Vampires

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Anonymous

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Hello,

I think the lore of the vampyre is simple. One day, a reptilian got hungry, got dressed in peasants clothing and went out about town looking for a quick bite to eat. Reptilians are people eaters and bloodsuckers, so after witnessing this feast, the people came up with the outlandish tales of the dead rising and sucking blood. Maybe a horde of men chased one such reptilian into a graveyard and thus was born the vampyre in the coffin tale.

...things that make ya go...'Holy SHITE!'

WW
 
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FraterLibre

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Literality

Yes, literalism and believing what you read go hand-in-hand, as any good bible-thumper can demonstrate.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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I smell........ cash in

I mean really just the title!! He has bust his back to produce 700 pages (unless they have just rewritten Montague Summers again) and then they give it that title:

The myths and folklore of vampires

By:Jason Stacchini, Editor 11/03/2004


Elkins Park author visits The Writers Room for their Halloween party on October 29.


According to Elkins Park author Jonathan Maberry, we should take everything we know about modern day vampire culture and throw it away. The stories about holy water, garlic, crosses and stakes through the heart are simply manufactured by movie studios to fill their plot lines.

What Maberry says we should be looking, especially during Halloween, is the extensive history of vampire folklore that spreads throughout just about every culture dating back to Ancient Greece and Babylon. To prove the point, Maberry has written close to 700 pages of reference material that chronicles the history of vampires and other supernatural predators titled The Vampire Slayers' Field Guide to The Undead. On October 29 at 7 p.m., Maberry will be reading from his book as part of a Halloween celebration at The Writers Room of Bucks County in Doylestown.

"Every culture had to develop vampire beliefs from the beginning," Maberry said. "They had to explain why certain things happened, and since they couldn't blame it on God, they couldn't believe that God would do certain things, they figured there had to be something else out there. So they created the vampire to explain the inexplicably cruel."

Most of Maberry's writing portfolio deals with martial arts and self-defense. He holds an 8th degree black belt in jujutsu, which he's studied and taught for 35 years. As an established authority on self-defense books, he decided to branch out in a different creative direction.

"My grandmother, she was a spooky old lady," he said. "She remembered the years of the end of the 19th century where people in Europe more commonly believed things than they do now. She told me a lot of the stories of the folklore of Scotland and Germany where she lived as a little girl. As a kid, I kind of had this knowledge of these supernatural beliefs that were pretty scary beliefs."

"Over the years as I've watched horror movies and read horror books, I thought that even though some of them are very good, they would do themselves better if they went back and looked at the folklore because it's a little scarier."

His interest in the horror genre and his extensive knowledge of vampire folklore led him to The Vampire Slayers' Field Guide, but so as to avoid any confusion with the non-fictional self-defense writer, he writes under the pseudonym Shane MacDougall.

"I'm trying to expand as a writer and avoid getting stale," Maberry said. "I've been writing martial arts stuff for years and over those years, occasionally I've gone into other areas and written stuff in blues, the restaurant business, various aspects of business. Most of us have a little bit of adolescence in us and I always liked spooky stories, but I've always been more interested in the folklore behind the scary stories so I figured I'd take a stab at it."

Although there are references to what we perceive as modern day vampires in the book, Maberry says that the word "vampire" can take on many different connotations which allowed him to take a broad approach with what to use for the book.

"Most of the creatures in the book are predators of one kind and really vampires or the word 'vampire' in our culture is used to describe somebody who takes or takes by force and preys upon," he said.

"In a lot of ways, 'vampire' has become interchangeable with the word 'predator.' We talk about someone who preys upon you mentally as a 'psychic vampire.' The actually definition of what constitutes a vampire is kind of hazy so I just expanded it to include all types of supernatural predators. I'm working on another book about supernatural predators that should expand it even further. Vampires form the biggest part of that group and the others sort of join the group with similar unpleasant traits."

According to Maberry, the oldest recorded stories date back to the ancient times of Babylonians and Greeks. Vampire legends have been recorded since man began written recording of historical events. "The oldest of them is probably the Lil or Lilitu which are desert demons that took various things from humans whether it be life essence, sexual energy, blood and so on. As those ancient cultures declined they sort of combined into the legend of Lilith, which is a Hebrew legend. In some Hebraic writings, she's Adam's first wife before Eve and was cast out for various reasons. In a lot of our popular cultures, she's at one point a feminist character and at another point she's the mother of all vampires."

Maberry blames motion pictures and modern books for the general misconceptions of vampire culture that's become prevalent in today's horror genre.

