It’s Anne Rice’s fault isn’t it? She started the whole sorry affair back in 1976 with her novel, Interview with the Vampire, a tale of dark gothic splendour, of tormented immortals, of beautiful, passionate men consumed by enthralling gothic melodrama. It captured the zeitgeist in a world dealing with ‘tainted love’ in the form of AIDS. It presented a world in which the vampire was an anti-hero, something to be wary of but also to be deeply attracted to in a way never seen before in books or film.
Rice drew on the enduring and beguiling desire to be vibrant, potent and forever young. Teens and young adults who shared this dream had found their niche; Goths had another link to others of their ilk, and a new genre of erotic, romantic, brooding horror was born. Fast forward 35 years and the number of cash-ins, me-toos and knock-offs is straining the shelves at the local bookstores and filling our TV schedules and cinemas with tales of attractive, guys and gals emoting and brooding all over the place. Gone is the freshness of Rice’s classic tale, lost in a slew of the good and the bad.
The so-called modern vampire belongs to an alternative lifestyle firmly rooted to this popular fiction and incorporating many aspects of goth culture and the occasional influence of sadomasochism. There are the sanguniarian vampires who enjoy or desire the taste of human blood and there are those who class themselves as psychic vampires who believe they are drawing spiritual energy from their victims’ aura.
Erik and Victoria Downie
This couple are crazy for the film series based on Stephanie Meyer’s books, the Twilight saga. So keen are they that they chose to marry on Halloween in 2005, dressed in black and complete with bespoke fangs. Biomedical scientist, Victoria, was hooked by Interview with the Vampire and civil servant, Erik, found his path through The Lost Boys. Victoria realised her goth vibe when she decided that at age eight she wanted to marry in black, and enjoy wearing Victorian-style gowns with corsets. ‘We just think we are normal. I don’t think vampires exist in the way they are depicted by Hollywood. I think they are spiritual beings.’Readmore.
This gent had a brush with vampires when working late nights and met with a security guard who was more than what he appeared. During his shift he saw him making his own chainmail rings and sporting filed down incisors. Being a modern day vampire entailed the fashioning of mediaeval armour and adhering to a solitary, nocturnal lifestyle. Zartimus dallied with this creature of the night but only went as far as the contact lenses and false, slip-on fangs. Being a member of a reclusive ‘vampire’ clan offered the gentleman spiritual peace and a feeling of belonging not felt in the ‘real world’. For him being a ‘vampire’ was a way of being confident and at peace with his life, dentally augmented pointy teeth and all.
The self-styled ‘Vampire Don’ is part of a development agency working with gothic and alternative models. His medical condition, fibromyalgia, is alleviated by his tendency to sleep in a coffin and avoid the sunlight. He drinks human blood – something that poses significant health risks and something that isn’t overly exposed in the stylish, glossy media that accompanies the modern vampire. He has also had his teeth filed into points. Henrie is an occasional model himself and is seen on the Sy-Fy reality show Mad Mad House.
‘My personal belief: Vampirism is an inexplicable part of science that we don’t understand yet. When we associate ourselves with the word ‘vampire,’ we’re describing the relationship that we have with the people around us.’ For Seraphim (his ‘vampire’ name) it wasn’t the need for blood but the need for spiritual energy that drove his hunger. As a chronic migraine sufferer, Anshar received help from a Reiki practitioner and it was this revelation of healing energies that he made a connection and a leap to a realisation of his dearth of spiritual energy. He now believes he can drain pranic energy from nearby people and since this time his headaches have disappeared. According to an interview with abc.com news he said, ‘he has a diverse collection of friends. Many of them are also vampires and members of House Lost Haven, a close-knit, semi-formal group of vampires and ‘otherkins’ who believe that their souls are connected to nonhuman creatures’.
Malawi, South East Africa
Modern vampires seem to be far removed from ‘real’ vampires, instead being a selection of touchy-feely, in-tune-with-their-emotions outsiders. In December 2002, reports of vampire attacks on villagers made international news. Women and children came forward, complaining that they had been forcibly restrained and had blood drawn from their arms by needles. Villagers had become so terrified they had killed a man they believed to be responsible. During this time, strangers to the area would be met with suspicion and hostility. Three Roman Catholic priests were assaulted in Thyolo and a man who had been suspected of collusion with the vampires was stoned to death. The president of Malawi accused his political opposition party of spreading rumours and malice that lead to such widespread hysteria.
This news story should really bring it home about ‘vampires’. When it comes down to it there is one problem of the genre – vampires are foul, stinking, undead sub-humans with no redeeming features to speak of (unless you count festering away in one body for all eternity of course).
