Popularity in vampires has reached critical mass, in case you haven’t noticed. From the Twilight series to The Vampire Diaries, fans can’t seem to get enough of the peaked, velvet-draped, neo-Renaissance bloodsuckers.
It's no new thing: vampire lore has been woven into the larger fabric of humanity since ancient times. All cultures tell of spirits or demons that consume blood or human flesh, but the modern vampire idea came about in the 17th and 18th centuries. The publication of The Vampyre in 1819 would bolster the image of vampires as sophisticated and charming, with a wicked sense of fashion.
Couple that with Stoker’s lovelorn Dracula and sexy cinematic vampires and it’s no wonder people are attracted.
The vampiric world isn’t all a teenage tragic romance, however; it’s a real underground lifestyle and offshoot of goth subculture that sometimes leads to dangerous, and even deadly, results. This isn’t just role-playing.
The subculture is divided into two distinct parts: psychic vamps and sanguinarians. Psychic vampires claim to feed off of the energy of others, but sanguinarians go right for the jugular. There are vampire Houses and Covens to support fellow vampires and help them find donors, as ethical vampires look for willing participants. Psychic vampires have their own donors as well, or feed via dream walking... More of which later.
So here are 10 "real" vampires: some are simply blood drinkers, and no more harmful, but a few let their bloodletting fetishes be cause for murder.
10. Belfazaar Ashantison
New Orleans is known for its voodoo linked past and wild parties and also for its vampire underworld. Enter Belfazaar Ashantison who claims to suffer from a condition that prevents him from having enough energy to get through basic, daily tasks. Most would answer this with a cup of tea, but Ashantison chooses blood. He insists that he must consume the red fluid in order to thrive.
Ashantison is an elder in a vampire clan and practices safe blood consumption, just like the other sanguinarians on this list. Even though the medical concerns exist, he insists that he is immune. He has been drinking blood since the age of 13 and has never experienced an infection. Doctors, on the other hand, posit that there could be long term impacts of blood consumption beyond just infections, including liver cancer.
The vampire elder is also an energy feeder and spiritual consultant. He’s well versed in magic, Native American spirituality, and of course, voodoo. He’s also engaged in community outreach, volunteering time to help the homeless.
Which is a heck of a lot better than some of the others on this list...