‘Real’ vampires exist. Did you hear that? Are you shocked? Laughing? Incredulous?
I’m not talking about the kind that morph into animals or live eternally.
I’m talking about the folks who believe they are vampires.
Some wear fangs. Many walk about during the hours of darkness.They say they need blood to feel healthy. Animal or human blood is seen by these people as psychic energy or life’s essence.
Somewhere around puberty, they begin to feel the drain on their energies. Thus, the claim from these folks that their need to drink blood to stay healthy is a medical condition.
There are groups like NOVA – the New Orleans Vampire Association – who, according to their website, provide support to other vampires and do charity work.
Feed – means to drink blood
Donors – those who give blood for vampire feedings
Something to keep hidden, many people who crave blood keep their urges a secret. Even from their doctor. Why? Stigma.
Many feel that this condition is psychological. There are two groups of ‘real’ vampires:
- People who feed on willing donors. (Often, these folks are in a committed relationship.)
- People who dress as vampires. (They may sleep in coffins but do not drink blood.)
Real Vampires in History – Don’t Think So
William Wortham Pool (1842 –1922)
He’s known as the Hollywood Vampire or the Richmond Vampire. In a one hundred thirty acre cemetery, the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, is the mausoleum of W. W. Pool 1913. (That date refers to the year his wife died.)
Legend has it that Mr. Pool was run out of England because he was a vampire. A collapsed railroad tunnel that occurred in 1925, killing several workers, fueled the legend of this graveyard ghoul.
Rescuers trying to save the victims were, according to the story, met by a monster with jagged teeth and skin hanging from its carcass crouched over one of the victim’s bodies. When the rescuers gave chase, the creature disappeared inside of the mausoleum of W. W. Pool. 1
But research has determined that the creature fleeing the site of the tragedy was actually a scalded worker who had been shoveling coal into the locomotive’s firebox when a boiler ruptured.
His clothes were in shreds and skin was hanging from his limbs. He later died and was buried in the Hollywood Cemetery. His name was Benjamin Mosby.
Real Vampires in History – Vampire or Victim?
Countess Elizabeth Bathory (1560 – 1614)
They say this lady bathed in the blood of virgins to keep that youthful glow in her skin. Born into a noble family in Hungary, she married at fifteen and moved into a castle. The Countess could speak and read multiple languages.
The seventeenth century had just begun when complaints were made against Bathory. Over several years, testimony was collected from three hundred plus witnesses who testified that the Countess had lured peasant girls to the castle with offers of jobs as maids and servants. 2
She lured other young girls to her lair to learn etiquette of the court. Others were abducted, and under Bathory’s hand, none of the young girls came to a good end. Beatings, scaldings, as well as stories of starvation and freezing were reported. 3
She reputedly covered girls in honey and set ants on them. It is suspected she also ate parts of her victims. Holidays and weddings and other family celebrations were a time for bloody orgies and other acts of sadism. 4
Stories spread of attacks on victims, of biting them and drinking their blood. She was supposed to fill her tub with the blood of virgins to maintain a youthful appearance.
She was investigated. But instead of a lengthy public trial that would embarrass a noble family, it was decided to seal her up in a windowless castle room with small slits for ventilation and the passing of food. 5
Elizabeth Bathory lived under these conditions for four years.
Was Elizabeth Bathory A Victim Not a Vampire?
Some now think that Bathory was the victim in a plot to gain her family’s wealth. Her family was owed lots of money by another Imperial family who could not repay the debt. Elizabeth Bathory was a widow, and during this time in history, this would have made her susceptible to rumors of witchcraft. 6
Because she was never brought to trial, there are no official records of the case. Confessions from her alleged accomplices were gotten by torture. Those accomplices were executed. We will never know if she was truly a mass murderer or an innocent victim. 7
Real Vampires in History – Serial Killer
Béla Kiss (1877 – Disappeared in 1916)
In 1916, authorities were notified about Bela Kiss. They found seven metal drums. Upon opening the barrels, the bodies of humans were discovered inside. 8 The housekeeper at the residence where Kiss had been living showed authorities a locked room that she had been instructed never to enter.
Inside, police found bookcases and a desk with letters from women that Kiss had been corresponding with. There was a photo album. Many of the books in the room were about poisons and strangulation. 9
The letters told police that Kiss had been corresponding with women looking for a marriage partner. Kiss had placed ads in newspapers and selected woman whose sudden disappearance would likely go unnoticed. Many of the women sent him money. Papers in the room told police that two of these women had tried to get their money back by taking Kiss to court. Both women disappeared and the cases were dismissed. 10
Bela Kiss strangled some of the woman and put them in the metal drums. He had attempted to pickle the corpses in alcohol. There were puncture marks on the victims’ necks. The corpses had been drained of blood. Because of this, Bela Kiss was called a vampire. 11
What actually happened to Bela Kiss and how many others he killed remains a mystery. 12