vampire, in folklore, animated corpse that sucks the blood of humans. Belief in vampires has existed from the earliest times and has given rise to an amalgam of legends and superstitions. They were most commonly thought of as spirits or demons that left their graves at night to seek and enslave their victims; it was thought that the victims themselves became vampires. The vampire could be warded off with a variety of charms, amulets, and herbs and could finally be killed by driving a stake through its heart or by cremation. Sometimes the vampire assumed a nonhuman shape, such as that of a bat or wolf (see lycanthropy). Probably the most famous vampire in literature is Count Dracula in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.

See A. Masters, The Natural History of the Vampire (1972); N. Auerbach, Our Vampires, Ourselves (1995).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Vampires: Selected full-text books and articles

The Vampyre, and Other Tales of the Macabre
Robert Morrison; Chris Baldick.
Oxford University Press, 1997
The Monster with a Thousand Faces: Guises of the Vampire in Myth and Literature
Brian J. Frost.
Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1989
The Blood Is the Life: Vampires in Literature
Leonard G. Heldreth; Mary Pharr.
Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1999
The Vampire Lectures
Laurence A. Rickels.
University of Minnesota Press, 1999
Songs of Love and Death: The Classical American Horror Film of the 1930s
Michael Sevastakis.
Greenwood Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Dracula: The Amorous Death" and Chap. 11 "Dracula's Daughter: Vampirism as Psychosis"
Psychological Reflections on Cinematic Terror: Jungian Archetypes in Horror Films
James F. Iaccino.
Praeger, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Vampires: Lonely Children of the Night"
The Naked and the Undead: Evil and the Appeal of Horror
Cynthia A. Freeland.
Westview Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Seductive Vampires"
What Evil Means to Us
C. Fred Alford.
Cornell University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Six "Splatter Movies or Shiva? A Culture of Vampires"
The Gothic World of Anne Rice
Gary Hoppenstand; Ray B. Browne.
Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1996
The Primitive City of Timbuctoo
Horace Miner.
Princeton University Press, 1953
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Genie, Fetish and Vampire"
Sadism and Masochism: The Psychology of Hatred and Cruelty
Wilhelm Stekel; Louise Brink.
Liveright, vol.2, 1953
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 17 "Cannibalism, Necrophilism, and Vampirism"
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