- For the remake SyFy series' version of vampires, see Vampire (Syfy)
Vampires (classified Type 1 by CenSSA, classified Type 2 by the Department of Domestic Defence) are a post-human supernatural species which are cursed with a constant craving to kill and drink the blood of humans. Some vampires choose to fight this urge and avoid feeding, but the majority choose to kill and feed as they please. Vampirism is passed on by a process known as recruiting, which involves a bitten/dying human drinking a vampire's blood. When this happens, the person becomes immortal and cannot die naturally, however he or she will be cursed with a constant thirst for human blood. Although vampires can give up blood, this is extremely difficult. Normally, vampires are indistinguishable from humans; but when thirsty or showing aggression, fangs appear in place of their canines and their eyes turn completely black.
The vampire race started in 1000 BC or earlier, when two brothers in Asia made a pact with the Devil (eternal life in exchange for the consumption of blood) and became the first vampires. (Eve of the War) It has been speculated that Mr. Snow may have been one of these original two vampires (due to Snow's ancient age and Hal Yorke's statement that Mr. Snow was one of the earliest vampires), but some have discredited this (as Mr. Snow was Caucasian, whereas the original two vampires were mentioned by Regus as being Asian). (Eve of the War)
The ancestors of modern-day vampires were strictly nocturnal, only emerging under the cover of darkness. This is why some modern-day vampires are greatly irritated when exposed to excess sunlight. It is also known that the vampires apparently had their own myths and legends, all of which originated from five dreams which the two original vampires had upon first drinking blood. (Eve of the War)
Humans seemed to have been aware of vampires up until around the 1600s - 1700s. Anyone accused of vampirism was imprisoned in underground prisons away from normal society. In 1665, a mass cull of vampires was arranged in Bristol, and all known vampires there were exterminated. (Long Live The King) It has since been presumed that the history of vampires has been covered up and disguised as a myth, making present-day humans unaware of their existence. Vampires were subsequently forced to lead double-lives as humans to avoid discovery and persecution. The first vampire to do this was Richard Turner, who moved to Bristol in 1630. Despite killing over 1,000 people, Turner was a highly respected figure amongst the human world and even ran for parliament. Turner's move to Bristol caused a mass migration of vampires to the city, making it the heart of the British vampire community.
As the centuries progressed, vampires became more concerned about their existence being discovered. Modern-day vampires usually had communities disguised as abandoned businesses, where they met and arranged killings. Many vampires were situated in positions of high authority, such as the police. These vampires were consulted to cover up any killings with false stories. Usually, a human coroner was blackmailed into confirming the cause of death as an accident or suicide.
In 1911, a full-scale war erupted between the vampires and werewolves as a result of the Devil's influence and manipulation, and the war lasted for seven years; until in 1918, Hal Yorke and Catherine Glass called for a truce between the werewolf and vampire armies to capture and destroy the Devil together. (The Trinity)
In 2009, William Herrick planned a vampire takeover of the Earth in which all of humanity would be either recruited or farmed for blood, and vampires established as the new dominant species. Although his plan almost succeeded, Herrick was killed by the transformed werewolf George Sands, and his death effectively halted the plans for a vampire takeover. (Series 1)
A notable incident in which the vampires' identity was nearly revealed to humans was circa 2010, when vampires John Mitchell and Daisy Hannigan-Spiteri killed twenty train passengers in Bristol in what was known as the Box Tunnel 20 Massacre. Mitchell was later arrested after an investigation into the murders, and was brought to a local police department, where his picture was taken. As a vampire's image cannot be captured, Mitchell's identity was discovered, and vampires were exposed. However, Mitchell was later rescued by the resurrected Herrick, who murdered all those who had discovered the vampires' existence. The story was afterwards fully covered up by Edgar Wyndham, and the vampires returned to their unknown existence. (The Wolf-Shaped Bullet)
As a result of the Box Tunnel Massacre and how it had risked revealing the existence of supernaturals to the human world, the Old Ones began to plan to start a war between vampires and humanity over the Earth, and travelled from Bolivia to Barry Island for this planned war. However, the Old Ones were wiped out by Annie Sawyer in an explosion at the warehouse where they were located; destroying the vampires' plans for a war against humanity, (The War Child) and leaving the vampire society leaderless and vulnerable to manipulation by others such as the Department of Domestic Defence. (The Trinity)
