Vampires in Ancient Egypt: Exploring Myth and Misconception

When considering vampires, our minds often travel to the foggy landscapes of Eastern Europe, not the sun-drenched sands of Ancient Egypt. However, there are indeed connections between vampiric entities and ancient Egyptian mythology, although not exactly in the way modern popular culture portrays vampires.

The Concept of Life Force

One of the cornerstones of vampiric mythology is the draining or consumption of life force, often in the form of blood. In ancient Egyptian beliefs, the ‘ka’ represented the vital spark or essence of a person, closely tying in with the concept of life force. While there are no clear instances of ‘ka’ being stolen or consumed by another, the concept of a life force existing separately from the body is certainly present in ancient Egyptian spirituality.

Gods and Creatures

The goddess Sekhmet, associated with war and retribution, was known for her bloodlust. In one myth, she nearly destroyed humanity until pacified by beer dyed to resemble blood. However, she is not a vampire in the traditional sense.

A creature more closely resembling vampiric entities is the ‘akh’, a spirit that could harm the living by plaguing them with nightmares or illness, similar to a vampire’s ability to drain life. However, the ‘akh’ did not consume blood or life force.

Egypt and Later Vampiric Lore

The connection between Ancient Egypt and vampires might also come from later interpretations. In the 19th century, during the height of Egyptomania, Gothic fiction began to incorporate Egyptian elements. This period saw tales like “The Mummy!” by Jane Webb Loudon, where a vengeful Egyptian mummy terrorizes those who disturbed him, somewhat similar to a vampire’s curse.


While the concept of the vampire, as we understand it today, did not exist in ancient Egyptian mythology, elements of the vampire myth can be seen in their religious beliefs and supernatural creatures. It’s fascinating to see how these ancient beliefs have permeated into modern vampire lore and continue to influence our interpretations of these legendary creatures. As we delve deeper into these age-old myths, we find a unique blend of history, horror, and fascination.

Wikipedia: Ancient Egypt
History Channel: Ancient Egypt
Live Science: Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt for Kids
British Museum: Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt