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Traditional FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for alt.vampyres

Condensed Version for 7.02

Welcome to the condensed version of the Traditional FAQ for alt.vampyres. The traditional (by which I mean the incredibly long version thatís been passed from FAQkeeper to FAQkeeper and posted for the past several years) is still available at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq and is posted in parts following the posting of this document. Questions, comments or corrections to either version should be directed to faq@altvampyres.net.

PART 1: QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS NEWSGROUP
[1.01] What is this newsgroup about?
Currently, this group is for the discussion of vampires in fiction: books, comics, movies, anime, etc.. This group is also for the discussion of vampire theory, such as the mythology, psychology, physiology, and relation of the vampire to modern-day human life, and the distribution of original fiction, such as stories, poetry, or prose, which lie within the vampire realm.

[1.02] Is there some form of netiquette I should follow if I post? Use common sense and common courtesy. Lurk for a while to get a drift of what's going on. Review the last couple of months postings at http://www.deja.com/bg.xp?level=alt.vampyres.

- Any post intended to be an introduction from a vampire who has lived much longer than us and who demands our respect will seldom achieve the desired result.

- Any post which attempts to refute or degrade us by using religious references is generally seen as being destructive in nature.

- Posts that are written with the intent of simply being silly can get a lot of people angry.

- Anyone who posts theories, such as "...The TRUTH About REAL Vampires" will probably be asked to provide hard evidence to back up such claims.

[1.03] Why do you spell "vampyre" with a 'y'? "Vampyre" is an older spelling of the word 'vampire' and was used predominantly during the 1700s and 1800s. Its use in the group's title is to provide a more "Gothic" feel - not to mention, making it damned difficult for newbies to find us...

[1.04] Do you REALLY think vampyres exist? It would depend upon your definition of the term 'vampyre'. If you are referring to people who drink blood as a source of pleasure and/or nourishment... then certainly!... vampyres exist! There are many organizations dedicated to the practice and teaching of blood drinking. You may reach them by contacting some of the groups listed in question [3.03] of the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq. However, if by 'vampyre' you are referring to the supernatural beings who have risen from their graves to feed upon the living... like the popular ones from literature and movies... I would have to say it depends upon the individual posters. Therefore, do not make assumptions that someone does or does not believe in vampyres.

[1.05] 'So-and-so' can't be a vampyre! He posts during the day!
The idea that vampyres have to sleep all day is not universal; Dracula was active during the day in Bram Stoker's novel as were many vampyres in myth and legend. (See question [2.02]) In fact, the first example of vampyres being harmed by the sun was in 1922, in the movie _Nosferatu_, where the 'evil' vampyre is destroyed by exposure to sunlight. Although the vampyre has typically been cast as a nocturnal being, actual damage by sunlight is *not* something that is in the legends (as far as I can find).

Secondly, how do you know the vampyre is posting during the day? Don't you think time stamps can be altered? Maybe that's just what they _want_ you to think...

[1.06] This group is full of posers. Stop pretending! The people who post as vampyres do so for a very good reason: they enjoy it. They have a perfectly good grip on reality. It may seem like a strange way to act but, if you don't like it, you don't have to do it. Nobody will think any the worse of you if you don't act as a vampyre - provided you're polite to those who _do_.

[1.07] Why are there different versions of the FAQ posted to this newsgroup?
At this particular point in time (beginning June of the year 2000) more than one person is claiming to be FAQ Keeper, so more than one person is posting a version of the FAQ.

[1.08] Where did this newsgroup come from?

The document reproduced below represents the control post for the newsgroup alt.vampyres made to alt.config on September 6, 1992..

Sender: news@cs.psu.edu (Usenet)
Nntp-Posting-Host: psuvax1.cs.psu.edu
Organization: Indescribable Creations
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1992 23:06:09 GMT
Approved: The CyberDen Lines: 21

[I added the "For your newsgroups file:" line, and am reissuing the newsgroup, for those who have automatic parsing. -- Bill Fenner <fenner@cs.psu.edu>]

For your newsgroups file: alt.vampyres
Discussion of vampyres and related writings, films, etc.

alt.vampyres is a new alt group dedicated to the vampyre, be it modern day, or historical accounts. Related poetry, writings, films, art, etc. are open for discussion and information exchange here.

There has been good response to the previous alt.config proposal as well as great response on alt.horror.

Add alt.vampyres today and welcome the children of the night into the modern era.

<X>orcist

__________________________________________________________________________
|          /               |\
| H E   \ Y B E R |/ E N       [ moon!cyberden!system@well.sf.ca.us ]
 

So much for the dry stuff... The text following is graciously provided by stef-zodiak who was there and is, of course, not to be reproduced without his specific permission.

the history of alt.vampyres

'back when the world was new, the internet was
still coming out of its shell. its birth cry
echoing around the eiree place that was X25 land
and all machines on the Janet network had PAD
designators.

there arose some academics (the one we remember
being secretus who always typed columnarly) who
wanted to talk and chat and share prose and poems.