In an alternate timeline where the Old Ones weren't killed in 2012 and their plans to take over the Earth from humanity weren't stopped, the vampires began attacking humanity and taking over nations, until eventually they took control over the Earth and formed a Nazi-like regime as the dominant species over humans and werewolves. The vampires also fought against a human-werewolf resistance for control of the Earth in the aftermath of the vampire takeover, and by 2037, the vampires seemed to have the upper-hand in the war and take numerous resistance territories. (Eve of the War, Making History, The War Child)
Vampires reproduce by turning humans into new vampires in a process known as recruiting. The process of infecting a human with the vampire curse has not been seen directly, but vague details of the process have been indicated by attempted recruitments (No Care, All Responsibility) and mentions and remarks. (Flotsam and Jetsam, The Trinity) When a human is on the point of death (usually from being bitten and fed on by a vampire, but it can apparently also instead be by other means such as a slash to the throat or blunt force trauma), a vampire can recruit the person by giving the person some of their vampire blood. Afterwards, the person is clinically dead for a matter of hours. During this time, they have visions of the Men with Sticks and Rope, which is very traumatic for them. Upon awakening, the person is a new vampire.
After awakening as a new vampire, the person's blood pressure will drop and their heart rate will slow down to approximately one beat per minute (which will in turn cause the new vampire to initially feel nauseated), and they will feel an immediate craving for blood. From this point on, the vampire's body will not age, and will remain frozen at the physical age it was on the day of recruitment. Vampires apparently have an unlimited lifespan if not killed.
After being recruited, at least some aspects of a vampire's mind will stay at the level of maturity it was on the day he or she was recruited; decades or even centuries later. For example, the vampire Adam Jacobs, despite being forty-six, behaved like an adolescent, as he was recruited when he was sixteen; and Hetty, who was recruited as a little girl, apparently still liked to draw ponies at the age of 465 (though this may have been sarcasm).
The vampire's condition and/or their bloodlust will usually also have strong effects on and cause large alterations to their personality, usually in that the vampire will lose most or all of their conscience and empathy for humans and respect for human life, and will become highly vicious, violent and sadistic after first killing a human victim. (The Trinity) However, some vampires can regain their morals and conscience after a considerable amount of time, and attempt to fight their bloodlust and become clean of blood; although according to Nick Cutler, if and when a vampire spends a great enough length of time endlessly killing and feeding, regaining their conscience and morals will become psychologically impossible. It was implied by Cutler that it is a common occurrence when a vampire, at some point in their immortal life, regains their conscience and attempts to get clean of blood, but the said vampire usually will inevitably fail and/or fall back into their vicious killing ways. (Making History)
It is common for a newly-recruited vampire's infector to look after and tutor the new vampire. For example, the vampires William Herrick and John Mitchell kept a close partnership for over fifty years after Herrick recruited Mitchell during the First World War, and the fact that Mitchell did not do this for Lauren Drake, a vampire he had recruited, was seen as harsh and poor form by Herrick.
Normally, unless they have rejected and overcome their bloodlust, vampires are driven to regularly consume large quantities of human blood. It appears that if a vampire drinks massive quantities of blood or drinks blood after enduring withdrawal, then it will temporarily cause aggressive mood changes in the vampire's actions and demeanor. It is apparently not the blood itself that quenches a vampire's thirst, but the life force in it from the human. Due to this, vampires find blood that has been removed and stored for more than a few hours much less satisfactory than fresh blood consumed directly from a live human victim. Vampires can also feed on other vampires' blood, but it is likewise apparently less satisfactory than human blood. Despite their immense thirst for it, vampires can still survive without human blood, and can consume other forms of sustenance including human food such as cereal.
