Stories about vampires have been told for centuries, though in recent years they’ve gotten sexier, more elegant, and more interesting. There have been multiple waves of vampires taking over pop culture in the US, so it’s no wonder they would appear in music and even feature as the centerpiece of an entire genre.
In this article, we’ll go over 31 of the best songs about the night we call vampires.
1. Bela Lugosi’s Dead – Bauhaus
Vampires have pretty much always been a part of the modern goth aesthetic, but where did it all start? Those stalkers of the night have had a place in music forever, including the beginning of the gothic rock genre. Bauhaus released their first single, Bela Lugosi’s Dead, in 1979, and it’s widely considered the origin of goth rock.
Bela Lugosi was the actor who played Dracula in the 1931 film about the king of vampires, birthing the vampire connection to the genre forever as it described the actor’s funeral.
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2. Night of the Vampire – Roky Erickson
Night of the Vampire is almost more of a storytelling song than anything else. An ode to the old horror movies by Vincent Price, this song is all about the king of vampires, Dracula. Set to a wailing guitar and a pipe organ; you’re not going to hear a much better version of the famous vampire’s story.
3. Bloodlust – Venom
There are a lot of extreme metal songs out there; I mean, look at black metal. But Bloodlust easily ranks near the top of the list regarding extreme metal singles. It is a sadistic rampage of music detailing the love of chugging down blood directly from the source and quite a few other activities that aren’t going to be mentioned here.
4. We Bite – The Misfits
If vampires were real, they likely wouldn’t always be dapper or elegant. Even “good” ones would probably seem like ravenous, beastly monsters when they’re hungry. That imagery is what the Misfits go after with We Bite, a powerful punk horror song about being ready to rip some throats out.
5. Nosferatu – Blue öyster Cult
Not all love songs are about butterflies and meadows. Some of them are downright creepy. Nosferatu by Blue Öyster Cult is a tribute to the on-screen Nosferatu and a love song. A deplorable creature and only one woman can break him off the cycle. Kind of sweet despite the creepiness.
6. The Cursed Travails of the Demeter – Vircolac
Many bands dropped the vampire aesthetic when the emo phase trend ran dry, and even when they used it, they didn’t make something scary. Not so for Vircolac, one of the few modern bands cranking out vamp metal.
The Cursed Travails of the Demeter was the title track of their 2017 extended play and recounted the last flight of Dracula’s ship on a voyage from Transylvania to England.
7. Vampire Blues – Neil Young
We all know Neil Young goes heavy on metaphors for the stands he takes. Vampire Blues is another one of those songs, using the imagery of blood-sucking vampires to discuss the greed of oil companies as they pillage the earth for resources. You can find this one in his 1974 album On The Beach.
8. Bloodletting – Concrete Blonde
The title track of Concrete Blonde’s 1990 album, Bloodletting, is literally called The Vampire Song in the song title credits. It helped the band shift into gothic rock and continue their forays into alt-rock while also getting an extended version track for the 20th-anniversary album edition.
9. Funeral in Carpathia – Cradle of Filth
Cradle of Filth built its brand of death metal with vampires in mind. Funeral in Carpathia was released in 1996 on their Dusk & Her Embrace album and (surprise) talks about Dracula. Instead of a regal form, this one is essentially just an angel of darkness heading an army of the night. In one world, it’s evil. And epic.
10. Nocturnal – The Black Dahlia Murder
If vampires did exist, they’d have to blend in perfectly or have some sort of underground society. The Black Dahlia Murder take that on in Nocturnal, describing the vampiric plot to murder the sun and their efforts working just under our radar. This kind of death metal not only rocks hard but tells a story and, for that, deserves a place in our hearts.
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11. Love Bites – Judas Priest
Love Bites is another example of using vampiric imagery to cover up the sexual imagery in a song. Judas Priest is a bit on the nose with the song, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t rock. Overall, it’s one of the better songs on Defenders of the Faith and is worth a listen if you’re a fan of their other work but love vampires.
12. At Dawn They Sleep – Slayer
Slayer is all about the darkness, the heavy, the stark reality of doom. At Dawn They Sleep portrays vampires as a sort of hivemind, driven by merciless hungry and desire for blood.
Inspired by depictions by authors like Stephen King and Clive Barker rather than newer stuff drawing on Twilight, it’s a frankly scary way to look at vampires and an awesome song.
13. One Thousand Years – Skin
The very first song you’d hear if you listened to Skin is One Thousand Years, coming from their first album, Blood, Women, Roses, in 1987. A dark blend of goth-folk, this song contains subtle references to vampires and vampirism throughout while contemplating existential woe and tragedy.
14. The Satanic Rites of Drugula – Electric Wizard
Pairing doom metal and acid rock makes for quite the backdrop for a vampire song. The Satanic Rites of Drugula tells the story of a vampire who only goes for people with weed-laced blood, craving not just the blood of humans but also the dope they wish they could smoke.
