Vampire lifestyle

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The vampire lifestyle or vampire subculture is an alternative lifestyle.[1][2] The vampire subculture has stemmed largely from the goth subculture,[1][3] but also incorporates some elements of the sadomasochism subculture.[1] The Internet provides a prevalent forum for the subculture along with other media such as glossy magazines devoted to the topic.[4]

Active vampirism within the vampire subculture includes both sanguinarian vampirism, which involves blood consumption,[2][4] and psychic vampirism, whose practitioners believe they are drawing spiritual nourishment from auric or pranic energy.

The vampire and therian subcultures are related to the otherkin community, and are considered part of it by most otherkin, but are culturally and historically distinct movements of their own despite some overlap in membership.[5]


Consumption of blood[edit]

Like Dracula and other literary vampires, some traditions of modern vampires drink blood, either animal or human, although human is preferred.[1] They claim they need blood to make up for a deficiency of proper energy processing within the body, or that it helps them gain energy and strength.[citation needed][6]

Sexuality and sexual practices[edit]

Sex researchers have documented cases of people with sexual (paraphilic) vampirism and autovampirism.[1][7][8] Forensic biologist Mark Benecke & Ines Fischer found that most subcultures vampyres in their sample rejected a direct connection between the practice of blood letting / drinking and sexual acts.[2]


Contrary to popular belief, members of the vampire subculture range beyond simply those who drink blood. Such members tend to congregate into small clans, usually called covens or "houses", in a tribal culture to find acceptance among others that share their beliefs. Generally vampirism is not considered a religion but a spiritual or philosophical path.[9] There are also many modern vampires that are not part of a coven, but rather are solitary.[6] Most vampire enthusiasts wear regular or ordinary clothes for the area they live in to avoid being ostracized.[4] In addition, some play as hybrids, human vampires that take both blood and energy.[6] There are four main types of vampire lifestylers:

Psychic vampires[edit]

Psi-vamps are another kind of human vampire that claim to attain nourishment from the aura, psychic energy, or pranic energy of others.[4][6] They believe one must feed from this energy to balance a spiritual or psychological energy deficiency such as a damaged aura or chakra.[1]

Blood donors[edit]

Blood donors are people that willingly allow vampires to drink their blood. Within vampire society, vampires and donors are considered equal, yet donors are expected to be subservient to the vampires.[10] At the same time, donors are difficult to find, and because of that, human vampires have no reason to abuse their donors.[2][4]

Blood fetishists[edit]

Fetishists in the vampire community use blood as a fetish or stimulant in sadomasochistic sex.[6]

Vampire role-players[edit]

Vampire role-players or "fashion vamps" differ distinctly from other members of the vampire subculture in that they acknowledge being "serious vampire fans and those who dress up in vampire clothing, live a vampire lifestyle (e.g. sleep in coffins), and primarily participate in RPGs such as Vampire: The Masquerade".[6]


Term[6] Definition
feeding the taking of energy via blood or other forms
mundane; nil a closed-minded individual/ non-awakened,


black swan a non-vampire that is sympathetic to vampires
fledgling someone that is new to vampire subculture


Christianity and modern vampires[edit]

In response to the rising vampire subculture, a pseudo-Christian counter-movement of self-professed vampire slayers has formed that opposes the notion of real vampires.[4] Online, they swarm vampire websites with hate mail and participate in other similar activities,[11] but there are rumors of zealous vampire slayers murdering human vampires.[4]

Modern vampirism and crime[edit]

Tracey Wigginton gained the nickname "The Lesbian Vampire Killer" after she killed a man in 1989, purportedly to drink his blood. Other serial killers and similar individuals have killed people, believing themselves to be vampires and in need of blood to drink. However, the vampire subculture as a whole does not associate themselves with these individuals, stating that they are not real vampires, and that the subculture does not promote violence or crime in any form.[4] Crime as a whole is rarely associated with vampirism.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Jøn, A. Asbjørn (2002). "The Psychic Vampire and Vampyre Subculture". Australian Folklore: A Yearly Journal of Folklore Studies. University of New England (17). Archived from the original on 2015-12-08.
  2. ^ a b c d 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.
  3. ^ Skal, David J. (1993). The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. New York: Penguin. pp. 342–43. ISBN 0-14-024002-0.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h 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.
  5. ^ Lupa (2007). A Field Guide to Otherkin. Immanion Press. pp. 25–26, 50, 52. ISBN 978-1-905713-07-3.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Prins, H. (1985). Vampirism: A clinical condition. British Journal of Psychiatry, 146, 666–668.
  9. ^ Sebastiaan, Father (2010). Vampyre Sanguinomicon: The Lexicon of the Living Vampire. Red Wheel/Weiser. ISBN 978-1-57863-480-4
  10. ^ a b Guinn, Jeff (1996). Something in the Blood: The Underground World of Today’s Vampires. Arlington: Summit Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-56530-209-9.
  11. ^ Thorne, Tony (1999). Children of the Night: Of Vampires and Vampirism. London: Victor Gollancz. ISBN 978-0-575-40272-0.

Further reading[edit]