Vampires have become a favorite monster for modern Americans. Bram Stoker’s creation gripped minds and reshaped our culture. The vampire made its film debut in 1921 and has appeared on the screen dozens of times since then. Bela Lugosi, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Wesley Snipes and many other movie stars have played vampires on the big screen. Abraham Lincoln even sidelined as a vampire hunter. Hundreds of books and short stories have been written about vampires. Twilight has been just one of the many books, television shows and movies to make a killing off vampires. Vampires are everywhere. Does the Bible say anything about them?
The vampire as we know it is a creation of the 19th century imagination. The Bible does not mention Dracula or vampirism. Maybe the closest direct reference might be found in the Old Testament command to the Israelites forbidding drinking, or eating, the blood of any creature. While the Old Testament command does not necessarily apply to Christians today (New Testament Christianity allows for the eating of blood sausage, if you want), the Bible views blood as something special. The command against eating bloody meat was “The life of the flesh is in the blood.” (Leviticus 17:11)
The Bible recognizes the importance of blood to life and it stresses the importance of blood for forgiveness. The sacrificial system given by God to Israel showed every day the necessity of blood for forgiveness. The book of Hebrews says, “Without shedding of blood is no forgiveness.” Jesus’ death on the cross brings forgiveness through His blood that was shed. At the last supper Jesus reminded the disciples of His blood that would be shed for their forgiveness. The Lord’s Supper is a continual reminder of the blood of Jesus. Blood is a big deal in the Bible. Perhaps this is one reason the stories of undead men and women who live on the blood of their victims so stir the minds of mankind.
Though the Bible does not directly address vampires, it does address major themes that are found regularly in vampire stories. Murder, immorality and the demonic are appear often in vampire tales. Many vampire mythologies attribute the vampire’s power to the devil. These things are all negatively addressed in Scripture. Many vampire stories portray these and other wicked practices in a positive light. While most people realize vampire stories are nothing more than fantasy, filling the mind with fantasy that exalts evil is dangerous for the Christian. Ephesians 5 forbids Christians entertaining themselves with the glorification of wicked behavior, “But fornication, and all uncleanness . . . let it not once be named among you.”
One important principle to remember when considering the latest vampire novel or blockbuster vampire flick is found in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”