~alt.culture.vampires FAQ~
VERSION 2.3

CONTENTS

I      WELCOME TO A.C.V.

II     alt.culture.vampires CHARTER

III    A BRIEF HISTORY OF alt.culture.vampires

IV    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

V     FOR MORE INFORMATION...

I     WELCOME!

Von't you please come in? Yes, enter freely, and of your own will.

We are here to discuss all aspects of vampirism or vampires, as they occur in "real life". alt.culture.vampires is a place for those who are involved with blood-fetish activities, people who just have a taste for blood, people who live vampiric lifestyles, people who think they're vampires, people who know they're vampires, vampires, vampires who think they're people, and people who want to argue with people believing in any of the above. This newsgroup is not intended to be yet another watering-hole for persons posting in the characters of their favorite role-playing games. Rather, it is intended to discuss the impacts of real vampirism on real people (and real vampires), in real lives. If you are seeking a forum directed more to the mythological, literary, television, film, or role-playing world of vampires, please see sectionIV.13 where you will find a directory of vampire-related newsgroups which may be more to your tastes.

The vampire is an icon in the popular culture of the Western World. Attitudes have changed over the years. From the near-universal historic superstitious dread and terror of supernatural beings reputedly capable of transforming themselves into bats or rats or wolves or even a mist, we have seen the image of the fictional vampire refined to become something more believable. And herein, perhaps, lies danger.

It is an inarguable fact that there have been through the ages those men and women who have for some reason decided to prey upon their fellow men and women. Some of these were serial killers, and many of them, when captured, confessed (or were proven) to have consumed the blood and sometimes the flesh of their victims. Some of these have claimed to be vampires, and perhaps they were believed. But whether or not they were "vampires", they did practice vampirism, in the act of drinking human blood. These individuals practiced a violent vampirism... and whether or not this would have actually provided a longer life will not be known. These persons were tried and executed for their violence, and often as not throughout history, they have been subjected to beheading as the execution method of choice.

Yet still we moderns have a fascination with the vampire. We all are certainly aware that it is impossible for a human-like being to become a mist and slip through the keyhole, and so we scoff at the traditional vampire. Less-traditional vampires, however, can fascinate the imagination. In particular, the so-called "living vampire" has become sufficiently common as to seem almost humdrum.

For many, it is the power of the Night which draws them into a shadowy embrace, leaving them to forsake the daytime life and seek a darker path. But to merely go Darkside is not the same as becoming a vampire, or living a vampire's life; certainly being a Darksider or a Goth does not mean that one has also embraced the arts, whether fine or crude, of bloodletting.

Many there are who choose to take a walk on the dark side of life, but few feel called to go beyond a slight sampling of the blood upwelling from a scratch. Some taste, and most are disgusted. Some like the taste, and some impart to this savor a deeper meaning. Could they perhaps be "real vampires"?

Some never stop wondering. Some end up trapped in endless loops of recursive delusion. Some go farther, and do not wonder at all. Some of these enter the history books to join the ranks of infamy, as violent vampyric killers, quite commonly serial-killers. The US FBI estimates that there are between 300 to 500 serial killers roaming the US at any time, many of whom practice vampirism as an after-thought to whatever madness makes them kill.

For some, it's just a game, a lifestyle. It's taking the high-camp of Gothic Fashion to an extreme. Sometimes the extremes get a little bit too extreme, but generally it's not all that dangerous... or could it be? Maybe it's the creepy edge of possible extreme weirdness that gives the scene that delicious... bite. Some alternate between the worlds of true delusion, and fantasy role-playing, and there is a thriving-if-annoying subculture of Role-Playing Gamesters, complete with their own commercial vendors-of-dreamscapes. They have a newsgroup called alt.games.whitewolf - and you may discuss games with them.

For some, it's no game at all, or at least no more of a game than is any other person's struggle to bring home dinner. Of this last group, we can say but little... for the real vampires are a secretive bunch. They do not discuss themselves, generally not even amongst themselves. But perhaps they do occasionally join the crowds of Darksiders and Goths, perhaps to search for their Lost Ones... who would perhaps be drawn, perhaps inevitably, to this crowd.

Ah, the stories that can be told, of any of these factions! And of their interactions! And as in the Darkness there are the embraces of those who give, and those who receive, and those who hold court and those who attend it, in the Light there are those who gather around their campfires, and exchange their tales.

And at twilight, in the evening, night comes close upon the heels of perishing day and for those few moments when the worlds overlap, their respective denizens may pause to converse, and to share their tales of themselves, and of each other.

Welcome to "alt.culture.vampires".

