So, I decided to figure out what the first vampire story was, at least in English, and came out with an interesting story.
So, I bet you’ve heard of a poet called Lord Byron. You might have even read some of his stuff for your high school literature class. What you might not know is about an adventure taken by Lord Byron and some friends in 1816. Among these friends was his doctor, John Polidori, Percy Shelley, and Mary Godwin (later, Mary Shelley).
Apparently, they decided to have a ghost story writing night. The most memorable, of course, being Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which she took home with her and embellished into the story we know and love today.
What did Byron write? An abandoned story about two friends traveling abroad. While abroad, one died, swearing his friend to secrecy in the matter of his death. Upon getting back, the living one discovers that his friend was already there and sleeping with his sister (the living one’s sister, that is). Byron told the story, but then he let it go and didn’t make anything out of it.
Remember him? He’s the doctor for Byron who participated in ghost night. Three years later, Byron finds out he published a work called “The Vampyre” in the New Monthly Magazine. He’s all like what? I didn’t do that! and finds out that Polidori published it for him. Byron wanted a retraction, but Polidori’s tale is the first publication of a literal vampire in English.
You can read Byron/Polidori’s story The Vampyre; a Tale through Amazon for free for your eReader. I found some of these interesting facts in The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead or you can check out the wikipedia article. Thought it was pretty awesome, and decided to share.