Tag Archives | Vampires

The Lesbian Vampire Story That Inspired “Dracula”

CarmillaIn composing his novel Dracula, Bram Stoker drew heavily upon an earlier, more seedy story in which a young woman succumbs to the attractions of an undead countess. Victorian Gothic reviews J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla:

First published in 1897, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was destined to become the universally-acknowledged masterwork of vampire fiction, but it was not, by any means, the first of its kind. Stokers genius consisted not in having invented the modern vampire monster, but in the imaginative way he synthesized and expanded upon the ideas that prior authors had already been exploring.

One of these was J. Sheridan Le Fanu, whose 1872 tale Carmilla provided a template for many of Dracula’s best-remembered characters and motifs, including the occult doctor (Dr. Hesselius), and the lonely Gothic castle set in a barbarous region of Europe. Many of the proper names in Dracula, in fact, are direct allusions to Carmilla’s characters and settings: “Karnstein” became “Carfax,” “Reinfeldt” became “Renfield,” and so on.

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Woman Mauls Elderly Man In Another Gulf Coast Vampire Attack

110909-pcso-hmed-8a.grid-4x2In a brutal incident reminiscent of one in Houston three weeks ago, a wheelchair-bound Florida man taking shelter from a storm had part of his face eaten off at an abandoned Hooters restaurant by a young woman claiming to be a vampire. Someone once told me that Pensacola is one of the worst places on Earth, and I’m starting to understand why. Via ABC Action News:

A St. Petersburg man who had dozed off in his motorized wheelchair woke up to find himself being attacked by a woman, according to police. Morton Ellis, 69, said he fell asleep after parking his wheelchair on the porch of a vacant Hooters to escape the rain.

He said the woman, 22-year-old Josephine Rebecca Smith, told him she was a vampire as she bit off chunks of his face and part of his lip.

Ellis managed to fend her off and called police.

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Texas Teen Held After Vampire Attack

thumb-Lyle Monroe BensleyAre vampire portrayals in popular media blurring driving today’s youth over the edge? Personally, I’ll take teen vampirism over “raving”, “krumping”, or “the ska revival”. The Houston Chronicle writes:

A man claiming to be a 500-year-old vampire was in the Galveston County jail today after attacking a woman over the weekend. “He was begging us to restrain him because he didn’t want to kill us,” Galveston Officer Daniel Erickson said. “He said he needed to feed.”

Lyle Monroe Bensley, 19, covered with tattoos and wearing only boxer shorts, forced his way into the apartment on Seawall Boulevard and made his way into the bedroom of a woman whose name has not been released, Heyse said.

Bensley made growling and hissing noises while biting and hitting the woman in her bed, Heyse said. Bensley then dragged her out of the apartment and she broke free. She ran into the parking lot where she got into a car driven by a neighbor.

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Wannabe Vampire Arrested For Bloodsucking Assault

Tru BloodWhy didn’t anyone tell the guy that you can buy Tru Blood from the HBO Store? Reuters reports:

The arrest of a Texas man who broke into a woman’s house, threw her against a wall and tried to suck her blood over the weekend has sparked discussion over the impact of vampire books and movies on U.S. youth culture.

Whether pop culture played a role in the attack remains to be seen, as 19-year-old Lyle Monroe Bensley awaits a psychiatric evaluation in jail on burglary charges in Galveston, Texas, southeast of Houston.

Found growling and hissing in a parking lot and wearing only boxer shorts, the pierced and tattooed Bensley claimed he was a 500-year-old vampire who needed to “feed,” Galveston Police Capt. Jeff Heyse said.

Vampires have been a focal point of literature since Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, “Dracula”. But fascination, particularly among young people, has peaked in recent years with the popularity of the “Twilight” books about teenage vampires and the HBO series, “True Blood.”

“I think the vampire is a metaphor for the outsider and the predator in all of us,” said author Anne Rice, whose Vampire Chronicles series has captured the imaginations of horror fans since the 1970s…

[continues at Reuters]

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Wrangling The Giant Vampire Squid

VampireSquidMatt Taibbi has been waiting to watch Goldman Sachs executives go to jail for a while–at least since 2009 when he called Goldman the “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

Released today, the latest installment of Taibbi’s manifesto against all things Goldman sets up a pretty simple proposition based on the recently released 650-page report from Senator Carl Levin’s Subcommittee on Investigations, detailing the collapse of the American financial system. Taibbi wastes no time with whodunnit paragraphs, instead setting the smoking gun on the doorstep of the Department of Justice. Like a rewriting of the Senate investigator’s above quote, Taibbi declares, “Everything’s fucked up, and it’s time for Goldman Sachs to go to jail. You don’t even have to investigate because the Senate did it for you. Just issue those subpoenas.” (The Atlantic Wire)

Apparently the vampire squid also has an appetite for metal.… Read the rest

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Philadelphia Vampire Turns The Foreclosure Tables On Wells Fargo

An inspiring story from Philadelphia as a homeowner forecloses on (that's right, forecloses on) a sleazy big bank. Wells Fargo tried to force Patrick Rodgers into paying for an exorbitant home insurance policy, and then broke the law by ignoring Rodgers' written requests for a response. After the bank refused to pay resultant fines, a judge ordered a sheriff's sale on its downtown branch. Oh and also: our hero is A VAMPIRE.
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How Ghosts, Superstitions, and Vampires Have Been Used for Psychological Warfare

DraculaInteresting article from Cyriaque Lamar on io9.com on the history of "occult" warfare:
Military psy ops aren't limited to leaflets, propaganda broadcasts, and Korean pop music. In the past, the US military has played on their opponent superstitions of vampires, ghosts, and astrology. Here are some strange examples. In World War II, US forces exploited the Nazi's predilection to put stock in superstitions and the occult. The Rand Corporation's 1950 memorandum "The Exploitation of Superstitions for Purposes of Psychological Warfare" details how pseudoscience connoisseur Joseph Goebbels counteracted Allied attempts to strike fear into the superstitious strata of the German population. Another curious incident noted in the Rand document occurs in Italy, where British military created a giant manikin to scare rural residents. A large, shambling creature was assembled to freak out superstitious locals...
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Wall Street Vampire Slayings

Wall Street Vampire SlayingsTomorrow, September 22, at 11:09 pm in downtown Manhattan, the Aaron Burr Society will gather for a “Wall Street Vampire Slaying” that from the description provided, lands somewhere between more recent anti-war die-ins and the use of the absurd by the situationist movement to draw attention to the greed and self-indulgences of Wall Street and Western Capitalism:

“On the night of September 22, 2010 there will be a Vampire Slaying of Wall Street Bloodsuckers, traitors who wrap themselves in the flag.

Symbolic Slaying 11:09 p.m., arrive at 10:30 p.m. in front of the New York Stock Exchange at Wall & Nassau Streets, NYC 10005. Slayers after–party TBA.”

The mood should be light, as participants are asked to “Dress up, bring lights, noise makers & proper shoes to dance on their collective grave”.

See you there!

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Vampire Books Are Changing Teen Minds

We are what we read? From Fox News:
It's a potentially sucky situation. The vampire craze in teen literature – exemplified by the "Twilight" book series – could be affecting the dynamic workings of the teenage brain in ways scientists don't yet understand. "We don't know exactly how literature affects the brain, but we know that it does," said Maria Nikolajeva, a Cambridge University professor of literature. "Some new findings have identified spots in the brain that respond to literature and art." Scientists, authors and educators met in Cambridge, England, Sept. 3-5 for a conference organized by Nikolajeva to discuss how young-adult books and movies affect teenagers' minds. "For young people, everything is so strange, and you cannot really say why you react to things – it's a difficult period to be a human being,"...
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Rabid Vampire Bats Bite 500 People, Kill 4 In Peru

BBC News reports: Vampire Bat
Peru's health ministry has sent emergency teams to a remote Amazon region to battle an outbreak of rabies spread by vampire bats.
Four children in the Awajun indigenous tribe died after being bitten by the bloodsucking mammals.
Health workers have given rabies vaccine to more than 500 people who have also been attacked. Some experts have linked mass vampire bat attacks on people in the Amazon to deforestation. The rabies outbreak is focused on the community of Urakusa in the north-eastern Peruvian Amazon, close to the border with Ecuador. The indigenous community appealed for help after being unable to explain the illness that had killed the children.
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