(c) copyright 1998 all rights reserved - by TJH Internet SP non-internet transmission is expressly prohibited. Used by permission

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II   THE alt.culture.vampires CHARTER

This group is for the discussion of vampires and vampirism as an actual phenomenon and the medical, psychological, psychic, and scientific/technical explanations for it.   Mention or discussion of fictional vampires or vampire RPG's are only acceptable as they relate to the main topic, otherwise they are to be referred to a newsgroup where they are appropriate. TOP

III   A BRIEF HISTORY OF alt.culture.vampires

This newsgroup came about because of a long-running argument in the newsgroup alt.vampyres. Since its inception, AV was primarily focused on the fictional aspect of vampires and vampirism, and the presence of what came to be called Real (TM) Vampires (and the frequently heavy debates that they engendered) was felt to be detrimental to the group. For years it was suggested that a NG be started just for the Real (TM) Vampires, but these were never followed up. Finally, on Feb. 2, 1998, Chooch (chooch@casagrande.com) posted a formal proposal in the news group alt.config that alt.culture.vampires be created. During the minimum seven day waiting period, support messages were also posted by WngdWolf13 (WngdWolf13@aol.com) and klaatu (klaatu@clark.net). Since no objections were posted during that period, on Feb. 9th what's called a "control:newgroup" message was sent out and the group was created on the newsserver at Zippo.com. Due to a flaw in the original control message (it lacked a necessary "approved" header), a "booster" message was sent out by klaatu on Feb. 11. At that time, the group was also created on clark.net and he posted the message "Welcome to alt.culture.vampires" which became the first message in the group to propagate across Usenet. (That message is now the "Welcome" section of this FAQ.) Thornleaf (solstice@ican.net) volunteered to provide a home for this document and thereby became the first official "Keeper of the FAQ" for ACV. On 31st May 1999, Chiller (chiller@cold.demon.co.uk) took over the maintenance and administration of the FAQ.

Richard Morrison
chooch@casagrande.com
Casa Grande, Arizona
Feb. 17, 1998

Additional History --

As of about 2000 February, Chiller decided to withdraw from UseNet, and began looking for a new home for the FAQ. As of 2000 March 5, "klaatu" and C'iana were selected to become the "Keepers of the FAQ" and the FAQ was mirrored at http://earthops.org/a-c-v/ where it should remain until a better home can be found for it.

Also, some minor changes have been made to the FAQ, such as conversion from DOS text to the UNIX format, assorted links have been changed to reflect new site addresses, and Chiller is no longer noted as the FAQ maintainer.

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IV   FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN alt.culture.vampires AND alt.vampyres?

To quote "The Madman who is Sane" (zebro@iname.com):

"Alt.vampyres has arrogant people who believe in vampires.
alt.culture.vampires has arrogant people who believe they are vampires."
To be slightly more precise, alt.vampyres is a place for the discussion of the vampire as a fictional being - in poetry, mythology, literature, film, on television, and in the imaginations of a.v denizens.  Readers occasionally post original poetry and prose, and discuss vampire theory.

alt.culture.vampires, on the other hand, is for those who believe that there really are vampires, or that they really are (or were, or might be) vampires, or live vampiric lifestyles, or are involved in blood-fetishism, or just want to talk about (or to) vampires in the real world.

2. SO WHAT EXACTLY IS A VAMPIRE?

For the purposes of this newsgroup, a vampire is any person or being who/which for any reason consumes the blood, life-energies, or emotional energies of other persons, who may or may not themselves be vampires.

3. HOW DO I KNOW IF ANYONE HERE IS A VAMPIRE (MYSELF INCLUDED)?

Presume that if someone claims to be a vampire, they are - even if only in their own minds. Remember that "behaviour is attitude in action" and that, probably, whoever thinks like a vampire (right or wrong) might act like a vampire. For now we'll try to avoid the question of which philosophy is correct, "to do is to be", or "to be is to do".

4. YOU SAY YOU'RE A VAMPIRE? PROVE IT THEN!

If you've read this far in the FAQ you will appreciate that there are many possible definitions of the term "Vampire". If not, may I refer you to section 2, above.

The internet is a medium where anyone can say they are anyone or anything, and proof is impossible -- without posting one's real life details either to the group or to individuals -- a course of action which is STRONGLY discouraged!

If you feel you cannot take this group seriously without proof that people are Vampires, then this probably isn't the forum for you. The people who post here know what they are, and they have no reason to put themselves at risk in order to prove it to you or to anyone else.

5. HOW DO I BECOME A VAMPIRE?

Why would you want to? I guess that if you really wanted to, you could try biting someone and drinking their blood but you had better ask permission first. Then, once having drunk, for the purposes of this newsgroup, you can call yourself a vampire. But remember that this is a great way to get sick, to get into trouble, to get a nasty reputation, and to possibly even have Vampire Hunters come chasing after you.

