- For the original BBC series' version of vampires, see Vampire (BBC)
Vampires are an undead, immortal supernatural species that consume blood to maintain their vitality. Their bodies are animated by their souls, which are kept trapped in their supernaturally-perserved corpses by the supernatural powers of vampire blood. Their bodies seem to work like living bodies, at least on a visible level, meaning they will not feel like they are dead as their bodies respond to certain things in ways of a living person would. Humans become vampires by an unknown process that involves a vampire's bite and/or a transfer of blood.
The origins of the vampire race is unclear, but they have been around since at least the time of Christ. The oldest vampire shown is Mother, whose age was not stated, but was implied to be centuries older than the 1000-year-old Heggeman. Vampires arrived in the New World shortly after the first European colonization.
The vampires were initially ruled and governed by a very strict and traditional society which expected all vampires to adhere to their laws and rules under penalty of death, exile or being put to the ground; with the Royal vampires such as Mother ruling over the vampires and the Dutch serving as an elite. By the 21st century, vampires seemed to be located primarily in North America, particularly in Boston, although vampires apparently also lived in other parts of the world as the Dutch were initially located in Holland and several vampires have been known to originally hail from different parts of the world.
Circa 2011 - 2013, the Virus, a new flu strain, appeared and briefly infected the majority of the human population. Though the humans weren't majorly affected by the flu, it left their blood poisonous to vampires afterwards, crippling and killing vampires who drank from humans who'd been exposed to the Virus. As a result, the vampire race was severely decimated by the Virus over the course of the year, nearly to the point of extinction, and the original, traditional vampire society's regime apparently collapsed. However, the remaining vampires escaped extinction when werewolf blood was discovered to be a vaccine against the Virus' deadly effects on vampires.
Once the threat of the Virus was over, the remaining vampires in Boston began rebuilding and repopulating under a new rule by Kenny Fisher, under which they didn't kill humans and drank from donors; although it is unknown what happened to Kenny's budding new vampire society after majorities of the Boston vampires were slaughtered by Suzanna Waite and Kenny himself eventually killed.
Vampires can turn living or recently-deceased humans into new vampires. The turning process has never been shown directly, but it involves biting the person that is to be turned on the neck. It would seem that the biting would require the fangs of the vampire to be used, as Gates was deprived of his fangs and was seemingly made him unable to turn humans, and according to him, unable to feed. It has also been indicated by remarks made by Suren and Rebecca about the turning process that the person must also drink a vampire's blood, with the dose only needing to be a "sip". In this instance, the victim was already bitten or dying, which may be a requirement to turn someone. The fact that Aidan, upon waking as a vampire, apparently didn't remember the turning process beyond being bitten, could suggest that the person being turned is unconscious throughout most of the process or suffers some memory loss. Jeff Weston turned after being attacked by Aidan when it was indicated that Aidan had only bitten and fed on him and hadn't performed a proper turning process on him; suggesting that it could be possible for an improper turning to occur on a person through just a vampire bite.
After the turning process is carried out on a living, dying or recently-dead human body, the person remains clinically dead for a length of time (seemingly a matter of hours or even a day's length), before awakening as a new vampire. From that point onward, the person's body will be kept physically frozen at the age they were when they were turned, and any injuries or any form of damage they suffered, including vampire bites, will be gone without a trace. Upon awakening, the new vampire has an immediate feeling of hunger and cramp from their new need for blood, which they usually give in to the moment their new vampiric senses and instincts are aroused by human blood for the first time.
When a person is turned into a vampire, a lasting supernatural parent-child bond forms between them and the vampire that turned them. It is usual for a new vampire's maker to look after and care for their vampire progeny and guide them on being a vampire.
Vampires must drink human blood to stay healthy and maintain their strength and vitality; preferably blood straight from the source (referred to as 'live' blood). Though it is possible for vampires to alternatively sustain themselves on the bagged, preserved blood found in hospitals, it is not as effective, and can leave them almost as weak as humans compared to live-drinking vampires. Though vampires can drink animals' blood, it provides much less sustenance, and as such is only a weak deterrant to avoid killing humans when vampires' hunger gets out of control. Likewise, vampires can drink each-other's blood, but it will eventually leave them more hungry. Vampires are capable of consuming human food and drinks, but they do not get any sustenance from it, and it is actually almost tasteless to them.
