From Iceland — Vampires! They’re Back!

Vampires! They’re Back!

Published November 15, 2023

Vampires! They’re Back!
Photo by
Joana Fontinha

Dear reader, you are in danger. For they have returned. Ready your garlic, your stakes, your pitchforks, your torches. They gather outside the Landspitali blood bank, they hide in the dark alleys of Laugavegur and they shop at Rokk & Rómantík. I speak of course, of the vampires of Reykjavík!

During the summer months, the eternal sun protected us from their fangs; but no longer. With the return of the northern lights and October (the spookiest month) on the horizon, vampires are free once more to roam the streets. But not to worry! I have dedicated my life to researching the occult and I shall not let them have this fair city. Harken the words of this modern-day Van Helsing, lest ye fall to the vampyr’s bite.

To fight the bloodsuckers, we must first learn of their traits. The first clue we have that vampires are in fact on this island is through the codex Makt Myrkranna, or Power of Darkness. An Icelandic translation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but this time Lord Dracula doesn’t like democracy or Christianity. Similarly, in the tabletop roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade, there is mention of Wulfgar the Reaver who reigns as dark lord of Iceland. Delving into various online communities there seems to be a heated discussion about the classification of Draugr (a form of undead) as ghost, ghoul or vampire. Thus, there is a plethora of material to gather from.

According to the texts, the way to detect a vampire is simple: they tend to be tall, pale-skinned, antisocial and wear dark clothing. You may think that this makes them impossible to separate from ordinary Icelanders… and you would be 100% right. My 3rd grade reading level failing me once more, the only thing I could do was hit the streets.

I decided to ask people I came across about vampirism and its sightings within the greater Reykjavík area to see what secrets I could draw out. I agreed with many of the locals’ sentiments that these creatures should “Please leave me and my family alone, I don’t know anything about vampires,” and “What are you doing on my property?” After much digging, I was able to find an expert on the subject.

Count Viktor Blóðson, who resides in a refurbished burial mound, told me all about his own experiences with these dark beings and gave me some helpful tips for vampire hunting. “Produce is expensive and fried onions are just as scary as garlic,” he said. “And I know meat is pricey, but Iceland is having a massive deforestation issue so it’s more eco-friendly to steak a vampire as opposed to stake a vampire,” he laughed for quite some time at his own joke as lightning cracked in the distance.

There was only one thing left to do. Using all my newfound knowledge, I would hunt a vampire! I planned my approach and went to the nicest cemetery in town, Hólavallagarður. I crouched behind that one bench where all the couples get real frisky (don’t pretend like you don’t know which one). My breath reeked of fried onions. My hands clutched wooden stakes I had stolen from some poor tourists who were out camping. And I waited… I waited…

I’m currently waiting in line at Landspitali to see a GP. All I was able to catch on that bench was chlamydia. I’ve been here for hours; it’s starting to get dark. The one other person in the waiting room keeps looking at me and smiling. Can people’s teeth naturally be that sharp?

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