St. George Meets the Volcano


A new episode of the Vampire Historian Podcast is now available.

Listen here – St. George Meets the Volcano

In Episode 4, I discuss some of the interesting information surrounding the feast of St. George in Eastern Europe, and also the eruption of Mount Tambora and it’s impact on vampire fiction.


Villa Diodati

St. George and the Dragon

Here are some of the books mentioned in the episode:

Emily Gerard – Transylvanian Superstitions

Emily Gerard – Land Beyond the Forest

Paul Barber – Vampires, Burial, and Death

Jan Perkowski – Vampire Lore

Petr Bogatyarev – Vampires in the Carpathians

Alan Dundes – The Vampire: a Casebook

Montague Summers – The Vampire Europe

Here is the link to the symposium –

Article at Vamped


I’ve been a little under the weather lately, so, while I finish up work on the next podcast episode, here is an article that I wrote for Vamped about my meetings with vampire scholars J. Gordon Melton and Michael Bell.



A big thank you to everyone that supported the Kickstarter – especially Adrianne Grady; James Davis; Christine Fletcher; Melissa Lauro; and Patrick St. Jean!!!

The Shoemaker Meets…Death


The third episode of the Vampire Historian podcast is now available.

Listen above, or click here – The Shoemaker Meets…Death

In Episode 3, I discuss one of the earliest documented cases in Europe: the Shoemaker of Silesia. Also known as the Vampire of Breslau.

Here are the books mentioned in the episode:

Henry More – An Antidote Against Atheism – Chapter VIII (available online)

Montague Summers – The Vampire in Europe

Dudley Wright – The Book of Vampires

Paul Barber – Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality

Grasse – Legend Book of the Prussian State (in German)

Other sources consulted:

Don Augustin Calmet – The Phantom World

Dr. Bob Curran – The Encyclopedia of the Undead

Rosemary Ellen Guiley – The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

The Librarian Meets the Collector


A new episode of the Vampire Historian Podcast is now available.

Listen here – The Librarian Meets the Collector

In Episode 2, “The Librarian Meets the Collector,” I, the librarian, talk about the works of J. Gordon Melton, the author that has compiled some of the most important vampire reference works in the English language. I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Melton over Spring Break, and I will be writing about that meeting, as well as my meeting with author and folklorist Michael Bell, on the Vamped website at


Before I give links to the books mentioned in the podcast, I wanted to mention my Kickstarter project. I have a very modest project going on, only until April 1st, so that I can purchase some better audio equipment and a few more research materials for the episodes. If you are willing and able, please visit and donate here – The Vampire Historian Podcast

Books mentioned in the podcast by J. Gordon Melton:

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead, 2nd edition

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead, 3rd edition

The Vampire Book:The Encyclopedia of the Undead, 3rd edition (abridged)

The Vampire Gallery: A Whos’ Who of the Undead

VideoHounds Vampires on Video

The Vampire in Folklore,History,  Literature, Film and Television: A Comprehensive Bibliography

Be sure to follow the links on the left to Facebook and Twitter, and please subscribe on iTunes and here at the blog!

Stoker Meets Vlad


The first episode of the Vampire Historian Podcast is now available.

Listen above, or click here – Stoker Meets Vlad

In this first episode, “Stoker Meets Vlad,” I discuss some of the issues dealing with the common theory that Bram Stoker based his character of Count Dracula on the real life Wallachian Prince Vladislav III, AKA Vlad the Impaler.

While the facts are now well-known among vampire scholars, I thought that this was an interesting topic for the casual vampire or Dracula fan. In the fall 2014, I presented a lecture titled “The Real Dracula: Separating Vlad the Impaler from the Fictional Count.” This podcast is somewhat based on that lecture.

Sources and other books mentioned in the podcast:

The first book that I mention in this episode is the now-classic In Search of Dracula by Raymond McNally and Radu Florescu. First released in 1972, it was revised in 1994.

I also mentioned Jan L. Perkowski’s The Darkling: A Treatise on Slavic Vampirism. Chapter one of this book is titled “Dracula the Vampire.” As I mention in the podcast, I will probably plan a whole episode about Perkowski’s comparison of Dracula to St. Nicholas.

The other three books that mentioned are those of Elizabeth Miller. The first, are Stokers actual notes. Prof. Miller, along with Robert Eighteen-Bisang annotated and transcribed these in a facsimile edition: Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition.

Miller’s book Dracula: Sense and Nonsense is simply one of the best sources for information on the topic of Dracula’s origins. (Good luck finding a print copy).

Her anthology Bram Stoker’s Dracula: A Documentary Journey into Vampire Country and the Dracula Phenomenon is one of the best compendiums that I have found on the subject.

A few other sources not mentioned in the episode, but still helpful were Clive Leatherdale’s Dracula: The Novel & The LegendChristopher Frayling’s Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count DraculaGabriel Ronay’s The Truth About DraculaMcNally and Florescu’s Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His TimesLeonard Wolf’s Dracula: the Connoisseur’s GuideMarius-Mircea Crisan’s The Birth of the Dracula Myth: Bram Stoker’s Transylvaniaand of course, the novel Dracula itself.

Please subscribe on iTunes for future episodes, and feel free to comment here or on any of my other pages online.

The Vampire Historian Online


As I’m working on getting the first podcast episode finished, I wanted to be sure to let everyone know where to find me online. The links are also on the left side of the page, but you can follow The Vampire Historian here on WordPress, and also at:

Rousseau on Vampires


“If there is a well-attested history in the world, it is that of the Vampires. Nothing is missing from it: interrogations, certifications by Notables, Surgeons, Parish Priests, Magistrates. The judicial proof is one of the most complete. And with all that, who believes in Vampires? Will we all be damned for not having believed?” – Jean-Jaques Rousseau, “Letter to Beaumont” 1764.

If you ever see one of my lectures on vampires, you’ll notice that I usually start with this quote, and I think this is a good way to start here, too. It’s this “well-attested history” that we will be exploring the most here on the blog and in the podcast. That doesn’t mean that we won’t delve into things like Dracula or vampire films every now and then. Even the real-life adventures of Vlad the Impaler or other non-vampire historical figures are fair game. In fact, I’m speaking on Rasputin’s murder later this semester, and perhaps he’ll make his way here, as well. He did have hypnotic eyes and was very hard to kill…