The mythology of vampires has evolved quite a bit throughout fiction. They started out as monsters and demons and eventually became irresistible representations of sexual desire. Recent movies seem to be reviving the monster tradition with Priest and the remake of Fright Night.
The first vampire character I remember tangling with is Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ah, the dark, brooding vampire with a soul. In Buffy’s world, Angel is the exception, the one good vampire. When one is turned into a vampire, he loses his soul and a demon takes over the body. Personality and memories are intact, but the heart of the person is gone forever. Unless you chance to be cursed by gypsies.
These vamps look human until they “vamp out” and then they get ridges on their forehead and around the eyes (no, they’re not Klingons), and the fangs come out. Yup, vampires are not irresistible sex toys in Buffy’s world. In fact, some of them were pretty hideous, not like in Stephanie Meyer’s world where vampirism seems to make everyone drop-dead gorgeous.
Crosses burn them, sunlight scorches them, and jabbing a stake through their heart doesn’t look that hard when you watch Buffy’s sidekicks helping her out (after some practice, of course).
Despite that interpretation being my first exposure to vampires, I find I like a kinder approach. Vampires may be monstrous with their blood lust and growing egos, but they are essentially the same people they were when they were human. This leaves room for the right heroine to come along and bring out the good in them.
Although, even Buffy’s world evolved to include the possibility of redemption. Spike joined up with Buffy when he still didn’t have a soul. Which begs the question: are all vampires really soulless monsters?
Who was your first vampire? Do you like the ravaging monster version highlighted in horror flicks, or do you prefer the dark, brooding, sexy vamp? Are there aspects of both you like? I love hearing from you!
“Tombstone Voices From Beyond” by Kate MacNicol–I did not know about this piece of technology.
“Reading By Flashlight” by Lesann Berry–Ah, memories.
“Long Lost Childhood Reads” by Tiffany A. White–Ditto the above.
“Well, isn’t this Smurfy” by Kristal Lee–They’re taking over the world.
“Self-Discipline–The Key to Success” by Kristen Lamb–Need to get your writing butt in gear? Read this.
“10 Secrets to a Perfect Synopsis” by Stacy Green–If you need a laugh. Which you do.
Interview with a Vampire was my first foray into the Vampire world, so I like my vampires dark, mean, and hot 😉 Sparkles do not equate in my brain with vampires, and neither does “vampire vegetarianism”. They should be drinking blood. Human blood preferably. They should not be cuddling you in bed unless you are also a vampire 😛
Lol. I agree with you on the sparkles, Becka, and the vampire vegetarianism. If they don’t want to kill people, they don’t have to. And there’s always the blood bank or morgue, like Mick St. John in Moonlight did.
My first vampire was Dracula. The first vampire I loved was Anne Rice’s Louis. The two vampires I love most are BtVS’s Spike and Jim Butcher’s Thomas Raith.
I have to admit, I’m a little surprised how much people love Spike. I guess it will always be Angel and Buffy in my head, even though it never worked out between them.
Thanks for commenting, Gigi!
First off, thank you for the shout-out! So glad you liked the post. Like Rebecca, Interview with a Vampire was my first vampire, and Lestat will always be number one. He was dark and sexy, good and bad. He’s an amazing character, and no other vampire has ever lived up to him:)
You’re welcome, Stacy! Your post made me laugh. 🙂
There’s just something about your first that keeps your loyalty, isn’t there?
I think I was exposed to both Dracula (Bram Stoker’s original) and Anne Rice’s at the same time. I think I was about fourteen. While I can appreciate fun and cuddly vamps, I do prefer my vamps to have a more…edgy side.
It does feel more natural for them to be edgy. Even though I like mine to sometimes be less monstrous, I do like that internal struggle between the man that was and the monster that is.
Thanks for stopping by, C. M.! 🙂
Here is a story that may have vampire in it… Take a peek over at http://ronleightonauthor.blogspot.com/p/cheerful-smoke-for-dead.html if you like. 🙂
Love this! My first vampires were the old school scary cape versions from Saturday late night movies then Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot version…both not cute. I am a horror buff so I like all vampires. Faves are the type with a mode of power and control (not just attacking everyone). The intellectual vamp if you will. I’ll also take sexy like Antonio Banderas in Interview with a Vampire, Angel and Spike on Buffy or the Twilight variety on a cold night. 🙂
Ah yes, I like the intellectual vamp as well. After so many years alive, most of them also achieve an air of refinement. I am not into horror, so the mindless killing ones are definitely not for me.
Thanks for commenting, Barbara! 🙂
I love vampires, always have, always will. I can’t get enough! My first vampire? Probably Count Vladimir Dracula (George Hamilton) in 1979’s Love at First Bite. I couldn’t understand why Zorro the Gay Blade wasn’t a vampire when I was younger….and I love the name Vladimir today. Maybe this is why? Then, Lauren Hutton in Once Bitten with Jim Carey. I could go on and on. I love vampires.
Thanks for the blog love! I always appreciate the linkage! 🙂
I love both of those movies!!
Hey Tiffany! I love how Dracula also has many interpretations in fiction. Sometimes he’s a monster, other times a refined gentleman, and in others even a nice guy.
