Dhampirs (sometimes spelled dhampyres, dhamphirs, or dhampyrs) are hybrid creatures that are the born from the union between a vampire and another race. As they are literally born from a pregnancy, they are different from how most vampires are said to arise, from either the corrupt dead or a human being bitten by a vampire.
Its' name is thought to derive from the Albanian language where pire means "to drink" and dham means "teeth" thus Dhampir – to drink with one's teeth.
Myths & Legends
A Dhampir being born in of itself is very rare, due to a vampire's undead nature which may result in a lack of fertility. However, when it does happen, in most stories a Dhampir is born from a female human and a male vampire, with the opposite being even rarer.
In the Balkans and South Slavia it was believed that male vampires have a great lust for women along with their bloodlust, so a vampire will return to have intercourse with his wife or with a woman he was attracted to in life. In Bulgarian folklore, vampires were sometimes said to deflower virgins as well. In Serbia there was at least one recorded case of a widow who tried to blame her pregnancy on her dead, but now "vampiric," husband.
In stories, Dhampirs will commonly become vampire hunters if they do not succumb to their own bloodlust and vampiric origins. Many of these become quite successful as well, as they generally have a similar powerset to their vampire parent, who they may also include in their hunt.
Though Dhampirs share many similar qualities with their vampire parent, their abilities are generally not as pronounced or as powerful as a pure-blooded vampire. In exchange, they often do not have the same weaknesses to sunlight, crosses, holy water, silver, etc. as normal vampires. In some versions, the weaknesses are non-existent, while in others they are simply not as negatively effected as a normal vampire would.
Though it may not be as strong as their vampire parent, Dhampirs may also have the following abilities:
- Heightened Senses - all of their senses are increased which make them great hunters, and they can see at night. In some legends, they can even see invisible Vampires.
- Inhuman Recovery - their resilience and regeneration of their bodies is considerable, though they are not generally considered able to regenerate lost limbs as Vampires can.
- Longevity - Dhampirs may be more mortal than Vampire who are known to have a semblance of immortality, but they can still live for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
- Superhuman Strength - they are superior to humans physically in lifting heavy loads, running great distances and immense speeds, and leaping to great heights.
- Sorcery - traditional legends state that they could practice magic, especially magic useful for vampire hunters.
- Psychic Powers - although not commonly seen, some Dhampirs may also have similar mind control or charm abilities to vampires.
Dhampirs are usually depicted as more human-looking than vampires, but still not quite human, putting them in an odd middle-ground between the two. As such, some traditions note certain attributes which reveal the child of a vampire and distinguish them from humans. Albanian legends state they have untamed dark or black hair and lack a shadow. Often a pronounced nose, larger than normal teeth, ears, and/or eyes were also a sign. Some say that there would be "a deep mark on the back, like a tail."
In a few legends, Dhampirs are said to have a soft body, no nails and bones (based off of legends that Vampries have no bones) and live only short lives.
- A vampire hunter who is also a Dhampir is simply named "D" in Vampire Hunter D by Hideyuki Kikuchi. This novel also got at least one animated film about the character.
- There are a bunch of Dhampirs in the Vampire Academy series.
Films & Animations
- Vampire Hunter "Blade" is a Dhampir with his own movies and series.
- Castlevania's Alucard is the son of the vampire Dracula and a human woman named Lisa.