If you’re a squealing tween expecting a love triangle between a brooding, muscley, trench coat wearing vampire hunter, a beautiful alabaster-skinned, Baroque Vampire, and her spider-eating hunchbacked assistant, then please move on. Because this article is going to talk about real world Vampire Hunters. Yes, I realize the insanity of real world Vampire hunters, especially considering the fact that the real world has a surprising lack of real vampires…well, if you bothered reading the title you’d know why this was an insane career path…
Most cultures around the world have some form of demon or creature that is similar to a vampire. However, the one that has been most widely established (and even emulated, more on that later), originated in the Balkans and was popularised in Bram Stockers seminal vampire novel “Dracula”. The peak of vampire paranoia in Western Europe occurred around the 18th century and, as a result, created the gaffaw-able profession of the vampire hunter.
“Infidelity” and Blade
One variation of a vampire hunter is a Dhampir or a half human, half vampire, like the comic book/movie character Blade. To be born a Dhampir obviously, one parent has to be a vampire and one a human. How did this myth come about, though? Well, here’s a hypothetical scenario: you are a grieving widow, a male friend of your (freshly) deceased husband comes over and you two bump uglies while crying into each other’s beards (hey waxing won’t be invented for another few hundred years). The devil’s pet goat which makes you bleed out of your hooha stops visiting (or at least that’s what I assume people thought) which meant that you let someone put their ding-dong in your vayjay and now you are with child. Because if there is one thing that the devil’s pet goat hates it’s ding-dongs (common knowledge during the 17th century). Here’s where our story hits a little snag.
Even today taking on a lover before the dirt on your husband’s grave has settled, is a frown-up-onable offense. Back then it was probably punished with being skinned then reskinned, called a “jolly whopping harlot” and then stoned while being hung. Let’s just say people didn’t like it even back then. Enter the dead, reanimated, hyper-sexed husband/vampire. Also, it became the go to technic for deflowered virgins of the time too, because back then new wives were supposed to be undefiled. But what are you going to do when a vampire forces itself on you?
The Real Deal?
I would like to present for your consideration an author, self-proclaimed vampire hunter, exorcist and bishop of the Old Catholic Church Bishop: Sean Manchester. During the 1970’s a mysterious string of small animal deaths and a ghost sighting resulted in Manchester hypothesizing there was a vampire loose in the area. He and his rival vampire hunter/occultist author David Farrant set out to capture and extract the vampire from the ancient Highgate Cemetery.
Unlike Manchester, Farrant had a lot of problems with the authorities and is currently in prison for the desecration of the Highgate Cemetery. It wasn’t his first contact with law enforcement, though. I am going to quote directly from the source which you can read in its entirety here, but his first run in happened like this: “When London police found Farrant naked beside a plate of glowing embers in an abandoned house in 1973, he told them he was conducting a Wiccan ceremony to rid the place of hauntings.” His craziness knows no bounds though as he has sent voodoo dolls and threating messages to members of law enforcement and was suspected of propping up a headless corpse in the car of a local London resident. If you feel a little light when it comes to your insanity quotient of the day here is the Bishop’s blog and Farrant’s. Have fun.
The Real Believers
OK, so it seems that contemporary Vampire hunting is a profession relegated to the less than (mentally) stable. In the past though there was a genuine belief in vampire folklore due to people’s lack of knowledge regarding the stages of decomposition. As the body decomposes gasses are released making the body inflate and pushes fluids in the body outward. This could result in blood coming from the mouth of the “vampire” and the body seemingly being well fed to the point where it starts getting fat.
People also believed that the earth was flat back then, and would threaten to execute anyone that disagreed. Oh, you’d also be considered a godless heathen, heretic and enemy of the state. So it didn’t take much to convince old timey folk to do horrible things to you. Also, as you can surmise these old-timey folk had very little knowledge of medicine. So, when something as highly contagious as tuberculosis that would disintegrate the lungs resulting in blood being expelled onto the lips post mortem took out an entire family, the ole folks thought it was because of:
b) damnation/demonic curse
d) Vampires! Which is the most significant for our purposes
Of course, after realizing that it was a Vampire that decimated the family they’d all run to the cemetery like it was a fair, dig up some poor shmuck’s body (which stayed preserved because of the soil composition or other science-y reasons), cut off the head, tie the corpes’s hands and feet and stake the heart. If they were lucky, and the body was bloated due to decomposition, the staking would result in a water-works display where water would be replaced with viscera and squirting blood.
Of course, this would just reinforce the idea that this person was reanimated because the concept that a dead person’s body would be full of blood is completely absurd! Also, this would deflate the dead body making it look dead, giving these dumb idiots visual confirmation that the monster had been destroyed…
Real Life Vampires
As anyone with an internet connection knows if there is a weird sex thing out there, there are people that like to do it (giggle: do it). Vampirism is no different, according to an article on the Daily Beast some vampires do feel sexually aroused by the sight, smell and feeding on blood, but others just think it’s cool to play dress up. There is, of course, a third type of vampire that feeds off of people’s energy which results in the “victim” feeling depleted, depressed and tired. But that’s more new age hippie vampire stuff; but we are going to stick with the old school type, the “if it bleeds, it feeds” type.
Are you a vampire hunter or a vampire? Let me know about your adventures in the comment section below.