A an extremely common trope in vampire fiction is the vampires can"t to walk in the sun, and also will die if they try to. See, because that example, suicide by sunlight on TVTropes.

Why is that? What is the beginning of the myth?

Wikipedia"s Vampire folklore by region article doesn"t market an answer, and also neither walk the source of lot vampiric lore, Bram Stocker"s Dracula. Sunlight limits the Count"s powers, but it doesn"t kill the creature.




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We must perhaps an initial note that vampires room hardly the only creatures that deserve to not stand sunlight; it is a common attribute among mystical creatures that they only show up at night, and also that some of them dice in sunlight (we deserve to take as examples Grendel the Beowulf, and also the Chinese jiangshi, a creature that initially was a reanimated corpse that died when exposed to sunlight, yet has acquired an ext attributes of west vampires in contemporary lore).

This basic association with the night seems to have been a function of the at an early stage folklore vampires, one of the couple of aspects the survives right into the contemporary vampire (in folklore, the vampire is a dirty, wild, bloated thing, administrate by primal urges; castle seem an ext akin to zombies 보다 Count Dracula). It likewise featured in the vampire functions that witnessed a huge boom in the early 19th century, such as Byron"s The Giaour, in i beg your pardon the titular biology is doomed to walk the earth at night and also drain the blood of anyone in his family.

This additionally illustrated why, also if the step from "only appears at night" to "dies if exposed to sun" is no a long one, it take it a when to take it: early vampires had tendency to be cursed to walk the earth in disastrous isolation. Because that someone cursed prefer that, having actually such one easy means to kill themselves was obviously not a useful trait. In stories wherein vampires were antagonists (more or much less monstrous), having actually them be eliminated off by other as plain as sunlight would easily be seen as anti-climatic; far far better to have actually a showdown v fire or wood poles.

Sources

I have checked two publications in Swedish about vampires:

Katarina Harrison Lindbergh"s Vampyrernas historia, an available general history. She does not spend lot time top top the sun motif, but notes that it is indeed existing in the folklore.Anna Höglund"s Vampyrer, based on her doctoral thesis. Much more scholarly, yet sadly lacking a valuable index. It does give numerous interesting perspectives on exactly how the vampire mythos arisen in the western world. Ns could, however, not find any discussion about this specific aspect, perhaps since it does no seem to carry the same amount of significance as other aspects.