Vampires or bats have been mentioned in the ancient legends, but their appearance in literature is traceable to the 18th and 19th century poetry of Lord Byron and Gottfried August Burger, though not in the exact sense of the vampire as understood currently. In the modern sense of pop culture, the vampires appeared in the late 19th century. The term ‘pop,’ standing for ‘popular’ in brief, is distinguished from the popular culture in that an object or event in popular culture is recognized after its occurrence while they are known beforehand in the pop culture. Vampires in pop culture include music, ballet, opera, literature, and movies. Vampires in pop culture originated from the novel Dracula written by Bram Stoker in 1897. In this novel Count Dracula is used to sleeping in his coffin during the daytime, while at night he would appear in the form of a bat and would hunt to suck blood. Dracula represents the Eastern European vampire culture and depicts the vampire as an ugly, pale, malodorous creature with long nails and typical prominent canines, or the biting teeth. with an insatiable lust for sucking blood.
1. Count Dracula
Count Dracula is the main antagonist in the novel Dracula written by Bram Stoker in 1897. He is the prime example of vampires in pop culture. He is a centuries old vampire belonging to the Transylvanian nobility. He received his education in black magic at Schoolmance in the Carpathanian Mountains and was buried in a chapel in his castle after his death. He returns from death as a vampire and lives for centuries in companionship with three other female vampires whose relation to Dracula is not known exactly. He planned to conquer the world and started in England. To enact his plan he hired a solicitor, Jonathan Harker, but starts sucking his blood and his friend Lucy’s blood every night. Lucy tries garlic to ward off the evil of Dracula, but she fails, and Dracula succeeds in turning her into a zombie. He drives a special car named a Countmobile.
Vampirella is a super heroine of a comic book written by Forest J. Ackerman. She ranks #35 in the list of ‘100 Sexiest Women in Comics’ of the Comics Buyer’s Guide. Vampirella, nicknamed Vampi, is an inhabitant of the planet Drakulon where the rivers full of blood flow, and the race of vampires to which Vampi belongs thrives prosperously. The vampires can transform into bats at will. Things, however, change after the rivers of blood start drying up. A spaceship from the planet Earth lands on the planet Drakulon when only a few of the vampires are surviving. Vampirella, on investigating the spaceships, comes to know that the astronauts have blood in their bodies. Therefore, she returns to the planet Earth to exploit the newly discovered source of blood to save her race.
Bunnincula is a book written for children in 1979. Bunnincula is a pet bunny of the Monroe family who also has a pet dog Harold and a pet cat Chester who are suspicious of the bunny and consider him a vampire. Chester is suspicious of the bunny’s pointy fangs, black-and-white coloration, and nocturnal habits. When he finds a white tomato in the kitchen sucked dry and colorless, he becomes anxious about the safety of the Monroe family and warns Harold saying, ‘Today vegetables; tomorrow’¦the World!’
4. Count Von Count
Count Von Count is a Muppet; a puppet resembling the characters designed by Jim Henson in 1954-1955. Count Von Count is better known as The Count, and he lives in an old castle infested with cobwebs. Other pets including; Grisha, Misha, Sasha, Tatiana, and Fatatia also live with him. He is fond of counting and would count anything regardless of the size, number, or the irritation he causes to others. He prevented one of the Muppets from responding to the telephone call because he wanted to count the rings. The Count had many girlfriends including Countess Backward who was obsessed with backward counting, Countess Dahling von Dahling, and one named simply as Countess.
5. Wax Fangs
Wax Fangs are not vampires, but they are iconic to vampires and have entered the pop culture as the vampire quintessential. They are usually gummies produced from gelatin and starch. Whereas the lips and gums are made of jelly, the canines, or the fangs as they are usually known, are produced from marshmallows which give the extra whiteness and real teeth resemblance. On account of beating the marshmallow used to produce the fangs, it is elastic and retains the shape of the teeth while remaining very soft to touch and absolutely safe to wear for proper Dracula makeup.
Angel is a fictional vampire created by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt for the TV programs Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Angel. The character made its first appearance in the first episode Welcome to the Hell Mouth of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel is a 242-year-old vampire cursed with longevity for prolonged punishment of his past sins. In the first episode he meets the heroine Buffy Summers who is a young girl and engaged in fighting evil in the small town of Sunnydale. In the beginning, Angel serves her just as a messenger, but later he is shown as a benevolent character. Buffy and the Scooby gang do not consider him trustworthy in the beginning, but they accept him as an ally with the passage of time.
7. The Highgate Vampire
The Highgate Vampire haunted the Higate Cemetery in London in the 1970s. One school of thought opined that modern satanists activated an old soul through their magic. It was a media sensation in the 1970s, and the vampire was described differently by different people. Some said it was a tall, grey figure and a cyclist, others said it was a pale, gliding form, while yet a few others described her as a woman in white peeping through the gates of the cemetery. Professor Bill Ellis offered an academic view in the journal Folklore explaining how a rumor, having passed the process stages of rumor, selection, and exaggeration becomes a narrative acceptable to the popular culture.
Blade is a half vampire and half human being. He descended from the Sumarians as immortal and worshiped as a god. He is a vampire killer equipped with a silver gun and garlic bullets which can kill the vampires. The Blade movie triology is comprised of: Blade, Blade II, and Blade: Trinity. Blade is also a TV series. All these movies and TV series are named after the vampire killer main protagonist Blade. Blade is gifted with a long life, extreme power, marvelous speed and agility, and can infect the victim through transferring his saliva. He and the other vampires like him are unlike the conventional vampires and are not afraid of the usual tactics used to kill them. Their weakness is the lack of blood in their bodies for which they remain always blood thirsty. They are severely injured by ultraviolet or sunlight, and EDTA can also kill them.
9. Lestate de Lioncourt
Lestate de Lioncourt is a vampire which appears in many novels of Anne Rice such as The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, The Tale of the Body Thief, Memnoch the Devil, and Blood Canticle. He was a famous pop culture vampire. The character is bold, enthusiastic, and enjoys the fine arts. Often villainous but at times the character is quite humane. He has extraordinary powers of telepathy, resilience, and physical strength.
10. Vampire Princess Miyu
Vampire Princess Miyu is a Japanese manga comic written in the Japanese language and in a specific old style. It was written and created by Narumi Kakinouchi and Toshhiki Hirano. Miyu is a daughter of a human father and a vampire mother. She appears to be about 15 but, in fact, is much older. ‘Miyu’ in Japanese means ‘beauty of the evening.’ She is beautiful and has the powers to teleport, levitate, or to ignite fires anywhere at will. She is talkative, childlike, and tactful. Although a vampire, she is not affected by sunlight, holy water, or crucifixes. She is constrained to be blood thirsty for her survival and chooses her victim very carefully because she wants them to be willing donors of blood.
Myths have a touch of some facts. And in case of bats, researchers have found that bats tend to suck blood from one and the same bite repeatedly at night. They trace their victims by sound and breath of the targeted animal. Bat bites have been known to have caused rabies in human beings. A nine-year-old child died of rabid bat bites in the Macas Hospital of Morona, Santiago. The death toll on this account reached four at the same facility. Facts communicated by word of mouth tend to become myths.