Vampire folklore and characters are as popular as ever, however, it would be hard to suggest that the story of Dracula is not a reason for why the theme has become a huge success around the world.
There have been a number of sources of popular culture to have taken reference from the vampire world and use it as a theme in which has proven incredibly successful, with tv shows and films such as Twilight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and F. W. Murnau’s “Nosferatu” in 1922 that has been described as one of the most influential horror films to have ever been created.
Furthermore, there have been a number of games to have featured a vampire as the main character or as a theme, with video games such as Skyrim, Castlevania and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines having all been created. The iGaming industry has also used the theme of the gothic character to their advantage as well, with many of the best online casinos providing games such as NetEnt’s Dracula slot, Microgaming’s Immortal Romance slot and Play’n GO’s Wild Blood 2 slot having all been hits.
However, despite the fact that the theme of Dracula has become incredibly popular in pop culture, it is important to realise where the character initially appeared and why he has perhaps become such an influential character within history.
Why are vampires so popular in today’s culture?
Over time and throughout history, vampires have continued to undergo a change in the way they are portrayed and how they are depicted, especially when it comes down to tv shows and films that are continually produced.
For instance, the very first use of these gothic creatures in history always had them being rather feared and rather grotesque individuals, however time has since seen them become rather the opposite: interesting and attractive.
However, Erin Collopy has also described the reason why vampires are so popular is that they work as a highly effective metaphor for people’s own desires and anxieties, therefore making them incredibly appealing characters.
Bram Stoker created the character in his 1897 novel
Indeed, Dracula was the title character of the book that was written by Bram Stoker in 1897 and has origins in Romania, with the Bran Castle having been used as the centrepiece for the novel. The castle is located in Bran, which is in Transylvania and along the historical border of Wallachia.
Indeed, those that know about vampire history will already know about the region of Wallachia, as this was the area in which Vlad Tepes had ruled during 1456 and 1462. During this time, Tepes had become known as Vlad the Impaler after becoming known for his notorious practise of impaling the defeated enemies he had fought.
His cruelty became known throughout the region of Europe and made his story become a legend, which is where Stoker managed to take the name Dracula from; as it was Vlad’s historic family name.
Stoker provided the characteristics and rituals vampires are known by today
Stoker also, arguably, changed the way that vampires have been portrayed since his book was released, as the Irish author introduced a number of different rituals and characteristics that are widely associated with Count Dracula and other portrayals of vampire characters.
Some of the first rituals to have featured in the book included the use of garlic as a way of repelling a vampire attack, whilst his novel also introduced the idea that vampires would bite the neck of someone and feed on the blood that can be sucked from them to give them power.
Further instances of where his book had introduced iconic characteristics include things such as the continued drinking of blood, the idea that they sleep in a coffin and fear the sunlight, whilst also introducing the idea that they can be destroyed by a stake to the heart was also Stoker’s idea, as was the idea that a vampire could change into a bat.
Indeed, many of those rituals and characteristics are synonymous with the vampire theme and are how many will instantly think of the character.