"Most of the motivation of the book was to explain the difference between what people believe about vampires and what really occurred in folklore," he said. "Most of what people believe about vampires comes from books and movies. For example, the whole thing about crosses or holy objects being proof against vampires was added by Bram Stoker who wrote Dracula. He was an Irish Catholic and put a lot of Catholic and Christian imagery into his book because that was his take on it."

"The whole thing about sunlight effecting vampires was not in folklore and it wasn't in the book Dracula either. It was invented by a movie director named F.W. Murnau for the movie Nosferatu. They needed a way to kill the vampire at the end of the film so they figured it was a creature of darkness, why not kill it with sunlight. But that wasn't part of the folklore either."

"What I wanted to do was not so much clear up misconceptions but offer up an older point of view that the vampires in folklore are so different, in fact that if a vampire really existed and the only thing you knew about fighting vampires came from books and movies, you would be unable to fight them."

The idea inspired a fictional novel that Maberry recently completed involving a group of people fighting vampires unfortunately armed with only the pop culture ideas of vampires. "They're in pretty deep trouble," Maberry said.
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1686&dept_id=41301&newsid=13282529&PAG=461&rfi=9

I suppose I'm sulking as it does sound worth a read but the librarians already think I'm a collosal weirdo and my lending record must already have some kind of 'flag' against it - ordering that via interlibrary loan would be enough to get me a call from someone official :(

Book (although the author's name is different):
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932045139/
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1932045139/
 
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FraterLibre

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Never

Never ever fear to borrow a book from a library, especially due to some imaginary list they may keep to peg weirdness. No, no, and no again. Do not hesitate -- be as outré in your reading as you wish to be.

If you become intimidated to show your real interests in libraries, how will Homeland Insecurity EVER track you?

Oh. Wait.

Talk about real life vampires.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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FL: LOL - I'm afraid its far too late to start getting worried about such things the damage was done a long time ago :)

I suppose I'm more concerned about wasting my time. Lets be honest Barber has written the best book on vampires so where do you go from there? Tell everyone that crosses and garlic are just recent additions to the mythos (no sh*t sherlock) and then rehash a vast range of myths (that have been done to death by now surely - if you'll excuse the pun) that are only linked by blood drinking - the differences far outweighing the similarities? You'd be better off getting a book with a wider spectrum (e.g. Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend?) and examine the interlinkings between a broader range of legends.

Then again these vampire studies/encyclopedias have always mystified me - how one would get a better understanding of e.g. the Aswang by also studying European vampires (and vice versa) rather than studying other Philipino folklore to see the variety and interconnections between local myths is a mystery.

That said (and now I have said my piece ;) ) I'll probably sneak a peek at some point (if only to annoy myself). :)
 

Leaferne

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The vampire in Ontario

*deleted because there's no fucking point* :rolleyes:
 
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FraterLibre

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Perusal's Okay

Emperor -- I agree that reading the entire book verbatim may be a waste of time for many of us but a perrusal of such works sometimes offers a new tidbit or research nugget. Sometimes entirely new lines of enquiry are opened.

This is also why one peruses Ripper books, say, or the latest study of ghosts, or ley lines, or genius loci, or what have you.

Save the verbatim reading for Dickens and other worthies and skim the new Vampire tomes.
 
A

Anonymous

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try again

I forgot to log out last time ! Have you noticed how noisy libraries are these days, with library staff holding loud conversations. Sorry it drives me mad and have complained several times,to no effect, so what with ordering weird books also, I definitely have a flag by my name. The new book may be worth a look through, as the vampire myth has really taken off what with films like Buffy--which I have never seen and believe it or not, Barbara, the vampire slayer. But not wanting to change the subject, it will be worth the funny looks to see what the new book says!
barbara
 
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FraterLibre

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ALA Triumphant

The American Librarian Association is the ONLY organization I know of that not only stood up to but defied the Homeland Insecurity demand that the open up all records. The Ashcroftian menace wanted to track who is reading what but the ALA refused to cooperate and in fact ended up destroying all records and not keeping any records anymore about who borrowed what. The most they track now is how much the book you borrow would cost to replace. Most don't even do that.

So this odd fear that librarians are making marks beside our names is largely unfounded. IF you can prove they're tracking your reading or otherwise keeping track of you for any reason whatsoever, please report them to the ALA.
 

Kondoru

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Why would they want to know that?

There are books out there which in all probability are subversive, but I severely doubt that a library would stock them.
 
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FraterLibre

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Subversive?