An absence of blood in a vampire's system will cause them to become severely weakened and barely able to move, and they will also grow heavily and agonizingly starved-feeling. Blood starvation can also cause vampires to suffer hallucinations. It was shown with Suren that eighty years without blood can leave a vampire in an extremely desiccated, mummy-like state, barely able to move at all. Although vampires get stronger from feeding on blood, consuming too much, while increasing their healing and durability further, can cause them to exhibit symptoms of intoxication such as decreased reaction time and less sense of self-control.
Appearance and Biology
Vampires are undead creatures, whose bodies are kept animated and supernaturally-preserved by the curse that causes vampirism. Due to their undead state, vampires possess few bodily functions, and no vital signs such as a heartbeat (although Aidan once mentioned that an electric shock could have a brief defibrillation-effect on a vampire's heart), and their bodies remain frozen at the physical age they were when the vampire in question was turned, no matter how far beyond that age the vampire has lived since being turned. While vampires' bodies do not age, they can still experience some other certain natural developing processes such as hair growth. However, any other type of change, such as blemishes developed by infections and non-genetic causes, or any signs at all of aging or wear, remain unable to manifest. Vampires also lose sense-based defects such as incorrective-eyesight that they had as humans, and are immune to non-supernatural forms of disease.
Though vampires normally appear indistinguishable from humans, they can switch from their human face over to their vampiric true face; their eyes turn pure-black, and some of their front upper-teeth sharpen and extend to form fangs with which they can directly feed or kill. There can be several specific variations between different vampires' fangs. Vampires seem to most commonly have just two canine fangs and sharpened lateral incisors, but they can alternatively have four lateral incisor and canine fangs, or just two lateral incisor fangs. Vampires' fangs can also vary in thinness and length from needle-like to more canine-like. If a vampire's fangs are removed, they do not grow back, rendering them unable to drink live.
Vampires can extend their fangs and switch over to their black eyes either at will, when they're in a state of agitation (such as feeling hungry, losing emotional control or fighting), or when they're expressing malice and malevolence and are about to attack. It has been suggested that vampires' use of their vampiric face probably acts as some form of adrenaline rush and enhances their capability to lethal efficiency. Ingestion of garlic can force vampires to reveal their vampiric eyes and fangs, and render them temporarily unable to change back to their human faces unless treated with certain herbs.
Vampires can endure significant physical trauma without the damage being fatal. They are resilient to damage and punishment that would be severe if not fatal to a human, and can make a full recovery from it just a matter of hours or days, although they can still feel the pain and suffering that the damage causes.
Vampires can heal quite quickly, but not instantly. How long a vampire takes to heal and how much pain they are able to take depends upon the severity of the injuries they have sustained, and also upon how strong the vampire is. Ultimately, so long as their heart isn't pierced with wood, their fangs are not damaged and they aren't decapitated, a vampire is able to fully recover and self repair any form of physical damage (including injuries that would be utterly fatal to humans, such as stabbing, impalement, flaying even gunshots to the head) within a matter of hours. If a vampires suffer severe enough physical damage they will be temporarily crippled by it, however the healing process is best accelerated and aided by drinking more blood than usual.
Vampires feel pain despite their inhuman endurance and healing factor, and thus can be temporarily greatly crippled by severe enough physical damage and even tortured. Vampires' vulnerability to pain and physical damage is higher the more weakened they are. It would seem that a vampire's weakness to pain decreases with age; as Aidan, when recently-turned, responded to physical punches much like a human would, while the centuries-old Bishop was barely fazed by hits and even stabs.
Vampires possess a number of abilities that make them deadly creatures. The strength and efficiency of most if not all of a vampire's abilities depends upon the vampire's blood diet; vampires' abilities work at their best when they're feeding live and at full strength, while the abilities of vampires who are weakened by being starved of blood or by a diet of bagged blood are more weakened. Vampires' powers also grow much stronger with age. Vampires' abilities can practically always overpower humans in combat, and they can also overpower werewolves in human form, depending upon a vampire's aforementioned diet health and how far away the full moon is.
