Vampires Vs Werewolves – What’s The Difference?

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Vampires and werewolves are both mythical creatures who bring fear and death wherever they go. While both are supernatural and prey on human victims, there are some very distinctive differences between the two.

There are many, many myths surrounding both vampires and werewolves, but there are enough similarities between the myths passed down through the ages to give us a very good idea of the characteristics of both vampires and werewolves.

Looking deeper into vampires vs werewolves – what’s the difference? The most important difference between the two is that werewolves are mortal, and age just as normal humans do, whereas vampires are immortal, and can only be killed by very specific means. Werewolves have more ties to humans, whereas vampires merely look human.

Both are known to have human-like appearances when a werewolf is not in wolf form, and for their tendency to prey on humans and convert them to supernatural beings.

At first glance, you can notice the difference between a werewolf in wolf form and a vampire, but it is worth going deeper than this and understanding the true differences between the two, and possibly which one you should worry about more when you lay you head down to sleep at night.

Characteristics Of Vampires And Werewolves

Getting to know the characteristics of vampires and werewolves will help you understand the fundamental, and finer, differences between them.

First off, vampires are mythical creatures who feed off of the blood of living creatures. Originally, vampires were depicted as bloated and with dark skin color. However, since the Victorian era, their image has evolved to a more sophisticated and charismatic character.

Vampires have fangs which they use to drink the blood of humans or animals and are often fairly attractive. They come out at night and are nocturnal. This is how they have adapted to their weakness to sunlight.

Some myths state that vampires are uncomfortable in sunlight, while others state that they burst into flames the moment sunlight hits their skin.

Werewolves are supernatural creatures that are known as lycanthropes. They are humanoid creatures who are able to shapeshift into a wolf-like creature. Some myths say they can turn at will, while others say they have no control and turn on a full moon.

Even those who can shift on will have a strong desire to turn into a werewolf on a full moon, and it is when they are hungriest for fresh meat.

Earlier tales of werewolves describe them in their human form as well and explain that the human’s eyebrows meet at the bridge of their nose, that they have long, curved fingernails, low-set ears, and a swinging stride.

When in wolf form, werewolves look identical to normal wolves but can be much larger as well. It is said that they need to feed on flesh to survive, and if they don’t, they can go into a craze and attack anything that stands in their way.

The depiction of both vampires and werewolves have changed as time has gone by, and now we have many movies, books and series with gorgeous vampires and werewolves attending high school together, very far from the traditional legends of fear and death!

How Werewolves And Vampires Are Created

There are many, many different myths surrounding how a person might become a vampire or werewolf, and many were created just to scare children away from bad habits. If you don’t eat your veggies, you will turn into a blood-sucking monster!

When it comes to vampires, very early Slavic and Chinese stories say that any corpse which has been jumped over by an animal will turn into a vampire, or any person with a wound that is not treated with boiling water might turn into one as well.

In more modern stories from the west, it is believed that people transition into vampires after another vampire drinks their blood, or if they drink the blood of a vampire, known as blood sharing. There is also the belief that a corpse can be corrupted and can rise from the dead as a vampire.

Werewolf origin stories have also evolved as time has gone by. At first, centuries ago, it was believed that you could turn yourself into a werewolf by removing all of your clothing and wearing a belt made of wolf skin. 

You could also induce werewolf-ism on yourself by drinking rainwater out of a wolf track. However, in the 19th century, the idea was established that a werewolf is created when a human is bitten by another werewolf or is wounded by one.

They then usually experience their first transition at the first full moon, and this is an uncontrollable shift. 

It is generally considered that vampires and werewolves are most dangerous when they first shift, as they cannot control themselves or their desire for blood.

Strengths And Weaknesses – Vampires Vs Werewolves

Vampires are immortal, and in some tales, they can fly or turn into bats. Many tales claim that vampires can enamor their victims. This gives them some sort of mind control to use their victims how they want or to convince them to let them feed off of their blood. 

It is also widely known that vampires have superintelligence, and this is also because many have been alive for so long. Their intelligence and cunning help them to be the successful predators that they are.

Enjoying heightened sense, vampires are also much more aware of their surroundings. This helps them pick up on prey, and be more alert to any possible dangers nearby. This includes sight, smell, and hearing, at a superhuman level.

Werewolves have super strength and super speed and are considered to be invulnerable, even though they are mortal. One aspect of werewolf life which is really beneficial is that wolves are pack animals.

Centuries ago, it was believed that werewolves were rabid creatures who hunted on their own. Nowadays, werewolves are depicted in packs, having one alpha, much like wolves in the wild. This is a great strength, as it always pays to have support.

Vampires have quite a few weaknesses for creatures who are immortal. Some of the main weaknesses include sensitivity to sunlight, garlic, and holy objects such as crosses and holy water. Some stories say that vampires cannot enter a house if they are not invited in. 

They need to drink blood to survive and are very vulnerable when they are drinking blood.

Werewolves have considerably fewer weaknesses. They are mortal, but only silver bullets and silver weapons can injure or kill them. They heal fast, so not much else has an effect on them. Wolfs bane is a herb that is also poisonous to werewolves but isn’t usually fatal.

Why Are Vampires And Werewolves Enemies?

More modernly, vampires and werewolves are depicted as mortal enemies. This hatred for each seems to come naturally.

Why the two are enemies is often debated upon, but there are a few plausible reasons that could explain why they are considered natural enemies.

