Dresden Files

Black Court vampire

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Black Court vampires are a type of undead creature. Of the various creatures called "vampires", they represent the 'classic' vampire variety: undead humans preying on live ones to drink their blood. Their corresponding organisation is the Black Court, after which they are named. They first appear in Grave Peril.


Black Court vampires are former humans who are now undead. Their similarity to vampires in European folklore (most notably their being animated corpses) appears to indicate that Black Court vampires originated there.

  • Young Vampires: some may have lividity marks, their faces look slightly skeletal, they commonly have long dirty fingernails and dried blood staining their faces and throats.[1]
  • Old Vampires: pallid, translucent, greyish skin, blue-tinged lips, eyes have a blue-grey filmy coating.[2] They may look like a withered and dried corpse and the skin and hair might flake off.[3]
  • Though they are extraordinarily strong, they weigh as much as a dried corpse.[4]
  • They exude a nauseating cold and "ghostly charnel house scent" of old blood and rotting meat.[5]

Powers and weaknessesEdit

Weaknesses: They are sensitive to garlic, tokens of faith, sunlight, running water, fire, and decapitation.[2][6] The Black Court can not cross a threshold at all.[7] They are helpless during the daytime and take measures to protect their lair.[6]

Strenths: Their physical speed and strength seems to be superior to humans. They seem to be the most physically powerful of the courts.[6] Mavra was able to move so fast as to be only a blur.[2] Vampires seem capable of exerting a certain mind control and are able to create thralls and the more violent, insane, Renfields.[8] All Black Court Vampires seem capable of learning to use magic, unlike the humans they once were, though few do. 

They are also able to control animals and increase their natural abilities.(reference needed)


  • A group of Black Court vampires is called a scourge.[6]
  • Necromancy can be used against Black Court vampires, according to Harry.[9]
  • In Grave Peril, Thomas Raith comments that for practical purposes, there are really only two vampire courts since the "Black Court has fallen on hard times of late, poor darlings."[2]



Black Court vampires have been around since the "dawn of human memory".  Bram Stoker's book Dracula contained descriptions of all the means to kill a Black Court vampire, which made those means common knowledge. This resulted in most members of the Black Court being killed in the early 20th century.[2][6]

In the seriesEdit

Grave PerilEdit

Main article: Grave Peril

In Grave Peril, at Bianca's Ball, Mavra threatens Harry and prevents his escaping with Susan Rodriguez and Michael Carpenter.[2] During the court session, Mavra attempted to unmake Amoracchius by killing Lydia.[10]

Blood RitesEdit

Main article: Blood Rites

In Blood Rites, a Black Court vampire sent by Mavra attacked Harry and Thomas Raith in the Blue Beetle at a guard booth. Harry recognized him as one that Mavra turned at Bianca's Ball. The stow-away Temple pup, later named Mouse, gave Harry enough warning to defend himself with hits spell-covered duster, holy-water balloons and Thomas's help.[11] Three Black Court vampires corner Harry, Lara RaithThomas Raith who had just been shot by Lara, and Inari Raith outside Arturo Genosa's studio.[12] During the course of the book, Harry plans how to wipe out Mavra and her scourge, using Bob as a scout, Karrin Murphy and Jared Kincaid as back-up and Ebenezar McCoy as get-away driver.[13] Harry and team rescued some children, Harry's hand got horribly burned by Mavra's crew, and it was assumed she died.[14]

Dead BeatEdit

Main article: Dead Beat

In Dead Beat, Mavra coerced Harry into getting the Word of Kemmler for her.[3][9]

References Edit

  1. Blood Rites, ch. 16
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Grave Peril, ch. 28
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dead Beat, ch. 2
  4. Blood Rites, ch. 17
  5. Blood Rites, ch. 2
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Blood Rites, ch. 3
  7. Ghost Story, ch. 9
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Blood Rites, ch. 27
  9. 9.0 9.1 Dead Beat, ch. 43
  10. Grave Peril, ch. 29
  11. Blood Rites, ch. 2-3
  12. Blood Rites, ch. 16-17
  13. Blood Rites, ch. 5, 6, 10 and 27
  14. Blood Rites, ch. 31–33

See alsoEdit

External referencesEdit

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