These were renegade academics. People (or other)
who preferred verse and sonnet to bosons and plank
theorem. These were strange academic creatures
indeed.

They needed a domain. a respite. a home away from
home. A place that they could call their own. It
needed to sound someplace that the average academia
would agree with, but one that no professor
would
actually read.

Thus. Some of these people (in conjunction with some
renegades from alt.gothic) created the first haven.

alt.vampyres.

Over the years, the postings have varied. Prose,
sestina's and more than one flame. However, the
original sight and spirit of the newsgroup should
not be lost but cheerished and preserved.

It's a home for poets, the disillusioned and the
disdained, the perverts and the forgotten, the
lost tribes of alt.gothic and the academic dreamers.

stef

To the above, I add another rumour I heard which was that the newsgroup was a splinter group of malcontents from alt.books.anne-rice but it would seem that alt.horror was in fact where alt.vampyres was first conceived...

The earliest known version of the alt.vampyres FAQ has been unearthed. An e-mail discussion with Travis Casey, the author, has established this document to be 'probably' the 3rd revision of the alt.vampyres FAQ which he originally wrote. It's interesting how similar it is to the current version. The document can be located by visiting http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

PART 2: QUESTIONS ABOUT VAMPYRES
[2.01] What powers are most commonly ascribed to vampyres?
There are many different versions of the vampire myth, both in legend and in fiction; therefore any ability you could name has probably been ascribed to vampires at some point. If you want to know about the powers of specific vampire types, take a look at questions [201] and [2.05] in the Traditional FAQ at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq and at the non-fiction books listed under question [3.01], likewise.

[2.02] What are the vulnerabilities of vampires?
The same holds true here. Every myth, every legend, every author, every movie producer ascribes different and varied vulnerabilities to the vampyre being depicted. A few of the more commonly accepted quirks are detailed in question [201] in the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[2.03] How does physical illness affect vampyres?
It has been proposed that vampires are subject to illnesses, viruses, and other nasty bugs much the way mortals are. At the very least, the victims of an infected vampire will contract the illness or virus. However (and this is only my opinion), because the mythology generally considers the vampire to be 'undead,' a vampire would be an unsuitable host for any nasty bugs, which tend to prefer warm, wet and living tissue, unlike vampire flesh. The category of nasty bugs should include (again, in my opinion) the AIDS virus and any organism that is incapable of living outside of a host for a long period of time.

[2.04] How can one kill a vampyre?
Although it never a good practice to harm vampires (being a hunter won't get you any points on this newsgroup), let alone kill them, some of the more favored methods of destroying a vampire are included in section [2.04] in the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[2.05] How does one become a vampyre?
Again, there are many different possible routes of becoming a vampire in the mythology. Some of the more prevalent routes are included in section [2.05] in the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[2.06] What types of vampyres are in existence?
An extensive "sampler" of vampire legends from around the world is located in the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq. For more variations on the vampire myth, take a look at some of the books listed under the non-fiction category of question [3.01] in the Traditional FAQ.

[2.07] Are vampyres REALLY the 'bad-guys'?
The idea that vampires are evil, or at the very least, bad guys, is fairly well established among the legends. Remember, the original vampires in lore were creatures that fed upon humans and usually killed them. Plagues and viral infections were sometimes ascribed to vampire attacks. The romantic vampires, as portrayed by Bela Lugosi and written about by Anne Rice were nowhere close to the rotting corpses that came and destroyed whole families (or sometimes whole villages) in the legends. As a result, the vampire didn't get a very good reputation.

It was postulated by some people (Calmet, for example) that vampires were souls who were so evil or lost that they were unable to go to the afterlife. The association with Satan or some other malicious force was easily made. However, beginning mostly with Bram Stoker and carried on throughout today, the vampire is perceived to be a highly erotic being who would rather seduce than kill. The original idea that the vampire exists for the sake of harming others is not very prevalent in modern literature. So the question "Are vampires evil?" depends upon the context. Today's stories postulate that the vampire doesn't need to kill to feed. As a result, the idea vampires are, by nature, 'evil' is misplaced today. In my opinion, vampires are no worse than some of the humans that we see on the news every night...

