From Dracula to The Count of Sesame Street, vampires have come a long way from their urban legend roots. Now, they're fixtures in pop culture and of course, Halloween. On TV, many iconic blood suckers have scared us, wooed us or shown us the delightfully dark side of the undead. In celebration of these immortal creatures, TVGuide.com put together a list of TV's most cherished vampires, from the skin-crawling evil type to the nocturnal dreamboats who've lead primetime soapy dramas.
13. Caleb Morely (Michael Easton), Port Charles
Port Charles started off as a simple General Hospital spin-off, but in 2001 the daytime soap made a turn for the supernatural with the "Tainted Love" and "Surrender" storylines. Caleb Morley, played by Michael Easton, helped Port Charles break free of its General Hospital shadows and turn the vampire storyline into one of the most successful arcs of the show.
12. Benny (Ty Olsson), Supernatural
There have been a lot of vampires on Supernatural, but Benny (Ty Olsson) may be the most important to the Winchesters. He helped both Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) escape Purgatory (on separate occasions), and helped them take down the original vampire, the Old Man. If they didn't have Benny, Sam and Dean could have capped their dying at once or twice.
11. Grandpa Munster (Al Lewis), The Munsters
This list wouldn't be complete without classics. Grandpa Munster (Al Lewis) was a gift to all kids who needed a kinder look at Dracula before hearing the scarier, darker tales in adulthood. The Munsters humanized monsters as a whole, but Grandpa had the most fun terrorizing the neighborhood and is an iconic part of Dracula representation over the years.
10. Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten), True Blood
Let's face it, sometimes Sookie (Anna Paquin) could be the absolute worst on True Blood and there was no one better to point that out than Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten). Her one-liners were always on point and she wasn't afraid to throw down with any vampire or supernatural creature that threatened her, her bar or Eric (Alexander Skarsgard). Frankly, Pam held everything together more than anyone on this show and she entertained you while she did it. Cheers, Pam.
9. Dracula (Christian Camargo), Penny Dreadful
Penny Dreadful found plenty of unique ways to spruce up classic literary villains, but the show put a lot of effort into Dracula's (Christian Camargo) reveal. The Season 3 original bloodsucker and master of all vampires was charismatic and charming while also terrifying and deadly. He seduced Vanessa (Eva Green) with ease, but then realized he had also fallen in love. With an eloquent turn, the "father of all beasts" became the key to Vanessa accepting her true self.
8. John Mitchell (Aidan Turner), Being Human
Do you prefer your vampires to also suffer painful angst while also drinking the blood of their victims? How about all of that and a really hot Irish accent? Meet John Mitchell (Aiden Turner), the resident vampire in the first few seasons of BBC's Being Human. At first John is cold and aloof, barely being able to tolerate his fellow roommates, but by the end of his arc, John Mitchell was one of the most compelling and tortured characters you've ever met.
7. Caroline (Candice King), The Vampire Diaries
Two of the most fevered "ships" in The Vampire Diaries history are "Klaroline" and "Steroline" — and they both have one thing in common: Caroline (Candice King). She may look cute and adorable, but Caroline is one of the most gutsy vampires on TV. She grounds the shenanigans of the Salvatore brothers, too. If an Original and a Salvatore have both fallen for Caroline, there was no way we could leave her off of this list.
6. Marceline the Vampire Queen, Adventure Time
Continuing the trend of awesome lady vamps, Marceline the Vampire Queen of Adventure Time, is the definition of cool chick with fangs. She drinks the color red rather than blood (it is a children's show, after all), but she also plays a bunch of different instruments and writes really awesome songs. Warning, "I Remember You" could potentially bring you to tears.
5. Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), The Vampire Diaries
Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) may have started out as the bad boy of The Vampire Diaries, but over eight seasons he has become the most recognizable character of one of the CW's flagship shows. Damon has it all: bloodthirsty vampire tendencies, a healthy dose of existential angst, the romantic core and a biting (pun intended) sense of humor. What more could you want in a vampire heartthrob?
4. Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard), True Blood
Many vampires made their way through Bon Temps, La. on True Blood, but arguably the fan-favorite one was Eric Northman (Alex Skarsgard). He was not only the sheriff, but the most debonaire and suave vampires around. He didn't even need glamouring to make people fall in love with him. Combine that baritone voice and chiseled abs with his dry sense of humor and you have the crown jewel of the entire True Blood series.
3. Angel (David Boreanez), Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel
It takes a lot to not only survive a show about vampire slaying...and then get your own spinoff afterwards. That's exactly what Angel (David Boreanaz) did when his romantic entanglement ended on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He went on to anchor five seasons of his own show Angel. Angel broke our hearts as the tortured vampire with a soul, won us over as he and Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) became one of the "ships" to end all "ships," terrified us when he reverted back to being evil and then repeated the cycle. He was one of the first examples of a TV vampire with a heart, paving the way for the romantic vampires of the 2000s. It's up for debate whether we can blame Angel entirely for the Edward Cullens (Twilight) that would follow, but man did we love Angel when we had him.
2. The Count, Sesame Street
If there is one TV vampire that feels unforgettable to us all, it'd have to be The Count from Sesame Street. The numbers-obsessed vampire from Transylvania has been teaching children how to count for almost 45 years now. The world would be a much better place if everyone could love something as much as The Count loves counting. He's the perfect introduction to vampirism.
1. Spike (James Marsters), Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is arguably one of the best shows about vampires ever. Spike (James Marsters) caused some major divides among fans of the show, but his progress from sniveling Drusilla (Juliet Landau) worshipper to dangerous to one of Buffy's greatest loves was remarkable. He played all the notes you could ask for in a conflicted vampire, but he skipped the self-hatred. Because if anyone knows how awesome he is, it's Spike himself.
Who is your favorite TV vampire?