- Enhanced Vitality - Vampires possess stamina, strength, vitality and physical capabilities well beyond any human in their physical prime. This allows them to physically exert themselves, even in a superhuman capacity for hours without showing signs of fatigue. Vampires can run, fight and exert themselves for longer than any human and in a greater physical capacity, though they can still feel fatigued and even be knocked out. However their vitality, like their other abilities is tied to their consumption of blood; vampires who drink live blood can exercise superhuman levels of agility and stamina, whereas those who drink bagged blood will be weaker and have less energy.
- Enhanced Strength - Vampires possess tremendously enhanced strength, being noticeably physically stronger than average adult humans, and werewolves in human form. They can exert much greater force than the average person, or werewolf with almost inhuman ease. An average vampire, regardless of their size or shape, are shown to be stronger than heavily built, greatly massed humans, as welll as non purebred werewolves. Vampires have shown to easily physically overpower humans, untransformed werewolves and even younger or weakened vampires of all shapes and builds, exerting a staggering and incapacitating force; this has allowed a vampire to throw another vampire of the same age flying several feet through the air. A vampire's strength increases with age, as a several hundred year old vampire was able to decapitate his maker using chains, a feat repeated by an ancient vampire with just a swift slice of her hand. Their strength has been described as inhuman, and being on par with that of a preditorial animal.
- Accelerated Speed - Vampires are much faster than humans and werewolves (in human form and possibly even wolf form); vampires can give sudden bursts of amazing speeds, about that of the fastest land vehicle or more, to the point where they can appear to be distorted blurs of motion and can get from one spot to another within just a second or two. This has allowed Aiden, directly after feeding freshly from humans, to cover the entire city of Boston, from Bishops building to the rooms where Josh was turning inside, all in a matter of 10 seconds or less. This immense speed also has an equally immense impact force against anyone or anything that a vampire hits while moving at this speed. It appears that vampires' super-speed is triggered by extreme emotional fear and motivation, analogous to hysterical strength in humans. It would also seem that this speed usually works when a vampire is at full strength from feeding on live blood and recently.
- Enhanced Senses - Vampires possess extremely heightened senses of sight, smell and hearing much greater than humans and non-purebred werewolves. Vampires can smell evidence of death, and can sense when someone who doesn't want to be seen is nearby (Some Thing to Watch over Me). They are able to hear the heartbeats of anyone nearby, especially when thirsting for blood (There goes the Neighbourhood: part 1), and can tell when someone is on their period, (Old Dogs, New Tricks) or pregnant purely from their smell (There goes the Neighbourhood: part 3). Vampires can smell humans from as far off as a mile away and assess their physical condition from their scent.
- Enhanced Recovery - Vampires are able to recover from any form of physical damage at a much quicker rate than most other creatures and certainly any mortal creatures; depending upon their blood diet and the severity of the damage. A vampire was able to completely recover from being attack and impaled within a matter of hours after drinking a sufficient amount of bagged blood. After completely feeding from two live victims, a vampire was able to regenerate all of the skin on their body in less than a day after it had been peeled off. Despite their tremendous regenerative abilities, there are certain injuries that vampires cannot recover from, like decapitation or staking, and they cannot regenerate damaged or destroyed fangs.
- Mind Compulsion - Compulsion or compelling is a vampire's ability to influence, manipulate and even modify a person's mind, will and memories with simple eye contact and verbal compelling. While it is an ability that comes naturally with vampirism, for some it is difficult to use. Compelling can also, if a vampire is poorly-skilled at using it, go wrong, causing its effect to wear off faster, or even drive the subjected human to suicide (Some Thing to Watch over Me). Compulsion does not seem to work on werewolves, ghosts and other vampires.
- Enhanced Resilience - Vampires possess far more endurance and stamina than humans, making them more resilient to fatigue and trauma. They are essentially invulnerable to most conventional causes of fatality, and are extremely resilient to fatigue and pain. Vampires can endure trauma such as high velocity impacts, damage to vital organs, gunshots, even impalement and eventually recover. There are however certain exceptions and restrictions to a vampire's resilience, with injuries such as a stake to the heart, decapitation resulting in instant death. A vampire that feeds on humans can quickly recover from impacts such as those created from falling from great heights, and can easily get back on their feet unfazed or partially fazed. Vampires weakened from feeding on bagged blood respond to physical stress and trauma in a more human manner.
