alt.vampyres Header

home        people        fiction        artwork        fun        faq        submissions

Traditional FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for alt.vampyres
Traditional Version 7.0

Welcome to the Traditional (by which I mean the incredibly long version that's been passed from FAQkeeper to FAQkeeper and posted for the past several years) edition of the alt.vampyres FAQ. Direct your attention to for an HTML version of the condensed posted document.

I've undertaken a quest... to unearth the beginnings of this newsgroup. The first step has been accomplished, i.e. I've located the original control post for alt.vampyres! Please direct your attention to section [1.08] where I've inserted the post ahead of stef-zodiak's history essay. Once Deja gets their archives prior to May, 1999 indexed for their search engine, I shall ferret out the original proposal... I hope.

As always, if you have any comments or corrections to this document, please direct them to

Find a pillow for your chair, brew a pot of coffee, sit back and get comfortable... this is a LONG 'un!



[1.01] What is this newsgroup about?
[1.02] Is there some form of netiquette I should follow if I post?
[1.03] Why do you spell "vampyre" with a 'y'?
[1.04] Do you REALLY think vampyres exist?
[1.05] 'So-and-so' can't be a vampyre! He posts during the day!
[1.06] This group is full of posers. Stop pretending!
[1.07] Why are there different versions of the FAQ posted to this newsgroup?
[1.08] Where did this newsgroup come from?

[2.01] What powers are most commonly ascribed to vampyres?
[2.02] What are the vulnerabilities of vampires?
[2.03] How does physical illness affect vampyres?
[2.04] How can one kill a vampyre?
[2.05] How does one become a vampyre?
[2.06] What types of vampyres are in existence?
[2.07] Are vampyres REALLY the 'bad-guys'?
[2.08] What is porphyria, why is it called "The Vampyre Disease"?
[2.09] What is "Psychic-vampyre"?
[2.10] Will a "REAL" vampyre please come turn me into one?
[2.11] Vampirism -- What's In It For You?
[2.12] I've Heard That Vampirism Is Really Due To a Vampire Retrovirus. Is This True?
[2.13] What are dhampirs/dhampires?

[3.01] What books about vampyres are currently available?
[3.02] Where can I get a list of vampire comics?
[3.03] Do vampires appear in anime? If so, which ones?
[3.04] Where can I get a list of and information about vampire movies?
[3.05] Are there any organizations I could join?

[4.01] How can I find out more about _Forever Knight_?
[4.02] Where can I get more info about _Interview with a Vampire_ and the rest of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles?
[4.03] Where can I get more info on White Wolf's "Vampire: The Masquerade"?
[4.04] Where can I get more info on real vampires?
[4.05] What are some other Internet vampire resources?

[5.01] Who has helped to make this Traditional document possible?


[1.01] What is this newsgroup about?

There are many things that this group is and isn't about. Some topics which have been the themes of lengthy discourse in the past have included: blood drinking, sensitivity to sun, definitions of 'vampire', morality, physiology, love, psychic abilities, intelligence, longevity, history, mythology, crossing water, image reflection, the hunt for victims, vampires in film and literature, financial security, lifestyle, clothing, dentistry, music preference, food preference, disease-resistance, religion, and reproduction.

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. This is one of the few places on the Internet that allows people to share theories, ideas, and creative works concerning the life and times of vampires.

But as varied as the collective taste of this group is, lines have to be drawn at some point. For instance, we welcome fiction involving characters from the White Wolf gaming system, but questions regarding rules are probably best asked in one of the groups listed in PART 4. Before posting, please look at PART 4 to see if we have listed any places where your questions might be better asked. Chances are, if you ask about any of those topics on alt.vampyres, you will probably just be referred to those places anyway.

Some things this newsgroup is not is a forum for picking up new vampire boy/girlfriends or becoming the newest member of the undead in your town. This group is not meant for the discussion of vampires in real life (see PART 4 for places that are), so chances are you would be barking up the wrong tree by asking here.

