Haunted Curiosities’ Guide to Duping Goth Kids and Twilight Fans

vampire salesmanThere was a kid in my high school named Chris or John, but we all called him “Dick.”  He wore a trench coat and combat boots, and he started telling people he was an honest-to-goodness vampire.  He would cower in the shadows and play out an uninspired pantomime of retreating from the sun in pain.  I remember him telling us that he had woken up on the ceiling above his bed one morning.  He was clearly a resident of the highest social tier.

I haven’t thought about Dick in years, but last night I came across a grown-up version of him on YouTube, “Anthony, the living vampire,” being interviewed by a woman named DeeDee, who runs the Haunted Curiosities and Haunted Collector websites.

On the Haunted Curiosities YouTube channel, there are interviews with other “real” vampires, a djinn-possessed man, some witches, a dimension-hopping demon-slayer, and a half-breed (half vampire, half werewolf).  There is also a Haunted Curiosities Blogtalk radio show, discussing subjects ranging from ghosts and vampires to Icke-style conspiracy theories.

Here’s a video featuring the transformation process of the “half-breed,” Fury:

The poor quality of the special effects involved in this video made me cringe with embarrassment, and after viewing, I began looking for some sort of disclaimer.  Surely they wouldn’t expect anyone to actually believe these claims after such a clumsy example.

However, I found the complete opposite.  Not only were these videos held up as authentic, they were, in fact, expanded upon within numerous episodes of the Haunted Curiosities Blogtalk radio show, which include straight-faced interviews of supposed supernatural creatures posing as humans, such as the dimensional traveler, Raviniska and her vampire friend, Tomer, who have known each other for “eons” according to one episode.

Normally, this kind of adolescent attention-seeking would only hold my interest long enough for me to share it with my friends and wait for their squirming laughter, but after five minutes of research, and considering the gross nature of my findings, I felt the need to report to you, dear reader.

Unlike my school chum,  Dee Dee and her cohorts aren’t just trying to get some social attention from their misaligned peers.  I expected to find a blog at the Haunted Curiosities website, detailing more of their paranormal fantasies, and maybe even some poorly doctored photos.  What I found instead was a fairly sizable online shop.

Here’s the description found on the home page:

“Haunted Curiosities is not your normal paranormal website.  We seek out and hunt the abnormal and the curious.  You won’t find rocks or Chinese wholesale junk jewelry sold here.  You will find the most unusual from civil war coffin babies to the presidential phone that allowed communication between aliens and we don’t mean the ones they are fighting in Arizona either!”

All for sale, and at a hefty price.  Selections include a ring that will give its wearer, “Ezekiel’s prophesying power and teh (sic) ability to walk with angels to receive their visions, knowledge, and powers,” for a mere $2,150.  How about a leg bone whose origin “is not animal, nor is it human, but it is actually the bone of an ancient vampire from Egyptian times. He originally existed in spiritual form befor (sic) entering a physical vessel.”  This one only costs $850.

Looking for any kind of user feedback, I joined the members only forums.  There, I found posts discussing the purchases of “transformations.”  Here is a screenshot:

HAUNTED CURIOSITIES forum screen

While I couldn’t find the vampire transformations mentioned on either of the websites, I did find an “Angelic Transformation.”  For $25,000, you can fly to New Orleans where you will undergo a ceremony that will “give you the power of certain angels.”  They’ll even pick you up from the airport.  What a deal!

And other than the legally required “These items are for entertainment only,” on the home page, the only other comment even close to a disclaimer (more properly, a “cover-our-asses” line) was this moderator’s post:

HAUNTED CURIOSITIES disclaimer

Taking advantage of the weak-minded and easily fooled is icky.  I consider this kind of obvious snake oil marketing absolutely foul, especially after reading these entries found on the home page:

“Doing it right and keeping it real is so much different then throwing junk or crap up on a website and praying it sells.  The old saying is throw enough crap and something will stick is not practiced here.  It would be so much easier to throw up a quanity (sic) of 1,000 and place a price of 30.00 on it and make a ton of money.  But we have integrity and we can’t do that.”

“I won’t tell you lies as in a spirit can be broken up so that everyone and their granny can get a piece.  These things are just not possible.  If I tell you I have a Highgate Vampire you know your really getting one.”

I think we can all tell who the real vampire of this story is.

