Vampires are reanimated corpses that drink blood to survive. They are a supernatural predatory species whose origins date back at least over five hundred years. The vampires of Moonlight come from a unique and independent mythology that differs from literary vampires like those of Bram Stoker.
The origin of the vampire race is unknown. Vampires have been found in myths throughout ancient history, implying that they have existed for over three thousand years. Humans did know of vampires' existence at some point and tried to hunt them out of fear, as the 400 year old Josef recalled once that he was chased by an angry mob carrying torches.
In modern times, virtually all humans regard vampires as creatures of myth and folklore. They are regarded as nonexistent. This is beneficial to vampires, allowing them to live within human society unnoticed.
When calm and collected the vampire looks like a normal human, if somewhat more pale than most, but when a vampire becomes or is about to feed, their appearance undergoes changes.
- Eyes - They gain dark circles around their eyes and their irises become a complete milky white color.
- Fangs - Their upper canines elongate and sharpen into fangs.
- Skin - Their skin instantly loses most if not all color and becomes very pale.
When vampires assume their 'vamp face' they hiss like snakes or growl like lions.
- Drinking Blood - They need to drink blood to stay alive but it doesn't need to be fresh as they can steal older blood from blood banks or morgues.
- Blood Injections - Vampires can be nourished by injecting themselves with blood in lieu of drinking it.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
Vampires are physically superior to humans.
- Immortality - Vampires are immortal; this means that they have an indefinite lifespan and do not physically age beyond the age of their transformation, but they can be killed. The oldest known vampire was at least 500 years old.
- Superhuman Senses - Their senses are heightened; as two vampires are shown to have a conversation in a decibel too low for humans to hear. They can see through darkness, which makes them effective predators. Vampires, especially when hungry, can literally see the veins and arteries of humans within their skin as well as the blood flowing through them. Their sense of hearing allows them to hear low sounds from long distances away or to pick up a single conversation from within a large crowd. Mick describes vampire senses as being "heightened to eleven" compared to that of humans. Vampires also seem to have a heightened perception of reality; when she was high on vampire blood, Beth Turner stated that she could feel the air flowing against her skin like "individual molecules" and that she could "feel" the lives of people in their homes around her.
- Psychic Visions - Mick states that vampires can glimpse the future and the past to a limited degree.
- Superhuman Strength - Vampires possess superior strength compared to that of a normal adult human and can manhandle them with little effort; including restraining or lifting them off the ground by the throat with one hand and throwing them across short distances with great force. Their enhanced strength makes them deadly to humans; able to easily snap their necks with only one hand. Older vampires appear and claim to be stronger than younger ones, this implies that vampires become stronger as they get older. However, it is worth noting that the 85 year old Mick was able to physically overpower a 500 year old vampire, albeit with much effort.
- Superhuman Speed - Vampires move so fast that they seem to appear and disappear from a scene in an instant.
- Superhuman Agility - Vampires can jump to higher and further than humans and perform parkour feats with ease. They can defy gravity to a degree to achieve this ability.
- Superhuman Durability - Being undead, vampires cannot be killed or permanently afflicted by conventional weapons or sources of injury such as gunshots and knives, unless said weapons cause decapitation. They are unaffected by broken bones.
- Healing Factor - Vampire are exempt from disease and heal from any non-fatal wounds in an accelerated time frame. Superficial wounds such as those from bullets and even wooden stakes heal in moments without causing the vampire much discomfort, while more severe wounds can cause pain and take time and blood to heal. The healing process as well as its potency is increased when they drink blood.
Despite their physical superiority and immortality, vampires do have weaknesses.
- Wooden Stakes - Unlike mythological vampires, those in Moonlight are not killed by a wooden stake in the heart, but rather are merely paralyzed.
- Silver - Silver acts as a poison to them.
- Fire - Fire will kill them, reducing them to ash with a mere touch. Older vampires are resistant to fire; only harming them as it does human skin.
- Sunlight - Unlike mythological vampires, those in Moonlight tend to suffer no immediate effects from sunlight. To vampires who have recently fed, the sun serves only as a mild irritant to them which they can counteract by wearing sunglasses and staying in the shade. Although it can cause loss of strength and dehydration if exposed for long periods of time, especially if the vampire has not fed in a while.
- Blood Deprivation - If vampires are deprived of blood for prolonged periods of time, they will show symptoms of dehydration, with the whites of their eyes becoming yellow. This also has psychological affects, eventually causing them to loose control of themselves and reducing them to hungry animals who can't control their thirst.
- Decapitation - Decapitation slays vampires as it does humans.
- The Cure - A plant that grows in France can temporarily make vampires human again, robbing them of their powers.
Vampires are created from humans.
- Siring - To become a vampire, a person is either fed with their sire's blood when close to death or dies with a vampire's blood in his or her system. They body must be preserved for the reanimation to occur, so if the person dies from decapitation, fire, acid, explosions, or massive bodily damage, he or she will not reanimate as a vampire and will die.
- Coma - Siring does not always work as sometimes, though rarely, the human will fall into a coma, stop aging but never wake up.
- Hunger - All newborn vampires awaken with a deep craving for fresh human blood.
- Intoxication - Newborn vampires are often overwhelmed by their new strength, speed, and blood hunger. It is very much like drug addiction. This euphoria fades with time as the vampire adjusts to his or her new condition.
- Vampire Law - By 'Vampire Law' the sire then must stay with the new vampire until he or she has completed the transformation and knows to keep their secret. If a vampire commits treason, by trying to reveal there secret or not training there offspring the punishment is death.
Humans undergo subtle biological and physiological changes during their transformation to vampire.
- Body Temperature - Vampires lack body heat due to their bodily functions no longer working. This feature also makes them tolerant of extremely low temperatures. Vampires are affected beneficially by cold temperatures and environments; it relaxes them and simply 'feels good'. This is why they sleep in freezers or in tubs of ice. They cannot suffer brain freeze, frostbite, or hypothermia. According to Mick, drinking fresh blood warms them to an extent.
- Genetics - Vampirism affects a person's genetics. A person's DNA is fundamentally altered after the transformation. This alteration makes genetic testing between vampires and their human relatives impossible unless the vampire has a piece of his or her own human DNA from before their transformation, such as a lock of hair. Vampires are also sterile and cannot procreate through sexual intercourse.
- Internal Organs - Vampire's bodies are physically deceased. As such, they do not digest food or produce waste.
- Preservation - Despite being literal walking corpses, vampires do not decompose while 'alive'. They retain the appearance and bodily condition that they had when they where sired (unless they where sick, such as cancer or radiation poisoning, in which case they are cured and revitalized upon being sired). Despite this, their hair and nails still grow as they did when they were human. Their hair does not change color with time, unless dyed.
Vampires, as a species, live in secrecy within human society. They seem to have their own government, as there are laws that all vampires are expected to obey under penalty of death. Very few humans in modern day know of the existence of vampires.
Moonlight vampires differ from literary vampires in many ways.
- They are not killed by sunlight, but they are weakened by it.
- A stake through their heart will not kill them, but will paralyze them.
- They cast shadows and have reflections.
- They are unaffected by garlic, holy water, or crucifixes.
- They cannot shapeshift into a bat, wolf, or vapor.
- They do not require an invitation to enter a residence.
- They cannot control the weather.
- They sleep in freezers or in tubs of ice, not coffins.
- They do not require their native soil to sleep in.