As I pointed out in My previous page, I have always had some interesting abilities or gifts and have used them unconsciously for My own ends in the past. However, not too long ago, I had a brief (or too brief for My tastes) affair with a beautiful little psi-vampire who told Me things and put name to many of the things I'd been doing all along. During some of our lovemaking, feeding and interactions I learned that there were many more things that could be done that I'd never realized before. She taught Me things about psychic and magical manipulations and processes. I'm not sure that many of the things weren't there already but she gave Me the key to recognize or helped reveal the knowledge that was hidden by old ways of thinking.
I do not fit under any single definition or classification. I fall clearly into a number of current classifications depending on the circumstances. I am primarily a Psi-vampire and I believe that I could not be a sanguinarian due to some deeply held beliefs about both safety and spiritual implications.
I don’t like the term feeding as it does not really describe what I feel/do in the process of interaction with My sources. I guess if I were more predatory the term might work for Me but I am not and so it does not. I prefer using the terms of "interaction," "linking," even "using" over the term, "feeding." Since I’ve only once ever just “drained” anyone and that was a situation of triggered violence, I really do not like the term and baggage that the term, feeding, brings up for Me. At times I may still use it but only because it shortens the description of a particular session and it is fairly clear to the reader.
I am currently debating whether I want to reveal more of My mysteries or if I should just leave things to be experienced primarily by those who come into My sphere of life and power. After all, what do we have if not mystery, attraction to the darker powers and subtle ecstasies of our lives? If you'd like to know more about Me, you will have to brave emailing Me.
What is a Human Living Vampire (hereafter called HLV)? They are many and varied kinds of people. They are NOT undead or dead people animated by supernatural means. Note I did not say that such could not exist but I suspect that they don't.
So, back to the question, what IS an HLV? We are people whom have needs, wants or desires considerably different from the average human. This is not to say that nearly all people will not occasionally have desires that will seem to border on these darker sides but for most they will be occasional. For those of us for whom the desires are constant assaults on our consciousness, we search for something that can only be answered by vampirism. Our needs for energy or life force are much greater than what we seem to be able to generate all by ourselves. We are usually highly sensitive in emotional, physical and sometimes spiritual senses. Our senses may have been heightened beyond the realm of normal or average senses. Sometimes we desire blood, sometimes subtle energies. What are subtle energies? They are types and forms of energy that science has yet to be able to measure or quantify yet we know they must exist for life to function.
I will probably be attacked by a number of sanguinarian vampires for the following statement but it is something that I feel pretty strongly about. In My own opinion, I believe that many of the sanguinarians (blood drinkers) do so because of the subtle forces that they get from the life included and imputed from the blood. While I do not discount that blood drinkers feel an honest need for the blood, and some will even love the taste, texture and feel, I really believe that what they get from it is the pranic or life force energy that was supported by the blood rather than using the blood directly. While the Bible (and I believe a few other holy books) speak of the life being in the blood, it's clear with our medical knowledge today, that blood is but one part of a supporting cast of things required for life. After all, if the blood was the actual life, wouldn't it be more creative than simply being a hydraulic and chemical factory that moves products of various organs about the body? Yes, it's needed to live but it's only one of many things needed... so why not eat other organs that have proven some value, like the heart or liver? But to each their own.
In any case, our needs for supplemental energies, through whatever method we choose to get it, is something that causes us considerable distress when we don't get it. I've found that since I began to use some of these abilities that I get nearly insane when I can't obtain it. I'm quite sure that others get the same way.
The following is extracted from a number of other sites and while I may personally disagree with some of their data, they are telling what they know of such an esoteric subject and because, so often, sites "go away" I have brought the pertinent data into My own. I will make comments and, of course, credit the originators when I can.
The following section is from Akasha's Vampyre Society.
Just as there are different types of people, there are also different types of vampires. Below is a list of the different types of vampires and what makes them different.
Sanguinarian - Someone who has a physical thirst/need/ craving for blood (which is non-erotic in nature) in more significant quantity than is generally required or desired by other blood-drinkers. There are some sanguinarians who feed during sexual activity...this is most generally to stimulate the level of pranic energy.
Empath - An individual who seeks emotions and feed from them. They, supposedly, also seek to intensify the emotions so that their feeding can be greater. Empath can feed from all emotions. Some, not all, empaths can project their emotions to others...this is another way that they (the ones who can project) like to feed.
PSI - An individual who has a need to feed upon the life force of others. Most energy vampires feed upon chi or pranic energy and avoid drinking blood. Some intermingle energy vampirism with blood-drinking. Also referred to as psi-vamps, most energy vampires exhibit the same characteristics that distinguish other real vampires, including light sensitivity, a nocturnal lifestyle, and periods of the Hunger or Thirst.
PSY - Someone who "drains" life-energy (prana, chi, life-force, whatever) rather than blood from others. Psi-vampires may or may not consume blood as a means of extracting pranic energy. "Psychic vampire" is a very common misnomer for "psi-vampire". Many people, -- even the psi-vampires themselves, -- often do not make or even realize the distinction between the two terms. Technically speaking, "A psychic vampire is a vampire who is psychic while a psi-vampire is a vampire who feeds on energy, preferably emotional energy.
Astral - Someone who only feeds on the astral plane, and attack on that level. They are many times, put in the same league as Psychic Vampires who feed from the life force energies, but don't require any actual physical contact with their prey. There are Astral Vampires who, supposedly, can maintain their beingness in this plane for a very long time, and seek weaker prey. They are not benign forces, and although very rare, their feeding is similar to a psychic life force rape.
Elemental - Persons who feed from basic Natural Phenomena i.e.: Thunder Storms, Severe storms, Powerful waterfalls or other Natural forces. They, for all intents and purposes, have no desire to feed on living beings or anything that living beings offer.
Fetishist - A person who gains sexual satisfaction from either drinking blood or having their blood drank.
Sexual - A form of psychic vampirism where feeding is done primarily from sexual energy, with or without the exchange of blood. The feeding can be done intentionally or unconsciously/unintentionally.
Lifestylers - "Permanent role-players". Whereas RPs/LARPs give up the persona after some amount of time, this class does not. They go farther in their portrayal of being vampiric. Such as stating they can fly, disintegrate upon touching sunlight, sleep in boxes full of dirt, etc. and generally put forth any and all of the stereotypical signs of the mythical vampire.
Clinical - Clinical vampires seem different than most in that their bodies actually *crave* and *require* blood in order to maintain normal functioning. While mainstream medical science would laugh at such a notion it's exactly that sort of shallow, narrow-minded yet "we care about you" thinking that nearly killed some folks when it first started.
Role-Players - People who appear to be stable individuals who indulge in fantasy play similar to Dungeons and Dragons of the '80s. However RPs as well as LARPs (Live Action Role Players) take it upon themselves to not only envision being their character but to actually become their character in the 'real world', the more complete the illusion the better at least as far as one game goes V:tM or Vampire: The Masquerade.
Psychotic Vampires - This shouldn't require much explanation. There are others that could be put into this section, such as blood fetishists who find sexual stimulation from the feel, look, taste of blood. This type of vampire, however, is more extreme and much more dangerous, as they are impulse feeders and are likely to get a thrill from making their donor a victim. They are likely to 'hunt' for a 'victim' rather than use a donor and their actions are random.
The following section is from Inanna Arthen's Living Vampires.
Over the past year, I have been in contact with some of the rapidly growing number of Human Living Vampires (HLV's). These are individuals who, while they firmly assert that they are essentially human beings, and to all external appearances are exactly that, nevertheless have pronounced vampiric characteristics. That is to say, Human Living Vampires feel that they have a need, compulsion, or involuntary tendency to "feed" upon some substance or some kind of energy produced by other living things, primarily other people. HLV's fall into two main classes: those who experience blood-lust or blood-craving, and "psychic vampires" or "psi-vampires". There is considerable debate among these individuals as to whether they do or do not share "secondary symptoms" (such as sensitivity to sunlight) in common (See Secondary Symptoms, below).