And you’re welcome! Thanks for commenting. 🙂
My first vampire? Believe it or not it was George Hamilton, in “Love At First Bite”, along with a couple of 80s goofy vampire movies, “Once Bitten” with a young Jim Carrey, and “My Best Friend is A Vampire”. I may have seen others before, but those are the first examples that stick out.
I missed out on 80s vampire movies. Are they goofy because of special effects, or are the vampires goofy?
Thanks for stopping by, Derek!
Oooh, my first vampire? That would be Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which I saw when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I really shouldn’t have been watching it at that age, but oh man, I definitely fell in love with vampires afterwards. I like mine vampires sexy and brooding, with a dash of elegance and style.
Hey Jamila! That was definitely too young for me and vampires! I saw the original black and white in college, and it still creeped me out at that age. Actually, I thought Renfield was scarier than Dracula.
Thanks for commenting!
I loved vampires as a teen-I still do. I read Anne Rice, Dracula, and anything else I could get my hands on and watched tons of movies but I think my first- Lost Boys. And I love vampires of all kinds as long as they aren’t filled with pouty angst.
Yes, I think pouty angst is unattractive in any character. Thanks for stopping by, Alica!
My first vampire was definitely Dracula in the original story by Bram Stoker. And then were two others: Angel and Spike in the Buffy series. I love Spike’s character with his platinum-blond hair and his signature black leather duster. Oh, and do you remember his catch-phrase? Yep, it was “bloody hell”! So hilarious 🙂
I like those ravaging monsters in John Carpenter’s “Vampire” movie but the sexy, gorgeous vampires from the Twilight series are interesting too (I’ve only seen the movies but have never read the books).
Hey Angela! I agree, Spike was very amusing when he was a bad vamp. I didn’t care for him falling for Buffy, though. To me, it will always be Buffy and Angel.
My first vampires were ‘Salem’s Lot vampires by Stephen King. They were very scary. A few years later, I got swept away by Anne Rice’s vampires, who were undeniably sexy…but sort of odd. Then, I got into Nancy A. Collins’s vampires who were sexy, scary, and sadistic. It was then that I started to love vampires.
So I’m guessing you like ’em scary, though maybe not freakish like in Priest?
Thanks for commenting, Catie! 🙂
My favorite vampires include the original Dracula (especially the onscreen Gary Oldman version – little purple glasses), the still terrifying Nosferatu, Anne Rice’s deliciously tortured creations, and the mind-creations of Brian Lumley’s Harry Keough’s nemeses in the Necroscope series. In more recent works I adore Kresley Cole’s take on sexy vampires (especially Lothaire) and my top favorite vampire character is the lesser-known Simon Ysidro stories by Barbara Hambly.
I like a lot of the classic world-building with vampires but think some of the details writers have woven into their stories are amazing. Fun post!
(thanks for linking to my blog)
Hi Lesann! I agree, I love seeing writers explore interesting takes on the myth. And you’re welcome. Thanks for commenting! 🙂
My first vampire was Lestat and will forever be my love. Angel is up there too, but that’s more because I have a secret crush on David Boreanaz.
I’ve never read the sparkly vampire books, nor will I (just can’t do sweet and sparkly). My vampire loves are dark, brooding, and have a taste for real blood. Like little Claudia after her first sampling, “I want some more”. Oooooh, I get chills just thinking it!
Hm, two votes for Lestat. Perhaps I should check him out.
Thanks for stopping by, Tameri!
Like you Angela, my first will always be Angel from BTVS. He truly was the perfect mix of mysterious, gorgeous and bad boy. I did come to love Spike after a time, but will always see Angel as her perfect match.
These days I’m all about the really bad vampire Eric Northman from True Blood…sex on legs that man!
When Angel got his own show, that was fun to watch, but I would have loved it if he and Buffy had stayed together for several more seasons.
Mine was almost certainly Dracula on Scooby-Doo.
As far as a “serious” vampire, probably Lestat as I recall reading Interview when I was around 15 or so. I found it a bit of a slog, though, and never really made it far into the second book.
However, more recently, I’ve found vampires that interest me, particularly the White/Red/Black Court creatures in Jim Butcher’s novels and the vampires in Charlaine Harris’s books.
“Mine was almost certainly Dracula on Scooby-Doo.”<–Love that! I read Storm Front, but don't recall any vampires. I should check out the later books.
Thanks for stopping by, Michael!
My first vampire was Barnabas Collins in the late 60’s soap opera ‘Dark Shadows’. I was about 7 or 8. He was so spooky and mysterious and hand all the ladies in the palm of his hand. That soap opera was way ahead of its time: vampires, werewolves and love triangles galore. 🙂 I think they’ve re-released the series on DVD. Being in black and white makes it even cooler I think. Brings me back to the days when you had to walk to the television to change the channel. Wow, I am old. 🙂
Wow, I wouldn’t have imagined a vampire soap opera in the 60s. Thanks for stopping by, Kristin!
Yes, the various “courts” of vampires become a very big deal in the Dresden Files books starting… Hmm… Several books in — maybe three or four?
The series as a whole is one of my favorites. I would definitely recommend reading a few more, especially if you enjoyed the first one.
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I don’t remember my first vampire, but it was likely Bela Legosi in Dracula. I also recall watching Blackula in the 70s.
Blackula? Sounds like a parody…?
You’re welcome! 🙂
Thanks so much for including me in the mash up.
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