Vampire powers are seemingly limitless, and their weaknesses are few. How many times have you wished you could fly or read minds? How about shapeshift?
Given that vampires are immortal and gain power as they consume energy and life from others via blood or energy, they have ample time and strength to learn magic and abilities of all sorts. Being able to travel in the form of mist or smoke and possessing unearthly charisma is just the tip of the vampiric iceberg. Vampires can be healed by moonlight, adapt to sunlight (new one on me), and become invisible at will. From what I have found in older vampire lore, the older they are, the stronger and more gifted they become. (That is a nice spin on aging, in my opinion.)
Most vampires are also able to seduce not only your mind, but your soul as well. Perhaps they are consuming the soul, as well? Given that not just everybody is willing to offer themselves up to a blood-sucking demon, I suppose that one could be considered a survival skill of sorts. I know not every vampire fiction fan is a fan of the Twilight series, but I thought giving Bella the ability to shield the entire clan and thereby be the hero at the end was a great character arc. The whole time, you think Edward will always rescue her, but it is Bella that rescues him and more than once. I think this is an underappreciated aspect of the books.
In vampire lore, vampire powers are more practical. For instance, the undead have been granted unnatural strength and superhuman senses. Supernatural eyesight, including night vision and heat sensing capabilities, bolsters their hunting prowess while other senses such as hearing, smell, and taste have also been enhanced. Many vampire legends also attribute lightning fast speed to the vampire.
Let’s not forget their supernatural beauty. Attractiveness and unearthly beauty are not always part of a vampire’s repertoire of powers, but I think it’s a valid one given that us humans would be like moths to a flame just on account of this one attribute.
While they are but few, vampires do have certain weaknesses, though I have seen only a few methods that can be employed to actually kill them. In most lore, the sun equals instant death. Vampire death ain’t pretty. Holy water, applicable only to the demon possessed or demon originated vampires, can kill or weaken them. Sometimes I think that one may just be a symbolic representation of our hope that good will always prevail over evil and that hopefully, nothing exists that we cannot stop – somehow.
In dark fantasy, crucifixes, garlic, and silver are all said to weaken them, but even a weak vampire is still a vampire. Ultimately, if one is not courageous (or silly) enough to get close enough to stake them through the heart with a stake made from the wood of a white oak, then fire is the only remaining foolproof way to kill a vampire.
In other words, you don’t stand a chance.