Blood Brothers

Katherine Ramsland. Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today. Boxtree, 1999.

A journey into a subculture a good deal more off-beat than your average UFO or SPR convention, the world of wannbe vampires. These are, mainly, young, people to whom the post-modern vampire has become a figure of romantic appeal, and who forge for themselves surrogate identities as vampires, quite a few of whom drink each others blood.

It is hard not to note the parallels with again, often young, people who declare themselves reincarnated aliens, in both cases there is attempt to convert their sense of alienation into the assumption of a new 'transhuman' identity. Many of these 'vampires' show the same personality profiles as those labelled as fantasy-prone, such as the belief that one has psychic powers, is unusually empathic etc. There are also crucial similarities with what I have termed Caraboo Syndrome, the assumption of a fictitious identity, so powerfully believed in as to convince many people of the truth of their claims, and probably in many cases themselves.

There may be parallels also with the abductee subculture, the escape from the dull routine of the given world, into a world of magic and powerful forces, and the construction of subcultures wherein a new identity may be forged. Some of the abductees may well be 'psychic vampires' not in any paranormal sense but in the sense of being able to take control of investigators lives, manipulating them with 'shared experience' and feeding them with informational bait to keep them continually hooked.

Of course few us in the Magonia world are likely to come across someone quite as dangerous as 'Wraith' whose story is one of those featured here, and by his own claims was at least an accomplice in his boyfriend's murderous activities. A book not for the squeamish -- Peter Rogerson, from Magonia 69, December 1999.

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