Real Vampires? I can’t be serious, right? Oh but I am serious. There is much more than just the romanticized vampire stories you see on TV. There are other legends, there are other stories, and yes, there are REAL vampires out there. If you’re a vampire fan, you should stick around to learn about the sides of vampires you probably didn’t know before. The good, the bad, and real regarding vampire folklore & myth, real vampyres… and all the space in between. 

Vampire Myths: where do they come from?

The version of the vampire legend most people know of is based on the European version of the vampire. The romanticized cold blooded killer. Pale skin, steely eyes, a so called “emotionless” creature that almost always has a human trait that could be pandered to. They always possess a fierce bloodlust even though some choose not to indulge it… Ya know, those Victorian creatures of the night who sleep in coffins and hunt around town for pretty ladies to snatch up and play with… unless they’re the brooding type who is haunted by their lingering mortal coil. 

Anyways, did you know there are many other vampire legends from all over the world?

Have you heard of the iron toothed, hook footed Asasabonsam, or the Sasabonsam of West Africa? How about the South American Azeman Vampire? Unassuming female daywalkers with no visual clues that they are not human, the Azeman vampire shapeshifts at night into a bat or wolf to hunt for blood. How about the Danag Spirits of the Philippines? Gods amongst men, once friends to humans… Until one day a Danag tasted human blood and loved it, spreading the news of the sweet nectar to the other Danag Spirits, turning them all into vampires. 

There are so many different folkloric stories about vampire myth and legend from all over the world to explore. If you’re a vampire enthusiast, I suggest you research into them!

Vampire Reality. Where does myth end, and real life begin?

I hate to break it to you guys, but vampire myths aren’t reality. Real Vampyres are not physically immortal, we can go into the sunlight, we can eat garlic, and sleeping in a coffin is a personal choice instead of a necessity. Trying to kill us with a stake through the heart will definitely kill us, but in a bleed out kind of way and not a poof into ash kind of way. 

Real Vampyrism, an inside look. 

Hold on, why are you suddenly spelling “vampyre” and “vampyrism” with a “y” now? Well, there are some within the Vampire Subculture who choose to spell Vampyre with a “Y” to indicate the difference between real vampyres of the modern world and the vampires of fiction, myth, and legend. It’s the same principle as Aleister Crowley’s term “magick” to differentiate the occult from stage or performance magic.  

Okay, that’s cool but what IS a “Real Vampyre”
Alright alright… First I have to preface that the following is not the only definition of what someone in the Vampire Subculture would define a vampyre as… This phenomenon is as multifaceted as those who embody it. With that said, this is my point of view, and a common set of beliefs amongst the Vampyre Community. 

SO! A Real Vampyre is a being who takes in or “feeds” on energy that emanates from a third party source to maintain their energetic homeostasis and boost their metaphysical workings. The vampyric phenomenon is a naturally occurring trait that shows itself during a process called “awakening.” Real Vampyres sometimes consider themselves to be non-human. However, physiologically we’re not different from humans.

While there are many different types of vampyres, the commonality between the majority of them is that they feed in one way shape or form. The most common form of Vampyre you’ll find these days are Psychic or Psy Vampyres. Psychic Vampyres feed from the energy that emanates from all things. Different types of Psy Vampyres feed from different types of energy. Then there are the Eros Vampyres or Tantric Vampyres. Eros Vampyres are vampyres who feed through sex. Succubus or Incubus types, if you will. Generally they feed on the energy that is generated during courtship and then intercourse. Sanguinarian Vampyres at this point are probably the most rare, albeit more common than you think. Sanguinarian vampyres are those who partake in blood feeding.

Vampire Lifestyle

Vampire Lifestylers, as they’ve come to be known, are individuals who model their lives around the typical image of the vampire. Such a lifestyle could include indulging in the Vampire Goth aesthetic on a regular basis, taking on the persona that matches the Vampire Archetype, or just living their day to day lives in a very stereotypical vampire kind of way.

Real Vampyres are often not Vampire Lifestylers. In fact, a huge portion of the Vampyric Community will immediately discredit the validity of a Real Vampyre *because* they also choose to live the lifestyle as well. However, even those who often look down on “roleplayers” and “lifestylers” indulge in the behavior of lifestylers themselves. The very fabric of the formation of the vampire subculture is emblazoned with lifestyle, roleplay, and the occult. Yet since the late 90s, even people who dress in full Victorian get ups and pop in some fangs will talk trash about “lifestylers” and “roleplayers.” Personally, I’ve never understood the elitist attitude against these things. Mind you, it is ungodly annoying to have someone come to you and ask to be bitten or turned or to have people claim to be the son or daughter of Dracula. It’s also highly comedic when a Vampyre organization includes copied and pasted excerpts from Vampire the Masquerade handbooks and teaches it as reality. So,  roleplayers do get grating when they don’t know the proper time and place… but other than that, people just need to live and let live. The way someone dresses shouldn’t automatically discredit their journeys in any walk to life, so why should it here?

