C H A P T E R O N E
While preparing this book, I have been
asked, by many skeptical people, questions
like: How could vampires really
exist? or even, Are you serious? Most went
on to add that the bloodsuckers of fiction
seem a bit hard to believe in; after all, if
they really feed on humans like they are
portrayed in the movies as doing, wouldnt
there be an enormous number of victims
found in alleys, or perhaps even in graveyards,
on any given morning? There obviously
havent been any such victims,
though, because their blood-drained bodies
and the familiar punctured neck wounds would have attracted
enough media attention to make belief in vampires commonplace
These types of arguments make it a little hard for most people in
the twentieth century to believe in the existence of an order of
being that can live forever and feed off the vitality of humans. In
this technological age, who among us finds it easy to accept that
such a creature can escape the notice of science?
Before we get into the hard-to-believe nature of the vampires
attributes and abilities, lets do away with the need for any pre-existing
scientific skepticism. I consider those who are interested in the occult
to be the scientists of the future. If everyone were to accept that what
science has not yet discovered does not exist, science would stagnate
and society could not advance. Keep in mind that a lot of things that
the ancients considered mystical have been explained by scienceand
the ancients believed in vampires.
Lets apply some rational, scientific thinking to the subject of
this books study. The truths presented in these pages have been
proven empirically, both by myself and by others before me. In each
case presented in the chapters that follow, all the evidence (which
takes many different forms) is presented fully to show how certain
conclusions were drawn. In other words, dont take my word for
the bizarre, yet true, facts you are about to read. Please judge them
for yourself. My intention in writing this book was not to create a
fantastic tale of vampirism and expect others to believe it; that is
what vampire novels are for (and there are a lot of thosearound
the time of this writing, two or three are published every month,
with even more coming out near Halloween). Instead, I wanted to
present the first complete treatise on the subjectone that looks at
all the realities of vampirism in detail and separates the truth from
Doing away with preconceived notions is one of the hardest things
that an investigator of the paranormal has to do. It is important to
keep an open mind when dealing with things that do not lend themselves
to easy observationto my knowledge, no immortal vampire
has ever knocked on a medical scientists door and asked for a physical
exam. The subject of our study is a covert one, and we therefore have
to look for covert clues. Solving the puzzle of vampirism requires that
we see all the pieces and recognize them for what they are. Keeping
an open mind makes that possible.
In the case of vampires, we have to remember that they are not
fictional creatures created by early novelists. The undead are creatures
of folklore, and the first literature mentioning them was in
every way considered nonfiction by those who penned it; in fact,
most of those early treatises were written by the respected scholars
of the day. Few people, however, are aware of the various tales of
the undead that were not made up for the racks of bookstores,
but were instead documented for preservation in the libraries of the
Fortunately, age-old occult literature about vampires still exists.
From various firsthand accounts, diaries, and investigations, one can
quickly see that something very real was being described. There are,
however, several distinctions between the vampires described in
those texts and the beings portrayed in popular fiction and movies.
Before looking for the reality behind the legends, it is important to
first separate the legends from the fiction. Writers like Anne Rice,
Bram Stoker, Tanith Lee, and Brian Lumley, among countless others,
have created fantastic attributes and powers for their vampires, but
those beings are not the subject of our study. Trying to find the truth
behind those fictional creations is as ridiculous as trying to find the
truth behind the monster created by Mary Shelley in Frankenstein.
Therefore, lets begin our uncovering of the truth by defining the
attributes of the vampire of folklorethe creature that you might
be surprised to discover exists in more than one form.
THE APPEARANCE OF THE VAMPIRE
The vampire of folklore does not closely match the romantic character
that has been developed in the past century. Since Bela Lugosis
suave portrayal of Dracula in 1931, vampires in fiction have become
progressively better looking and more and more associated with sexuality
through the yearsa far cry from the creatures of folklore.
What does the vampire of folklore look like? Ancient descriptions
of the appearance of the undead vary just enough to indicate that two
distinct types of beings were described: vampires that seemed for the
most part to be physical, and vampires that had almost phantom-like
attributes. Of the two, the first type of creature was reported the least
often. As well see later in the book, several physical cases of vampirism
have been dismissed by modern-day medical experts as having
natural causes. For now, lets deal with each in turn, starting with the
The typical physical vampire or revenant of Europe did not
wear a cape or stylish clothing. Remember, the undead are supposed
to be the risen dead. They therefore appear, according to
folklore, as most corpses would if they were dragged out of the
ground. In other words, when people reported seeing vampires
hundreds of years ago, they described them as wearing what they
were buried ina shroud.