Blood-craving HLV's tend to regard their need for blood as a liability, sometimes an extremely severe one. Psychic vampire HLV's usually have a somewhat more positive attitude toward their perceived energy-draining ability, but often complain about the negative effects of these tendencies on their lives as a whole, especially when the energy-draining is uncontrolled. Within these two larger categories, there are several subdivisions among self-defined HLV's. There are also a number of different "theories" proposed by HLV's to explain their own origin, or the cause(s) of their conditions.
No HLV claims to be immortal, invincible, or possessed of supernatural abilities (other than the extent to which psychic abilities such as clairvoyance or astral projection might be called "supernatural"). Although some report enhanced strength, stamina, resistance to disease, and so forth, in no case do these traits exceed the limits of human norms. Human Living Vampires are human beings who are born, grow up, age, and fully expect to die at the end of a conventional lifespan. They are prone to any illness or injury that afflicts human beings. They can and do have children. They have normal nutritional requirements (although some HLV's report unusual food cravings, allergies or aversions) and in all other ways are bound by natural law. Most are anxious to insist that being an HLV brings no glamour or special privileges but simply makes the everyday existence of relationships, jobs, and home life that much more challenging. Many HLV's have difficulty understanding why a normal human would ask to be "turned" into what they are and react to such requests with a certain amount of antagonism.
HLV's are strongly tied into human culture and society, although many of them will express feelings of alienation. In some cases, this may have as much to do with other factors (high intelligence, sexual orientation, non-mainstream religious beliefs, affinity with other counter-cultures such as the Goths, and so on) as with the self-defined vampirism. Many HLV's cling to bits and pieces of the 20th Century Vampire Myth, at the same time that they urgently attempt to debunk this Myth in their writings. In particular, "viral" explanations for their origins are quite popular, along with "scientific" rationales in general. However, for the most part, HLV's are far less concerned with explaining themselves on any grounds, than they are with coping with the specific needs and abilities that they identify as impacting upon their lives. This is their primary focus, and the motivation for their forming networks and support groups and "coming out" in public as HLV's. All explanatory "theories" are considered to be tentative, even relative to the individual, and many explicit statements to this effect are made by various HLV's on their websites.
As I am not a member of this group of people, I am not qualified to speak for them. I am going to briefly summarize information drawn from their own self-definitions, and refer the reader to other websites, message boards and related forums for further specific information.
I am using the term "blood vampires" here to refer to those self-defined HLV's whose main vampiric tendency is a compulsion, or need, to consume blood for reasons that are not primarily related to eroticism or emotional satisfaction. Amy Krieytaz has coined the term "sanguinarians" for such HLV's. Blood vampires do not experience any psychic vampire tendencies of which they are consciously aware and tend to be rather bewildered by the reported experiences of self-defined psychic vampires. Blood vampires feel a physical craving to consume blood, and most do so on a regular basis. Most desire human blood, and many blood vampires have arranged for "donors" to supply them with fresh blood. Some blood vampires describe a life-long fascination with blood and blood-drinking, while others experienced an abrupt awakening of blood-craving which they may or may not be able to trace to a certain event.
The amount of blood consumed, and the frequency of consumption, varies highly among blood vampires, but few consume more than tiny amounts at a time, usually obtained through slight cuts or punctures made by lancets or razor blades on willing human "donors". Often, the "donors" themselves undertake the making of all cuts or wounds. Many blood vampires insist that "donors" undergo testing for blood-borne diseases, including HIV and hepatitis. Some blood vampires consume animal blood, but this is unpopular and usually considered an inferior substitute for human blood.
Because of the obvious difficulties in finding trustworthy or consistent "donors", or other sources of fresh blood, many blood vampires are highly concerned with the problem of "blood famine" or blood deprivation. Online discussion forums for HLV's often address the issue of blood deprivation and ways of alleviating symptoms. These discussions sometimes result in more frustration than assistance, however, when blood vampires are urged to "psi-feed" as a substitute for drinking blood and find this suggestion impossible or incomprehensible. More material substitutes for blood that are reported include "blood" drained from raw meat, rare meat itself, milk and dairy products, and even chocolate.
Blood-drinking HLV's believe strongly that their need to consume human blood is not merely psychosomatic, but none of them has been able to present any workable theory as to just why they require blood. This remains an open area of inquiry.
Blood vampires are divided into two primary categories, by intensity of their need for regular blood consumption.
Severe or "blood lusting" blood vampires experience the most critical and physical blood cravings. They report a need for larger amounts of blood than most blood vampires or psi-blood feeders consume at one time, and require it more often. They also report the strongest feelings of physical "withdrawal" when prevented from consuming blood, sometimes so extreme as to resemble narcotics withdrawal (although I have yet to hear of a blood vampire who was hospitalized for blood withdrawal or blood famine symptoms). Some severe blood vampires believe that blood consumption may in itself be addictive, with higher amounts consumed resulting in an irreversible higher degree of need.
Some severe blood vampires talk about the strength of their inner compulsion to obtain blood by any means possible, and the difficulty of keeping such antisocial impulses in check. The phrase "The Beast" has been used to describe this almost overwhelming "shadow self" that threatens to take over when a severe blood vampire is suffering from blood deprivation, or when he or she has a source and that source is threatened. While I have not yet heard any of these blood vampires describe giving into "The Beast", they seem to agree that it requires their constant vigilance to keep under control.
Moderate or "blood-craving" blood vampires are satisfied with smaller amounts of blood from "donors" and do not experience the same intensity of withdrawal symptoms, or inner compulsion as severe blood vampires. They may be satisfied for far longer periods of time with various substitutes, and their need for blood may be more intertwined with complex emotional and sexual feelings. However, they are not merely blood fetishists, because they do report a physical need to drink blood.
Master's note: Inanna and many other blood drinking/craving vampires tend to not accept or believe that Psi-vampires are real or that they are simply self-delusional. So, as you read this section you'll see the terminology is sometimes tenuous at best. If you think about it, this is quite common among people when they can't directly experience something, they deny, even to themselves, that it does or can exist. While this often gets the ire up for some individuals, it does not matter to Me what they choose to believe or not.
This is a multi-layered and somewhat conflicting category. The most succinct way I can describe human living psychic vampires is the following: psychic vampires are living people who feel a pronounced need to enhance their natural state of being by drawing, absorbing, "draining" or "feeding on" some kind of "energy". Most psychic vampires claim that the kind of energy they require is life force, or "pranic energy", that is to say, a specific type of energy produced by living things and the biosphere as a whole. While this is the most common "energy" craved by psychic vampires, other types of "energy" that are identified, and differentiated from "pranic energy", include sexual energy, psychic energy, emotional energy, magical energy, negative energy, astral energy, and atmospheric energy (for example, thunderstorms), and there are others mentioned, as well. These "energies" are given conflicting and overlapping definitions, however, and the explanations of what "energy" is, exactly, and how the psychic vampire uses it tend to vary from one individual to another. Most psychic vampires "feed" primarily from other human beings, but a great many report being able to "feed" from non-human living things and from other sources. In some cases, this is an emergency substitute, but some psychic vampires attempt to "wean themselves" away from human sources altogether for different reasons. Some psychic vampires hold (and this is simply their opinion) that it is more "evolved" or advanced to progress beyond feeding on humans. (See the section on Nonpersonal Energy Hungerers.)