- Clairvoyance - As supernatural creatures, vampires are constantly aware of ghosts, able to see and hear them in the same way werewolves and other ghosts can. They are also able to sense werewolves, who give off a distinct, dog-like stench that can only be detected by vampires and other werewolves. To vampires, a werewolf's smell is highly repulsive. Old and powerful vampires such as Mother can apparently also sense other vampires, even when they are out of sight.
- Immortality - Vampires are an undead supernatural species with and endless lifespan. Vampires do not physically age from the moment they are turned, and will maintain this physical age regardless of how much time has passed. Due to their advanced rate of recovery, they also do not develop any long lasting or permanent injuries, the only notable physical change that may occur is hair growth. Vampires are immune to conventional earthly disease and are capable of living forever, provided they are not killed through unconventional methods such as staking or decapitation.
Vampires cannot be killed by most conventional means that humans can; however they still experience pain, and can be crippled for days, or moments, depending on the trauma. Trauma that would hospitalise or kill humans may only temporarily hinder vampires, and there are a few specific natural substances which temporarily paralyse, weaken and cripple them. There are certain methods that can be used to destroy them. When a vampire dies, their body withers and burns away to ash, along with anything they were wearing.
- Wooden Stakes - A vampire can be killed by a wooden object, usually a stake, piercing its heart; although if it misses the vampire's heart, it won't be fatal, but still crippling.
- Decapitation - Cutting a vampire's head off will kill them instantly or near instantly.
- Sunlight - While sunlight is not lethal to them like in traditional folklore, vampires strongly dislike direct sunlight, which seems to cause them pain and discomfort, though they can hide it overtime, and they tend to prefer to go out covered up in daylight. According to Aidan, vampires were originally entirely incapable of going out in the sun, but they gradually adapted and are now merely 'photosensitive'.
- Invitation Deprivation - Houses owned by humans or werewolves cannot be entered by vampires without the owner's permission, unless the vampire itself either lives there or was turned there. Entering uninvited for more than a few seconds will cause the vampire to burn, and can fatally melt the vampire away if they don't get back out quickly. Interestingly, if the ownership of the house officially changes while a vampire is still inside it, the invitation is nullified, and the vampire will perish unless he or she escapes immediately.
- Werewolf Blood - Werewolf blood is non-fatally but cripplingly toxic to vampires. It causes vampires who ingest it to bleed heavily from their faces, rendering them too weak to even stand, and also causing them to experience violent seizures; although the effect only lasts for a matter of minutes before the vampire recovers. A vampire who has consumed werewolf blood will be rendered unable to create other vampires, instead creating defective, vampire-like mutants. The werewolf blood only remains in their system for a few weeks.
Sally calls it going "Joker-faced" because of how pale a vampire gets and their lips being stained with blood.
- Garlic - While not fatal, if a Vampire consumes Garlic, it will force them to assume their vampiric features (black eyes and fangs), as well as causing congestion. The effects can be countered by bathing in certain herbs: feverfew, mistletoe, or camomile.
- The Virus - If a vampire feeds from a human that had the mysterious new flu strain, then they will be fatally poisoned. The symptoms the vampire exhibits include increasing-greying patches across their skin, decreased rational thought and reduced effectiveness and acuity of their physical abilities. Eventually, after a matter of days, the vampire will die of the Virus's effects, unless their body has been vaccinated against the Virus's effect by consuming werewolf blood.
- Juniper - The plant juniper can temporarily render vampires severely weakened and paralysed if it gets into their system. The effects apparently take "a really long time to kick in." Human blood can acquire the effects of Juniper if ingested, but will only work if a large does is consumed (enough to kill the human).
- Blood Withdrawal - When vampires don't feed after a day or two, they begin to become sick and rabid; losing self-control over their bloodlust around humans, and even experiencing hallucinations. They will act aggressive and will slightly feel panicked and desperate for blood.
- Blood Intoxication - When vampires feed on too much blood they will begin to become intoxicated. In this mental state, vampires can be overpowered easier by werewolves that are a day away from transforming, and are at greater risk of losing self-control and attacking humans.
- Werewolf bite/scratch - A bite or scratch from a werewolf is capable of killing a vampire.
