Everybody LOVES Vampires

They are sexy, fun, cruel, hungry, fashionable, deadly, soulless and everywhere. The big question about vampires is how they went from being the one-note figures of nightmares to being the complex characters of desire and dreams.

If you read Bram Stoker’s classic, you’ll be surprised. The subtext is fear of female sexuality and the nightmare is that the young women will be lured from their safe, and chaste, lives by this other worldly creature of the night. When the hero is sent on a business trip to visit the monstrous villain (yes, a true business trip from hell) he’s subjected to the seductions of Dracula’s ‘wives.’

By the time Buffy came along to slay, and lay, vampires in one of the best TV shows of recent years, vampires were sexy bad boys. What happened in-between?

Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire (and the subsequent film), Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger, the rise of funny vampires (like Love at First Bite) and, eventually, Charlaine Harris’s True Blood paranormal romances and the HBO TV show that has brought her undead to life and permanently altered our idea of vampires.

The Twilight series of books and movies made vampires into teen heartthrobs and I don’t think there’s a chance that vampires, in general, will ever be un-sexy — while being undead — again. One exception, there’s always an exception or two in vampire-land, is the child vampire in the Swedish Let the Right One In — I was so terrified by the first film, I skipped the U.S. remake.

I’ve read paranormal romances and urban fantasies featuring vampires on reality TV shows, in detective agencies and as undead matchmakers.

So, who is YOUR favorite vampire? Do you like Spike or Angel from the Buffy series? Bill or Eric from True Blood? Do you have a crush on Edward from Twilight? Chime in, or put a stake into the discussion.


  1. Beth M.

    I have to admit I am not much of a vampire fan. Loved the Count from Sesame Street as a kid – how else was I going to learn how to count! Always enjoyed when Abbott and Costello were taunted by Count Dracula in one of their monster films – so silly I couldn’t help but laugh. Who wouldn’t believe that George Hamilton was a vampire??? (No seriously) And Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee were the classic portrayal of what I believe vampires to be.

    But even though I am not a huge fan I will say that I believe those who enjoy following vampire related materials are people who may be looking to indulge in some of their own dark desires. In other words, they are attracted to the notion that they can fantasize about doing something so outrageous and morally wrong, something society would never accept, to break away from their own repression – whatever that may be.

    • Candy

      I guess I’ll have to count myself among the ‘dark desire’ club, as I’ve read, watched and written my way through a lot of vampire lore. There really is a wide range. There are the gory, scary, bloody vampires; the sexy and sensual vampires; the sexy and evil vampires; and the crazy mixed up group of funny vamps. The Abbott and Costello vampire may just stand out among the funny ones in his own silly, and toothy, category.

  2. Bill Dowling

    I’ve always felt that part of the fascination with vampires is not just about the dark desire, but about the lack of control or responsibility. Don’t forget, there’s that vampiric ability to cloud men’s (or more to the point, women’s!) minds. All the hot sexytime with none of the guilt.

    • Candy

      Definitely hard to choose between those two, but I tip toward Eric. He’s just so bad boy good. Of course we’re talking about the TV show, in the books it’s a bit harder to fall for Eric. Bill is kind of priggish in the books so I wind up longing for the werewolf.
      Nothing like a little supernatural romance.

  3. I loved Anne Rice’s vampires but it always struck me as odd that such sexy creatures never actually had sex. Perhaps that’s one part of their anatomy that didn’t survive the transition, like eating. Or perhaps sex just lost its appeal in comparison to the ‘climax’ of feeding.

    Whatever vampire attitudes to sex may be it seems to me that the human attraction to them is stranger still. Is this the modern version of ‘safe sex’??

    • Candy

      It’s certainly ‘safe’ if you are already DEAD.
      The entire sex/death connection with vampires is what makes them so tempting for writers. That and the lack of actual FACTS makes it easy to create your own rules with Anne Rice on one hand and Charlain Harris on the other and a crazy medley of writers in-between. I tried to write a funny short story about an overweight vampire, figuring FOOD with sex and death was a winning combination, but the story sucked (LOL). I guess I should try again.