By Light Unseen

Human Vampire-Like Predators

Although the individuals in this category are repudiated and unwelcome among Vampire-Identified People and in the Vampire Community, they need to be discussed here. For the average person on the street, these people--and none others--are what come 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. Vampire-Identified People and the Vampire Community need to clearly distinguish themselves from these individuals and their labeling by the mental health establishment and the media as "vampires."

A vampire-like predator is a person who has a 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 folklore/fictional vampires such as Dracula, Anne Rice's characters or the vampires in role-playing games. But more usually, vampire-like predators 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 or trenchcoats, 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 vampire-like predators, including Fritz Haarman, Gilles de Rais, the Marquis de Sade, John George Haigh, Richard Trenton Chase, and Elizabeth Bathory. These individuals appear over and over in non-fiction books about vampires. There have been more recent cases, of which the most notorious is probably the Rod Ferrell murders in Florida. In 2006, the Kimveer Gill shooting in Canada was the direct cause of one "real vampire" website, Some Lives Are Different, being terminated by its ISP. Sometimes these criminals are referred to as suffering from so-called "Renfield's Syndrome."

Every news story about one of these criminals does inestimable harm to the public perception of the real Vampire Community and its members. Advocates and leaders within the Vampire Community spend a great deal of time tracking media reports and legal cases related to vampire-like criminals and crimes committed by those who claim to be vampires or are given that label by the press.

In addition to criminals like these, there is another form of human vampire-like predator that stalks the Vampire Community itself. These individuals frequent chatrooms, messageboards, and social networking groups looking for impressionable people (usually the predator is male and the targeted victims are young women, but there are exceptions) to entice with mysterious promises of "hidden secrets" or offers of "turning." The predator's real goal is rape, if not worse. There have been too many grim stories in which victims agreed to meet a self-avowed "vampire" they had met online and wound up having an extremely negative--sometimes fatal--encounter. In other cases, victims were drawn into an extended relationship or a cult-like situation in which they were abused over a period of time before they finally were helped, or escaped. These predators tend to be charming, manipulative, coercive, and adept at telling their targets what they want to hear, and can often seem very convincing.

For more information about vampire-like predators who prey on the Vampire Community, see:

Social Predators by SphynxCat

Sociopaths by SphynxCat

Many leaders in the Vampire Community recommend Isaac Bonewits' Cult Danger Evaluation Frame to individuals seeking to join an offline "House" or group for Vampire-Identified People. This frame has been used for many years in the Pagan Community and has become more important in the Vampire Community with the proliferation of offline organizations and groups. SphynxCat has written a valuable article on the topic of joining a Vampire House or similar group, Joining a House, Church or other Organization.

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