6. WHAT ARE THE VAMPIRE HUNTERS?

There are various people, and groups, who for whatever reasons, believe that no vampire may be allowed to continue to exist. Therefore, they attempt to seek out and destroy bloodsuckers wherever they find them. Some of these people are just sick puppies looking for any excuse to hurt someone else, and others may be in the grip of some powerful delusional system. (The same might be said of many who call themselves vampires.) Sometimes Vampire Hunter groups can be extremely organized and very systematic in their operations, however insane in motivation. Attracting Vampire Hunters to yourself is a very bad idea.

7. IF I MYSELF AM NOT A VAMPIRE, SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT VAMPIRES?
    MAYBE EVEN HUNT THEM?

Hunting vampires, assorted TV shows and movies notwithstanding, is generally not a good idea. Leave that sort of thing up to the professionals, by which I mean law-enforcement officers and criminologists. They can generally tell the difference between real vampires and fake vampires, and within the two classes, can tell which ones are dangerous or not.

If you're not a vampire, you probably shouldn't worry about vampires unless of course you discover a coven and manage to cause the vampires to worry. Worried vampires are not very common so maybe you yourself shouldn't worry. However, please do not go out of your way to really worry a coven of vampires. That, also, is generally not a good idea.

8. BUT I WANT TO SEE SOME VAMPIRES! WHERE CAN I SEE A VAMPIRE?

Maybe you see them all of the time. Maybe they're all around you. Maybe you're the last mortal on earth. Maybe you're not.

Why would you want to see a vampire? If you can see the vampire, they can probably see you. Maybe they don't like nosy people staring at them. There are some people, however, who insist on dressing up like a TV Dracula and telling everyone that they are a vampire. If you really want to see a vampire, go find the people who dress up like that, and then you will know what a vampire does-not look like. Quite possibly, of the people who are laughing the hardest at the Vampabee, those who laugh the hardest may have the best reasons, knowing much better than you, or the Vampabee, or anyone else (and from personal experience) exactly what a real vampire is.

9. WHAT EXACTLY IS A VAMPABEE?

A VampaBee is a sort of wanna-be, as in "I wanna be a vampire!" Wannabees are generally fairly annoying, and since many vampires either dread discovery, or hate attention, having someone follow them around attracting attention by saying "I wannabee like you!" is extremely annoying. Even to non-vampires, Vampabees are an annoyance, with the degree of annoyance ranging from amusement to outrage and hatred for someone who wants to be "a bloodsucking fiend". In general, Vampabees tend to be rejected by anyone other than fellow Vampabees. Even Goths don't care much for Vampabees.

10. WHAT EXACTLY ARE GOTHS?

http://thingy.apana.org.au/~fun/agsf/faqs/ is a rather large collection of gothic-related FAQs which you will no doubt find quite informative.

The official alt.gothic FAQ is located at http://www.darkwave.org.uk/faq/ag

11. BUT BACK TO VAMPIRES - WHAT DO VAMPIRES DO, EXACTLY?

That's the subject of a great many discussions, and one of the reasons that this newsgroup is here, so that we can discuss what exactly it is that vampires do.

12. I VANT TO DRINK YOUR BLOOD...

Are you nuts? Human blood is dangerous stuff. Take a look at paramedics, emergency room people, dentists, anybody who runs the risk of coming in contact with bleeding people. The very first thing they do is put on gloves and masks and take every step they can to protect themselves. Drink the stuff? Hell, they don't even want to _touch_ the stuff! So what do they know that you don't?

There is almost _no_ disease or infection that can't be transmitted by direct, blood-to-blood contact. Including (but definitely not limited to) HIV (AIDS), Herpes, Lassa Fever, Ebola, Human-Transmissable Spongiform Encephalopathy (the human form of Mad Cow disease), Hepatitis, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, the list just goes on and on. There is virtually no more efficient way to transmit a disease than blood-to-blood contact.

And what about the risks involved in getting the blood? Even with a willing donor, do you know enough to know which implements to use? Or have access to them? Or how to sterilize and use them properly so to minimize the risks to your partner? (You say you're just going to _bite_ them? That would be exceedingly stupid. Ask any Doctor...a human bite is nastier and more infectious than any other animal bite.) Do you know enough about anatomy to know which areas to avoid, like where there are major arteries just under the skin? (Some of those areas are the neck, the groin, the inner thigh, the wrist, the upper inner arm, and others.) Cut into one of those and you're going to have one hell of a lot more blood than you expected and a suddenly _dead_ partner. And not just dead until sundown when they rise up out of the coffin...they'll be dead _forever_. And _you_ are going to have some serious explaining to do to people who are going to want to lock you up for a long, long time.

