Published on November 6, 2012 | by Amy Tanikie-Montagnani2
I want to suck your bloodFrom Dracula to Edward Cullen, vampires are a part of popular culture.
But are they real, and why are we so obsessed with them?
Most of us have watched a film or a television programme focusing on the urban legend of vampires.
But although most people may be hooked to the screen every week as they watch their favourite bloodsucker-based series, or dress up as one for Halloween, others take their obsession with these supernatural beings a step further.
Fangtasia London True Blood Vampire Club inspired by the popular television series starring Anna Paquin, runs a night once a month and boasts: ‘The ultimate explosion of swamp-laden True Blood vampire sexiness!
“Death, drinking, dancing and debauchery in the swamp lands of East London”, and claims to have “a love for most things supernatural, especially [the] vampiric.”
The club asserts itself as a place for those who want to live out the roles of characters in television shows and films True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and The Twilight Saga.
Those who simply enjoy dressing up as vampires, whether it be on a day-to-day basis or once a month, are ‘lifestylers’, who often refer to themselves as ‘vampyres’, a distinction from the undead definition of the word ‘vampire.’
Then there are those who take their interest in vampires one step further than dressing up or claiming to live off the life force of others, known as ‘psychic’ vampires.
“I forward to the gatherings so I can dine on blood and fulfil my craving for another month…”Pyretta Blaze
A type of vampire known as ‘Sanguinarians’ (from the Latin word sanguinarius which translates as ‘bloodthirsty’) are people who actually drink human – and sometimes even animal blood.
Sanguinarius.org claims that it “does not deal with fiction [or] folklore” but is dedicated to providing information on, as well as supporting ‘real’ vampires.
The website realvampirenews.com asked some of its members whether they encountered any difficulty going without ‘feeding’ for any length of time?
To which a Sanguinarian, Drake Mefestta replied: “Yes, my longest time to date was around one month. I would encounter difficulties if not on a bi-weekly regimen.”
Another Sanguinarian, Starline07, experienced similar negative effects when not getting their regular blood fix saying: “When I go without feeding, I get lethargic, my insomnia worsens [and] I become sick easily.”
Drinking human blood
Last year, The Sun ran a story on its website which focused on a woman named Pyretta Blaze, a member of an underground vampire movement (of which at the time there was an estimated 3,000 participants) and how she drank “human blood at vampire parties”.
“Some people say they drink the blood of Christ, I drink real blood, so I guess it shouldn’t be different.” Michael
Pyretta admits how she looks “forward to the gatherings so I can dine on blood and fulfil my craving for another month … It’s an amazing experience. I leave feeling like I have been completely reborn and energised.”
But Pyretta warns that: “being a vampire is a lifelong commitment,” and that people who attend the parties are psychologically evaluated by vampire ‘elders’ to check they are not “just movie-obsessed kids who think it’s cool.”
Channel 4’s documentary Teenage Vampires first aired in November 2011 and starts by telling the viewer how young people are being drawn to this subculture.
The documentary makers then travel to America to look into the lives of a group of teenagers who believe themselves to be real vampires and have taken extreme measures to be a part of the cult.
“I thought it was cool… so I looked it up and I thought hey some of this stuff I could do, some of this stuff reminds me of myself so I kept looking into it and I [realised] I’m a vampire.” David
One 18-year-old girl, Michael, claims to have begun drinking blood at the age of 14 and says she experiences a “really weird rush.”
Living in the deeply Christian town of San Antonio, Texas she commented that: “Some people say they drink the blood of Christ, I drink real blood, so I guess it shouldn’t be different.”
Real blood is usually shared between vampyres although it is also possible to meet donors online.
On the subject of Hollywood vampires, like many seen in films and on television, Michael points out: “There is a huge difference between them [and me]…Hollywood vampires can’t have garlic. I love garlic, it’s good for your heart!”
She also says that Hollywood vampires, “sleep in coffins, I like to sleep in a comfy bed.”
Despite the differences to many Hollywood vampires, Michael’s fellow vampire David, said the first thing that ignited his desire to find out more about vampires was after watching a Hollywood film.
David says, “I thought I was a demon at first but I really didn’t know exactly what I was. Then I saw a movie about vampires, I think it was Queen of the Damned.
“I thought it was cool… so I looked it up and I thought hey some of this stuff I could do, some of this stuff reminds me of myself. So I kept looking into it and I [realised] I’m a vampire.”
The documentary narrator explains that David was, “fascinated by the supernatural and the occult and it seems he just borrowed those parts of vampire fiction that made sense of how he felt.”
Michael and David both belong to a group known as The Crimson Blood Wolf Pack ,which is a mixture of both vampires and werewolves.
But unlike films such as Twilight, where vampires and werewolves have a long running feud, the members of Michael’s gang see themselves as “family”.
If you’re considering giving into the bloodlust, just remember, being a vampire is forever, not just for Halloween.