[1.02] Is there some form of netiquette I should follow if I post?

Although the standard form of netiquette should suffice, there are a few things that are never received well when posted on this particular newsgroup.

- 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. As a group, we may be inclined to laugh at anyone who assumes titles or makes grandiose statements about themselves. The way to achieve respect in this group is to post things of interest, allowing the rest of us to notice the positive contribution you make. If you intend to post things for the sake of annoying people or because you can't find a better way to spend a Friday night, we intend to exercise our right to ignore you, or flame you until the stench of napalm overcomes you!

- Any post which attempts to refute or degrade us by using religious references is generally seen as being destructive in nature. Although there *are* people in the group who are religious, the theme is *NOT* religion, it's vampyres. We abide by the same netiquette used throughout the Internet, and we ask our new posters to please do likewise. Discussions intended to evolve into religious flame-wars are best suited for private e-mail.

- Posts that are written with the intent of simply being silly can get a lot of people angry. There are those of us who subscribe because we honestly wish to discuss topics centered on vampyres. Posts that take subjects and then subvert them into endless threads of private jokes, are exceptionally unfair to other readers and are best confined to e-mail. Although this NG is not nor will it EVER be moderated, the subject up for discussion here is V*A*M*P*Y*R*E*S. If you need help in determining whether or not you should post something, take another look at question [1.01]

- If you stay around the group long enough you will discover many professions are represented here. Among the most common are those built upon the 'Scientific Method'. We have Behavioral Scientists, Research Scientists, Medical and Biological Researchers posting regularly, not to mention those working in the fields of Mathematics, Physics and Statistics. It should therefore be quite clear to you that anyone making posts regarding 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 1700 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]. 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.

The people on this group who write as if they were vampyres are not intending to mislead anyone; they are (probably) doing it purely for entertainment, creating a sort of interactive story in this group. At least, that's what you have to hope... Unfortunately, like most of the groups which discuss fiction or myth from a non-academic standpoint, we occasionally get some idiot who feels that anyone who would discuss something that (in his/her/its opinion) does not exist... must be stupid or have some psychological problem.

DO NOT BOTHER REPLYING TO THESE PEOPLE!! There are two reasons for this:

- There are people out there who, when they find someone who has accidentally left their account logged in, will use it to post this kind of degrading crap to a group. In this case, the person who actually posted the stuff will probably never read your reply.

- Those who do this from their own accounts are generally looking for attention in their own twisted way. Replying to them will only encourage them to keep on. Just hope that the losers will go back to harassing the people on instead of us.

We know what we are discussing is worth our time. If someone can't accept that, it becomes his/her/its problem, and all the posts in the world won't change that.

[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 (being 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 to the newsgroup.

[1.08] Where did this newsgroup come from?

Here, presented for your reading enjoyment, please find the original control post for alt.vampyres which has been referently archived by those lovely folks at alt.config.

Sender: (Usenet)
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 <>]

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.


[The CyberDen] [ moon!cyberden! ]

(all text copywrite by stef-zodiak who was there)

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

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

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
actually read.

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


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.


[FAQ note]
To the above, I add the only other rumour I have heard about how this newsgroup came to be and that is some of the aforementioned malcontents apparently were evicted from alt.books.anne-rice for persistently posting off topic. It seems they insisted on discussing vampyres in general rather than Rice vampires exclusively. But that's only a rumour.


[2.01] What powers are most commonly ascribed to vampyres?

There are many, 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 question [2.05], and at the non-fiction books listed under question [3.01]. With that said, here are some of the powers traditionally ascribed to European vampires (the kind most often portrayed in movies and literature)...

- Ability to change shape... common forms assumed are: wolf, bat, rat, cat, owl, fox, weasel, raven, spider, scorpion, moth and fly.

- Strength, speed and sensory perception far greater than that of humans.

- Ability to summon and control animals, particularly rats and wolves.

