Well now, after hearing Mr. Young decry that there’s no difference between the two, I shall have to educate him on the matter. Again.
A “Dhampir” is a half human, half vampire (the word itself comes from two Albanian words “pire” and “dham” which stand for “drink” and “teeth” respectively.) The odds of this happening are slim and there are very few instances, but it happens. The child is born from a male vampire and a human mother, it does not work the other way around. A vampiric mother will give birth to a vampire even if the male donor is human. The female vampire’s genes will always dominate the male’s.
It’s been known to happen that a woman would freely give herself to a vampire lover, usually not knowing that her lover is such a creature until it is too late. However more likely, since it’s been recorded as far back as 1593 in what is now known as Slovenia, that the male vampires have raped their intended targets while biting them. IF the woman survives and becomes pregnant, the child has a very high probability of becoming a dhampir.
The dhampir is very much a vampire in nature, requiring plasma from blood to sustain themselves. However, they do have human characteristics and can sustain themselves by eating food if necessary. Dhampir have been known to walk in bright sunlight as well, although the level of UV rays they can handle differ from creature to creature. It depends on whether or not the father could tolerate any sunlight at all, as it is possible for some vampires to walk in very low levels of sunlight without their skin burning from the UV sunlight.
The dhampir is a very formidable foe, a vampire without the vampire weaknesses. They are a rare creature but just as dangerous. That Mr. Young ran into a pack of such things is frightening indeed.
(There are even rarer instances where the dhampir is much weaker than a human, although there is very little information on this phenomenon and I wouldn’t presume that if I ran into a dhampir that it would be in such a state.)
Being part vampire, they are susceptible to the usual ways of dispatching a normal vampire. An oak stake through the heart and decapitation is the ideal way to dispatch a dhampir. Guns, which have little effect on vampires, do some damage and slow dhampir down and are useful when used in conjunction with the manner of killing a vampire.
Defending yourselves is difficult. They are faster and stronger than a human. They can bite anywhere, particularly where your major arteries are, to get the sustenance they need. Wearing anything thick and bite-proof over these areas is vital for survival. If your intent is to kill, it’s best to start attacking from far away with your gun or crossbow and work your way up to the wounded creature to finish it off. A direct attack will yield poor results unless you are expertly trained in self-defense and even then you may be in more trouble than you think.