What was the first SF or Fantasy work where the origin of Vampires was "Descended from Judas Iscariot" (e.g. "Judas was the first ever Vampire")?

I'd prefer a published work, but a well established legend will serve if none is available.

  • As a note - if your answer involves a TV movie "Librarian", I'm almost certain it is not the earliest, though that is where I became familiar with the concept from. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 3 '12 at 16:25
  • There's Dracula 2000, but I'm guessing there's probably something earlier. – gnovice Apr 3 '12 at 16:33
  • It was mentioned on the web as far back as 1994. It's a classical legend, I don't know who first used it in a written work of fiction. By the way, does this count under the proposed prohibition of religion? – user56 Apr 3 '12 at 17:39
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    @Gilles - I would guess "no" as far as prohibition since children of Judas aren't really covered by any religion, and Judas turning into Vampire isn't part of any Gospel I'm aware of either... You can raise on meta. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 3 '12 at 21:28
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    Given I'm working on a vampire-esque novel, I've done a great deal of research on vampire origin myths. I've come across Cain and Lilith (his wife), I've come across Lamia (Greek mythology), and quite a few others. Judas is a new one on me. – Fayth85 Jul 19 '16 at 23:15
up vote 8 down vote accepted

This concept is ancient. The various tellings have it that Judas upon his suicide was cursed to wander the Earth as a vampire; that the vampiric aversion to silver is due to Judas' blood money; and that Judas' descendants carry his mark (red hair, an XXX symbol, etc.). Published works making this reference go back at least to the 19th century:

Summers' 1928 book The Vampire: His Kith and Kin mentions that in particular red-headed vampires are considered the most dangerous, and trace their red hair back to Judas (or even Cain). He gives some 13th-century Latin references for this myth. Notably he states that in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania, Vampires are called "Children of Judas".

Bram Stoker's 1897 Dracula even compares the Count to Judas Iscariot, though it does not claim descent:

The last I saw of Count Dracula was his kissing his hand to me; with a red light of triumph in his eyes, and with a smile that Judas in hell might be proud of.

Pall Mall Magazine in 1893 published a story called "A Kiss of Judas" with a vampiric antagonist:

"They say that Children of Judas, lineal descendants of the arch traitor, are prowling about the world seeking to do harm, and that they kill you with a kiss."

It's hard to find where this first started, admittedly, but it's a lot older than Dracula 2000.

  • After reading parts of The Vampire: His Kith and Kin, it looks like the author is tracing the red hair back to Judas in terms of comparison, not of lineage. – Thom Brannan Mar 9 '13 at 1:08

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