- Mind-control... may command mortals, strike fear with a look, or cause selective amnesia.

- Ability to control the weather... summoning rain clouds and fog.

- Ability to command some form of magical or mystical beings, with the implicit idea that the vampyre is in league with an evil entity.

- Can transform its body into mist or dust.

[2.02] What are the vulnerabilities of vampires?

- Weakened or harmed by sunlight. Although this vulnerability seems very prevalent, there are notable exceptions to it. As mentioned above, Dracula was relatively unaffected by sunlight. Poppy Z. Brite's vampires were only sensitive to the sun, not harmed by it.

- Repelled/harmed by religious symbols. This appears to be a subject of great debate. A very prevalent belief, is the symbol itself is useless unless the wielder possesses a strong faith in the efficacy of the symbol, as a despoiler of evil. As such, the symbol is just the vehicle for the faith of its holder, and the actual symbol need not be religious. There is a movie in which a yuppie dispels a vampire by holding up his wallet! Apparently, his faith in money was enough that he could harm the vampire. Again, it was the faith and not the symbol that mattered.

- Repelled by garlic and/or wolfsbane. During the Middle Ages when an illness would appear in a town, it would at times be attributed to the appearance of a vampyre in the area. These people would often be fed garlic that would, due to its antiseptic nature, destroy the bacteria causing the illness. This led many people to attribute garlic with the added property of a "vampyre repellent". As with everything else, this is not a wholesale answer to why garlic is given the properties it has, but it does offer at least one, up to now, acceptable explanation. Again, this doesn't seem to be universal. Its inclusion in the vampyre mythology may be due to the belief that since wolfsbane supposedly repelled werewolves (it's mild medicinal uses gave it a reputation for being magical during the plague years), it would exert a power on vampires (who are lumped in with lupines because both were supposed to be supernatural), as well.

- Unable to cross running water, except at the ebb and flow of the tide. The reason for this is linked to the reason why vampires do not cast a reflection in mirrors. In the case of a reflection, the reflection was thought to be symbolic of a person's soul, something a vampire was thought not to have. Most mirrors, at the point in time that many of these beliefs were springing up, were not any better than a standing stream of water, so the water became associated in a fashion with the mirror.

- Can't enter the home of someone without an invitation

- Cannot pass a thicket of wild rose or a line of salt

- Has to stop and count every grain in a pile of grain (type of grain varies)

- Does not cast a reflection. In some areas, vampires are believed not to show in photographs, and in some, they are believed not to cast shadows.

[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 include:

- Immobilized/destroyed by driving a stake through the heart. Some legends say the stake must be of a particular type of wood (generally ash, hawthorn, maple, blackthorn, buckthorn, or aspen), and some say that the stake must be driven through in one, continuous, blow.

- Cutting off the vampire's head. Some legends say this must be done with a grave digger's shovel. The two above things, cutting off the head and using a stake, have a common origin in the belief that the brain and the heart were the seats of life and power in living things. If you put a piece of wood through the heart, there is a good chance that you're going to kill whatever it is. Also, if you cut off a vampire's head, you are cutting it's brain off from the rest of its body, therefore, you are cutting it off from its life-force.

- Burning the vampire. This seems to be a relatively universal method of destroying vampires, in both legend and fiction.

- Cutting out the heart and burning it.

- Dispelling the vampire with holy symbols and/or water. This idea seems to have come about through Christian beliefs, because vampires were postulated by Leo Allatius, and later by Dom Augustin Calmet, to be somehow related to Satan. One further method of dispelling or harming vampires was by use of the Eucharistic Wafer (the bread used in Holy Communion, which is believed to be mystically transformed by blessing, into the actual flesh of Christ). Today, with the characterizations of vampires, given by modern writers, this belief is not widely utilized. (See also question [2.07])

It should be kept in mind that, although these practices are supposed to harm a vampire, they also tend to put a hurting on mortals as well. As a result, any attempts made in the early years of human lore to destroy vampires by these methods were pretty well guaranteed to work... Make what you will from that.

