Vampirefreaks.com

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

VampireFreaks.com is an online community for the Gothic–industrial subcultures. It was created by site owner Jethro Berelson (Jet) in 1999. It began with a small number of forums dedicated to Gothic–industrial music.[1] Over the years is has grown to be a large social network, with millions of members.[2] Website features include user groups which are called 'cults' and allow users to create their own communities within the website. The website also has event pages, music interviews, models, and frequent design contests. It's also a very popular message-board which is a major component of the site's success. The sites main topic of focus, aside from socializing, is the music content users create. Vampire Freaks hosts its very own digital music store as well. Jet regularly updates the site with information concerning not only bands, but various alternative events. Many people have found love on the site, and this has been focused on during Valentine's Day, where couples that met through the site submitted stories of how they met their matches.[3] "Premium Memberships" are also offered (for a fee), these feature the ability to upload more pictures, see who views the user's profile, and "powerbomb" the "unwanted" VF members.

Clothing Store[edit]

VampireFreaks hosts an alternative online store that sells goth and alternative clothing. [4]

VampireFreaks had a clothing store, named after the site, located in New York City. The store sold similar products to the current website, and was also a social gathering place. The VampireFreaks clothing store located in New York City closed in 2011 after being open for over 3 years.


Events[edit]

VampireFreaks hosts a wide number of events, mainly in the New York City area. Information of these events can be found on the website. Some of the most infamous of these events would be the 'Cybertron', a gothic-industrial clubnight in NYC, and the 'Triton Festival', a music festival that has attracted gothic-industrial bands from around the world. [5]

Controversy[edit]

VampireFreaks, much like other social network sites MySpace and Facebook, has been potentially linked to several crimes;

  • A triple homicide in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. A 12-year-old girl and her 23-year-old boyfriend, whom she communicated with on VampireFreaks.com, were charged in the murders.[6]
  • Two Toronto men were charged with carrying out the bidding of a woman they met on the site by stabbing a 12-year-old boy 73 times, killing him, and drinking his blood[7]
  • The site has been linked to an arson in Minnesota and to rapes of underage women in New York[8] and Texas.[9]
  • In Australia, a 50-year-old man and his 19-year-old son are accused of using VampireFreaks.com to create fictitious characters to meet Carly Ryan, 15. The father travelled to Adelaide in January 2007 for the girl's 15th birthday. Carly was drowned and was found floating in the water at Port Elliot on South Australia's south coast a month later. The two men, who cannot be identified, have denied murdering the teenager.[10] On January 21, 2010, a 50-year-old man from Victoria was found guilty of the murder of Carly Ryan. His son was found not guilty and has since returned to Victoria.[11]
  • In December 2007, in California, a 13-year-old girl posing as an adult met with a 23-year-old man on VampireFreaks.com. When it was found out they met in real life, he was arrested and found with photos of them kissing. The jury had reasonable doubt however, and the man was found not guilty on two of the charges.[12]


Jet has responded to some of this controversy, saying that the website does not influence its users to commit crimes and that "The goth scene is a very friendly, nurturing, non-violent community and we are very supportive of our users and do not condone any illegal activities" [13] [14]

References[edit]

External links[edit]