Dracula and Let the Right One In

I have recently finished reading “Let the Right One In” of which I think may be the most brilliant contemporary vampire novel ever to be written and was a true work of genius which offered so much more than just a vampire story, and while on the one hand was true to the vampire, it still was able to adapt the vampire into a modern context. I have also recently read “Dracula” which though not the first appearance of the literary vampire, it is certainly one of the most well known and for good reason.  I belive there was a strong “Dracula” influence within “Let the Right One In” I found a lot of similarities between the books and so I wish to compare and contrast the classical view of the vampire with this modern rendition.

The main points on which these stories should be compared is, on how they construct their vampires, the way in which each author draws from traditional vampire folklore, how the vampires fit into the age in which they are being written, and than the structure and content of the stories themselves and similarities in how the stories are put together.

The best place to start is with of course with the very beginning, that being where does the vampire come from?

In both these stories it remains a mystery just where the vampire originally emerged and how the first vampire came to be, but they both offer their own views in way of an explanation of the presence of the vampire. Stoker alludes to the historical Vlad the Impler, linking his Dracula with the historical Count and coming out of the period of the 1800’s a period in which men were embracing reason and logic and moving away from old superstitions, and yet religion still played an important role within the backdrop of it all. Stoker’s Dracula draws upon the religion portraying vampirism as a curse, an impurity of the soul and relying upon religious iconography as the method in which the vampire is to be repelled. The vampire is seen as an incarnation of evil that does not have a conscious mind, though it displays intelligence and cleverness, it is given no control over its actions, no mortality.

In “Let the Right One In” Lindqvist modernizes the understanding of the vampire, and moves away from old religious beliefs which while religion still has a strong hold in the modern age, would not on a wider scale satisfy to explain the existence of vampires to a wider audience and would seem more far fetched than in Stokers day. So Lindqvist turns to science for his answer. In his story vampirism is explained as being a sort of disease, a cancer which overtakes and evolves the body.

One interesting thing to note is the character of Virgina from “Let the Right One In” and Mina from “Dracula” as there does bear some similarities between the two individuals. What is most particularly interesting is both women become infected or cursed by the vampire. In the case of Mina, Van Helsing places a cross against her forehead which burns into her skin, and throughout the novel she struggles with what has been done with her in fear that she will be driven to hurt the ones she loves and she makes the others promise that if she changes beyond the ability to be saved they must take her life. She laments many times that she is “impure”

Virgina has a similar experience once she realizes what has been done to her, what she has become she struggles with herself and what she knows is happening to her, and she lives in fear of what she will be driven to do to those whom she is close with, and while Mina cries of impurity, Virgina cries the lament that she has been infected and in the end she does find the means in which to end her own life, both to save herself as well as to save those she is close to.

There are other ways in which these characters can be compared and contrasted to each other and how there can be seen similarities in them. In a way the very fact that they seem so different from each other points out the ways in which they are the same. Virgina could very well be the modern manifestation of Mina when they are viewed in the context of the times in which they lived.  In some ways Mina can be seen as typical of a Victorian woman. She is virtuous, a loyal wife to her husband, pure and chaste, yet in other ways she is quite unconventional of her time. She is noted for having a “mind like a man” She possesses a great reason and ability for rational thought of which would be uncommon for a woman in the Victorian mindset. She also has a great courage and bravery that would be atypical of a woman at this period of time.

Virgina can be seen in a similar way. In many ways she can be viewed as a typical woman of the modern age, a single woman who had been married once before, dedicates her time to her job, does not really feel the need to be held down by domestic ties. Yet on the other hand there are aspects of her which push the boundaries and make her unconventional.  The fact that while she loves one man, Lacke she is incapable of allowing herself to get close to another person and carries on meaningless sexual relations with random men as a form of protection to herself.

As we have discussed how the notion of the vampire is conceived, and ideas of curses and infections the next step is to review how each of these authors explain how a vampire may create others, and one of the most intrigues aspects of the vampire is the vampires bite. The differences here I find to be quite interesting.

