Immortal predators hiding in the shadows on the fringe of human society.
Vampires are monstrous creatures which feed upon the blood of living humans, and infect people to fill their ranks.
The first vampire Dracula was a fallen angel, the brother of Lucifer. The pair were cast out of Heaven after a failed attempt to conquer God's throne. Lucifer fell in Hell, where he started feeding on the souls of the dead, and his brother fell to Earth, where he was cursed to feed on the blood of the living, and where he became the first vampire. He started creating other vampires after his own image. According to prophecy, if the original vampire corrupts Vanessa Ives' soul, turning her into a vampire, a new era of darkness will take over the world, thus starting the Apocalypse. That is why Mina was changed into a vampire by her master, so that she could draw Vanessa into the power of the first vampire.
Vampires feed upon blood, and the discovery of large numbers of exsanguinated corpses is an obvious sign of when a pack of vampires has arrived in a city. Vampires tend to linger in places where death is prevalent; the first master vampire encountered in the series was sleeping beneath a pile of dead victims, while the second master was making a lair aboard a plague ship. Vampires appear to lead a very reclusive and sedentary lifestyle, and when not actively hunting and feeding, they are most often found sleeping or hiding away. Master vampires often surround themselves with those they have infected.
Professor Abraham Van Helsing describes them as, "moving from city to city like a pack of wolves," and never staying long in one place for fear of discovery. Sir Malcolm Murray speculates that they must only exist in small numbers, given that they do stand out from the humans upon whom they prey.
Vampires seem to be nocturnal in their habits, though it has not been demonstrated as to whether this is because sunlight can actually harm them, or simply because it is easier for them to hide their obviously inhuman appearance in the dark. Dracula can walk in the sunlight with no sign of discomfort, however it is not clear if this applies to all vampires or only him.
There is an apparent hierarchy among vampires. Dracula is reportedly the progenitor of the entire vampire line, and others also referred to as master vampires have been known to sire others of their ilk. The exact origins of these master vampires remain a mystery, although some clues point to Ancient Egypt. Generally, master vampires are the oldest and strongest of their kind, thus their blood is the most potent. Master vampires are very inhuman creatures; they possess entirely hairless bodies, blood-red eyes, mouths full of sharp fangs, clawed fingers and an "exoskeleton" layer of skin, beneath which their dark flesh is tattooed with occult hieroglyphs. Master vampires appear to have little need for human clothing, and both of the masters encountered in Season 1 have appeared naked.
There are many more lesser vampires acting in service to one of the ancients. They are more human in appearance, and although they have the same blood-red eyes, these younger vampires have only a single pair of sharpened canine teeth instead of a full set of fangs. The female vampires in the show had long, white hair and were completely enthralled by their master, showing little in the way of human behavior. Most of them were quite bestial, with the exception being Mina Murray, who had normal hair, could retract her fangs and turn her red eyes back to normal.
- Mina Murray †
- Master Vampire †
- Unnamed master vampire †
- Many unnamed female vampires †
- Hannah Van Helsing † (referenced only)
Powers and Abilities
- Enhanced Strength: Master vampires are immensely strong; one of them swatted Ethan Chandler through the air with a casual swipe of its hand. Infected vampires may become stronger than they were as humans, but they do not appear to possess true supernatural strength. Dracula is especially strong, capable of casually lifting a grown man with one hand.
- Enhanced Agility: Master vampires are very swift and agile, capable of scaling walls and leaping from windows. Infected vampires may possess this to a lesser degree.
- Enhanced Endurance: All vampires are more resilient to injury than humans are. Master vampires in particular have been shown to take gunshots without so much as flinching. Infected vampires also seem able to recover from any wound that does not damage the head or heart.
- "Hannah's Wink": Vampiric saliva contains an agent which prevents blood clotting, making it easier for them to feed. Abraham Van Helsing named this phenomenon in honour of his wife, who was infected by a vampire.
- Mind Control: Master vampires can enslave humans with their blood, turning them into fanatical, psychotic familiars who likewise acquire a craving for blood and life. Dracula's abilities apparently extended to animals (wolves).
- Shapeshifting: Mina Murray was able to change her appearance to hide her vampirism. Similarly, Dracula could (allegedly) assume multiple human guises to pass in human society and could even transform into a green mist.
- Immortality: The glyphs on the master vampire's body are shown to belong to an ancient Egyptian dynasty, over 3000 year old.
- Destruction of the brain or heart: Vampires can be killed by sufficiently grievous wounds to the head or heart, be it from blades or bullets.
- Crucifix: Although vampires can stand to be in the presence of a crucifix, these symbols evidently have some deleterious effect upon them, as one master vampire chose to flee a confrontation in a room with a crucifix upon the wall, rather than stand and fight.
- Demonic Influence: Vampires seem to be repulsed or weakened by the dark power that resides within Vanessa Ives.
- Death of the Master: If a Master vampire is slain, all of the infected created by that vampire will also immediately die.