Real vampires are nothing like legendary or literary vampires. Today's real vampires defy all the rules and conventions of literature and myth. Before you get out your wooden stake, separate fact from fiction in regard to the vampires who may be living next door.
Real Vampire Communities
Real vampires exist as a sub-culture and a large networked community. For these individuals, vampirism isn't a lifestyle choice. Real vampires believe they are born vampires and must feed off the energy of other humans in order to live. This energy is consumed through the ingesting of human blood or by feeding off the psychic energy of others.
Many members of the vampire community share lifestyle preferences with the Gothic community. In some tight-knit communities, there are certain blood-letting fetishes while other communities share a sadomasochism culture. In addition to these types of lifestyle choices within the vampire communities, there are many vampires who don't distinguish themselves as being any different from those within the greater human community. These real vampires live a normal life, except they drink blood or are psychic feeders.
Regardless of the type of community a vampire chooses to join, they all share one thing in common - secrecy. Most vampires wish to keep their true identity secret out of fear. They are rightfully concerned over how their family, friends, co-workers, bosses, and neighbors would react were they to discover the truth about them. Keeping their vampirism secret protects their job, reputation, and relationships.
However, there is always the risk of isolation. To counter this, vampires have their own social network to allow them to interact with their own kind. This is often in the venue of secret clubs, online private communities, and connections made through various social media. These vampires rarely go by their real names in an effort to protect their real identities. While the internet has allowed more vampires to meet and the community to grow, the underground vampire community existed long before modern technology.
What It Means to Be a Sanguinarian
Sanguinarians are vampires who drink human blood. For the majority of vampires, this is just a few drops of blood, although a growing percentage consume larger quantities. These vampires are said to feed from willing donors. They are mindful and respectful of those willing to donate their blood in a desire to share the vampire experience. This mutual relationship between donors and vampires has any number of health risks due to blood-borne diseases. This requires safety precautions where donors are screened as are the vampires to ensure everyone's health is protected.
The act of drinking blood is often part of a sexual fetish. However, many vampires treat their need for blood much the same way a human does eating food. For a real vampire, the life of vampirism isn't simply lifestyle choice. They claim that they have no choice, since they are born vampires.
Psychic vampires don't drink blood for sustenance or sexual excitement. Rather, they claim to feed on the life force energies of others, such as a person's prana or aura. This type of feeding isn't always done with a willing donor.
Since these are psychic feeders, there isn't the need for a donor to be willing. Much depends on the morals of the psychic vampire. Unfortunately, some psychic vampires are very much like the predators depicted in fiction and stalk their prey. They secretly feed off the individual, who suddenly finds themself exhausted and lacking energy.
There are other types of psychic vampires who believe their powers are generated through the use of black magic. One such group of psychic vampires is known as the Order of the Vampire. This group openly states that vampirism is the condition of black magic. They use black magic to enhance and grow their abilities as psychic vampires.
Another organization is the worldwide religious organization known as the Temple of the Vampire that was established in 1989 and states that it's the authentic and true vampire religion. Members are given support and training to access their personal magic and follow specific doctrines to tap into energies to control their lives and achieve unlimited life extension.
The doctrine states The Temple embraces vampirism of love, civilized behavior, respect, physical immortality, worldly success, and personal happiness among other positive aspects. The Temple rejects all of the negative mythos that are traditionally associated with vampirism.
Members and nonmembers are given access to various teachings, including The Vampire Bible and Revelations. There is an online community that supports the membership.
As with any group of beings, there are some very aggressive vampires and these have made the news, such as serial killers Peter Kürten and Richard Chase. Both individuals are pointed out as examples of people suffering from what is labeled as clinical vampirism.
Clinical vampirism (Renfield's syndrome) is a distinct disorder, named after the character in the novel Dracula. The sufferers are generally male with onset occurring sometime after puberty. The disorder typically begins with the person drinking his own blood and then moving on to others who are not necessarily willing donors.
Real Life Vampires
Vampires can be very real, even though they differ significantly from those creatures of legend or in your favorite books, comics, graphic novels, or movies. Unlike their fictional counterparts, real vampires are not undead creatures that must hide from sunlight. Other than the clinical vampire, real vampires aren't out stalking human prey; they hold down jobs, have homes, and even raise families.