A man and woman claiming to be vampires were arrested after a stabbing when Robert Maley said he would not let them drink his blood. The duo had been friends with Maley for a long time and had engaged in blood letting rituals before, but became incensed after Maley told them he wasn’t interested in letting them bleed him and drink his blood. Though the injury was treated at a local hospital, the incident has caused fear among and from those related to the vampire phenomenon. But what do people fear really from this incident?
Incidents involving vampires are particularly grave as they often reveal much about our own fears within society of changing social groups, change, and the supernatural all with one characteristic and easily recognized religious and/or social group. When someone appears dressed as a vampire and introduces themselves as such, they have clearly divided themselves from the mainstream in ways that have both benefits and drawbacks. And as such, when an incident involving one of these creatures of the night arises, it is far more likely to gain attention and raise concerns. But are we actually afraid just of vampires? Or is there a whole symbol to vampires that pervades every aspect of our society we are actually fearing?
Vampires used to be creatures of undead origin, associated with a return from death due to misfortune or ill deeds. After a while this dark image became alluring for the very reasons so many found them disturbing. And as the groups become more prolific, some members find it necessary to display ever more extreme behavior in order to separate themselves from what was once considered a subculture fad.
Whether there is actually a supernatural element in most of the vampire culture is often disputed due to the fact that most consider the more supernatural aspects to be spiritual, happening on a plane only others who are initiated can truly perceive. And incidents suggesting a deeper paranormal power being present such as psychic awareness, spiritual connection, precognition, magical hexes, and others like it often fan the flames making the social side of it blend with a darker occult side. While virtually all will admit sunlight does not harm them and make no claims at immortality, there is still a perception often following them that something more is going on. But is it this occult connection what makes people such as those who attacked Maley lash out?
There is an alternative explanation. The interest we all have in the darker side of society is often represented in film by being associated with the vampire culture. Are these cases simply more covered?
Vampire presidential candidate Jonathon Sharkey has been in the news several times, has been interviewed, and received major media attention after threatening a judge in Indiana. But had the story not involved a man affiliated with vampire subculture, he would have likely not received the same media attention.
So whether it’s a cultural phenomenon or truly has supernatural elements will continue to be a matter of debate, but the association with a paranormal creature of myth is unavoidable.