An absence of blood in the diet of vampires is not fatal, although they will have an intense craving for it and experience symptoms similar to drug withdrawal if they fail to consume blood after a great amount of time. This craving has been shown to cause extreme pain and cramps, and seems to be far worse than the withdrawal symptoms caused by addiction to any other substance.
There isn't any known vampire who has managed to not drink blood at all. At a certain time, all of the vampires have given in to their bloodlust. However, there are some vampires who stayed dry for a long time. Hal Yorke didn't consume blood for 57 years, Carl for more than 20 years, and Mitchell for eight years.
Most of the vampires kill humans without a bad conscience. They kill them to drink their blood, and/or because they simply enjoy the rush and sensation of killing and destroying life. If a vampire kills and drinks blood, they also don't suffer from "bad" emotions, like guilt, loss, loneliness, grief or sadness. Many vampires are police officers or work in similar positions to cover up the murders that vampires cause. However, most vampires take care when killing to avoid drawing too much attention and sparking a big investigation.
Many vampires also enjoy bullying, beating up, degrading and even killing werewolves. In this respect, vampires also have a particularly infamous, dogfight-esque game of locking werewolves up and setting them on humans or each-other during the full moon for bets.
Some vampires don't want to kill at all. They either get clean of blood (like with Hal, Carl, Mitchell and Crumb), or drink blood from human blood donators without killing them (as was the case with Bernie and Adam). Staying clean from blood is very hard for vampires, since the withdrawal causes the memories of all the people they have killed and all the atrocities they have committed to come back to their mind. These "clean" vampires also have to deal with their "bad emotions" again, including their guilt and horror over the death and grief and other atrocities they caused/committed when on blood. Furthermore they need to control their hunger for blood.
A vampire's normal heart rate is only one beat per minute, although it would appear that they can cause their heart to beat faster in order to mimic a human heartbeat. When Mitchell was hospitalised after being attacked by Herrick, doctors initially couldn't find his heartbeat when they were trying to operate on him. When he was later shown in bed and hooked up to a heart monitor, the machine was bleeping in a regular rhythm, as would be expected of a human. This would imply that vampires can learn to control their heart rate to some extent. (Bad Moon Rising)
Vampires' bodies are apparently biologically dead, true to the lore of vampires being undead. Vampires' undead state also immunises them against succubi's life-draining ability and allows a vampire to survive sex with a succubus. (Hold the Front Page)
Vampires are usually physically indistinguishable from humans, and each vampire is frozen at the age and appearance they were and had on the day they were recruited, regardless of how longer they've lived since being recruited. However, when a vampire is aggravated or about to attack, they will "manifest"; their eyes will turn all-jet-black, and fangs emerge from their upper gums and slide down in front of their normal canines.
Though vampires usually have no different physical traits from humans when not manifested, it was implied that as vampires reach an ancient age, their physical bodies begin to slightly decay internally, and that this was the reason for the 3000-year-old Vampire Mr. Snow's complexion (unnaturally pale skin, with black blood vessels visible beneath, and rotted teeth and nails). The 1000-year-old vampire Edgar Wyndham likewise showed unhealthy pale skin and darkening veins on his temples.
"Old Nick's Wink"Edit
A vampire's image cannot be captured by any sort of film, camera or mirror (although their reflection can still be seen in semi-reflective surfaces). According to Hal, this is because the Devil takes away each vampire's reflection as a way of reminding them that their souls belong to him due to the pact with the Devil from which the vampire race started, and vampires jokingly call their lack of reflection "Old Nick's Wink".
In actuality this can be either a strength or a weakness depending on the situation; a strength, in that their image cannot be traced photographically through the ages, but a weakness, as it can reveal them in situations in which a mirror image or photograph is expected, such as a photographic ID card. Therefore, the vampire society holds it as a top priority that vampires are not arrested after killing their victims, as police mug shots taken would reveal the vampire race's existence to the human world.
