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Nosferatu is another name for the fictional character of Bram Stocker's Dracula.



Nosferatu comes from the Greek word nosophoros (which means "plague-carrier") that evolved into the Old Slavonic word "nosufur-atu".

The name was associated for the first time to vampirism in an article written by Emily Gerard titled "Transylvanian Superstitions" which was published in the the July, 1885 issue of the magazine XIX Century.

The article was read by Bram Stoker, and the name became popular in fictional literature as the result of Stoker using the name in his novel Dracula.

Ironically, there are no other credible accounts of the name nosferatu being used in Romanian or Slavic folklore .

Art / Fiction

Eine Symphonie des Grauens

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens ("Nosferatu, a Symphony of Horror" in German) is a German Expressionist film shot in 1921 by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, and released in 1922. Unable to obtain the rights to film a version of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Murnau decided instead to film his own version with only slight changes to the story. For instance, "Dracula" became "Nosferatu" and the names of the characters changed, with Count Dracula changed to Count Orlok. The role of the vampire was played by Max Schreck. Other major actors in the film were Gustav von Wangenheim (as Thomas Hutter/Jonathan Harker), Greta Schröder (as Ellen Hutter/Mina M. Harker), and Alexander Granach (as Knock/R.M. Renfield).

Count Orlock

The ending is nevertheless substantially different from that of Dracula. Count Orlock (Dracula) is ultimately destroyed when the character "Mina" sacrifices herself to him. In the book (and many later versions of the story) Dracula is destroyed physically. The timeframe of the story is significantly earlier: according to the logbook of the ship captain, it takes place in 1838, while Dracula takes place in the 1890s. A preview for the film can also be found, in which the scene where Ellen sits up and the subtitles say "Hutter!," is changed to the subtitles saying "Jonathon, Jonathon, hear me!" It can be inferred that this scene was cut out after Mrs. Stoker filed a lawsuit against F.W. Murnau.

Film, television and the media

  • 1975 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the character of Riffraff (butler/handyman) was created with Nosferatu in mind[citation needed].
  • 1979 – Salem's Lot director Tobe Hooper chose a distinctly Nosferatu-like look for the vampire Barlow.
  • 1991 – The vampire Radu from the Subspecies series of films has visual cues from Nosferatu, including the grotesque white face, and over-long fingers and nails.
  • 1992 - The principal villain in Tim Burton's Batman Returns is named "Max Shreck."
  • 1993 – Clips from a Nosferatu parody appear and he jumps off of the screen in an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? called "The Tale of the Midnight Madness" (Season 2, Episode 2).
  • 1994 - In the film, Interview with the Vampire, when Louis, the main character, returns to the New World, he witnesses sunrises by way of film. Two films he sees are both directed by Murnau, and they are Sunrise, A Song of Two Humans and Nosferatu.
  • 1994 - in the film ,"Killing Zoe" When Eric Stlotz has sex with the call girl (Julie Delby) the film "Nosferatu" is on the televisio69.231.63.18 07:00, 8 January 2007 (UTC)n and is used to erotically charge the scene.
  • 1996 - The short-lived TV series Kindred: the Embraced, based on the White Wolf role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade, featured a clan of vampires known as Nosferatu, which were modeled after Schreck. They are lead by Dædalus, portrayed by Jeff Kober.
  • 1997 – The Master, the villain throughout the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was visually based on Nosferatu, having long nails, large bat-like ears, and a bald white head. In the Angel episode "Why We Fight" there is also a Nosferatu-looking vampire on board a submarine, though it is implied he is actually supposed to be Count Orlok.
  • 1998 - In Dark City, the Strangers are parasitic creatures who use dying human bodies as vessels and bear a physical resemblance to Nosferatu.
  • 2000 – A Hollywood movie called Shadow of the Vampire told a fictional story of the making of Nosferatu, imagining that actor Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) was himself a genuine vampire, and that director F. W. Murnau (John Malkovich) was complicit in hiring the creature for the purposes of realism.
  • 2000 – Several episodes of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command feature the recurring villain NOS-4-A2, a robot that feeds off of the energy of anything mechanical.
  • 2001 - In the vampire anime Hellsing a member of the Iscariot Organization refers to the main character Alucard as "Nosferatu Alucard" in reference to his despicable demeanor and his occult supernatural powers which are far greater than any normal bitten vampire. As well Incognito, the Vampire towards the end of the series, are referred to as a "true Nosferatu".
  • 2002 – The movie Blade II introduces mutant vampires called Reapers that resemble Count Orlok.
  • 2002 - The film Star Trek: Nemesis features the villainous race called the Remans, who were designed based on the appearance of Count Orlok.
  • 2002 - On SpongeBob SquarePants, Orlok makes a cameo appearance at the end of the episode "The Graveyard Shift".
  • 2005– General Grievous, a new Star Wars villain, is based on various aspects of Nosferatu. Rob Coleman (one of the top VFX workers on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) when speaking about movements for the character is quoted as saying, "In fact, we talked about Fagin as well as classic vampire movies, including Nosferatu."
  • 2006– The character Uta Refson (Erica Cerra) [Nosferatu backwards] is introduced in the series The L Word. Uta Refson is shown to have a bony figure, very intense eyes, long sharp fangs and finger-nails, a casual avoidance of being seen in mirrors, exceptional stamina, a preference to only go out at night, an aversion to discussing religion and far greater strength than her body suggests.
  • 2006 - The Opie & Anthony Show on XM Satellite Radio has an intern that is known as Nosferatu because of his resemblance to Count Orlok.
  • 2006 - In the show Mr. Meaty, there is an episode involving a vampire named Natalie called "Nosferateens"


