Dracula essentially invented the modern vampire mythos. Before the novel, vampires and vampire folklore mostly portrayed the creatures as pathetic mindless beasts which rose from the grave to feast on the living (in fact, they were much closer to what we would now understand as zombies). Although a few instances of Stoker-like Vampires popped up earlier, it was Stoker who injected an element of dark romance and Christian sin into the idea of the vampire.