Subversive is a subjective term defined very loosely and without context by the USA's KGB. As an example of books they've been known to track, the Harry Potter books made their lists, as does science fiction and fantasy, ghost stories, horror novels, and many literary anthologies and novels; untold numbers of nonfiction works -- literally anything other than a specific edition of the xtian Bible, etc.
 

tastyintestines

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They would be looking for books like "the anarchists cookbook" and I always thought they had red flags? Librarian's Rock!
 

Kondoru

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Fraterlibre, that list must cover all of the library using public then. Not very discriminatory...or of real use to an investigator.

But of course anyone who `read` counts as dangerous.
 
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FraterLibre

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Any Who Read

Yes, you've pegged it. Libraries will soon be burning or outlawed, certainly restricted to those few able to get through the bureaucratic maze of permissions and back-ground searches.

The Anarchist's Cookbook does nothing but collect in one place information any high school chemistry student knows. No big deal. It's been demonized worse than vampires, and for similar political reasons.

It's available free at many websites, too.

As for vampires per se, these days this topic is linked, often unfairly, with the Goth subcultures, and others, all of which the KGB tends to lump into Untrustworthy and Potentially Subversive Groups.

Librarians do rock, though. They have stood up to the bullying and we can only hope they continue to prevail in this New Dark Ages. Otherwise we're all going to be living the lives of vampires, hunted ones.
 

rjmrjmrjm

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On a side note, I once read an article (it may have been a plug for a book series or a genuine study) that stated that Longinus (centurian of the spear of destiny) was the first vampire. Cursed to wander the earth eternally and turned to drinking blood because of the mis-interpretaion of 'he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall have eternal life' and he apparently licked the spear with Jesus' bood on it.

I hope I didn't make it up in my mind, i'm pretty sure I read it somewhere.
 
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FraterLibre

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Wasn't That...

Wasn't Spear a book by James Herbert or Graham Masterton or one of those horror folks? Perhaps the plot came from that?
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Prosecutions being brought in the Petre Toma's "slaying":

www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 482#343482

Mon 31 Jan 2005

Six men jailed for exhuming a 'vampire' to eat his heart

ALLAN HALL

SIX Romanians have been jailed for digging up the corpse of a cancer victim, ripping his heart out and eating it because they thought he was a vampire.

The men, who have each been sentenced to six months in jail, waited for seven weeks after the 76-year-old former schoolteacher died before exhuming the corpse and mutilating it.

After cutting the deceased’s heart out they burned it, mixed it with ash and water to make a "meaty drink". They told the court in the southern Romanian town of Craiova they all felt "much better" afterwards.

The six men all came from the remote village of Marotinul de Sus and told the court it was "well known" that such a remedy was the only protection against the undead.

All were sentenced for violating a grave. All claimed that they acted in self-defence from "a well-known vampire".

Romania, which encompasses Transylvania, was the setting for Bram Stoker’s Dracula novels.
Source
 

painy2

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I'll have to remember that when the mother in law comes over ;)

*painy writes mental note, meaty heart drink protects against the undead*
 

HighAndMighty

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post traumatic vampires?

Interesting web link here
Porphyria—How Modern Chemicals Trigger the Vampire Disease

© copyright Hart Brent

The mystery illnesses of the 20th century, such as Gulf War Syndrome and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity), have their basis in a biochemical glitch—lost ability to construct a porphyrin ring, an 8-enzyme process. Porphyrins are a group of nitrogen-containing organic compounds forming the foundation structure for respiratory pigments in animals (hemoglobin) and plants (chlorophyll) and enzymes. The symptoms exhibited by vampires—sun sensitivity, severe anemia abated only by consuming whole porphyrin rings (i.e. blood)—can be triggered today by 3,750 commercially available medications, pesticides, or household chemicals. Brain scans show similarities between ADHD, depression, MCS, and Gulf War Syndrome.

Luckily, a modern source of porphyrin rings is chlorophyll, an improvement over the vampire’s option of fresh red blood.

The Madness of King George III, of recent movie fame, was porphyria in action (acute intermittent prophyria), probably triggered by lead poisoning. Europe experienced a porphyria epidemic 1888-90 with introduction of the drug sulphonal. Subsequent epidemics of porphyria followed the marketing of barbiturates and sulfa drugs. Infections like mycobacteria or hepatitis C, or malnutrition/fasting can also trigger porphyria. Other common triggers are exposure to paints, formaldehyde, glycol ethers, dioxins or metal dusts and fumes.


