87 books like Vampires, Burial, and Death

By Paul T. Barber,

Here are 87 books that Vampires, Burial, and Death fans have personally recommended if you like Vampires, Burial, and Death. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Dracula

Amanda Desiree Author Of Smithy

From my list on creepy epistolary horror novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always admired epistolary novels—stories told in the form of diaries, letters, or other mass media. They seem so real and so much more believable than plain narratives. When dealing with fantastic subjects, like paranormal phenomena, any technique that can draw the weird back into the real world helps me become more invested as a reader. It’s a quality I’ve also tried to capture as a horror writer. Moreover, the epistolary format pairs well with unreliable narrators, often filtering stories so as to make them more ambiguous and disturbing. From the many epistolary works I’ve read over the years, here are my picks for the most compelling—and creepy.

Amanda's book list on creepy epistolary horror novels

Amanda Desiree Why did Amanda love this book?

Older than the rest and still one of the best, Dracula was my introduction to the epistolary format. My eleven-year-old self was pleasantly surprised when the diaries and letters never gave way to straight narration. Reading the book gave me the chance to see how much detail was left out of the various movie adaptations.

After a slow start with Harker’s travelogue, the book unleashed some gruesome and haunting imagery. I thought Renfield’s scenes were especially chilling. I can’t wait to check out the complete, uncut version of the novel, released in Sweden as Powers of Darkness, to see what other creepiness Stoker originally planned for his readers.

By Bram Stoker,

Why should I read it?

21 authors picked Dracula as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 17.

What is this book about?

'The very best story of diablerie which I have read for many years' Arthur Conan Doyle

A masterpiece of the horror genre, Dracula also probes identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. It begins when Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, and makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England - an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his 'Master' - and a determined group of adversaries…


Book cover of In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires

Kurt Amacker Author Of Bloody October

From my list on making you a true vampire scholar.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a comic book writer, novelist, and vampire aficionado. I always want to learn the truth of a matter. I’ve moved in and out of the gothic subculture for years and spent time with members of the vampire subculture. I’ve found that most people’s understanding of vampires (and really, everything) is influenced by fiction. Even if you point out that their beliefs are only as accurate as a movie, they will still argue for them. As much as I love a good vampire movie, I want to shatter illusions and explore the myths and folklore that reflect our human experience in all of its horror and glory.

Kurt's book list on making you a true vampire scholar

Kurt Amacker Why did Kurt love this book?

This book has engendered controversy for almost forcefully bridging the gap between the 15th Century Wallachian Prince Vlad III or Vlad the Impaler or Dracula. Stoker had already constructed his character, called “Count Wampyr,” before he learned of his future namesake. However, he quite clearly establishes a connection between the two through an explanation provided by Abraham Van Helsing. The Dracula of the eponymous novel is a heavily fictionalized version of the real-life figure, but so are most similarly positioned characters in literature, film, and television. Florescu and McNally provide a cursory overview of Slavic and Balkan vampire folklore, a biographical sketch of Vlad the Impaler, and illuminate the process by which Stoker adapted this violent, cunning, and sometimes brilliant nationalist and military tactician into a fictional monster.

By Raymond T. McNally, Radu Florescu,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In Search of Dracula as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The true story behind the legend of Dracula - a biography of Prince Vlad of Transylvania, better known as Vlad the Impaler. This revised edition now includes entries from Bram Stoker's recently discovered diaries, the amazing tale of Nicolae Ceausescu's attempt to make Vlad a national hero, and an examination of recent adaptations in fiction, stage and screen.


Book cover of The Psychic Vampire Codex: A Manual of Magick and Energy Work

Joseph Laycock Author Of Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism

From my list on vampire lore.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2009 I published a book on the real vampire community. I didn’t know that Twilight was about to sweep America and I inadvertently became a “vampire guy” for a few years. I appeared on Geraldo and NPR. I was interviewed by the Colbert Report (but it never aired). I even talked to MTV about hosting a show where I interview teenage vampires. Then we all got into zombies instead and my fifteen minutes of fame were over! I learned a great deal researching my book and giving talks on vampires. In 2010 I taught a special class at Tufts University on vampires where I assigned selections from these books.

Joseph's book list on vampire lore

Joseph Laycock Why did Joseph love this book?