In reality, the lifestyle is what bred the opportunity to explore who and what we are. These experiences breed the magick that surrounds us. Without the lifestyle and LARPing, the events would’ve never happened to breed the vampire subculture that many people bastardize and take for granted. The Vampire Balls that many know and love would never have come to head without the lifestyle side of the community and they definitely wouldn’t have grown to where they are now without it. Whether the elitists want to admit it or not, the birth of the “VC” as they know it comes from its roots in places like Dracula Movies and Vampire:the Masquerade live action roleplay. In the 90’s these LARPs gave a platform to a new age of Vampyres to reach out to one another. The LARPers and the Lifestylers walked, so the modern vampyre subculture could run. 

Where did the modern real vampyre idea come from?

Once upon a time in 1965, Dr. Jeanne Keyes Youngson founded the Count Dracula Fan Club, now known as The Vampire Empire. From 1965 to the early 1970s, this fan club grew in popularity. In 1970-1972 the Count Dracula Fan Club received many letters from people who identified themselves as vampires. Thus, the organization’s scope of duties were subsequently extended, making the Count Dracula Fan Club the first group to head the study of real vampirism. 

In 1972, Highly Acclaimed Vampirologist and Parapsychologist Stephen Kaplan founded the Vampire Research Center.  and managed a “vampire hotline” that received many calls from individuals who identified as vampires. Stephen Kaplan’s research gave credence to the idea of “real vampirism” as we know it today. Stephen Kaplan’s work looked at real vampyrism through a parapsychology lens and included the first vampyre census that ran for the better part of 2 decades.

In 1984, the Order of the Vampyre was born, founded by two members of the Temple of Set including Lilith Aquino. It was said that the Order was formed to “allow individualized expression of the archetypal vampyre” and to “serve as a conduit” for vampyric spirits to utilize our human vessels “to evolve all that was and is Vampyric into a new ‘race’ of vampyric beings.” 

In 1989, the Temple of the Vampire (ToV) was granted it’s 501c3 tax exempt status as a religious organization. I think it’s safe to assume this group was formed prior to then, but their current historical documentation cites this as their beginning point. As a self proclaimed elitist initiatory organization, the ToV has a unique approach to vampyrism. Believing that becoming a Vampire is the next step in human evolution. The ToV considers themselves “living vampires” who focus on self improvement and empowerment through several levels of mastery. They treat vampyrism as a religion, rather than a condition. The Temple of the Vampire only chooses to use the positive aspects to the Vampiric image, rejecting any that are “anti-life, anti-social, deathist, crude, gory, self-defeating, or criminal.” 

In the 1990’s came a vampire boom that created the version of the community most of us know. With the release of Vampire: the Masquerade in 1991 alongside a barrage of vampire related media, the cards were laid on the cosmic table for the vampyric current to take head in new ways. The story is that real vampyres would go to these Vampire LARPs to find others who partake in the real vampyre current. Eventually in New York City, known to real vampyres as the Gotham Halo, vampyre events emerged leading to the subsequent founding of a few vampyric organizations including the Sabretooth Clan by Father Sebastiaan. The culture that emanated from the tapping of Father Sebastiaan’s Elorath current in 1995 helped create the very foundations of today’s vast Vampyric Community. This history of that time is a convoluted story and the story changes based on who is telling it. It’s a story of the emergence of a new community in New York City that has a very tumultuous history. Leaders rise and fall, people’s opinions and influence comes and goes. Stories of love, hate, friendship, turmoil, and a bunch of business ventures gone awry. So, telling that story is a project for another day. One thing is for certain though, the energy of the vampyric current has waxed and waned throughout the years, but the magick has always flowed. Every piece of Vampire Culture has a place in this magick, even the pieces that people choose to denounce and shun entirely. What is clear, is that the current of the Vampire Culture pulses and grows beyond its original form. More and more people are being called to this path, and there might be a place for you in it, if you play your cards right. 

Vampyre Magick

Vampyre Magick is what happens when somebody takes an amalgamation of a ton of different magickal teachings, neuro linguistic programming, and basic codes of ethic, throws it into a blender with a heaping scoop of dark baroque flavor, and blends it together. Then your most stereotypical local goth wiccan drinks it, throws it back up, and what you now have is Vampyre Magick. Sounds positive doesn’t it?

But Jessica, you literally call yourself “The Vampyre Witch” How can you say that?
Well, practicing something for as long as I have, you begin to see it for what it is. Vampyre Magick is barely anything original… It’s just energy work, chaos magick, khemeticism, voodoo/hoodoo, satanism, shamanism, teachings from other vampyric groups, sprinkle in some V:tM verbiage, top it off with some personal author bias then wrap it up nicely with a vampire goth bow… and that’s basically what you’ve got. Not that there’s anything wrong with that per say, but let’s just call a spade a spade here. The majority of the Vampyre Magick literature you see in the world comes from the personal gnosis of magickal practitioners who were the first dedicants of their iteration of the vampyre current. Since first recorded in the 60’s, the vampyre current has pulsed in each decade, calling more of us to come out of the shadows giving the community a boost. Each decade something major happens to shape the vampire subculture in big new ways forcing new leaders and authors to come forth and compile their personal gnosis of the vampyre current of their age to display it for those who need help articulating and elevating what already seems to come naturally to them. Leaders and authors have all pulled from their own personal experiences being the pioneers of their day in age and wrote down those experiences as they happened. Thus, the personal experiences of the few have become the “law of the land” so to speak. Vampyre Magick is widely subjective, yet constantly argued because of this “my way is the right way” mindset. Regardless, every Vampyre Magickian’s journey is unique even when compared to others around them or who they’re closely working with. 