13. I THINK I'M IN THE WRONG PLACE - I WAS LOOKING FOR INFORMATION
       ON ___________

So, you've stumbled into a den of real vampires when you were only looking for information on your favourite TV show, FOREVER KNIGHT.  Put away your stakes and garlic, and let's see if we can help you out a bit.

alt.vampyres - FAQ
"Currently, this group is for the discussion of vampire theory, such as the mythology, psychology, physiology, and relation of the vampire to modern-day human life, and the distribution of original fiction, such as stories, poetry, or prose, which lie within the vampire realm. This is one of the few places on the Internet that allows people to share theories, ideas, and creative works concerning the life and times of vampires. This group is also for the discussion of vampires in fiction: books, comics, movies, anime, etc."

alt.games.vampire.the.masquerade - FAQ
"A.G.V.T.M. is an ingame forum to converse In-Character. It is not an online  game, there are no storytellers, there is no plot. Contributors are trusted to act with a sense of 'fair game' in their posts and their characters. You do not need to describe your character actions or speak in the second person. This newsgroup is... a newsgroup, not a bar, not a haven, not a hang out... it's just what it appears to be. A newsgroup."

alt.games.vampire.tremere - FAQ
A newsgroup for Malkavians to post in character, and out.

alt.games.whitewolf and rec.games.frp.storyteller - FAQ
This link attaches to a page which has a number of FAQs on it, a.g.w's is one of them.
"Well, alt.games.whitewolf and rec.games.frp.storyteller are newsgroups for discussing various aspects of the World of Darkness roleplaying games, put out by White Wolf Game Studios. All these games use the Storyteller rules system and are put out by White Wolf publishing company, and thus the names of the groups."

alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer - FAQ
"alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer is an unmoderated USENET newsgroup devoted to the discussion of the television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," herein abbreviated as BVTS."

alt.tv.forever-knight - FAQ
Newsgroup for discussion of the cancelled show (now in reruns) Forever Knight.

alt.tv.kindred - no FAQ available at this time.

alt.books.anne-rice - FAQ
"abar is an internet newsgroup that was created for Anne Rice fans to have a place to get together with other fans and let the mayhem loose.  On abar you'll find threads about the books, the movies, stories, characters and more non-sequiturs than you can shake a stick at."

alt.books.poppy-z-brite - FAQ
"We're happy to have a forum for connection and discussion and welcome anybody who shares our interest in this truly wonderful writer. So don't be shy, jump on in!"

For even more usenet ideas, try Dark Side of the Web's Usenet Page.

Thanks to klaatu (klaatu@clark.net) for providing questions 2, 3 and 6 to 11. Thanks to Chooch for wording question 12.

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V   FOR MORE INFORMATION

There are THOUSANDS of places to look for information concerning vampires.  These are just a few.

Some of the links in this section advocate blood-letting or give "how to" instructions, or contain links to sites which do.

alt.culture.vampires as a group, and the keeper of this FAQ document in NO WAY encourage this activity, and in fact advise strongly against it (see question 12, above). There is no safe way to handle human blood.

The Dark Side of the Net:  A collection of links and information on all things Dark - including vampires.  This should probably be your first stop.

Sanguinarius.Org -- for Real Vampires, Vampire-Lifestylers, and Vampiric people. This is quite a resource, which has, among other things, The Real Vampire Directory, The Vampiric Community Calendar, and The Vampire Support Page -- this last has lots of information for and about real vampires, including some good advice on "safe" bloodletting, and links to vampire chat rooms and other places of interest. The searchable Real Vampire Directory is a large collection of links pertaining to blood, vampire resources, and the real vampire lifestyle and community.

We note in passing that all of the "TheCoven" sites are down since mid-March 2000.

Real Vampires:  More links and resources for and about real vampires.

New Jersey Association of Real Vampires:  Even more links and resources.

Holly's Haven:  Information on vampires and porphyria, and more links.

Vampiress' Lair:  A beautiful website with information every vampire needs to have, about safe bloodletting and a multitude of other delights.

Thornleaf's Home:  Thornleaf, the original FAQ keeper for alt.culture.vampires invites you to drop in and share a swig o' the red stuff.

Blood Drinkers Resource Page:  Amy Krieytaz's indispensable resource for those who enjoy the occasional sip of blood, or need it to survive...

Vampiric People's Resource Page:  Amy Krieytaz outdoes herself, again, with all sorts of information and services (including the Vampire Classified Ads).

Temple of the Vampire:  Home of the "official" vampire religion.
Yes, you can buy "The Vampire Bible" (Copyright © 1989 Temple of the Vampire) here. This is NOT an endorsement.

Gay Vampires:  Lots of movies, books, television shows, links, and other items of interest to gay and lesbian vampires.

Vampyres:  Klaatu's thoughts on the possible origins of Vampires - useful links and Vampire search engines at the bottom of the page, too.

Psi-Vamp:  Temporarily redirected to: http://members.tripod.com/psivamp  A personal take on what it is like to be a psi-vamp, what to expect, and how to handle one's awakening.

Jaidn's Vampiric Bulletin Board:A bulletin board for Vampires and people interested in Vampires.

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