"his hand touched the string of beads which held the crucifix"
Vampire killing kit
Creative Commons AttributionVampire killing kit - Credit: Smath at Flickr

Vulnerability to holy objects is another feature of vampire mythology in Dracula that is influenced by European Folklore. It is based around the idea that the vampire is an unholy creature, cursed by God, or a minion of Satan himself. As such, the vampire is repelled or even harmed by sacred objects, which carry a little of God’s divine power.


This is also one of the features that varies considerably in fiction, usually reflecting whether the vampire is supposed to be an evil, accursed monster, or simply a supernatural creature that has nothing to do with religion. Some vampires are burned by crosses, some are merely weakened, and others are not affected at all. For some, any holy object will do the trick, whereas others are only repelled by crosses and crucifixes. The latter tradition is sometimes turned on its head, as in The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967, Roman Polanski) when a Jewish vampire laughs at the crucifix that is brandished at him.