Why Don’t Vampires Have Reflections?

Why Don't Vampires Have Reflections?, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Vampire, vampires, mythology, folklore
Photo by Tasha Kamrowski on Pexels.com

Not all vampires, but a classic characteristic of many vampires is that they don’t have reflections. While other traits (aversion to the sun, hypnotic abilities…) might make sense, the lack of a reflection is a little more unusual. Why don’t they?

Angel, how do you shave?

There are two theories about this (that I’m aware of):

  1. Mirrors used to be backed with silver, a pure metal that an impure creature like a vampire can’t tolerate. In some mythologies vampires can’t touch silver, either, usually being burned by the metal if they come into contact with it. The aversion is so deep that even the vampire’s image can’t interact with silver.
  2. There is a belief that mirrors reflect the soul. As beings generally without souls, vampires have no reflection.
Why Don't Vampires Have Reflections?, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Vampire, vampires, mythology, folklore, what to do if you cast no reflection

Do you know of other reasons vampires don’t have reflections? What’s your favourite quirky vampire trait? Share in the comments…

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Read more about mirrors and beliefs about them.


Aspasía S. Bissas


7 Replies to “Why Don’t Vampires Have Reflections?”

  1. Interesting! You know, this reminded me of that 2004 movie “Van Helsing” with Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, and Richard Roxbrough.

    There was this ball scene where Count Dracula (Roxbrough) and Ana Valerious (Beckinsale) were dancing, and they happened to stop by a mirror. She pointed out that the vampire had no reflection, which prompted the count to bare his fangs and bite — until Van Helsing (Jackman) intervened.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That cartoon is wonderful! Never seen it before! 🙂
    How did the mirror reflecting notion first gain popularity? Was it Hollywood or does it feature in Polidori or Stoker or some other author’s work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it! Apparently the idea of a lack of reflection is more recent than Stoker, but superstitions about mirrors go as far back as mirrors have existed, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually has very old roots in folklore.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I shall make a point of noting when I next see it mentioned! I hear many folks say that Hollywood invented the silver bullet as the enemy of the werewolf but again, their aversion to silver was noted long before movies were around.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve also heard that about the silver bullets, but as you said, silver as a “pure” metal is another old concept, so I’m sure you can find some version of it (maybe a dagger instead of a bullet) in folklore. What’s that saying?– there are no new ideas 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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