[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:

- Suicide

- Excommunication, dying unbaptized/apostate, or anything else that puts one "outside of the church"

- Being a wizard/witch

- Having been a werewolf

- Having your parents curse you, as in "May the earth reject you!"

- Being born with teeth or with a caul (sometimes specifically a red caul). In this case, it may be possible to prevent the change by burning the caul and feeding the ashes to the baby.

- Dying and having a cat or other animal jump over the corpse before it gets properly buried.

- Possessing red hair. This is from Greek Mythology and probably has some roots in the belief that Judas Iscariot was a redhead.

- Being a victim of unavenged murder.

- Being a seventh son. This, like many of these other things, was related to the Catholic Church. Anything that was not of it or that posed a threat to it would get you damned, and what was more damning than being a vampire?

- Being sexually promiscuous.

- Being the offspring of a woman and a demon or an incubus.

- Being bitten by a vampire. In some versions, the victim has to die from the bite to become a vampire; in others, three bites are necessary.

- Drinking the blood of a vampire.

If it is suspected that someone is likely to become a vampire, it is possible to prevent the occurrence by using one or more of the methods for destroying vampires listed above or by burying the suspect body face downwards. In Eastern Europe, it was common to periodically check suspect bodies to see if they showed any signs of vampirism. Similarly, in China potential vampires were not buried until after they had decayed considerably.

[2.06] What types of vampyres are in existence?

This is a "sampler" of vampire legends from around the world. 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].

- Asasabonsam: W. African. Folklore of the Ashanti people. Asasabonsam are human looking vampires except that they have hooks instead of feet and iron teeth. The Asasabonsam are tree dwelling vampires that live deep in the forest. They sit in the tops of trees with their legs dangling down which enables them to catch their victims with their hooked feet. They tend to bite their victims on the thumb.

- Baital: Indian. These vampires natural form is that of a half-man, half-bat creature roughly four feet tall. They are otherwise unremarkable.

- Bajang: Malaysian. The bajang normally take the form of polecats. Sorcerers could enslave them and forced to kill the sorcerer's enemies, and some families were believed to be hereditarily stalked by the bajang.

- Baobhan Sith: Scottish. The baobhan sith (pronounced buh-van she) are evil fairies who appear as beautiful young women and will dance with men they find until the men are exhausted and then feed on them. The baobhan sith can be harmed and destroyed by cold iron.

- Callicantzaros (also spelled as Kallikantzaros): Medieval and Modern Greece. According to Christian Greek folk belief, a child born during the time from the beginning of Christmas to New Year's Day (or, in some versions, to Epiphany, Jan. 6) will become a callicantzaros. The callicantzaroi are also active as a threat to normal humans during this same period. Then they roam the country side and enter villages at night but sleep in caves during the day time. They often appear in half-human, half-animal shapes. At the end of this period, they travel down caverns or other tunnels to Hades in the bowels of the earth. There they would remain until the next Christmas. While on the world's surface, a male Callicantzaros is apt to kidnap a mortal woman to bring her back with him to the underworld as his bride and have children with her who also became callicantzaroi. To prevent an infant of two mortal parents born during the proscribed Yule Tide season from becoming a callicantzaros, the infant was sometimes held feet down over a fire by one of the parents until the toenails were singed. It was said that the first victims of a callicantzaros whose parents were both mortal were often his own brothers and sisters, whom he was apt to bite and devour. The callicantzoroi are actually closer to werewolves than they are to vampires - there is no direct connection with blood drinking - but they frequently are described in non-fictional books about vampires.

- Ch'ing Shih: Chinese. Ch'ing shih appear livid and may kill with poisonous breath in addition to draining blood. If a Ch'ing Shih encounters a pile of rice, it must count the grains before it can pass the pile. They can be harmed and destroyed by normal weapons and by sunlight. Their immaterial form is a glowing sphere of light, much like a will-o'-the-wisp.

