Vampires & Werewolves

There's tremendous appeal and passion in vampire and werewolf books, with musings of immortality, power, and primeval instincts captivating readers. These works stand out within the horror genre, and vampires and werewolves are notable protagonists within the worlds of paranormal romance, fantasy, and science fiction.

Vampire origins are noted as early as the Greek myths, The Scriptures of Delphi, with the tale of Ambrogio, cursed by Apollo and Artemis. Sensitivity to sunlight and silver, eternal life, and blood use figure prominently, and are the details that have defined many stories. Fear of the dying and the dead inspired the 17th-century Eastern European strigoi legends, which eventually influenced writers in other countries. Early works include the poems Der Vampyr (1748) by Heinrich August Ossenfelder and The Vampyr (1810) by John Stagg. Shortly after, came the seminal The Vampyr (1819) by Dr. John Polidori, Carmilla (1871) by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, and of course, Bram Stoker's 1897 monumental classic, Dracula.

When you're browsing collectible vampire and werewolf books, there are a couple of distinguished sources that trace shapeshifter history. Ovid's Metamorphoses features King Lycaon's transformation into a wolf after he offended Zeus by serving him human flesh. The 12th-century writings of Snorri Sturluson drew upon the Viking ulfhednar warriors who wore wolf pelts and heads during battles. The Lai of Bisclavret, also 12th century, is Marie de France's narrative poem about a man hiding his lycanthropy from his wife. The 1589 pamphlet, The Werewolf of Bedburg, warns against a creature committing vicious murders. Rooted in the true crimes of Peter Stubbe (or Stumpp), it formed the basis for common themes in werewolf books.

Today, there are almost endless variations of the mythologies and adventures of these creatures. When you're ready to buy vampire and werewolf books, search seller listings at AbeBooks for Gary Brandner's The Howling series or Angela Carter's The Bloody Countess, which includes her spin on Red Riding Hood, The Company of Wolves