The vampires we are exposed to in movies, series, and then folklore all seem to abide by the same set of rules, even though some follow them more loosely than others.
Vampires avoid sunlight, they feed on human blood, and a stake through the heart is fatal. One such aspect of vampirism that is often skirted around, or represented incorrectly is vampires having babies.
Considered undead, vampires should not have the right bodily mechanisms to fall pregnant, but there have been some representations of vampires falling pregnant.
Can vampires have babies? The answer depends on who is actually giving birth. Vampires cannot become pregnant. Their bodies do not perform the same as the living and will not sustain life.
On the other hand, folklore does hold legends of vampires impregnating humans, and from this impregnation, Dhampirs are born.
So in a sense, yes vampires can actually have babies, but this would usually be through a male vampire impregnating a female human, from which a hybrid creature will be born, known as a dhampir.
Can Vampires Get Pregnant?
This is a question that often gets mixed answers, as there are movies, modern books, and television shows that feature vampires falling pregnant. This can be put down to the writers using their creative license to make this storyline their own, no matter if it is true to vampire folklore or not.
Vampires should not be able to become pregnant. Vampires have an undead nature and do not have blood flowing through their veins, and other bodily fluids, that normal humans do. This leads to a lack of fertility, which is the first building block of pregnancy.
Without being fertile, a female vampire will not become pregnant, no matter if she has fallen pregnant by another vampire, or even a fertile human male. A female vampire body cannot support conception.
If by some miracle a female vampire does happen to fall pregnant, her body actually supporting life is the next obstacle.
Without blood flowing through her veins, or her eating a healthy diet of fruit and vegetables, there is no way a fetus will be given the nutrients and care it needs to actually grow.
Yes, one could argue that it is not a normal human baby and that vampire babies possible grow differently to human babies, but there is still not enough for a vampire female to give her growing baby.
The other problem is that male vampires should not necessarily be able to impregnate female vampires, as they should technically be infertile as well, being undead and not having the same bodily functions as a human male.
Outside of modern television and stories, there is not much folklore surrounding vampires falling pregnant, it has always just been accepted as something that does not happen. There would be too many loopholes for us to poke through, and it just would not make sense.
Can A Vampire And A Human Have A Baby?
So this is where it gets a little more interesting, and where stories of vampires and humans having babies are indeed backed by folklore.
Dhampirs are hybrid creatures that are born from a human and a vampire. They are created when a male vampire impregnates a female human, and are quite rare.
They are born from pregnancy and are very different from what a traditional vampire is, as they do not arise from a corrupt dead, or from a human being bitten. Due to this, they tend to have their own legends and lore very separate to the rules and myths that vampires have.
The creation and birth of a dhampir are said to be very rare, as vampires are generally considered to be infertile, due to their undead nature.
However, it can happen once in a blue moon. This is almost always by a female human and a male vampire, however, a baby born from a male human and female vampire is not unheard of, it is just incredibly, incredibly rare.
The lore of dhampirs started in the Balkans and in South Slavia. The people there believed that vampire males had an insatiable lust for human women, which was tied in with their bloodlust. This lust saw that the vampires returned to have intercourse with a woman he was attracted to throughout his life.
Through this continuous intercourse, a female might fall pregnant, and thus a dhampir is created. In Serbia, this was such accepted lore that a widow once claimed that her pregnancy was a result of her vampiric husband returning and impregnating her.
While there is folklore surrounding the birth of a child between a vampire and a human, there is even less when it comes to the vampire actually raising the child.
Dhampirs – A Human And Vampire Child
Dhampirs, the creation from the union of a vampire and human, are not necessarily human, and they are not fully vampires either.
They do share similar qualities with their vampire parent, but they are not as powerful as pure-blooded vampires, and their powers are not as pronounced. However, to counter this, dhampirs do not have the same weaknesses.
Sunlight, crosses, silver, and holy water do not affect dhampirs the same way they affect vampires. In some cases, these have no effect at all, while in other cases they are just not as affected by them.
Dhampirs are said to make a choice in life, and this depicts which parent they will follow more. In myths and lore, dhampirs will become vampire hunters if they do not give in to their bloodlust and vampiric heritage.
It is considered that dhampirs have been some of the most successful vampire hunters in history, and often their main target is their vampire parent. Being born of a vampire, they enjoy many of the same skills and powers that their parent does, helping them hunt them better.
However, if dhampirs give in to their bloodlust and vampiric heritage, they follow in their vampire parents’ footsteps and leave a path of destruction behind them.
What might have caused the confusion with whether vampires themselves can get pregnant is the presence of vampire children in lore.
There is not too much information surrounding this, but there have been stories of innocent-looking children who then turn into terrifying creatures, and start sucking the blood of anyone they come across.
A couple of legends of these vampiric children explain that the children were turned into vampires when they were young, either by being bitten by a vampire, or their corpse was corrupted and they were brought back to life.
These stories are tragic.
A young child has been cursed to live a life as a vampire, and they will never age or grow past their young state. However, it is important to remember that these children are not the offspring of vampires per se, but rather were just turned at a young age.
Many villages and towns throughout times resorted to different means to preventing their dead children from rising from the grave and infecting others, turning them vampiric.
One such ritual included placing a large rock in the child’s mouth when they are buried.
This supposedly stops them from biting and infecting others if they do rise from the dead. A child cemetery in Lugnano, Italy, dating back 1550 years, shows children buried with rocks in their mouths or hands and feet, as well as with ravens claws or toads bones, to ward off evil.
These children are believed to have died from a malaria outbreak, but the townspeople believed that something foul was at play.
Are dhampirs immortal?
Dhampirs, being the offspring of a human and a vampire, are actually immortal. They take after their vampiric parent in this regard.
They can also drink blood, but not all do. While they are immortal, they do not suffer from the same weaknesses as their vampire parent.
Can you be born a vampire?
A child being born from two vampire parents is almost unheard of, as most vampires are created from a human being bitten from a vampire, or from a corpse rising from the dead.
A baby who is born from a vampire and human is only half-vampire, and then half-human.
It is almost impossible to say whether there have been cases of a baby being born fully vampiric, however there is some lore that says a born vampire can conceive naturally.
Vampires And Babies
Vampires themselves do not have children, but this relates more to female vampires falling pregnant. Some cases have been told of a female vampire falling pregnant after a union with a male human, but this is very rare.
It is more accepted, although still very rare, that a female human can fall pregnant by a male vampire.
So while vampires themselves do not generally carry babies, a male vampire can impregnate a female human to create a dhampir, a half-human, half-vampire hybrid.
There will always be different tales of vampires having children, but this might be our tendency to try and humanize what we fear most and to try to find some sort of love and warmth in a creature that is the exact opposite of that.