Vampires: A Chronology
J. Gordon Melton
The following timeline was used with kind permission from my
friend J. Gordon Melton. It was originally published in his book
"The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead" ISBN
0-8103-2295-1. It is not to be re-used or re-printed without express
permission from Mr. Melton.
- 1047 First appearance of the word "upir"
(an early form of the word later to become "vampire")
in a document referring to a Russian prince as "Upir Lichy",
or wicked vampire.
- 1190 Walter Map's "De Nagis Curialium"
includes accounts of vampire like beings in England.
- 1196 William of Newburgh's "Chronicles"
records several stories of vampire like revenants in England.
- 1428/29 Vlad Tepes, the son of Vlad Dracul, is
- 1463 Vlad Tepes becomes Prince of Wallachia and
moves to Tirgoviste.
- 1442 Vlad Tepes is imprisoned with his father
by the Turks.
- 1443 Vlad Tepes becomes a hostage by the Turks.
- 1447 Vlad Dracul is beheaded.
- 1448 Vlad briefly attains the Wallachian throne.
Dethroned, he goes to Moldavia and befriends Prince Stefan.
- 1451 Vlad and Stephan flee to Transylvania.
- 1455 Constantinople falls.
- 1456 John Hunyadi assists Vlad Tepes to attain
Wallachian throne. Vladislav Dan is executed.
- 1458 Matthias Corvinu succeeds John Hunyadi as
King of Hungary.
- 1459 Easter massacre of boyers and rebuilding
of Dracula's castle. Bucharest is established as the second governmental
- 1460 Attack upon Brasov, Romania
- 1461 Successful campaign against Turkish settlements
along the Danube, Summer retreat to Tirgoviste.
- 1462 Following the battle at Dracula's castle,
Vlad flees to Transylvania. Vlad begins 13 years of imprisonment.
- 1475 Summer wars in Serbia against Turks take
place. November: Vlad resumes throne of Wallachia.
- 1476/77 Vlad is assassinated.
- 1560 Elizabeth Bathory is born.
- 1610 Bathory is arrested for killing several
hundred people and bathing in their blood. Tried and convicted,
she is sentenced to life imprisonment, being bricked into a room
in her castle.
- 1614 Elizabeth Bathory dies.
- 1610 Leo Allatius finishes writing the first
modern treatment of vampires, "De Graecorum hodie quirundam
- 1657 Fr. Francoise Richard's "Relation de
ce qui s'est passé a Sant-Erini Isle de l'Archipel"
links vampirism and witchcraft.
- 1672 Wave of vampire hysteria sweeps through
- 1679 A German vampire text, "De Masticatione
Mortuorum", by Phillip Rohr is written.
- 1710 Vampire hysteria sweeps through East Prussia.
- 1725 Vampire hysteria returns to East Prussia.
- 1725-30 Vampire hysteria lingers in Hungary.
- 1725-32 The wave of vampire hysteria in Austrian
Serbia produces the famous cases of Peter Plogojowitz and Arnold
- 1734 The word "vampyre" enters the
English language in translations of German accounts of European
waves of vampire hysteria.
- 1744 Cardinal Giuseppe Davanzati publishes his
treatise, "Dissertazione sopre I Vampiri."
- 1746 Dom Augustin Calmet publishes his treatise
on vampires, "Dissertations sur les Apparitions des Anges
des Demons et des Espits, et sur les revenants, et Vampires de
Hundrie, de boheme, de Moravic, et de Silesie."
- 1748 The first modern vampire poem, "Der
Vampir," is published by Heinrich August Ossenfelder.
- 1750 Another wave of vampire hysteria occurs
in East Prussia.
- 1756 Vampire hysteria peaks in Wallachia.
- 1772 Vampire hysteria occurs in Russia.
- 1797 Goethe's "Bride of Corinth" (a
poem concerning a vampire) is published.
- 1798-1800 Samuel Taylor Coleridge writes "Christabel,"
now conceded to be the first vampire poem in English.
- 1800 "I Vampiri," an opera by Silvestro
de Palma, opens in Milan, Italy.
- 1801 "Thalaba" by Robert Southey is
the first poem to mention the vampire in English.
- 1810 Reports of sheep being killed by having
their jugular veins cut and their blood drained circulated through
northern England. "The Vampyre," an early vampire poem,
by John Stagg is published.
- 1813 Lord Byron's poem "The Giaour"
includes the hero's encounter with a vampire.
- 1819 John Polidori's "The Vampyre,"
the first vampire story in English, is published in the April
issue of "New Monthly Magazine." John Keats composes
"The Lamia," a poem built on ancient Greek legends.