It seems that when it comes to understanding how vampirism can be passed on, Anne Rice actually took a note from Stoker in the way in which Stoker puts forth the idea that there must be an exchange of blood on both sides, but it also seems for Dracula it is a process which takes a period of time to secure. Dracula visits his victim upon a nightly basis each time drawing little by little more blood to eventually lead to the complete draining of the blood of the victim and once the victim bodily dies, they are reborn to arise as the vampire.  In a rather evocative and sensual scene in which Dracula visits Mina it seems that the victim must also take of Dracula blood as part of the changing process.  In addition Dracula is able to use a form of mind control over his victims and compel them to him he also seeks out victims to turn and draw to him. It seems that is primary interest is in women, when we first meet him he has a harem of three brides, and he goes after both Lucy and Mina.  This plays upon the fears and anxieties of female sensuality which existed at the time, and the importance of virtue and chastity in a woman. The women when under the influence of Dracula are made to seem grotesque in the blatant seductions and their open sexuality, they men are repelled by this and made horrified.

“Let the Right One In” takes a different approach. In consideration of the fact that vampirism is presented as a disease, the spread of it works in the same way as a virus, in a way that is rather reflective of Zombie movies. All it takes is one bite from the vampire for the infection to be passed on to the victim, but interestingly enough Eli, the vampire of Lindqvist, does not seek to make others and kills those who are in danger of being infected by the virus to prevent its spread. As well for this reason Eli attacks others purely for the sake of feeding without any other motive in mind, and it seems that the infection works independently in each person, meaning there is no concept of Eli have any form of control over those whom are subject to the bite. One more thing of which I have to talk about that I loved about “Let the Right One In’ is instead of the classical neat little two fangs which we are use to in vampires, Eli’s feeding is much more savage and animatistic in which he has a mouthful of sharp teeth and instead of neat little puncture wounds to duck out the blood Eli rips and tears.

Now let us review some other common aspects of vampire folklore and how these authors address these things:

Mirrors: Stoker holds true to the myth and has one very powerful scene in which to demonstrate this as well as offer the reader one of the first suggestions that there is something strange going on. Dracula cast no reflection within a mirror.  There is one moment in which John Harker is at the castle Dracula and he makes an observation that there are no mirrors to be found within the house, he then sets to shaving with a hand held mirror he brought with him when Dracula walks in behind him and Harker notices that his reflection does not appear within the mirror.

A contrast scene appears within “Let the Right One In” where mirrors seem to have no effect upon vampires. At one point after Virgina had contracted the infection she happens to take a look at herself within the bathroom mirror and was confronted back by her reflection. This of course does further support the theory of disease, for traditionally the lack of a reflection is meant to be indicated by a vampire having no soul.

Garlic: Van Helsing makes considerable use of garlic as a repellant of Dracula, while garlic takes no role within “Let the Right One In”

Sleeping: Now this is another interesting one in which there are both strong differences as well as curious similarities. As usual Stoker takes a very classical approach to the method of a vampires sleeping, though he also seems to add some things of his own invention. Dracula tradtionally must make his rest within a coffin and when he travels from Transylvania to London it seems crucial that he bring with him dirt from his native land. He travels with 60 boxes full of Transylvanian soil in which to lay down in. As well when Lucy sucumbs to the curse she is compelled to always return back to the tomb in which she was berried.

In “Let the Right One In” there is a more modernistic approach in which all that seems to be required is that the vampire have a dark place in which to lock themselves into during the day, though there is one interesting aspect about “Let the Right One In” which seems to take a note out of Madame Bathery, and that is a scene in which Eli’s place of slumber was invaded, and Eli was found lying in a bathtub full lf blood.

One thing that seems to hold true for both these books though, is that in both cases the vampires seem compelled to “sleep” during the day, yet at the same time it a sleep that is not truly sleep, but rather a sort of shutting down of their bodies in which they do seem to be rendered paralyzed and unable to move physically, in a trance like state.

Now this talk leads to of course the role of the sun. Now here I find Stoker’s concept to be most interesting because it actually rivals against what we have come to think as a part of traditional folk lore. As it turns out  the sun is not in fact deadly to Dracula, and further more there are a few moments in which he is seen actually moving around during the daylight.  It seems that while he lacks some of his power during the day and is stronger at night, the sun does not physical affect him.

In contrast in “Let the Right One In” the sun most be avoided, vampires experience physical pain if they venture out into the sun and it causes their skin to actually burn.  In the end Virgina uses the sun as the means in which to kill herself.

