8 rules of the vampire, according to Dracula (from 1901)

8 rules of the vampire, according to Dracula

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More than 100 years before people started wondering why the vampires of Twilight sparkled in the sunlight, there were other questions being asked about these creatures…

Vampires & vamping

by Andrew Lang, Longman’s Magazine

Thus I have inexpensively perused, and thrown away, Mr Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” One always heard that it was “horrid” enough to suit the taste of Miss Catherine Morland in “Northanger Abbey.” Yet it only wins a smile from the experienced student of vampires and their ways.

The rules of vampiring, as indicated by Mr Stoker, are too numerous and too elaborate.

One does not see why the leading vampire, Count Dracula, could not bolt out of the box where he was finally run to earth by a solicitor named Jonathan. If he could fly about as a bat, why did he crawl down steep walls head foremost?

Dracula by Bram Stoker - 1947 edition
Dracula by Bram Stoker – 1947 edition

The rules of the Game of Vampire ought to be printed in an appendix — at present, the pastime is as difficult as Bridge.

Perhaps I do not understand the rules:

First: Every vampire, all day, must lie in consecrated ground. He can be stumped when in his ground, not when out of it.

Second: All day a vampire is off side.

Third: No vampire may enter a house uninvited.

Fourth: No vampire may cross salt water except at ebb tide and full tide.

Fifth: Every person bitten by a vampire becomes a vampire. (This rule strikes at the root of morality.)

Sixth: No vampire can vamp a person protected by garlic. (The peasantry of Southern Europe always smells of garlic, perhaps as security against vampires.)

Seventh: A vampire, staked through the heart with a sharp piece of wood is out.

Eighth: Every man should stake his own young woman if she is a vampire.

These appear to be the chief rules. There are others to which a person of taste would rather not allude.

Revisit dozens of creepy & spooky vintage Halloween TV specials (and other retro horror on television)
Dracula movie with Bela Lugosi (1931)
From the Dracula movie with Bela Lugosi (1931)

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Comments on this story

5 Responses

  1. You missed a bit on point seven. A stake through the heart is not enough on its own. You must both stake its heart and decapitate it.

  2. i love vampires and i want to know the rules so this is very much appreciated although modern day vampires do not spend all day in hiding but they live among us

  3. According to ‘The Vampire Diaries’, if a human dies with vampire blood in their system, that’s when they turn into a vampire. There too you have a choice to either become a vampire and feed on a human, or not feed on anyone and die.

  4. The research I’ve done on vampires led me to an article, that seemed plausible and regardless of fact or fiction. Was a more logical belief, over most I’ve heard.
    It said that what later came to be called vampirism, originated from a rare and highly misunderstood, medical condition. That bare close similarity to the supposed physical symptoms & effects on the body, resulting from vampirism. Enough that because of much stricter adherence, and value over humanity placed on social order back then. Anything deemed undesirable or unacceptable was hatefully shunned from the midst of society. Into exile and solitude, for their entire life! For example, all the 2nd and 3rd class deaths, compared to 1st class
    during Titanic’s sinking!

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