Vampires tend to symbolize unearthly power, sensuality and all of the unknown qualities of life. However, vampire tattoos are one of the more uncommon pieces. Due to their enduring appeal, though, it is possible that they may one day take the lead in the horror tattoo genre.
Many vampire tattoos feature one of the most recognizable characters in history: Dracula! There are a variety of ways to depict Dracula; a debonair gentleman with slicked back hair, tailored suit, cape and fangs. The image of Nosferatu is also a popular depiction. This vampire, unlike its stylish counterpart, has a more preternatural appeal. He is dressed in a dowdy sheath and has a bat-like appearance, with long, pointed ears, nails and front teeth, dark lined eyes and a bald head. Both of these depictions can be shown alone, in a portrait or in a scene. For instance, there are a plethora of scenes showing the vampire, his face hovering longingly near the neck of a lovely, sleeping woman; the character transforming into a bat, or wolf; or even being obliterated by the sharp, bright rays of the sun. One unique idea would be to use the outline of Nosferatu, giving the appearance of his shadow moving independently of him.
Vampire tattoos do not necessarily have to depict the vampire all unto itself. It is not unusual for people to use things such as bleeding bite marks, a fanged bat, a vampire skull, or even a hand slowly lifting the lid of an elaborate coffin. One interesting idea would be to show the image of a vampire peering into a mirror that tells nothing of his reflection. You might also try creating a female vampire. Most of these designs are similar to a more gothic rendition of a pin up tattoo; however, you can also create a Victorian lady, either with a firm corset and heavy skirt, or in one of the more billowy night dresses of the time. She may be blatantly vampiric — with large exposed fangs, dark rings around her eyes, and claws for fingers — or it may be more obscure. One example of this would be to show a feminine, pale and fair haired lady daintily wiping a drop of blood from her lips.
You may see yourself in some of the strange and enticing qualities of these characters, or you may simply be fascinated by their lore. Either way, vampire tattoos are a great expression of all of these interesting qualities.