The idea of the existence of vampires, human-like creatures with extra-human abilities, fangs, and an insatiable thirst for human blood, has been around since the early 19th century. The explosion of vampire superstition in Europe in the 19th century was met with a lot of fear and trepidation. People who presented a mysterious character trait and suspicion were often accused of vampirism and leached by mobs.
Some of the first books about vampires were written in the 19th century. They were written in line with the vampire folklore of that time. They were all horror stories, unlike some of the Hollywood stories where vampires are glamorized and incite little fear. The concept of vampirism has been alive for centuries. Books about vampires also evolved from horror stories to just drama and thrillers. Some of the best books about vampires are listed below.
- The Vampyre by John William Polidori
This is probably the first book to be written about vampires. It was published in 1819 in the UK. John Polidori was the personal physician of a dominating lord, Lord Byron. He used some of his master’s unfinished work to come up with this book, which became the first archetype for vampire stories.
In the book, he uses his employer’s domineering presence to develop a character whose sexual allure and thirst for violence is overwhelming. This makes him particularly dangerous to women.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
This is another book that was written in the 19th century. It was published in 1897. The story has been told many times and interpreted differently over the years. The original story of a ruler with a dark side is overdetermined and packed with fear and trepidation. It gives some ancient method for protecting yourself from vampires and remedies. In the end, it gives the readers the power to interpret the story for themselves.
- Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith
This book was first published in 1991. It is set in a small town called Mystic Falls. The story revolves around a love triangle involving two brothers, Stefan and Damon Salvatore, and a high school girl, Elena Gilbert.
The brothers are over-a-hundred-year-old vampires. Stefan is brooding and mysterious. Damon is impulsive, which makes him dangerous. Both of them are attracted to Elena Gilbert. Stefan resists his attraction to Elena for her own good. Elena is attracted to both of them. Who will she choose?
- Salem Lot by Stephen King
First published in 1975, Salem Lot was Stephen King’s second published book. The book revolves around a community whose people have a disconnect with each other. It is a town like any other with the positive and the inherent flaws. There are also deep, dark secrets and closed doors. Therein is an evil lurking and preying on the people of the small town. In this horror novel, Stephen King pulls all the stops in making it scary.
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Published in 2005, this book pays homage to the original Bram Stoker’s Dracula. While most interpretations of Dracula vary from the original, Elizabeth Kostova finds the essence of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in this thrilling book.
The book is about a woman who finds an ancient book and cache of yellowing letters in her backyard. This sends her in search of the truth about her life, plunging her into a maze of secrets leading all the way back to a medieval ruler called Vlad the Impaler. The woman has to decipher ancient texts, investigate secrets, and ultimately confront an ancient evil in her quest for her birthright.