In both European and American folklore, vampires are either outright nocturnal or are weak to the sun. Therefore, wouldn't it make logical sense for them to migrate with the seasons to parts of the world with long nights?

This is something I feel would be especially necessary for vampires in the folklore of northern Europe, such as the baobhan sith of the Scottish Highlands, a region that can experience as little as 6 hours per day where the sun is below the horizon.

So I guess my question is: are there any vampire folklores where they migrate with the season, and if not, why don't they?

  • Interesting question! I'm not aware of any examples from folklore, but Vampires taking advantage of the long polar night is the premise of the comic book series 30 Days of Night (adapted into a film of the same name).
    – yannis
    Mar 28, 2019 at 8:35

2 Answers 2


The ethnographer Nikolaos Politis in tale 933 of his Paradoseis records the belief that vrykolakes, the Greek folklore version of the vampire, cannot cross the sea. Although this doesn't completely prevent migration, it severely restricts it.

I'm not entirely aware of how widespread this belief was in the rest of the Balkans, the region where most of the vampiric lore originated from. However, it probably was widespread enough to inspire Bram Stoker to apply a similar limitation to Dracula:

He is also limited in his ability to travel, as he can only cross running water at low or high tide. Due to this, he is unable to fly across a river in the form of a bat or mist or even by himself board a boat or step off a boat onto a dock unless he is physically carried over with assistance. He is also unable to enter a place unless invited to do so by someone of the household, even a visitor; once invited, he can enter and leave the premises at will.

Source: Wikipedia contributors. (2019, March 12). Count Dracula. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09:00, March 28, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Count_Dracula&oldid=887434126

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I suppose it depends on your definition of "vampire", but a defining characteristic of the vampire in the medieval world was that he must return to his grave to rest. With that stipulation long distance travel would be an impossibility.

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