Vampire lifestyle

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The vampire lifestyle, vampire subculture, or vampire community (sometimes spelt as "vampyre") is an alternative lifestyle and subculture based around the mythology of and popular culture based on vampires.[1][2][3][4] Those within the subculture commonly identify with or as vampires, with participants typically taking heavy inspiration from media and pop culture based on vampiric folklore and legend, such as the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, the tabletop role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade, and the book series The Vampire Chronicles by author Anne Rice.[1] Practices within the vampire community range from blood-drinking from willing donors to organising groups known as 'houses' and 'courts' of self-identified vampires.[1]

The vampire subculture largely stemmed from the goth subculture,[1][2][3][5] but also incorporates some elements of the sadomasochism subculture.[3] The Internet provides a prevalent forum of communication for the subculture, along with other media such as glossy magazines devoted to the topic.[needs update][6]

Participants within the subculture range from those who dress as vampires but understand themselves to be human, to those who assert a need to consume either blood or 'human energy'.[1][4][6][7] Both types of vampires may assert that the consumption of blood or energy (sometimes referred to as auric or pranic energy) is necessary for spiritual or physical nourishment.

Though the vampire subculture has considerable overlap with gothic subculture, the vampire community also has overlap with both therian and otherkin communities, and are considered by some to be a part of both, despite the difference in cultural and historical development.[8]

Types of vampire lifestylers[edit]

There are several types of vampire lifestylers:[1]

  • "Sanguinarians": (sometimes referred to as hematophages) consume the blood of others[1]
  • "Psychic vampires": claim to attain nourishment from the aura or pranic energy of others[1][6][7] in order to balance a spiritual or psychological energy deficiency, such as a damaged aura or chakra[3]
  • "Hybrids": both consume blood and assert that they consume psychic energy[1][7]
  • "Blood donors": willingly allow other members of the subculture to drink their blood,[1] and may or may not exhibit subservience toward those who do[9][4][6]
  • "Blood fetishists": use blood as a stimulant or sexual fetish, sometimes drinking it during the course of sadomasochistic sex[7]
  • "Role-players" or "lifestylers": acknowledge that they are human beings roleplaying as vampires.[1] Williams states that they may "dress up in vampire clothing, live a vampire lifestyle (e.g. sleep in coffins), and primarily participate in RPGs such as Vampire: The Masquerade"[7]

Pop Culture Influences[edit]

Playboi Carti[edit]

Playboi Carti, a prominent figure in contemporary hip-hop culture, has drawn significant inspiration from vampiric imagery and themes in his music, fashion, and persona.[10] Fans of Carti have affectionately dubbed him "King Vamp," while adopting the moniker of "vamps" for themselves, invoking the mystique and allure often associated with vampires in popular culture.

Carti's embrace of the vampiric aesthetic became particularly pronounced with the release of his highly anticipated album "Whole Lotta Red".[11] The album's cover art, featuring Carti with bright red hair and exaggerated vampire fangs, served as a visual manifesto for his newfound aesthetic direction.[12] The music videos and promotional material for the album further reinforced this imagery, establishing Carti as a leading figure in the fusion of hip-hop and vampire culture.

Explanations for blood-drinking[edit]

Renfield syndrome is a clinical condition marked by a fixation on blood or blood-drinking.

Sex researchers have also documented cases of people with sexual (paraphilic) vampirism and autovampirism.[3][13][14]



Some self-proclaimed Christian vampire slayers have arisen in response to the vampire subculture.[6] Online, they swarm vampire websites with hate mail and participate in other similar activities.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Browning, John Edgar (March 2015). "The real vampires of New Orleans and Buffalo: a research note towards comparative ethnography" (PDF). Palgrave Communications. 1 (15006). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan: 1–8. doi:10.1057/palcomms.2015.6. ISSN 2662-9992. LCCN 2016260034. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b Mellins, Maria (2013). "Vampire Community Profile". Vampire Culture. Dress, Body, Culture. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 45–68. ISBN 9780857850744.
  3. ^ a b c d e Jøn, A. Asbjørn (2002). "The Psychic Vampire and Vampyre Subculture". Australian Folklore: A Yearly Journal of Folklore Studies (17). University of New England. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08.
  4. ^ a b c Benecke, Mark (2015). Benecke & Fischer: Vampyres among us!: Volume III - A scientific study into vampyre identity groups and subcultures. Remda-Teichel: Roter Drache. ISBN 9783939459958.
  5. ^ Skal, David J. (1993). The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. New York: Penguin. pp. 342–43. ISBN 0-14-024002-0.
  6. ^ a b c d e Keyworth, David (October 2002). "The Socio-Religious Beliefs and Nature of the Contemporary Vampire Subculture". Journal of Contemporary Religion. 17 (3): 355–370. doi:10.1080/1353790022000008280. S2CID 143072713.
  7. ^ a b c d e Williams, DJ (2008). "Contemporary Vampires and (Blood-Red) Leisure: Should We Be Afraid of the Dark?". Leisure. 32 (2): 513–539. doi:10.1080/14927713.2008.9651420. S2CID 143339707.
  8. ^ Lupa (2007). A Field Guide to Otherkin. Immanion Press. pp. 25–26, 50, 52. ISBN 978-1-905713-07-3.
  9. ^ Guinn, Jeff (1996). Something in the Blood: The Underground World of Today's Vampires. Arlington: Summit Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-56530-209-9.
  10. ^ Williams, Aaron. "Playboi Carti Tells Kid Cudi His Style Is Inspired By Vampire Movies". UPROXX. Retrieved 17 April 2024.
  11. ^ Schwartz, Danny. "Playboi Carti Lives Out His Vampire Rock Star Fantasy on 'Whole Lotta Red'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 April 2024.
  12. ^ @playboicarti (December 25, 2020). "kING VAMP L0v3 U ! mERRY VAmPMAS . w3 Did it . 💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋💋" (Tweet). Archived from the original on December 25, 2022. Retrieved January 15, 2023 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ McCully, R. S. (1964). Vampirism: Historical perspective and underlying process in relation to a case of auto-vampirism. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 139, 440–451.
  14. ^ Prins, H. (1985). Vampirism: A clinical condition. British Journal of Psychiatry, 146, 666–668.
  15. ^ Thorne, Tony (1999). Children of the Night: Of Vampires and Vampirism. London: Victor Gollancz. ISBN 978-0-575-40272-0.

Further reading[edit]