- 1820 "Lord Ruthwen ou Les Vampires"
by Cyprien Berard is published anonymously in Paris. June 13:
"Le Vampire," the play by Charles Nodier, opens at the
Theatre de la Porte Saint-Martin in Paris. August: "The Vampire;
or, The Bride of the Isles," a translation of Nodier's play
by James R. Planche, opens in London.
- 1829 March: Heinrich Marschner's opera, "Der
Vampyr," based on Nodier's story, opens in Liepzig.
- 1841 Alexey Tolstoy publishes his short story,
"Upyr," while living in Paris. It is the first modern
vampire story by a Russian.
- 1847 Bram Stoker is born. "Varney the Vampire"
begins lengthy serialization.
- 1851 Alexandre Dumas' last dramatic work, "Le
Vampire," opens in Paris.
- 1854 The case of vampirism in the Ray family
of Jewell, Connecticut, is published in local newspapers.
- 1872 "Carmilla" is written by Sheridan
Le Fanu. In Italy, Vincenzo Verzeni is convicted of murdering
two people and drinking their blood.
- 1874 Reports from Ceven, Ireland, tell of sheep
having their throats cut and their blood drained.
- 1888 Emily Gerard's "Land Beyond the Forest"
is published. It will become a major source of information about
Transylvania for Bram Stoker's "Dracula."
- 1894 H.G. Wells' short story, "The Flowering
of the Strange Orchid," is a precursor to science fiction
- 1897 "Dracula" by Bram Stoker is published
in England. "The Vampire" by Rudyard Kipling becomes
the inspiration for the creation of the vamp as a stereotypical
character on stage and screen
- 1912 "The Secrets of House No. 5,"
possibly the first vampire movie, is produced in Great Britain.
- 1913 "Dracula's Guest" by Bram Stoker
- 1920 "Dracula," the first film based
on the novel, is made in Russia. No copy has survived.
- 1921 Hungarian filmmakers produce a version of
- 1922 "Nosferatu," a German-made silent
film produced by Prana Films, is the third attempt to film "Dracula."
- 1924 Hamilton Dean's stage version of "Dracula"
opens in Derby. Fritz Harmann of Hanover, Germany, is arrested,
tried and convicted of killing more than 20 people in a vampiric
crime spree. Sherlock Holmes has his only encounter with a vampire
in "The Case of the Sussex Vampire."
- 1927 February 14: Stage version of "Dracula"
debuts at the Little Theatre in London. October: American version
of "Dracula" starring Bela Lugosi, opens at Fulton Theatre
in New York City. Tod Browning directs Lon Chaney in "London
After Midnight," the first full-length feature film.
- 1928 The first edition of Montague Summers's
influential work "The Vampire: His Kith and Kin" appears
- 1929 Montague Summers's second vampire book,
"The Vampire in Europe," is published.
- 1931 January: Spanish film version of "Dracula"
is previewed. February: American film version of "Dracula"
with Bela Lugosi premiers at the Roxy Theatre in New York City.
Peter Kurten of Dusseldorf, Germany, is executed after being found
guilty of murdering a number of people in a vampiric killing spree.
- 1932 The highly acclaimed movie "Vampyr,"
directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, is released.
- 1936 "Dracula's Daughter" is released
by Universal Pictures.
- 1942 A. E. Van Vought's "Asylum" is
the first story about an alien vampire.
- 1943 "Son of Dracula (Universal Pictures)
stars Lon Chaney, Jr., as Dracula.
- 1944 John Carradine plays Dracula for the first
time in "Horror of Dracula."
- 1953 "Drakula Istanbula," a Turkish
film adaptation of "Dracula," is released. "Eerie"
No. 8 includes the first comic book adaptation of "Dracula."
- 1954 The Comics Code banishes vampires from comic
books. "I am Legend" by Richard Matheson presents vampirism
as a disease that alters the body.
- 1956 John Carradine plays Dracula in the first
television adaptation of the play for "Matinee Theatre."
"Kyuketsuki Ga," the first Japanese vampire film, is
- 1957 The first Italian vampire movie, "I
Vampiri," is released. American producer Roger Corman makes
the first science fiction vampire movie, "Not of This Earth."
"El Vampiro" with German Robles is the first of a new
wave of Mexican vampire films.
- 1958 Hammer Films in Great Britain initiates
a new wave of interest in vampires with the first of it's "Dracula"
films, released in the United States as the "Horror of Dracula."
First issue of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" signals
a new interest in horror films in the Untied States.
- 1959 "Plan 9 From Outer Space is Bela Lugosi's
- 1961 "The Bad Flower" is the first
Korean film adaptation of "Dracula."
- 1962 The Count Dracula Society is founded in
the United States by Donald Reed.
- 1964 "Parque de Juelos (Park of Games)"
is the first Spanish made vampire movie.
