Christians have been killing vampires in fiction for more than a hundred years. These Christian authors continue the longstanding tradition.

Ever since Bram Stoker published Dracula in 1897, the vampire has held its power over literature. In the earliest folklore and narratives, the vampire tale—and all the traditions that came with it—were rife with Christian symbolism. And for most of the twentieth century, that was how the vampire stories were told: Dracula was the bad guy. Vampires were evil. Your only hope is faith in Christ and the power of the cross.

Ironically, all those stories were written by secular writers.

But for the past few years, there have been changes in the vampire narrative in the popular culture. They started to be portrayed as sexy. Alluring. Exciting. What started in the 1970s as a few random examples here and there became a freight train in the past few years with the popularity of Twilight, leading to a host of similar stories.

Of course, when a Christian author comes to the table with his or her vampire story, they may be playing against the modern approach—but their Christian worldview goes all the way back to the beginning: Dracula is the bad guy. Vampires are evil. Your only hope is faith in Christ and the power of the cross.

Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker first wrote about vampires 10 years ago in his novel Black (Thomas Nelson). “I called them Shataiki,” Dekker says. “A perfect depiction of evil. So seductive and beguiling, so ensnaring. They crossed into our world and became known as vampirum. How anyone might have a problem with this kind of characterization of evil is beyond me.”

In his novel Immanuel’s Veins (Thomas Nelson), Dekker revisited the vampire theme in an 18th century tale of adventure, romance and redemption. “It’s perhaps the most Christian novel I have ever penned,” he says.

Leanna Ellis

Leanna Ellis wrote about a love triangle in Plain Fear: Forsaken (Sourcebooks Landmark), possibly the first Amish vampire novel. Hannah Schmidt, a young Amish woman mourning the mysterious death of her beloved Jacob, must decide between two brothers, between good and evil. When she learns her first love is now the vampire Akiva, she must forsake him and cling to a new love—a lasting love, one that will save her soul.

“What I love about this story is that it shows the battle of good and evil,” Ellis says. “Evil doesn’t always appear with pitchfork and horns. Quite often, evil is appealing and attractive and hooks us in before we realize what has happened. Such is the case with my heroine Hannah. She simply loved a boy. But she opens her heart and her mind too easily, and the consequences could be devastating. It has a powerful spiritual message, a message the world needs to hear.”

Tracey Bateman plunged into vampire fiction with her books Thirsty and Tandem (WaterBrook Press). She says that for a Christian author, the vampire novel has to focus on humanity’s hope for salvation—and not on the vampire. “The vampires are not inherently good,” she says. “They are choosing death. Whether they come to salvation is the author’s choice, but the message has to be one of redemption regardless. We walk a fine line between not offending and still writing a satisfying and entertaining novel with a dark theme.”

Debbie Viguie

Debbie Viguie, author of Kiss of Night and this October’s Kiss of Death (FaithWords), thinks it’s ludicrous when anyone suggests that a “vampire story” is out of bounds for the Christian author. “Satan is evil,” she says. “Should we exclude him from fiction? Hitler was evil; should we exclude him from fiction set in World War II? The antichrist is evil; should we stop allowing people to write fiction set in the end times? Murder and adultery are also evil, but there are tons of Christian novels dealing with these topics. Why single out vampires as the one evil thing that no one can talk about? This becomes even more absurd when you stop and think that—of everything I just mentioned—vampires are the one thing that isn’t real.”

John B. Olson

In John B. Olson’s paranormal thrillers Shade and Powers (B&H Books), vampire-like creatures called the Mulo are clearly evil and intent on destroying his characters. Olson explores themes such as guilt vs. grace, science vs. faith, and natural vs. supernatural. “There’s far more to this universe than we can observe with our five senses,” Olson says. “If we live life by sight alone, we’re going to be herded blindly down a dark road that leads to places we really don’t want to visit. I’m praying that [my novels] will help readers look with more than their eyes and feel with more than their hearts.”

These authors certainly aren’t jumping on any bandwagon. In fact, several held onto their ideas for decades.

Eric Wilson

The Jerusalem’s Undead trilogy by Eric Wilson are vampire tales steeped in biblical history. Field of Blood, Haunt of Jackals and Valley of Bones (Thomas Nelson) expose sin’s deception and underscore salvation through Christ alone. “There is power in the blood,” Wilson says. “Jesus told us we would find eternal life only through His blood, whereas the vampire seeks to find immortality through human blood. Like so many things, it’s a cheap counterfeit of something godly. I wrote my trilogy to take back some of that lost ground, to reclaim and proclaim the power in the Nazarene’s blood.”

Tracey Bateman

“To think ‘bandwagon’ and be cynical about a writer following a trend is just shortsighted,” Bateman says. “I think a lot of Christian readers pick these vampire stories up off secular shelves because there isn’t a Christian alternative, and it’s disturbing the way the secular world brings these topics into our kids’ lives. Let us give them an alternative.”

“There is power in the cross and power in the blood of Christ,” notes Ellis, whose series Plain Fear continues this summer with Forbidden (Sourcebooks Landmark). “That’s what so intrigued me about writing this type of story: Blood is really at the heart of any vampire tale. It’s where a vampire gets his power.”

“In the end,” Viguie says, “the blood of Christ is all that matters.” 

This article originally appeared in FamilyFiction Edge digital magazine. Click here to subscribe for free!

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About The Author

C. J.'s love of reading began when she was a kid dragging home bags of books from the library. When she was twelve she started dreaming about becoming a published author. That dream came true when her first novel Thicker than Blood won a national writing contest. It became the first book in the Thicker than Blood series, which also includes Bound by Guilt, Ties that Bind, and Running on Empty. She has also written Jupiter Winds and Jupiter Storm the first and second books in the Jupiter Winds series. Her children's fantasy Alison Henry and the Creatures of Torone has also been well received. C. J. lives in Pennsylvania with her whippets, two tabby cats, and a Paint mare named Sky.