Now before I venture any further I think I should say some important things about Eli, as Eli does make for a very unusual and atypical vampire. Eli appears in the image of a 12 year old girl, though in truth Eli is in fact void of sex, Eli is neither boy or girl, and in a rather interesting concept Eli is immortality 12 years old. While Eli’s mind may perhaps have a certain mature understanding that would not be found in typical 12 year old, Eli’s mind does not actually truly age beyond being 12 anymore than the body does.

Now one very interesting about this in connection with Dracula, is the fact that while Dracula appears as a full grown man, and Dracula is undoubtedly powerful, Van Helsing describes Dracula as having a ‘childs brain’ Dracula is learning as he goes along, for his trip to London is in fact his first time out of Transylvania and he is discovering and testing the limits of the full extent of his power and capabilities along the way. In this same way Eli is also not all powerful in spite of possessing a grater physical strength as most people, Eli is weak in some ways and needs to rely upon the help of another…..but I do not want to get ahead of myself I will address that in a bit.

There is one more topic in which I want to touch upon first and that is the concept of aging and the vampire. Both Eli and Dracula show signs of age when they have gone a long time without feeding. Dracula appears looking like an old man at first, but soon after a feeding he suddenly looks like a much younger man. While Eli takes on a sickly look, and develop streaks of gray in its hair if it has not fed in a while, and after feeding the gray disappears and a healthy look returns again.

Now to return to a topic of which I touched upon before, both Dracula and Eli bring into their service minions, or companions to assist them with things of which they cannot do themselves, and there are interesting similarities in their choices.

Dracula enlists the help of Renfeild an individual who is instituted within an insane asylum and there is a certain mystery about his past and how it is Dracula came upon him, but the suggestion is because of his unstable mind, it made it easy for Dracula to gain a measure of control over him. He makes promises to Refield to turn him into a vampire in return for his service.  But in the end when Renfield is no longer of use to Dracula, Dracula kills him.

Eli also chooses a man of certain mental instability by the name of Hakan, but it is not Hakan’s mental weakness which Eli uses but rather his physical weakness, Eli also offers something to Hakan which Hakan wants in exchange for his service, but in this case Hakan is a pedophile who is attracted to Eli’s child-like appearance, and so in exchange for physical intimacies Hakan does Eli’s bidding. In an interesting twist Eli eventually is lead to infect Hakan and as a result Hakan becomes a complete salve to the infection. He has no self-control or restraint, but degrades into a monster led by his carnal lusts and is driven to hunt Eli down and satisfy his desires.

Now we have discussed aspects of traditional vampire folklore within these stories, as well as touched upon how some of the characters reflect each other, it is time to speak of the structure of the books.  Both stories are told using multiple different view points, but they use very different techniques in which to achieve this.

Dracula is told through a series of Diary entires, letters, telegrams, new articles as a way in which to view the story from the perspective of many different characters within the story. Let the Right One In is told in the 3rd person point of view but it gives little episodes throughout the book which highlight the lives, thoughts, experiences of all of the different characters within the book so we are still allowed to see things unfold through varying different view points.

Atmosphere is another important area to touch upon. Dracula rather masterfully uses the gothic style of writing which was quite prevalent at that time and even today is capable of effecting a rather eerie feeling. Gothic literature is defined by some basic elements which can be found in nearly all Gothic literature, we will explore these and how Dracula fits the bill:

1) Setting in a Castle: The story starts off with with John Harker being taken to Castle Dracula, and the first chapters of the book are held within the castle, and the story ends with Dracula making his way back to the castle to have the final encounter after he has been discovered.

2) An atmosphere of mystery and suspense: this predates throughout the entirety of the novel. And I think added to this should be a key element in which often times the physical environment is meant to reflect the emotions of the characters and the events. Lots of rain and storms within gothic novels. The story starts out in a highly suspenseful mode touches of mystery are laced throughout the story.

3) An ancient prophecy:  Perhaps this novel lacks an offical declared prophecy, but the story revolves around the legend of Dracula himself, and in a way Van Helsing seems at first almost prophetic with the knowledge he knows, and yet does not at first reveal. The character of Renfield also makes prophetic  like statements about his “master” and things of which are coming.

4) Omens, portents, visions: Lucy experiences episodes of sleepwalking and has troubled dreams, and feels uneasy without understanding way and speaks about a figure with “red eyes.” Later Mina also begins to have trouble sleeping and feelings of uneasiness which she cannot explain.

