mythological or folkloric creature
A vampire is a supernatural creature, featuring prominently in horror fiction and folk tales, that lives after death through drinking the blood of the living.
- The portrayal of the vampire as host and/or guest is one of the most frequently rehearsed tropes of the vampire mythos. As one who stands on ceremony, attending to formal details of courtesy, the bloodsucking monster frequently plays an intricate game of manners with his or her victims, and repeatedly demonstrates a magnanimous hospitality to the living. As the generosity of the vampire host too often serves to shroud an implicit threat of violation, the vampiric welcome produces contradictory meanings, simultaneously repelling and arresting in its intrinsic ambiguity. When Jonathan Harker visits the mysterious home of Dracula, he is greeted by the castle's master with courtesy and generosity: "Welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring!" (Stoker  1997, 22). Blithly ignoring any literal interpretation of Dracula's ambiguously threatening request to "leave...the happiness", Harker enters the castle, relying on the Count’s avowed allegiance to the codes of hosptality to protect him.
- "Hospitality, Rape and Consent in Vampire Popular Culture: Letting the Wrong One In", introduction and edited by David Baker, Stephanie Green, Agnieszka Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska], pp. 1-2, (2017).
- The vampire as host, however, poses only one kind of threat to the mortals populating fantasy tales. Of even greater terror is the moment when the creature of darkness steps over the threshold of a human settlement. Vampires have long reflected human fears of invasion-a national, religious, racial, ethnic and/or sexual Other infiltrating the familiar and the domestic of dominant values. Whether the monster is read as representing an immigrant (see e.g. Hudson 2007), a Jew (as in many Gothic works with anti-Semetic tropes; see e.g. Reed 2013), the queer (as in Fincher 2007; Haggerty 2006; Hughes and Smith 2009) or a female who refuses to conform to rigid gender norms (see e.g. Brode and Denyeka 2013; Stasiewicz-Bienkowska 2013), the vampire Other is often depicted to pose both as an allure and a "threat from outside which will change us from within" (Mutch 2013, 15). Consequently , vampire narratives operate as an "ideal plateau for the villainous capabilities of the invites guest...[who] claim ownership of the homes they are invited to, reducing their hosts to victims" (Watkiss 2012, 523-524).
- Ibid, p.5
- Through the analysis of Sheridan le Fanu's novella Carmilla (1872) and Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, (1897), Green points to the ways in which the figure of the vampire becomes a terrain of confused and uncertain temporalities, where the continuity of the past into the present produces unexpected constraints and raises the question of consent, simultaneously bringing the vampiric body liberation from the tyranny of time.
- The following chapter, "Breach of Consent: Jean Rollin and Le Viol du Vampire", by David Baker, considers the exploitation of women and of male voyeurism through the figure of female vampire. The author articulates the complex ways in which Rollin's 1968 production serves to disrupt the traditional binary logics of an aggressive vampire Other and a human victimised Self, problemarising and bringing to the fore the relationship between hospitality, victimhood, female body, rape and consent.
- Grappling with the representations of puberty and adolescent body as abject spaces-in-between and intertwining the figures of the innocent and the evil child, these chapters problematise the ideas of liminality, age of consent, (im)maturity, child's agency and child abuse.
- With the social and ethical context of the transformations of adolescence as the centrepiece of her chapter, Amanda Howell in "Coming of Age, With Vampires" gives voice to the figure of teenager as the Other in society. Comparing three cinematic and television productions (Lost Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Let the Right One In, and engaging with the metaphor of threshold crossings, the author stresses the role of the vampire trope in negotiating the cultural angst and challenges associated with puberty. Of particular interest to this discussion is how adolescent protagonists face an untested freedom and unaccustomed responsibility for the self which entails the challenge of consent.
- Ibid, p.11
- Rooting her analysis in Jungian analytical psychology, Terrie Waddell continues the exploration of the figure of the vampire as a being that is eternally imprisoned in a transitional space. In her chapter, "Consensual and Non-consensual Sucking: Vampires and Transitional Phenomena", Waddell identified recent cinematic campire protagonists as the uncanny hybrids of mother/infant/lover. Concentrating on the act of body fluid exchange (blood and venom) between the vampire and their victim, the author argues for the reading of the vampire as signifying the immature and liminal and the potential.
- Using as a lens the concepts of rape myths and patriarchal terrorism, the chapter reveals the ways in which the mistreatment of human females by their male vampire intimate partners is rationalised and presented as forgivable and or beneficial to both the victims and broader society. As the narrative frequently disguises transgressive and evil acts of abuse as desire and romantic love, and places male protagonists in positions of power, the urgent problem of female consent becomes trivialised.
