Academic & Scientific Studies
This is the section where scientific and academic research and studies performed on the real Vampyre Community and on real Vampyres will be displayed.
At this stage, real verifiable ethical tests, studies, academic papers and research material are sought after by many in the VC. Those we know of will be listed and expanded upon below.
Laboratory Tests & Experiments:
- Athens State University & The Parapsychology Foundation, New York- consecutive laboratory testing
Academic Papers, Essays & Theses:
- “Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampires” by Dr Joseph Laycock, PhD (Praeger, 2009)
- “Modern Vampires: Your Neighbors and Spouses” essay by Dr Joseph Laycock, PhD, for Religion Despatches.
- “Joseph Laycock: Vampires Today” by Dr Joseph Laycock, PhD in an interview by John W. Morehead of TheoFantastique – August 25, 2009
- “Vampires as an Identity Group: Analyzing Causes and Effects of an Introspective Survey by the Vampire Community,” by Dr Joseph Laycock, PhD, Nova Religio.
- “‘We Are Spirits of Another Sort’: Ontological Rebellion and Religious Dimensions of the Otherkin Community,” by Dr Joseph Laycock, PhD, Nova Religio.
“Social Work, BDSM and Vampires: Toward Understanding and Empowering People with Non-Traditional Identities” by D.J. Williams, PhD, Canadian Social Work
Laboratory Tests & Experiments:
- Athens State University & The Parapsychology Foundation, New York
Principle researcher: Joe H. Slate PhD. Joe H. Slate is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice with a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama and postdoctoral studies in hypnosis and psychosomatic medicine at the University of California. He is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Athens State University and Honorary Professor at the University of Montevallo. His research interests include health and fitness, rejuvenation, pain management, reincarnation, astral projection, and the human aura. His research has been funded by the U. S. Army, the Parapsychology Foundation of New York, and numerous private sources. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and a Platinum Registrant in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.
Result: These consecutive studies demonstrate an actual energy transfer between a psychic/energy Vampyre feeding from a donor. Kirillian photography images provide evidence that an energy transfer takes place between Vampyre and donor and the energetic states of both before, during and after the transfer or feeding. These tests are repeatable and provide consistent results and have also been conducted independently by at least 1 other academic source as well as on a TV show, as mentioned below.
Consecutive laboratory studies at Athens State University by Joe H. Slate PHD, produced definable results and photographic evidence demonstrating before, during and after energy emissions of both Psi Vampyres and donors during feeding sessions. Much of the findings of the studies also seem to confirm many of the experiences and theories held by Psychic Vampyres in the community.
It is worth noting that Slate is not a fan of real psychic Vampyres, and has written several books warning against them, as well as promoting several “defensive techniques”.
“The year-long study, which was funded by the US Army Missile Research and Development Command, identified several important characteristics of that [human energy] system.
Of particular interest was the finding that the physical body’s central energizing core and its surrounding energy field, commonly called the aura, are each influenced by the presence of others. Using aura photography along with visual observations of the aura, the study found that the auras of couples whose interactions were positive tended to complement and energize each other, with each aura becoming brighter and more expansive.
Conversely, negative interactions tended to constrict the aura and actually induce a state of mental and physical fatigue. When constrictions occurred in the aura, intellectual functions became slower, short-term memory declined, and physical strength decreased by as much as 50 percent.”
“A later study funded by the Parapsychology Foundation of New York not only confirmed the findings of our earlier research, it showed that certain persons were highly skilled at deliberately tapping into and directly feeding upon the aura of others.
By draining energy from another person’s aura, these so-called psychic vampires not only deplete the aura’s energy resources, they interrupt the capacity of the aura’s central core to generate new energy, particularly when the interaction is prolonged.
Consistent with our earlier findings, direct observations of the aura as well as aura photographs taken before and after a psychic vampire interaction showed the victim’s aura becoming severely de-energized and constricted following an attack while the vampire’s aura became energized and expansive.”