- Enhanced to Superhuman strength - Vampires have strength that surpasses humans' and werewolves' in human form. The strength of a Vampire increases as they age. A young and newly turned Vampire, Lauren Drake, was capable of lifting an adult male high above the ground with a single hand (Flotsam and Jetsam), a feat repeated by 117 year old Vampire John Mitchell with even less effort (Another Fine Mess). Mr Snow, an ancient Vampire, was far stronger, being capable of tearing a Human apart with his bare hands. (The War Child)
- Enhanced durability/Invulnerability - Vampires are impervious to most forms of damage to the body, except for staking with wood to the heart, severe mutilation and decapitation; vampires have been shown to survive stabbing with wooden stakes (as long as the stake does not pierce their heart), although this still weakens and immobilises vampires, (Bad Moon Rising, The Last Broadcast) and according to Hal Yorke, shooting a vampire through even the heart with a gun wouldn't do so much as slow them down. (Being Human 1955)
- Enhanced senses - A vampire can sense a werewolf's presence purely by smell, as werewolves give off a unique smell that only vampires can smell. They are also capable of catching the scent off blood from far away. (The Pack)
- Supernatural perception - Like other supernatural species, vampires can constantly perceive ghosts.
Though formidable, vampires do possess a number of weaknesses; ranging from irritating to fatal.
- Sunlight - Vampires can survive in sunlight, although they tend to stay covered up. John Mitchell was often seen in daylight wearing heavy coats and sunglasses, even when it was not necessary to wear such items.
- Religious symbols - Vampires are repelled by religious symbols and writings, almost to the point of pain. These symbols can be of any religion; for example, George Sands' Star of David and verses from the Christian Bible were both simultaneously capable of repelling vampires. However, there are some means through which a vampire is unrepelled by a religious symbol or can overcome the symbol's effect. According to Herrick, if the owner of a religious symbol feels love or affection for a vampire, then that vampire will be unaffected by the symbol. (Bad Moon Rising) It is also known that the more vampires there are, the weaker the religious symbol's repelling effect on them altogether is. (Where The Wild Things Are) Elder vampires such as the Old Ones are unrepelled by religious symbols as well. Vampires can use the bodies of beings, such as humans, which aren't repelled by religious symbols as barriers against said symbols' repelling effect on them. (Hold the Front Page) Also, when Herrick temporarily forgot that he was a vampire, he was unfazed by George Sands' Star of David. (Series 3)
- Invitation - Vampires cannot enter a private residence unless they have been invited in; otherwise, crossing the threshold will severely burn and mutilate the vampire and cause them extreme agony; although it does not seem to be fatal. (The War Child) However, once a vampire has been given permission to enter the private residence, they do not need to re-acquire the invitation to enter a second time, and can re-enter and exit as they please. (The Graveyard Shift) After a vampire reaches a certain age (such as 1000 years old), they can enter a private building uninvited without being harmed. (The Wolf-Shaped Bullet) Vampires are also unable to walk on consecrated ground, such as a church or any other place of worship. (All God's Children)
- Garlic - Although garlic does not pain a vampire, vampires display some degree of disgust for garlic, as John Mitchell was shown to cringe away from the garlic in Anthony McNair's van. (The Pack)
- Wooden stake - A vampire can only be killed permanently by a wooden stake piercing through the heart. When this happens, the vampire's body turns to ash and it dies, leaving just dust and the vampire's clothes behind. Vampires can also be killed by other means, such as severe injuries and mutilation (including decapitation and other forms of severe mutilation and dismemberment caused by a werewolf attack, as well as obliteration by explosions); but unlike with staking, vampires can be resurrected from deaths by these causes.
