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Presented in no particular order:
|Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula|
Fact: If a vampire did spend the night in a coffin, it probably had nothing to do with sleeping preference. In the old days, many bite victims were interred while still in a vampiric coma—which in-turn gave birth to the myth that vampires must sleep within the soil of their homeland. The truth is, vampires will sleep wherever they feel safe. That's not to say some don't choose to sleep in coffins, though it's more out of a sense of ritual or tradition than an actual need (although there is the added perk of keeping out light and sound).
Fact: Vampires have sensitive noses and can be momentarily driven off by pungent odors. However, this method of deterrence is unreliable and certainly won't work on an experienced vampire. Basically, you'd be better off using pepper spray.
|A cross employed in Horror of Dracula|
Fact: Unless heated as a torture device, or used as some kind of melee or throwing weapon, crosses have absolutely no effect on vampires. They have no trouble entering churches, either.
|Staking in Horror of Dracula|
Fact: Because their blood clots quickly and is circulated by skeletal muscles, vampires can easily survive injuries to the heart and torso, and they have little trouble freeing themselves from impalement. They also have no apparent allergy to wood (or silver, for that matter). When fighting vampires, your best bet is to aim for the head or spine.
A vampiric patient is set ablaze by sunlight in|
Let the Right One In.
Fact: Sunlight renders vampires, with their hyperdilated irises and reflective retinas, blind. It also causes neural pathways to fire randomly in the brain, creating an extreme epileptic reaction. Lastly, vampiric skin is highly sensitive to UV rays, becoming badly burned and blistered within minutes. However, as dramatic as these reactions may appear, not even a hint of smoke will occur.
Fact: Holy water, or any water for that matter, has little effect on vampires. They can, however, still be drowned, and they generally hate getting wet as it can lower their body temperature, making them less energetic and able to hunt.
Lugosi whispers sweet nothings|
to his next victim.
Fact: While vampires have a stated preference for the taste of young blood, they are not particular as to which gender provides it. Being asexual, sterile and impotent, vampires cannot have intercourse, let alone produce any kind of offspring; and biting a pregnant woman will only result in miscarriage or stillbirth.
|Vampiric speed portrayed in True Blood|
Fact: While they can sprint faster than most humans (25 to 30 miles per hour) and jump higher than any (at least ten feet), vampires cannot fly, levitate, teleport, or move any faster than a professional human athlete.
Vampire bats share several characteristics with|
vampires, which is why they were thought of as
different forms of the same creature.
Fact: Vampires cannot turn into bats, or anything else for that matter. Although vampires can't shapeshift (or retract their fangs), their appearance does change over time, and they can be quite adept at disguising themselves using makeup and other methods.
Fact: Vampires do cast shadows and are indeed visible in mirrors—although interestingly enough, they are often quite uncomfortable with their own reflections. As a result, they tend to avoid mirrors, which likely reinforced this particular myth.
|Vampiric tears in True Blood (©HBO)|
Fact: Because the blood is confined to the eyeball, vampiric tears are just as clear as ours.
Fact: While it's true that the vampirism virus is carried in both vampire blood and their saliva, transmission almost always occurs through biting. Contrary-wise, ingestion of vampire blood tends to cause a person to throw it back up, while injection can be outright lethal.
|Vlad III, aka Prince Dracula|
Fact: There exists no verifiable evidence that Countess Báthory and Prince Dracula were biological vampires. Even the notion that they drank blood is dubious at best, being a likely fabrication created by their enemies to further demonize them. Still, "artificial vampirism" was not uncommon throughout history, as blood-feeding was commonly thought to be the sole reason behind vampiric longevity before modern science disproved that claim.
Dracula's brainwashed thrall,|
Fact: While vampires do have heightened senses due to their enlarged amygdalae, they cannot read minds or see the future, only physical expressions and mannerisms. This in-turn benefits their powers of persuasion, as they can more easily figure out what to say. However, these abilities depend largely on individual skill and experience. Their enhanced hearing also allows them to talk discreetly amongst each other, which further reinforced the psychic myth.
Interview's Louis lamenting|
his eternal sideburns
Fact: Older vampires look more like Nosferatu—or, more accurately, anorexic drowning victims with alopecia and pinkeye. On a related note, the myth that a vampire's hair never changes most likely came about from its slowed growth rate, as well as their tendency to wear wigs after it falls out.
Fact: Although animals and blood bags can get them by for a while, vampires need to feed on live humans to get all the nutrients they require.
Fact: While it's true that even major injuries can clot within a few minutes, vampiric healing rate is only double that of a human's, and they still form scars. Moreover, although they can regenerate their upper and lower fangs, they cannot regrow lost body parts such as limbs or eyes.
Fact: Dead vampires actually decompose at a slower rate than human corpses, thanks to natural antibiotics in their bodily fluids.
|Count von Count|
Fact: Regardless of how severe a vampire's OCD might be, counting objects is a low priority when faced with a potential meal or threat.
A female mosquito digesting blood while|
excreting excess fluid to make room
for the more solid nutrients
Fact: While many fictional vampires are depicted as being able to absorb intact/undigested blood into their own bloodstream through a variety of methods—hypodermic fangs, larger pores in the GI tract, reconnection of the esophagus into the heart—the truth is that vampires digest blood no differently than hematophages such as vampires bats, leeches and ticks; or even how we digest our own food.
Fact: Drop the zero and you have a more accurate number. A vampire is usually quite a bit stronger than the average bodybuilder, though not as strong as those on the upper end of the scale—the ones squatting 1,000 pounds and bench pressing 600. Whatever the case, however, the leaner-bodied vampires still have speed and agility on their side when faced with heavier-muscled humans.
Fact: Contrary to much fiction, there is no all-powerful mother or father of all vampires, any more than there is a mother or father of all rabies or Ebola victims (or any organism, for that matter). One grain of truth to the Lilith legend, though, is that vampires have very likely been around for as long as humans have (if not longer), since Adam and Lilith were said to be created at the same time and from the same source.