Porphyrin rings are made in every cell in the body. Major sites of heme synthesis are red blood cells, liver, and blood forming cells in the marrow. Forty percent of total body heme is used for building P450 enzymes found in the liver, gut, kidneys, adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, placenta.
(strangely, i stumbled across this while searching for cartoons of herons)
 

Mighty_Emperor

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The long shadow of Dracula

Monica Petrescu in Bucharest
(Filed: 06/02/2005)

Last week, six men were jailed for ripping out the heart of a corpse they believed was 'undead'. As Monica Petrescu in Bucharest writes, to many Romanians, vampires are not legend but terrifying reality

It was just before midnight as Gheorghe Marinescu and five of his relatives crept into the graveyard in the small Romanian village of Marotinul de Sus. They knew which plot they were looking for – a simple earth grave with a wooden cross bearing the name Petre Toma – and quickly, but quietly, set about digging.

When they had dragged the body out, they waited. Then, at the stroke of 12, Marinescu began the ritual that they had been planning for weeks, one that had passed from generation to generation in their family. They drove a pitchfork through Petre Toma's chest, opened it, drew out his heart and then put stakes through the rest of his body. They sprinkled garlic over the mutilated corpse and then, carefully, laid it back in its grave.

They left the cemetery with the heart impaled on the end of the pitchfork and went to a crossroads where Marinescu's wife, son and daughter-in-law were waiting. There the group burnt it, dissolved the ashes and then drank the solution.

The scene last July would fit readily into any number of films about vampires and the Dracula legend but Gheorghe Marinescu is real. Last week he and his five relatives – Mitrica Mircea, Popa Stelica, Constantin Florea, Ionescu Ion and Pascu Oprea – were sentenced to six months in jail for the unlawful exhumation of the body of Toma, 76, a former teacher and a man they believed had risen from the dead to drink their blood while they slept.

News of what the Marinescu family did made headlines in Romania, but in a country where a large minority of the population admit to openly believing in the "undead", football bosses employ witches to cast spells on foreign teams and a couple recently named their newborn son Dracula after premonitions of impending danger to him, many were unsurprised by what they read.

Mihai Fifor, an ethnologist at the Centre for Studies in Traditional Cultures and Societies in Craiova, said, "This particular ritual is quite unique but there have been many cases of people claiming that they are being hunted by the dead and vampires. There are a number of other rituals that exist for this type of situation where people believe they need to kill vampires."

Romania has been associated with vampires in the minds of many Westerners ever since Bram Stoker wrote his classic horror story, Dracula, in 1897. But in Romania the belief in vampires and the threat of the undead stretches as far back as the 15th century leader of Wallachia – modern-day Transylvania and other parts of Romania – Count Vlad Tepes Dracula, who was the inspiration for Stoker's novel. Stoker merged the Middle Ages belief in vampires, which had become entrenched in Romania and many other parts of central and eastern Europe at the time, with the historically documented bloodthirstiness of Tepes's rule. In doing so, he created the story of Count Dracula who rose from the dead to haunt the deep, dark forests and castles of Transylvania, preying on young victims and drinking their blood.

Today, the country's tourist industry still makes millions from his legend. His castle in Bran in Transylvania – Dracula Castle – draws tens of thousands of enthralled holidaymakers every year. There is even a Dracula theme park under construction.

But while Dracula and vampires are just a fascinating legend to most people outside the country, to many Romanians, mostly in rural areas, they are a terrifying reality. After his arrest, Marinescu said: "If we hadn't done anything, my wife, my son and my daughter-in-law would have died. That is when I decided to `unbury' him. I've seen these kinds of things before.

"When we took him out of the grave, he had blood around his mouth. We took his heart and he sighed when we stabbed him. We burned it, dissolved the ash into water and the people who had fallen sick drank it. They got better immediately. It was like someone took away all their pain and sickness.

"We performed a ritual that is hundreds of years old. We had no idea we were committing a crime. On the contrary, we believed that we were doing a good thing because the spirit of Petre was haunting us all and was very close to killing some of us. He came back from the dead and was after us."

Marinescu explained to police when he was arrested that Toma, who he said had been a respected and well-liked teacher in the village for years, had been buried on Christmas Day in 2003. But soon afterwards he had begun to appear to members of Marinescu's family in dreams as a vampire. Although he did not see the man himself, he saw his family become sick and they told him that Toma was not just a dream but a vampire whose spirit had come back from the dead.

He, like the rest of his family, had been told how to recognise vampires and how to deal with them by his parents who had been taught that knowledge from their own parents and they from theirs. He said he had had to act quickly to save his family.

