If “Twilight” couldn’t kill vampire fiction, perhaps the genre will prove to be as resistant to death as its subject. Vampire fiction traces back to before Bram Stoker wrote “Dracula” and reached a fever pitch in the early 21st century. Things do seem to be slowing down a bit, but vampires are still to be found everywhere. You might think that there is simply no vampire myth left for writers to mine for book series or TV series or movie series. But you would be wrong. Dead wrong.
Vampires are not always referred to with the word vampire. Bloodsucking creatures that share much with Dracula, Spike and those wussies from “Twilight” come in a variety of shapes, sizes and names. If you want to dive into the great big compensatory world of writing about vampires, maybe you can find a story that hasn’t been told. Like, for instance, an idea for a truly original vampire fiction that comes from my young son: the vampires can only be seen by their reflection in a mirror. Now, there’s an original spin on the vampire mythos, right? It’s yours. For free. Go wild. Just thank my son at the beginning of the novel or movie.
The Alp Vampire
The Alp is a Germanic vampire that can appear as a cat, bird, dog and maybe even a wolf. In fact, the Alp is a vampire that may really be closer to a werewolf, although most illustrations show the Alp in pig form rather than wolf form. There is one particularly specific thing about the Alp that makes it ideal for transition into your original vampire story: regardless of its manifestation, it is always seen wearing a hat. Or so I hear, anyway.
Romance or sex always seems to be a part of the vampire mythos. (To see a vampire story that in no way romanticizes vampirism, watch the Swedish film “Let the Right One In” ; it’s the best vampire movie I’ve ever seen and nobody walks away from this movie wanting to a vampire unless they are seriously Becked-up.) The Succubus is a vampire-like woman who drains men of their vitality at night not so much by sucking their neck as, well, having sex. Repeated. Over and over. The result of this vampiric creature coming to the same man night after night is that at best he goes from being a decathlete to a couch potato and at worst he dies. Of course, there are worse ways to go, one must admit, but even so.
This particular vampiric creature is really quite, well, offensive. The Ustrel is made manifest from a baby born on Saturday that dies before being baptized. Clearly, this vampire is quite in line with the Dracula mode of Christian vampires. The worst thing about the Ustrel vampire for victims is that it appears without appearing. Crawling out of its grave, the Ustrel remains invisible as it feasts upon the blood of its livestock victims.
Part of the mythology of Satanism states that the child of a witch may be cursed at birth to die and return as a member of the walking dead. It doesn’t matter if the witch is burned at the stake, drowned, crushed beneath bricks or elected Governor of Alaska: the offspring of that accursed witch is going to live forever as a denizen of the bloodsucking night.
Not a Buddhist vampire, but close. The Bhuta is a vampiric creature found in Eastern Indian lore. The Bhuta is actually the spirit of a man who died as a result of execution, suicide or unfortunate accident. It is also believed that one can become a Bhuta vampire by not receiving funeral rites. If you think the Ustrel is bad, consider that the Bhuta survives by eating fecal matter left behind or goes directly to the source by ripping you’re your intestines and sucking on them for sustenance. A weird element to this particular vampire lore is that those who are attacked by the Bhuta may either die or just get severely sick. The Bhuta are also thought to have a sense of humor and may just play a trick upon its victims rather than attacking.