Flying Head and Mystics in Bali depict an innocent transformed into a Penanggalan against her will. In the former film, there is an effort to save her, and her attempt at suicide upon learning her condition is thwarted. In the latter film, she is considered irredeemable, and her neck is spiked to destroy her. Both characters are monstrous only at night and unaware of their nocturnal behavior until informed.

Print media

  • The Dragon Warriors pen and paper RPG features a monster called the Death's Head, with a similar modus operandi to the Penanggalan, although the detached head has tiny wings and a horn.
  • The short Guro fetish/comedy manga story Head Prolapse Elegy by Shintaro Kago revolves around the travails of a Penanggalan who desires a normal love life with a man, but is constantly thwarted by her condition.
  • The first book of the Malay Mysteries, Garlands of Moonlight, revolves around a Penanggalan [5].
  • The Eastern-inspired RPG Legend of the Five Rings features Penanggalans, although there they are named Penaggolans.[3]


  • Anime-based website Gaia Online has a Penanggalan as a companion or a self pose in the "Nightmare" evolving item.
  • Although the indie horror game Eyes was originally released featuring the ghost of a beautiful woman as the monster that hunts the player, it was eventually updated to replace the somewhat unscary creature with a Penanggalan, who otherwise functions identically to the original, killing the player the instant it comes in contact with them.




  • Strigoi play a major role in James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell's series, The Order of the Sanguines: City of Screams (2012), The Blood Gospel (2013), Innocent Blood (2013), Blood Brothers (2013), and Blood Infernal (2015).
  • The term is used to describe vampires in general in the book series The Hunt by Susan Sizemore.
  • The Strigoi play a central role in Graham Masterton's 2006 book, The Descendant.
  • Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy novels features Strigoi as villains.
  • The Strigoi play a central role in Dan Simmon's 1992 book, Children of the Night.
  • A Strigoi appears in "Philologos; or, A Murder in Bistritia" by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald in the February 2008 Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • In the Guardians of Ga' Hoole book series, an evil owl whose ancestors were witch owls called hagsfiends renames herself the Striga after her escape from the Qui' Dragon Palace.
  • Guillermo Del Toro's 2009 Book The Strain references vampires as strigoi
  • Strigoi is the preferred name of vampires in Susan Krinard's Roaring Twenties series.
  • Mike Mignola's Right Hand of Doom, from the Hellboy comic series feature's a female vampire proclaiming that the vârcolac (singular entity here) is the master of the moroii and strigoi.
  • In Sauron, takes the form of a vampire.
  • In Yankel Krümmel's Matrice Granit, the story of Gregorius the Strigoi is told.


  • In the 2008 adventure video game A vampyre story, one of the more prominent characters is named Madam Strigoi and although she is not herself a vampyre (as far as is known), she has great insight into vampires.
  • The video game Ace Combat 6 features an elite enemy fighter squadron called "Strigon Team" formally known as the "Vampire Team", whose insignia and paint scheme contains death motifs and whose commander flies an experimental aircraft named "Nosferatu".
  • Underground adventure game, Ben Jordan: Case 3 features a Strigoi who goes by the name of Zortherus
  • In Disgaea video game series, there is a class of vampires called Strigoi.
  • In the video game Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, an enemy demon which can be encountered by the player is a Strigoi.
  • In the 2008 video game Soul Calibur 4, the French fencer (and vampire) Raphael Sorel has a move called the Strigoi Envelopment.
  • The 2007 Video game The Witcher, based on the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, features a vampyric female creature known as a striga.
  • The Sixth Edition (6 Ed.) of the Warhammer Fantasy Battle game gives the name Strigoi to a bloodline of monstrous vampires, similar to Count Orlok.
  • In Dark Arisen, the 2013 expansion and re release of the game Dragon's Dogma, Strigoi are encountered as enemies after the defeat of the main boss. They look like large, blood-red gargoyles and attack by draining blood from the Arisen and their pawns using their tail.
  • One of the playable heroes in Popular Warcraft Custom Map Defense of the Ancients, Strygwygr the Bloodseeker is based on Poltergeist, a variant of vampire.


