Am I a Vampire? Are you a Vampire? Can you turn me into a vampire? These are questions that are commonly heard in the vampire community. They are questions that can be difficult, if not impossible to answer. I’ll attempt to address them here to the best of my ability.
Questions about vampires
Q: Am I a Vampire?
A: I couldn’t even begin to tell you. Some people say they can spot other vampires, but I think you are the only one who could truly know what you are or are not. What are the symptoms of being a vampire? There are plenty, and their validity varies depending on whom you ask. Sensitivity to sunlight, heightened sense of hearing/sight/smell, empathic/telepathic ability, pale skin, intense or abnormal eye color, pronounced canines, affinity for the night/darkness, nocturnal habits, interest in/taste for blood, being born with hair/teeth/birthmarks, being born on a holy day… all these and more have been considered signs of being a vampire. They can also be signs of a medical disorder of one sort or another.
Before you go thinking you’re a Creature of the Night, go to a reputable physician and get yourself checked out. Rule out all reasonable medical explanations first. If you think you’re hundreds of years old/immortal/Dracula/Lestat/Nosferatu, etc., you may want to seek a psychiatrist. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be rude or condescending, but unless you can prove your claims beyond any shadow of doubt, you may have a mental disorder, and you should seek help. It’s bad enough that many people who are vampires (or believe themselves to be) suffer from severe depression, isolation, and even suicidal tendencies. Yearning for blood or psychic energy, trying to find people who will accept and understand you, figuring out where you fit in, it can all take its toll on one’s mental health. Being part of the Darkness is not glamorous, fun or status-enhancing. You will most likely be considered weird, or a freak, you will not have people flocking to your side, you won’t get rich, and you may likely become very lonely and miserable.
Q: Can you make me into a Vampire?
A: No. And even if I could, I wouldn’t. As stated above, it’s not really a life you’d choose if you had any sense. I don’t believe that anyone can be made into a vampire, “turned”, “embraced”, or whatever popular term you’d like to use. If you can prove it’s possible, feel free. I think, more likely than not, if you are a Vampire, Kindred, Otherkin, or what-have-you, you were born that way. I’ve never met a beautiful immortal creature with the ability to drain one’s blood, replace it with their own, and turn someone into a creature like themselves. There have been people who claim they can do just that, but I’d be wary, there are a lot of mentally unstable characters in this world who would prey on the innocence and naiveté of a sad, lonely person looking for acceptance and love.
You should also be wary of “Houses”, “Clans” and the like. Not to say that there aren’t wonderful groups out there that can help you on your path and give you safety and acceptance, there surely are, but there are also cults and dangerous individuals out there who would seek to use and hurt you. Research any organization as fully as you can before entering. Talk to other members, and trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is.
Q: Are Vampires real?
A: Yes, no, and I don’t know. Confused? Join the club. Are there immortals that have lived for centuries feeding on the blood of unsuspecting humans? Not to my knowledge, but I haven’t met everyone in the world, so I couldn’t say for certain, but I doubt it. Are there mortal humans who feed on blood and live out a vampire-like lifestyle? Definitely. Real Living Vampires (RLV’s), Sanguinarians, Psi-Vamps and others do exist. They are everywhere, and you may already know some of them, whether you’re aware of it or not. They are typically average people, with homes, jobs, lovers, bills and all the stuff that everyone else has. They may have heightened abilities, vampiric habits and such, but they probably don’t broadcast it publicly. Discretion is key in the vampire community. Are there vampires, werewolves, demons, etc.? Who knows? Anything is possible. I’ve never seen an atom, but I know they exist. I’ve never seen a God or Demon, but I believe they exist. The world is full of mysteries; you can never know what’s out there.
Q: Are all vampires beautiful/Goth/insert other stereotypical description here?
A: Simply put, no. Humans who are vampires, live the vampire lifestyle, etc., are just as diverse as any other group of people. While it isn’t uncommon for people in the vampire culture to dress in gothic attire, they don’t all do it. It can depend on a lot of things, including, but not limited to: personal taste, whether they’ll be in the general public or among friends and like-minded individuals, local climate and other factors. And don’t assume that every Goth is a vampire, either. The way a person dresses doesn’t automatically put them into any particular social group. As for looks, while I’ve seen some people in the vampire community that were positively stunning, I have seen ones that were just average, and some that were downright ugly. Appearance is a matter of genetics (or in some cases, of surgical manipulation). Basically, never judge a book by its cover. If you want to know what/who someone is, get to know them. Ask. There’s no sure way to tell just by looking.
Q: Is there a Vampire religion?
A: I believe there is at least one, and probably more, group or groups that consider themselves to be a religion. In all honesty, I don’t believe that vampirism is a religion; it is a way of life and who you are. I get that nasty hair-standing-up-on-my-neck feeling when I think of vampire religions, because, to me, it just screams CULT. I do know for a fact that you don’t have to be part of a vampire religion to be a vampire, and in fact, many vampires have their own religious beliefs. I, myself, am Pagan, as are many other vamps that I know. There are also a lot of atheist vampires, and I have no doubt that there are Muslim, Christian, Catholic and other ones. Religion is a personal thing, and who are what you are does not mean you have to belong to any particular sect or belief system.
Q: I’m a vampire, so I don’t have to worry about AIDS or STDs, right?
A: WRONG! Just because you’re a vampire (or think you are) doesn’t mean you’re immune to disease or illness. Your body is still just as human as any other. Blood-born diseases and sexually transmitted diseases are a very real concern for every person on the planet. You are no exception. You can get sick, get a disease, and die just like anyone else. If you think otherwise, I feel very sorry for you and anyone who cares for you. Sexual activity and blood activities should never be taken lightly. You can catch disease, and also spread it to others. Always exercise care when doing anything that involves exchanging of bodily fluids, and always take care of yourself. Eat right, get plenty of rest, and stay active.
Q: As a vampire, will I be stronger/faster/smarter than others?
A: Nope. Being a vampire doesn’t change you or your natural abilities. If you truly are a vampire, during your awakening you may realize abilities you didn’t know you had, but believe me when I say that they were already there. You can also have “abnormal” abilities, and not be a vampire. If you want to be smarter, take a course in something, or read more. If you want to be stronger or faster, exercise or take up a sport. If you want to fly, become a pilot or take up skydiving. As far as other abilities, such as empathy, energy reading, etc., some people say they can be learned, but I think it’s just a matter of finding the abilities that were already within you from birth. We all have our gifts, it’s up to you to find yours.
Q: I’m a vampire, so I don’t need to eat regular food anymore, right? I can just live on blood?
A: No. A human body cannot sustain life on blood alone. As a matter of fact, our bodies aren’t even really designed to process blood for nutrition, and too much can make you very ill. RLVs eat food, and we rather enjoy it. Regardless of whether you’re psi or sang, you still need food and water and all that good stuff. As a matter of fact, it’s not uncommon for sangs to use certain foods as blood substitutes. At any rate, food and drink are necessities, just like sleep and air. Anyway, would you really want to live without chocolate?