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Q: The first vampire ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   12 Comments )
Subject: The first vampire
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: sire-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 26 May 2002 07:45 PDT
Expires: 25 Jun 2002 07:45 PDT
Question ID: 18169
Who was the first vampire ?
Subject: Re: The first vampire
Answered By: joseleon-ga on 26 May 2002 08:12 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hello, sire!

This is an interesting question and can be asked in several ways. The
first way is to tell you who was the first vampire in the cinema,
because is suposed those creatures doesn't exist. In that case, the
first vampire was Max Schreck, the actor who interpreted the Count
Graf Orlok in Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens in 1922.

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens

Max Schreck,+Max

The other way to ask your question is to dig into history looking for
Dracula's roots, this throws some interesting results:

"The Dracula of Transylvanian legend appears to have originated from
Vlad IV of Wallachia (1430-1476), known as Vlad the Impaler, although
he was not a vampire. It is suggested that Stoker's Count Dracula was
a composite figure derived from Vlad the Impaler and the Countess
Báthori, who was arrested in 1610 for murdering some 650 girls. It was
her habit to wash in the blood of her girl victims in order to
maintain her skin in a youthful condition. The name Dracula comes from
Vlad's family membership of the Order of the Dragon, although dracul
in Romanian strictly speaking means 'the Devil'. The Order of the
Dragon was invested upon Vlad's father (his name was Dracul) in 1431,
by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. This Order was a semi-monastic
and semi-military organization dedicated to fighting the Turkish
infidels. Dracul, in the sense of dragon, stems from this... Vlad was
called Dracula because this was a diminutive of his father's name,
meaning the son of the Devil, or dragon."

Dracula, the First Vampire

And if we search for Vlad IV, we get a lot of interesting pages about
the history of what it seems the first vampire:

The Columbia Encyclopedia

Vlad, Dracula

Concluding, there wasn't a "real" first vampire, it was created by
Bram Stoker, who based his book on Vlad IV's life and added some parts
of the life of Countess Báthori.

Countess Elizabeth Báthori

Bram Stoker's Dracula

Search terms used:

"the first vampire"

"Vlad IV"

I hope this is what you were looking for and I would be glad to ask
for any clarification.

Clarification of Answer by joseleon-ga on 26 May 2002 08:13 PDT
Sorry, but I mixed ask and answer in several points of my answer.
Forgive my mistakes.

Request for Answer Clarification by sire-ga on 26 May 2002 15:32 PDT
Let me clarify. I'm not looking for fictional vampires, or even a
specific name.
I'm interested in the earliest vampire legends.  Maybe it was Egypt or
Babylon or Sumeria, or earlier.

Clarification of Answer by joseleon-ga on 27 May 2002 00:48 PDT

I have found a very interesting page, it speculates about the origin
of vampires from an scientific point. Please, bear in mind that your
question is very wide because the legend of vampires exists in almost
any culture, so I think the following link is the right answer to your
question, but of course, are legends and speculations:

Earth Operations Central: Vampyres

The following link contains more information on what you want:

Vampire Mythology and Folklore

And here is a list of vampires in different cultures:

The Vampire in different cultures

I hope this answers completely your question.

Request for Answer Clarification by sire-ga on 27 May 2002 01:33 PDT
Some interesting links to follow on that 1st page you gave me.  Mostly
the Usenet FAQ's that I had overlooked.  I was looking for the first
vampire and haven't found it yet so I'll keep looking.  I was hoping
to locate where the legend first started.  Notably, the earliest known

Who was the first vampire ? Could it have been Sekhmet as
politicalguru-ga had noted, or is there another before Sekhmet still? 
Thank you.

Clarification of Answer by joseleon-ga on 27 May 2002 03:36 PDT

Looking for the first reference to a vampire in history, I have found
this page which may be useful to you:

"The first reference to vampirism can be found in the work of Lucius
Apuleius, a roman writer and philosopher, who lived from 125-180. His
novel "De asino aureo" tells the story of the two wicked sisters Meroe
and Panthia who drink the blood of Socrates (not the philosopher).
They close his wounds with a sponge so that he does not notice his
loss, but when the next day he bends over to drink from a river, the
sponge drops into the water, the last drop of life flows into the
water and Socrates dies."

History of vampirism
sire-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
Not exactly the answer I was looking for, but I did find information I
needed from suzanne-ga.  Thanks.

Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: wlk115-ga on 26 May 2002 08:48 PDT
The legend of Count Dracula was based on a real person.  The Prince
Vlad III Dracula, a.k.a Vlad Tepes, meaning "Vlad the Impaler. prince
of Walachia (c1431-1476). He was born in Transylvania, which at that
time was ruled by Hungary.
He was called Dracula (son of the devil), as his father was known as
Vlad Dracul (Vlad the Devil) because of their cruelty.

Nosferatu was the first Dracula movie (1922). It was based on Bram
Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula". Max Scheck played the Vampire

Bela Lugosi played Dracula in the first sound movie Dracula.
Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: libraryman-ga on 26 May 2002 08:52 PDT
Apparently Vlad the Impaler got his name from his custom of impaling
invading Turks along the roads of his kingdom. He is reputed to have
drunken cups of their blood, hence the vampire connection. Eastern
Europe is rife with vampire legends, apparently arising from certain
aspects of the body after death. Hair and nails appear to lengthen due
to the shrinking of the skin. There is also
a tendency for dead bodies to sit up in their coffins and make
groaning sounds
due to the production of gases as putrefaction takes place. Sorry to
be so gruesome, but death was treated differently then. I have heard
of Asian vampire
cults that have no connection to the European stories. Perhaps Egypt
too. I would tend to go along with the Bram Stoker/Vlad the Impaler
Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: libraryman-ga on 26 May 2002 09:33 PDT
I forgot to add that of course a stake in the heart of a corpse would
tend to
release the gases inside and thus 'kill' the vampire. Also, as far as
I know,
vampire bats are native to Central America, Mexico and parts of
northern South America, not the Old World. The inclusion of vampire
bats (the first vampires!)
in movies seems to be a later addition. There is a Mayan or Aztec god
with a bat's head, but no there is no known linkage between that and
European vampire
Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: browolf-ga on 26 May 2002 12:09 PDT
In fiction, specifically a well established RPG (Role-Playing Game)
called Vampire: The Masquerade, the first vampire was Caine who was