- 1964 "The Munsters" and "The Addams
Family"; two horror comedies with vampire characters, open
in the fall television season.
- 1965 Jeanne Youngson founds The Count Dracula
Fan Club. "The Munsters," based on the television show
of the same name, is the first comic book series featuring a vampire
- 1966 "Dark Shadows" debuts on television.
- 1967 April: In episode 210 of "Dark Shadows",
vampire Barnabas Collins makes his first appearance.
- 1969 First issue of "Vampirella," the
longest running vampire comic book to date, is released. Denholm
Elliot plays the title role in a BBC television production of
"Dracula, Does Dracula Really Suck? (aka Dracula and the
Boys)" is released as the first gay vampire movie.
- 1970 Christopher Lee stars in "El Conde
Dracula," the Spanish film adaptation of "Dracula."
Sean Manchester founds The Vampire Research Society.
- 1971 Marvel Comics releases the first copy of
a post-Comics Code vampire comic book, "The Tomb of Dracula."
Morbius, the Living Vampire, is the first new vampire character
introduced after the revision of the Comics code allowed vampires
to reappear in comic books.
- 1972 "The Night Stalker" with Darrin
McGavin becomes the most watched television movie to that point
in time. "Vampire Kung-Fu" is released in Hong Kong
as the first of a string of vampire martial arts films. "In
Search of Dracula" by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu
introduces Vlad the Impaler, the historical Dracula, to the world
of contemporary vampire fans. "A Dream of Dracula" by
Leonard Wolf complements McNally's and Florescu's effort in calling
attention to vampire lore. "True Vampires of History"
by Donald Glut is the first attempt to assemble the stories of
all the historical vampire figures. Stephan Kaplan founds The
Vampire Research Centre.
- 1973 Dan Curtis Productions' version of "Dracula"
(1973) stars Jack Palance in a made-for-television movie. Nancy
Garden's "Vampires" launches a wave of juvenile literature
for children and youth.
- 1975 Fred Saberhagen proposes viewing Dracula
as a hero rather than a village in "The Dracula Tape."
"The World of Dark Shadows" is founded as the first
"Dark Shadows" fanzine.
- 1976 "Interview with the Vampire" by
Anne Rice is published. Stephen King is nominated for the World
Fantasy Award for his vampire novel, "'Salem's Lot."
Shadowcon, the first national "Dark Shadows convention, is
organized by Dark Shadows fans."
- 1977 A new dramatic version of "Dracula"
opens on Broadway starring Frank Langella. Louis Jordan stars
in the title role in "Count Dracula," a three-hour version
of Bram Stoker's book on BBC television. Martin V. Riccardo founds
the Vampire Studies Society.
- 1978 Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's book "hotel
Transylvania" joins the volumes of Fred Saberhagen and Anne
Rice as the third major effort to begin a reappraisal of the vampire
myth during the decade. Eric Held and Dorothy Nixon found the
Vampire Information Exchange.
- 1979 Based on the success of the new Broadway
production, Universal Pictures remakes "Dracula" (1979),
starring Frank Langella. The band Bauhaus's recording of "Bela
Lugosi's Dead" becomes the first hit of the new gothic rock
music movement. "Shadowgram" is founded as a "Dark
- 1980 The Bram Stoker Society is founded in Dublin,
Ireland. Richard Chase, the so-called Dracula Killer of Sacramento,
California, commits suicide in prison. The World Federation of
Dark Shadows Clubs (now Dark Shadows Official Fan Club) is founded.
- 1983 In the December issue of "Dr. Strange,"
Marvel Comics' ace occultist kills all of the vampires in the
world, thus banishing them from Marvel Comics for the next six
years. Dark Shadows Festival is founded to host an annual "Dark
- 1985 "The Vampire Lestat" by Anne Rice
is published and reaches the best seller list.
- 1989 Overthrow of Romanian dictator Nikolai Ceaucescu
opens Transylvania to Dracula enthusiasts. Nancy Collins wins
a Bram Stoker Award for her vampire novel "Sunglasses After
- 1991 Vampire: The Masquerade," the most
successful of the vampire role-playing games, is released by White
- 1992 "Bram Stoker's Dracula" directed
by Francis Ford Coppola opens. Andrei Chikatilo of Rostov, Russia,
is sentenced to death after killing and vampirizing some 55 people.
- 1994 The film version of Anne Rice's "Interview
with the Vampire" opens with Tom Cruise as the Vampire Lestat
and Brad Pitt as Louis.
- 1995 Four vampire movies are released:: "The
Vampire in Brooklyn," "Dracula: Dead and Loving It.,"
"Nadja," and "The Addiction"
- 1996 January: "From Dusk Till Dawn,"
written by Quentin Tarantino, starring George Clooney opens nationwide.
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