“As expected, such onslaughts dramatically expanded the invading vampire’s aura but seriously dulled and constricted the host victim’s aura, a condition that often lasted for days. Even more seriously, vampire puncture wounds to the aura often required weeks to heal.
(As an important footnote, all observations and photographs obtained throughout our studies were with consent of informed volunteer subjects, most of whom were college students. Both observational and photographic assessments obtained during an actual psychic vampire interaction were obtained from couples who were in an on-going relationship. All participants in our vampire studies were offered counseling and provided instruction concerning the use of appropriate intervention and protection techniques.)
Although the human energy system is indestructible—it is literally the soul of our being—its capacity to generate the energy required for daily living can become severely impaired. Long-term, continuous psychic vampire attacks can have devastating consequences that reach far beyond damage to the energy system. Like the host victims of their blood-sucking counterparts, victims of recurring psychic vampire assaults can become—dare I say—psychic vampires themselves in a desperate effort to replenish their lost supply of energy.”
Independent confirmation/duplication of this experiment:
A 2006 History Channel documentary, called “Vampire Secrets” includes a demonstration of this experiment, conducted on camera, and shows Kirilian photography of the electromagnetic field around a psychic Vampyre‘s fingertips before, during, and after drawing vital energy from a donor. It also shows the electromagnetic field around the fingertips of the donor.
What to take home from this:
The most important part of the lab tests referred to is the evidence of an energy transfer taking place between a Vampyre and a donor, which demonstrates that SOMETHING actually takes place. It is not just a case of person A saying they feel all high on energy and person B saying they feel drained of energy. These tests delivered something tangible which serves to corroborate the claims of psi Vampyres, even if there is no concrete scientific explanation for vampyrism as yet.
Yes, there are people who doubt Kirillian photography and who say it has been “debunked”. That, I suppose depends on what you intend to use it for. Most “debunking” efforts address the matter of photography of the aura of a living thing, and not the measuring or recording of an EM field or even faint electrical field in image form by direct contact with an image plate. (This of course mentions coins and other non-living objects registering in “contact photography”, which if Kirillian photography worked in showing images of an actual aura, would debunk this usage, but since most objects, living and non-living have some kind of magnetic, energy or electrical value, then this only serves to illustrate the point of these lab tests.)
Regardless, the point is that the contact-images provided by these tests clearly show consistent differences between the discharge/state of the fingertips of both Vampyre and donor before, during and after each test. That’s not something so easy to explain away.
If one looks at that in a logical sense: a) something is proven to have taken place in the form of an energy transfer which can be duplicated to deliver the same results. b) The Vampyre and the donor both attest to experiencing the transfer in opposite ways. c) This should lead inquiring scientific minds to try and establish 1) what causes the Vampyre to be able to cause this energy transfer? 2) What happens during the energy transfer? 3) Why does the Vampyre suffer ill effects if no energy transfer takes place for a prolonged period? 4) Any other means of providing any other evidence should be investigated.
Academic Papers & Theses:
- Dr Joseph P. Laycock, Phd: Joseph Laycock holds a PhD in religious studies from Boston University and is the author of Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampirism, as well as several more research papers on real Vamp(i)yres as an identity group and the Otherkin Community.
- “Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampires” by Dr Joseph Laycock, PhD (Praeger, 2009)
- “Modern Vampires: Your Neighbors and Spouses” by Dr Joseph Laycock, PhD, for Religion Dispatches – May 28, 2009
“The biggest misconception is that the vampire community is a subversive religious group and that anyone who identifies as a vampire is a dangerous social pariah. There are several new religious movements within the vampire community such as The Temple of the Vampire, although these groups represent a minority of self-identified vampires. Many vampires even identify as Christians and atheists.
Several people expressed concern for my safety while working with vampires. Several journalists who have written on the vampire community, all of them female, describe moments in which they were frightened or made to feel uncomfortable. One of them even employed a personal bodyguard. However, I never once had even a vague sense of danger during this research.
