The purpose of the study is to illustrate the symbolical values of vampirism and the vampire in terms of social history through Russian writer Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy's short stories The Family of the Vourdalak (Sem'ya vurdalaka) and The Vampire (Upyr ') within the framework of sociology of literature. The vampire, which is one of the important characters of gothic fiction describes mythological and folkloric creatures. The study includes etymological views on the Turkish and Slavic origins of the word vampire /vourdalak and the similarities between the witch and vampire beliefs. It has been determined that witch belief in the Ottoman Empire corresponds to the vampire in the West, as a result of review of folkloric and historical literature.
Fictional Turkish bandit Alibek contaminates vampirism to peasants and Ottoman janissaries are equaled to vampires in Tolstoy’s The Family of the Vourdalak. The reasons of the bad reputation of janissaries which even Tolstoy heared about was investigated. In the Ottoman Empire the vampire-type blood-sucking creatures were mentioned in 16th century in Shaykh al-Islām Ebûssuûd Efendi's fatwas. Also vampires were associated with jannissaries as a result of the propaganda (known as Witches of Tirnova) carried out to legitimize the abolition of the Jannissary Corps in 1826.
According to Karl Marx: "Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks." His political metaphor throughout history has been used multifacetedly as an accusation towards the others: Europeans towards Slavs; Slavs towards Turks, and finally Turks towards (not only non-muslims but also) certain groups of the same religion and nation. It is cleared through the study that vampirism is used as a sociopolitical metaphor sometimes to awaken class conssiousness and sometimes to otherize.
Key words: Gothic, Slavic folklore, witch-hunt in Ottoman Empire, vampire/vourdalak, A.K. Tolstoy.