First we want to thank everyone who's sent us a question so far. For this first question and answer post, we took a few questions that we felt represented major curiosities about real vampires. Many of these have been sent to us in regard to the movie Twilight, based upon the novel of the same name. We hope to provide answers and at the same time give a brief introduction to the vampire community.
Someone said that Dracula was based on a real person. Is this true?
Dracula was not only based on an actual historical figure, but was himself a real person...in a sense.
Bram Stoker had never actually been to Transylvania when he chose it as the home turf of his celebrated undead count. People well-read in mythology and folklore have said that many of the traits Stoker gave his Dracula came straight from Stoker's own imagination and not from the vampire lore of Eastern Europe. However, Stoker apparently read up on his history, especially from the area of Wallachia, where a man named Vlad III terrorized his people and defended Europe against the encroaching Ottoman Empire.
Vlad's surname may have been "Dracula", but there is no evidence that he ever indulged in vampiric activity. His father Vlad II, also a warrior, took his surname "Dracul" from his membership in the Order of the Dragon, an elite group of nobles fighting for Christianity. The younger Vlad's connection to his father is expressed by "Dracula", which implies "son of Dracul".
But Dracula is better known by the moniker attributed to him after his death--Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler.
We can deduce that Stoker had this exceptionally cruel but effective ruler in mind in naming the count from Transylvania, but not because Vlad claimed to be a vampire.
Do I have to be a vampire to date a vampire?
There are no restrictions on whom vampires can date as a general rule, but we do need to look at this on a case by case basis. Some vampire groups forbid members to interact with non-vampires on any kind of romantic level. Many vampires themselves don't feel comfortable getting into any degree of intimacy with non-vampires.
We believe that in more cases than not, vampire/non-vampire dating is not an issue so long as the individuals involved have open minds and open communications. For that matter, we know many mixed married/partnered couples that are getting along very well.
Aren't vampires killers?
There is such a thing as criminal vampirism. In these cases the assailant claims to be a vampire and to have done their crime (generally violent) as a part of being a vampire. This happens and we can't look the other way. But these individuals are not acting as part of the vampire community.
Does sunlight make you uncomfortable?
We personally have no problem with sunlight, although we're not the beach and tanning sort. Every day Sappho walks her dog in broad daylight.
Do you have a heartbeat?
If we didn’t, we’d be dead. Maybe a better question is whether we have hearts. We do have hearts--and lungs and livers and brains and all that other visceral good stuff.
Do you eat human food?At first we weren’t sure if the questioner meant humans as food or the kind of food that human beings eat. Well, we don't eat humans or human parts--that would be psychopathy, and while we may be a lot of things, we aren't that. Either way, we can get down with a French silk pie like nobody’s business.
How does this lifestyle work?
For us, vampirism is not a lifestyle. It is what we are, the same way we have green or brown or blue eyes. We suppose you could say the lifestyle works for us because we are true to ourselves.
Why haven't humans discovered you yet?
They haven’t? About every culture on earth has some kind of vampire-like legend. And have you seen the list of books and films about vampires?
Why doesn't the Bible speak of vampires?
The Bible doesn’t speak of a lot of things, in case you haven't noticed. It doesn't speak of the Western Hemisphere or of caribou, either. The Bible is not exactly your one-stop shopping for knowledge.
Why do you choose to reveal yourself to us now?
We're not choosing anything. You’ve come asking.
What percent of the population do think is the type of vampire that you're talking about?
Based on twenty years of experience and observation, we would say maybe ten out of one hundred have the potential to be a vampire. But nowhere near that number actually realizes their vampiric nature.
So what’s the difference between you and a human?
There is no difference. We are human. We just have a certain hypersensitivity and development beyond what might be considered normal.
How do we all know you’re real?
You don’t. Whether or not you accept the existence of real vampires is your choice and your decision.
Do you have fangs?
Can you get pregnant?
Our ladies can.
Are you really stuck at the age of eighteen forever?
What’s the deal with holy water and crucifixes?
We don’t know, what is the deal with them? Actually, that belief is left over from much older times when vampires were seen as children of the Devil that could be defeated with the accoutrements of the Christian God.
Until next time...
And there will be a next time shortly, so it is our intention...