There is a trope in American horror of the dedicated researcher who uncovers too much. The power of this trope played out in 1996, when a reporter in New York vanished while doing a story on the vampire community. As I describe in the book, she was almost certainly killed by the Russian mafia. There is a certain romance in imagining that she was taken by vampires, but it is irresponsible to promote such a theory. I have encountered several cases of vampires suffering harassment, and this may become worse as awareness of the community increases. It is better to move past these Romantic ideas and begin seeing self-identified vampires more or less as ordinary people.”
“Praeger’s market is primarily university and public libraries. I have noticed many papers being written on this community; mostly by undergraduates but also in academic journals. Often these papers are researched entirely online. My hope is that this book will provide a valuable resource so that continuing research on this community may be done in a more thoughtful way. Accordingly, any theory used in the book has been broken down into clear terms that will be useful to undergraduates. I believe that as public intellectuals, academics should not hide their ideas behind specialized vocabulary and neologisms.
I also anticipate that many readers will be vampires themselves. Every book and academic article that has ever been written on vampires has been tracked down, analyzed, and critiqued by this community. Accordingly, I expect the vampires to be among my toughest critics. I also recognize that some readers may be “awakening” themselves, and that this book may influence the continuing emergence of this community. It is naïve for a modern ethnographer to imagine that their research “leaves no footprints.”
Finally, I think that the family, friends, and neighbors of vampires may find this book helpful. I increasingly encountered stories of people learning that their significant other was a vampire and spouses who were confused by their wife or husband’s “awakening.” One of my lectures on the vampire community was attended by a woman and her young son: Her son’s friend had announced that he was a vampire, and the mother wanted to know what this meant. This book is not intended as an apology for the vampire community, but I think it may help non-vampires to put the phenomenon in perspective. One of the challenges of a democratic society is the accommodation of diverse identity groups.”
- “Joseph Laycock: Vampires Today” by Dr Joseph Laycock, PhD in an interview by John W. Morehead of TheoFantastique – August 25, 2009
“The terms “real vampire” and “vampire community” are commonly used by within vampire culture. When someone says that they are a “real vampire,” they do not mean that they are actually undead or immortal. Rather, this term is used in contradistinction to “lifestyle vampires.” Lifestyle vampires or “lifestylers” are usually dedicated fans of vampire fiction and enjoy dressing as the undead. Real vampires believe that they are somehow biologically or metaphysically distinct from other people. The key difference is that lifestylers choose their identity while real vampires see their identity as a vampire as essential and unchangeable.
The term “vampire community” (often just “VC” in Internet communications) is a broad label that generally includes anyone who identifies as a vampire. Many different and conflicting ideas of vampirism coexist with the vampire community. Although formal groups exist within the community, it is not an organization or institution. It functions more as an identity group that all vampires are ascribed to. Vampires typically speak about the vampire community in much the same way that gays speak about the gay community or African-Americans speak about the black community.
The term “vampire milieu” was coined for the book and was not commonly used by any vampires I met during my study. Our culture has an evolving pool of ideas about vampires and self-identified vampires reference this milieu to express their identities. To understand real vampires, you have to study the archetypes they are referencing. Confusion arises because popular culture has turned vampires from vile animated corpses to a sort of alluring super-hero. The vampire milieu also includes occult writings about vampires, and theories of holistic health. Vampires may draw on any of this material in forming and describing their ideas. One model of vampirism is often quite different from another, but there remains a sort of family resemblance arising from the vampire milieu.
It is also useful to note that the vampire milieu and the vampire community are distinct entities. For example, vampires that “sparkle in sunshine” are now entrenched within the vampire milieu. However, (as far as I know) the vampire community has had little to do with this trope. This distinction is also important to any discussion of vampires and crime. Occasionally, the criminally insane will develop an obsession with the vampire milieu. One individual believed that an Anne Rice character ordered him to murder a friend. However, it is very rare that these individuals participate in the vampire community: While they may call themselves a vampire, they are not in communication with other self-identified vampires. I have found only two cases where such a criminal did not act alone and may have had contact with the vampire community.”