Michelle Belanger is a psychic vampire and an intellectual leader of the real vampire community. This book draws on her experiences of coming to self-identify as a psychic vampire and she actually began writing it in notebooks while in college. The Psychic Vampire Codex provided vocabulary for people in this community to talk about their experiences and a metaphysical theory of what exactly psychic vampires are and why they are different from other people.

I have had the opportunity to meet Belanger and she is a really fascinating person. She founded a metaphysical community called House Kheperu and offers workshops on magick and psychic energy.  She is also a fiction author, musician, activist, and many other things.

By Michelle Belanger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Psychic Vampire Codex as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Psychic Vampire Codex is the first book to examine the phenomenon and experience of modern vampirism completely from the vampire's perspective. Father Sebastiaan, a fellow vampire writes in the foreword that Michelle Belanger's system "introduced a breath of fresh air into the vampire subculture. It freed us to look at ourselves in a new light, and it also helped those outside our community to view us differently. No longer were we parasites or predators . . . we could use our inborn abilities to help people heal." Psychic vampires are people who prey on the vital, human life energies…


Book cover of The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead

Joseph Laycock Author Of Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism

From my list on vampire lore.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2009 I published a book on the real vampire community. I didn’t know that Twilight was about to sweep America and I inadvertently became a “vampire guy” for a few years. I appeared on Geraldo and NPR. I was interviewed by the Colbert Report (but it never aired). I even talked to MTV about hosting a show where I interview teenage vampires. Then we all got into zombies instead and my fifteen minutes of fame were over! I learned a great deal researching my book and giving talks on vampires. In 2010 I taught a special class at Tufts University on vampires where I assigned selections from these books.

Joseph's book list on vampire lore

Joseph Laycock Why did Joseph love this book?

This is a really thorough, fascinating encyclopedia of all things vampire––from folklore to nineteenth-century literature to obscure religious movements to comic books and movies to true crime. Whatever you want to know about vampires, this book will have it or tell you where you can find it. J. Gordon Melton is a total fanatic when it comes to vampire lore and he encouraged me early on when I first began researching the vampire community. Besides vampires, Melton loves to collect obscure information and data on all manner of religious groups. He once described himself to me as “a very greedy scholar” because there are so many topics that he tracks and researches. He can also tell you the best used bookstores in any city in America.  

By J Gordon Melton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Vampire Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Death and immortality, sexual prowess and surrender, intimacy and alienation, rebellion and temptation. The allure of the vampire is eternal. The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead, 3rd edition, explores the historical, literary, mythological, biographical, and popular aspects of one of the world's most mesmerizing paranormal subject. This vast reference is an alphabetical tour of the psychosexual, macabre world of the soul-sucking undead.This exhaustive guide has more than 400 essays to quench your thirst for facts, biographies, definitions, and more.


Book cover of Slayers and Their Vampires: A Cultural History of Killing the Dead

Kurt Amacker Author Of Bloody October

From my list on making you a true vampire scholar.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a comic book writer, novelist, and vampire aficionado. I always want to learn the truth of a matter. I’ve moved in and out of the gothic subculture for years and spent time with members of the vampire subculture. I’ve found that most people’s understanding of vampires (and really, everything) is influenced by fiction. Even if you point out that their beliefs are only as accurate as a movie, they will still argue for them. As much as I love a good vampire movie, I want to shatter illusions and explore the myths and folklore that reflect our human experience in all of its horror and glory.

Kurt's book list on making you a true vampire scholar

Kurt Amacker Why did Kurt love this book?

Whereas Barber expounds upon the anthropological origins of the vampire myth, McClelland focuses on the practices, principles, and logistics of killing the dead. The most familiar form comes in the unearthing and mutilation of bodies. McClelland explains the whys and wherefores of that practice, but he also gives their killers more than their due, explaining the role of vampire slayers as shamans, village elders, and quasi-religious figures during Europe’s transition from its pagan roots to modern Christianity. He demonstrates that vampires fell into an uneasy space between a fading system of peasant folklore and the organized religious rituals and beliefs that ultimately took their place. There are no vampires in the Bible, so where was the church during the vampire hysteria of the 1800s and how did they regard these mythical creatures? McClelland answers that and more. He also includes an overview of our modern conception of vampire slayers from…

