Modern Vampires: Taking a Bite Out of the Legend

Artist unknown

CryptoVille revisits the legend of Vampires this Valentine’s season. Dracula & other historical undead aren’t the only ones who were quite actively looking for love, some modern day “enthusiasts” are living the life vampiric now. Come with me on this strange journey down the dark alleys of legend, lore, and reality.

When I was a teenager, I visited New Orleans with my family. I was very excited to see it and learn everything I could about such an historical place. To my amazement, I was ready to leave almost as soon as I got there.

The place just creeped me out. I had this significant feeling of unease the entire time and that intensified when we took the tourist-trap ride through the French Quarter. My apologies to those who live in and love New Orleans – it’s just that for some reason, it really hit me wrong.

Pirate Alley at night, New Orleans.

I’m not psychic or empathic, or anything like that. I think I have a healthy dose of women’s intuition and that’s about it. I just felt like there was a lot of malevolent stuff around, that’s the only way I can describe it.

So, in a way, it was not a surprise to find out recently that there are people living in New Orleans who are living the life vampiric. I had to wonder, how malevolent are they?

Local revelers in New Orleans.

Modern Vampires – Who are They?

John Edgar Browning wrote a very interesting article for The Conversation and I posted a link to it in my References section below. He is a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is known internationally as a scholar of vampire and horror lore.

He begins by saying, “Vampires walk among us.”

He explains that he conducted ethnographic studies for five years of a vampiric community in New Orleans and Buffalo. He got to know these communities and earn their respect.

According to Browning, these modern-day vampires aren’t looking for fame, fortune, or a Mardi Gras style existence. He said, “They aren’t necessarily looking to be found.”

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Many only come out at night, due to self-perceived sensitivity to daylight. Some will have the classic fangs, but none of them are actually the “undead,” changing into bats and flying around looking for victims to bite their necks.

Browning reports that many have families and are involved like most parents in the mundane but reassuring patterns of life. Some even participate in charitable events, such as feeding the homeless.

The New Orleans vampires devote themselves to the interests of their local community mostly which is led by a “vampire elder” who, “helps his or her house members to acclimate to their vampiric nature.”

How it Happens

How did these people become modern-day vampires? It seems their interest begins with and grows throughout puberty. These people seem to feel they lack “subtle energies” within themselves that other people, non-vampires, have in abundance.

They satisfy their need for the missing energies in several ways:

Psychic feeding – where they absorb energy from someone else through their minds or hands-on.

Tantric feeding – where they absorb missing energies through sexual, erotic encounters.

Emotional feeding – where they absorb targeted energies by feeding on the emotions of others.

Once they fill up on their missing energy, they often partake of blood-drinking (usually chicken blood, but can be donated human blood). Then they have some real food, stuff that the rest of us would eat without hesitation.

Browning added that, “Unquestionably, I found the vampires I met to be competent and generally outwardly “normal” citizens. They performed blood-letting rituals safely and only with willing donors and participated regularly in medical exams that scarcely (if ever) indicated complications from their feeding practices.”


Browning says most of them look like everyday people on the street. But he admits some will wear prosthetic fangs and dress in Gothic clothes to foster their sense of culture. Very few sleep in coffins.

International Communities

Brown also studied the vampiric community in Buffalo, I’m not sure if that’s in New York state or elsewhere; that wasn’t mentioned. Anyway, he said that while the New Orleans clan was focused mainly on their own community, the Buffalo clan was tuned into the global community of vampires. Apparently, these groups range from The United States, to England, to Russia, and South Africa. The internet makes it easy for them to stay connected.


Rod McPhee, in an article for Britain’s The Mirror, claims that Britain could have more vampires living in it than Transylvania, Dracula’s traditional homeland. He cites a study done by Rev. Lionel Fanthorpe, who investigated paranormal reports in Britain since 1914 numbering in excess of 11,000.

The old classic

McPhee said, “I really only expected to find one or two instances [of undead activity] in Britain. So, I was amazed when I discovered one story after another. And I really didn’t expect to find more here than in somewhere like Transylvania.”

This article from 2014 never touches on the fact that there do seem to be modern-day vampires living among the population. John Edgar Browning confirmed this is his ethnographic study of the phenomena.

The rest of the Mirror article relates fairly unsubstantiated tales of peoples’ encounters with the undead type of vampire, which in my opinion, don’t ring true.

Stuart Townsend as Lestat

Final Analysis

I’ve discussed the reality of the traditional vampires in other articles here in CryptoVille, and you can read those if you like. Bottom line, they aren’t real.

Which is why I find these modern-day vampires so incredibly interesting. What drives people to do that? I’m sure we all have days when we feel less energetic than others. If it’s a consistent pattern, then we have modern medicine that might be able to help us.

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So why this secretive searching for elite, esoteric energies? Does it really all come from their minds? Fanciful thoughts and beliefs?

The drinking blood part – I don’t get that. Chicken blood? Blech! Human blood? Blech!

You know, there are some small Christian churches that have become cults because they’ve gone down twisted paths and arrived at some very sketchy and heretical doctrines. I knew one once, in a town I lived in. The entire town knew the place was a cult. But the church members were very committed to each other, very tight, very insular. There was nothing Christ-like about them.

I wonder if that’s how it is with these vampiric communities. Their leader develops their culture and indoctrinates them so that they form a deep and lasting bond with their community.

I find it very strange.

John Edgar Browning wrote about the modern vampires, “They use what mainstream culture sees as a negative, deviant figure like the vampire to achieve a sense of self-empowerment. They identify others with a similar need and have produced a community from that need.”

The thought of the legendary traditional, undead vampire still gives me the creeps. But so do these modern-day vampires.

Maybe that’s why, as Browning writes, “(They fear) discrimination by people who simply don’t understand them.”

So, what do you think about all this?

Is this a good time to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day? 😉

Everyone is getting into the act!



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