Vampires are supernaturally reanimated corpses, inhabited by the spirit of the deceased, that feed and survive on the blood of the living. Vampires are one of the many known supernatural species in The Vampire Diaries Universe.
Humans who have consumed vampire blood and died within 24 hours of doing so will rise undead. The nature of the human's death is irrelevant, however the body must be intact and able to function. Upon mortal death, the undead body will awaken in a state of transition. In order to complete the transition, within the next 24 hours the person must consume an exceptional amount of human blood or else they will die. Vampires can only feed on human blood to complete the process.
It is known that humans can be changed into vampires, and werewolves can be changed into hybrids. Witches can be turned into vampires, but the combined entity will be a normal vampire, since vampires can not practice magic.
Over 2000 years ago, there was an extremely powerful warlock named Silas. He wanted to live forever with thewoman he loved so he created a spell of immortality. His best friend Qetsiyah, who was in love with him and also a witch, helped him by casting the spell on him making him into the world's first vampire and immortal. As soon as he became immortal he planned on making his lover immortal too. However, Qetsiyah became enraged when she found out he was in love with another and killed his lover. She then lured him to an Island and sealed him along with The Cure hoping he would take it and die. To spite her he refused to take the cure and was laid buried for over 2000 years. It was later revealed by Silas himself, that he created the immortality spell, by himself and Qetsiyah never helped him create the immortality spell, but helped in casting it.
During the early Middle Ages of Europe, an old world family abandoned their homeland (the Old World/Europe), soon after a severe virus, known as the plague, spread throughout their village. With the help of a powerful witchnamed Ayana, the family traveled to America where they settled in a beautiful unnamed hamlet. However, after the untimely death of Esther’s youngest child Henrik, Esther was later convinced by her husband to transform their family into the second known vampires. They, just like Ayana had foretold, started a "plague" by creating more vampires(albeit much weaker then themselves) birthing what is considered the modern vampires.
During the 18th century, the original vampires came to what would become New Orleans and begun the process of building a unknown penal colony into one of the major cities of the United States. During their time in New Orleans, the Originals turned several vampires, including the slave Marcel, who became the protegé and best friend of Niklaus Mikaelson, more commonly known as Klaus. Although the vampires managed to establish their own community in New Orleans, several communities cohabitated in the town, including the werewolves and the witches, who were, according to Klaus, a 'force to be reckoned with.' However, in 1911, the Originals' father, Mikael, tracked his children down to New Orleansand, in his quest to kill his stepson Klaus, killed several of the turned vampires. The Originals managed to flee, as well as Marcel.
At some point after the massacre, Marcel returned to New Orleans where he became hellbent on reestablishing the vampire community, this time as with them in a dominant position this time. Through means unknown, he got rid of the werewolves, forcing them out of town, and also discovered a way to force the witches into submission by knowing when they practice magic. He then taught the humans how to look the other way as to the supernatural events in town. Under Marcel's leadership, New Orleansbecame a major supernatural melting pot where vampires came to have a good time, no longer forced to live in the shadows or hide from the humans. Marcel also established a hierarchy where a few vampires enjoyed the privilege of walking in the daylight while the majority were forced to remain as, what he calls, nightcrawlers.
However, threats to Marcel rule begin to appear in 2011 when his former mentor, Klaus, returns to New Orleans. Having received word that a witch named Jane-Anne Deveraux was plotting against him. However, Marcel kills her before he can question her. Suspicious of Marcel's motives for killing Jane-Anne, Klaus follows a trail that leads him to Jane-Anne's sister, Sophie. Along with his older brother, Elijah, Klaus discovers that the witches, led by Jane-Anne and Sophie, are planning an uprising against Marcel and need Klaus's help to get close to him and bring him down.
Blood is the main component of a vampire's diet. Whether it be animal, human or vampire, if a vampire fails to drink blood their body will become severely weak, and will ultimately desiccate into mummification. Blood (especially human blood) will not only satisfy a vampire’s thirst, but will also increase and their supernatural abilities. The longer a vampire abstains from blood the more likely the vampire will lose all sense of their humanity and rationality until they finally give into their bloodlust. Due to their acute senses, a vampire can detect whether or not a human has recently consumed alcohol or drugs, because their blood tastes unclean and can leave a vampire with a nasty aftertaste.
Vampires themselves are extremely feral, predatory creatures, and far more beast-like and savage than their human appearance suggests. They growl, hiss, snarl, and curl their lips back baring their fangs as signs of aggression when provoked. When they sense danger, they will immediately evade the area.
The bite of a vampire can sever the limbs of both animals and humans, as vampires are known for having extremely sharp and strong teeth. Despite their nature, vampires are also capable of human emotions, such as compassion, love, and self-control. However the emotions of vampires are far more intense than the emotions of humans; anger, happiness, hate, love, etc. Whenever a vampire is faced with a powerful feeling (such as hunger, anger, happiness, love ect.) their faces transform into a paler complexion, while blood rushes to their eyes with small veins protruding around the area. Their canine teeth will lengthen into fangs, giving them a more predatory look to scare off or threaten their prey.
