Breaking and Entering: Psychic Violation, Metempsychosis and the Uninvited Female Vampire

  • Simon BaconEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Gothic book series (PAGO)


This chapter considers the figure of the invasive female vampire. It is a common belief that the vampire requires some form of invitation before being allowed to enter a human’s personal space, yet they are able to glamour or control the mind of a victim with no such offer being made. While traditionally it is not uncommon to hear of male vampires wantonly partaking in such acts of psychic violation, the most extreme form of the uninvited possession of another is, as this study shows, largely the remit of the female of the species. This chapter investigates the phenomenon of vampiric metempsychosis (transference of souls) by examining seven films revolving around a female vampire figure: Daughters of Darkness (Kümel 1971), The Devil’s Plaything (Sarno 1973), Thirst (Hardy 1979), The Hunger (Scott 1983), Nadja (Almeraida 1994), The Last Sect (Dueck 2006) and The Host . The films will be considered in chronological order to chart how the nature of this transference develops over time to become increasingly concerned with the integrity of the many identities involved, though never really disentangling itself from various forms of violence. Of particular interest in this study is the dialectic between whether such violent “home” invasions are the result of traumatic repetition/re-enacting of the violence of the vampress’s own conception or whether they are the only form of reproduction and/or agency available to the female vampire.


  1. Abbott, Stacey. 2007. Celluloid Vampires: Life After Death in the Modern World. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  2. Fox, Renée. 2013. Carmilla and the Politics of Indistinguishability. In Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, ed. Kathleen Costello-Sullivan, 110–121. New York: Syracuse University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Fronius, Helen, and Anna Linton. 2008. Introduction. In Women and Death: Representations of Female Victims and Perpetrators in German Culture 1500–2000, eds. Helen Fronius and Anna Linton, 1–8. Rochester: Camden House.Google Scholar
  4. Gelder, Ken. 2012. New Vampire Cinema. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kellerman, Natan. 2009. Holocaust Trauma: Psychological Effects and Treatment. New York: IUniverse.Google Scholar
  6. Le Fanu, J. Sheridan. (1872) 2003. Carmilla. Project Gutenberg.
  7. Morrisey, Belinda. 2003. When Women Kill: Questions of Agency and Subjectivity. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Strieber, Whitley. (1981) 2001. The Hunger. New York: Pocket Books.Google Scholar
  9. Weinstock, Jeffrey. 2012. The Vampire Film: Undead Cinema. London: Wallflower.Google Scholar
  10. Weiss, Andrea. 1992. Vampires and Violets: Lesbians in Film. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 2014. The Lesbian Vampire Film. In Dracula’s Daughter’s: The Female Vampire on Film, eds. Douglas Brode and Leah Deyneka, 21–36. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press.Google Scholar
  12. Wells, H.G. (1898) 2008. The War of the Worlds. Maryland: Arc Manor.Google Scholar
  13. Zimmerman, Bonnie. 2004. Daughters of Darkness: The Lesbian Vampire on Film. In Planks of Reason: Essays on the Horror Film, eds. Barry Keith Grant and Christopher Sharrett, 72–81. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press.Google Scholar


  1. Blood is My Heritage. (1957) 2003. Directed by Herbert L. Strock. Los Angeles, CA: American International Pictures. DVD.Google Scholar
  2. Devil’s Plaything,  The (aka Vampire Ecstasy, aka Veil of Blood). (1973) 2013. Directed by Joe Sarno. London, England: MediumRare. DVD.Google Scholar
  3. Dracula. (1979) 2014. Directed by John Badham. Universal City, CA: Universal Pictures. DVD.Google Scholar
  4. Dracula’s Daughter. (1936) 2008. Directed by Lambert Hillyer. Universal City, CA: Universal Pictures. DVD.Google Scholar
  5. Daughters of Darkness. (1971) 2010. Directed by Harry Kümel. London, England: Optimum Classics. DVD.Google Scholar
  6. Host, The. 2013. Directed by Andrew Niccol. Universal City, CA: Universal Pictures. DVD.Google Scholar
  7. Hunger, The. (1983) 2004. Directed by Tony Scott. Beverley Hills, CA: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. DVD.Google Scholar
  8. Last Sect, The. (2006) 2007. Directed by Jonathan Dueck. London, England: Momentum Pictures. DVD.Google Scholar
  9. Lust for a Vampire. (1971) 2008. Directed by Jimmy Sangster. Beverley Hills, CA: Metro Goldwyn Meyer. DVD.Google Scholar
  10. Manchurian Candidate , The. (1962) 2004. Directed by John Frankenheimer. Beverley Hills, CA: United Artists. DVD.Google Scholar
  11. Nadja. (1994) 2004. Directed by Michael Almereyda. Universal City, CA: October Films. DVD.Google Scholar
  12. Originals, The. 2013-present. Created by Julie Plec. Burbank, CA: Warner Brothers Televison. DVD.Google Scholar
  13. Thirst. (1979) 2004. Directed by Rod Hardy. Los Angeles, CA: New Line Cinema. DVD.Google Scholar
  14. Under the Skin. (2013) 2014. Directed by Jonathan Glazer. Paris, France: StudioCanal. DVD.Google Scholar
  15. Vampire Diaries, The. 2009–2017. Created by Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson. Burbank, CA: Warner Brothers Television. DVD. Google Scholar
  16. Vampire Lovers, The. (1970) 2008. Directed by Roy Ward Baker. Beverley Hills, CA: Metro Goldwyn Meyer. DVD.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarPoznańPoland

Personalised recommendations