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Vampire mesmerism refers to the ability of a vampire to manipulate the mental, physical and/or emotional faculties of a human being, or in some cases, another supernatural creature. Ever since Bela Lugosi first wagged his magic fingers in 1931's Dracula, vampires have ever since been depicted as possessing some version of this ability. The degree with which a vampire can control the thoughts or actions of another is often in direct proportion to the vampire's overall power level, which is usually based upon age. An older, more experienced vampire can mind control someone with greater reliability than one who had only recently been made into a vampire.

Vampiric mesmerism is used a plot device to not only enhance the tension of a scene, but also to provide a means by which a vampire can continue to function indiscriminately without arousing the suspicions of others. Most often, this power is used when a vampire is seeking to drink blood from a victim and doesn't want to deal with all of the hollering and shrieking. Pesky mortals.

One of the earliest examples of vampire mesmerism in scripted television harkens back to the 1960s daytime Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. The vampire Barnabas Collins often used this power to mentally enslave those he sought to feed from. One of Barnabas' favorite targets on the show was Maggie Evans, who fell under the vampire's hypnotic gaze on more than one occasion. In fact, Maggie Evans has probably been hypnotized, mesmerized and mind controlled more than any other character on that series. An application of Barnabas' power demonstrated on the show was his ability to project his will across great distances, summoning those whom he had previously bitten to his side to do his bidding. He has performed this feat on characters such as Willie Loomis, Carolyn Stoddard and David Collins.

Naturally, the ability to mentally manipulate another has a tendency to be abused. Horny Bulgarian vampire, Count Yorga, was known for exercising his power in just such a fashion. He used vampire mesmerism to seduce a woman named Erica Landers. After putting the bite on her, Yorga's control over Erica strengthened. He also used this power to force his other vampire courtesans to make out with one another. Additionally, he had Erica lustfully massage her own breasts. It's good to see that once in a while, a vampire finds ways to actually derive pleasure from this particularly invasive ability. [1] Through the years, speculative fiction has come up with several different names for this ability so as to be unique to it's source material. On the HBO television series True Blood, this power is referred to as "Glamour" and is used as verb. All vampires appear to possess this power to some extent, but the older, more powerful vampires can perform it with greater strength and reliability. One of the main characters from the series, Bill Compton, often used this power to mentally victims so that he could feed from them. It is also a neat trick to convince someone to invite a vampire into their home, bypassing that inconvenient age-old tradition.

On the North American version of the BBC series Being Human, vampire mesmerism is referred to as "compelling". Not all vampires necessarily possess this power, and the degrees with which they can harness it is not contingent upon age. For example, the main character of Aidan Waite is not particularly effective with his ability to compel other humans. However his progeny, Henry Durham, was extremely effective with this, even though Henry was nearly two-hundred years younger than Aidan.

Vampiric mesmerism has also been demonstrated on the CW Network television series The Vampire Diaries. In the pilot episode of the series, vampire school student Stefan Salvatore used this ability to convince school administrative assistant Mrs. Clarke to allow him to enroll at Mystic Falls High School.

An Asian cult leader named Chin Yang used this ability to evade the efforts of a Scotland Yard inspector named Murray. Distracting him by stating that she was an unwilling participant in a cult founded by Count Dracula, she then tried to seduce Murray. When she bore her fangs however, Murray broke free of her control, wrestled her to the ground and drove a stake into her heart. [2]

References[edit | edit source]

Ds logo.jpg
This article relates to the Dark Shadows franchise.
Count Yorga logo.jpg
This article relates to the Count Yorga film series.
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This article relates to the True Blood television series.
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