- Ibid, p.12
- Through the figures of lesbian vampress and her human romantic interest, the author examines the promises of female empowerment and agency, transformations of class and gender relations, release from the bonds of patriarchy and a consequent quest for women's liberated identity.
- Ibid, p. 12-13.
- The reason good women like me and flock to my pictures is that there is a little bit of vampire instinct in every woman.
- Theda Bara, a.k.a. "The Vamp", attributed in Leta W. Clark, Women, Women, Women: Quips, Quotes, and Commentary (1977), p. 16.
- When AIDS was at its most brutal, frightening, my-God-what-are-we-going-to-do era, that was when vampire stories and stories about blood and trust swept the literary world.
- Susie Bright "Bright Ideas", interview by Tamara Wieder, Boston Phoenix, February 11, 2005.
- So again Coth parted with his son in anger, and Jurgen returned again toward Barathum; and, whether or not it was a coincidence, Jurgen met precisely the vampire of whom he had inveigled his father into thinking. She was the most seductively beautiful creature that it would be possible for Jurgen's father or any other man to imagine: and her clothes were orange-coloured, for a reason sufficiently well known in Hell, and were embroidered everywhere with green fig-leaves.
- You must understand that it is little rest a vampire gets on earth, with so many fine young fellows like yourself going about everywhere eager to be destroyed.
- James Branch Cabell, in Jurgen (1919), Ch. 37 : Invention of the Lovely Vampire.
- The idea of atavism was pervasive in the late nineteenth century, and police forces across Europe developed files of “mug shots” of criminals to be able to identify the “criminal type.” A version of this atavistic type is Count Dracula, as portrayed in Bram Stroker's Dracula (1897). Dracula himself is a version of degenerate, the Transylvanian aristocrat who has revolved into a parasitic being, feeding on the blood and life of others. The vampire in this text is the embodiment of Otherness: non-European, able to shift shape and identity, of predatory sexuality, unnaturally long-lived, and strange and threatening in facial expression and behavior. Jonathan Harker's description of the Count resembles the cataloguing of Lombroso's physiognomy...
- John H. Cartwright, Brian Baker in: Literature and Science: Social Impact and Interaction, ABC-CLIO, 1 January 2005, p. 210)
- Van Helsing: The strength of the vampire is that people will not believe in him.
- Garrett Fort, Dracula (1931)
- Dio Brando: What a simple thing, the food chain. As pigs feed on grass, so does man feed upon them. And I, at the top of it all, feed upon the humans. They exist to serve me and quell my thirst.
- Araki Hirohiko, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Chapter 21 (1987)/Episode 4 (2012).
- She [Susan] is very lovely, Mr. Mears — very toothsome if I may be permitted a small bon mot.
- Barlow's note left to Ben & co, in Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot, p. 345.
- The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few vampires.
- Ben Mears, in Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot, Part 2, Chapter 5.
- And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever
And if you only hold me tight
We'll be holding on forever
And we'll only be making it right
'Cause we'll never be wrong
Together we can take it to the end of the line
Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks
I really need you tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight
- Drawing on Winnicott, this chapter argues that screen vampires remain in a state of metaphorical symbiosis with what can be symbolically termed “mother”. But, as shape-shifters feeding on blood while simultaneously transferring blood to sucking others, they also present as complex mother/infant hybrids. This addiction to blood, often likened to heroin in contemporary narratives, refers back to the breast and, by extension, the symbiotic union with mother and lover where the fluid of one is consumed by, and transmitted to, the other. Traditionally, non-consensual blood exchange was central to the horror genre, but recent interpretations position the vampire as a romantic addict, heroically struggling with consent and desire. Winnicott saw the process of separation from the breast (representative of mother) as entry into a psychological phase called the potential space. Despite the shifting nature of the vampire genre, it will be argued that even the most politically correct vampires remain caught in this liminal, narcissistic stage of development. For the vampire, everything of addictive value becomes an aspect of itself—transitional objects (victims) therefore become the self-objects. For suckling infants, insatiable lovers and vampires, instinctual yearning often takes precedence over the autonomy of the desired other: the question of consent therefore, becomes a moral dilemma only for those engaged in the process of psychological maturity or individuation.
- Terrie Waddell, "Consensual and Non-Consensual Sucking: Vampires and Transitional Phenomena". In: Baker D., Green S., Stasiewicz-Bieńkowska A. (eds) Hospitality, Rape and Consent in Vampire Popular Culture. (15 November 2017), p.147