A few commonalities reign supreme in the vampyre current amongst all of the various groups. They all include the need for balance in one’s life through the mastery of one’s “dayside” before diving headfirst into the “nightside.” They all include the worship and continued pursuit of enlightenment by using the teachings and energies available to them. Almost all forms of Vampyre Magick include the invocation of the vampire archetype in one way or another. 

Archetype Magick

Archetypes are symbolic patterns of characteristics that outline different parts of human nature. Recognizing archetypes can help you predict patterns in others as well as yourself. Your archetype can dictate the way you carry yourself, your capabilities, and the restrictions you put on your capabilities based on your perceived role in life, or your archetype. Recognizing such capabilities and the restrictions you place upon yourself can help you overcome your restrictions and grow your capabilities to your desired outcome. Being aware of the archetype you fit can help you recognize strengths and weaknesses within your personal systems which encourages shadow work and therefore psychological development. Regularly invoking the archetypal energy of a trope that embodies qualities in which you wish to portray can help train you to embed those qualities into your everyday archetypes. 

One could argue this is just a form of behavioral modification, and they wouldn’t be wrong. However, it’s more than that. It’s about tapping into the current and soaking in the energy built from thousands of years of myth, ancestry, and spiritual faith in the vampire. Then you imbue your very being with that energy and therefore bringing upon the psyche and the archetype of the vampire. 

The Vampire Archetype

The Archetype of the Vampire means different things to different people. I’ve seen energy workers use the phrase “Vampire Archetype” to describe someone who displays the “emotional vampire” described in a mundane psychological sort of way. The psychic parasite who drains everyone around them unwittingly. This reference is not incorrect, as these people undoubtedly exist. We all know them. This concept is used to recognize a draining force and figuring out ways to protect oneself against it should the need arise. The parasitic energy vampire can be found in non-fiction literary works as far back as 1930.

There is a camp within the Vampyre Community that believes that sometimes the psychological “emotional vampire” is someone who is a Real Vampyre but hasn’t awakened to realize it. They often never will and go through their lives being these emotionally draining people forever. This camp of Vampyres often know themselves to be this type of person and believe that maintaining their “vampyric health” through the use of feeding will curb this draining effect they have on others. Coupled with the use of psychic protection and barriers, these Vampyres usually maintain an oath of ethics to never use their nature to harm people and do what they can to mitigate the risk of their nature for themselves and those around them. These Vampyres will utilize consenting donors to ethically source what they choose to feed on.

However, in archetype magick terms, many Real Vampyres, Vampire Lifestylers, and Vampyre Magick Practitioners alike invoke the vampire archetype through their lifestyle and practice. Mind you, this doesn’t mean everyone invokes the same archetype energy in their lives. The archetypical energy you choose to invoke largely depends on who you are as a person. What traits do you value? What principles mold your morality? What about yourself are you trying to supplement or fix by invoking this archetype?

Are you the classic vampire? The suave, debonair, mysterious vampires who woo you with their charm and glamour you right into their arms for them to make you a tasty snack? Do you embrace your “convincing” nature as a superpower? Are you disconnected from humanity, interested only in pursuits of personal grandeur? Perhaps you’re the primal vampire? The damned apex predator. The brutish murderers who feed, kill, and party hard. These are the monstrous demonic types whose only objective is to obliterate anything that stands in their way.

Maybe you’re the succubus or incubus? You are sexy and you know it and you will use that fatal attraction to lure in your prey to take from them whatever it is you want. How about the emo vampire? The lamenting soul who clings to their humanity and vows to never partake in the one thing that will give them peace. They often possess a martyrdom complex in their elite sense of morality.

The Adept Vampyre Magickan utilizes traits from all of the archetypes to build themselves their own archetypical energetic signature that they invoke within themselves. 

All in all, the answer to the question “What is a real vampyre” isn’t one with a short answer. It’s a question that begets the recollection of decades of research, millenia of myth, an era of occult, and the culmination of fragments from the minds of a select few brilliant individuals who have shaped our practices over the last 50 years. Who and what we are isn’t as easily definable as outsiders want it to be. We aren’t the fantasy they wish to escape with. We aren’t the immortal creatures they want to succumb to. We are just people, living our lives the way we know how to. Practicing our truth in an unapologetic manner that suits our needs accordingly. 

How does the idea of real vampyres make you feel? Does any of this resonate with you? Tell me about it in the comments below!