5) Supernatural or otherwise inexplicable events: the answer to this one is obvious, as the stroy is focused around a vampire

6) High and even overwrought emotion: throughout  the story all of the characters experience a constant high intensity of emotion as events unfold. John initially suffers from believing he is going mad because of the things of which he experienced, and the story runs on a high level of emotion that is marked primarily be distress and fear.

7) Women in distress: yes, this appears both in the case of Lucy as well as Mina and as a sort of sub-group of women in distress is women under threat by a powerful, impulsive, tyrannical male, which of course perfectly define Dracula.

And though this gothic atmosphere can still be potent today in sending chills down the spine of the reader, the elements which define the gothic novel are outdated in the modern mindset, and so we shall now view how Lindqvist creates a modernized creepy atmosphere for his story. Moving away from gothic sensationlisim he instead paints a rather black picture that is all the more stark because of the way in which it touches upon reality. As has been indicated prior, the story touches upon the lives of many characters all of whom are struggling with problems of their own and foremost the book is led by the story of Oskar, who can be viewed as the “hero” of the book. A young boy who is terrorized by constant acts of bullying which become progressively more extreme. Living in a state of constant fear and humiliation which make his life miserable. There are also many examples of dysfunctional and broken families which predate through the novel, and of course there is also the examples of pedophile. So this novel touches upon real life problems which are the source of pain and agony and stimulates a very real fear among with the supernatural elements.

One more thing I think is worthy to note the way in which both novels deal with sexuality within the context of their time periods. I have already touched upon the ways in which Dracula deals with the anxieties about sexuality in relation to women and touched upon the Victorian fears. Well Let the Right One In deals with sexuality in a much more modern context by bringing up questions of gender identity through the relationship of Eli and Oskar.

Oskar befriends Eli who moves into the apartment next to his own, and while interestingly the notion of love never directly actually comes up as no real declarations of love are pronounced, an intimate affection grows within Oskar for Eli and she becomes the joy within the darkness of his life ( rather ironically) yet at the same time, this story does not degrade into some romanticized idea of the vampire. Eli remains aloof, distant, though a part of her is drawn to the way in which Oskar does appeal to the child within her. And after Oskar’s discovery of the truth about Eli, the question of her gender, or lack of gender does not disturb Oskar’s feelings towards her, though the notion of the truth of Eli’s nature as a vampire creates a crisis for Oskar, in the end he cannot forsake her.

Yes I Bite!

 

So I was bored and I came up with this idea and whippied it up on my computer and thought that it would make a cool logo design for a t-shirt, and I had a bunch of people tell me how cool they thought it was, and that they would buy it if it were a t-shirt, and that I should really acutally make my own t-shirts, and I decided what the hell, why not give it a shot, so I set up on online store at Prinfections.  For anyone who might be interested in a Yes I Bite! T-shirt you can follow the link below to purchase.

http://www.printfection.com/darkcreations

Daybreakers

I just saw the movie Daybreakers, and I have to say, I was so excited when I first saw the previews for this movie, and could not wait to see it, and I was NOT disappointed. It lived up to its every expectation and than surpassed it. A fabulously done, brilliant vampire movie. In fact one of the best, most clever, unique, and well made vampire movies ever done. There were just so many great elements working together within this film that I do not know where to begin with it.

First of all it combined two of my favorite things together, vampires (of course) and dystopia, and it was the most original and unique story line for vampires that it took vampires into another evolution in the way they are portrayed. The movie was based upon the idea that vampires have taken full power and control over the world, no longer, as so often seen and done before, to they lurk in the shadows, and live as refugees among humans. They became the majority and hold all positions of authority, and they run a civilization much the same as humans, their are vampire politician, vampire police officers. And one of the interesting twists within the movie, is the fact that to say the least there still exists corruption in power, greed, and government. The human race is on the verge of extinction and humans are hunted down to be farmed for the blood but the supply is running out quick.

In fact the crisis of blood and the blood shortage can be seen as a parallel to our financial crises which leads me into another one of the very proactive and brilliant things about this film, the sociopolitical aspect of the film. This was not just another typical, run of the mill, high powered action adventure type of vampire film. It was in many ways a finally crafted and intellectual film. One of the scenes early on within the film was just really quite remarkable, in which a desperate vampire, rather clearly paralleling a home lass man is seen upon the streets with a sign around his neck which reads “Hungry in need of blood” and has he harasses this passing couple on the street the cops quickly show up and subdue the vampire. Another one of the great moments of the film was this scene that was reminiscent of Nazi Germany. It is discovered that when the vampires go for too long without blood they begin to change.

