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Characteristics of the Vampire

Here are the characteristics of Count Dracula as presented by Bram Stoker in his novel Dracula. Other writers, of course, have altered these to suit their own literary purposes.

Count Dracula possesses the following powers and supernatural traits:

he is potentially immortal

he survives on the blood of others

he has the strength of twenty men

he can shape-shift into the form of a wolf or a bat

he can appear as mist or elemental dust

he has no reflection in a mirror

he casts no shadow

he has hypnotic power over his victims

he can turn victims into vampires

But on the other hand, he does have limitations:

he may not enter a household unless he is invited in

he loses his supernatural powers during daylight hours

he must sleep on the soil of his native land

he can cross running water only at the slack or the flood of the tide

he is repelled by garlic and holy symbols (crucifix, holy wafer)

he can be destroyed by driving a stake through his heart and decapitating him


1. Even though it is indicated throughout the novel that he is to be destroyed with a wooden stake, this is not how it happens. In the final scene, Harker and Morris dispatch the Count with knives.

2. There is nothing in Stoker's novel to indicate that the vampire can be destroyed by sunlight. Count Dracula moves about freely in the daytime, though with a reduction in his supernatural powers. (The "sunlight" motif entered the legend as a result of the 1922 film "Nosferatu".)

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COPYRIGHT©2005 Dr. Elizabeth Miller