Some psychic vampires report an ability to absorb "energy" from material sources, including fresh vegetables, rare meat and blood. Although many psychic vampires have an interest in blood-drinking, they do not seem to crave or lust for it as do blood vampires. It remains an open question whether psychic vampires who have an interest in blood, but who do not actually drink it, may not be reacting to the power of suggestion, and feel interested in blood because they self-identify as vampires and on some deep level associate vampires with blood. But this is a question that psychic vampires themselves will need to puzzle out. (See Psi-Blood Feeders for a discussion of psychic vampires who crave blood.)
Like blood vampires, psychic vampires feel that they must "feed" on the energy they require on a regular basis, and many report physical feelings of discomfort if they are denied access to a source. Symptoms of "energy deprivation" include extreme fatigue, depression, mood swings, immune system suppression with an increase in illnesses, uncontrollable "draining" of non-targeted sources, negative reactions from others close to the psychic vampire, insomnia and anxiety. Psychic vampires often discuss methods of finding energy sources and "feeding" reliably and harmlessly, and these methods vary to a high degree. I could not give a fair representative sampling, but some examples include psychic vampires who "feed" during sex, those who "feed" on large crowds, those who draw energy from the natural world and visit parks or wilderness when "hungry", and those who "feed" by finding people in highly energized states and either calming or further provoking them.
Unlike blood vampirism, psychic vampirism may be diagnosed either subjectively by the vampire or objectively by observers. Symptoms that one is a psychic vampire oneself include mood swings, dizziness, alternations between high energy and fatigue, headaches, a distinct feeling that one is pulling or drawing energy or emotions from other people, and similar feelings. But more and more people are being "diagnosed" as psychic vampires by other self-defined psychic vampires, on the grounds of numerous criteria. These include observed effects of the suspected psychic vampire on others (fatigue or depression in the presence of the psychic vampire, a sensation of phantom "tendrils" or attachments, a sensation that something is being pulled or drawn out of the body or aura) and direct psychic perception of the aura or energy field of the suspected psychic vampire.
Psychic vampires are developing a completely independent subculture of their own and have their own acknowledged leaders and their own vocabulary. They are also developing a consensual agreement on what being a psychic vampire feels like, both to the psychic vampire and to others around him or her, especially psychically sensitive others. Some psychic vampires identify what they call an "energy signature" that allows them to interpret whether another person is a psychic vampire, as well as what specific type they are and how they function. Such signatures are often read and interpreted during direct contact over such media as online chat or the telephone. Training methods adopted from modern magical traditions, standard psychic development disciplines, meditative paths such as Taoism and other sources are being introduced to help psychic vampires learn to control their "feeding" and learn to "manipulate energy". There are an increasing number of websites aimed specifically at psychic vampires and their concerns.
Psychic vampires proper fall into two main categories:
Conscious psychic vampires are fully aware of what they are and have identified as psychic vampires at least on some level. While they may not be able to completely control their "draining" tendencies, they do try, and seek methods of learning how to do so more effectively. When they have achieved at least some feeling of mastery, they often offer to teach and support other nascent psychic vampires by sharing what they have learned. They tend to have strong and volatile personalities.
Unconscious psychic vampires do not understand what they are, and tend to wander through life in a state of blissful ignorance or denial. They may or may not be aware of the effect they have on others, although they can see the results. Unconscious psychic vampires may stumble across a vampire website or other forum and experience a shattering moment of truth when it all clicks together. They may also be "diagnosed" by conscious psychic vampires and urged to face what they are and learn to control their tendencies. Of all vampires, unconscious psychic vampires tend to be most noticeable to ordinary people, who see them as clingy, attention-seeking, demanding, inconstant individuals. In some cases, these assessments are not supported by actual behavior, but are a materialist's rationalizations of the psychic perception of the vampire's energy draining, for which the average person has no context. Either way, unconscious psychic vampires do tend to have rocky and difficult relationships, home lives and personal interactions until they come to some kind of understanding of what they are.
During the past year, several vampire writers observed that the vast majority of self-defined human living vampires in the online community report both psychic vampire tendencies and a greater or lesser interest in drinking blood. For some, psychic vampire energy feeding is a possible substitute for blood-drinking; for others, the situation is the reverse. There appears to be a continuum running through the middle area between "pure" psychic vampires (psychic vampires with no craving to drink blood, although they may have some interest in it or even be blood fetishists) and "pure" blood vampires (blood vampires with no psychic vampire tendencies that are perceptible to themselves or others, although they may have psychic ability). HLV's falling within this continuum do experience some degree of blood craving at the same time that they experience definite psychic vampire tendencies. Whether these two tendencies alternate in predominance or remain in balance with respect to each other varies with the individual.
Issues faced by these psi-blood feeders are similar to those faced by both blood-drinking and psychic vampires. Symptoms of blood/energy deprivation are essentially the same as those of moderate, blood-craving blood vampires and those of psychic vampires. Psi-blood vampires share similar concerns related to finding "donors" or energy sources and benefit from training programs designed to control psychic vampire abilities.
Among the evolving Vampiric community, there is considerable controversy over the inclusion of certain types of people who are deeply interested in vampires and vampire concerns, yet do not report the same degree or type of cravings that HLV's do, either for blood or "energy". Some of these people have ventured into the online forums for "real vampires" (predominated by psi-blood feeding or psychic HLV's) and been hurt or discouraged by the attitudes expressed there generally, or by their reception when they introduced themselves. Pejorative terms such as "wannabees" are applied to them, and "vampersonals", or classified ad listings for HLV's, are thick with "no RPGers" admonitions. Nevertheless, these individuals often are seeking someplace where they belong and feel that they can be "themselves", and some writers, including Amy Krieytaz, Vincent Verthaine, and myself, have urged that they not be arbitrarily excluded. Some true HLV's also fall into some of the categories below. Boundaries among categories can be hazy and overlap considerably, and there is no rule that says a bona fide HLV might not also be interested in lifestyle vamping or be a blood fetishist. Some of these individuals may be HLV's who have not yet accepted their true nature, and use role-playing as a way of coming to terms with their inner selves. Amy Krieytaz in particular has urged the adoption of terms such as "vampiric people" and "the vampiric community" in order to avoid excluding those who sincerely wish to be a part of the HLV's reality.
This is a category defined more by modern psychology than by popular consensus. A blood fetishist is a person who derives intense erotic/sexual arousal or satisfaction from the taste, sight, or feel of human blood. In psychological terms, such a person requires the object of obsession in order to gain any sexual release; in practice, blood fetishists may be more flexible. Amy Krieytaz explains that some blood fetishists practice bloodletting as an expression of trust, intimacy and bonding, apart from specifically erotic aspects. Blood fetishists are often found in the BDSM subculture, where their specific activities may be referred to as "bloodplay" or "bloodsports". These generally involve BDSM scenes that include bloodletting with razor blades or other implements (and sometimes by very imaginative methods). The amount of blood involved is almost always very small, and cuts seldom penetrate the dermis of the skin. Safe bloodletting techniques are highly emphasized. Blood fetishists may or may not be bona fide HLV's, or be interested in actually drinking or tasting blood. While referred to as "vampires" in psychological literature, they tend not to describe themselves with that word. For more information about BDSM and blood fetishists, see the Vampiric People's Resource Page, and the Bloodplay Awareness Campaign site.