“The distinction between lifestylers and real vampires has already been discussed. Real vampires generally claim that they must “feed” in order to maintain their physical, mental, and spiritual health. Some real vampires, known as sanguinarians, feed on blood. This usually consists of small quantities taken from human donors. Psychic vampires do not drink blood but rather “feed” on the vital energy of those around them. Psychic vampirism has been part of occult literature at least since the 19th century. The idea that some people either borrow or take the energy of others is common throughout Asia and the Theosophical Society used this idea to re-imagine the Western idea of the vampire. There are also “hybrid” vampires who consume both blood and psychic energy.
Finally, I find it useful to make a distinction between the “awakened” and “initiatory” models of vampirism. The majority of real vampires believe that you cannot be “turned” or otherwise choose to become a vampire. Instead they believe that vampirism is an essential identity inherent from birth. The process of discovering one’s identity as a vampire is known in the community as “awakening.” However, there are several groups who view vampirism as a sort of apotheosis to be undertaken through ritual initiation. These groups tend to be associated with the Church of Satan and similar “left hand path” occult movements. There has been tension between the two models over what a “real vampire” actually is. However, some recent overtures have been made towards reconciliation.”
“The modern vampire community has been attributed to porphyria and other diseases, fantasy-prone personality, narcissistic personality disorders, pica (a mental illness characterized by eating dirt, plaster and other inedible substances), and sexual fetishism. It has also been described as an organized and dangerous cult. In sociological terms, the vampire community is a “deviant” group: Literally, one that deviates from social norms. Historically, one of the most effective ways to exert social control over deviance has been to “medicalize” it, reducing a complex social phenomenon to a listing in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Homosexuality appeared in the DSM until 1974.
The label “cult” is also tied to medicalization. Throughout the 1970s, various counter-cult groups tried to circumvent the first amendment by claiming that some religions practice brainwashing and therefore constitute an “information disease.” Polemical characterizations of the vampire community as a religion tend to present individual vampires as automatons whose identity has been absorbed into a larger movement. Descriptions of luring teenagers into vampire culture through the Internet echo the earlier label of “information disease.” I believe that an explanation of this community must look at the personal narratives of individual vampires as well as the larger social context.”
“Sociologists used to believe in what is now called the “myth of universal secularization.” That is, a prediction that the social influence of religion and belief in the supernatural will continue to decline until both become nonexistent. The process of secularization now appears to be cyclical in nature, either because secular movements have inspired a backlash of religiosity or because the decline of traditional churches has left individuals free to explore supernatural belief systems.
The connection between modern vampires and “re-enchantment” was first made by Christopher Partridge. In his theory of re-enchantment, Partridge points out that as traditional religion is declining, new belief systems are proliferating. Furthermore, the distinction between deviant and legitimate religion has begun to narrow. Re-enchantment then argues that religion is not fading away so much as changing. The metaphysics of vampirism, as well as emerging new religious movements and popular occultism are all evidence of this change.”
“What types of elements have helped to create the vampire milieu? In my book I attempt to describe the evolution of the vampire milieu chronologically across four areas: Literature, film, and television; occult writing; metaphysical and holistic health; and vampirology. In reality, these areas all blend together. The vampire of Slavic folklore is largely left out because vampires do not actually think of themselves as undead. (For the same reason, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is of little importance to real vampires.) Occult groups such as the Theosophical Society and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn re-imagined the vampire as a being that feeds on subtle energy rather than blood. This set the stage for the modern understanding of psychic vampires. The novel I Am Legend (1954) by Richard Mattheson re-imagined the vampire again as a biological entity. This too influenced the vampire community. It also appears to have influenced the medical community, which has periodically sought to explain vampire legends in terms of known diseases. Finally, with the series Dark Shadows in the 1960s, the vampire became a symbol of tragedy, romance, and alienation. As a deviant hero, Barnabus Collins caused many people to identify with the vampire. Dark Shadows foreshadowed the vampires of Anne Rice and even Edward Cullens.
Metaphysical ideas associated with holistic health have also influenced how vampires see their condition. Western concepts of subtle energy such as mesmerism and the Freudian notion of libido were linked tovampirism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There is now an interesting dialogue beginning to form between self-identified vampires and practitioners of qigong, reiki, and other health practices from Asia.