15. Possum Kingdom – The Toadies
On a casual listen, you wouldn’t know that Possum Kingdom is about a cult of vampires. It’s a seductive alt-rock track that just happens to involve the narrator promising a girl eternal youth in turn for letting him get with her down by the lake. It’s also the only known time asking a girl if she wants to die is a pick-up line instead of a direct threat.
16. Vampires Don’t Exist – Calabrese
If you were a vampire in the music business that wanted to stay hidden, one smart thing to do might be to write a song telling fans that the actual monsters don’t exist. This song does that and also kind of raises the question of whether the members of Calabrese may or may not be vampires trying to pull a fast one.
17. Suspended in Dusk – Type O Negative
A lot of blood in this one, from the type of blood in the band name to the album it’s featured on. Well, sort of. It’s not on the regular version; it’s only on the digipak edition of the album. One awesome fact about it is that there’s a fan-made music video for the song, which happens a lot, but this one is officially recognized.
18. Return of the Vampire – Mercyful Fate
Mercyful Fate first recorded Return of the Vampire as a demo back in 1981, but it would eventually be re-recorded for their comeback LP in 1993. A literal vampire song that discusses flying on bat wings and leaving dark lairs. It’s as good as it gets for literal vampiric songs.
19. A Kiss to Remember – My Dying Bride
The 90s brought some of the best vampire movies, combining old-school stories with new cinematic effects and strangely endearing love interests. A Kiss To Remember by My Dying Bride draws on that to make something of an undead love song that flirts with both elegant romanticism and hard goth rock.
20. Vampires Will Never Hurt You – My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance had to start somewhere, and their debut single was pure vampire goth rock. Drawing on the emo horror aesthetic to get their big break, they produced Vampires Will Never Hurt You, which is actually funny since they would later write a vampire song making fun of bands jumping on the vampire trend in the US.
21. Bullet With Butterfly Wings – The Smashing Pumpkins
This classic isn’t actually about vampires, but the opening line is one of the best vampire-inspired lyrics out there. Opening with calling the world a vampire sent to drain us is essentially calling out society for draining people of their passions and love of life, something that’s just as angsty as it is relatable for a lot of people.
22. Dracula’s Wedding – Outkast
If you’re looking for a philosophical twist, Dracula’s Wedding is a good place to start. While monsters like vampires, werewolves, and ghosts are scary, sometimes normal things in life scare us much more. Falling in love can be terrifying, and that’s the main theme in this one.
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23. Cellar Grave Vampire – Vampire
I’m not sure how much more vampire you can pack into music. The band is named Vampire, the album is named Vampire, and Vampire is in the title of the song. Give it a shot.
24. We Suck Young Blood – Radiohead
We Suck Young Blood came from the experimental works of Radiohead after they made it big with Creep. The conspiracy theory that the rich drink the blood of young people to try to stay young is the theme on display here, likening older adults in power to vampires in what is likely the band’s most sinister song.
25. Closer – Kings of Leon
A lot of vampires we see in pop culture are tortured by their conscience while draining victims of blood. The one in Closer by Kings of Leon is completely unbothered. Somehow, despite a remorseless stance, the evil old vampire winds up feeling incredibly relatable for listeners.
26. Baby Vampire Made Me – Helium
Some good vampire songs are verging on unhinged, and this is one of them. An out-and-out rocker from Helium, Baby Vampires Made Me was one of a few vampire-themed songs to appear on the band’s first extended play. It was all about a starving vampire heading out to devour absolutely everyone they could.
27. Vampira – The Misfits
The Misfits talk about monsters often, so vampires were bound to come up once or twice in their repertoire. Vampira is a bit of a different take on the blood-suckers, though, instead of a horror tale, this one is about Danzig’s fantasy hook-up with a female vampire in a cemetery. So yeah, pretty goth, to be honest.
28. Release the Bats – The Birthday Party
You know those goth chicks that you aren’t sure if they think they’re vampires, obsessed with vampires, or actually vampires? That’s what this song is about. Release The Bats is a funny take on the goth punk genre and well worth a listen if you’re feeling like rocking while laughing.
29. Wurdalak – Rob Zombie
Yes, Rob Zombie is on here; no, I didn’t go with Dragula. Wurdalak is actually about a vampiric creature instead of some witches, so that’s what we chose. A heavy song from Zombie and one that sounds like something he would create. It’s intense and has a crushing weight to it that adds more power to the vampire themes.
30. Dracula – Iced Earth
Some songs on this list are pretty, some are sweet, and others might even be poetic. This isn’t. But, what it lacks in pretty imagery, it more than makes up for in epic headbanging metal. Dracula by Iced Earth is about the famous Dracula, but it’s a song best enjoyed as a powerful metal banger more than anything else.
31. Vampires in Love – Marvelous 3
The late 90s styles of music had a lot of cheese to them, and this song is no exception. Vampires In Love is a very sweet (yet sort of cheesy) love ballad about a guy who is going to miss his girlfriend for all eternity. Likely because he’s a vampire and doomed to live forever, and she’s gone. Sad, sweet, and to the point.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.