Dresden Files
Black Court

Black Court vampires.

Black Court vampires, which Harry Dresden nicknames blampires,[1] are a type of undead creature. Of the various creatures called "vampires", they represent the 'classic' vampire variety: undead corpses preying on living beings 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, similar to vampires in European folklore. Bram Stoker's book Dracula describes all the ways to kill a Black Court vampire, making them common knowledge. This resulted in most members of the Black Court being destroyed in the early 20th century.[2][3] 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".[2]

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.[4] As old vampires, they are pallid, translucent, with greyish skin, blue-tinged lips, and blue-grey filmy eyes.[2] They may look like a withered and dried corpse and the skin and hair might flake off.[5] Though they are extraordinarily strong, they weigh as much as a dried corpse,[6] and exude a nauseating cold and "ghostly charnel house scent" of old blood and rotting meat.[7]

A group of Black Court vampires is called a scourge.[3]

They are sensitive to garlic, tokens of faith, sunlight, running water, fire, and decapitation.[2][3] The Black Court can not cross a threshold at all.[8] They are helpless during the daytime and take measures to protect their lair.[3] According to Dresden, necromancy can be used against them.[9]

Their physical speed and strength seems to be superior to humans. They seem to be the most physically powerful of the courts.[3] 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 fine thralls and the more violent, insane, Renfields.[1] 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.[1]

In the series[]

Grave Peril[]

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

Blood Rites[]

In Blood Rites, a Black Court vampire sent by Mavra attacks Harry Dresden and Thomas Raith in the Blue Beetle at a guard booth. Dresden recognizes him as one that Mavra turned at Bianca St. Claire's ball. The stowaway Temple pup, later named Mouse, gives Dresden enough warning to defend himself with his spell-covered duster, holy-water balloons and Thomas's help.[11] Three Black Court vampires corner Dresden, Lara Raith, Thomas Raith who had just been shot by Lara, and Inari Raith outside Arturo Genosa's studio, but are fought off.[12] in 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 backup and Ebenezar McCoy as getaway driver,[13] Dresden and his team eliminate the scourge and rescue some children, although Dresden's hand is horribly burned by Mavra's crew in the process. It is assumed that Mavra died during the battle.[14]

Dead Beat[]

In Dead Beat, Mavra coerces Dresden into getting The Word of Kemmler for her.[5][9]

"It's My Birthday, Too[]

In "It's My Birthday, Too", Constance Bushnell attacks a party of players of "Evernight" in revenge of their treatment of her when she was alive. In the course of the attack, she kills and turns two security guards to act as her minions.[15]

Ghost Story[]

In Ghost Story,

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Battle Ground[]

In Battle Ground,

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Word of Jim[]

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.[16]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Blood Rites, ch. 27
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Grave Peril, ch. 28
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Blood Rites, ch. 3
  4. Blood Rites, ch. 16
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dead Beat, ch. 2
  6. Blood Rites, ch. 17
  7. Blood Rites, ch. 2
  8. Ghost Story, ch. 9
  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
  15. "It's My Birthday, Too"
  16. reddit

See also[]

External references[]