The last category, “vampirology” refers to a series of amateur studies on real vampires. This began with figures like Stephen Kaplan who opened a “vampire research center.” However, the most ambitious studies to date have been done by vampires themselves. The AVA has collected data from over 1450 individuals. While the academy can challenge their methodology, it is hard to imagine an outsider conducting a better quantitative analysis of this community. I believe that their findings will ultimately determine what it means to be a vampire. This indicates that the vampire community has begun to exert agency over the milieu.”
“The AVA’s survey indicates that the majority of vampires are not part of any formal organization. However, vampires have always sought group interaction. In the 1980s vampires met through fan conventions for Dark Shadows and horror movies. In the 1990s vampires began communicating through zines and other small print media. The community appears to have been on the Internet for as long as it has existed, first using listserves, then forums, and now peer-networking sites.
The Internet generally has a leveling effect on religions. The Internet has not been kind to hierarchical religious organizations such as the Catholic Church or Scientology. On the other hand, non-hierarchical religions such as Paganism have flourished online. Initiatory religious groups such as the Temple of the Vampire seem to have been hurt by the transition to the Internet. The Vampire Bible and other copyrighted texts have been disseminated to the uninitiated online. By contrast, the awakened model of vampirism has flourished as many individuals have begun to rethink their identity after encountering the vampire community online.
The Internet has also brought many young people to the vampire community. More experienced vampires have tried to help by posting articles or even creating “checklists” for individuals who suspect they might be a vampire. The latest innovation is a series of youtube clips where vampires answer questions e-mailed to them about vampirism.”
“Several new religions scholars have considered vampirism a new religious movement? Is vampirism a religion? The answer to this question depends on which model of vampirism is under consideration and what criteria of religion are being used. The vampire community runs a gamut from The Temple of the Vampire which claims to have legal recognition as a church to atheists who believe vampirism will one day be understood by medical science.
Certainly groups like the Temple of the Vampire are new religious movements. However, I have argued against categorizing the entire vampire community as a new religious movement. One reason being that a significant percentage of vampires describe themselves as Christian. Although vampirism is frequently explained in terms of metaphysical or supernatural beliefs, it appears that many vampires see their identity as a vampire as distinct from their religious affiliation.”
“What types of reception have vampires received as they have become more above ground? In the United States, this varies greatly from region to region. In the Bible Belt, vampires are very cautious about keeping their identity a secret. I heard a story of at least one vampire who was “outed” to his community and asked to leave his church. By contrast, identifying as a vampire may not seem all that unusual in Los Angeles.
As the media seeks to capitalize on the current fascination with vampires, the vampire community has received an unprecedented level of attention. The AVA is contacted by a new television show or documentary about every month. Community leaders have been very active in monitoring this attention and curbing sensationalism. For instance, the show Trading Spouses was unable to find a vampire who would appear on their show. I believe that there has been a gradual shift from very sensationalistic coverage of the community (usually around Halloween) to more nuanced portrayals of vampires. By the same token, Vampires Today is not intended as a definitive text on this community. Rather, I hope to encourage further research on vampires and other emerging identity groups and suggest further areas of inquiry.”
- “Vampires as an Identity Group: Analyzing Causes and Effects of an Introspective Survey by the Vampire Community,” by Dr Joseph Laycock, PhD, Nova Religio Vol 14:1 (Aug 2010): pp. 4-23. *Now Available For Free Download Through JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1525/nr.2010.14.1.4.pdf
- “‘We Are Spirits of Another Sort’: Ontological Rebellion and Religious Dimensions of the Otherkin Community,” by Dr Joseph Laycock, PhD, Nova Religio 15:3 (2012): 65-90.
- “Social Work, BDSM and Vampires: Toward Understanding and Empowering People with Non-Traditional Identities” by Dr D.J. Williams, PhD, Canadian Social Work – Volume 15 Number 1, Fall 2013; Pages 10-24.