One such reason is that they are in direct competition with each other for prey, which just so happens to be humans. This doesn’t seem all too convincing as there is a ridiculous amount of people around, and only a handful of supernatural creatures.

Some stories depict that werewolves were created to protect humans from vampires and that these werewolves do not prey on humans. This does make sense, as werewolves do spend most of their time in human form, and like a dog, they become defensive around those who they do not like.

Another reason why vampires and werewolves might be enemies is that there might have been an ancient feud between the two factions that have filtered down through the centuries, which has just made it natural for the two creatures to harbor hatred for each other.

Both vampires and werewolves are at the top of their food chain and have no natural predators. It would make sense then that they could be enemies just because they are both incredibly powerful creatures who prowl the world at night. 

There is nobody better to stop a vampire than a werewolf, or a werewolf than a vampire.

If you look deeper into vampire and werewolf mythology, there is no real indication that the two ever had much interaction, and various vampire-based writings don’t have any mention of werewolves.

The idea that vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies is more a modern construct, and it does help to make some epic horror movies.

Vampire Vs Werewolf – Who Would Win?

This is the one question surrounding vampires and werewolves that we are all actually interested in. If it came down to a fair fight between vampires and werewolves – who would come out victorious?

Both vampires and werewolves have a long list of strengths and weaknesses that could turn the tide of any battle. Their strengths and weaknesses are very different from each other, so it might be a fight left to chance.

Vampires are calm and calculated. They have high intelligence and speed which gives them a great advantage over their opponent.

Werewolves, on the other hand, are driven by primal instinct and rage. Werewolves are incredibly resistant to damage, with silver being one of the few ways in which a werewolf can be hurt or killed.

Vampires have a long list of weaknesses, such as sunlight, garlic (depending on the myth), fire, a stake through the heart, and beheading.

Vampires also have the ability to transform, which could help them escape many situations, or take their werewolf opponent on as a wolf. If this does happen, the werewolf would still have the upper hand, and it would be better for the vampire to just use their shapeshifting to escape.

Vampires do have a longer list of weaknesses and vulnerability, but werewolves would not necessarily be able to take advantage of this with primal reaction and impulsive thoughts.

So even though there is more that can kill a vampire, and though a werewolf is much stronger and much harder to kill, a vampire using their intellect, speed, and outright resilience would be incredibly hard to kill.

Saying this, an unsuspecting vampire will have little defense against an attacking wolf, so it really is just down to the odds.

Comparison Chart – Vampires Vs Werewolves

To sum it all up, here is a quick comparison between vampires and werewolves.

CharacteristicsVampireWerewolf
Physical featuresPale skin, sharp fangs, attractive.Appears as a large wolf.
PersonalitySophisticated and charismatic, likable.Aggressive, animalistic, and primal in human form.
Time of transformationOnly come out at night due to sensitivity to sunlight.Transforms on a full moon. Humans at all other times.
CreationBeing bitten by a vampire or drinking a vampire’s blood.From a bite or scratch of a werewolf.
StrengthsImmortality, intelligent, enhanced senses.Nearly invulnerable, speed, and strength.
WeaknessesSunlight, garlic, crosses, holy water, wooden stakes.Silver and wolfs bane.
Hunting timeAt night.At night during the full moon.
DietBloodMeat – raw or cooked
LifespanForeverSame as a human
AliveUndeadLiving
HabitatIn small towns to go unnoticed, but constantly moving.In towns close to forests.
OriginsFolklore from all over the world.Western folklore.
Famous moviesNosferatu, Van Helsing, Count Dracula, The Twilight Saga, Let The Right One InAn American Werewolf in London, The Twilight Saga, The Wolf Man, Teen Wolf, Ginger Snaps

Related Questions

Are vampires or werewolves older?

Vampires are considered to be a much older legend that werewolves, and are connected to dark spirits and demonology, which has been around for almost as long as humans.

Vampires were used as a supernatural scapegoat in history for horrific deaths and tragedies, whereas werewolves were created later on in Western culture almost as lore, or to explain away strange occurrences.

What is a female werewolf called?

A female werewolf is simply called a werewoman. She is a woman who has taken the form of an animal through lycanthropy. The word ‘were’ is related to the ability to shape-shift, but in old English is could also mean ‘man’.

Who are the leaders of a wolf pack?

Werewolves are believed to live in packs, much like wolves in the wild. Each pack has an alpha male, who all other members are the pack are loyal to, and who they show submission to.

The alpha can be overthrown through a physical fight, but this isn’t always easy as the alpha is usually the strongest member in the pack.

The Luna of a pack is the female alpha. This is not as common as having a male alpha, but it can happen.

What is the strongest type of werewolf?

The strongest type of werewolf is a Primordial Werewolf. They are the first existing, most powerful, and strongest werewolves in existence.

They are the most feared and most revered, with some coming into existence at the same time as humans.

Whether there are Primordial Werewolves in a certain myth will depend on where the story originates from and how old the story is.

Vampires Vs Werewolves Conclusion

Considered natural enemies, there will always be comparisons between vampires and werewolves, and debates on who is the ruling supernatural power.

Vampires are intelligent, cunning, and sly, they are immortal and survive by drinking human blood. Werewolves are driven by instinct and primal emotions, they are mortal but are nearly invulnerable.

The two supernatural creatures have been in lore for centuries, and we keep reinventing and reimagining them as time goes by, but the fundamental characteristics stay the same and keep them the creatures that we both fear and love.

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