Harry Potter featured a number of magical creatures and beings taken from folklore all over the world, such as werewolves and elves, and J.K. Rowling made sure she added one of the most famous (and beloved) beings in pop culture: vampires, although they didn’t have a big role in the series. J.K. Rowling introduced readers all over the world to her very own Wizarding World in 1997 with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first entry in a series that came to an end in 2007 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, with a total of seven books.
Throughout the series, readers learned (along with Harry) all about the Wizarding World, its hierarchy and rules, the many threats that lived there, and all the magical creatures and beings that coexisted with wizards. Harry Potter paid special attention to magical animals, as seen in the guidebook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, it also introduced other types of beings, such as werewolves (like Remus Lupin) and vampires, though these last ones were left aside during most of the series.
Those who are not familiar with the Harry Potter books might not be aware of the existence of vampires in the Wizarding World, as they were left out completely from the films – although the only vampire Harry meets, Sanguini, can be seen at Slughorn’s party in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Vampires don’t have a big presence in the books either, making it fairly easy for those who read the series to forget about them. J.K. Rowling has already explained why, saying that the vampire myth is so rich and has been used so many times in both literature and film that she felt there wasn’t much she could add to it. She did, however, have a vampire character planned during the early stages of the first book: Trocar, a teacher. Rowling didn’t think much of him as a character, and he “disappeared fairly early” in her notes.
As previously mentioned, the only vampire Harry comes across with is Sanguini, who attended Slug Club Christmas party as the guest of Eldred Worple, a former (favorite) student of Slughorn and a writer who has studied vampires. In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, scenes with Sanguini (played by Charlie Bennison) were cut, but he can be seen in the background when Filch catches Malfoy crashing the party. As Rowling also points out in her notes about vampires, there was a rumor for a long time that Severus Snape was one, given his look and attitude, but this is obviously not true – he just likes wearing black and act all mysterious.
Vampires are one of the most popular and beloved beings in the horror genre and pop culture in general, and while it’s true that they have been used (maybe a bit too much) in literature, film, and television, people are still open to new interpretations of them. However, and given the amount of magical creatures the Harry Potter universe had, leaving them out was for the best, as it allowed Rowling to explore other beings and storylines.