Vampiric mind control seems to be to be a common trope, but not one I've seen specifically in folklore. I'm wondering when it first appears outside of folklore.

By supernaturally influencing I mean suggestion or fully controlling an individual's mind.


In literature, Varney the Vampire (by James Malcolm Rymer and Thomas Peckett Prest) is known as having psychic abilities. It was published as penny dreadfuls from 1845 to 1847. Its book form was also publishd in 1847. Whether he was using his psychic abilities to influence people or just to empathize them, is not clear. Because the character is known to be highly... empathetic. He looks hidious but has hypnotizing eyes. He is really weird. You can find the full text here if you want to know more about him.

But in 1816, John William Polidori published a tale called The Vampyre which was about a young, seductive, sexual and alluring being (vampire). Most in literature think Polidori was picturing Lord Byron and wrote the character based on him because Polidori, Byron and Shelly were known as close friends in the society. We all know when a vampire is handsome and attractive, some "He controlled my mind!" things happen and since the accused is a supernatural character, it can be counted as supernatural influence. However, it is not directly stated that this character mind-controls people. He is just very good at influencing people because he is very attractive. I'm not sure where to put this to be honest. That's the reason I put Varney up and Polidori's vampire down in the list. You can read The Vampyre here.

Folklore examples go way back in time but since you are not asking about them, I didn't put them here.

Hope this helps!

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    Lord Ruthven seemed to have influence over Aubrey after Aubrey took the oath, but I'm not sure if that demonstrates psychic abilities in Lord Ruthven or not. – Molag Bal Feb 20 '16 at 17:16
  • @amaretto I agree. It is not clear. Old texts and tales in literature don't have any exact "mind controlling" phrases. – apollo Feb 20 '16 at 17:19

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