- Civateteo: Mexican. These vampire-witches held Sabbaths at crossroads and were believed to attack young children and to mate with human men, producing children who were also vampires. They were believed to be linked to the god Tezcatlipoca.

- Dearg-due: Irish. The dearg-due is a standard European vampire, except that it cannot shapeshift and may be defeated by building a cairn of stones over its grave.

- Empusa: Ancient Greece and Rome. Empusas appear as either beautiful women or ancient hags. They are strongly related to the incubi and succubi (q.v).

- Ekimmu: Assyrian. These are vampires of the spirit variety. They are naturally invisible and are capable of possessing humans. They can be destroyed by using wooden weapons or by exorcism.

- Hanh Saburo: Indian. These creatures live in forests and can control dogs. They will attempt to lure or drive travelers into the forest to attack them.

- Incubus: European. Incubi (plural of incubus) are sexual vampires. They are spirit vampires of a demonic nature. The general way they feed is by having sexual relations with the victim, exhausting them, and feeding on the energy released during sex. They may enter homes uninvited and can take on the appearance of other persons. They will often visit the same victim repeatedly. A victim of an incubus will experience the visits as dreams. The female version of an incubus is a succubus.

- Jaracara: Brazilian. Normally appearing as snakes, jaracara are said to drink the milk of sleeping women as well as their blood.

- Krvopijac: Bulgarian. Krvopijacs (also known as obours) look like normal vampires except that they have only one nostril. they can be immobilized by placing wild roses around their graves. One way to destroy a krvopijac is for a magician to order its spirit into a bottle, which must then be thrown into a fire.

- Lamia: Ancient Greece and Rome. Lamias are exclusively female vampires. They often appear in half-human, half-animal forms and eat the flesh of their victims in addition to drinking their blood. Lamias can be attacked and killed with normal weapons.

- Loogaro: West Indies. Appearing as old women, these vampires go abroad at night as blobs of light, much like the will-o'-the-wisp.

- Mulo: Gypsy. Gypsies all over Europe generally believed in the mulo. The mulo was the spirit of a person dead and buried which left its corpse in its grave at night and returned to the corpse at dawn. The mulo was generally invisible but was often believed to be visible to certain people, in which case it usually appeared in the original form of the dead person.

Some Gypsy clans believed that their muloes were too loyal to their clan to trouble them. But in the cases of clans who believed otherwise, especially in Balkan countries such as Kosova, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia, the mulo often played the role of the vampire.

The vampiric mulo most often preyed upon sheep and cattle. But there were some Gypsy villages in the Balkan countries that had tales of entire households being victimized by a mulo. In the Balkan countries, the adult male mulo would typically come to visit his widow at night to resume his relationship with her. If the deceased was an adult male who had died unwed, his mulo might visit a woman whom he had loved during his lifetime. In some versions of the belief, he would be visible to his widow and act kindly towards her, helping her with household tasks and regaining her favor. In another version, he would be visible to her but would make demands for good tasting food, but always rejecting what she offered, and at the same time was invisible to other family members, often behaving much like a poltergeist. In a third version, the mulo is invisible even to his wife - but he lies upon her and rapes her while she feels paralyzed and is unable to cry out to others sleeping in the household; the widow becomes sick with terror, refuses food and drink, and eventually dies.

Some Gypsies in Kosova once believed that a brother and sister born together as twins on a Saturday could see a vampiric mulo if they wore their underwear and shirts inside out. The mulo would flee as soon as it was seen by the twins.

A Gypsy practice in Moravia, now the eastern province of the Czech Republic, was to use a hen's egg to bait and ambush an invisible, vampiric mulo. When the egg suddenly disappeared, the men would fire their guns at the spot.

