2022: The Year of the Vampire

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, dir. by F. W. Murnau (1922)

2022 is an exciting year for vampire scholars and fans! It is the anniversary of quite a few classic vampire texts, including F.W. Murnau’s Expressionist reworking of Dracula from 1922, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. Sam has captured some of the spirit of The Year of the Vampire in a Twitter moment here.

A Gallery of Vampires

Click on the arrows to move through the gallery.

  • The Blood of the Vampire book cover
  • Nosferatu pn borad the ship
  • Christopher Lee, born 1922, as Dracula
  • Vampyr, Carl Dreyer, 1932
  • Barnabas Collins
  • Blacula
  • The Tomb of Dracula, 1972, Marvel Comics
  • Louis Jordan as Dracula
  • Edward Gorey's set for Dracula
  • Gary Oldman as Dracula
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (film)
  • Buffy and Spike

The Open Graves, Open Minds Project has been at the forefront of the regeneration of academic vampire studies since our foundational conference in 2010, ‘Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture’. This very successful international conference led to an edited collection, Open Graves, Open Minds: Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present Day, ed. by Sam George and Bill Hughes (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013) and the first special issue of the Gothic Studies journal devoted to vampires: Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture: Gothic Studies Special Issue, ed. by Sam George and Bill Hughes, 15.1 (May 2013).

Dr Sam George, at the University of Hertfordshire, then instituted the first MA module dedicated to vampire studies: ‘Reading the Vampire’, from which and under her supervision have emerged several PhD students who have taken OGOM’s research project further into the study of vampire and other Gothic and fantastic narratives in their social context.

Continuing the vampiric adventure, we held a symposium in 2012 for the centenary of Bram Stoker’s (author of Dracula) death. Then in 2019 we held another symposium for the bicentenary of the publication of John Polidori’s The Vampyre – the first vampire prose fiction in English. From this, another edited collection will be appearing in 2022, The Legacy of John Polidori: The Romantic Vampire and its Progeny.

In addition, we held an online seminar in 2020, ‘The Black Vampyre and Other Creations: Gothic Visions of New Worlds’, exploring the little-known novella, Uriah Derick D’Arcy’s The Black Vampyre: A Legend of St Domingo (1819). This is the first black vampire in literature, the first vampire story by an American writer, and the first vampire anti-slavery narrative, directly inspired by Polidori. And this year, to honour the centenary of F. W. Murnau’s classic film adaptation of Dracula, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Terror, we hosted another online seminar, ‘Nosferatu at 100’.

We are also in the process of building some very useful vampire resources for scholars and fans, including a vampire timeline and chronological table of vampire events and texts and a bibliography of secondary criticism on vampire narratives (this is work in progress and will be continually updated – we welcome criticism and suggestions). These can be accessed from our Resources page.

Alongside these celebrations of the undead, we have also been carrying out research into related topics such as werewolves, the urban weird, and Gothic fairies – realms where the supernatural, the fabulous, the folkloric, and the Gothic cohabit. But, as we have said, 2022 is a special year. It’s not just the anniversary of Murnau’s marvellous film; serendipitously, there are quite a few other vampire anniversaries happening – you can see them all in the table below. And OGOM will be uncovering some vampiric surprises to celebrate this special Year of the Vampire!

2022: The Year of the Vampire

175James Malcolm Rymer, Varney the Vampire (1847 as book; 1845-47 serial)
150Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla (1872 novella)
125Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897 novel)
125Florence Marryat, The Blood of the Vampyre (1897 novel)
100Nosferatu, dir. by F. W. Murnau (1922 film, Germany)
100Christopher Lee, who played Dracula in the Hammer film Dracula, born 27 May 1922
90Vampyr, dir. by Carl Theodor Dreyer (1932 film, Germany)
55Barnabas Collins first appears (1967) in Dark Shadows (1966-71 TV series, USA)
50Blacula, dir. William Crain (1972 film, USA)
50April 1972, 1st issue of The Tomb of Dracula (Marvel Comics), Written by Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin, Gardner Fox, Marv Wolfman; drawn by Gene Colan
45Louis Jordan plays Dracula in BBC’s Dracula, dir. by Phillip Saville (1977 TV show, UK)
45Frank Langella plays Dracula (1977) in Broadway revival of Hamilton Deane’s theatrical adaptation of Dracula; set design by Edward Gorey
30Bram Stoker’s Dracula, dir. by Frances Ford Coppola (1992 film USA)
30Buffy the Vampire Slayer, dir. by Fran Rubel Kuzui (1992 film, USA)
25Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon (1997-2003 TV series, USA)