A term coined by Amy Krieytaz, "nonpersonal energy hungerers" are humans who have a need to draw "energy" from the environment around them, or from more esoteric sources such as "god". The term refers to the fact that these individuals don't require energy from human "persons", as do psychic vampires, but can drain it from other living things and non-living sources. Amy explains that both nonpersonal energy hungerers and psychic vampires may shift back and forth between drawing from people and drawing from "nonpersonal" sources. Another writer (who has now withdrawn from the community) discussed similar ideas, but applied them to psi-vampires, as she called them, generally, and defined herself as a "psi-vampire" although she stated that she usually did not "feed" on other people at all. However, Amy explains that the principal distinguishing feature of nonpersonal energy hungerers and psychic vampires is that psychic vampires require energy from human sources, while nonpersonal energy hungerers require energy from nonpersonal sources. For each, the alternative source is an optional and inferior substitute. Although it seems a fine distinction, it seems to be a critical one for those who experience this condition. Some nonpersonal energy hungerers have called themselves psychic vampires or otherwise identified with the psychic vampire community, but have tended to feel uncomfortable there, and sometimes felt that they were rejected or did not truly "belong". They sought a defining identity that corresponded with their actual needs without insisting that "all psychic vampires" shared their characteristics.
Nonpersonal energy hungerers experience many of the same symptoms of energy deprivation as psychic vampires. They face many of the same issues in terms of identifying and learning to tap the appropriate energy source, while controlling tendencies to "vampirize" unconsciously when in a deprived state. They can benefit from the same (or very similar) training techniques as psychic vampires. Their unique challenge is to discover precisely which source or sources of nonpersonal energy will provide them with what they need, and then locate and form connections to those sources.
For more information, see the Vampiric People's Resource Page.
Individuals who dress in exotic vampire-like costumery (capes, anachronistic clothes and hairstyles, baroque and macabre jewelry, pale makeup with heavy black accents), decorate their homes in dark Victorian (or funeral parlor) gloom, assume prosthetic fangs and colored contact lenses, and in other ways imitate the Twentieth Century Vampire Myth, are sometimes called Vampyre Lifestylers. The term (to the best of my knowledge) is borrowed from "lifestyler Goth", which denotes people who are so serious about being Goth that they dress and act the part at all times and in all areas of life, as well as for clubbing or concerts. Many Vampyre Lifestylers are also Goth, and many are role-playing gamers. However, Vampyre Lifestylers take their vampiric presentation very seriously. They tend to regard vampirism as a state of mind, or a way of existence, rather than a specific tendency to "vampirize" others by "feeding" on them. For Vampyre Lifestylers, the image of the vampire is a metaphor for qualities they wish to manifest through emulation (classic imitative magic, after all). These qualities, based on the 20th Century Vampire Myth, include unearthly beauty, detachment, a long view of history and the future (if not immortality), an elegance of personal style, loyalty to a "clan" or "tribe" of "special" others like oneself, an acceptance if not a full embrace of death as a fact of life, individuality against social pressure to conform, and so on. Vampyre Lifestylers rarely if ever advocate predation upon others, although they may speak disparagingly of humans or "mortals" when they're socializing in full bloom. As a general rule, unless a Lifestyler is also an HLV (which is quite possible) or blood fetishist, he or she only dabbles in blood-drinking (or blood-tasting, more accurately) for the minor thrill and for the additional authenticity it lends to the vampire image. Some Vampyre Lifestylers form cooperative group households or "families" in order to live out the ideal of the "vampire clan" or extended family of "sires" and "fledglings" that is found in vampire games and fiction.
Some bona fide HLV's become full-blown Lifestylers as a way of expressing their inner nature. The well-known personality Catrina Coffin might be one example--Catrina's home full of macabre gimcracks, the coffin she sleeps in and the hearse she drives have been featured on several television documentaries, but she is evidently a true blood-craving HLV, as well.
For more information about Vampyre Lifestylers, see Vincent Verthaine's website, Vampyre Lifestylers
For more information about the connection between Vampyre Lifestylers and Goths (itself a large subject), see the Vampiric People's Resource Page.
There are those who may protest my inclusion of this category here, and there is no question that I am about to describe individuals who by no means are welcome among HLV's or in the vampiric community. However, I feel this category needs to be addressed, because for the average person on the street, these people--and none others--are what comes to mind when the notion of "real vampires" in any sense is brought up. They are frequently included in popular books about "real life vampires" and are the primary focus of "vampire" documentaries. HLV's and the vampire community need to clearly distinguish themselves from these people and their labeling by the psychological establishment as "vampires".
A psychotic vampire is a person who has a sociopathic mental illness that leads him (they are almost invariably male) to behave like a vampire, and sometimes to actually self-identify as one. In most cases, this identification is with folkloric/fictional vampires such as Dracula, Anne Rice's characters or the vampires in role-playing games. But more usually, psychotic vampires are simply obsessed with blood and will commit brutal crimes without remorse in order to see, taste, and feel it. They may also take on some of the trappings of Vampyre Lifestylers by wearing capes, sleeping in coffins, filling their homes with skulls, bones, and souvenirs stolen from cemeteries, and so on, but they should not be confused with true Lifestylers.
Several notorious criminals in history are considered by scholars and psychologists to have been psychotic vampires, including Fritz Haarman, Gilles de Rais, the Marquis de Sade, John Haigh, and Elizabeth Bathory. These individuals appear over and over in non-fiction books about vampires.
Some attention has been given to a condition named "Renfield's Syndrome" in psychological literature, based on the fly-eating character Renfield in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Renfield's Syndrome is described as having four stages: a trauma or "critical incident" in childhood in which the patient discovers that the taste and sight of blood is "exciting" or attractive; "auto vampirism", the drinking of one's own blood (autohemophagia); "zoophagia", or the consumption of blood from animals; and finally "true vampirism", in which the patient must have human blood, and may resort to stealing blood from medical facilities, or serial murder. It should be obvious what kinds of complications could arise for HLV's being evaluated by psychologists, given this definition.
The difficult question, of course, is whether or not some psychotic vampires could actually be true HLV's suffering from mental illness. Obviously, they could. This presents even more critical reasons why HLV's need to be better understood, including to themselves.
For more information about psychotic vampires, see the books on my page, Books About Real Vampires, and some of the FAQs on the Vampyres Only site.
Vampire Gamers (RPGer's)
The popularity of the role-playing game Vampire: the Masquerade has created an entire subculture of people devoted to the game, its universe, and the personae they create in order to "live" the game. These individuals have their own network of interconnected websites, chat rooms and message boards, and enjoy posting to these "in persona" as their gaming characters. As such, they maintain the illusion that they are "real vampires" as defined by the rules of the game and the fictional qualities, history and supernatural abilities accruing to their game persona. Like good actors, they hate to "break character" and explain what is going on, so their statements and dialogue online can be confusing to those who stumble into one of their forums without knowing where they are or being familiar with the game.
Some gamers and their supporters argue that the game serves a healthy purpose in allowing them to work out certain issues and to experiment with certain possibilities and potentials. It has been suggested that some gamers may actually be HLV's or vampiric people who have not yet confronted their nature, and are using the game to "try out" the idea of being a vampire and see how it feels. Other gamers are also Vampyre Lifestylers who take the ideals of the vampiric universe in the game seriously and attempt to manifest them in real life.
Unfortunately, many of those in the vampiric community feel that some gamers deliberately mislead and deceive HLV's, and true seekers of vampiric reality, by pretending to be what they are not. Some HLV's fear that by presenting themselves online as "real vampires" who claim to be centuries old predators, the gamers make living vampires look like mere role-players themselves, or create the impression that HLV's also claim, or believe themselves to be, bloodthirsty hunters of humankind or world-weary immortals with supernatural powers. For HLV's, the gamers confuse the issue of what true living vampires are, and makes it more difficult for them to find each other via such media as vampersonal ad listings or message boards. This is the reason that the majority of ads listed by HLV's or seekers looking for living vampires strictly specify that role-playing gamers not reply to the ad in persona.