[2.08] What is porphyria, why is it called "The Vampyre Disease"?
Porphyria is actually a group of diseases, all pertaining to the metabolism of porphyrin rings that, along with iron, are responsible for the oxygen-carrying properties of hemoglobin--an ingredient in blood. It is a very rare genetic disorder, and is in no way contagious. So, why the link between porphyria and vampirism? One of the varieties of porphyria, congenital erythropoietic porphyria, has among its possible symptoms: severe light sensitivity, reddish-brown urine and teeth, mutilation of the nose, ears, eyelids, and fingers, an excess of body hair, and anemia (compare these symptoms with the description of Stoker's Dracula). However, there is no evidence that porphyrics have any sort of craving to drink blood, and, although it has been conjectured that eating garlic might be harmful to them, it is not.

[2.09] What is "Psychic-vampyre"?
A psychic vampire is a living person who "drains" others emotionally. Depending on the version, this may be an empathic drain (i.e., literally feeding on the emotions or 'life-force' of others) or it may be a metaphorical drain (someone who "takes" emotionally without giving anything back; a "user"). The victims of a psychic vampire become lethargic and depressed, and, should they be drained too much, may become suicidal.

The psychic vampire itself is generally represented as fairly normal except for its ability; depending on who you ask, psychic vampires may or may not be aware of what they do, and along the same line, they may feed in different ways. It has been described by some as reaching out with your astral self to tap into a living person and draining them of their energy and then transforming, or processing, that gained energy into life-force of some sort. Others say that they reach out with their aura and leech away energy from the auras of other people. Like many things, it depends on whom you talk to and what their experiences have been. There is no way of telling who is right and who is wrong, and there is the possibility that all of them are right and they merely feed in different ways.

[2.10] Will a "REAL" vampyre please come turn me into one?
From time to time, somebody posts a request like this to the group. Before you go about doing this yourself, consider the following scenario: _If_ vampires do exist, they may not be exactly what you have been led to expect from books, films, and role playing games. Anybody on this group who might have the power to 'turn' you would be putting him/herself in grave danger (no pun intended) by exposing his/her true nature.

[2.11] Vampirism -- What's In It For You?
Honest Igor posted a wonderful essay to the newsgroup in response to "I was wondering if any true vampyres in here would be so kind as to expose me to the life of a vampyre." which is slightly more subtle (or less blatant) than "COME BITE ME!" Questions or comments should be referred to Honest Igor. The entire essay may be enjoyed in the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[2.12] I've Heard That Vampirism Is Really Due To a Vampire Retrovirus. Is This True?
Yes, we've heard about the DNA-altering vampyre retrovirus as well as people inhabited by vampyric beings from another dimension. On every occasion when such beliefs have been presented to alt.vampyres, proponents of these beliefs have been unable to provide credible evidence of their claims. In some cases, the 'evidence' provided is quite convincing - until you ask a virologist!

If, however, you would like more information about vampirism as a disease-process brought on by a retrovirus or other parasite, try contacting one of the message boards listed in section [4.04] of the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[2.13] What are dhampirs/dhampires?
Dhampirs are a part of Eastern European vampire lore -- Romanian, if I remember right, although some gypsy vampire belief systems have the same kind of thing.

In those cultures, vampires are believed to be invisible, but can be seen by a dhampir (or dhampire, depending on who you ask). Dhampirs have this ability because they are the children (always sons, in the legends) of vampires and mortals (in the legends, always of a male vampire and a mortal woman). Depending on the legend, dhampirs may be able to see vampires automatically, or they may have to enact some sort of little ritual, such as putting their clothes on backwards, looking through a sleeve, etc.

If you're interested in reading more about dhampir legends, you'll find them talked about in Anthony Masters' _A Natural History of the Vampire_. I'm not sure, not having the books here with me, but I believe that Jan Perkowski's _The Darkling: A Treatise on Slavic Vampirism_ and _Vampires of the Slavs_ talk about them as well. And, of course, there's always Montague Summers' _The Vampire in Europe_.

PART 3: HOW TO GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT VAMPYRES

[3.01] What books about vampyres are currently available?
While there are a lot of vampire books out there, a good place to begin would be http://home.earthlink.net/~thekitsune/ (Kitsune's page). She has an enormous collection of vampire books and her site also includes a few reviews. Cathy Krusberg does excellent reviews and posts new ones regularly. A partial archive of her reviews can be found at http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/8372/reviews.html .

Fiction:
For a list of vampire fiction, e-mail David C. Mudie (mudie@eecs.berkeley.edu) for his _Suggested Reading for alt.vampyres_, or wait for it to be posted to the net.

Non-Fiction:
You will find short reviews and suggested reading lists of non-fiction books in section [3.01] of the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[3.02] Where can I get a list of vampire comics?
Again, a LENGTHY list is located in section [3.02] of the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[3.03] Do vampires appear in anime? If so, which ones?
Oh yeah... refer to section [3.03] of the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[3.04] Where can I get a list of and information about vampire movies?
The following link is a HUGE list of vampire movies, complete with links to each movie's listing at the Internet Movie Database.

