List of Vampire Powers and Abilities in Fiction

Vampires are beings from folklore who subsists by feeding on the life essence of the living. This list was inspired by the List of Vampire Traits in Folklore and Fiction on Wikipedia, albeit a few modifications.

Supernatural Powers

  • Immortal – The power to never age and recover from almost any injury.
  • Unnatural Strength – The power to exert great strength.
  • Unnatural Senses – Vampires have uncanny senses.  They better sight, smell, hearing, taste, and sense of touch.
  • Unnatural Speed – Vampires can move at faster than the human eye.
  • Unnatural Healing – To heal rapidly from any physical injury.
  • Flight – Fly without any outside influence.  In the Blade series, vampires lack the ability to fly but in The Lost Boys they’re able to.
  • Shapeshifting – Shapeshifting for a vampire can range from taking on the appearance of other people to changing into a bat. In A Vampire in Brooklyn Maximilian was able to take on the appearance of the victims he feed from.
  • Animal Control – Some vampires have exercised the ability to control animals; bats, wolves, rats, etc.
  • Telepathy – Vampires can sometimes read/sense another person’s thoughts, communicate with them mentally and/or influence their minds/thoughts.
  • Telekinesis – Manipulate objects/matter with the mind.
  • Vision – Most vampires have night or heat vision but there have been instances of blood flow vision, the ability to see the flow of blood of any living being.

Weaknesses

  • Silver – Silver isn’t typically fatal to vampires but it can weaken them.
  • Stake – Vampires are typically terminated by a use of a stake to the heart.  But then again, most living creatures would die with a stake to the heart.
  • Sunlight – Some vampires can withstand sunlight.  Take the vampires in the show Being Human.
  • Invitation – In the show True Blood vampires couldn’t enter a house without being invited.
  • Decapitation – Honestly, who wouldn’t die from decapitation.
  • Drowning – I guess this wouldn’t really hurt the undead ones, though Selene from Underworld nearly drowned after losing a lot of blood.
  • Fire – Fire is able to kill anything.
  • Garlic – Garlic can have an allergic reaction or a fatal reaction, depending on the quantity.
  • Holy Symbols – Holy symbols are a relatively old part of the folklore but if they’re ancient vampires why not try throwing some holy water on the problem.
  • Running Water – Never heard of this before I read I Am Legend.

Appearance

  • Skin Color – Some vampires have pale/white skin.  Others look perfectly normal.
  • Fangs – Most incarnations of vampires have fangs, whether they’re just extended canines or row of fangs.
  • Reflection – Vampires are said to lack a reflection when looking into a mirror.
  • Film – Some vampires can’t be seen on film.  In the Fright Night remake Jerry Dandrige’s image doesn’t show up on recorded footage.
  • Shadow – Some vampires don’t cast a shadow no matter the light.  Still don’t understand this one.
  • Attractiveness – In the Twilight series the vampires were known to have a supernatural beauty about them.
  • Ears – Most vampires have normal ears but in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film the vampires had pointy ears.
  • Death – What does a vampire look like dead.  Is it a burned up skeleton.  A pile of ash.

Reproduction

  • Fertile – Vampires are able to produce their own children.  Don’t know any vampires that do that.
  • Scratches – Zombies reproduce by scratch, werewolves reproduce by scratch, maybe vampires can too.
  • Reproduction via Bite – Vampires are best known for spreading vampirism through bite.
  • Reproduction via Transfusion – In 2012s Dark Shadows, Julia becomes immortal after having several blood transfusions from the vampire Barnabas.
  • Reproduction via Consumption of Vampire Blood After Bite – This is another method most commonly used to spread vampirism.
  • Inhabited by Demons – Seems like a pretty cool way to create vampires.  Too bad this isn’t utilized that often.

Feeding

  • Diet – Vampires are known for gaining their sustenance from the living, most notably humans; but there are some that actually feed on other life forms.  The Reapers in Blade II feed on other vampires as well as the Strigoi in Vampire Academy.
  • Effects on Victims – In most feedings, there is a feeling of euphoria.   Sometimes, not so much.  Sometimes feedings paralyze victims.

Setting Characteristics

  • Progenitor – Is there a being or creature that created the virus.  In The Strain, The Master is the progenitor of the vampire plague.
  • Source – Is the source of vampirism parasitic? Viral?
  • Dracula – In most popular lore, Dracula is considered to be the first/original vampire.
  • Supernatural Creatures – Are there other supernatural creatures? Vampires are most commonly closely associated with werewolves.
  • Non-Vampire Lovers
  • Rest in Coffins – If there is one thing that vampires are known for resting in coffins at night.
  • Vampire Society or Organization – This focuses on if there is a coalition for vampires.  Do vampires have a government? A central body?
  • Known to Human Society – Sometimes vampires are creatures that hide in the shadows, in the darkest parts of the human imagination.  In the Crimson City series, vampires are known by the public.
  • Terms and Nicknames – Not every setting vampires have nicknames.  I personally like bloodsuckers, don’t know why.

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