There are two types of vampires that are referred to in modern society. First, there is the traditional supernatural being that is thought to die with sunlight and require the drinking of blood to sustain itself. And then there are the vampires that are more of a concept of rebellious destruction of social morays with the interest of becoming something other than human if not biologically, then psychologically. It is this second type that we will be exploring.
A human that attributes vampire characteristics to themselves is a much more mysterious and some would even say darker creature than the supernatural monsters of the night. If we think about it, a vampire as a supernatural entity is one whose existence was granted to them by the embracing of a purely chemical or magical rite. On the other hand, a social vampire lives each moment embracing their choice and pursuing their decision to relate to a social class of people working outside of the mainstream. These vampires often congregate, finding kinship in their difference and partaking of rituals that seem entirely superfluous to their survival. If they truly are purely social constructs, then it’s easy to understand how the term “vampire cult” became so commonly associated with the behaviors they undertake. And though most of the self-assigned vampires we interact with are perfectly reasonable (some would say eccentric) individuals, there is a high profile sub-group of the sub-culture that earns them a negative reputation. Take the 1996 killings of Richard and Ruth Wendorf. Was the murder the result purely of a social designation that seemed deviant in retrospect? Or was there another far more disturbing aspect that the killers shared with the rest of humanity? The easiest thing in the world is to find something different about a person who has enacted a disturbing and violent crime and suggest that this difference must have been the cause. Doing so shields us from the required introspection to better understand if all mankind doesn’t share the attributes these killers had. And yet it also seems an integral part of the vampire mythos. So what is it? In other words, if being a vampire is the cause of the murders, then why are all vampires not then murderers? It’s a disturbing reality when one thinks about the possibility that these people may not only be “normal” outside of their eccentricities, but overwhelmingly so.
So what is it that turns the normal “vampires” into killers? Examining the psychology that makes a killer act suggests it may actually be the same thing as everyone else. The concept of what psychological ailments makes a killer is a dramatic oversimplification of extraordinarily complex concepts. In reality, there is no singular X factor that makes a group of rebellious teens move from merely “antisocial” into truly dangerous. And furthermore, it’s interesting to note that the definition of antisocial behavior is the “overall lack of adherence to the social mores and standards that allow members of a society to coexist peaceably” as the social mores and standards themselves seem to vary widely from one social group to another and even shift as time goes on. And if we truly are a product of the media, films, books, and our peers, then who is to say what these mores truly are? It was once described to me that the vampire cult is a way of synthesizing new social mores to rebel from a world, not because it isn’t dark enough, but because it is always shifting and changing.