Which I just have to say is yet another great aspect of this film, the way it played with some of the more common and old school myths and folk lore about vampires, in taking the old idea that vampires have the capability to turn into bats, the vampires which have gone without blood for too long, and out of desperation start feeding upon other vampires or even themselves begin to turn into these creatures that to say the least bare a resemblance to bats, but there is also something rather zombie like in these creatures. They become completely savage, and no longer appear to look like recognizable people, they loose every last aspect of humanity and become completely bestial, because of this they are treated as a nuisance and 3rd rate class. In one scene a group of these creatures are rounded up, put into chains, and exterminated as they are chained to a truck which drives them out into the sunlight. While those watching on cheering for the death are themselves in peril of becoming just like them.

The other absolutely brilliant and fantastic aspect of this film was its editing and the very way it was shot. Most particularly, I loved the fact that though it was indeed a very modern film, there was something within it that was reminiscent of old film noir, the way it was shot and its editing gave the modern backdrop a very classic appeal and feeling, and I love modern movies that find clever ways of replicating the classics.

Werewolf Transformation vs. Vampire Transformation

I was inspired to write this because I have been approached with this question on more than one occasion, and so I thought I ought to post an article about it, which will hopefully clear things up for people.  I have been asked more than once upon the ways in which one might become a vampire, as well if the methods used for becoming a werewolf might be applied to becoming a vampire as well. It seems people are perplexed over the fact that there are a few possible alternatives for the werewolf transformation, but that there is no such for vampires. So I am going to explain the differences between the transformation of werewolf and the transformation of the vampire and where one cannot become a vampire in the same way one can become a werewolf.

One important thing to remember is that the werewolf transformation is one of the physical body.  A werewolf is essentially a form of a shape-shifter.  A human that can physically take on the shape of another animal, that of course being the shape of a wolf. But it is also a temporary transformation, and what I mean by temporary is that the werewolf can revert back to their human form. They do not forever remain in wolf form, they can go back and forth between human and wolf.

With vampirism it is not a physical change, it is not the external body that undergoes the transformation. Though according to some accounts, there may be aspects of the body that alter slightly. In some lore hair and nails are said to grow longer, any mortal blemishes vanish and the body becomes perfection and flawless, but still there person remains more or less in the same body. The transformation of the vampire, is more of a transformation of the soul, for lack of a better word.  It is an internal transformation not an external one. The outside of the person does not change, but something inside of them undergoes the change. It is also a permanent transformation. Being that a person cannot go back and fort between being a human to being a vampire again. Once the transformation takes place there person remains than forever in the form of the vampire.

The other key differences and important thing to remember is the fact that werewolves are still living creatures. When a person becomes a werewolf they do not go through a death and rebirth process.

But vampires are among the undead. A vampire is a being that is no longer a living creature. And the cruciall part of becoming a vampire involves the physical death of the body. Than for the transformation to be complete, one must drink the immortal blood of another vampire so they can be reborn. Basically their mortal blood must be drained out of their body and than replenished and replaces with the vampires blood.

There is no possible substitute for this process.  A vampire must be sired.

This is not so with werewolves. For one thing in the werewolf transformation, there does not have to be that equal exchange of fluids. that is if one were simply bit by a vampire, they would not than turn into a vampire, they would have to ingest the vampires blood. But with werewolves, one does not have to feed upon the werewolf in anyway. In most folk lore, to simply be bit by the werewolf is enough to stimulate the change. Werewolves do not have to be sired, because that werewolf transformation does not require one to directly take something from a werewolf, there could be other alternatives in which one might stimulate the ability to shape shift.

Now there are some stories that say if after a person dies, if the corpse is not properly taken care of, and the proper rites not preformed over the body, they could come back as a vampire, but again this is not something an individual has control over. There is no getting around the fact that in order to make the vampire transformation, one must experience physical death.

The Child Vampire

Let us now talk about the child vampire. This is an idea that has been playing around in my head for awhile, but I never knew just how to approach it, being there are in fact so few examples to go by, at least that I have come in contact with. But I think it is a topic that does deserve some attention.

