The History Behind Vampirism in Media


A collection of old books.

Abigail Estrada, Social Writer

Throughout the centuries of literature, there have been many stories that were told, some true and some old tales. These stories were more than just bedtime stories, but a century-long tradition of literature.

The stories include the success of heroes while also showcasing the loss of several characters. However, stories have shifted to the more foreign aspects of life: supernatural tales. These tales include witches, werewolves, ghosts, and vampires.

Stories of vampires have existed since the 17th century and even before then, they were celebrated as legends by the indigenous peoples. The folklore behind vampires has existed throughout the 21st century with such aspects of media as Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. The tales of vampires continued to rise in popularity.

These supernatural beings are super fast, strong, and as pale as snow usually. Their lives vary in each piece of literature but one thing usually stays the same: their inability to control their thirst.

The first vampire story to exist was Dracula the Vampyre by John Polidori. The story was based on another novel and its portrayal of predators. This story later led to the huge hit that was Dracula, but the characterization of vampires turned into many different variations. One of the depictions of these characters includes the inclusion of scandalous affairs. 

As the popularity of these characters grew, so did the phenomenon. This began with the popularity of film throughout the early 1900s. Throughout Hollywood, the stories of vampires grew. Adaptations of popular books continued throughout the 1900s and boomed with the rise of the 2000s.

One of the most popular vampire shows during the 90s was “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Vampire culture excelled in the 2000s with the popular film series, “Twilight.” The Twilight franchise was once a four-book story (now seven including different adaptations) and grew after the first movie had its big break. Twilight took a popular turn with the rise of the lead actors, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. After the first Twilight movie in the late 2000s, vampires became really popular. As Twilight grew, so did another important aspect of vampires in modern-day media.

The Vampire Diaries was a series that aired in 2009 and carried on until 2017 with 2 different spin-off shows known as The Originals and Legacies. The show was based on the book series from the 90s but didn’t grow until the rise of other movies such as Twilight. After the popularity of these two, more vampire media was released. 

Vampire media has had a downfall ever since the end of the television era but continues to live on throughout different types of literature. No matter the time period, vampires are a prominent part of literature. The vampire era comes and goes, so it’s not shocking to see a downfall. We will probably see another rise in our life, just as the generations before us did. No matter the depiction, vampires seem to always have one shared truth: their ability to move forward with generations.