How can vampires exist

Dracula's heirs are among us

Vampires only exist in legends and in the cinema? Not even close. There are also people among us who call themselves vampires. Most play a role, but for some the game is deadly serious.

Stuttgart - You call yourself “Gothic”, “Dracula” or “Vampirin”. In the chat forums on websites such as “vampir-club”, “vampyrbibliothek”, “aeterni” or “vampyrjournal” the fan base is among themselves. “I have vampire teeth made,” writes someone with the pseudonym “Leila”. "Unfortunately, I only have plastic things from a joke shop," replies "Red Blood". "If I let myself be done properly, my parents will collapse and send me to a psychiatrist for good."

Artificially pointed or elongated canines are dead chic within the Gothic scene. The catch is: When grinding the tooth enamel is damaged, bacteria can penetrate the tooth. Health insurance companies warn against "self-harm with long-term consequences". Fortunately, there are alternatives for those who love pointed pearly whites. "I would think that catches to be attached to," says Chatterin "Blood". "But since I have a slight overbite, it shouldn't look very aesthetic."

From Dracula to modern vampirism

The internet chatters belong to a colorful and bizarre scene whose followers are fascinated by the morbid and seductive charm of the cinema undead around Count Dracula and who call themselves vampires. In Germany, a lively vampirism has developed in recent years as part of the Gothic and Dark Wave subculture.

In popular belief and mythology, the vampire is a blood-sucking night figure who has supernatural powers. Modern vampires flirt with the dark, melancholy aura of their fictional role models. For them, vampirism is mainly limited to aesthetics and accessories such as clothing, make-up, and jewelry. But some identify so much with their screen and book heroes that they consider themselves some kind of living vampire.

Black scene

The vampire scene in Germany is literally impenetrable. Her followers can be found on the Internet, at Gothic parties and dark festivals as well as in trendy discos. How many are there? Nobody knows. But because the vampire scene seals itself off from the outside, information about its inner workings can hardly be obtained.

Vampirism is a long runner. The Internet search engine Google lists 13.2 million hits for the keyword “vampire”. In Stuttgart, the musical “Dance of the Vampires” attracted the audience in droves. It is also booming in fiction. The "Bis (s)" trilogy by US author Stephanie Meyer has been sold millions of times. In TV series and films such as "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992) or "Interview with a Vampire" (1994), the undead are up to mischief. Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and Anne Rice's "Interview with a Vampire" enjoy cult status in the dark scene.

Multi-faceted vampire spectrum

Black determines the dress code of the vampire scene. Vampires have an interest in parties and music such as electronic body music, dark metal or electro-goth in common with other scene-goers. Many of the necrophiles are magically drawn to cemeteries, graves and tombs.

The vampire spectrum is multifaceted and bizarre. It ranges from harmless book and film fans to roleplayers and lifestylers who slip into vampire roles to blood fetichists. Very few are "sanguine" who really exchange blood and practice occult-magical practices.

Vampire fans are almost completely lost in the black scene, so that even insiders can hardly distinguish them from other Gothic fans. According to the Cologne forensic biologist Mark Benecke, one of the best experts on this subculture, there is a simple reason for this: "Vampires do not come out because they want to remain undetected."

What experts say about vampires

Real vampires and after-work vampires

The Wiesbaden political scientist and journalist Rainer Fromm assumes that the vampire scene is a "group of people who are linked both real and virtual, through clubs, homepages, regulars' tables, role-playing games, vampire film festivals and readings from vampire novels".

Followers can be found in the entire Gothic scene and in all age and occupational groups, adds Benecke. They meet in "black hangouts, their contact points in the cities" such as Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Cologne, or Munich.

Those who take vampirism really seriously call themselves "vampire". The letter “y” serves as a demarcation to mere role-players and after-work vampires. "Vampirism is an attitude towards life", emphasizes Benecke, author of specialist books such as "Vampires Among Us !: Volumes I-III"). “Many of them live in the shadows. You sleep during the day and are out and about at night. They have night jobs like nurses. And some believe that they are real vampires. "

Transylvania - the cradle of vampirism

The cradle of the vampire belief is in Transylvania. The bloodsucker legends are much older, however. "Even ancient folk beliefs knew a large number of bloodthirsty monsters," explains myth researcher Hans Meurer. “Of course there are no real vampires, only pathological cases in all areas”.

In the 1980s, love for vampires blossomed. The US author Anne Rice played a major role in this. The cult may have subsided, but it is by no means anemic. “There are vampires,” says Benecke, who is president of the German section of the Transylvania Society of Dracula. "They are alive, do not look bad and often think of blood and necks."

If vampire fans are so pronounced individualists, what do they have in common? “They all lack energy. They have to get them from others, ”says Benecke. Even in the form of blood. "Blood drinkers" are a "tiny minority" in the scene. No vampire drink their own blood because it is also “low in energy”. Benecke: "They cut other voluntary donors -, scratch themselves or take blood with a cannula."

Blood - the juice of life for vampires

The whiter the skin, the better

Blood is the sign of life. And necks are highly erotic for vampires. What is so fascinating about a neck? “The skin,” reveals a young (vampire) woman in the online forum. “And the idea that blood is flowing and you can feel the throbbing. And the skin: the whiter, the better. "

Blood fetichism and the idea of ​​being a true vampire belong in the realm of psychopathology and clinical vampirism. At the Institute for Sexology and Sexual Medicine at the Berlin Charité, vampirism is seen as a sexual fetishism and a "rare paraphilia", the "erotic focus of which" is the blood. That means: "Blood drinkers" are sexually aroused by drinking and smelling blood.

Lifestyle trend and sadomasochism

For Christoph Wagenseil, a religious scholar from Marburg, the boundaries between “lifestyle trend and sadomasochism” are fluid. “In blatant individual cases there are followers who drink human blood. But for most of them it's more about dark aesthetics and philosophy. ”Like Roman Schweidlenka, Austrian sect expert from Styria, Wagenseil also notices an increase in the vampire cult, especially among young people. There are increasing inquiries from parents and teachers.

Apparently the concerns are not unfounded. In 2005, for example, the Federal Testing Office for Media Harmful to Young People put the vampirism book “Noctemeron - Vom Wesen des Vampirismus” on the index. The occult work may no longer be made accessible to minors. Its content was "brutal and inciting to crime," it was said at the time to justify it. The author, "Frater Mordor", sees the vampire as "superman" and "the ultimate in human development".

The bloodstream runs on the Internet

The Protestant occult expert Ingolf Christiansen warns: Vampirism is a "sexual obsession and dangerous occult ideology". His followers wanted to "become godlike, godlike and immortal". Anyone who sees himself as a vampire wants to "dominate others, steal their energy, suck them out".

For the fragmented German vampire community, the Internet is the central point of contact and contact exchange. The forums are overflowing with posts on drinking blood, lifestyle and fashion vampirism. "For me being a vampire is the style, the darkness, and now and then a little blood is not bad either," writes the chat pseudonym "Lacrima". And “Lost-Soul” answers the question of whether vampires should come out: “No, no. The world is not yet ready for us. "

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