There are no historic of folk-loric references, at least none that I have encountered regarding child vampires. But rather the idea of the child vampire is a modern invention, but even in this day an age it seems to be a concept that is not often played.

Historically the innocence of a child was something near to sacred, and in fact this idea of childhood innocence was protected as much as the idea of a woman’s purity, so much in the same way that women were not traditionally perceived as vampires, it would have been unthinkable to believe that a child could become the manifestation of such evil. The primarily object of the vampire of tradition and historical decades was to install fear, and with the old concepts of both women and children neither posed a very likely candidate for striking fear in the heart of man. But rather the traditional vampire played upon the fears people had of mankind, and just what he might be capable of. Nothing was more fearsome to men once, then themselves.

But with the coming of the modern age, perceptions are changed, new ideas emerge, and old rules of tradition are bent, twisted and broken. Just as the view of the woman has come to alter so much, so has the way children are viewed. In fact the “evil child” now plays a popular role in many horror films, and is usually a very effective tactic for rising fear. Children today, in the media can be just down right creepy.

Part of this comes from the fact that the once “innocence of children” concept has been examined and put to question, with philosophical theories, as well as psychological ideas, it is no longer a given that all children are born innocent, but the idea of the “bad seed” has surfaced.

So it is no longer taboo for children to be altered into charming little blood sucking killing machines. Though even with today’s conventions, the idea of the child vampire is still not a common occurrence.

Of course one reason for this, could be the fact that the concept of the vampire has changed so much. The vampire is no longer the icon of fear that it use to be, but has been transformed instead into an icon of sex. And even with a vampires immortality, even in this world making a child, fangs or no fangs, a sex symbol is not easily pulled off.

So even with the new power to cause terror and nightmares the children have now been given, as vampires, there is the fear that they may perhaps become boring, or stagnant.

I think one of the most infamous and well known and perhaps most chilling of these little hellings. Is Anne Rice’s Claudia. Though, it is interesting to note, that even with as much as she bends tradition and how much she has changed the face of the vampire, the child vampire simply could not be, at least not for long, and had to be killed off soon after her birth as it were.

But through Claudia we are presented with some challenges that the child vampire just may propose. For one thing, children do not understand boundaries. They are ruled by the “id” the “me” factor, the wanting what they want when the wanted without fully understanding their needs and desires and without being able to rationalize these things. So one of the affects we have of the child vampire, is excessive feeding. The other consideration to make, is what becomes of the state of the mind of the child vampire, though within the same body they will always be trapped, if their mind matures over the ages that could prevent some difficulties, to forever having to look like a child, not quite the same thing as being a dashing 20 or 30 all the rest of your years. And we saw these ideas emerge in Claudia as well with her sudden realization of the fact that she will never change, and her than constant desire to be able to do so.

There was one movie which I have mentioned here before, that deals with vamprirism in itself in a very interesting way, but included in this is the idea of the child vampire. The movie is called Meet the Hamiltons.  And the concept behind it, is the fact that vamprirsim is a disease, they live more or less normally, they have relationships and families, but in order to survive they must feed upon the blood of others.  In this portrayal of the vampire, the child vampire which is in fact conceived in the normal human fashion, must be kept locked up like an animal, until they grow old enough to control their urges or they risk becoming a danger, killing without restrain, and can even potentially kill their own parents.

There was a short story I read which had a similar idea, called The Wet-Nurse, in which there was an infant vampire, which did in fact require the nutrient’s of milk as any child, but had a uncontrollable and constant hunger, and would draw blood in with the milk, as well in the process of nursing grew strength by draining away the life force of its nurse.

The show Moonlite has played with the idea in a bit of a different way. There has not been a full fledged child vampire upon the show, but they have introduced adolescent/teen vampires and some of the issues that such might have to deal with. The frustration of ever being stuck in this stage of life, with never being able to grow to maturity, at least physically, and the feelings of rage, and lonliness that can be caused by being trapped in such a state.

And of course I should mention the sort of “monster” vampire childern, as seen in Van Helsing, in which vampire young are hatched from eggs as inhuman creatures.

