Do you wear garlic around your neck or carry holy water to ward off vampires? Are your precautions warranted or just a superstition born of legend? It turns out vampires do exist, just not the way they are depicted in fiction. Real vampires who drink blood exist in society, but as far as their aversion to garlic, holy water, and daylight, those attributes seem limited to myths and fiction. When people talk about whether vampires exist, they often imagine the stereotypical vampire--a frightening character with two oversized fangs, a pale face, and an unquenchable thirst for human blood--instead of the average person who lives next door.
There are some people who pursue vampirism as a form of theology, living the spiritual lifestyle with respect for human life. The Temple of the Vampire is located in the South Sound region of Western Washington. Its members believe vampirism and the vampire way of life is the next step in human evolution, and the temple has been in existence for a quarter of a century. There are members from all around the world.
Although some psychic vampires wouldn't self-identify as such and might be surprised to hear others call them energy vampires, many people believe this is a real thing. Psychic vampires are people who leave you drained just from being in their presence because something in them pulls your energy away from you. They absorb your energy, leaving them recharged and you drained. While some people do self-identify as psychic vampires, most are not aware they take and absorb your energy. They often become this way because they are trapped in their own cycle of negative energy and need to gather energy from others to recharge. It may be difficult to recognize people with these traits until you notice your energy always drops when they are around.
Vampirism as a Medical Condition
Throughout the centuries, people in various villages and communities have been accused of being a vampire. In some cases, the accused was actually caught red-handed (pardon the pun), literally sucking the blood from the unconscious or lifeless victim in its arms. While the label of "vampire" provided a somewhat paranormal explanation for the behavior, modern science provides new labels for the condition. However, does a medical label wipe away the reality that such afflicted people really do exist?
Porphyria is a medical condition where patients suffer from very pale and flaky skin, and they are extremely sensitive to sunlight. The condition is caused by an enzyme deficiency that can lead to changes in physical appearance, such as receding gums. The eye-opening aspect of this disease is the fact that the deficient enzyme produces a part of human blood that carries oxygen, so sufferers often feel weak and tired. Theoretically, those who suffer from this disease could find temporary relief from this weakness by drinking the blood of someone who is healthy. No evidence has ever been found that proves that people with porphyria were those who were usually labeled as vampires, but it's quite possible.
Vampirism as a Psychological Illness
Richard Noll, a clinical psychologist and author of the 1992 book Vampires, Werewolves and Demons, proposed a new syndrome called "Renfield's Syndrome" as explanation for the population of individuals who go through life with the belief that they need to drink human blood in order to survive. This syndrome is not yet accepted by the general psychiatric community, but one does not need to look very far to find proof that this syndrome is very real. Sanguinarius.org is a very large community and social network for "real vampires". It even offers articles such as:
- Safe bloodletting & feeding
- Cooking with blood
- Dealing with the blood thirst
- Eye & skin protection (dealing with the sun)
The creator of this website makes it clear that the site is for "real" vampires, not those people who suffer from mental conditions, or "fakers" who pretend to be vampires. The owner of the site presents it as a public service to help real vampires who suffer from a craving for blood or psi energy, and who are grossly misunderstood by the general public.
One thing that is very clear about vampires is that they most certainly exist, although not in the ways depicted in popular media. Like many myths and legends, vampire stories appear to be based on a small gem of truth. As you explore real life vampirism, it becomes clear that when it comes to vampires, the truth is far stranger than fiction, but you can probably leave the garlic and holy water at home.