Interview with a Vampire
the modern vampire in society
[Author's Note: At University (in the early 2000's), I took a Sociology class on the myth and symbolism of Witchcraft, and as part of the class, I ended up writing a paper on the mythology and folklore of vampires, which then lead me into a paid gig writing vampire articles for a while. This is questions I 'interviewed' a real-life vampire with that I couldn't fit into the paper itself ~ C ]
I wrote a paper in university on vampires for a Sociology/Anthropology class on Witchcraft. To shed some light on the contemporary vampire living in present-day society, and how it relates to society, I have been in contact with a person that I have found on the Internet while researching this paper.
To begin gathering information from this person, I posted a message on a forum (remember those?) asking for people who could help me for the sake of writing an academic paper.
This person, who goes by a pseudonym for obvious reasons - and with his permission says I can use his pen name for the sake of this paper, ‘Osiris’. As a point of interest, Osiris is the King of the Dead in Egyptian mythology, which fits nicely, claims to be a ‘real’ vampire (as well as Wiccan). This person seems to be knowledgeable on the subject of his lifestyle and is very convincing. In experiencing and living how he says he does and the way he presents himself seems far from crazy.
Communication in this context needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But if I was to be asked whom I would believe to most likely be a ‘real’ vampire (though I am still hesitant) I would say this person fits the bill to a ‘T’. If anything, his answers to my questions will hopefully give some personal insight into the beliefs and lifestyles of vampires, these marginalized and misunderstood people who co-exist with us in society.
This piece is the rest of the questions that I asked Osiris that did not directly fit into the paper, but that are interesting anyway and give an idea about what it is like for the modern vampire to live in today’s world.
Q: Can you really live longer than 'regular' people?
A: No. As I said we are basically humans. We may have shorter or longer lives depending on our overall lifestyle.
Q: How do you feel about modern Vampire films like 'Queen of the Damned' (that focus on real vampires). Do they portray you properly?
A: Emphatically NO! They are still the works of fiction and do not portray “REAL” vampires in the slightest. They still take their ideals from the fiction and mythos of the last 2 centuries.
Q: How 'out' are you to the public/society?
A: I am pretty out myself. Work does not know, but friends, most of my family, and in most cases, people I meet know soon after.
Q: How do people react when they discover that you are a vampire?
A: Depends on the person. Some are intrigued. Others fearful. Others aroused. Still others completely terrified.
Q: Do you feel society is more accepting to alternative lifestyles like vampirism (and Wicca)?
A: I feel that as a whole society is accepting of most alternative lifestyles such as being Wiccan or Buddhist or even being Homosexual. However, they view the consumption of human blood as an atrocity and as being a mentally challenged (read Psycho) person. I do not think society, as a whole, is ready to accept Vampires into the mainstream or even alternative world.
Q: What do you 'get out’ of being a vampire? (benefits)
A: Really, I have no benefits. I do not enjoy being a vampire. I have slightly heightened senses. I can hear both ultra-high and low sounds. I have a very high sense of smell. Yes, I can smell blood even in low amounts. My vision even with glasses is relatively keen as well. I heal pretty fast from most major injuries (fractured finger healed in a week and ½ without a doctor’s aid). Overall though it is a curse more than a blessing.
Q: When did you first realize you were a vampire?
A: I have always had the taste for blood. I was drinking the blood of others even as a child. I did not begin to call myself a vampire until my teens and did not fully awaken to the fact I was one until my late teens.
Q: What was your parents/friends/lovers reaction?
A: Parents: Freaked but accept me and love me still.
Friends: it varied but for the most part they accept me.
Lovers: again it varied, but most of my donors are either my current or former lovers.
Q: Do you feel that the recent explosion of vampire and general occult TV programming and films will lead to more vampiric awakenings amongst people?
A: I think there will be a surge in blood fetishists, but as for awakenings. I do not believe so. You will have a lot of role players and wannabes but they will eventually grow out of it. I have been this way since childhood. No signs of my "growing out of it".
Q: What would you say differentiates real vampires and their lifestyle to those 'wannabe' vampires who see it as 'cool' or a temporary trend?
A: The physical symptoms I have named earlier. A wannabe will not have the withdrawal symptoms and illness vampires do. It is almost like a junkie in need of the fix but worse in my opinion because without the drug, the junkie can recover. Without the blood, we do not.
Q: Do you feel discriminated against in everyday life?
A: Well if work knew, I could probably lose my job as it is high profile. So yes I would say I am in a way.
Q: The vampiric lifestyle can obviously operate on a number of different levels. What would you say these were? and what level do you see yourself on?
A: Hmmmm I would say that there are really only two ways the lifestyle works...
In the coffin as I like to say or out of it. I am definitely for the most part out of the coffin. This is much like the closet for a homosexual. When they come out, they are out to the world for the most part or the important people in their lives, while not the entire world at large.
Q: People always fear the unknown or out of the norm. Do you feel it would make it easier for you if people were more educated about your way of life, or is this not important to you?
A: I really think those who wish to learn will ask the right questions. Those who will never learn will continue to fear. So no, I do not believe that education is the key to this. It is in the hearts of the individuals. As there will always be a racist or a homophobe or a religious zealot, there will always be those who fear that which is different from them.
Q: How do you convince (that might be the wrong word) people to give you their blood? Do you actually bite them? or do they let their own blood for you?
A: Usually it is with a sterile scalpel as it does far less tissue damage than a bite. I will bite into the wound which keeps it open and the blood flowing a bit more freely. Some make the incision themselves while others are too squeamish to do it so I make the cut. Mostly it is just a sort of talking to. An explanation of what will happen and the safety aspects and precautions to prevent infection. A lot of donors are quite willing to give their blood to a vamp. That is why they are donors.
Q: Vampires or Vampyres: what is the difference? Why the different spelling?
A: Most vamps use the Vampyre to set themselves apart from the mythological vampire. I personally have no preference on this.
Q: Do you know of many other real vampires like yourself?
A: At the moment, I am acquainted with 30 nationwide on a personal level and 2 on an international level.
Q: Are you bothered by how vampires are portrayed in popular culture/media? Or do you just see it as ignorance and a way for big corporations to make money (i.e. Count Chocula cereal, or the vampire in Sesame Street), so you don't let it get to you?
A: I think they portray what they have heard for so long because it really is all they know. Superstitions and legends, myths from a time long ago. Besides, being as real vampires are pretty much like you or any other person on earth, it would be boring to see or read about as there are no special powers, no hypersexuality, no special effects.
Q: Would you even want to present to society how you actually are?
A: I do not think they are ready to listen. Plus as I stated above, we are really pretty boring.
Q: What are the similarities (and differences) between the mythical/folkloric vampire and the 'real'/living vampire?
A: Mainly the powers. They are only "real" for the mythological vampire. I wish I had a few nifty tricks up my sleeves, but I don't. We don't burn in the sun, well any more than anyone else. I do burn pretty quick and can get a severe sunburn in less than an hour, but I do not turn to dust and burst into flames. The stake through the heart, well it will kill anyone. Garlic..love the stuff. Crosses, I actually enjoy looking at the old gothic crosses. They are beautiful. I only back off when someone tries to shove it up my nose. Holy water, just a refreshing drink or splash. The only real main similarity is that we must drink blood to survive.
Me: Thank you very much for any help you can give in answering these questions!
Osiris: You are most welcome. If I can assist you any further, please let me know.
Want to read more about vampires? Check this out!