I (Heart) Vampires

Illustration in Carmilla, Joseph Sheridan Le F...
Illustration in Carmilla, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s vampire story. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I (blood-red heart) vampires. Not any particular incarnation of them (though there are some incarnations I do particularly dislike), but the mythos of them. Creeping, skulking, life-stealing, blood-drinking, vein-piercing, sexual-metaphor-but-not-sexy-themselves vampires.

How do I love vampires? Let me count the ways.

My purse is a Gothic coffin.

my coffin purse

My hand-sanitizer holder is a bat. (My affection for bats is a happy crossover with my appreciation for vampires.)

bat shaped hand sanitizer

A custom Dracula movie poster for the Historic Artcraft Theatre adorns my theater wall. (I love the bat design for his eyes.)

Dracula at the Historic Artcraft Theatre

(And my business Canines In Action is sponsoring the Monster Mania film festival this month — if you’re local, enter to win free tickets here — again featuring Dracula.)

Me on an autumn tourist day: “Can I get away with buying this Gothy McGothgoth necklace?”
My sister: “….have you seen yourself?”

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I started with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and I’ve read Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla. I’ve watched Nosferatu, Lost Boys, and Let the Right One In. God help me, I’ve even sat through Dark Shadows (both the 60s original and the Johnny Depp remake). But oddly enough, I still haven’t gotten around to many of the “standards” such as Anne Rice. No particular reason, just haven’t yet. I’m not as up on the newer vampire trends, and my pretty-vamp tastes run more to Vampire Hunter D and Vampire Knight and less to those-which-sparkle.

In The Count of Monte Cristo — which has never been accurately adapted to TV or film, so if you haven’t read the original, you’re really missing the biggest part of the story — I really appreciated when the Count was rumored to be a vampire. (Spoiler: he’s not.)

I like vampire lore; I think I have more non-fiction books on folklore and cultural influences than fiction vampire stories. Running water, holy water and Christian icons, reflections and lack thereof, blood, roses, garlic, stakes, thresholds, thralls, mesmerism — it’s interesting to see what’s developed and how it’s infiltrated our culture. (Renfield Syndrome is a real thing, for example, and is named for the vampire’s human thrall in Dracula.) I’ve talked briefly here about Asian vampires, which devour life force rather than blood but are just as lethal.

Am I worried about vampires? Not really. I love garlic, a lot. On a good day, I can exhale and drop a vampire at 30 paces. So I feel pretty safe even in my vampire appreciation. Also, I live with a Doberman:

from the official FVZA website
from the official FVZA website

You can read more at the official Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency site. What, you doubt? Hey, I’m a data-driven girl, and I’ve done my research, and there is not one confirmed case of a vampire attack on a person accompanied by a Doberman. Not one. Can’t argue with math!

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  1. I covet your purse. Seriously.

    I’m surprised you haven’t read Anne Rice. I haven’t read them since… oh, God… the 80s?… but I still remember them vividly and still sometimes wish I had the powers of Lestat. Honestly, they made quite an impression on me.

    • I keep *meaning* to get to Anne Rice, but I keep having other books to read, too…. And I confess I may be a little put off by all the LESTAT+[fil-in-the-blank]4EVAR out there, but I do know better than to judge a source by its fandom. :)

      And yes, I love that purse. No one ever grabs mine by mistake, either.

  2. It’s a little off the beaten track, but Suzy Mckee Charnas’ Vampire Tapestry is worth a look. It’s a five story collection, and the middle (and original) story is the strongest, but the ones she wrote to expand it to novel length are worth a look.

  3. Vampire Hunter D was the first anime I ever watched. Waaaay back when I was 14.

    If you’re in the mood for odd 80s scifi/horror, there is always Lifeforce. Space vampires and Patrick Stewart.

  4. You mention so many of the ones I’ve enjoyed: Carmilla, Dracula, Vampire Hunter D, Vampire Knight.

    Have you ever come across Vampire Princess Miyu? That’s a really cool anime / manga option. Beautiful art, creepy but cool characters.

    Another good one is Hellsing.

    And I remember watching and enjoying / laughing at a few episodes of Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase, but recall it as more fluffy and cute than creepy and cool.

    (I tried to post URLs to all these, but the comment system thinks I’m a spammer and wouldn’t let me. I trust you know how to look them up. Heh.)

  5. But have you read any of the Nightworld books by L.J. Smith?

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