In addition to other works inspired by Nosferatu, the film the and its variant of the vampire legend has had a significant influence on Gothic rock and death metal music. The following list of references is by no means comprehensive.

  • 1922-1929 - American composer Aaron Copland's first ballet, Grohg, has a plot loosely based on and inspired by Nosferatu, involving a vampiric necromancer who brings his victims back to life. Copland adapted music from the ballet (which was never staged) into his Dance Symphony of 1929.
  • 1977 – The narrative song "Nosferatu" closes the album Spectres by Blue Öyster Cult.
  • 1979 - 'Nosferatu' was the title of an album by The Stranglers' lead-singer/guitarist Hugh Cornwell and Captain Beefheart percussionist Robert Williams.
  • 1982 – Clips from the film are included in British rock band Queen's (featuring David Bowie) Under Pressure video.
  • 1988 - UK based Gothic Rock band Nosferatu is formed, heavily influenced by classic horror, vampires, and vampyre subculture.
  • 1991 – "Nosferatu Man" is the name of a song on the album Spiderland by Slint.
  • 1993 – Nosferatu is mentioned in the Type O Negative song "Black no. 1".
  • 1995 - Illbient group Liminal released a soundtrack for the film; the recording was improvised as accompanying music when the film was screened at the Knitting Factory in New York City.[1]
  • 1996 - The Detroit-based horror rap group House of Krazees release a song called "Nosferatu" about the vampire of the film.
  • 1998 – German experimental krautrock band Faust releases Faust Wakes Nosferatu, an accompaniment or alternative soundtrack to the film. The vinyl and CD editions of the record, however, contain completely different music.
  • 1999 - The Swedish Progressive Metal band Evergrey has a track on their 1999 album Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy titled "Nosferatu."
  • 2001 - The American Groove Metal band "God Forbid" had a song entitled Nosferatu which is thematically based around the character of Count Orlock/Nosferatu.
  • 2002 - The music video to Farin Urlaubs second single, "Sumisu" is shot in the style of the movie and features Urlaub playing a character bearing strong resemblance to Count Orlok.
  • 2002 - Jill Tracy and The Malcontent Orchestra release the CD Into the Land of Phantoms, selections from their acclaimed score to Nosferatu.
  • 2006 - Metal Band, "pinkly smooth" wrote a song called "Nosferatu does a hefty dance"


  • 1932 - Tarzan comic strip by Harold Foster; shadow cast by unseen monster, also famously used by Frank Frazetta (see above image).
  • 1979 - The father of a female vampire in "The Lady of the House of Love" by Angela Carter from her book of short stories, "The Bloody Chamber" is named Nosferatu.
  • 1991 – Millennium Publications releases a four-part comic series, Nosferatu: Plague of Terror written by Mark Ellis with art by Rik Levins that provides an origin for Orlock separate and distinct from Dracula. The series also portrays his career after the events of the Murnau film.
  • 1992 - The Bat Boy story of Weekly World News debuts, with the title character resembling a young version of Nosferatu.
  • 1999 – Jean-Marc Lofficier wrote Superman's Metropolis, a trilogy of graphic novels for DC Comics, illustrated by Ted McKeever, the second of which was titled Batman Nosferatu. Batman's costume was remodeled to resemble Orlok's.
  • 2004 - In issue 14 of the Spectacular Spider-Man, Morbius the Living Vampire is drawn to look like Count Orlok.


  • 1991 – In White Wolf, Inc.'s Vampire: The Masquerade there exists a vampire clan of hideously deformed vampires known as the Nosferatu.
  • 1993 - Mortal Kombat 2 introduced a character called Baraka, for whom the live actor wore a modified Nosferatu mask during filming.
  • 1994 - The game Nosferatu by Seta USA pitted the player against Nosferatu in a bid to rescue his captured girlfriend.
  • 1997 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night featured an enemy named "Olrox" who resembles Orlock.
  • 1990-2005 – The name Nosferatu also exist as a dark magic spell in the video game series Fire Emblem. It later became a light spell in its latest installment and an enemy class. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.
  • In the game Resident Evil: Code Veronica, there exists a boss known as Nosferatu who loosely resembles Count Orlock.
  • In the game Warcraft 3, a custom map named 'Vampirism' was created which featured a vampire named Nosferatu.
  • In the game EVE Online, an item called Nosferatu exists. It sucks energy from the enemy. Ships fielding a "Nos" are so called Vampire-Setups.


Nosferatu at Google Video

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.