The name for a community of vampires is a seethe. Each seethe is ruled by a mistress or master.
Some vampires prefer to live alone and will not allow other vampires to live within their territory.
Vampires have superhuman strength (enough to pull up young trees), speed, and reflexes. They can see in the dark. They do not need to breathe and do not tire noticeably after extended physical exertion.
Some vampires have unique abilities such as teleportation, invisibility, or proficiency with magic.
As true undead, vampires cannot be harmed by normal means. They are generally susceptible to several techniques but it is best to combine a number of different ways such as staking, beheading, and then burning. A dead vampire is ashes.
- Sunlight - Direct sunlight will burn a vampire. Extended exposure will cause them to combust, killing them.
- Holy relics - By themselves, symbols such as crosses do not cause vampires harm. However, if a faithful person (a "believer" in whichever religion the symbol is associated with) wields it, a vampire will be repelled by it.
- Wooden stake - Pierced through the heart will paralyze the vampire as long as it is in its place.
- Fire - An very effective technique and one of the most reliable methods for killing vampires as they apparently burn up like wood.
- Holy water-Acts like acid but is not as effective as in the movies. Stefan has said that it would most likely take a swimming pool of holy water to kill a vampire.
- Beheading - Capable of killing a vampire but more likely to just paralyse them. If you don't finish them off they might come back bent on revenge.