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© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Vampires: Selected full-text books and articles

The Monster with a Thousand Faces: Guises of the Vampire in Myth and Literature By Brian J. Frost Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1989
The Blood Is the Life: Vampires in Literature By Leonard G. Heldreth; Mary Pharr Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1999
The Vampyre, and Other Tales of the Macabre By Robert Morrison; Chris Baldick Oxford University Press, 1997
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Vampire Lectures By Laurence A. Rickels University of Minnesota Press, 1999
Songs of Love and Death: The Classical American Horror Film of the 1930s By 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 By James F. Iaccino Praeger, 1994
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "Vampires: Lonely Children of the Night"
Temporarily FREE! The Naked and the Undead: Evil and the Appeal of Horror By Cynthia A. Freeland Westview Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "Seductive Vampires"
What Evil Means to Us By 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 By Gary Hoppenstand; Ray B. Browne Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1996
The Primitive City of Timbuctoo By Horace Miner Princeton University Press, 1953
Librarian's tip: Chap. 6 "Genie, Fetish and Vampire"
Sadism and Masochism: The Psychology of Hatred and Cruelty By Wilhelm Stekel; Louise Brink Liveright, vol.2, 1953
Librarian's tip: Chap. 17 "Cannibalism, Necrophilism, and Vampirism"
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