Do vampires have a soul or not?
This is a question that I thought a lot about before I began my book, ‘Faith of a Vampire’. I did quite a bit of research and found out many stories and myths about vampires and whether or not they have a soul.
There are many stories of have people dealt with the dead once they believed someone was a vampire. But I found that most people believe that the idea of vampires not having a soul first came from Bram’s Stokers famous book, ‘Dracula’. As I searched throughout the historic classic, there was a lot of talk about one’s soul, but I could not find a specific entry about Dracula, or any other vampire not having a soul.
There were plenty of references that the soul of those bitten by Dracula was affected in some way, but I found nothing specific about his victim’s losing their soul. The closest I found was in chapter sixteen when Arthur Holmwood looked at Lucy’s body, lying in her coffin after she had already become, and thought to himself;
“But there was no love in my own heart, nothing but loathing for the foul Thing which had taken Lucy’s shape without her soul.”
In this scene Van Helsing believed that Lucy was a vampire and he was there, with Arthur to kill her by driving a stake through her heart. The way it is written it seems to me that this is only an assumption by Arthur Holmwood, not a fact of him knowing whether or not Lucy still had a soul. Later, in the same scene, Van Helsing said about Lucy;
“When this now Un-Dead be made to rest as true dead, then the soul of the poor lady whom we love shall again be free.
This sounds more like he was saying that her soul was perhaps bound by darkness, or corrupted by evil, not that is was gone. Never was it mentioned that even Dracula had no soul. At least not in the original version, written in 1897.
Now there is evidence that Bram Stoker did get some inspiration from the real Vlad Dracula, better known as, Vlad the Impaler who lived in the 1400’s. I mention this because there is a story that says that Vlad the Impaler, while dying on the battlefield, fused with a Leech that came out of the dark abyss. The Leech consumed his soul in exchange for powers stronger than any mortal man. From that point on his blood was tainted and he had to consume the blood of others to survive, and anyone he shared blood with, would inherit his powers and must also feed on the blood of others.
Was it the merging of these two stories the first assumption that vampires have no souls?
As I looked back at other cultures that fed off of human blood, they all were said to be demons or ghouls with the exception of the Slavic people.
Now the Slavic people during the 9th and 12th century believed that souls of murders, sorcerers, and those that has not been baptized and had died were unclean spirits. If proper burial rites were not done to ensure the souls purity once a person died, they believed that the soul could re-enter the corpse and needed blood to sustain its body’s existence. From these deep beliefs pertaining to death and the soul I believe lies the first invention of the concept of a vampire.
In The Vampire Bible, there is a story in the ‘Scriptures of Delphi’ that explain the first vampire. In short, a man named Ambrogio, due to his love for a woman named Selene, was cursed by Apollo, Hades, and Apollo’s sister Artemis. He was also forbidden to ever touch Selene again. But Artemis took pity on the man and gave him immortality, and the abilities that vampires have today. She also allowed him to once again touch Selene but by only drinking her blood.
Part of this story tells that when Ambrogio made a deal with Hades, he had to leave his soul with Hades. So was born the first vampire according to the Vampire Bible.
Some say that if a vampire did not have a soul, they would act like zombies. They would feel nothing and live only to feed. However in almost every vampire story, the vampire is depicted as a brooding, tormented person. They usually tell stories of lost loves or other unfortunate events that have taking place during their time as a vampire. Therefore they can love, feel pain as well as loss. Sounds like someone who has a soul to me.
With all that said, that is why in my book Sophia has to face one of her worst fears. When she becomes a vampire, she fears she no longer has a soul. As she looks to her clan leader and father figure for answers, his wisdom guides Sophia to find the answer simply by asking her to look at the world as she is now, a vampire.
Since there is no way to prove that souls even exist for humans, each person that believes that they have a soul must do so by having faith. So if Sophia decides that all vampires do have a soul, it will change her perception about all vampires.
Does it not say within the Bible that even the worst of sinners still have a soul? Why would vampires be any different? After all they are only infected with a virus. Or is there more to being a vampire that just a virus? Sophia finds out the truth over time.
As for me, I found my answer. I wrote a book about it. I would love to hear your comments on this subject.