It's difficult to be certain whether some role-playing gamers deliberately tease and mislead HLV's, or whether they simply don't take vampiric people seriously enough to believe that the people running the ads aren't just role-playing, too. Arguments could be made for both propositions. For the present, however, gamers are a contentious topic in the vampiric community, frequently denounced, and then defended by those vampiric people who enjoy playing the game and feel that gamers are unfairly stereotyped. As the vampiric community becomes more confident and more clearly defined, possibly these two groups will be better able to establish their boundaries and their degree of overlap, and come to a more comfortable mode de vive.
Both blood-drinking and psi-draining HLV's use the term "feed" to refer to what they actually do. Representatives of both groups have made strong statements to the effect that "feeding" (on blood or "energy") is what makes a Human Living Vampire what it is, and that other identifying "traits" or characteristics (if any) are of little or no importance. However, the function that "feeding" serves for these individuals, why it is necessary and what concrete value the substance fed upon has for the HLV who is feeding, remains a mystery and is rarely explored by the HLV's themselves. "Feeding" appears to be a given; an HLV must feed, feels a compulsion to do so, in the case of psychic vampires may do so involuntarily, and yet nobody seems to understand why.
The term itself--along with the implicit meaning--derives from the 20th Century Vampire Myth, where supernatural vampires usually cannot consume ordinary food and drink, but must have a regular intake of blood for basic nourishment. Although the supernatural vampire is said to "require blood to exist", rarely if ever are such vampires considered in danger of starving to death without blood. Deprived of blood, they will usually be vulnerable to losing control and reverting to a bestial or depraved mental state in which they act thoughtlessly, endangering themselves and/or doing things they regret later on. But they are at no risk of dying, or even experiencing permanent harm, from blood starvation. This makes the blood-need of 20th Century Mythic vampires far more akin to an addiction than a nutritional requirement.
"Feeding" refers to a living organism: we don't "feed" cars with gas or "feed" electrical appliances with electricity, although food acts as fuel for living things. "Feeding" also implies providing an organism with substances without which it will cease to live. Babies require light, physical touch and a hygienic environment in order to thrive, but we only talk about "feeding" a baby when we give it food, something without which it will certainly die. To "feed" something is to provide it with that specific nourishment without which it will quickly starve. But this is certainly not the case with the "feeding" of HLV's, all of whom must eat ordinary food, and drink water, no matter how much blood or "energy" they have available to them. In addition to this, there are other puzzles about HLV's and "feeding". Most blood-drinking HLV's consume human blood, but human blood tends to pass through the digestive tract largely unprocessed, meaning that any purely nutritive content it may have (such as proteins or iron) is mostly lost. Further, few blood-drinking HLV's consume a large amount of blood at any one time, or "feed" with any frequency approaching even once per day. Obviously, blood consumption could not be serving a nutritive purpose for a living organism as large as an adult human being. And yet, the connection of blood with "feeding" is so strong that I have never, to date, heard of a blood-craving HLV who introduced blood into his or her system by any other means than direct ingestion (drinking)--who used, for example, injection, as was depicted in the film, "The Addiction". The blood must be drunk, in spite of the fact that it cannot be digested and that only small quantities (in comparison with the frequency and amounts of food that an adult human being needs) are consumed. What function, then, does the blood serve? If blood-need is an addiction, why would injection not be an even more efficient way of absorbing it? If blood-need is nutritive, why do such small quantities (by comparison with food needs) satisfy the craving? The issues become even more complicated when some blood-craving HLV's assert that only the communion of taking blood from a consenting human donor, sometimes during sex, is truly satisfying to them. The questions raised by pure "psi-feeding", in this context, are even more conflicted.
Nevertheless, all HLV's consider what they do to be "feeding", as though it had a nutritive or sustaining effect. They do not like to think of themselves as addicts, perhaps because of the strong negative associations with addiction in American society. In some ways, they may be analogous to insulin-dependent diabetics, requiring a vital substance that their system lacks and that must be externally provided. However, diabetics and others dependent on such daily medical regimens will die if they are deprived of their prescribed substance. I have never heard of an HLV being in danger of death for lack of blood or "psi energy". If even the worst blood-needing HLV's were in such a position, we would expect to have heard of some who were hospitalized for lack of blood. However, although some blood-needing HLV's report "withdrawal" symptoms so severe as to make them wish they could die, this threat does not seem to be a factor in their situation. The "need" that HLV's experience is for a fix, not a meal.
The chief (indeed, overwhelming) concern for most HLV's seems to be how to "feed" more efficiently, how to find "donors", how to guarantee a regular supply of the needed substance, and so forth--very similar to drug addicts. Very few wonder why they need what they need, this seeming to be entirely beside the point--just as it is a rare drug abuser who is interested in the physiology of his addiction. With addiction, nothing matters but getting the next fix, and how awful it feels not to get it. But if the addiction is considered a legitimate biological need, equivalent to one's hunger for food, then some of the psychological sting is soothed. Some blood-craving vampires, in particular, are very hostile to suggestions that anything else but fresh, living blood from a live donor could satisfy their needs. The possibility that some in-depth research might produce a blood-substitute for HLV's, like methadone, that would render "blood feeding" unnecessary may not be that attractive a prospect. But that is a separate issue. In the meantime, I will refrain from offering any speculations of my own on this subject and leave this mystery to be explored by the HLV's themselves. It will be interesting to see what they propose as possible explanations of why they need to "feed" and why they need to think of it as "feeding" instead of employing a possibly more exact analogy.
"Secondary symptoms" of vampirism would include any and all physical, emotional or paranormal conditions common to HLV's that are not directly related to an HLV's craving for blood and/or energy, or to the specific effects of blood/energy deprivation. As noted above, the question of whether any secondary symptoms are common to the majority of HLV's or are in any way "diagnostic" indicators is a controversial one. While many HLV's, both blood-drinkers and psychic vampires, report many of the same problems and issues, there are those who argue fiercely that these traits are not in themselves meaningful, even for an HLV who might not, for whatever reason, have come to a conscious realization of what he or she is. Despite this, even Sanguinarius, who has taken a stern hard line about what does and does not qualify an HLV as a "real vampire" in her opinion, has articles on her website describing her own secondary symptoms and listing "problems vampires have" quoted from the writings of other individuals. Several symptoms do stand out in these accounts.
Sensitivity to sunlight is the major such symptom mentioned. The vast majority of HLV's of all types describe varying degrees of photophobia, or sun sensitivity, including both highly light-sensitive eyes, and susceptibility to being badly sunburned with minimum exposure. Many report having to wear sunglasses on cloudy days, being unable to go outside in the sun without protection, being blinded by oncoming headlights and glare from reflective surfaces, and so on. The corollary, higher than average night vision, is reported less often, which may seem strange, but is consistent with the fact that secondary symptoms are usually treated as negatives.
A tendency to prefer nocturnal schedules, and to be awake and alert at night but lethargic during the day, is mentioned by many HLV's, along with concomitant social and professional complications.
Migraine headaches have emerged as a common malady suffered by psychic vampires in particular. No one has any idea what that means, but it continues to crop up in first person testimonies.
Aside from these, there are few secondary traits that seem to be widely accepted by all HLV's as indicators of vampirism. I will leave it to the HLV's themselves to develop a more comprehensive "profile" of their own characteristics, if there even is one.
The process of converting an ordinary human being with no HLV tendencies of any kind into a full-fledged HLV is referred to as "turning". Sometimes it is also referred to as "being embraced", a phrase from role-playing games, and there are a few other terms drawn from vampire fiction ("the dark gift", "the dark kiss", "bringing across", "bloodsiring", for example).
