A blood-sucking ghost; a soul of a dead person superstitiously believed to come from the grave and wander about by night sucking the blood of persons asleep, thus causing their death. This superstition was once prevalent in parts of Eastern Europe, and was especially current in Hungary about the year 1730. The vampire was often said to have the ability to transform itself into the form of a bat, as presented in the novel depicting the legend of Dracula published by Bram Stoker in 1897, which has inspired several movies.
Either one of two or more species of South American blood-sucking bats belonging to the genera Desmodus and Diphylla; also called vampire bat. These bats are destitute of molar teeth, but have strong, sharp cutting incisors with which they make punctured wounds from which they suck the blood of horses, cattle, and other animals, as well as man, chiefly during sleep. They have a cæcal appendage to the stomach, in which the blood with which they gorge themselves is stored.