In spite of the fact that Gypsies believed the vampiric mulo to be a spirit of the dead separate from the physical corpse while it is active among the living, they also believed the male mulo was capable of impregnating women, often their widows. The resulting child was variously called a "vampijorivic", a "vampiric", or a "lampijerovic", which all mean "little vampire". Another name for such an offspring is "dhampir". They were generally thought to be fated to become undead vampires after their death unless measures were taken at burial to prevent this such as driving a stake into the heart of their corpses, decapitating the corpse, or cremating it.

But it was also believed that such offspring, while still alive, were able to see the undead vampires invisible to most others. Such a living male offspring would sometimes become a professional vampire hunter and destroyer. This belief was shared by some of the Serbs who had their own dhampirs. Typically, a dhampir would fight the invisible vampire on open ground, either defeating it with the blows of his fists and kicks of his feet or shooting it with a gun. There are also cases where a dhampir would detect the grave of a vampire and destroy it by shooting a bullet into the corpse or by older and more traditional means such as staking, beheading, and cremation.

The natural male offspring of a dhampir were also believed to be dhampirs, and so the profession of vampire hunting was often an inherited career. At least as late as 1959 in Kosova, there were dhampirs still in the business of hunting down and destroying vampires.

- Nachzerer: German. These are ghosts of the recently dead that return to kill their families.

- Nosferatu: Central and Eastern European. The "traditional" vampire described in Dracula. Most vampires appearing in movies and books are of this sort.

- Rakshasa: Indian. The Rakshasas are powerful vampires of the spirit variety. They usually appear as humans with animal features (claws, fangs, slitted eyes, etc.) or as animals with human features (flattened noses, hands, etc.). They often appear as tigers. In any form, rakshasas are powerful magicians. They eat the flesh of their victims in addition to drinking blood. Burning, sunlight, or exorcism may destroy Rakshasas.

- Shtriga: Medieval and Modern Albanian. The Albanian Shtriga, like the ancient Roman Stryx, is a witch who preys upon infants by drinking their blood at night. But instead of transforming into an owl when she goes for her midnight snack, she is more apt to take the form of a flying insect. As recently as the early 20th century, many Albanians regarded the Shtriga to be the most common cause of infant deaths. (See also Veshtitza.)

- Strigoi: Medieval and Modern Romania, including Transylvania. The feminine form of the name is Strigoiaca. The terms obviously derive from the name of the ancient Roman blood-sucking, shape-changing witch, the Stryx. They apply to either a person who is already an undead vampire, a Strigoi Mort, or to a Strigoi Viu - one who is still living but born predestined to become an undead Strigoi Mort. In most ways, the Romanian Strigoi Morti resemble the undead vampires found in other Eastern European countries. They can be destroyed after exhuming their dormant bodies from the grave by such typical means as impaling them with a stake or by cremating them. And they were frequently blamed as the cause of death in cases of epidemics - with the dead victims frequently becoming Strigoi Morti, too. The Strigoi Vii are more unusual. According to old Romanian folklore, a person who is born with a caul (a veil of fetal membrane still attached to the head), with a small tail, or under other certain peculiar circumstances, is a Strigoi Viu. While still living, he develops certain supernatural powers. The Strigoi Viu is not a blood drinker - but his powers include what could be called psychic vampirism - he can steal the vitality of his neighbors' crops and animals to enhance his own. Also, he can leave his body at night in the form of an animal or a small spark of light that can be seen flying through the air. Sometimes it was said that a Strigoi Viu took animal form by stealing the form from the animal. The Strigoi Vii join together in covens and meet with the Strigoi Morti on special Sabbath nights such as the Eve of St. George (April 22) - the same auspicious night when Jonathan Harker meets Dracula in his castle in Bram Stoker's novel.