The descriptions would go on to include a few pronounced characteristics:
For starters, the physical vampire of folklore was not pale. In
fact, most documents indicate that the skin color of an undead typically
had a reddish tinge, as if the blood it ingested infused every cell
of its body. That made a lot of sense to the investigators of the time,
because when they would drive a stake through a suspected vampires
heart, blood would explode out of the hole as if the body were saturated
That brings us to the next characteristic of physical vampires.
Unlike the thin, almost emaciated look that vampires have in movies,
the folkloric creature was often reported as appearing bloated. Again,
that seemed perfectly logical to the vampire hunters of the time.
They believed that the bloated appearance was a result of the vampire
being gorged with blood.
Other characteristics of the physical folkloric vampire are ones
that have been used by various authors of fiction. Those attributes
include a horrible odor or rancid breath; long fingernails and hair,
which, according to folklore, keep growing in a vampire; sharp teeth,
although not necessarily eye-teeth fangs; and in some cases, eyes that
blaze with a supernatural, often red, light.
Keep in mind that many of the above characteristics were for the
most part observed in vampires that were in their coffins. A lot of the
cases of physical vampirism were solved when a vampire hunter
would open the coffin of an alleged undead and dispose of it with a
wooden stake and, usually, fire. Often, the characteristics of natural
decomposition would be confused for undeath. For that reason, as we
will deal with in chapter 3, several famous documented cases of physical
vampirism involve vampires that cannot be proven as such.
The other type of vampire encountered in folklore is the one that
possesses phantom-like attributes. That creature is found in some of
the most famous cases of vampirism, including that of Peter Plogojowitz,
which will be described later in this book. As well see below,
what is most interesting about that type of creature is that it seems to
be a vampiric spirit that is connected in some ways to the corpse it
The phantom-like vampire of folklore feeds on living people
while they are in bed at night. When the vampire appears, its features
are usually quite familiar to the villagers it attacksthey recognize
it as being one of their deceased neighbors. We will not
examine the sort of attack made by the phantom-like type of vampire
at this point (although the short scene in the introduction is an
example). Suffice it to say that once the creature removes itself, the
victim usually recalls the identity of the specter, often inciting a
frenzy in the villagers.
The actual appearance of the phantom-like vampire, other than
resembling the deceased person who became undead, varies in different
accounts. Often, the vampire is described as assuming a dark
form, with its facial features becoming clear for only a moment
before the actual attack begins. Other accounts indicate that the vampire,
although somewhat transparent, was immediately recognized
by the victim when it entered his or her bedroom at night.
Even though the preceding descriptions are almost universal
among the cases of folkloric vampirism, the more recent and even
modern-day incidents of spectral, vampiric attack indicate that victims
only rarely recognize their phantom assailants. For the most part,
vampires of the above type are described as dark masses, with occasional
reported observations of red or glowing eyes. The fact that
fewer eyewitnesses of the above type of creature in the past hundred
years notice any facial features indicates that there is a severe shift in
popular beliefs. In other words, fewer people today believe that the
dead can rise to harm the living. In the past, however, the belief was
strong and could possibly be the reason that a supernatural assailant
would quickly assume the features of the deceased.
Whether or not the villagers of the past were right in their
assumptions of the identities of phantom vampires cannot be
proven. What they found when they opened the graves of those
that were identified as the undead is still interesting. The appearance
of the physical vampire described earlier is in many ways similar
to the corpses of the spectral vampire as well. Suspected bodies,
when exhumed, often appeared bloated, ruddy, and somewhat
fresh, even months after burial.
If the vampire we are discussing is truly a phantom, why should its
corpse appear in that bizarre way? As we shall see later, the physical
attributes described by the vampire hunters of years ago can be
explained naturally. For example, when a body decomposes, gases are
created within it, causing the body to expand and appear bloated. But
what if the instincts of those hunters were stronger than their abilities
at conveying their feelings in words?
The general occult theory on the spectral type of vampire that
thrived in folklore is that the spirit fed on either blood or energy (or
both) by night, and by day returned to the corpse to infuse it with this
energy. That would explain how a vampire could come up from its
coffin without disturbing the soilit could simply move through the
ground in its astral body. Why a spectral vampire would wish to
remain in its earthly form by day is another matter. Later in the book
well take a look at several occult theories explaining the above process.
POWERS OF THE VAMPIRE
As weve discussed, the difference between folklore and fiction is
unclear to most when describing the appearance of the vampire. The
same holds true when identifying the powers of the vampire; misconceptions
abound. Again we have the problem: Whats documented
and whats made up? Before going any further, lets briefly clear that
up to some extent. Later, in the chapters that deal with each of the different
types of vampires, we will go into great detail when describing
their powers, along with an indepth look at instances when those
powers were displayed.
The physical vampire of folklore was not as endowed with
supernatural abilities as its fictional counterparts are. In fact, most
documented cases indicate that those vampires did little more than
come in through windows, suck the blood of their victims, and flee
into the night once again. Of course, the powers of a folkloric vampire
depend on its ethnic species.