There is great disagreement among HLV's as to whether "turning" is a real phenomenon or is even possible. Many HLV's, especially the majority who are psi-blood feeders, believe that HLV's are born as they are and cannot be "turned" or "turn" anyone who is not also an HLV by birth themselves. Some HLV's have gone through a dramatic change that to them, feels physical and externally catalyzed. They experienced a sudden development of either blood-craving or psychic vampire tendencies, along with secondary symptoms such as sun sensitivity, nocturnalism, and alterations in appetite. Less often, such individuals report positive changes such as greater strength and stamina, faster healing, better reflexes, enhanced senses and so on. In some cases, these individuals trace the changes in themselves to a specific incident. Blood vampires most often identify an experience of sharing blood with another person who was already a blood vampire--either inadvertently, or with prior agreement that the existing blood vampire was "turning" them. Psychic vampires may identify an experience in which they "linked" or psychically bonded with an existing psychic vampire, sometimes via such media as online chat or the telephone. "Turn" stories involving sex or the injection of an unknown substance (supposedly the existing HLV's blood) have also been described. Although some HLV's reporting this experience believe that it was causative and that they were literally "turned" or transformed from ordinary humans into HLV's, many others see such experiences as awakening latent tendencies that had been dormant in the new HLV all along. It is more common for blood vampires to view the change as externally induced and for psychic vampires to adhere to the idea of awakened latent tendencies. This would be consistent with the origin of the "turn" concept in the 20th Century Vampire Myth. Also, blood vampires are more likely to consider the vampire virus hypothesis seriously and this also lends itself to a model for "turning" caused by the transmission of the virus.
However, only a minority of HLV's gives full credence to the possibility of "turning". While some believe that it may be possible, or is possible in rare cases, and a very few hold firmly that "turning" is the only way to become an HLV, the majority of HLV's of all types believe that they were born as they are. Even blood-craving HLV's frequently say that their obsession with and craving for blood goes back as far as they can remember. At least one blood-craving HLV experienced a mid-life awakening of her blood-craving tendencies but has absolutely no idea what could have catalyzed it. For the most part, HLV's regard "turning" as belonging to realm of role-playing and fiction.
A separate issue, however, are the constant requests that almost every public HLV receives from people asking to be "turned". The "turn fantasy" is a powerful one for many people who are deeply invested in the vampire metaphor. Such individuals not only contact self-described HLV's asking to be turned, but place vampersonal ads and post messages on message boards, guest books and other forum in droves. Those who are seeking to be "turned" do so with an earnestness and even desperation that is amazing to many HLV's. I have only encountered a tiny handful of people seeking to be "turned" because they had a terminal illness. Most are simply unhappy with their lives, or are seeking to change themselves in some profound way. The majority of them (although by no means all) also seem to be very young.
Most HLV's are appalled by requests for "turning", whether they believe such a thing is possible or not. HLV's of all types overwhelmingly regard their condition as a serious liability (indeed, I have yet to hear an exception to this in the vampiric community). They often respond to "turn" requests with a litany of the woes they suffer and demand whether the aspirant has thought through all the disadvantages to life with an uncontrollable craving for blood or energy. In many cases, it seems that the aspirant is not, in fact, asking to be "turned" into an HLV as described on this page. Even though they may be addressing a person (such as Sanguinarius, or myself, or other vampire website owners) who has clearly and unequivocally explained on their public site what they are and what it entails, aspirants seem to be seeking a variant of the 20th Century Vampire Myth. It almost seems as though "turn" aspirants assume that the HLV's are just trying to hide the truth from them; anyone who calls themselves a "vampire", they think, must be a "vampire" like the Myth, someone privileged and special who they want to be like.
The serious danger lies in the type of person who is all too happy to respond positively to "turn" requests, especially from young women. Just imagine, for comparison, a twelve-year-old girl (with a lack of parental supervision) who got online in various adult chat rooms and forum and announced far and wide that she was looking for a cute, nice boy to lose her virginity to. She will doubtless get many responses, and none of them will be from the kind of decent, respectful, attractive young man she is dreaming about, because those young men don't take advantage of naive young girls. No, she'll hear from the kind of pedophilic creeps who slaver at the prospect of having sex with a twelve-year-old. Many of these men are very skilled at telling young girls exactly what they want to hear. Similarly, the online vampire forum have their own schools of sharks cruising for young girls (and boys) they can lure with a promise of "turning". They will spin stories about being immortals, throwing out more and more outrageous details to test their mark's gullibility. They will promise all the beautiful details in the 20th Century Vampire Myth: agelessness, immortality, power, endless love and an enfolding community of peers. If they succeed in meeting their mark at last, the results could be very serious indeed. There have been a number of cases of girls being tricked into sex under the pretense of "turning", or of people being injected with harmful foreign substances. Some of these vampiroid predators have attempted to form a cult-like "vampire clan" of mind-controlled slaves.
Those seeking to be "turned" should reflect carefully on what it is that they are really looking for. Few aspirants to "turning" have in mind the realities of being an HLV of any type. The goals they desire, such as a community of intimate friends and peers, a sense of empowerment, freedom from fear about aging, disease, and death, and so forth are better sought in other ways. Immortality and power are not simply handed out free of charge to anyone who wanders by asking for them. If they are available at all, they are available for a price equivalent to their value.
NOTE: the following account gives my personal experience and perspectives on the evolution and current state of the online vampiric community. Others have different points of view, and I urge readers to check those out on the websites listed at the bottom of this section.
One of the very new developments among human living vampires and vampiric people is the coalescing, identification and naming of a "vampiric community". This might also be called an "online vampiric community" since it consists entirely of a growing number of websites, message boards, chat channels and mailing lists managed by and for living vampires. The "vampiric community" does not include, except by broad definition, those vampiric individuals who might be active in club or underground scenes (almost entirely blood-drinking) but who are not involved in the various Internet venues. These individuals, indeed, may not even be aware of such venues, but rather have their own media for communicating with one another.
The first reference to this online community seems to have appeared in the Statements of Purpose on Sanguinarius' Vampire Support Page website, which was created in the summer of 1997. At that time, the reference appeared to be a general one, with "vampire community" being used to loosely indicate all those who self-defined or fell under any definition of "vampire", whether they were connected with the online forum or not. In this sense, the term was used in the same general way that "community" has been applied to an almost infinite number of subgroups that have in common a given special interest or experience--for example, the Pagan community, the gay community, the leather community, even "the victim community" of survivors of violent crimes. Sanguinarius appeared to be simply recognizing that self-defined "vampires" represented a "community" through broad common interest. Her Statements of Purpose asserted that her objectives included encouraging understanding and networking among community members, outreach to isolated individuals, public education efforts about blood-drinking and vampirism, and support for vampiric people suffering from persecution. This is similar to the initial goals of many of the first organizers of various "communities".
As websites, message boards and chat channels specifically for living vampires continued to proliferate at a remarkable pace during the winter and early spring of 1998, a core membership of individuals appeared who became recognized as regular participants. These members did not restrict themselves to just one online venue but circulated among almost all of them (although most had a favorite "home"). This meant that discussions, interpersonal issues, hot debate topics and so forth did not occur in one isolated place but spread throughout the network of Internet forum. Strong personalities emerged, and inevitably, so did strong disagreements. There were even one or two community scapegoats. Some community members became highly distressed at the occasional lack of civility in discussions and complained or announced their departure (usually temporarily). However, an objective view of all the online turmoil reveals some interesting changes going on underneath the surface.