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  • Calypso_1

    I notice that Anthony the Vampire astral travels, sees the one, moves through time, has visions of mysterious energies….

  • Markus Glanzer

    This seems like quite a nice form of escapism to me. Seriously – if people buy their stuff, and it makes them feel better, where’s the problem? If you actually believe to get some kind of superpowers from Angelic rituals or old bones, then you will probably learn your lesson (hopefully) the first time.

    Everything else I see here is a group of people that somehow manage to live life on their own terms, and somehow manage to gain a profit doing it. There are far worse ways to compensate for the disability (or lacking want) to play the same game, the rest of society does.

    I’m almost a bit jealous.

  • mopsyd

    I’ve kind of dabbled in gothic culture off and on for a long while, though it’s not really explicitly my thing. I appreciate the aesthetic mostly, and some of the people are surprisingly chill and down to earth, which you might not expect from someone covered in face paint, tattoos, numerous assorted piercings and random bits of pewter occult symbolism. However overall the subculture seems more an effort to blend a sort of theatrical quality into daily life in an effort to remove the need for an explicit escapist realm. Most people tend to have distinct lines between normal life and their wind down routine. Some people for example work all week then go out golfing on Sunday, or go clubbing, or to bars or what have you, but rarely do these activities blend into the rest of their routine. Goths by and large seem to blend the two and try to live a lifestyle that meshes fantasy with reality in some semblance of a maintainable routine. To those who are not interested in gothic culture or aesthetics, they are generally extremely unsettling and usually regarded as mentally unstable. This is usually not the case, but it is certainly a convenient bias to dismiss them in entirety.

    • atlanticus

      (Because I couldn’t find a clip…from South Park episode “The Ungroundable”)

      “Dylan: Fellow students, over the past week, there’s been a
      lot of confusion, and so we have asked this assembly to clarify the
      difference between goth kids and vampire kids. Let us make it abundantly
      clear. If you hate life, truly hate the sun and need to smoke and drink
      coffee, you are goth. If, however, you like dressing in black because
      it’s fun, enjoy putting sparkles on your cheeks and following into a
      cult while avoiding things that are bad for your health, then you are
      most likely a douchebag vampire wannabe boner. Because anyone who thinks
      they are actually a vampire is freaking retarded.
      (the students applauding and cheering)

      Evan: (flipping off) F**k all of you!”

      • Matt Staggs

        Love that episode. (“burn down, burn down the Hot Topic…”)

        • atlanticus

          Though that speech makes me wonder if I wonder if I lose some goth cred for recently quitting smoking…

  • Sean

    I’m constantly in awe at the creative ingenuity AND unfathomable gullibility of human beings.

    Honestly, this doesn’t bother me too much. These people live in a fantasy in their heads and shell out big money for things they value. Is it absurd? You bet. But, it’s their life….let them have some fun.

    What really bothers me are the preachers who sell olive oil and tap water and handkerchiefs that have been “blessed” to ward off “demons.” That’s a clear case of preying on people who probably suffer from schizophrenia and should get actual medical help.

    But are the rest of us any less duped? Think about it….

    You spend the large majority of your life laboring for someone else. This person then compensates your labor by giving you green rectangular pieces of paper with the faces of dead people on them. You are told that this green paper has been ‘magically’ infused with value and can be used to trade for other things of value.

    Or how we all agree that there is are “lines” that demarcate Earth. On one side of the line we call the ground “Mexico” and the other side we call “America.” If you were born a fetus in Mexico and later try to walk into America, you shall be locked in a cage. As comedian Russel Brand put it, “illegal immigration” is basically the belief that you can’t stand “here” if you used to stand over “there.” It’s literally as nebulous as kids playing ‘king of the mountain.’ We just take it super-duper seriously to the point of killing people over it.

    Is all that really any less absurd than selling a “2,000″ year old Egyptian vampire femur in order to ward off ghosts and gouls?

    I guess if enough people buy into the “magic” you reach a critical threshold and it goes from being obviously absurd…to the sort of thing that is the foundation of entire societies with millions of citizens.

  • bob dobbs

    This is the worst blow to goth culture since the banning of clove cigarettes.

  • DeeDee Stone

    I’m so glad you all found my website!! Please also check out hauntedcollector.net too it is also a great website. We love selling the unusual. Love you guys! All advertising is good advertising!

    • Eric Surrarrer

      I just want to say hauntedcuriosities is a good place.