By Bruce McClelland,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Slayers and Their Vampires as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In contemporary Western popular culture, the vampire has evolved into one of the most recognizable symbols of evil. Yet, less has been said - and even less has been understood - about its nemesis, the vampire slayer. ""Slayers and Their Vampires"" is the first work to explore how the vampire slayer began, and it goes further to ask why the true history of the vampire slayer has been so long ignored. Author Bruce McClelland describes how the literary and screen dramas obscured the darker nature of the slayer, whose persecution of a corpse is accepted as heroic rather than corrupt.…


Book cover of The Vampire, His Kith and Kin

Joseph Laycock Author Of Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism

From my list on vampire lore.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2009 I published a book on the real vampire community. I didn’t know that Twilight was about to sweep America and I inadvertently became a “vampire guy” for a few years. I appeared on Geraldo and NPR. I was interviewed by the Colbert Report (but it never aired). I even talked to MTV about hosting a show where I interview teenage vampires. Then we all got into zombies instead and my fifteen minutes of fame were over! I learned a great deal researching my book and giving talks on vampires. In 2010 I taught a special class at Tufts University on vampires where I assigned selections from these books.

Joseph's book list on vampire lore

Joseph Laycock Why did Joseph love this book?

Montague Summers was a really unusual fellow for the early twentieth century. He was a closeted gay man (closeted because homosexuality was brutally repressed at the time) who was obsessed with the occult and liked to present himself as a religious witch hunter/demonologist. Reportedly he was often seen leaving libraries with a big black file that read “Vampires” across the front where everyone could see it.

Despite being a colorful character, Summers is one of the best early scholars of vampire lore. His work is even more interesting because it reflects the occult revival underway at the end of the nineteenth century. Occult groups such as the Theosophical Society and the Order of the Golden Dawn were reimagining what vampires could be. They hypothesized that vampires could be real but are perhaps more akin to invisible ghosts that feed on human life force. Summers also discusses things like…

By Montague Summers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Vampire, His Kith and Kin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

. Summers wrote numerous serious books about the witch hunts, vampires, werewolves, and other occult subjects.

This book has all of the apparatus to qualify as an academic study, including footnotes, extensive quotations in the original languages, and references to rare source documents. Of particular interest is the final chapter, which traces the development of the vampire craze in 19th century literature.


Book cover of Something in the Blood

Kurt Amacker Author Of Bloody October

From my list on making you a true vampire scholar.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a comic book writer, novelist, and vampire aficionado. I always want to learn the truth of a matter. I’ve moved in and out of the gothic subculture for years and spent time with members of the vampire subculture. I’ve found that most people’s understanding of vampires (and really, everything) is influenced by fiction. Even if you point out that their beliefs are only as accurate as a movie, they will still argue for them. As much as I love a good vampire movie, I want to shatter illusions and explore the myths and folklore that reflect our human experience in all of its horror and glory.

Kurt's book list on making you a true vampire scholar

Kurt Amacker Why did Kurt love this book?

There are people out there who think they are (or at least call themselves) vampires. At the extreme end, a handful of violent, deranged individuals believe they are the real article and are entitled to attack the living for sustenance. At the other end are role-players, cosplayers, and fans that are just in it for the fangs and the finery. In the middle, there are a wide range of types and personalities. Some believe they are physically addicted to drinking blood and seek out willing donors. Others find a morbid, sexual thrill in the practice. Still others believe they can, and need to, drain the energy of those around them (Colin Robinson, anyone?).

The subculture is vast, nuanced, and always growing. But what it is more often than not is misunderstood. While many are happy to talk about their practices, others shun attention for fear of being mocked, misunderstood, and…

By Jeff Guinn, Andy Grieser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Something in the Blood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Turn up your collar, turn down the lights, and sink your teeth into Something in the Blood


Book cover of The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World

Stephen R. Wilk Author Of Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon

From my list on the unexpected truths behind myths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a scientist, engineer, and writer who has written on a wide range of topics. I’ve been fascinated by mythology my entire life, and I spent over a decade gathering background material on the myth of Perseus and Medusa, and came away with a new angle on the origin and meaning of the myth and what inspired it. I was unable to present this in a brief letter or article, and so decided to turn my arguments into a book. The book is still in print, and has been cited numerous times by scholarly journals and books. It formed the basis for the History Channel series Clash of the Gods (in which I appear).