Beginning in the early spring of 1998, tensions began to spark a variety of online debates, and these tensions centered on a critical issue: what, exactly, was meant by the term "vampire" (or the then-current "real vampire"), what characteristics did a "vampire" have, and who should be considered one, and hence a member of "the vampire community"? Many of these tensions and the resulting heated discussions had their direct or indirect origin in my own website, the previous version of this one. The direct origin came from a couple of features of that site in particular: the checklists, which some felt were misleading, and the FAQ question "What is a psychic vampire", in which I made the statement that "all real vampires are psychic vampires by nature" and hence, that there was no such thing as a psychic vampire as a separate and distinct entity. My own intention was to suggest a model for understanding vampires that included all the various permutations, from "pure" blood vampires to "pure" psi-feeding vampires, with the vast majority falling somewhere in the middle as "psi-blood feeders" (which, indeed, independent surveys by the original owner of the Psychic Vampires page had found to be true, just as it was confirmed by my own e-mail). I hoped to encourage varieties of vampiric people to see themselves as having vampirism in common and so feel more like a unified class of kindred spirits, despite their vastly differing habits. However, I was not able to convey this intention clearly enough. The reaction of some of the online forum membership was represented by writer Amy Krieytaz, who continued to bring up the question of "pure" psi-feeders and "pure" blood vampires--the latter, especially--"feeling excluded" by my model, which was anything but my wish. I certainly felt a strong personal affinity with blood-craving HLV's, myself, but I gathered (rightly or wrongly) that many "pure" blood vampires in the online community did not have a high opinion of me and my site (to say the least). Meanwhile, Amy attempted to address the situation by devising "overlapping categories" of so-called "real vampires", and we debated this issue furiously, but civilly, in private e-mail.
Both Amy and I stuck burr-like to our positions, but as the summer went on, I began to perceive changes evolving that seemed to render my own hope of encouraging a Unified Field Theory of Real Vampirism both quixotic and a failure. The online psychic vampires (with and without blood-craving or blood interest tendencies) were growing in number incredibly rapidly, and websites, chat channels and message boards specifically for them were being founded enthusiastically. As this was going on, "psychic wars" began to break out in which the psychic vampire community rallied around one or more members who complained of being attacked by other psychic vampires (either members of the group or hostile outsiders). These claims baffled and disturbed blood vampires who could not understand what these attacks meant or how to assess claims of something they could not perceive. This reaction of skepticism--no matter how quiet and noncommittal--the psychic vampires saw as coming from other members of the online community contributed to a widening crack. Instead of seeing themselves as "real vampires" with an experience in common (a need to "feed" on blood or energy), the online community was beginning to separate into two halves, one which still felt that vampirism by definition implied a need to drink blood, and those who were beginning to opine that "real vampires" should not need to drink blood, but instead should aspire to the "higher" level of psifeeding. Long before this difference of opinion became openly contentious, it was already creating a deep psychological rift. But the greatest irony of all in this development, at least from my perspective, was that it was all my fault.
Prior to the publication of my FireHeart article in fall, 1987, nobody, under any circumstances, considered a "psychic vampire" a thing that in any way could be positive to be, or that one would ever want to admit to being. Every book that dealt with "real life vampirism" defined vampirism on the basis of blood drinking. If psychic vampires were mentioned at all, it was in the context of early occult literature that described psychic vampires as people who drained the vitality of others, either unconsciously or maliciously. Once or twice a book mentioned references to "psychic vampires" as the leechlike, clinging, using personality types defined and denounced by both the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set. The sole "positive" reference to a "psychic vampire" from his own point of view occurs in Norine Dresser's American Vampires, and that was published two years after my article (in fact, I contributed to Norine's original research by answering, at great length, one of her questionnaires). Martin V. Riccardo's article in The Complete Vampire Companion actually quotes my article. I had introduced a totally new paradigm for psychic vampirism, and when it was dropped into the whirling maelstrom of the Internet, with the posting of the old article on the EarthSpirit website at the beginning of 1997, it was like a bomb going off. But even when EarthSpirit's webmistress Moira wrote to me saying that my single article was getting more hits than any other page on the entire EarthSpirit site, I simply couldn't believe what was going on. Even when I became buried in e-mail from the article itself during the spring and summer of 1997, I couldn't believe what was going on. I designed and put up my first site in August of 1997 in direct response (unfortunately, a little too direct) to the inquiries I was receiving about the article. Even then, I simply had no idea what I had already started, or what kind of flame I was about to pour a tank full of gasoline on. Six months later when Amy was trying to tell me "how influential my ideas were", I still could not believe it. The goddess had played a grand joke on me, indeed.
Because, of course, all of these people who were reading my site weren't adopting my ideas as a whole package. They were extracting from my site what they found agreeable to their pre-existing worldview and ideology, which ninety-nine percent of the time meant completely ignoring my assertions that all "real vampires" need to drink blood and that "psychic vampires" are not separate entities. My site acted as a psychic vampire manifesto, and those who read it adapted my ideas, and passed them on to others who further adapted them, and so on, and so on... and I had started a revolution, in which a "psychic vampire" suddenly was not a draining, aurically-challenged individual who leeched off other people and needed to be "cured", "magically bound", or avoided, nor even a subset of Borderline Personality Disorder, but a kind of superior being, a potential master energy-wielder, who could outgrow any need to "feed" on blood, or on other people. But this wasn't my revolution--I didn't own it. In some ways, I felt like I'd led the Boston Tea Party and then been thrown overboard with the tea. Many blood vampires didn't like me because some psychic vampires were adapting my ideas in some ways rather unflattering to them (and very much at variance from my intentions); some psychic vampires didn't like me because I continued to insist there was no such thing as a psychic vampire; almost everyone was dubious about me because of my checklists, which were widely seen as a bad idea. As I became buried under an avalanche of e-mail that mostly pled for an explanation of checklist scores, I was starting to come around to that point of view, myself.
The psychic vampire revolution was a movement whose time had come, and the self-defined psychic vampires themselves really cannot be blamed for the way they expanded into the nascent online community. After all, so many of us continued to bravely maintain that the "vampire community" should (somehow) include every self-defined vampire. What nobody seemed to realize--perhaps not even the psychic vampires themselves--was that the psychic vampire community was hiving off into its own completely independent reality, with its own leaders, its own sub community, its own vocabulary, its own concepts. The online vampire community, even as it formed, was like a fertilized zygote, destined from the first moment to separate as neatly and cleanly as a cell undergoing mitosis. The psychic vampires had pulled off their half of the nucleus and protoplasm and were rounding out their new membrane, as all the while the online discussion board members continued to debate the question of who, what, why and when the "vampire community" should be as though it was still a unified, if diverse, single group. As the psychic vampires became stronger, more self-assured, more articulate and developed a better consensus, their collective influence naturally became much stronger in the general online forum. The blood vampires found their own opposing self-definitions thrown into sharp relief as a result, and began reaffirming their own identity, pulling back into their own subgroup and grumbling behind the scenes.
Under the mounting pressure of this still unacknowledged and widening breach, the explicit issues finally erupted publicly in September 1998. Some blood vampires logged complaints that the psychic vampires were "taking over". Sanguinarius, a "pure" blood vampire, forcefully stated her view that "real vampires" were defined as blood-craving or blood-lusting blood vampires, period, and that "psychic vampires" were not worthy of the name. She posted this message on both the Bloody Minded message board and then the much more general Vampire Community message board, and the psychic vampires suddenly found themselves being brutally challenged by an acknowledged leader of the vampire community. They were, naturally, hurt and dismayed, the more so because a few other blood vampires cheered Sanguinarius' message and added their agreement. Some psychic vampires angrily responded to Sanguinarius' message while others simply abandoned the message board for their own more exclusive forum (at least until they cooled off). Sanguinarius later relented on her strong position and apologized, but she continued to state that she simply did not understand the psychic vampires' perspective on life, and that her real allegiance was to other blood vampires and their issues. Her view was probably representative of many blood vampires. However, Sanguinarius and many others reaffirmed their dedication to the community as a whole. An uneasy truce was settled, and Sanguinarius renamed her main message board "the Vampiric Community message board" in accordance with a new suggestion of Amy's that we consider ourselves the "vampiric" community of "vampiric" people (not just "vampires").
