Black Court

Black Court vampires are a type of undead creature. Of the various creatures called "vampires", they represent the 'classic' vampire variety: undead corpses 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, now undead, similarity to vampires in European folklore. They have been around since the "dawn of human memory", and Bram Stoker's[Footnote 1] book Dracula[Footnote 2] contains descriptions of all the means by which to kill a Black Court vampire, which made those means common knowledge. This resulted in most members of the Black Court being destroyed in the early 20th century.[1][2] 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".[1]

As young vampires, their faces look slightly skeletal, they commonly have long dirty fingernails and dried blood staining their faces and throats; some may have lividity marks.[Footnote 3][3] As old vampires, they are pallid, translucent, with greyish skin, blue-tinged lips, and blue-grey filmy eyes.[1] They may look like a withered and dried corpse and the skin and hair might flake off.[4] Though they are extraordinarily strong, they weigh as much as a dried corpse,[5] and exude a nauseating cold and "ghostly charnel house[Footnote 4] scent" of old blood and rotting meat.[6]

A group of Black Court vampires is called a scourge.[2]

They are sensitive to garlic, tokens of faith, sunlight, running water, fire, and decapitation.[1][2] The Black Court can not cross a threshold at all.[7] They are helpless during the daytime and take measures to protect their lair.[2] According to Dresden, necromancy can be used against them.[8]

Their physical speed and strength seems to be superior to humans. They seem to be the most physically powerful of the courts.[2] Mavra was able to move so fast as to be only a blur.[1] Vampires seem capable of exerting a certain mind control and are able to create fine thralls and the more violent, insane, Renfields.[9] 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, and are known to use Darkhounds.[9]

In the seriesEdit

Grave PerilEdit

In Grave Peril, at Bianca's Ball, Mavra threatens Dresden and prevents his escaping with Susan Rodriguez and Michael Carpenter.[1] During the court session, Mavra attempts to unmake Amoracchius by killing Lydia.[10]

Blood RitesEdit

In Blood Rites, a Black Court vampire sent by Mavra attacked Harry Dresden and Thomas Raith in the Blue Beetle at a guard booth. Dresden recognized him as one that Mavra turned at Bianca's Ball. The stow-away Temple pup, later named Mouse, gave Dresden enough warning to defend himself with hits spell-covered duster, holy-water balloons and Thomas's help.[11] Three Black Court vampires corner Dresden, 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, Dresden 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] Dresden and team rescued some children, Dresden's hand got horribly burned by Mavra's crew, and it was assumed she died.[14]

Dead BeatEdit

In Dead Beat, Mavra coerces Dresden into getting The Word of Kemmler for her.[4][8]

Word of JimEdit

Black Court Vamps are a different story. They're actually tainted by something hideous and unworldly. They are driven to kill to survive. They don't really have a lot of choice about it. They enjoy being what they are, and doing what they do. They can be sad that they don't have someone who loves them, or upset that the world has passed them by and has changed on them, but at the end of the day, they're basically black-hearts who occasionally pull out a few of the tattered remains of their humanity, fail to fit back into them like they used to, and get maudlin about their glory days when they could watch the sun rise.Jim Butcher on Black Court vampires.[15]


  1. Bram Stoker - wikipedia
  2. Dracula - wikipedia
  3. Livor mortis - wikipedia
  4. Charnel house - wikipedia


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Grave Peril, ch. 28
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Blood Rites, ch. 3
  3. Blood Rites, ch. 16
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dead Beat, ch. 2
  5. Blood Rites, ch. 17
  6. Blood Rites, ch. 2
  7. Ghost Story, ch. 9
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dead Beat, ch. 43
  9. 9.0 9.1 Blood Rites, ch. 27
  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
  15. reddit

See alsoEdit

External referencesEdit