  • One of the villains in the 30 Days of Night (2007) film is listed as "Strigoi" in the end credits.
  • In the film Bloodstone: Subspecies II (1993), some of the characters refer to vampires as "strigoi".
  • In the Dracula 2000 movie, Count Dracula calls his wolf pet by the names of "strigoi" and "moroi".
  • The 2009 film Strigoi involves vampires in Romania, which are referred as "strigoi".[6]



  • A group of strigoi appeared in the episode "Bite Father, Bite Son" in the animated series American Dragon: Jake Long.
  • Strigoi are the featured enemy in the 1999 episode "Darkness Visible" of the show Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
  • The strigoi was featured in the Animal Planet TV series Lost Tapes.
  • In the ABC television series Scariest Places on Earth, strigoi are discussed in an episode called "Return to Romania Dare." The episode originally aired on April 21, 2002.
  • The vampires in the 2014 television series The Strain are referred to as strigoi by the character Abraham.
  • in "Earth Final Conflict" (1997-2002) energy vampires as such are called the Atavus. They are not the traditional style vampires of folklore.
  • In the TV series "Vampire Dairies" and "The Originals" the vampires have what are called 'daylight rings' made by witches allowing them to walk in daylight. There is even one ring made that allows the user any mortal to bet death if killed. (Even the werewolves in "The Originals" series were seeking to get 'moonlight rings' to keep them all from turning into wolves when they don't want to).


The Stirge was presented as a popular monster in Dungeons and Dragons. In the game it took the form of a many-legged flying creature which sucked the blood from its victims through a sharp, tubular beak.

A version of the striga makes an appearance in The Witcher (video game) based on the works of Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. As a demonic undead creature, which transforms from the corpse of a dead child conceived via incest, striga in the Witcher's universe doesn't look like insects or vampires but looks similar to a ghoul with a muscular quadrupedal body, big claws, and a fang-filled mouth.

The strix make an appearance in the Vampire: the Requiem historical book Requiem for Rome. In contrast to the more traditional vampires presented in the line, the strix are disembodied spirits who commonly take the shape of owls and can possess both humans and torpored vampires. It is rumored that the strix restored Remus to undeath, and corrupted a sixth clan of vampires who were destroyed en masse. The strix believed themselves to be betrayed by the vampires of Rome, especially those of the Julii clan, and swore to bring about their ruin. They reappear in Night Horrors: Wicked Dead as heralds of disaster, mainly unbound by their former oath (although they still occasionally pursue such activities for personal reasons). Immensely amoral libertines, they view vampires clinging to humanity as weak, and as such will often serve as tempters in order to make them lose themselves to the Beast.

Strix are also described in the GURPS third edition Sourcebook for Vampires Blood Types. They are described as witches who, having made pacts with dark entities gained the ability to become blood drinking birds at night. What their pacts with these dark forces require of them is not described.


See also


  1. ^ Per the Oxford English Dictionary, vamp is originally English, used first by G. K. Chesterton, but popularized in the American silent film The Vamp, starring Enid Bennett
  2. ^ David J. Skal "Fatal Image: The Artist, the Actress and "The Vampire" in David J. Skal (ed) (2001) Vampires: Encounters With The Undead: 223-257
  3. ^ Legend of the Five Rings,Five Rings Publishing Group, 1997
  • Christopher Frayling (1992) Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula (1992) ISBN 0-571-16792-6
  • Freeland, Cynthia A. (2000) The Naked and the Undead: Evil and the Appeal of Horror. Westview Press.
  • Holte, James Craig. (1997) Dracula in the Dark: The Dracula Film Adaptations. Greenwood Press.
  • Leatherdale, C. (1993) Dracula: The Novel and the Legend. Desert Island Books.
  • Melton, J. Gordon. (1999) The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead. Visible Ink Press.

External links

  • Reviews of vampire films at The Film Walrus
  • List of unusual vampire movies at
  • Comparison of Vampire Myths in Popular Fiction
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