Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Steve Kaplan and the Vampire Research Center

Since such romantic pablum as Twilight is so popular right now, I figure it is time for a commentary on REAL vampires...

Modern Society tells us that Vampires are mythical fiction, the stuff of Dracula tales and obscure Slavic superstition. His research unknown to most of the world, Dr. Steve Kaplan has been researching whether these legends are true since 1972. He founded the Vampire Research Center in that year, travelled the world interviewing suspected vampires, and investigated vampiric activity.

He has investigated and interviewed literally thousands of people, and has identified 650 persons who he considers to be REAL vampires in North America, and shed light on a strange medical affliction called Porphyria. This affliction causes a physical need to ingest human blood. Based on his 20+ years of research, he believes the Vampire myth is based partly in fact.

Over the course of the years, Dr. Kaplan has identified several social groups claiming to be vampires, and a few who do not claim it, but still fit the description. He says the overwhelming majority of persons who claim vampirism are simply people drawn to the heavily gothic, romanticised image of the vampire. These folks are what he considers to be vampire "wannabees". These folks usually dress like a stereotypical vampire, and more or less play the part. For them, it is the fetish of taking on the image of the seductive undead which is most appealing.

The next step up is what he calls the "Yuppie" vampires. These are people who trade sexual favors for blood. They have a literal need for blood. They have been documented doing such things as drinking the blood drained from meat cartons at the supermarket. Most have a compulsion, and harbor feelings of guilt and shame for what they do.

Dr. Kaplan says he has found out of the many people who physically drink blood, a small number have a physical need to consume blood in addition to their regular diet. He calls these people Conservative Vampires, because they dress inconspicusouly and look average. They hide their vampirism, and feel irritable, depressed, weak, or aggressive if they do not get enough blood in their diet. This is the mark of Porphyria.

The third and final group he describes are the Blood Killers. People who act on their impulses and seek out victims to kill and drain of their blood. He has worked with Police organizations and interviewed killers responsible for these acts. It can be dangerous work. He was almost been killed on several occasions performing his investigations. As a result, he changed his interview methods where he never met anyone face to face.

Dr. Steve Kaplan died in June of 1995.

Here is his Wikipedia entry...

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