Vampires: The Occult Truth
Llewellyn Publications, 1996
194 ppg., Softcover
Do you believe that vampires are real? The book, Vampires: The Occult Truth by Konstantinos, will make you wonder if the children of the night truly exist in the real world rather than in just movies or books.
I bought this book a long time ago but I suppose it was going to happen that it would get misplaced over the course of several episodes of moving from one place to another. I just never got around to actually finding the book and reading it.
Well, it recently fell into my hands, and I decided that I would finally read it.
Unfortunately, the book is more of the author’s result of research on the topic of vampires than it is a testament that vampires are real. Granted, he shares some information about his cases in which he investigated whether someone was a vampire or not, but they do little to convince me that vampires were actually involved. While I give the author credit for having sense enough to scientifically explain some things that happened in stories of so-called “vampire attacks,” it isn’t enough to make me believe the other more modern-day stories are actual vampire attacks. People love to pull a fast one over other people, and if they have a chance to fool a so-called “expert” on something, all the better. I really don’t think the two people included in the last part of the book were being entirely truthful about their experiences, and here’s why.
One thing the author noted in this book is that people are easily influenced by what they read. They get caught up in fandoms or in Internet groups devoted to certain books or authors, and their imagination tends to get away from them. It’s no secret that Anne Rice’s vampire books, the Twilight series and LARPing games influenced people so strongly that they started to have these crazy ideas about vampires or they tried to act like vampires, even though they are NOT vampires. They just like to dress up and act like one, even believe they are one, and live in their own fantasy worlds of bloodsucking and night-wandering.
That’s the thought I had as I read the letters the author included in this book, letters addressed to him, from people claiming to be vampires. There were many times I was shaking my head as I read the letters, rolling my eyes and muttering “these people need to get a life.” Having read the letters, I have this to say about them:
Drinking the blood of small animals such as birds, lizards and rats does not make you a vampire (with apologies to Anne Rice's Louis).
Being a night owl does not make you a vampire.
Having a sensitivity to light to the point where you must wear sunglasses during the day does not make you a vampire.
Wearing all black every day does not make you a vampire.
Cutting yourself and drinking your own blood does not make you a vampire.
One thing the author noticed about the letters from so-called “vampires” is that many of them were studying Wicca and reading books about it. I found this to be interesting, because the first rule for Wiccans is “And harm none.” The author noted, "It would be interesting to learn how other Witches feel about the practices of mortal blood drinkers." (page 95) I agree!
I liked the chapter that lists various methods to either slow down or kill a vampire. When it mentioned using a mirror to scare off a vampire by its lack of reflection, I couldn't help but remember the scene in the movie The Lost Boys where the characters Sam and Edgar tried to prove the man his mother was dating, Max, was a vampire by turning out the lights then turning them back on with a mirror placed in front of him. He was startled by seeing his own reflection. He was able to see his reflection because he had been given permission to enter the home. That just showed how sometimes vampires can be tricky in working their way around methods used to prove their true identities.
This was an interesting book about vampire legends, types of vampires, ways to stop or kill a vampire and how to protect oneself from psychic vampires. (The Banishing Ritual seemed strongly Wiccan to me.) It’s probably a book that Supernatural character Bobby Singer would have in his library. But ultimately, this book did not convince me that vampires are real. Perhaps they are when we dress up as a vampire for Halloween or pretend to be one in a movie or in our minds when we read vampire fiction, but no, they don’t exist in the real world. Vampires are fictional. I don't agree with or believe all of the ideas and theories put forward in this book. In fact, I still don't believe that the types of “vampires” portrayed in this book exist. Still, it was an entertaining read and probably would be a useful book to keep on hand to use as a reference should I write another vampire story.