It is hard to imagine anyone who hasn't heard of them in this day and age. How could anyone have failed to have heard of vampires when you consider the multitude of movies, tv shows, documentaries, books, articles, magazines, comic books, and internet sites pertaining to the subject. Yet, despite the plethora of information, how much do we really know about vampires?
Unfortunately, (for the majority of the population) the answer to that question remains very little. The problem here is not the availability of facts. The chief contributing factor in this case of mass confusion is an overflow of DISinformation. Myths, folklore, legends, and fictitious accounts designed and perpetuated to mislead, confuse, and otherwise dissuade the individual from persuing the truth.
Consider your own perceptions for a moment if you will. When you think of vampires, what "facts" do you rely upon? What images are conjured up from your experience? Do you see the sun-fearing creatures of fiction exploited in the works Anne Rice and in other similar novels and movies? Perhaps you have read Bram Stoker's works and believe that vampires, although damned creatures, can indeed travel about in daylight. How often do you think of a school teacher, police officer, or other seemingly "normal" and "respectable" person?
The purpose of my research and the book which I am writing is to show that vampires truly do exist. Beyond that, I intend to prove that they are, for the most part, normal people. They lead everyday lives, hold respectable positions, and have the same desires, passions, and goals as others in their communities. I have discovered that the majority of vampires do not publicly flaunt the truth about themselves. They do not dress in Goth fashion or paint their faces white.
Of course, there are bound to be some fringe exceptions to these statements, but I present them here as the facts which I have learned thus far. The true vampire does not live in an old rat infested castle or sleep in a coffin. Vampires exist in every area of every society. From lower class housing projects to penthouse apartments. They are in the city, and in the country. Anywhere that you would expect to find anyone, you can expect to find a vampire.
They do not all ingest blood nor do they all need to do so. Some of the vampires that I have met are psychic vampires and often are outright repulsed by the thought of drinking blood. Even the vampires who do drink blood do not go out stalking human prey and draining their bodies. There are a number of ways to safely and legally aquire blood, and the real vampire seems to prefer these methods.
As I continue my research, I continue to learn more about real vampires. My tools for learning include books and internet resources in addition to interviews, surveys, and meetings with people claiming to be real vampires. I will be posting the results of some of this research here on my site, and invite anyone who believes themself to be a real vampire to contact me through the email link at the bottom of this page.
Mythology and Folklore
They are the shadows of midnight. They are unspeakable dark specters that haunt our dreams and spark our imagination. They are romantic yet emotionless. They are powerful and still they are vulnerable. They can be dreadfully scary and viscous, or gentle and kind. They have passionate feelings without emotion. They are ageless, although they each have an age. Vampires.
You have heard of them, but what do you really know about them? Do the stories you have heard really define the vampires of legend? Or are they merely the machinations of a writer’s fancy? Did Dracula really exist? Who is Nosferatu? When I set out to create my site, those are some of the questions I had. I read texts and books, searched through all available resources, and studied the impact that vampires have had on our society. This article is the result of my research relevant to vampire mythology and folklore worldwide. I started my search for real vampires by exploring relevant mythology, to attempt to establish or disprove any link between fact and fiction.
The truth as I have found it is printed within these articles. You may not find the answers you are looking for. Then again if you only seek the answers you wish to hear, you aren't looking for the truth. I have looked at the issue from all sides and have drawn no conclusions without first obtaining satisfactory proof of credibility. I have attempted to remain objective regardless of what I have heard or seen. My own opinions are not within these pages, only the facts as I discovered them to be.
Throughout history, these beings have resided alongside man. Myths and folktales from all points of the globe speak of beings that feed on the living. From the Japanese Kasha to the Irish Dearg-Du and the Tlaciques of the Mexican Nahautl Indians and the Arabic Algul they exist. Germany alone has a minimum of three distinct types of vampire including the Alp, the Neuntoter, and the Doppelslauger of Germany's northern regions. These sinister creatures have permeated virtually every culture and time period, dating as far back as the Ekimmu of ancient Babylon and Assyria.
Despite the prevalence of vampires throughout society, not all cultures attribute the same characteristics to them. In some instances, they appear only at certain times, or under extraordinary circumstances, while others seem to have the ability to exist under any conditions. Not all vampires are killers, as in the case of the Raksasha from India, which is said to cause only, vomiting in its victims. Not all vampires are evil. The Italian Stregoni Benefici, although a vampire itself, is believed to be an ally against evil vampires.
Contrary to widely accepted mythology, vampires do not always feed on the blood of the living. There are several records of "psychic" vampires such as the Bebarlangs of the Philippines and the well-known Incubus (male), and Succubus (female). These beings simply drain away the victim's life force or psychic energy, leaving the victim physically and emotionally weak. The Babarlangs was actually a culmination of tribal spirits sent out to draw energy from its victims. The Incubus and Sucubus were known for entering the sleeping chambers of women and men respectively and (like the Leanhaum-Shee of Ireland) making love to them while drawing the life force from them.
There are also vampires that feed on other parts of the human body, such as the Jigarkhwar of India which eats the liver and the Brazilian Jaracacas which feeds on the breasts of nursing women, as well as the Lamia of Libyia which consumes the entire body of its victims. One last listing in this category is the Brahmaparush of India. This vampire drinks the blood of its victim AND eats it's brain before donning the unfortunate person’s intestines as some sort of ritualistic wardrobe.