Vampires coexist with humans. Humans are mostly oblivious to the existence of vampires. This makes it easier for them to go unnoticed by humans.
Abilities and Powers
The supernatural forces that sustain them also endow the with enhanced physical abilities as well as magical powers of mind control. These powers grow stronger with age and/or human blood.
- Super Strength - Vampires are noticably stronger than humans and grow stronger with time. Even new vampires who are still in transition can toss an average size human across a room with great speed and force. Their strength is also more powerful then werewolves that are not in wolf form. Their strength allows them to jump higher and further than any natural creature.
- Super Speed - Vampires can accelerate their movements to cover short distances in an instant, faster than the human eye can see. When running across long distances, they appear as vibrating blurs of motion.
- Emotional Control - Beingd technically deceased, vampires have the power to "switch off" their ability to feel emotions such as fear or guilt, allowing them to kill and feed without remorse and to go up against any opponent without fear. This power also relieves them of depression or sadness.
- Dream Manipulation - Vampires can control dreams and subconscious. The vampires can produce and modify dreams, bestow nightmares or lucid dreaming. Other effects of this ability is the distortion of reality and trapped in the dreams.
- Super Senses - They can hear whispered conversations, even ones in far off buildings, enhanced sense of smell especially for blood, and see in total darkness.
- Mind Compulsion - Vampires have the ability to control minds, plague people's dreams, and alter/erase human memories.
- Immortality - A vampire stops aging once turned. Upon their transformation, vampires then on become immune to all conventional illness, disease, virus and infection. The only known disease or infection that can kill a vampire is a werewolf bite.
- Accelerated Healing - Vampires can snap their finger bones back into place after being broken and have been seen to fully recover from gunshots, stab wounds, and torso impalement.
- Super Durability - Vampires can take a great amount of damage.
- Fangs - Vampires can grow fangs which they use to feed, they might come out when a vampire is close to blood or angered.
- Decapitation: The act of dismembering or removing the head of a vampire will result in permanent death.
- Fire or Sunlight: The act of exposing a vampire to fire or sunlight will result in permanent death.
- Vervain: The act of exposing or ingesting a vampire with vervain causes a vampire to become severely feverish and weak. Also, If a vampire's skin is exposed to vervain, it can result in burning them. Also vampires can't compel anyone on vervain.
- Wood: The act of wounding a vampire with wood will cause the vampire to become severely weak and if a vampire takes a wooden stake through its heart it will result in permanent death.
- Heart Extraction: The act of extracting or removing the heart of a vampire will result in permanent death.
- Invitation: Vampires cannot enter a home without an invitation by the owner.
- Magic: Vampires are susceptible to the powers of witchcraft including the creation of harmful magical objects.
- Desiccation: Vampires who abstain from blood for extended amounts of time will eventually desiccate into mummification.
- Vampire Bloodline: If an Original vampire dies, all vampires descended from their bloodline will slowly perish.
- Werewolf Bite: The bite of a werewolf is extremely lethal to vampires. It will cause them to hallucinate, grow severely weak and go rabid until it kills them. Klaus' hybrid blood can cure the bite.
- Broken Neck: Breaking a vampires neck is a common way to subdue one, it will not kill them but it will keep them unconscious for several hours and when they are still unconscious they won't have a pulse and appear to be dead.
- Hunter's Curse - If an vampire kills a member of The Brotherhood of the Five then they will be tormented by the hunter until they kill themselves or if the hunter is replaced..
- The Cure: If a vampire takes the cure they will lose their immortality and become human again.
- In the books, the most important vampires are: Klaus, Katherine von Swartzschild, Damon Francesco Salvatore, Stefan Antonio Salvatore, and Sage.
- It is shown that their fangs are show once they drink human blood.
- Vampires enjoy stalking and toying with their victims before biting and drinking their blood. Stefan Salvatore once explained to Elena how the hunt is often more enjoyable to vampires than the actual feeding.
- Vampires are excellent predators, as they can hunt their victims while remaining unseen.
- Vampires can suppress their bloodlust to a degree by consuming alcohol. They might consume coffee to keep their body warmer to avoid spooking humans when in a crowd.
- It is disputed whether removing organs will kill a vampire. Elijah was able to kill a vampire by ripping out his spinal cord, however, when Damon's eyes were clawed out by Pearl, they later regenerated. It is very likely that the damage done by ripping the spinal cord is what can kill a vampire as opposed to its removal.
- Silas is the only vampire that seems to be able to walk during the day, does not require an invitation, is not affected by vervain, and can defeat the Hunter's Curse.
- Vampires are infertile. They are unable to have children.