Stephen's book list on the unexpected truths behind myths

Stephen R. Wilk Why did Stephen love this book?

The title may not sound compelling, but the story is.

One of the chief competitors of Christianity in Imperial Rome was the religion of Mithraism. We have some accounts of this mystery religion, and have excavated several of their underground worship centers, called Mithraeae, but none of the sacred texts or internal documents survive.

Why would the Romans be so taken by the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism? Ulansey suggests that Mithaism was not just a variant of Zoroastrianism, but a new religion based upon Zoroastrian images and foundations, but incorporating new scientific knowledge about the stars and the heavens, and makes a strong case for his suggestions.

By David Ulansey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

David Ulansey's book breaks new scholastic ground by arguing that the Roman cult of Mithras did not originate in Persia, as previously thought. Instead, Ulansey suggests, the cult was triggered by the reaction of a group of Tarsian intellectuals to the discovery in 128 BCE, of the Precession of the Spheres. To these fatalistic Stoics the only possible explanation for this phenomenon was the existence of a divinity powerful enough to shift the heavens, and this was
to become the revelation at the heart of the Mithraic mysteries. This information was then married to the astrology of the zodiac and…


Book cover of The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times

Stephen R. Wilk Author Of Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon

From my list on the unexpected truths behind myths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a scientist, engineer, and writer who has written on a wide range of topics. I’ve been fascinated by mythology my entire life, and I spent over a decade gathering background material on the myth of Perseus and Medusa, and came away with a new angle on the origin and meaning of the myth and what inspired it. I was unable to present this in a brief letter or article, and so decided to turn my arguments into a book. The book is still in print, and has been cited numerous times by scholarly journals and books. It formed the basis for the History Channel series Clash of the Gods (in which I appear).

Stephen's book list on the unexpected truths behind myths

Stephen R. Wilk Why did Stephen love this book?

Adrienne Mayor, a historian of ancient science and folklorist at Princeton University, looks at classical myths that ultimately owe their inspiration to fossils found and interpreted by the Greeks and Romans.

Stories of Giants and Monsters grew up around the giant and mysterious fossil bones that resembled nothing they knew. In particular, she relates the image and stories of griffins to ceratopsian fossils, like those of Protoceratops and Psitticasaurus.

She also shows how dwarf elephant fossils may have inspired the myth of the Cyclops. An excellent read.

By Adrienne Mayor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The First Fossil Hunters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Griffins, Cyclopes, Monsters, and Giants--these fabulous creatures of classical mythology continue to live in the modern imagination through the vivid accounts that have come down to us from the ancient Greeks and Romans. But what if these beings were more than merely fictions? What if monstrous creatures once roamed the earth in the very places where their legends first arose? This is the arresting and original thesis that Adrienne Mayor explores in The First Fossil Hunters. Through careful research and meticulous documentation, she convincingly shows that many of the giants and monsters of myth did have a basis in fact--in…


Book cover of The Lungfish, the Dodo, and the Unicorn: An Excursion into Romantic Zoology

Stephen R. Wilk Author Of Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon

From my list on the unexpected truths behind myths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a scientist, engineer, and writer who has written on a wide range of topics. I’ve been fascinated by mythology my entire life, and I spent over a decade gathering background material on the myth of Perseus and Medusa, and came away with a new angle on the origin and meaning of the myth and what inspired it. I was unable to present this in a brief letter or article, and so decided to turn my arguments into a book. The book is still in print, and has been cited numerous times by scholarly journals and books. It formed the basis for the History Channel series Clash of the Gods (in which I appear).

Stephen's book list on the unexpected truths behind myths

Stephen R. Wilk Why did Stephen love this book?

Willy Ley was a fascinating individual – a member and founder of the German VfR, the Rocket Society whose membership included Werner von Braun.

He fled Nazi Germany and settled in the United States, writing popular science articles, translating German science fiction, and writing some of his own. He was instrumental in popularizing the Space effort, even appearing on Disney’s Man into Space shows on television.

But he wrote on a range of topics, and his articles discussed the dwarf elephant fossil role in the myth of the Cyclops, the possible origins of the Babylonian sirrush, the role of fossil mammoths and wooly rhinoceros in shaping European legends, and the possible origins of the Unicorn legend.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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