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- Grow up! Vampires Aren't Real! (Popular T-Shirt 'slogan' in the Toronto "goth clubs" in the mid-to-late 1990's) -
A while back, I mentioned that the definition of what a vampire is, for some, was based on what suited their purpose at the moment. One of my favourite ones is the ever popular "psychic vampire". This is a type that is said to feed off "psychic energy" and drain the victim without physical contact in most cases. I think I've known a few of these, and certainly one of my professors had to be one of them!
Truth to tell, when one examines the "affect" of a psychic vampire, it tends to make one lethargic and more or less, tired. Because of my "verbosity", I'm often accused of this, but I assure you, I'm not a vampire.
This brings me to a semi-experiment I did a number of years back... an experiment in decoration. (Bear with me here...)
I had a bachelor apartment and, like all one room affairs, it was dominated by my bed. I noticed that whenever I had company, within a few minutes of arriving, guests would get drowsy and start to complain of being tired.
I wondered what caused this and hit the books. I found that, oddly enough, the density of oxygen molecules in the air are greater in bedrooms then in any other room in a standard home. Eureka! I figured I had my answer! More oxygen led to drowsiness.
I set about improving ventilation... bought fans, opened vents, opened windows... basically, whatever I could to improve the flow of air.
All this had no effect. My guests were still nodding off.
Not wishing to acknowledge my boring company as a reason, I thought about some of my schooling in marketing and how obscure things can trigger reactions subconsciously. I thought, if this was the case, maybe seeing my bed was triggering a "night-time" response.
I put up make shift walls and tried with some guests... This time, it worked. They were all alert and not tired on this visit and the next few. The answer was found!
So, how does this relate to "psychic vampires"...
Well, I also was studying vampires and looking into the "psychic vampire". I thought, to myself, if a bed can have this effect, could a certain type of person? The answer was yes. From a psychological standpoint, someone with a low voice who's soft spoken and speaks methodically will lull most people to sleep... hopefully inadvertently. Also, in a reciprocal move, very jumpy and jittery people can have the exact same affect by tiring you out.
I then went off in search of people that other's thought were psychic vampires or who had expressed the thought that they were themselves. I noticed, in conversation, that they all fell into the low-speaking, slow, methodical types. The only difference is, they said the affect they had on their victims energized themselves. This, in my eyes, is natural, as they are obtaining a "high", if you will, be exacting a power over the victim... even though it's a spurious affect quite naturally explainable.
Next were tales of "psychic vampires" going after victims at a great distance. I looked into cases of this and realised, like voodoo, the victim had a profound belief that the psychic vampire could affect them, which of course, he or she did... One wonders if this is a case of psychosomatic vampirism... The victim believes, ergo: It happens. My studies seemed to bear this out. Once, when interviewing one of these "vampires", I enquired about their "distance success rate", which at first, they assured me was spectacular. When I asked about misses when trying their "power", they explained that nothing was perfect and their power could only work if the victim was either willing or knew about it. This seems to really substantiate the psychosomatic properties of this.
Lastly, there is a school of thought that "real vampirism" is a disease. Now, there is no doubt that there are diseases which drain the system of iron and force the person into cravings for iron-filled things. Red meat is filled with iron and it has not been unheard of for people to crave raw or very rare meats. This, translated and in the wrong mind, could set up a craving for blood and, according to almost every book on vampires I've read, has. To add more credibility to this, the person ingests the rare meat and is momentarily invigorated as the iron improves their oxygen flow to their blood stream... Seems to look like someone was given "life" from "blood" to the untrained eye. This is hardly vampirism and hardly paranormal.
Some have even come to claim that vampirism is a genetic mutation of some sort... even a disease that's transferable. This is pretty much nonsense and has no validation in genetic science, but I do know where the believers got this notion...
#1: There was a series of fictional vampire books that were based on the concept that vampirism was indeed, a blood disease. This thought/concept for these books came from the original Eastern European vampire lore. It went to "reason" that once enough of your blood had been guzzled, you too would die. Since you died from an evil vampire, you'd become evil yourself and therefore, it's an afterlife of bloodsucking for you! Well, it's not a far jump, once one has the science of germs and bacteria in hand (not available at the time of the original folklore) that this sounds like a case of communicable disease. Still, this was fiction, not reality.
#2: Other diseases, not just iron deficiencies, but porphyria and other ailments that affect mental balance get blamed and they are genetic in origin. Still, the books show that there is no case of an immortal sufferer of porphyria who gained strength or energy drinking blood.
- Last Word: Best Weapon Against a Vampire -
Since there are people that believe just a wee bit too much in the existence of these creatures, and some that believe they indeed are vampires, it's an uphill battle to try and argue with those darned inconvenient facts. There really is no proof that vampires, as the sheeple now think of them, exist. In fact, those that have claimed attacks and those that claimed they were vampires themselves inevitably end up having to face those inconvenient facts... but usually not without a big fight. They have their books that were written specifically for the "vampire believer" or "worshipper" and not much else. The concept of the original vampire of legend... the bloated nasty corpse... is alien and "couldn't be!"
The best defence against vampires is common sense, education, questions and an inquiring mind.
If you're reading this and are a vampire fan, there's nothing wrong with this and, if you can, please bring me hard evidence to prove me wrong. To date, no one has and I'm pretty sure, no one will.
Vampires are fantastic creatures that either scare or intrigue us... but one should remember... they are, for all intents and purposes, relegated to myth, folklore and fiction.
Marie Curie once said, "Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." and maybe, with vampires... the myths, legends and truth, this is where we all should be.
After all, what would Vlad say about Angel, Lestat, and Sesame Street's "The Count"?