"...the first murderer. For his crime, Caine was cursed by God and
thereby transformed into a vampire. Exiled from his people, Caine was
forced to stalk the fringes of civilisation, fearful of the sun and
ravenous for blood.
In his loneliness, Caine came upon a mighty witch named Lilith, who
had been Adam's first wife. Lilith taught him how to use his blood for
mighty magic (indeed, a few heretics claim that Lilith, not Caine, was
the first vampire). Lilith taught Caine many things, including how to
use his blood to invoke mystical powers-and how to create others of
his kind."

details of the RPG here:
Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: politicalguru-ga on 26 May 2002 15:41 PDT
I just searched "Egyptian Mythology" and "Blood sucking" (since you
already got the answer, but I'm willing to do a more thorough search
if you want me to, just contact me again), and found this: - she sucks the
blood of nurmal people to get her power (but not particularly virgins;
not for secual reasons and not by night).

Check out also that for ancient than Dracula Vampires:
Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: chromedome-ga on 27 May 2002 04:23 PDT
Not overly related to your inquiry, but for an early (and amusingly
lurid) treatment of the vampire in Western literature, check out
"Varney the Vampire," attributed to one James Rymer.  Published
serially beginning in 1845, it was hugely popular in its day.  Its
original popularity was due at least in part to the rumour that it had
been written by the poet Byron (!!!????)

A number of locations have the complete text on-line for your
amusement and delectation.  This is one of them:
Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: suzanne-ga on 27 May 2002 13:20 PDT
Wow I wish I would've seen this earlier (I was out of town). I study
vampire folklore. Let me try my shot at best answering your question.
The earliest known vampire is extremely hard to tell, but luckily
through ancient texts, cave paintings, and other forms of historical
documents we can get an idea just how far back vampirism goes. To the
best of my knowledge, noone knows for sure if vampirism was derived
from one human being with a virus or a complete sub-species of humans.

There are some vampire folklore in the realm of Assyria and Babylonia.
The following link will best explain this along with some ancient
texts found.

There is also the theory and myth of Lilith being the first vampire,
thanks to Hebrew legend. She was seen as being a monster with wings,
clawed feet, and only coming out at night to kill newborn children and
pregnant women.
There is also a piece of pottery that was found dated back to 4000bc
depicting a woman drinking the blood from her lover's chest. As far as
I know, that is the oldest known vampire relic (unfortunately, the
link for showing you the information on the pottery is not working).
There are also cave paintings dating back to 3000bc of "creatures"
holding up skulls with human blood inside of them. These cave
paintings are found in India and Nepal.
The Rakshasas were demons found in the ancient Hindu text called The
Vedas. They were known for feeding off of human flesh. These texts
date back to 1500bc.
I could go on for days if you wanted me to. There is so much vampire
folklore out there.

Here is a variety of vampire legends of ancient times

More about Lilith

A very good description of Vampire Myth and History

I hope this answers your question. If you need anything more answered
in regards to vampires, I'd be more than happy to answer them.
Take care
Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: sire-ga on 27 May 2002 17:08 PDT
Suzanne-ga, great info!  Thank you so much.
Exactly what I was looking for.  If you have more information or even
a site of your own about vampire folklore, please share.

Again, Thank you.
Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: libraryman-ga on 01 Jun 2002 10:40 PDT
I got some of my material on vampires/vampirism from Natural History
October, 1990 (I think). They have a website and you can order a copy
of the article for $5.00 if you want. I don't remember it being
particularly historical,but hey, it's been over 11 years. It had 'real
vampires' or something similar in the title.
Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: suzanne-ga on 02 Jun 2002 19:47 PDT
Hi again,
I was flipping around the internet some more (always on the "hunt" for
more vampiric folklore), and stumbled upon a few more sites I'd
thought you might like to read.

Vampires: Fang and Horror: Early Types of Vampirism
This one gives a few more details on each of the early types of
vampire myths.

The Vampire's Kith and Kin
EXCELLENT resource on vampire history. If you haven't read any of the
links I've given.. at least give this a look over. It's worth it.

That's it for now. No, unfortunately, I don't have a vampire website..
I never felt I knew enough to make one. Besides, there's so many
contradictions and myths out there that I couldn't possibly pile all
that information on one website and ever be truely satisfied.
I hope this little information helps, again.
Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: gimpe-ga on 19 Jun 2002 12:19 PDT
I just want to tell that two of the first Essay about vampires are:

"La Morte amoureuse" by Théophile Gautier (1836)

"Carmilla" by J. Sheridan LeFanu (1872)

The texts are available online, sorry but the first one is in French I
guess a translation is available somewhere.

I hope this can help you in you quest for the first vampire

Subject: Re: The first vampire
From: noelsmyth-ga on 02 Oct 2004 11:14 PDT
Im not sure but i tink the first Vampire according to the hebrews was
lilith.. Lilith was created by God for adam, but there was an
arguement and she left to torture the world, then God created EVE. *I

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