One night Laura imagines that she sees Carmilla “drenched in blood,” which is appropriate, since blood is the physical manifestation of Laura’s anxiety about Carmilla’s dangerous sexuality. In other words, Laura dreams of Carmilla covered in blood because she has worked so hard to repress her attraction to Carmilla, and blood is the symbol of female desire, specifically female homosexual desire. When Carmilla describes her perception of love to Laura, she swears that love must include sacrifices, and that there is “no sacrifice without blood.” Carmilla’s understanding of love is therefore presented as dangerous, which proves true, as her “love” leads to the illness and death of her victims. Baron Vordenburg says that blood “supplies the vigor” of the vampire, and Carmilla feeds off the blood of those to whom she is sexually attracted, simultaneously killing them and sexually satisfying them. Because the blood is evocative of menstruation—of girls becoming women and discovering their own sexuality—blood is the very thing that fuels Carmilla’s illicit desire. In Carmilla’s tomb, Laura’s father, General Spielsdorf, and the Baron find Carmilla’s body in a pool of blood—Carmilla literally needs to bathe herself in the blood of her victims to re-charge, as she draws energy and strength from the young girls she has bitten. Once Carmilla’s head is cut off, a “torrent of blood” flows from her neck. In this moment, Carmilla is finally defeated, not so much because the men have destroyed her body, but more because they have drained it of blood, which is her life force, representing the lust and sexuality that drives her.
Blood Quotes in Carmilla
Here then, were all the admitted signs and proofs of vampirism. The body, therefore, in accordance with the ancient practice, was raised, and a sharp stake driven through the heart of the vampire, who uttered a piercing shriek at the moment, in all respects such as might escape from a living person in the last agony. Then the head was struck off, and a torrent of blood flowed from the severed neck….and that territory has never since been plagued by the visits of a vampire.