Who is the Scariest Vampire?

who is the scariest vampire

The Scariest Vampire in Horror History

Is there any horror figure more terrifying that the vampire? Since the beginnings of civilization, vampire-like creatures have haunted the world’s psyche. Today, we’ll answer the burning question: Who is the scariest vampire in horror history?

We can’t trace the popular vampire folklore back to the beginnings of storytelling. But even ancient civilization wove tales of similar monsters. Ancient cultures, like the Mesopotamians, Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, spoke of demonic entities. People claimed these malevolent spirts drank blood and consumed our life force. The Greeks believed a demon called the Lamia preyed on children and drank their blood. These monsters can be considered precursors to what we think of as vampires.

It wasn’t until Bram Stoker released “Dracula” (1897) that the myths we associate with vampires came into being. You know what I’m talking about: stakes through the heart, aversion to sunlight, and garlic as a repellant. I happen to love garlic, so I wouldn’t make a very good vampire.

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F.W. Marnau’s Nosferatu (1922) might be the most influential (and frightening) depiction of a vampire in a horror movie. Were it not for this chilling silent movie, would we ever have met Mr. Barlow from the Salem’s Lot TV miniseries (1979) or the monsters in From Dusk till Dawn (1996)?

Grab your rosary beads and cross. We’re about to meet the scariest vampires to haunt TV and the silver screen.

Nosferatu Count Orlok

Count Orlok, Nosferatu (1922): Agent Hutter encounters Count Orlok in Transylvania. In a chilling twist of fate, Orlok moves to Hutter’s town and targets Hutter’s wife​. Despite being a silent movie, F.W. Marnau’s classic horror movie causes sleepless nights.

Ralphie Glick, Salem’s Lot (1979): In 1979, Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” became a TV miniseries. When a mysterious box arrives in Salem’s Lot, the townsfolk begin to disappear. Young Ralphie Glick is one such victim. In the middle of the night, the undead child returns to scrape his nails against his friend’s window

Lestat, Interview With The Vampire (1994): Lestat turns his interviewer into a vampire, leading to a frightening exploration through the ages. The film’s most terrifying moment occurs when Lestat is thought dead but returns.

Related Reading: The History of Vampire Horror Novels

The Master, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 1 (1997): The Master is an ancient vampire with demonic features. His unique appearance and brutality make him a standout amid this series, which many remember for its less-Gothic depiction of vampires. Yes, even the Buffy series had its scary moments.

Eli, Let The Right One In (2008): Oskar befriends the mysterious Eli, who is a child vampire. This movie contrasts innocent appearances with violent natures, making us wonder who the true monster is.

scary vampire

Marlow, 30 Days of Night (2007): In Barrow, Alaska, the region experiences 30 days of total darkness during the winter. Hence the title 30 Days of Night. A group of vampires led by the monster named Marlow attacks the town, and a bloodbath ensues. Is Marlow an homage to Mr. Barlow in “Salem’s Lot?” Yes, I believe so.

Renesmee, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012): “Twilight” wasn’t all about love and brooding. This film concludes Bella and Edward’s story as they protect their child, Renesmee. The child’s unusual appearance is unsettling, despite the sometimes cheesy CGI effects.

The serial killer, The Night Flier (1997): What if a serial killer was a vampire? The Night Flier answers that question in bloody detail. The horror ratches up as the vampire stalks victims at secluded airfields. The unique locations and storyline make this movie a must-see.

The vampires, From Dusk till Dawn (1996): A group of survivors battle horrifying vampires in a bar. One of the most innovative modern vampire horror movies, From Dusk till Dawn features terrifying monsters and plenty of blood.

Related Reading: The scariest horror novel since Salem’s Lot

The vampire plague, Stake Land (2010): A vampire pandemic devastates the world. See, COVID-19 wasn’t that bad after all. Truly horrific vampires stalk survivors through a dead world.

Jerry Dandridge, Fright Night (1985): When a teenager discovers his neighbor is a vampire, all hell breaks loose. Though Fright Night mixes comedy with its horror, the neighbor Jerry Dandridge stands the test of time as one darn scary vampire.

vampire horror movies

The vampire, Vampyr (1932): Allan Gray visits the village of Courtempierre. After a man’s daughter is bitten by a vampire, he implores Gray to find the original vampire and drive a stake through its heart, ending the curse.

The post-apocalyptic vampires, I Am Legend (2007): The last man on Earth faces vampires after a plague decimates humanity. In this 2007 remake of The Omega Man (1971) and The Last Man on Earth (1964), which were remakes of Richard Matheson’s classic 1954 novel, Will Smith must survive alone. And he doesn’t have DJ Jazzy Jeff to help him this time. All jokes aside, these vampires are terrifying.

The women, Byzantium (2012): Two female vampires settle in a small town after being hunted for 200 years. Here, their secret of surviving on human blood is exposed​.

Dracula, Dracula (1931): A solicitor named Renfield travels to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania on business. The count attacks Renfield, who becomes his lunatic slave. Only the professor Van Helsing is brave enough to face the terror.

Steven, Immortality (1998): Vampire Steven craves female mates and lives off their blood. When he meets a beautiful woman named Anne, it becomes obvious only one will survive their relationship. A young Jude Law delivers a memorable performance.

The girl, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014): Set in Iran, this film combines noir and western elements. A female vampire hunts for prey in this inventive horror movie.

Miriam, The Hunger (1983): An Egyptian vampire queen called Miriam offers immortality at a horrifying cost. After a scientist entangles himself in her love triangle​​, a scary and bloody fight for survival ensues.

salems lot mr barlow

The boy, The Transfiguration (2016): A troubled boy becomes obsessed with vampire films and starts attacking people on the streets. His life doesn’t change until he meets a girl with a troubled past​. Then the horror really begins.

Mr. Barlow, Salem’s Lot (1979): I’m saving the best for last. In this TV adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, Kurt Barlow isn’t the refined figure King portrayed him as. Instead, Barlow is a speechless, demonic-looking monster whose look seems inspired by Nosferatu. This horror miniseries kept me awake for many sleepless nights.

Related Reading: The Salem’s Lot TV miniseries

Those are our picks.

Who is the scariest vampire to haunt a horror movie? You tell us.

Sound off in the comments section with your favorites.

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