Let's just say you were the type of child who got a little nervous of Lost Boys. Let's pretend you grew into an adult who still experienced the occasional Jim Morrison cameo in your nightmares and Edward's sparkles did nothing to slow this. If this is you, stop reading now. New research suggests real vampires exist.
My old roommate was office manager at a dental clinic and into wearing all black. One Halloween, her boss offered to cap off her canines like real fangs. With her dark lipstick and perfect cat eyeliner, she looked hot as hell...but also a little scary. (Confession: I was describing myself above. I frighten easily, even as an "adult".) We shared PB&Js after her procedure and she experienced moderate issues not stabbing her own lip. Later on when joining up with ~a dude~, the problems persisted. She removed the caps after just a few days—they were proving simply too problematic for her to keep up.
Clearly, she wasn't committed. But some people are—choosing to call themselves "real vampires," as John Edgar Browning learned through his ethnographic studies. For starters, here's Browning's exact definition:
The umbrella term “real vampire community” is used to describe “modern vampires” or “real vampires”, terms that refer interchangeably to people who consume human and/or animal blood (sanguinarian), absorb psychic energy (psychic vampire or psi-vamp) or both (hybrid), and do so out of a need that, according to my study participants, begins to manifest around puberty and derives from the lack of subtle energies their bodies produce.
Here are some facts to know about these folks who most definitely walk among us:
They don't exist off blood alone
They eat real food, unlike the The Cullens. Fruits and veggies included.
Some don't even ingest blood
Instead they absorb energy through other means. Psychic vampires use sexual means while others "feed through emotion." This still sounds a bit scary to me, TBH.
Not all of them dress like goths
Turns out—wait for it—they're a lot like us. Many real vampires dress normally, Browning says.
They're into charity work
Browning says at least one vampire community in New Orleans dedicates a lot of time and energy to finding food for the local homeless population.
So there you have it, folks. Infinite subcultures exist in our world. There's truly a place for everyone—and sometimes that place especially embraces philanthropy.
Images: Summit Entertainment; Giphy(4)