Vampire Haunts

Vampire Haunts

Wednesday, 17 April, 2024

So romantic, so deadly. It’s hard to resist a tall, dark, brooding, black-clad, courtly, seductive, repulsive, violent vampire. Such exquisite terror and sweeping adventure! But at their core, the best vampire tales are also stories of loneliness and the desperate wish for a love to last all time.

The first literary vampire to rise up and bare his fangs is found in the 1748 poem The Vampire by Heinrich August Ossenfelder: And as softly thou art sleeping / To thee shall I come creeping / And thy life’s blood drain away.

In 1819, John William Polidori — a guest at the same party where Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein — gave us The Vampyre, and we were introduced to the now-ubiquitous vision of an aristocratic villain (with deathly pale skin and a fine black suit), hunting among society’s beautiful people.

Fast forward through time, and you’ll meet Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Vampire Lestat in Anne Rice’s modern classics; Twilight’s Cullen family with sparkly heartthrob Edward; Joshua York in George R.R. Martin’s Fevre Dream; Steven King’s Kurt Barlow from Salem’s Lot; that cute little Swedish girl Eli from Let the Right One In, and so many more.

Our recommended books will introduce you to vampires from all swaths of society and cultures around the world. Perhaps a dab of holy water behind each ear?

recommended books


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Certain Dark Things

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The Historian

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The Quick

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Top image courtesy of Cederic X/Unsplash.

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We've selected our favorite literary vampires according to a very sharply honed list of criteria. They're all remarkable versions of this ancient creature, and they populate stories worthy of their dangerous charms.
The only thing better than reading a scary story is when someone TELLS you a scary story. Light a candle, grab someone you trust to share the terror, and let these stories creep you out in the very best way.
Stoker's Dracula is the OG vampire: intelligent, cunning, and even a little sexy. But you do not want that bad boy visiting your bed chamber! Simmer a big pot of this delicious, vampire-repelling magic.
Oh, Carmilla! She's beautiful and slinky and, perhaps, not as innocent as she seems. Which makes this vampire story a suspenseful, atmospheric romp through dark bedrooms, chilly drawing rooms, and misty mountains.
This fantasy-adventure-with-heart from Silvia Moreno-Garcia has been out of print — we're thrilled about this new, updated edition. You'll be transported to gritty Mexico City with unusual, unforgettable heroes.
This might very well be the ideal book to read in the fall. It's made for shorter days, eerie twilights, crunchy leaves, and a nip in the air — a thrilling tour of Eastern Europe, libraries, history, and legend.

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