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SYFY WIRE Vampires

The best vampire lairs, from 'Renfield' to 'What We Do in the Shadows'

Vampires deserve memorable cribs too!

By Tara Bennett
Renfield Trailer

Technically, a vampire's best lair is inside a coffin. The body-sized box ends up having the best protection against light and pesky enemies who aren't fond of vampire eating habits. And they travel very well. Where Dracula, or his vampire kind, can get creative with their home base is the outside lair that serves as the home of said coffin.

Lairs often end up being the space where non-sleeping vampires spend a lot of their free time, perhaps entertaining or just brooding in style. In film and television, vampire lairs are often production design tour de forces, ranging anywhere from "rustic" to opulent and over-the-top. Getting a peek at a vampire's lair is the ultimate Pandora's Box temptation. Who doesn't want to see what lies beneath?But knowing is akin to assuring your ultimate ruin. 

RELATED: The most unexpected actors to play Dracula

With the recent release of Renfield, audiences get to see where Nic Cage's Dracula spends his time, in a lair that literally fuses blood and great design together. Inspired by those memorable visuals, SYFY WIRE was inspired to dig into some of the more interesting examples of lair chic in vampire film and television, which we've curated down to some of our design favorites. 


Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult in Renfield (2023)

Cage's Dracula uses his lair as a space to convalesce after particularly gnarly run-ins with humans or vampire hunters in the outside world. In Renfield, Drac's latest crib is an abandoned New Orleans hospital which means the design aesthetic is essentially medical supply nouveau. Drac and his familiar create a blood bag throne for him to sit upon as he drinks to better health. And there are plenty of old gurney's, body bags, and medical supplies laying around to aid in Drac's nightly feed too. Add some moody green and red lighting, and voila! You've got yourself one stylish vampire lair that matches the style of Cage's mighty vamp.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Master's Lair 

In the first season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Chosen One — Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) — grabbed her leather jacket and crossbow to finally face down the season's Big Bad, the ancient vampire known as The Master. His creepy underground lair went for the traditional vamp look, replete with plenty of cobwebs, moody candles, and lots of dramatic lighting. It gave off an aura of "old" mixed with timeless power, which put Buffy on edge. And it sure made for a great backdrop to have the two titans of the supernatural world face off. 

What We Do in the Shadows 

Of course the vampires of FX's What We Do in the Shadows would choose a rundown Victorian in Staten Island as their lair. The less than hospitable home holds the coffins of Laszlo, Nadja, and Nador the vampires. It's got three stories plus an attic and even holds the coffins of long-time vampire friends when they visit. Full of fussy gothic furniture, heavy tapestries, and knickknacks from their centuries of existence, their lair is well-suited to these misfits. Just mind the holes in the floor. 

The Lost Boys

It's not the prettiest of lairs, but the vampires of Santa Carla in The Lost Boys really have their fun top side, where by night, they terrorize the local humans looking like a scary bike gang. But during the day, they hang upside down in a hole that is eventually found by Sam (Corey Haim) and the Frog Brothers. Let's say this lair is the most utilitarian but it's also an effectively scary backdrop for a major confrontation in the film. 

Love at First Bite

When you have George Hamilton playing a vampire in 1979, you better believe his lair is going to be groovy and hip for the times. As a playboy vampire more interested in wooing the love of his life, Hamilton's Dracula gets to be suave and have a pad fit for the seducer he's made out to be in the film. Is his lair dated by today's standards? Sure is! But you gotta see this place to believe it. 

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Looking for the ultimate decaying castle lair, look no further than Francis Ford Coppola's take on Dracula (Gary Oldman). Another traditional take on where the ultimate vampire resides, the film gives us huge ornaments, impressive castle walls, and plenty of nooks and crannies to hold writhing succubus and Drac's ancient coffin. As goth as you can get, this version of Dracula's lair is memorable for its scale and detail. 

We prefer our vampires and familiars to remain fictional. Fortunately, Renfield is in theaters now. Get tickets here!