Paula Diaconu, who has lived in Marotinul de Sus for decades, praised the ritual carried out by Marinescu and his relatives. "It was all a good thing to take his heart out because people were in danger. Villagers in Romania know about rituals for driving away the evil spirits of the dead," he said.

Another man from the village, Dumitru Moineasa, once drank a solution containing the ashes of his uncle's heart. "An uncle of mine died in 1992 and a few days after we buried him I started to feel very sick," he said. "The doctor had no idea what was wrong with me. One day, an aunt brought me a glass of water. I drank it all. I got well almost immediately. I only found out later that it was my dead uncle's ashes."

His friend, Domnica Brancusi, said that hearts had been taken out of dead men's chests many times before. "There have been dozens of dead men who turned into vampires and were haunting us," he said. "But usually the family of the dead man who was haunting people made a pact with those people and agreed not to say anything about the rituals. Until this case, no fuss was ever made about it."

Local police laid charges against the six men after Toma's daughter, Floarea Cotoran, who has since left Marotinul de Sus, complained about what happened to her father's body. They admitted that they were aware of similar rituals having been performed in the region. A policeman in nearby Celaru, which has jurisdiction over Marotinul de Sus, and who asked not to be named, said: "We've known about it for years. There's never been anything we could do about it as no one ever complained."

Marotinul de Sus, in the south-west, is far from the only village in Romania to take the threat of vampires seriously. In many rural communities like it across the country, belief in vampires is pervasive and superstition often governs people's lives. "Fear and great challenges in life are sometimes met by people with rituals and superstitions, a set of rules built over generations which has been verified over time," said Sabina Ispas, an ethnologist at the Institute for Ethnology and Folklore in Bucharest. "Rural Romania has conserved excellently this system of rituals and beliefs."

Deep superstition and belief in the paranormal and pagan permeates all levels of society in urban Romania as well. Maria Tedescu, a 21-year-old law student in Bucharest, said: "We all have our little superstitions, like taking three steps back if a black cat crosses your path to stop something bad happening. But vampires are different. It's not something to be taken lightly. I know it may sound silly and I can't totally explain it, but I think they exist. I always wear a crucifix… just in case."
Source
 
A

Anonymous

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RE-Porphyria-
Wheatgrass juice contains 70% "crude" chlorophyll. Chlorophyll by definition being the green pigment in plants. It is considered the "blood" of plants, due to the similarity to our blood in molecular structure.
That is one reason why I have never been interested in trying wheatgrass juice and I doubt that vampirism is likely to be cured by a visit to a fresh juice emporium.
 

CygnusRex

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‘I’ll find the truth behind stories of Highgate horror’
[email protected]
11 March 2005


Ghost hunter Andrew Wright.
Andrew Brightwell

AN AMATEUR ghost hunter will be tracking down the haunts of ghouls in a Highgate street.

Paranormal investigator Andrew Wright aims to test the truth of several spooky sightings in Swain's Lane.

In May, the 49-year-old security guard from Leicester will be accompanied by ghost experts from Greece and the USA to finally lay to rest claims of a "disturbance" at Highgate Cemetery in the 1970s.

He said: "There are three ghosts that seem to have been sighted on the road: a man on a bicycle riding up the road and another who is supposed to walk through walls.

"But the most terrifying of all is one that is supposed to reach out and try to grab people."

Mr Wright, who became fascinated by ghosts after reading the novel Amityville Horror, said he wanted to hear from anyone who had experienced any strange sightings in Swain's Lane.

He believes that many of the urban myths date back more than 30 years ago.

He said: "About three decades ago, a dog walker returning, presumably from the Heath, had parked in the road.

"When he got back to his car there was a freshly dug up corpse in his car. Bizarrely, the doors were still locked.

"At the time there were all sorts of strange rituals going on around there and rumours of corpses being dug up from Highgate Cemetery.

"Ever since then there seem to have been a number of sightings of ghosts and they seem worth checking up on."

David Farrant, who lives in Muswell Hill Road, said that the reports of grave robbery sprang from his own investigations into a ghostly apparition seen in Highgate Cemetery.

He said: "I went into the cemetery at night to investigate them, thinking they were nothing more than tree branches casting shadows in the moonlight, but I myself saw a tall figure that convinced me.

"We went down there a few nights later to hold a seance, but were arrested by the police who were keeping watch."

Mr Farrant said the case made the newspapers and the TV across the globe, drawing fans of the occult to the Highgate burial ground.

