top of page

Goth Rock and the Dark Vampire

          The goth rock genre contains a large proportion of songs that were influenced by the vampire and other monster myths. The genre is characterized by dark imagery and negative emotions, making it an ideal place for the vampire and monster themes to take root. 

          One song that characterizes the genre's relationship with vampires particularly well is  “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus (1979).

          Bela Lugosi is an actor who played Dracula both in theater productions and on the screen in Dracula (1931). This song is a tribute to his performance where he established the cinematic look of Dracula that we all recognize today. He is the one who gave us the iconic vampire look with well put together dark suit with a black cape. The influence of this image is still holding strong today in Halloween costumes, memes, and even on our cereal boxes.

          Repetition of the word “undead” after the titular lyric, “Bela Lugosi’s dead” really resonates with the timelessness of the character. Bela Lugosi achieves immortality with his characterization of Dracula. “White on white translucent black capes” references that classic Dracula look that has in some way influenced all the subsequent vampire/ Dracula on-screen portrayals.

     

Bela Lugosi.png

          Another goth rock song that is heavily influenced by the vampire narrative is “Night of the Vampire” by Roky Erickson (1986) which tells the story of someone being attacked by a vampire. It is influenced by Bram Stoker’s Dracula with lyrics that reference Dracula lore specifically, "He comes from Transylvania". 

          Like much of the genre this song is not overly lyrical but with the few lyrics it does have it manages to hit on the terror and urgency of a vampire attack setting a very dark tone. This particular stanza gives a powerful image of vampire victims' fear:

 

"If it's raining and you're running don't
Slip in mud cause... if you do, you'll
Slip in blood tonight... is the night of the vampire
Tonight... is the night of the vampire"

bottom of page