- Werewolf blood - The blood of a werewolf is extremely toxic to vampires, burning their skin and bodily tissues like acid. Due to werewolf blood's corrosive effects on vampires' tissues, it can kill them if they ingest it or if the blood is projected directly into their faces, after which the vampire's body turns to ash. (Eve of the War, The Greater Good, The Last Broadcast) Non-fatal burns to a vampire's body caused by werewolf blood also do not seem to heal as quickly as conventional wounds to a vampire would. (A Spectre Calls)
Vampires that have died by means other than staking can be resurrected if a sufficient amount of other vampires' blood is allowed to drip onto their remains. This resurrection process also appears to regenerate the vampire's corpse, as after Herrick was resurrected from being ripped apart by George Sands in the latter's wolf form, his body's severed parts had been rejoined, and his body was in perfect condition despite having been dead for several months. (All God's Children)
After a vampire has been resurrected, they will lose all memory of their former life and their vampirism. (Series 3) It also appears that religious symbols do not affect vampires in this amnesic state. However, if and when a vampire feeds on enough human blood after their resurrection, they will regain their lost memory and personality, and their killer instincts will return. (Though the Heavens Fall, The Wolf-Shaped Bullet)
It is unclear if the spirits of deceased vampires can become ghosts. Werewolves and zombies have been shown to appear as ghosts - albeit briefly - after they have died, (Type 4, Eve of the War) but vampires seem to simply die after being permanently killed by staking, without any sign of their spirit surviving after their physical demise.
There is no confirmed means of reversing vampirism. In a dream reality engineered by Captain Hatch, destroying the Devil would cause the vampire curse to die with him and thus render vampires human again; but as this world was an illusion, it is unknown if it would have worked in reality or if vampirism is at all reversible. (The Last Broadcast)
Additional information from the official Being Human novelsEdit
There are a very few humans who are immune to vampirism; these immune humans' blood is poisonous to vampires, causing any vampire who drinks their blood to die.
The Taint is the sweetest blood. It's absolutely addictive for every vampire. When they smell a human with this blood, all they can think about is feeding and they can't control themselves anymore. Humans only have the "Taint" when their blood is poisoned, for example when they are bitten by a very rare spider. That's why no one has heard of the "Taint" for centuries.
Vampires and werewolves have been shown to have a very hostile relationship with each other, seemingly lasting millennia. Most of the time they have a contempt for each other. Even in relatively civil interactions, werewolves are seen as dirty and unclean animals by vampires, and as inferior creatures. Vampires commonly insult werewolves and call them dogs, and are known to physically and viciously attack werewolves in streets and alleys merely for fun, and to use several other cruel and brutal forms of prejudice, attack, humiliation and injustice towards werewolves; among which are the Werewolf Fights. It is known that one major, organised conflict took place between werewolves and vampires in Europe from 1911 to 1918, until both sides called a ceasefire in order to find the source of the conflict and bring it to an end.
The most likely reason for the hatred that vampires have for werewolves, aside from repulsion and prejudice, stems from that fact that although a vampire is on average stronger than a werewolf in the latter's human form, a fully-transformed werewolf's strength greatly exceeds that of a vampire. It was implied that vampires' hatred for werewolves is more fundamental and instinctive than personality-wise; as Crumb, when a newly-recruited vampire, seemed slightly repulsed by the first werewolf he met despite most likely not knowing about werewolves yet before this.
If vampires do not kill and drink blood they seem to have a better relationship with werewolves. All clean vampires seen have a good or okay relationship with werewolves. During their clean times, Mitchell, Carl and Adam enjoyed to spend time with the werewolves Nina and George. However, after Mitchell committed the Box Tunnel 20 Massacre and killed a lot of humans, he suddenly acted mean to and shouted at George because the latter was a werewolf. Similarly, Hal when in his 'Good Hal' persona and clean of blood was shown to not at all mind werewolves' company or see them as inferior, while his 'Bad Hal' personality saw werewolves as animals and beasts of burden and treated them as such. It is possible that the difference in behaviour towards werewolves when a vampire is on blood and is clean of blood is because the vampires can control their instincts better when they are clean and aren't killing.