He said: "It led to a lot of interest in the cemetery, and I'm afraid that people did dig up bodies and terrible damage was done to it."

Residents in Swain's Lane were taken aback by the idea their quiet road was a haunt for the undead.

Janice Lavery said: "Are you serious? I can honestly say I have never seen a ghost and I know that none of my neighbours have seen a ghost."
>Source<
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Swan did contact us about this story and we felt it was OK to post but we do need to be clear (again) so.........

There is technically nothing wrong with mentioning Highgate Cemetry but there are connected topics that are (rightly or wrongly) verbotten and this stricture stands:

www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 353#393353

The magazine's lawyers take this issue seriously and we will enforce those guidelines.
 

Yithian

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AsamiYamazaki

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I've done the tour a few times and it's great! The Lebanon Ring and Egyptian walk bit are so lovely.

Always funny to see the kind of people the tour attracts - there's always a goth pair! I got into trouble though with the guide for requesting to see a certain tomb that wasn't considered quite on a par with Faraday, the last bare-fisted boxer et al.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Am J Psychiatry 162:813-814, April 2005

© 2005 American Psychiatric Association
Letter to the Editor

Mania in a Boy Treated With Modafinil for Narcolepsy

FLORENCE VORSPAN, M.D., DOMINIQUE WAROT, M.D., PH.D., ANGÈLE CONSOLI, M.D., DAVID COHEN, M.D., PH.D., and PHILIPPE MAZET, M.D.
Paris, France

To the Editor: Modafinil is the first-line treatment for narcolepsy. It may also improve mood in narcoleptic patients (1). However, psychostimulants may exacerbate psychotic symptoms in psychotic patients (2). Cases of psychosis have also been reported during psychostimulant abuse (3) and during abuse of prescribed drug in narcoleptic patients (4) but not following medical use. Here we report the case of a boy with narcolepsy.

Albert was a 17-year-old boy who was diagnosed with narcolepsy at age 14. He was first prescribed modafinil, 400 mg/day for 1 year, switched to methylphenidate, 40 mg/day for 2 years, then returned to modafinil, 400 mg/day. The switching was because of complaints of irritability and of a lack of efficacy for sleep attacks. Albert then experienced flight of ideas, sexual excitation, and increased irritability. These manic symptoms resulted in friction with family members and a fight for which he could have been put on trial. Then, free of psychostimulant treatment, Albert was described as sad, anhedonic, and withdrawn. Following reintroduction of modafinil, the same manic symptoms reoccurred. After a meeting with a judge, Albert experienced self-referential thinking and suspiciousness. Later, a full manic episode developed within 3 days, including insomnia, tachypsychia, logorrhea, psychomotor agitation, and mood-incongruent psychosis. There was no grandiosity but delusion of persecution, based on auditory hallucinations (his uncle reproaching him for his past sexual behavior), complex visual hallucinations (a vampire hiding in his bedroom and trying to bite him), and a feeling of being talked to through the television. Albert was hospitalized, and the modafinil was stopped. The mania required pharmacological treatment that started after written consent was obtained from both Albert and his parents.

These mood symptoms seem time-related to psychostimulant administration and interruption. Exposure lasted for only 3 years, but discontinuation and reintroduction might have lowered the manic threshold. Contrary to previous reports of psychosis induced by psychostimulant abuse (3), the patient showed no trend toward dose escalation. This could be the first report of mania under a therapeutic dose of modafinil. The symptoms were compatible with psychostimulant-induced psychosis. Although an independent psychiatric disorder cannot be ruled out, we suggest a careful psychiatric monitoring of patients receiving modafinil and other psychostimulants for the treatment of narcolepsy.
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/con ... 62/4/813-a
 

MrRING

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A Cretan Tale of Vampires
From deTraci Regula,

A Tough Shepherd Thwarts a Vrykolakes
Anyone who has traveled in Crete, especially in the Sfakia region, will understand how the Cretan shepherd in this story can stay so calm even when confronted with a vampire. When it comes to ferocity, the vampire has no chance against the average Sfakiot shepherd.

from All The Year Round - Vampires and Ghouls May 20, 1871 "Mr. Pashley, in his Travels in Crete, states that when he was at the town of Askylo, he asked about the vampires or katakhanadhes, as the Cretans called them of whose existence and doings he had heard many recitals, stoutly corroborated by the peasantry. Many of the stories converged towards one central fact, which Mr. Pashley believed had given origin to them all.

