In the past 20 or 30 years vampires have been a very popular mythological being and appear frequently in books, either as side character or even protagonists.
The books below are entirely free to download or read, but are also extremely high quality since the conventions and rules they established are still the ones being followed by modern vampires.
The Best Free Vampire Books you can read Online
1. The Vampyre by John William Polidori (52 pages)
Lord Ruthven is a mysterious newcomer among England’s social elite. A young gentleman named Aubrey is fascinated by the suave stranger and is intrigued by his often curious behavior.
While travelling in Europe amid rumors of vampire killings, the pair are attacked, leaving Ruthven on his death bed. As he draws his last breaths, he pleads with Aubrey to keep his death a secret for just over a year.
When Ruthven reappears in London alive and well, Aubrey realizes that his friend might be hiding dark and horrifying truths behind his seductive fabrication.
Notes: The very first complete vampire story in English literature, written by John William Polidori, who acted as the personal physician of famed English poet Lord Byron in 1816.
But Lord Byron was more than just a patient for Polidori. The author used the famed poet’s womanizing and debauched lifestyle as inspiration to create The Vampyre’s protagonist, Ruthven.
This book was extremely influential in the creation of the modern vampire, and introduced many of the most common conventions of this genre, some of which have lasted well over 200 years and into the present day.
2. The Dead Woman in Love (or Clarimonde) by Théophile Gautier (80 pages)
Romuald is a young priest, newly ordained but frustrated and trapped by the monotony and strict lifestyle at his rural parish. His life takes a turn when a beautiful vampire courtesan, Clarimonde, slowly tempts him away from his priestly life into one of pleasure and sin.
3. Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (56 pages)
Laura, a teenage girl who lives with her wealthy father in a remote Austrian castle, find herself desired by the beautiful and mysterious Carmilla.
4. Varney the Vampire; or, The Feast of Blood by James Malcolm Rymer (812 pages)
A long tale that describes the adventures of the war veteran turned vampire Sir Francis Varney.
5. Vikram and the Vampire stories translated by Richard F. Burton (314 pages)
These are translated stories from Indian culture, and describe how King Vikram must extract himself out of a terrible contract he has entered with a powerful, trickster vampire.
Notes: This book contains short 11 stories, each of which is self-contained but also connected with one another.
6. The Cruel Painter by George MacDonald (25 pages)
A university student must navigate a dangerous encounter with a vampire.
Notes: This short story is part of a wider collection of horror tales (but not vampire ones) by Scottish Gothic horror writer George MacDonald.
7. Good Lady Ducayne by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (20 pages)
Bella, a dirt poor English girl with no achievements except beautiful looks and good health, find employment in the Italian Riviera as a companion to the old, sickly but apparently kind Lady Ducayne.
All is well in the beginning, but Bella’s health takes a turn for the worse and she finds out her two predecessors, also poor, young but healthy girls, died in mysterious circumstances.
8. Dracula by Bram Stoker (260 pages)
An ancient vampire lord from distant Transylvania is let loose in England, and a group of vampire hunters must track him down and kill him.
9. The Blood of the Vampire by Florence Marryat
Harriet, a young, wealthy English heiress leaves her childhood home of Jamaica and travels to Europe, but finds out that everyone who comes in contact with her becomes deathly ill.