“I prefer human blood but when I can’t get it, I have a rare steak” says Jason de Marco, a politician in Sydney, and a real-life vampire. He slurps human blood from the razor-cut flesh of willing donors, dresses in Edwardian clothes and had surgery to gain fangs. He says he’s looking for love and would love to suck the blood of his favourite celeb, Katy Perry. (The Daily Telegraph, Jan. 22, 2016)
Julia Caples, a 45 year old vampire admits to drinking human blood for the past 30 years. “I just got an urge and can’t really explain it. It’s never gone away.” She consumes around half a gallon of blood per month which is collected with a self-designed “pagan-like sterilized knife.” This, she says, makes her feel young and strong (Daily Mail, June 10, 2013).
When most people hear the word “vampire,” florid images of undead beings who levitate, turn into bats or mist and sleep in coffins sweep through their minds. This is the picture one would get from Hollywood flicks like Dracula, From Dusk till Dawn, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Blade, to name a few. Anne Rice’s novels, The Vampire Chronicles have also shapened the minds of many along these lines.
Vampirism is often associated with sex and eroticism. Thus, “popular vampire magazines, like Bloodstone, include previews of the latest vampire pornography, featuring combined acts of sex and blood-letting” (Journal of Contemporary Religion 3:355). A poll of about 574 students admit to finding vampires to be sexually attractive beings. Thus, vampirism has a wide appeal to many youths, and serials like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries have a large devoted audience.
Robert Pattison’s rise to fame as a sex icon was because of his vampire role in the Twilight saga. What is striking about this story, written by Stephenie Meyer (who admits to “channeling” the storyline from spirits) is how it plays out the “good vs bad” vampires plot – a theme which boosted witchcraft among teens (hello, Harry Potter). Since many teens would go to great lengths to look and act like famous celebs, becoming a vampire implicitly becomes a heroic feat.
Reality, however, has a way of cutting Hollywood myths into shreds. Recently, Edwin Palma, a 24 year old, was strangled, beaten and killed by 3 teens “during an initiation ceremony led by a satanic sect called Sons of Baphomet 1 during which the victim was supposed to be a vampire.” (Latin post Mar. 12, 2016)
Edwin was obviously deceived by this Satanic cult and vampire movies that one can become a vampire by being killed in a ritual. When you have Hollywood reviving “Dracula” characters almost yearly, selling the lie of eternal youth, beauty and sexual virility to millions of ignorant people all over the world, more tragic cases such as this is expected. But we need to see vampirism from a Biblical and realistic perspective, rather than through the distorted lens of Hollywood.
Lores and Legends
Vampirism is the art of drinking blood and a vampire is a person who drinks blood – either animal or human (but mostly human blood) to gain strength or a sort of relief from stress. The clinical term for this disorder is the “Renfield Syndrome.”
In most ancient nations, vampirism was attributed to a demon or deity. The Babylonian demoness, Lilitu, is believed to drink the blood of children. Excarvated Persian pottery shards depict creatures drinking human blood. Empusa, daughter of the Greek goddess Hecate, was said to suck the blood of young men. The Malaysian Penanggalan was a vampire female spirit. Ancient Egyptians attributed vampirism to a demon spirit invoked to the earth (Yearly Journal of Folklore Studies, 2002, 17).
In the medieval era, vampires became associated with suicide victims, witches or a spirit possessing a corpse. This was when a complex gamut of superstitions on how to supposedly identify, ward off, and even kill a vampire were developed. Different cultures believed vampires could be ward off with garlic, wild rose, mustard seed, crucifix or “holy water.” They were said to avoid walking on the “consecrated grounds” of churches. Bats became associated with vampires in the 16th century.
Since vampires were believed to be undead corpses, different methods of “re-killing” them were made up: driving a stake through them, placing a lemon in mouths of corpses and shooting a bullet through coffins. This generated a frenzy of vampire-hunting in 18th century Eastern Europe, with many graves staked and corpses dug up to identify potential vampires (Jon Asbjorn, Vampire Evolution, 2003, 3:20).
The lores from Eastern Europe, along with the influence of fiction novels like The Vampyre (1819), Dracula (1897) and Nosferatu (1922) gave birth to the idea that vampires possess immortality, and other myths still prevalent in the West.
The Truth about Vampirism
Vampirism is a violation of God’s Laws: “But you must not eat meat that has its life-blood still in it.” (Gen 9.4)
“Because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, “You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off” (Lev. 17:14).
Vampirism and cannibalism have been integral practices of Paganism and witchcraft in the past and at present (the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is closer to Paganism). It has been suggested that the word “cannibal” is from “Canna Bal” meaning “priests of Baal” – men who ate human flesh as part of their rites (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, 162). This is why blood consumption was also forbidden for Christians (Acts 15:20).
In Num. 23:24 and Ezk. 39:18 drinking blood is used figuratively to refer to subduing and destroying an enemy. Thus, vampirism boils down to gaining supernatural strength by depriving another of life.
Pagans and witches believe “life-force” is released through blood which can sustain a deity or another human. In ancient occult texts, there are rites involving use of blood to call down power or “energize” a talisman. Vampirism follows the same course. Its an act through which a sorcerer or witch receives demonic power/energy to perform his tasks.