On one occasion a man of some note was buried at St. George's Church at Kalikrati, in the island of Crete. An arch or canopy was built over his grave. But he soon afterwards made his appearance as a vampire, haunting the village, and destroying men and children. A shepherd was one day tending his sheep and goats near the church, and on being caught in a shower, went under the arch to seek shelter from the rain. He determined to pass the night there, laid aside his arms, and stretched himself on a stone to sleep. In placing his fire-arms down (gentle shepherds of pastoral poems do not want fire-arms; but the Cretans are not gentle shepherds), he happened to cross them.

Now this crossing was always believed to have the effect of preventing a vampire from emerging from the spot where the emblem was found. Thereupon occurred a singular debate. The vampire rose in the night, and requested the shepherd to remove the fire-arms in order that he might pass, as he had some important business to transact.

The shepherd, inferring from this request that the corpse was the identical vampire which had been doing so much mischief, at first refused his assent; but on obtaining from the vampire a promise on oath that he would not hurt him, the shepherd moved the crossed arms. The vampire, thus enabled to rise, went to a distance of about two miles, and killed two persons, a man and a woman. On his return, the shepherd saw some indication of what had occurred, which caused the vampire to threaten him with a similar fate if he divulged what he had seen. He courageously told all, however.

The priests and other persons came to the spot next morning, took up the corpse (which in daytime was as lifeless as any other) and burnt it. While burning, a little spot of blood spurted on the shepherd's foot, which instantly withered away; but otherwise no evil resulted, and the vampire was effectually destroyed. This was certainly a very peculiar vampire story; for the coolness with which the corpse and the shepherd carried on their conversation under the arch was unique enough. Nevertheless, the persons who narrated the affair to Mr. Pashley firmly believed in its truth, although slightly differing in their versions of it.
http://gogreece.about.com/od/weirdgreece/a/weirdcrete.htm
 

Mighty_Emperor

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June 03, 2005

Undead and unseen

Will those elusive vampires show up at a symposium dedicated to them?

SUE FERGUSON

Vampires, it seems, like to keep a low profile. So much so that I couldn't persuade anyone claiming to be an actual representative of the bloodsucking undead to agree to an interview for this article -- despite numerous invitations posted on websites, requests to a handful of experts in the field, and visits to the Goth stores and clubs you'd expect vampires to patronize. The best I can offer is a few quotes lifted from the Scottish Goth magazine Bite Me, and letters and emails written to a Dracula expert by self-proclaimed vampires. The media, I guess, have given these creatures of the night a bad rap. We trot them out as fodder for Halloween stories or, more hurtfully, implicate all the Count's followers when a few psychopathic types carry out gruesome crimes. In fact, I'm told the vast majority are harmless.

This week, a Toronto conference will shed light on the true nature of the so-called kindred. North American vampirologists, academics, fans and, who knows, maybe a vampire or two, will attend the first ever Weekend with Dracula organized by the Canadian chapter of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula. The Saturday afternoon panel, Vampires Among Us?, will explore what attracts people to the vampire lifestyle, the degree to which their unusual passion constitutes a public hazard, and other such conundrums. "Why not assess the vampire scene from within?" asks conference organizer and internationally renowned Dracula expert Elizabeth Miller. "It's been assessed from without often enough."

From within? Must have been a slip of the tongue. It's true that, over the years, the professor emeritus at Memorial University of Newfoundland has encountered more than her fair share of vampires and, because she maintains a Dracula website, is regularly mistaken for one (though in threadbare slippers, chinos and blouse, there's little gothic allure about her). And in 1995, she was made Baroness of the House of Dracula. But that just means someone else picks up the tab when she visits Romania, not that she has a taste for blood. Nor does she believe self-described vampires are anything other than people sucked into a fantasy. "If somebody really believes they're a vampire, the sure test is, shape-shift into a bat, fly across there," she says, pointing to the far wall of her compact living room in the Toronto condominium where she moved after retiring from the university.

Such vampire fantasists are, in fact, relatively rare. There's a spectrum, says Miller, that starts with fans of vampire films and books. Next are those who emulate Dracula in mild ways. "They're just wannabes," she says. "They don't actually practise bloodletting, but they'll dress up, buy a cape, maybe get plastic fangs or even go to the dentist for permies" -- harmless role-playing. Then there are those who take the scene more seriously, and sleep in a coffin or drink blood. "It's just a . . ." she purses her lips to mimic a little nibble and suck, then laughs. "I can't think of it with a straight face." Of course, this sort of thing raises the spectre of sexually transmitted diseases, but if it's consensual, she adds, at least there are no innocent victims. "These people are still on this side of the line between reality and fiction. They're close, but they know ultimately they're not vampires."