- Physical Trauma - Both trauma and damage can have the same painful, weakening, disorienting or stunning effect on a vampire as it does on normal humans, though they can recover from any form of trauma and damage, unless it is a stake in the heart. Vampires weakened from feeding on bagged blood respond to physical stress and trauma in a more human manner. In fact, enough physical trauma, especially that which is caused by a transformed werewolf, may be fatal to a vampire.
- Loss of Fangs - If removed, a vampire's fangs cannot be re-grown.
- Headshot - While a direct headshot won't kill a vampire or even knock it out, the brain damage it causes will partially but severely cripple the vampire's movements for a short time until they begin to heal.
- Defective Vampire mind compulsion - A defective vampire's mind compelling ability can work on normal vampires.
- Blackthorn wood - As demonstrated by Liam McLean when torturing Aidan, while not fatal to vampires, blackthorn wood can agonise them even more than regular wood would.
It has been implied that when vampires die, there is no afterlife for them, unlike with humans and werewolves; in that vampires cannot get a door to the afterlife, and instead of becoming ghosts, there's apparently nothing for the dead vampire. Bishop and Aidan both considered vampires' inability to have any afterlife to be a form of damnation. It has also been indicated that dead vampires cannot be resurrected. However, if a vampire is cured and subsequently dies as a human, then it will become a ghost and be given a door to their afterlife on the Other Side just like ordinary humans and werewolves.
As vampires are the undead, a vampire's condition can be cured and their humanity restored, through using witchcraft to sacrifice a ghost's energy and give it to a vampire's body as life energy; which will restore the vampire's body to life and render the vampire human. The ritual apparently restores a vampire's soul as well as their body to its human state, as after Aidan became human and subsequently died, he was able to become a ghost and have a door to the afterlife. It would appear that a former-vampire does retain the ability to perceive ghosts after being cured though.
Although the resurrection ritual is indeed able to make vampires human again, a consequence is that without the vampire curse keeping the person's body frozen at the age it was when the former-vampire was turned, their true age will begin to catch up with them; starting with the cured vampire's internal organs and then eventually their physical appearance as well. Thus, if the former-vampire had lived beyond a mortal lifespan as a vampire before they were cured, then they will only have a matter of days to live before they die of organ failure.
Though it is possible to turn children into vampires, vampiric children are much more wild, volatile, feral and out-of-control due to the fact that children lack a certain form of self-control over their instincts.
Society and hierarchy
Before being decimated by the Virus, vampires were known to have their own society and set of rules that they expected all vampires to adhere to. The ancient vampire Mother was the ruler, and the Dutch were an elite who answered to very few vampires at all besides Mother.
The hierarchy goes as follows:
- Royals: The royals were a group of politically-powerful vampires that governed their kind. Mother, a royal, was queen of all vampires. Other royals were mentioned to exist.
- The Council: The council was a group of vampires that served under Mother. They were likely a group of coven heads that met and discussed pressing issues, since Heggeman, the leader of the Dutch, was a member.
- The Dutch: A clan of powerful elder vampires, who visited the American vampire clans every 50 years to evaluate them.
- Coven heads: The leaders of their respective vampire sects.
Most of the vampire covens and bureaucracy fell apart in the wake of the Virus, and the few surviving vampires now exist mostly independently. It is unknown if any of the Dutch still survive or if there are any covens left that are still operating.
Some of the laws seen amongst the vampires' original regime before the Virus included:
- Heresy - It was considered heresy by the elders for vampires to not feed live and to have relations with a human. The punishment could be death for the heretic, or even the heretic's maker for not correcting their progeny's behavior.
- Exposing vampires - If a vampire exposed their kind to mortals, then they were usually punished by being put to ground (that is to say being buried alive underground to starve without dying). Suren was buried underground for 80 years for exposing her vampiric nature in full view of the public.
- Creating an army - The Dutch liked to ensure that no vampire coven had an advantage over another, and so they ensured that vampires that were turned without prior consent or who had a traitor for a maker were killed off.
- Turning children - It was forbidden to turn children because of their volatile lack of control over themselves. If a child was found to be turned, they were usually destroyed and their maker punished.
