Vampires!

I love a good vampire story. There’s something absolutely horrible about the idea of a creature that was once human, but is now transformed into a bloodthirsty monster (and it’s made even worse by the fact that just one bite is enough to turn you into one, as well). The vampire myth is as old as time, and there have been countless interpretations and variations on this classic bloodsucker. So, why not check out one of these titles? Some will certainly be familiar to you, but others should hopefully catch you by surprise and peak your interest. Just make sure to have some garlic and a crucifix on hand before starting any of these.

No list of vampire tales would be complete without a nod to the master vampire himself, Dracula. This little book has chilled audiences ever since it’s publication in 1897. Told through a series of letters and journal entries, this daring Gothic tale follows the diabolical plot of an ancient vampire, as told by his victims. Jonathan Harker believes that he’s coming to Transylvania to sell real estate, and ends up the prisoner of a vampire who takes advantage of his connections to travel to England, targeting those nearest and dearest to Jonathan’s heart. Despite being over 100 years old, this classic tale has lost none of its bite, and is well worth a read.

If you enjoyed this book, consider trying one of these titles: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Bedside, Bathtub, and Armchair Companion to Dracula, Who Is Dracula’s Father?, and Bram Stoker: A Biography of the Author of Dracula.

What do you get when you mix vampires and Dominican priests? A Bloody Habit (Get it? Like, a monk’s robes/habit, haha!). John Kemp is a pragmatic, no-nonsense lawyer. He does not believe in religion nor in the supernatural. So, his world is turned upside down when he encounters a monster on an overnight train trip. Worse yet, his steps have been dogged by a friendly (but apparently oblivious) Catholic priest, who offers not only his friendship, but his services as a vampire hunter. Forced to face off against threats that by own accounts should not exist (and doubting his sanity in the process), Kemp must come to terms with the fact that the world might not be as simple as he thought it was.

In I am Legend, an incurable plague has swept across the earth, turning everyone into bloodthirsty vampires. Robert Neville is the lone survivor. Every morning, he goes out hunting for the undead and killing them while they sleep. At night, he barricades himself in his home, praying for dawn while the beastly hordes try to break in and devour him. This claustrophobic and atmospheric tale is sure to chill you to the bone!

If you enjoyed this book, consider checking out one of the films is spawned: The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man, or I Am Legend.

Patricia Campbell feels like life is passing her by. Her family has no time for her, she’s constantly caring for her aging mother-in-law, and the only outlet for her is her book club, which has become a life-line. There, she and her friends meet to discuss all manner of true crime. After book club one night, Patricia is attacked by her elderly neighbor and saved by his nephew, James. James is young and handsome and makes Patricia feel things she hadn’t experienced in a long time. But, when children across town start to disappear, she becomes convinced that there is something more sinister about James at work here, and she (and her cherished book club) could be in very real danger. To find out what happens, check out The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires.

And we’ll wrap up this list with another Dracula story. Dracula: The Un-Dead is a spiritual successor of sorts to the original tale by Stoker. Written by his great-grandnephew, Dacre, this chilling sequel was written using Bram Stoker’s original notes and plot-lines which were removed from the classic novel. It takes place 25 years after the death of Dracula, where a young Quincy Harker is disturbed to learn about the dark secrets that plagued his parents, Jonathan and Mina over two decades before. Things become more disturbing when it becomes clear that the horror did not end with Dracula, and that someone is killing off the members of the team that defeated the Count all those years ago.

If you enjoyed this book, consider checking out it’s prequel, Dracul, a chilling tale about how Bram Stoker found his inspiration for the most famous vampire story in history.

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Erin

I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.