- Stryx: Ancient Roman. Stryx literally means "Screech Owl" in Latin but the ancient Romans also applied the term to witches who transformed into screech owls at night and, in this form, preyed upon infants by drinking their blood and sometimes eating their internal organs as well. The Latin feminine plural form of "stryx" is "striges". In the modern Italian language, "striga" has become a general word for "witch". What we know about the original lore is what was written by Ovid (43 B.C -?). In his book _Fasti_, he includes a story about an infant who was attacked each night by a flock of striges who drank blood from wounds they inflicted upon his breasts. The demi-goddess Crane is his savior. In a way, she is like Stoker's Dr. Van Helsing. As part of her ritual to ward away these vampires, she sprinkles the door way with "drugged" water and places a branch of hawthorn in the window. In much later European lore, hawthorn is often as effective as garlic for the purpose of warding away or confining the undead vampires and the best material for stakes to pound through their hearts. (See also Shtriga, Strigoi, and Veshtitza.)

- Vampyr: Serbian. The vampyr is naturally invisible, but can be seen by animals or by a dhampir. A dhampir is the (living) offspring of a vampyr, and is capable of seeing vampyrs and of harming them physically. Dhampirs would often hire out to destroy vampyrs. Vampyrs cannot shapeshift.

- Veshtitza: Medeival and modern Montenegro and Serbia - a blood drinking witch who has similarities to the ancient Roman Stryx and the Albanian Shtriga. The soul of a Veshtitza leaves her body at night and enters the body of a hen or a black moth. In the body of such a creature, she flies about until she finds a home where there are infants or young children - she drank their blood and ate their hearts. The veshtitze would join together to form covens. The members of a such a coven flock together in the branches of some tree at midnight on certain nights to hold a meeting while they snack upon what they had gathered earlier in the dark. Since it was a common Eastern European belief that witches in general became undead vampires after their death, it seems likely that the natural death of a Veshtitza does not end her drinking habit.

- Vrykolakas: 17th - early 20th Century Greece. The term derives from the Southern Slavic name Vorkudlak which can either mean an undead vampire or a werewolf. In Greece and the Greek islands, the name Vrykolakas (plural: Vrykolakes) has variants such as Vourkalakas and Vrukolakas. On the island of Crete, the name is frequently replaced by "Kathakano". At least in some mountain regions on the mainland, the term Vrykolakis could apply to a shepherd still living who is compelled at nights when the moon is full to go about biting and eating both man and beast. But most generally it was applied to dead people who return from their graves. Most frequently, these revenants brought death to the living. When a dead person was suspected of being a Vrykolakas, his corpse was exhumed to see if it had resisted decay. Also, there was a religious practice of exhuming all corpses after three years from their original burial. Typically, an exhumed corpse appearing undecayed was also bloated and ruddy. This was often interpreted as evidence that the dead person had become a Vrykolakas and had gorged itself with the blood of its victims. A person could become a Vrykolakas after his death by having been excommunicated, having committed a serious crime, or having led a sinful life. Those who were conceived or born on a holy day were predestined to become undead Vrykolakes. Even if a person died without these taints, he was apt to become a Vrykolakas if a cat jumped over his corpse before burial. Though the undead Vrykolakes were most active at night, they could also go about during daylight. They were only obliged to be in their graves on each Saturday. According to one report from the 17th century, the undead Vrykolakes would go about knocking on doors at night and calling the names of the inhabitants. Anyone who answered such a call was doomed, but those who resisted were spared. Perhaps this is the origin of the modern literary tradition that a vampyre cannot enter a home unless invited. They may be destroyed by exorcism or burning. Yet another recourse to getting rid of a Vrykolakas was to rebury his corpse on a dessert island. This was done in belief that a Vrykolakas could not cross sea water. - Wampir: Polish and Russian. Wampiri appear exactly as normal humans and have a "sting" under their tongue rather than fangs. They are active from noon until midnight. A wampir may only be destroyed by burning. When the wampir is burned, its body will burst, giving rise to hundreds of small, disgusting animals (maggots, rats, etc.). If any of these escape, then the wampir's "spirit" will escape as well, and will later return to seek revenge. These creatures are also called vieszcy and upierczi.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive. Some other regional variants on the vampire are: dracul (Austrian), kwakiytl (American Indian), lobishomen (Brazilian), murony (Wallachian), ogolgen (Bohemian), otgiruru (African), oupir (Hungarian), owenga (African), talamaur (Melanasian), vapir (Bulgarian), avarcolac (Romanian), sharabisu (Babylonian), brucolacas (Greek), kattakhanes (Singhalese), khadro/dakini (Tibetan), kalika (Hindu), aulak

[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. It may have developed among the European nobility due to the large amount of inbreeding occurring at the time.