Lycan Vs. Vampire

An interest has been expressed in Lycan vs. Vampire wars. This is a concept that is very much a modern invention. Historically and Folkloricaly speaking there is no evidence or suggestion of any interaction between Vampires and Werewolves, though they both existed in very much the same time periods. But of course within the modern age, it simply looks cool to pit Lycans against Vampires, and the modern day Werewolf has been dignified and socially refined compared to its historical counterpart. It has been made in a much more intelligent, self-aware creature, with a stronger sense of style, and a much more suave attitude. Well no wonder Vampires are starting to get annoyed, being encroached upon and having their sense of style stolen from them.

Let us first look at the spread, advantages and disadvantages.

Both must relay upon the night: of course the typical vampire can only thrive at night, and the typical werewolf transforms during the night.

Disadvantages of this, in their human guise werewolves can walk during the day, if one should discover a vampires daytime sanctuary it might cause then some problems.

On the other side, the many werewolves in the modern age is given the right to change at will, traditionally speaking the werewolf requires a full moon to transform, so they will only be fit to fight a vampire once a month. While between full moons vampires can hunt them down.

Now while the werewolf has super strength, incredible speed, agility, as well as heightened senses, the Vampire is also given all these traits, as well as in many cases a few extra goodies. Such things include, flight, shape shifting, powers of the will/mind.

While Vampires are of course immortal, Werewolves have regeneration abilities, and instant healing.

Now both can be killed, here the Werewolf might have a slight edge over the Vampire, for the Werewolves only weakness is silver, which according to some legends is also a weakness of Vampires. While Vampires actually have a longer list of repellents, though again some of these have been altered with the modern age, and may not apply for all vampires. Decapitation and fire are a sure way to rid yourself of a Vampire. Though I imagine being decapitated is one thing a Werewolf might not be able to recover from either. In addition, there is the use of holy water against vampires, crucifixes, holy water. None of which have any ill affects upon werewolves. Unless it happened to be a silver cross, which according to some accounts, it has to be to repel vampires. And of course I almost forgot the classic stake in the heart as a sure way to to kill a vampire, while having not affect upon a werewolf.

The feeding habits of the Vampire might work against them. As Werewolves have no special diet, and can spend their day time hours eating, Vampires must feed at night, upon human blood, so while the Werewolves have already nourished themselves, they could begin targeting vampires while they are in their feeding process.

Ok, now that they have been matched up, we can look at some battles between the two.

Of course Underworld is the most noted of these battles in which a society of vampires was pitted against a society of lycans. Which produced, the Lycan-Vampire hybrid. Personally I rather enjoyed the movie. It was a sort of Gothic Romeo and Juliet. It is fun to see just how transferable Shakespeare can be. Though I do not know if he would be proud of it, that is straying from the matter at hand.

Another worthy and noted instance of battle between these two legends was Van Helsing. Another good movie. This clever film combines elements of three popular Gothic classics. Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man. The noted vampire slayer ultimately in the end must become a werewolf himself in order to bring down the reign of Dracula.

Now these are the only media sources I can find that deal with the subjected of this pairing and rivalry.

*Image info: Vs. By Noir-Wick: Gallery: http://noir-wick.deviantart.com/

Johannes Cuntius, the Vampire of Silesia

During the early 17th century, Johannes Cuntius, alderman of Pentach in Silesia, died following being kicked by a horse. At the moment of his death, a tempest arose and a black cat rushed into his room and attacked his face. During Cuntius’s funeral, yet another great tempest arose, ending the moment the corpse was interred. After the burial, rumours arose of a phantom with the voice of Cuntius.

Remarkable tales were told of the concumption of milk from jugs and bowls, of milk being turned into blood, of old men being strangled, children taken out of cradles, altar-cloths being soiled with blood, and poultry killed and eaten. Eventually it was decided to disinter the body. It was found that all the bodies buried above that of Cuntius had become putrefied and rotten, but his skin was tender and florid, his joints by no means stiff, and when a staff was put between his fingers they closed around it and held it fast in their grasp. He could open and shut his eyes, and when a vein in his leg was punctured the blood sprang out as fresh as that of a living person. This happened after the body had been in the grave for about six months.

As you can well imagine, the vampire did not cooperate with his dismemberment. But, by order of the authorities, the cutting-up was completed and the remains were consigned to the fire. Afterwards, Cuntius bothered no one anymore.

The Vampires of Medvegia

In the early 1730s, a band of Austrian medical officers were summoned to the Serbian village of Medvegia. An investigation was underway concerning the strange deaths of several villagers. The locals claimed the deaths were caused by vampires. The first of these vampires was Arnold Paole, a man who had died several years earlier by falling off a hay wagon.