Some secular sources agree that most vampires not only drink blood, but also perform occult rites, have psychic abilities and contact spirit entities. Unfortunately, Hollywood myths keep many Christians from realizing that most folks frequently paraded as vampires in the media are in fact, witches or satanists! Vampirism is just one of their many rites. These facts should be noted:
1. Vampirism, like other occult practices, is backed up by a demon spirit. The vampire spirit compels the person it inhabits to drink blood; thus all vampires are demonized people. So all it takes for a person to become a vampire is to open up his life to vampire spirits (usually through occult rites), not by being killed.
2. There are varying degrees of demonization, thus, varying degrees of vampirism. Some vampires drink blood physically from people (sanguine vampires) while others drink it spiritually (psychic vampires). Some utilize both. In psychic vampirism, the vampire demon is used to drain a person’s blood or energy, even from a distance.
3. Some vampires practice in solitude, others belong to “clans” or covens. An ex-vampire wrote:
“These covens were designed to be rings…The outermost rings were made up of Wiccans, men and women who believed they were practicing ‘white’ or good Witchcraft. Once they came through to the high priesthood, they began to understand the mysteries of Lucifer. The inner rings were involved with Thelema, the religion of Aleister Crowley. Among those innermost rings were select women who were consecrated, dedicated, willing – even delighted to let me drink their blood” (Bill Schnoebelen, Lucifer Dethroned, 1993, 260).
4. Some vampires act and look normal in public while others dress odd, take strange names or sleep in coffins. There are serial vampires too. German psychiatrist, Richard von Krafft-Ebbing (1840-1902) in his work, Psychopathis Sexualis, documents several cases of serial vampirism which he called “lust-murders.”
5. The vampire and the Gothic subculture are interwoven. The Goth movement started in 1981 at a London nighclub called “The Batcave” and became popular from there. Goth devotees usually wear black leather costumes, long black hair, black make-up and paint their faces in a white death masque. They adhere to religious imagery, blasphemous poems and everything spooky. These devilish attires (seen in some rock stars) typify rebellion and death.
6. Vampire cults use different tactics and slogans to lure people. LaCallia Wiggins, 15, was approached on campus and told she had been a vampire queen in her past life – supposedly deduced from her eyes and ear shape. They promised to “awaken” her to become a queen again, and she joined the vampire cult. They appealed to her sense of royalty (Religion News Blog, Dec. 5, 2007).
Bill, who was initiated by some Orthodox clergy, was lured with appeal to the Bible:
“I was told that the gospel of John was a secret document with incredible ‘Gnostic secrets’ buried within it – that John the Apostle still walked the earth today as nearly 2000 year-old vampire initiated into vampirism by Jesus Himself!” (Lucifer Dethroned, 261).
7. There is a real addiction to blood (blood lust) that vampire spirits bring that those they inhabit can’t live without tasting blood and may start attacking people. A man in New Zealand was recently rushed to the hospital after a woman sank her teeth into his neck so hard that it cut through an artery (Daily Star, Feb. 2, 2016).
Rod Ferrell’s case is typical of how the occult quickly leads people into murder and blood lust. Rod, the head of a vampire cult, was arrested on November 25, 1996 for murdering two people. He admits to been exposed to satanic rituals and human sacrifices as a child. Through the influence of role-playing games like Vampire:The Masquerade, he began to visit cemeteries, cut himself, offer his blood to others and claimed to be Vesago, a 500 year old vampire.
Rod was later initiated into a vampire cult by a friend. The clan met to drink human blood and engage in group sex. The 5-member clan was arrested when they killed the parents of Heather Wendorf, whom they wanted to initiate (Houston Chronicle, Feb. 27 1998, 20A).
8. In Africa, vampirism operates differently from the West. African vampires/witches do not sleep in coffins or dress like Goths. Most of them drain human blood spiritually – and can also spiritually change into animals to do this. New witches are usually given human flesh and blood at initiation which sets them on the path of cannibalism and vampirism.
Once a witch has been enamoured with this, he/she sucks the blood of anyone – friend, family or enemy – whenever he/she is “thirsty.” Without this, the witch becomes functionally weak and unable to “see” clearly. There is also a sort of “high” that blood gives them, like being high on drugs.
Some witches work in hospitals where they easily access blood, while some cause road accidents through demonic powers for blood to flow. An ex-satanist said that the blood which flow from most road accidents are stored in a place in Satan’s kingdom, called “the blood bank” where the witch can access when there is shortage in the physical plane (Kalu Abosi, Born Twice: From Demonism to Christianity, 1994).
A person being attacked by a vampire spirit (sent by a witch) would experience medically unexplainable blood shortages, rapid weight loss, acute weakness or haemorrhage. When this is observed, the demon should be bound and kicked off in the name of Jesus Christ. But you can only walk in victory if you are in Christ.
There was a 16 year old Zimbabwean girl who confessed to being part of a vampire satanist coven. She was finally kicked out of the group because a Christian in her family was praying for her and this was causing havoc in the coven (Daily Post, Oct. 19 2012).
In 2003, I met a Wiccan on a Yahoo! Chatroom who boasted of drinking (animal?) blood daily. He thought I would run for the hills, but I gave him an answer and his rhetoric melted like ice. When you are in Christ, Satan’s slaves too know. Of course, Wiccans say they don’t drink blood, but I know for a fact that once a person places his foot in the pathway of the occult, nothing will stop him from ending up as a Jeffery Dahmer or Pedro Lopez. Only the timing varies.
There is a divine judgment awaiting all vampires and cannibals. God will feed them with their own flesh and blood (Is. 49:26).