Others don't. A census of the undead carried out in 2000 by the Vampire Empire, a New York-based organization for lovers of the genre, netted 272 people who said they were, or had previously been, vampires. Of these, 71 per cent admitted to drinking blood (from friends or themselves) or at least red drinks, 48 per cent wore fangs and 84 per cent avoided sunlight, but just 11 per cent believed they'd live longer than the rest of us. Club founder and president Jeanne Keyes Youngson, who is speaking at the Toronto forum, ran into an underground vampire clan on the Upper West Side while researching her 1997 book, Private Files of a Vampirologist. "They found a scabby, big dog," she says, "which they cut the neck of and drank its blood."

New York vampire Vlad told Bite Me in an online interview that as a kid he hung around playgrounds until little girls fell and scraped their knees. Then he would "go over and kiss their wound . . . taking a little of their blood." However, Vlad cautions, "Blood drinking is very special and should not be done because you think it is trendy or cool."

Youngson has little patience for such types. "The majority are nuts. I try to keep my group on a cinematic and literary level, rather than get involved with these crazy people." In fact, there is a psychiatric condition called Renfield's Syndrome, named for the mentally deranged character in Bram Stoker's Dracula who craves spiders and bugs, believing them to be a life force. Those suffering from the syndrome have an erotic attraction to ingesting blood, which they see as a means of gaining immortality and other powers.

Miller has also brushed up against supposed vampires -- once at a club in lower Manhattan, but mostly through letters and emails. Thumbing through a stack four inches high, she pulls out one of the more disturbing samples. "There is no life in this body . . . let me come out of my shadow, let me enter the darkness of your world," writes a Montrealer, quoting the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula. Small dark splotches frame the words. "They're blood, dried blood," notes Miller. "I had them checked." She moves on, reading a few missives from people nurturing related fantasies. One is from a mother asking Miller, on her son's behalf, for Dracula's phone number. "So I emailed her back and said he's got an unlisted number," recalls a laughing Miller, who normally doesn't bother to respond. The woman wrote back asking for Dracula's email address instead. "Tell him to knock on the door," she added. "Tell him I'll be looking out for him." Miller takes it all in stride. "You never know, it could be a couple of teenaged kids having a big laugh. Or it could be a desperate housewife."

Wannabes or not, no one wants to be the vampire drawn from folklore that inspired Stoker. He was "a bloated corpse that had just crawled out of the grave and still had the funeral shroud around him," says Miller. "He's repulsive!" Today's sexy, misunderstood opera-caped count emerged out of the permissiveness and sexual liberation of the 1960s, she observes. By the 1970s, two widely read books further rehabilitated the hideous vampire of legend: an academic work suggesting Stoker's leading man was based on a real life Prince Vlad Dracula from Transylvania -- a theory Miller has discounted with the help of Stoker's papers -- and the first of Anne Rice's vampire trilogy.

Vampires have existed "in mythologies around the world since ancient times," notes Rosemary Ellen Guiley, an expert on the paranormal and spirituality who will attend the Toronto symposium. Though she thinks vampires do exist -- "If you believe in angels, you have to allow for the existence of the demonic side" -- the Maryland author of 30 scholarly and self-help books says most modern ones are just people wrapped up in a fantasy cult. The genuine article is much rarer and possesses more occult powers. Some, she notes, have been documented in Ontario. In the late 1960s, Ottawa's National Museum of Man (now the Canadian Museum of Civilization) commissioned Jan Perkowski, a professor of Slavic languages and literature from Texas, to study Kashubian folklore among the residents of Wilno, Ont. (Christian Polish Kashubs founded Canada's oldest continuous Polish parish there in 1875.) Perkowski's report, which included a story by an unnamed informant about a vampire drawing blood and marrow from a girl's arm, upset the locals, and was subsequently denounced in the House of Commons. Today, even the web-based network Para-Researchers of Ontario suggests Perkowski's findings are "highly unlikely."

As for the agnostics, the only real vampires are, as Youngson puts it, "big business and individuals who want to suck your brains and leave you exhausted." Miller has a similar take. While living in St. John's, she was approached by the Wall Street Journal for an interview about the Dracula theme park being debated in Romania. "I said, 'You've got enough vampires on Wall Street,' " she recounts. "What are you doing coming to Newfoundland looking for them?" Wall Street! Now there's a place I didn't try.
http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/life/article.jsp?content=20050606_106949_106949
 
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