Thursday, August 26, 2010

Know Thy Enemy! Anatomy of a Vampire

Throughout history, many attributes and powers have been attributed to the vampire.  Today, we inspect the anatomy and physiology of a vampire, as put forth by Bram Stoker in Dracula.  One can only hope, dear reader, that this makes you prepared in the event that you face a member of the undead.

The Strengths of a Vampire...
  • Super human strength.  Stoker depicts Dracula has having the raw strength of twenty full grown men.  This enables him to fight proficiently and climb up walls.
  • Transformation.  Dracula is able to transform into different animals, many of which are so called "evil", such as rats, bats, and wolves.
  • In the mists.  Vampires are able to turn into mist and fog, and travel through very small cracks.
  •  Immortality.  The vampire does not die of old age, and cannot be killed with traditional weapons.
The Weaknesses of a Vampire...
  • Distaste for garlic.  The scent of garlic, especially the garlic flower, keeps a vampire at bay.  Wearing a garland of garlic flowers can keep an individual protected, and lining windows and doors can bar an entire room from the undead.
  • Unholy monsters.  Holy symbols, such as holy water and crucifixes, can stun a vampire and make it flee.  A blessed Eucharist can be used to seal doorways or be placed in the vampire's coffin to bar its entry.
  • Limited traveling.  Vampires can only cross running water when the tide changes.
  • Picky sleepers.  A Vampire often sleeps during the hours of daylight, and then only on the soil of their native land (often contained in a box or coffin).  Contrary to popular belief, Dracula is able to come out during the day.  This myth came about in the film, Nosferatu.
Other Traits...
  • Little to no vanity.  Upon looking into a mirror, vampires show no reflection.
  • Sneaky sneakers.  Vampires do not cast a shadow.
  • Polite, too.  Dracula is not able to enter a household unless an individual who resides there gives him express permission.
Disposal of a Vampire...
  • Heartless.  A stake must be driven through the vampire's heart.  Ash or oak is best.  The vampire must then be decapitated and garlic must be placed in its mouth.
I hope you enjoyed this examination of the vampire.  Now, check out The Maiden's Court for the second part of our interview with Karen Essex, author of Dracula in Love.

And remember to enter the giveaway for Dracula.  The giveaway ends tomorrow!


    1. Great breakdown of Vampire traits.
      I like to see change up to these traits within a story, but only when it is done in a plausible must make sense.

      I pretty darn sure, 100% to be exact, that I would certainly loose if I came face to face with vampire. But I do have this hope that I could be one of those kick-ass female characters who is tough, and smart...the one who could kick a vampire!

    2. Very nice list of vampire traits! And thanks for the link, too -- very cool!

    3. Well I'm really glad I didn't invite that odd looking guy who stopped by my house last night in. I knew there was something strange about him. Thanks for the heads up in case he comes back.

    4. @ibeeg - I agree, I love how different stories and movies add their personal spin onto such common myths. To be honest, that's what I look forward to the most when reading those kinds of books.

      @Jo - Glad you enjoyed it!

      @Ryan G - In my opinion, that one has to be the most random trait of the vampire. You would think that if he had ultimate power, he would be able to go wherever he wanted. But I guess Stoker needed to place SOME limits on Dracula.

    5. Nick, I agree it is the oddest of his powers/limitations. I'm really curious to know if it's based in folklore or not. I may have to get curious enough to find out or if Stoker just made it up.

    6. I did a little search and found this to be the most clear (and logical) solution:

      "A person's home is his sanctuary and automatically gives him some protection against outside demonic influences, which is why the vampire cannot enter without an invitation. Once invited once, however, the gateway has been opened and the vampire is free to come and go as he pleases."

      Taken from

    7. The invitation into one's home is odd, I agree. The answer you found in your search Nick is interesting, and makes sense. I suppose a mere human has to have some form of protection.

      @Ryan G - if you do become curious enough to search this out and come across something different, please share.

    8. Nick, thanks for that heads up. I think I remember something long ago about it being more than that though. I could just be remembering wrong but one of these days I may have to look into it more.

      ibeeeg, Of course I will.

    9. I believe vampire existing around us in many and more numbers just not to be seen kept themselves secret. however vampire fantasies excite me though...