28 September 2009

Hypnotic powers of vampires

"I watched [the vampires] with a sense of soothing, and a sort of calm stole over me...I felt myself struggling to wake to some call of my instincts; nay, my very soul was struggling, and my half-remembered sensibilities were striving to answer the call. I was becoming hypnotized" (Stoker 44).

Dracula, by Bram Stoker, "contains countless instances of vampires using hypnosis to overpower their victims" (Abbot 39). "The vampire's hypnotic hold on a person" intensifies and evolves after a blood exchange (Melton 357). "In Dracula, it becomes clear that after Mina is bitten, she has a subliminal awareness of her attacker's whereabouts. Under hypnosis, she can describe what she sees and hears as if she were inside the monster" (Ramsland 73). Van Helsing, the vampire hunter, dabbles with "hypnosis but in comparison with the vampire's inherent mastery of these forces, he is a novice." (Abbot 39). Exploiting the hypnotic link between vampire and victim, Van Helsing "hypnotized Mina, and while in a trance she was able to give him information on Dracula's progress on the return trip to his castle" (Melton 357).

"All of Dracula's characteristics" including "his use of telepathy and hypnosis...are products of a nineteenth-century reexamination of science and the supernatural, and suggest the entrance of scientific study into a period of extraordinary science where all systems of belief are challenged and anything is possible" (Abbot 40). Mind-control defied the autonomy of the individual and terrified in the populace by threatening to use their own bodies against themselves.

Approximately a hundred years before Stoker wrote his novel, the public heard the early whispers of hypnotic induction. "Franz Anton Mesmer late in the eighteenth century...first brought hypnosis to popular awareness," although scholars and a majority of the masses regarded it as quackery. In 1843, "John Braid coined the term hypnosis...in reference to Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep." (Ramsland 74). Around the time that Stoker wrote Dracula, the medical community investigated hypnosis as a possible alternative or supplement to medical procedures and as a treatment for psychiatric disorders.

However, "the use of hypnosis as a tool of a vampire" may not have originated "with Stoker. Many eastern European vampire legends suggest that the vampire could hypnotize the living in order to overpower their victims" (Abbot 37). Whether the idea of forced sleep or mind control is an authentic element of the folklore, or if it was attributed to the legends post-eighteenth century, is a mystery. Some experts assert that true "hypnotic powers were not evident in the accounts of the folkloric vampire," instead claiming that since the vampire "often attacked at night while its victims slept" hypnosis was not necessary. Victims who reported sleep-walking or waking with "the vampire hovering over them" may have simply been in deep, natural sleep.

To my loyal followers and faithful readers:
If you are brazen, take a stab at the answer to this question: Do I lure people with hypnosis?



Abbot, Stacey. Celluloid vampires: life after death...
Melton, Gordon J. The Vampire Book: The encyclopedia of the undead.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula.
Ramsland, Katherine. The Science of Vampires.


  1. i know for a fact that though it may not be hypnosis, many of my donors comment about going threw "withdrawl" after being away from me for even a short period of time, and that even the slightest contact regardless of the distance from me eases that feeling, of "addiction" to me. in a few it has had the opposite effect and like a bad trip they break all contact with me and run for their dear lives. :D

  2. Hypnotic abilities of vampires is an intriguing idea. I don't have any authority on whether it is fact or not. There are a lot of people that are attracted to vampires for whatever reason. Who knows if it is the vampires abilities, or the person's own fascination with the idea? But it is used often in fiction. I utilize it in some of my vampires in my novels. Some of the characters have more hypnotic abilities than others.
    Another thought to ponder.

  3. Well I believe there are many different levels of hypnosis,from deep stages where people can talk about childhood experiences to just being influenced by someones words.If you think about i bet you know or may even be one of those people who can talk anyone into anything,that in itself may very well be hypnosis...think about it.