Why any woman would want to make love to a foetid, stone cold, animated corpse is quite unbelievable. The same goes for guys – what on earth would be the attraction? Should such a creature exist, a vampire is definitely something you don’t want to get involved with, a predator with no remorse
We’re all familiar with the history of ‘real-life’ vampires that influenced Abraham Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula. From tales of the past we see how the ‘vampire’ lifestyle is not one to be emulated.
Countess Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed
Hungarian noblewoman, Bathory is renowned for her torturing and the killing of up to 650 victims and bathing in their blood in her lust for immortality. Her sins earned her the titles of dubious distinction: ‘Blood Countess’ and ‘Blood Queen’. She died, age 64 in 1614, at Csejte Castle, a prisoner for her crimes. Her conviction for the murder of 80 girls shocked the nation but it fell to the families of the victims of the untried murders to seek solace in the countess’s incarceration. To this day Bathory is still regarded as the world’s most prolific serial killer.
Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia
Son of Vlad II of the Order of the Dragon (Dracul), Vlad Tepes was known by his patronymic as Dracula (son of the Dragon). It was after the tyrant Vlad III’s death that he became known as ‘Vlad the Impaler’. During his lifetime of 43 years that ended in 1476, he spent much of his time in war and campaign, hell bent on expanding his Empire across Europe. He would have his enemies impaled on poles as a warning and a show of intent to any who would stand against him. It is estimated that deaths attributed to this infamously cruel and excessively brutal warlord are in the tens of thousands, his notoriety heightened by the sadistic pleasure he took in torturing his enemies. Historians have seen records that recount how Mehmed II, the famed ‘Conqueror of Constantinople’ retreated back to his own lands after witnessing the sickening sight of 20,000 rotting, impaled corpses outside Vlad’s capital city of Targoviste.
It is thanks to the meticulous records of an Austrian administrator, Kameralprovisor Frombald, that this early case of ‘vampirism’ is known to us today. Plogojovitz was a Serbian peasant living in a small village believed today to be Kisiljevo. In 1725 Plogojovitz died and within days of his passing, nine villagers died mysterious deaths. On their deathbeds the victims accused Plogojovitz of throttling them. His wife also apparently saw her husband back from the dead. His son allegedly died at his late father’s hands. After disinterring Plogojovitz’s corpse they saw no signs of decomposition, hair growth and new ‘skin and nails’. The corpse was staked through the heart and burned. Frombald was quoted as saying that the villagers were ‘besides themselves with fear’. In any event, the mysterious deaths ended on that day.
Known in the West as Arnold Paule, this contemporary of Plogojovitz, who died around 1726 was believed to have been a vampire who killed 16 people in his village of Metwett. This case, too, was famous as it had the ‘seal of admission of vampire existence’ from government officials who became involved in the situation without disputing the suspected supernatural cause. Paole was a militiaman who often remarked about his postings in areas where vampires roamed but had escaped with his soul intact by eating soil from a vampire’s grave. He died after breaking his neck from a fall and within 30 days four people said they had seen him. These individuals died within days. The Austrian officials concluded Paole must be a vampire and they exhumed his body, staked it and burned it.
The Shepherd of Blov, Czech Republic
In a village pronounced ‘Blow’ there was a shepherd who died. Just days after his interment he was seen once more and reportedly terrorised his erstwhile neighbours. Each man would die within eight days. As you may guess what happened next, the villagers exhumed the body, decided it bore the telltale signs of a vampire and staked it. That night the villagers relaxed believing themselves safe. However, that very night the shepherd was seen once more, angrier than ever, wielding the stake that was intended to lay him to eternal rest. The body was disinterred the next day and burned, finally ending the shepherd’s killing spree.
Remember that vampires are not the glittery Twilight creatures and handsome fellows of The Vampire Diaries and Anne Rice novels but more like this lady, below. Still entranced? The so-called ‘modern’ vampires of today are something much feebler in comparison
Not put off? Then why not get yourself to the dentist. Not your local dentist of course but a specialist cosmetic dentist that can fit specially moulded caps to your existing canines. There are a few criteria you need to comply with first. Your existing teeth must be free from decay and your gums must be disease free. The acrylic caps will be a permanent fixture to your mouth and as such shows a huge commitment to your burgeoning vampire lifestyle as your existing teeth will be filed down in order to accommodate your new fang extensions. For a fee of around £120 – £150 a pair of vamp fangs can be yours. It’s advisable to consider a short point rather than a long point as this will make it easy for you to adjust to your new mouth shape and not interfere with eating and talking.
In Japan you don’t necessarily need vampire cap add-ons. Their procedure is known as yaeba where otherwise perfect teeth are altered to make them look crooked. Vampire fetishists and True Blood devotees are now able to sit in the dentist’s chair and get their own teeth positions reshaped to emphasise their own canines…
Adam typically writes about dental practice