Vampires. We all know about them, or we know about at least some iterations of these mythical monsters. They originate as far back as ancient Rome and Greece, and perhaps even before then. Perhaps they were not the vampires that we know now in the modern sense, but creatures that share their traits. Bat iconography, the consuming of blood and the aversion to sunlight are all classic aspects that we associate with vampires now, and then as well. 

If we look to the past, we can see that the idea of a true vampire came from Eastern European folklore, especially from Romania. Romanian mythology influenced perhaps the most popular piece of vampire media of all time, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” (1897). This Dracula is undoubtedly the basis for most of his kind that we see regularly, and really set the blueprint for future iterations. However, nearly every culture has their own type of vampire or beast that is similar to it.

For example, a vampire-esque creature from Indian lore: the Brahmaparusha. It is a voracious spirit that eats the brains of humans, instead of sucking blood. They are grotesque in appearance, and are said to wear the intestines of humans around their necks. Some Hindu myths state that they may have possessed corpses of humans to act as a vessel for their spirit to feed. 

Another cultural example of a vampiric creature stems from the mythology of the Philippines. It is called the Manananggal. This word means to separate, remove, or delete oneself. It usually takes the form of a female figure with bat wings, and it carries an aversion to garlic, light and daggers. This has also clearly influenced modern vampires, most always seen as being weak to garlic. 

Now despite all of these historical examples, there has been a huge, varied array of vampires in all types of media. Film, movies, songs and much, much more. They are such a popular monster to include due to their timelessness, along with other classic monsters like werewolves, zombies and mummies. In 1931, actor Bela Lugosi portrayed Dracula from Bram Stoker’s novel, and it is still revered around the world today. Heck, it even inspired the song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by the gothic rock band Bauhaus in 1979. 

However, not all vampires share the same appearance or traits as the infamous Dracula. There are many not just geared towards adults, but to teens and children as well. Take Draculaura from the well-loved fashion doll franchise, Monster High. These dolls were meant more for children and tweens, but so many people found themselves falling in love with these monster girls clad in alternative clothing.

One that stands out, though, is Draculaura. She is the daughter of good ol’ Dracula himself, decked out in pink with a bubbly personality. Her sweet appearance and personality makes her easily appealing to many people, and she may even be some kids’ first experiences with a vampire character.

For a slightly older audience, we have the infamous Edward Cullen from Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” (2005). Now, if you haven’t at least heard of Twilight at this point, you are most likely under the age of 10. It is an unbelievably popular series, generating four main series books and five movies. It follows the gloomy protagonist, Bella Swan, and her relationship with the mysterious vampire, Edward. It is well-beloved by teenagers and adults, a perfect product of the early 2000s and all of its angst included. It is not without its issues, but that is definitely for another time. 

In contrast to most vampires that will die when they are exposed to sunlight, the ones in Twilight started the whole sparkling thing. Many people criticized that aspect during its heyday, calling it…well, many derogatory terms due to how effeminate and “emo” these vampires appeared to be. Nevertheless, they were certainly a staple to any teenage girl living in the mid-2000s.

There are so many more that I would love to mention, but that would take all day. As you can clearly tell, I love vampires, and I hope you do too after reading this.