Yes, you read correctly; that last phrase is ethnic species. I use
this to indicate that each culture had different names and attributes
for vampires. When vampires are separated into two classes (as we
have been doing in this chapter), something interesting happens.
The primary powers of the vampires from different countries that fit
into the same groups (physical or phantom-like) are found to be
almost identical. By primary powers, I refer to the means vampires
use to obtain their sustenance. Conversely, the differences between
the secondary powers of ethnic vampire species are in certain cases
extreme. For the purposes of this book, secondary powers are any
abilities that vampires do not need to obtain sustenance; keep in
mind that those powers still might serve some other purposes that
Later, well divide vampires into four groups to further identify
their powers, but for now, lets get to some examples of the distinctions
in types of powers. It will probably come as no great surprise
to anyone that one of the primary powers of the physical vampire
is the ability to live off the blood of humans. Another primary
power is also one that most people have come to expect from the
undeadgreat strength. In most cases of physical vampire attack,
the victim is reported as being unable to wrestle off the vampire
while it feeds.
The secondary powers of the physical vampire vary to a great
extent. Throughout this book, you will come across several secondary
powers exhibited by vampires in different cases. To whet your appetite
for now, however, here are a couple of the least-known, and most
unusual, secondary powers that are found in different types of physical
For starters, in a few countries there is a belief that vampires can
still have sexual relations with the living. Unlike what popular fiction
promotes, that was not considered a desirable thing. The vampires
power to do that is similar to the powers of the incubus or succubus.
Any children of such a union are born with the ability to sense the
presence of an undead. Also, those offspring are considered (by many
cultures) to be able to destroy vampires with ease.
Another attribute of the physical vampire (in some areas) is its
ability to at some point live life again as a mortal. Of particular note
is the langsuir, a female vampire of Malaysia that can be captured
and cured of her curse in such a way that she can once again live an
almost normal life. The langsuir, along with several other species of
vampires, will be discussed in more detail in the next chapter.
The primary powers of the phantom-like undead are not as widely
known. The two that always seem to be present in documented cases
(both ancient and new) are the ability to drain vitality from living
humans (not necessarily bloodmost likely just energy), and the
ability to cause paralysis in their victims. As shown later on, the taking
of vitality is almost always done in the form of psychic energy.
Sometimes, it was suspected that such a vampire could still take
blood in an immaterial form, because the victim would on occasion
have bite marks or scratches on his or her body. Modern occult theory,
however, has a different explanation for those marks. Thats
dealt with in chapter 7. Phantom-like vampires have some interesting
secondary powers as well.
Many phantom-like vampires display shape-changing ability.
Numerous victims who have survived this type of vampires attack
report the changing of the creatures form as it prepares to attack,
and sometimes, during the attack itself. This power is not limited to
the appearance of the vampire; it seems that the creature can also
change from immaterial to material form, and vice versa, at will.
That would appear to make things difficult for the would-be vampire
Another interesting secondary power of the spectral vampire is
its ability to fly or levitate. That seems easy to believe for a creature
that can assume a noncorporeal form. In most documents detailing
the attack of one of those creatures, the creatures are described as
hovering over their victims before lowering themselves as heavy
masses upon their prey. The phantom vampires are also reported as
flying away almost instantaneously when they are finished feeding.
Of course, they are able to fly through walls and the like.
THE FOUR TYPES OF VAMPIRES
Now that weve become comfortable with the distinctions between
physical and phantom-like vampires, its time to shake things up a
little bit. Lets divide those groups again. First, lets agree that all
vampires do have something in common.
If you look in a dictionary you will find a few definitions that
relate to vampires. The definition of vampirism itself is interesting
because it is often given as the practice of preying upon others, or
something similar. Does that necessarily have to mean preying on
the blood of others? Some dictionaries go on to make that distinction,
but we shall not in this book. Vampires, in reality, are those
creatures who prey upon others for sustenance. The source of that
sustenance, the method of obtaining it, and the need it fulfills are
what distinguish the different types of vampires from each other.
Immortal Blood Drinkers
For the most part, immortal blood drinkers are the creatures we
have been describing so far as physical vampires. These vampires
are the ones that are most similar to the undead found in popular
fiction, although, of the several ethnic species in this category, no
one particular type possesses even half the powers attributed by
authors and screenwriters to their vampires. With that distinction
made, the existence of immortal blood drinkers should seem more
feasible, but as we shall see in chapter 3, although there is a lot of
evidence that seemingly supports the existence of this type of
being, a lot of it is not completely convincing. For that reason,
many who read this book might feel that immortal blood drinkers
are the least likely type of vampire to exist. Before you make up
your mind, however, take into consideration the fact that their existence
cannot be entirely disproved.