What Are Some Characteristics of Vampires?

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Vampires are supernatural and immortal creatures that have fangs, suck blood and are weakened by sunlight and garlic. They also fear sacred symbols, such as the cross, holy water and the rosary. Some can also fly and shape-shift into people or creatures.

Vampires are common characters in folklore of several different societies throughout history. There is no evidence of the existence of vampires. About.com notes that modern vampires are fabrications of movies, TV shows and novels, which have caused a subculture of vampirism. They are usually very strong, have no reflection in mirrors, can appear as dust or mist and cast no shadows. Some vampires have hypnotic powers and can turn victims into other vampires.

They are associated with bats, sleep in coffins, have pale faces and dress formally. They bite on the neck and can be male or female. Vampires are also cold and have red eyes with acute night vision. Mortals and other adversaries can kill vampires by fire or by driving a wooden stake through the heart. In some folklore legends and stories, vampires are unable to cross running water or walk across temples and churches.

Examples of movies and television programs about vampires include "Vampire Diaries," "Interview with the Vampire," "Underworld" and "Dracula." Modern depictions of vampires can be found in the "Twilight" movie franchise and the television show "True Blood."