From folk tales to popular culture, Vampires chronicles the long history of these bloodthirsty creatures, both real and imagined, throughout the world. People's fascination with vampires remains as strong today as it was centuries ago in Eastern Europe, and Vampires deftly explores the evolution of these seductive immortals from ancient history to popular contemporary culture. Beginning with the true stories of the cruel fourteenth-century Romanian prince Vlad Drakul, and the sixteenth-century "Blood Countess" Elizabeth Bathory, Vampires moves into the twentieth century to explore real-life murderers whose motives were the desire to drink the blood of their victims. Vampires also explores the fictional place of vampires in popular culture and, specifically, their proliferation in literature, television and film. Vampires includes four blood-chilling stories about vampires including a professed "true" account by the famous nineteenth-century occultist Franz Hartmann. Handsomely illustrated throughout, Vampires is an essential addition to the libraries of vampire enthusiasts everywhere.