Vampires have a small amount of awe and fascination towards ghosts. One vampire curiously questioned Annie Sawyer on what it is like being a ghost and continued to politely ask her other questions. Vampires and ghosts have both experienced death and seen the Men with Sticks and Rope. This makes them feel close to each other. Since ghosts can only be seen by supernatural creatures, they enjoy being recognised, known and seen by vampires. However, the relationships can also be quite difficult, since a lot of ghosts don't like vampires who kill humans. So some vampires want to stop killing (Mitchell, Hal, Crumb) or pretend that they do not kill anymore (Hal, Mitchell), others simply lose interest in the ghost after they realize that the ghosts are not satisfied with their way of living. (Seth)
Vampires are aware of demons, and regard them and their halfbreed offspring with a level of awe and fear. This is most likely because demons' abilities are both powerful and unpredictable, and capable of influencing vampires with little effort. Hal Yorke was terrified of the Succubus Yvonne Bradshaw and her abilities, even though she was unaware of her true nature, because her obsession-inducing power threatened to drive Hal to kill again. Demons are implied to regard vampires and werewolves as an indirect food source, as the Devil was known to feed on their strife and conflict.
Humans are a food supply for the vampires. A lot of vampires enjoy killing them and feeding from them. Some vampires, however, out of conscience, wish to avoid harming and killing humans. Said vampires may even form a friendship with humans, (Mitchell and Josie, Mitchell and Bernie) or romance (Hal and Alex, Mitchell and Lucy, Mitchell and Lauren, Mitchell and Becca) though the vampire's hunger for blood always puts the relationship in danger. It is not seldom that a vampire kills his human lover (Hal and Sylvie) or that the human lover is killed by another vampire (Alex), or that the human can't deal with the fact that the vampiric lover has killed other humans before (Lucy).
List of known vampiresEdit
- Vampire Brothers (3000+, unknown status)
- Mr. Snow (ca. 3000, deceased)
- Edgar Wyndham (1000, deceased)
- Other Old Ones (deceased)
- Griffin (elder Vampire, deceased)
- Jacob (elder Vampire, unknown status)
- Hal Yorke (500+)
- Hetty (462 - 465)
- Regus (400+)
- Richard Turner (380+, unknown status)
- Ivan (237, deceased)
- Fergus (157+, deceased)
- William Herrick (166, deceased)
- John Mitchell (118, deceased)
- Carl (110+)
- Seth (92+, deceased)
- Daisy Hannigan-Spiteri (90+, deceased)
- Nick Cutler (80+, deceased)
- Golda (70+, deceased)
- Radley (50+ deceased)
- Adam Jacobs (46)
- Euan McMillan (33+)
- Campbell (15)
- Vicky (deceased)
- Kane (deceased)
- Kyle (deceased)
- Cooper (deceased)
- Vincent (deceased)
- Graham (deceased)
- Piot (deceased)
- Gary (deceased)
- Stefan (deceased)
- Heavy (deceased)
- Richard Hargreaves (deceased)
- Emma Hargreaves
- Marco (deceased)
- Anthony Howell
- Gareth Marshall
- Hoodie (deceased)
- Kyle Dokic
- Lauren Drake (new vampire, deceased)
- Bernie (new vampire)
- Duncan (new vampire)
- Tim Keogh (new vampire)
- Nanna (new vampire, deceased)
- Cara (new vampire, deceased)
- Young Teenage Girl (new vampire, deceased)
- Dewi Jenkins (new vampire)
- Michaela Thompson (new vampire)
- Ian "Crumb" Cram (new vampire, deceased)
- Alan (new vampire, deceased)
- Albert (90+)
- Stu (new vampire)
- Janice Prescott (new vampire)
- Justine (50+)
- Betty (50+)
- Arnold (50+)
- Olive King(90+)
- Sanjay (100+)
A lot of the vampire behaviours and abilities for Being Human were changed from pop-culture norms because of a limited buget. Toby Whithouse loved that the TV series True Blood had much more traditional vampires which can't go out on sunlight. He mentioned that this was not possible for the BBC series, as filming at night is very expensive and they did not have enough money for it. That's why they have decided that Being Human's vampires could walk in the sunlight, although they still do not like this. Another change made because of budget reasons, is that vampire can be reflected in semi-reflective surfaces such as windows. It was simply too expensive to cut out all of the reflections, so they deceided that vampires just could not be captured by mirrors, videos and photo cameras.