Most of us have at one point encountered someone who looked like a vampire. Perhaps you were at a night club or encountered a LARPer (Live Action Roleplayer), or maybe it was just Halloween. Even the most conservative folks have at least a curiosity about vampires, but some claim that vampires are real, and that vampirism itself is a condition.
Vampires exist in our society in many forms. It is fact that Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, did a large amount of folkloric research on vampirism and Transylvania. Of all legendary creatures, it seems most likely that vampires could, in some form or shade of the truth, be real.
Vampires in Society: Fiction, LARP, and Lifestyle
Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire and its later film adaptation suggested that some stereotypes, at least as far as vampires in the book and film were concerned, did not apply to vampires. While Anne Rice’s vampires could not survive in natural sun light, the character Lestat in particular enjoyed crosses
There are also the aforementioned LARPers. These gamers sometimes play games such as Vampire: The Masquerade, which allows the gamers to assume vampire characters that they create. Imagine acting out the more social role playing aspects of Dungeons & Dragons. Most gamers enjoy dressing the part and many LARPers, even the most intense, leave their fangs behind when the role play is over.
Some individuals choose to express themselves as lifestyle vampires. These people enjoy the culture, drama, media representation, and history associated with vampires and vampirism. These individuals might call themselves vampires or become known as such. They may or may not consume blood but do not feel a particular need or desire to do so.
The True Vampire: A Need for Blood
There is a strong community out there calling themselves vampires. They assert that vampirism is who they are, just like some people happen to be gay. Essentially, those defining themselves as vampires feel an innate need to consume blood. This need generally surfaces around the teenage years and is known as an ‘awakening.’
Some such vampires are open to the belief that this could be a psychological condition of some sort, but they assert that the need is inherent and physical. Most vampires dispel the idea of turning, an idea seen often in fiction during which one vampire can turn a person into a vampire.
These humans do in fact feed on blood. Attacking others and unwillingly taking blood is strongly discouraged among the vampire community, however, due to concerns of ethics and blood borne diseases such as HIV. Instead, vampires seek out donors who will willingly offer up blood. Vampires do not bite as it is obviously messy and unsanitary.
The vampiric individual will make a small incision and drink the blood that leaks out. Despite popular belief, many people who claim to be ‘real’ vampires do not equate their condition with sex or ‘feed’ during sex.
Resource for Vampires
The striking thing about ‘real’ vampires is that not all of them seem to want the lifestyle that has been apparently given to them naturally. The top ranked website about vampirism, Sanguinarius.org, features FAQs and serious discussions about vampirism as well as some further information on how real vampirism differs from that in books and films.
Visitors are most frequently stunned by the fact that many vampires have donors willing to let blood for vampires. There is also a large amount of information on avoiding cults and safe blood-letting behavior.
Regardless of what the majority of society believes, there is truth in legend: many individuals do believe themselves to be vampires. Furthermore, society’s interest in vampires is alive and well, even if most people are just more comfortable reading Dracula.