At about this same time I was undergoing a private capitulation, based partly upon my finally realizing what I had, in a certain sense, wrought, and partly upon bowing at long last to another in a string of disappointments I had encountered ever since getting online in December of 1994. I threw in the towel for good on my ideas of a Unified Field Theory of Real Vampirism, and I also admitted to myself that the people in the online community were not the people I was seeking, and that it was unfair of me to expect them to be. I made a long post to this effect on the Vampiric Community message board, and I took down my old website for long-planned and extensive revisions.
At this juncture, I perceive that there are two "vampire online communities": the increasingly well organized and well-articulated psychic vampire community, and the greater, much looser, somewhat shakier "vampiric community". Although members are trying hard to be tolerant and civil, I am afraid that I see no more chance of reconciliation into a whole than of squashing two daughter cells back together into one. Despite good public intentions, many blood vampires still find psychic vampires incomprehensible and feel that a large number of them are deluding themselves. Meanwhile, many psychic vampires are tending toward a sort of "spiritual Darwinism" in which (among other things) blood vampirism is seen as "unevolved" and psychic vampirism a "higher" method of feeding--even the mark of an "old soul". Even unexpressed, these views will only serve to force the two groups farther apart. Blood vampires tend to take a much more materialistic perspective on their condition, psychic vampires a more metaphysical one; expecting them to understand each other is like expecting the AMA and the Christian Scientists to hold a joint academic conference. Another factor, too, is that there is a large blood vampire community offline, with no connection to the online vampiric community. The psychic vampire community is far more connected to the Internet.
I realize that Amy Krieytaz does not agree with me on this point, and I'm sure we will have some long, civil, stimulating debates about it. However, this is a case of history, not theory; time will prove which of us is right. In the meantime, if you are just beginning to explore the online Vampiric community forum, I urge you not to feel intimidated by any of this and feel free to join in. However, you should remain aware of this situation, so that you don't inadvertently step on any toes.
Websites that include other perspectives on the Vampiric Community and its history (I strongly encourage readers to review them all!):
Vampiric People's Resource Page
For a comprehensive list of message boards connecting the online Vampiric Community, see Sphynxcat's Real Vampires Page.
After reading all of the above descriptions of Human Living Vampires and vampiric people, you might be wondering who to talk to if you think you might be a Human Living Vampire and aren't sure what to do about it.
First, consider very carefully the reasons you have for suspecting that you might be an HLV of whatever type. I'm a firm believer in not drawing conclusions without information, so I would recommend that you read all of this site (including the Frequently Asked Questions page which includes questions from my previous site's e-mail), all the informational material on all the sites linked on this page and on my links page, the sites linked on those pages as being worthwhile, and possibly look over a few of the message boards mentioned above. I would even advise reading some of the books in the Books about Real Vampires booklist on this site, if it didn't seem like too much to ask of people in this hurried age. I'll recommend it anyway, especially Something in the Blood, Liquid Dreams of Vampires, and Vampires Among Us (for starters).
Once you have all that information to mull over, once again consider why you think you might be a Human Living Vampire. What aspects of the information you read and the first-person accounts made sense to you or seemed to strike a familiar note? Essentially, if you are a blood vampire, your primary indication of this should be a deeply felt desire, craving, or even stronger urge to consume blood from other people (or other living things)--not just your own blood. Blood should hold an almost incomprehensible and irresistible attraction for you; you should feel as though you need it, that without it you are lacking a critical element for your continued well-being. This is apart from (although not necessarily in place of) any erotic attraction blood holds for you. If (and only if) the above is true of you, then consider other, "secondary symptoms". Do you avoid sunlight and other bright light, wear sunglasses all the time, try not to go out in the day, sunburn easily? Are you sure there are not other medical or circumstantial explanations (i.e. some medications (and contact lenses) can make you photophobic, some diseases cause sun sensitivity, use of illicit drugs often dilates the pupils and makes your eyes very sensitive to light)? Are you naturally nocturnal, preferring to be awake and alert during the night and feeling lethargic during the day?
If you have thought about all of this and concluded that you have definite symptoms of being a blood vampire and they cannot be easily explained away, then your next step would be to reread the information on the websites listed for blood vampires, log onto the Bloody Minded message board, and connect with others who can help offer advice on finding donors, learning about blood safety, and otherwise solving some of the problems you face. If you are an adult over 18, you may also wish to explore the offline blood-drinking/bloodletting scenes. You should do this with caution, however, and preferably with a more experienced mentor as a guide.
For psychic vampires, the questions are just a bit more sticky. The difficulty with psychic vampires is that no consensus exists on how they can be diagnosed. Some psychic vampires self-identify on the basis of how they feel; others include, or rely on, how they seem to affect people around them (which is probably a better method, provided that the effects observed are fairly consistent and not limited only to specific individuals). But some psychic vampires hold that the only way to know if you are a psychic vampire is to be "diagnosed" as one by other, "experienced" psychic vampires who read your aura or "energy signature". This is very often done via online chat sessions. Indeed, it's extremely rare for psychic vampires in the online community to have ever actually met each other, something I find rather bewildering. I have never assessed another person to be a probable vampire without not only meeting them, but spending considerable time in their close acquaintance, knowing other people they knew, and observing their effects on others over time. Without that, I deferred to the person's own judgment as to whether they were or were not a "vampire" of any kind. (The hundreds of readers who received mail from me about their checklist scores can testify to this.) Nevertheless, online diagnoses of psychic vampires via energy signature interpretation is becoming quite standard now, and this may have something to do with the rapid growth of the psychic vampire community. I confess that I have very mixed feelings about this, but it's not for me to meddle in.
Barring logging onto a chat channel and obtaining an online "diagnosis", there are some basic indicators that you might be a psychic vampire (treat these as guidelines only). These include: feeling a strong sense of "drawing energy" in the presence of other people (which may be experienced as a sense of fullness, a sensation of pressure or inward "suction" in the solar plexus or above the bridge of the nose, a sense of sudden elation, euphoria, or increased vigor, or an odd optical illusion that the area around you has gotten a little brighter, as though someone just turned on an extra lamp somewhere); a sense of "energy overload" in which you easily "hit the wall" in social situations and need to withdraw and be alone; and lassitude, weakness and depression when you're cut off from your usual social interactions. Some psychic vampires include emotional empathy ("feeling" other people's emotions and experiencing them) as a symptom, although non-vampires can be highly empathic. Effects on other people might include depression, fatigue, or loss of energy when people are around you, people sometimes avoiding you or withdrawing from you for no apparent reason, or people giving you harsh feedback about your alleged neediness, clinginess, intrusiveness or negativity (many psychic vampires spontaneously report having been called "a black hole" at some point). Psychically sensitive people might complain that they feel you "pulling" on their auras or extending "tendrils" that they feel "clinging" to them. "Secondary symptoms", which you should consider if and only if you have pronounced (and I mean pronounced, don't kid yourself by exaggerating) symptoms like the above, might include sun sensitivity and nocturnalism, migraine headaches, and a high degree of psychic ability.
If you feel that you have experienced some of the above, and might be a psychic vampire, my advice is the same as for blood vampires: collect all the information you possibly can, think it over some more, make sure you don't have medical conditions or other circumstances that might be creating the symptoms, and if you still feel certain, connect with the psychic vampire networks and try asking questions and sharing your experiences.
The self-assessment for psi-blood feeders would, obviously, be a combination of the above. Nonpersonal Energy Hungerers might notice that there are specific sources of nonpersonal energy that make them feel unaccountably and substantially nourished or refreshed, separation from which for any period of time leaves them depressed, weakened and apathetic. At those times, they may notice some psychic vampire symptoms in themselves or in their apparent effect on other people.
Respectful comments or questions may be sent to MasterE.