It was obvious to the villagers that Paole was a vampire. When they had exhumed the corpse, “they found that he was quite complete and undecayed, and that fresh blood had flowed from his eyes, nose, mouth, and ears; that the shirt, the covering, and the coffin were completely bloody; that the old nails on his hands and feet, along with the skin, had fallen off, and that new ones had grown; and since they saw from this that he was a true vampire, they drove a stake through his heart, according to their custom, whereby he gave an audible groan and bled copiously.”

More attacks had been occurring since the final death of Paole. A woman named Stanacka had “lay down to sleep fifteen days ago, fresh and healthy, but at midnight she started up out of her sleep with a terrible cry, fearful and trembling, and complained that she had been throttled by the son of a Haiduk by the name of Milloe, who had died nine weeks earlier, whereupon she had experienced a great pain in the chest and became worse hour by hour, until finally she died on the third day.”

In their report, Visum et Repertum (Seen and Discovered), the officers told not only what they had heard from the villagers but also, in admirable clinical detail, what they themselves had seen when they exhumed and dissected the bodies of the supposed victims of the vampire. Of one corpse, the authors observed, “After the opening of the body there was found in the cavitate pectoris a quantity of fresh extravascular blood. The vasa [vessels] of the arteriae and venae, like the ventriculis cordis, were not, as is usual, filled with coagulated blood, and the whole viscera, that is, the pulmo [lung], hepar [liver], stomachus, lien [spleen], et intestina were quite fresh as they would be in a healthy person.”

The medical officers were thoroughly baffled by the autopsy results and did not venture opinions. The mystery of the vampires of Medvegia went on unsolved throughout the 1700s

The Vampire of Liebava

Hungary during the 1700s was a busy place for vampires. One particular vampire, name unknown, tormented the village of Liebava. The Bishop of Olmutz instigated an investigation. Each night, a sentry would be posted at the top of the church tower overlooking the cemetary.

One evening, the vampire was spied emerging from his tomb. He draped his shroud across a tombstone and left. The sentry came down from his post and spirited the shroud back up the church tower.

When the vampire of Liebava came back and saw that his shroud was missing, he flew into a great rage. The sentry called down to the vampire that he had the shroud. The vampire ran over to the church tower and proceeded to climb the ladder. Just as he got to the top, the sentry slammed a hammer into the vampire’s head. The vampire fell to the ground, insensible. The sentry hurried down after him and cut off his head with an axe.

Needless to say, the nightly attacks upon Liebava ended.

George Grando: Vampire of Kring

In 1672, a man named George Grando died in the east European village of Kring. A monk of St. Paul buried the body and went to console Grando’s wife. When he arrived at the widow’s home, the spectral image of George Grando was sitting behind the door. Everyone in the house fled from the apparition, but the image was soon seen again.

George Grando began to haunt the evening streets of Kring, tapping on the doors of homes. Grando would leave before anyone would answer the knocking. It didn’t take long for the citizens of Kring to notice that the occupants of these houses were dropping like flies. It didn’t help that Grando’s wife claimed he would come home to her at nights, make her fall into a deep sleep, then drink her blood.

A party of townsmen decided to take action. One day they went to Grando’s gravesite and opened the tomb. What they saw shocked them. Grando looked perfectly healthy. He even looked happy, with a slight smile upon his lips. The townsmen panicked and ran back to Kring. Fortunately, the chief magistrate was able to round them up again.

This time they were not to be deterred from their ugly task. They even brought a priest with them, armed with a sharp stake, carved all of hawthorn.

The priest wasted no time in taking charge. He knelt down beside the corpse, holding a crucifix before its eyes. The priest began to pray: “O vampire, look at this. Here is Jesus Christ who loosed us from the pains of Hell and died for us upon the tree.”

Grando began to weep, tears coursing down his cheeks. Then the stake was placed to Grando’s chest and slammed with a mallet. Nothing happened. The staked didn’t even break the skin. Filled with resolve, the priest tried again, and this time the stake merely bounced off Grando’s chest. The priest tried again and again, but to no avail. Finally, one of the townsmen grabbed an axe an decapitated the corpse. Grando let fly a bone-curdling scream, arms and legs flailing, and his spirit left his body forever.