Vampires are also not always dwellers of the night. The Bruxsa, a vampire of Portuguese origin and the Aswang of the Philippines are both said to live a perfectly normal life among humans during the day, each appearing as a beautiful maiden. The difference between these two forms of vampire lies in the fact that although the Aswang prefers to feed on children the Bruxsa is believed to be capable of bearing them. The Polish Upier also falls into this category as it is reported as rising at midday and returning to rest at midnight.
Although death is not a prerequisite to becoming a vampire in all legends, it does appear to be the most universally accepted theory for indoctrination into this infamous subculture of humanity. Some notable exceptions are the Moroii of Romania and the Obayifo of Africa, which are described as living vampires. The Pisacha of India is also exclusive to death in that it is believed to be created by the evils of humanity.
Although many seem to associate vampires with the fictional character of Dracula, males actually seem to be a minority in the global reports of these creatures. Female entities make up approximately eighty percent of all vampire legends worldwide. This causes a discontinuity between the vampire of fiction and the vampire of mythology. While the fictional night stalking vampires are often considered romantic, womanizing playboys; the mythological creatures are predominantly vengeful and angry females who feed on the blood of children.
In closing, the interesting thing to note is that although the creatures of mythology largely contradict the popular view of vampires, they do exist. They exist at all corners of the world and in nearly every culture known to man. Although they exist as superstition and folklore, they persist in appearing in the dark shadows of humanity. Often times, those things we consider mythology, have, in some small way, a foundation of truth to them. One of the purposes of my research is to find the origin of the myths to try to ascertain whether or not any truth ever did exist in them during the long forgotten history of man.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Real Vampires
1. Do vampires really exist?
The answer to this question depends on your definition of the word vampire. If you feel that vampires are the creatures depicted in movies such as Near Dark and in books such as Dracula and Interview With A Vampire, then I would have to say no. To date, I have not met or even heard of a varafiable creature such as that.
If on the other hand, you beleive that vampires are people who are basically normal with the exception of one or two abnomalities such as hypersensitivity to light, heightened psychic abilities, and the physical need to consume blood, then my answer would be yes.
11. Do vampires really drink blood?
Some, but not all, real vampires do drink blood. This does not mean that they drain the bodies of those they drink from. The majority of vampires whom I have met that do admit to drinking blood state that they consume the equivalence of a shotglass full of blood during a single feeding. This amount is not exact as some prefer to drink less, but it does seem to be the maximum amount consumed.
12. Do vampires really die if they are exposed to the sun?
I have never heard of any real vampires who burst into flames or crumbled into dust from exposure to the sun. Some vampires do have a severe sensitivity to sunlight as well as certain forms of artificial light. This sensitivity can cause several different problems for the vampire. First it can cause the individual to be more susceptible to sunburn, sunstroke, and certain other sun related malodies. Second, it often causes the individual to suffer a form of day blindness, similar to snow blindness.
13. Are vampires really repelled by garlic?
Although some vampires prefer not to eat garlic, I have never seen one unable to enter a room because of it's presence. Some vampires suffer digestive problems which are aggravated by the consumption of garlic. Others have a hypersensitivity to flavor or smell, which may cause them to be put off by the strong flavored and highly aromatic herb.
14. Do religious items such as crucifixes really ward off vampires?
Real vampires, the ones I have met, belong to all religious and non-religious denominations. There are Christians and Muslims, atheists and agnostics. Religious items, such as crucifixes and holy water do not repel vampires nor do they cause harm to vampires.
15. Can vampires really change into other animals?
Shapeshifting is a phenomenon discussed in many shamanic religions, and therefore not exclusive to vampirism. Native American folklore speaks of people capable of assuming the shape of animals, thereby connecting with the spirit of that animal. Although I do not claim to be an authority on the subject of shapeshifting, none of the vampires I have met have claimed to have the ability.
16. Are vampires really immortal?
I have met vampires who claim they will have a longer lifespan than normal people. I have also read texts claiming that there are documented cases of vampiric persons who have shown slower aging than normal people. None of this indicates however, that vampires are immortal. Vampires do seem to have a stronger immune system than normal people, but as far as my research has uncovered thus far, they do die.
17. Do vampires really hunt unsuspecting victims?
I have heard of some vampires who do prey on unsuspecting persons, but they are most often psychic vampires whose attacks leave the "victim" with no greater harm than a feeling of exhaustion. Blood drinking vampires have a vast wealth of resources available to them for the aquisition of their needed sustenance. Most whom I have met rely on donors, persons willing to allow the vampire to drink their blood. In addition, there are butcher shops, bloodbanks, and blood merchants.
18. Do vampires really sleep in coffins?
Although I am quite sure that some extremely eccentric vampires may participate in this type of activity, those whom I have met do not. They sleep in normal beds, limited only by their preference of traditional matresses over waterbeds.
19. Do vampires cast a reflection in mirrors?"
As far as I have learned, all vampires do indeed cast a reflection. In fact, I know of one female vampire who spends a great deal of time in front of the mirror, much like any normal female. Vampires also photogragh well, thereby dismissing the theory that they arent able to be seen except headon.
20. Can you really kill a vampire by driving a stake through it's heart?
The answer to this is really an issue of common sense. Think to yourself... "how many living things CAN have a stake (wooden or otherwise) driven through their hearts and still live? With that in mind, rest assured that silver bullets, decapitation, and burning will also effectively dispatch a vampire, just as they would any other living thing.
21. Are there any documented cases listing vampirism as a medical disease?
Vampirism is often cited as a symptom of both physical and psychological diseases. The cases determine those who show certain attributes, such as an aversion to sunlight as displaying "vampiric" tendencies. They do not consider these persons to be actual vampires however. To the best of my knowledge, there are noactual documented cases of vampirism as a medically accepted form of disease.