Werewolves are viewed with disgust by most vampires. Werewolves give off a distinct scent noticeable to vampires and other werewolves which vampires find disgusting. Considering that vampires like to think of themselves as being organized and civilized, they see werewolves as wild, unkempt vagabonds. Some vampires have been known to strike up friendship with werewolves, but it is very rare because of the mutual animosity between the two species. Vampires also feel a certain amount of fear towards werewolves, as a werewolf in wolf form is one of the few beings more powerful than a vampire. Sally commented that the vampires watching the dog fights were terrified of the transformed werewolves involved. The Dutch member, Atlee, was frightened off by the idea of facing four werewolves during a full moon.
The hatred between vampires and werewolves is mutual. Werewolves often refer to vampires as "leeches" or "parasites" and see them as a blight on the rest of the world. Vampires and werewolves have been in conflict throughout history.
Vampires can see ghosts as a nuisance, as they are sometimes haunted by the ghosts of their human victims. Information on interactions between vampires and ghosts is limited.
List of known vampires
|Mother||"Ancient"||Unknown status||Queen of all vampires|
|Heggeman||1,010||Deceased||Leader of the Dutch|
|Image Not Available||Soltice||Presumably 1,000||Deceased||Dutch elder|
|Atlee||Presumably around 1,000||Deceased||Leader of the Dutch/Member of the Council|
|The Dutch||Around 1,000||Deceased||Group of powerful, influential vampires|
|Brink||Around 1,000||Deceased||Member of the Dutch|
|Fedder||Around 1,000||Deceased||Member of the Dutch|
|Stolzfus||Around 1,000||Deceased||Member of the Dutch|
|Suren||700+||Deceased||Princess of all vampires|
|Carlo||500+||Deceased||Former leader of the Boston vampire clan|
|James Bishop||528||Deceased||Former leader of the Boston vampire clan|
|Marcus Damnian||270||Deceased||Bishop's second-in-command|
|Aidan Waite||260||Cured/Deceased||Boston Vampire, formerly Suren's second-in-command|
|Suzanna Waite||Around 260||Deceased||Vampire hunter|
|Henry Durham||100+||Deceased||Former leader of the "Orphans"|
|Blake||11 (vampire age)||Undead||Former De facto leader of the Boston vampire clan |
Kenny's second in-command
|Rebecca Flynt||20's (4 months as a vampire)||Deceased||Boston Vampire|
|Cecilia||20's||Deceased||Vampire police liaison|
|Tommy||30's||Deceased||One of the "Orphans"|
|Carlos Boyd||30's||Deceased||Boston Vampire|
|Blue Collar||Undead||Boston Vampire|
|Sadie||Deceased||Lesbian Vampire Stripper|
|Gates||New Vampire||Deceased||Vampire Priest|
|Sarin Hendrikson||New Vampire||Deceased||Vampire Patient|
|Geanie||New Vampire||Deceased||Vampire Priest|
|Jenny||New Vampire||Deceased||Hospital Employee|
People who have been turned by a vampire that is contaminated from drinking werewolf blood develop grotesque physical characteristics that are very different from normal vampires. These grotesque creatures have a greater thirst for blood and their attitude is more animalistic than other vampires, although within a few months afterwards these monstrous characteristics will partially fade.
|Jeff Weston||30's||Deceased||Boston vampire|
|Kenny Fisher||17 (5 months as a vampire)||Deceased||Leader of the Boston vampire clan|
- According to Toby Whithouse at Comic-Con, vampires are unable to practice witchcraft, because vampirism is its own innate, untappable form of magic.
- Contrary to the BBC version of Being Human, vampires in the SyFy version do not suffer from the weakness of religious objects, and they can be seen on film and in mirrors.
- It seems that they can't be resurrected unlike their BBC counterparts.
- It's possible that the creation of defective vampires was the reason that vampires banned feeding from werewolves. Even Aidan stated that not even he knew why it was forbidden.
- While in the Syfy series it's forbidden to turn children, it's not the same in the BBC series.
- It is suggested that, due to the mass decimation of the vampire race by the Virus, Aidan was possibly the oldest and strongest surviving member of the dwindling vampire species.
- Vampires can discipline themselves into feeding on miniscule amounts of blood. Suzanna Waite explained she only fed on a single heart pump worth of blood at any time she was hungry.