The VAMPYRES Film list.
http://www.netaxs.com/~elmo/vamp-mov.html

[3.05] Are there any organizations I could join?
There is a listing in section [3.05] of the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq. No recommendations or endorsements are made by this FAQ regarding any of the listed organizations.

PART 4: MISCELLANEOUS VAMPYRE STUFF
[4.01] How can I find out more about _Forever Knight_?
Usenet users should subscribe to alt.tv.forever-knight - FAQ at http://lavender.fortunecity.com/wildbunch/241/fk/listmyth.txt

or alt.tv.forever-knight.spoilers

or, for other resources refer to the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[4.02] Where can I get more info about _Interview with the Vampire_ and the rest of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles?
alt.books.anne-rice is an Internet newsgroup that was created for Anne Rice fans to have a place to get together with other fans and let the mayhem loose. On abar you'll find threads about the books, the movies, stories, characters and more non-sequiturs than you can shake a stick at. The FAQ for this group is located at http://www.eskimo.com/~talset/abar.html

or, for other resources refer to the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[4.03] Where can I get more info on White Wolf's "Vampire: The Masquerade"?
Newsgroups related to the game:

alt.games.whitewolf and rec.games.frp.storyteller are newsgroups for discussing various aspects of the World of Darkness roleplaying games, put out by White Wolf Game Studios. All these games use the Storyteller rules system and are put out by White Wolf publishing company, and thus the names of the groups. The FAQ for alt.games.whitewolf can be found at http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Dungeon/7960/WoD/faq.txt

alt.games.vampire.the.masquerade is an ingame forum to converse In-Character. It is not an online game, there are no storytellers, there is no plot. Contributors are trusted to act with a sense of 'fair game' in their posts and their characters. You do not need to describe your character actions or speak in the second person. The FAQ for this group can be found at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6242/2agvtmq.html

alt.games.vampire.tremere - A newsgroup for Malkavians to post in character, and out. The FAQ for this group can be found at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/6242/agvtfaq.txt

[4.04] Where can I get more info on real vampyres?
alt.culture.vampires is a place for those who are involved with blood-fetish activities, people who just have a taste for blood, people who live vampiric life-styles, people who think they're vampires, people who know they're vampires, vampires, vampires who think they're people, and people who want to argue with people believing in any of the above. This This newsgroup is not intended to be yet another watering-hole for persons posting in the characters of their favorite role-playing games. Rather, it is intended to discuss the impacts of real vampirism on real people (and real vampires), in real lives. The FAQ for this group can be found at http://earthops.org/a-c-v/faq.html.

For other resources, refer to the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

[4.05] What are some other Internet vampire resources?
There is occasionally a lengthy post listing vampire related web sites. Watch the newsgroup.

For other resources, refer to the Traditional FAQ located at http://www.altvampyres.net/newsgroup/faq.

PART 5: CREDITS AND SPECIAL THANKS
[5.01] Who has helped to make the Traditional FAQ (from which this document was condensed) possible?

Extra Special Thanks go to:
Travis S. Casey for starting this whole FAQ thing up and maintaining it for as long as he did; and to

Robert Herrick for maintaining it, expanding it, and putting up with a lot of bullshit while doing so; as well as to

Clint Hauser for taking it over from Robert and updating where necessary; and
Baby Jinx for stepping forward until Lucadra could be convinced to give it a go, and to

Lucadra, wherever you are; and again

Barbara Kuehl (Baby Jinx), for picking up the ball when Lucadra disappeared and then

jetgirl, for a year and a half of careful nurturing and headaches and for building the original and subsequent spiffy home for us at http://www.atlvampyres.net/newsgroup/

Special Thanks go to:
Peter Wake
Alyce Wilson
Steve Fellows
Erika Michele Tatsuhwa
Gary Lee Hoke
David C. Mudie
Vlad III
Cathy Krusberg
Vance: The Dark Watcher
The Dark Prince
Emrys
WhiteDeath
Greg Palmer
Geoffrey Brent
Rakshasa
Patrick Johnson (additions/corrections to section [2.06])
Thornleaf (additions/corrections to PART 4)
Lucy (additions/corrections to section [2.06] and PART 3)
Travis Casey (addition of section [2.13])
the folks at rec.arts.comics.misc, Titan Comics in Dallas, and Cathy Krusberg (addition of section [3.02])
the folks at rec.arts.anime, rec.arts.anime.misc, and Cathy Krusberg (addition of section [3.03])
stef-zodiak and the people from alt.config for section 1.08
Bill Thompson, a/k/a Honest Igor
Brian Combs for being an untidy webmaster and forgetting to delete the old alt.vampyres FAQ