The ritual usually takes place inside a desecrated church, where an abducted maiden is placed over a coffin containing the remains of Count Dracula and is sacrificed by plunging a sword through her heart, making the dripping warm blood to moist the remains inside and awaken the vampire. When this happens, thunder and lightning usually join the moment, and a great surge of energy emerges and shatters the coffin to pieces, often killing some of the attendants. A variation of this ritual has the leader of the ceremony hack out the heart of the maiden, hold it in his hand and squeeze it, making it explode and splattering the blood all over the coffin which rests on an altar.
The most well-known of these rituals took place in 1792, when it was leaded by the dark priest Shaft. However, not every time Dracula has returned from the dead has required the celebration of a black mass. Five years later, in 1797, Shaft's soul —now transferred into a crystal ball after dying at the hands of Richter Belmont— was able to orchestrate a chain of events which culminated with the resurrection of Dracula at the Reverse Castle Center.
While both Castlevania Chronicles and Super Castlevania IV are considered to be retellings of the first game, each one takes a different approach as to how Dracula came back to life. In Chronicles, a formal black mass is held, while in Super Castlevania IV it is stated that every one hundred years the forces of good mysteriously start to weaken and the forces of evil gain a foothold into our world, manifesting themselves in the form of Dracula and allowing him to rise from the grave.
During the events of Simon's Quest, although not an actual black mass, it was Simon Belmont himself who had the task to seek and burn Dracula's relics at the deepest chamber of his abandoned castle in order to destroy him, but because he had been unaware of the existence of the fang relic, he ended up accidentally reviving him instead, although he nonetheless managed to destroy his ghost.
In the opening for Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, a black mass is held by Actrise, Gilles de Rais and Death to resurrect Count Dracula. The ending of the game features a similar black mass, only instead of sacrificing a maiden, it made use of a crystal containing Cornell's man-beast powers to reincarnate Dracula. Likewise, a black mass was also held by Camilla to resurrect Dracula in Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, which involved her making an incantation on a coffin that presumably belonged to Dracula himself. However, it was only sufficient to revive him, causing him to require an additional ritual involving the full moon and a human sacrifice (Morris Baldwin) to fully restore his power, an attempt that was foiled by Nathan Graves. A similar ceremony to the above was depicted in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, which required a slain/corrupted Devil Forgemaster to be placed in a coffin that presumably contained Dracula's life essence to have the corpse/body physically transform into Dracula, with Death helming the ceremony. However, the Devil Forgemaster needed to have a sufficient amount of power for Dracula to regain his full strength, as otherwise he could still be felled, as evidenced by how he ended up defeated by Hector due to Dracula being forced to use Isaac as a substitute when the former failed to succumb to the curse.
Although technically not a black mass, Barlowe's plan to "destroy" (in reality resurrect) Dracula dealt with a similar premise, namely using Shanoa as an unknowing sacrifice to revive Dracula via the Dominus glyphs. However, this failed after Albus, a defecting member of the order, informed her the truth of what Barlowe was intending to do. The ritual itself was nonetheless successful due to Barlowe offering himself in place of Shanoa to destroy the vessel containing Dracula's spirit, being implied by the darkness emanating from the vessel and Shanoa's comment about sensing a new power, that Dracula's spirit possessed Barlowe long enough to ensure that the ritual was a success.
- "Black Mass" is also the name of the opening track on Castlevania Chronicle Akumajō Dracula Original Soundtrack.
- The Abbey Ruins is the place where the black mass is held, resulting in the resurrection of Dracula. This stage is a reference to the intro of Castlevania Chronicles.
- Black Mass at Wikipedia