In 1964, in an article in the _Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine_, L. Illis proposed that porphyria might be an explanation for werewolf legends. More than 20 years later, in 1985, David Dolphin presented a paper at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science proposing that porphyria might be an explanation for vampire legends. It was later refuted by other professionals as unlikely due to the fact that the only form of porphyria that could have contributed to this was the rarest form and occurred in very few people throughout history.

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). In addition, some kinds of porphyria are associated with epilepsy. 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.

In short, the hullabaloo over porphyria and vampirism that went on for a short time was simply a typical media overreaction to anything that might heighten circulation/ratings. It affected the lives of many people who had porphyria in a negative way with people calling them and asking if they were vampires, and, in one instance, a woman's husband leaving her because he was afraid he would be bitten and have his blood drained by her while he was asleep. So please take anything you hear like this with a grain of salt and take the time to investigate for yourself.

[2.09] What is a "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. So if you make such a request you are publicly expressing a desire to escape into the fantasy world you have seen in these media. Don't embarrass yourself. Your request will win you more flames and ridicule than actual discussion about vampirism. Further, anybody on this group who would have the power to 'turn' you would be putting him/herself in grave danger (no pun intended) by exposing his/her true nature.

You might also want to consider that someone who _truly_ believes he/she is a vampire is more likely to be a criminally insane than undead. Do you really want to invite a dangerous psychopath to come and suck your blood out...?

Should you become the unfortunate recipient of a ton of private e-mail from somebody who wishes you to turn him/her into a vampire (and if you stick around long enough, it will probably happen), the best course of action is *not* to just ignore it. That type of person tends to be quite persistent. Instead, write back to the person and explain succinctly that the power to create vampires in not in your hands, and any further requests concerning being 'turned' will result in you mailing the requester's postmaster. This may not be the friendliest way of handling these people, but it seems to be the most efficacious.

[2.11] Vampirism -- What's In It For You?

Honest Igor posted the following 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.



You've seen the brochures and the posters, you've watched "Interview With the Vampire" sixteen times this week, and you've decided that the undead lifestyle is just the thing for you. Why not? You've heard that vampires are wealthy, powerful and sexy, not to mention immortal and magical. Quite a package, isn't it? You can't wait to get your vampire kit and put on that black cape!

Wait. Stop. Think.

Becoming a vampire is a lot like buying a car. You want the fastest, shiniest, sexiest machine around, with all the options. Oh, baby, it's gonna be so *kewl* when you cruise downtown in it! But then you discover sticker shock. The better something is, the more it costs. And the upkeep! There's insurance, gas, repair bills and parking fees. Plus, if a cop doesn't bust you because you couldn't control the urge to put the pedal to the metal, you can count on someone stealing your car, stripping it and dumping the chassis in Hoboken.

Okay, you'll settle for a used car. The up-front price is lower, insurance costs are minimal, and not even the little old lady from Pasadena would steal that rustbucket of a Pinto. Of course it only gets three miles per gallon, it breaks down every week, and the best girls wouldn't be caught dead riding in it. Bummer, dude!

And that's just for cars. The lifestyle decision of joining the ranks of the undead is an even tougher call. Does it surprise you to hear that the movies don't tell you everything about what it's like to be a vampire? (*Why* does it surprise you? Most movies are wrong about police work, medical care, war, the Wild West, race, religion, romance, sex, science, history, writing, and even about the movie business itself--so why do you expect them to get it right when they do vampires?) What to do?

Why, you need to test-drive a few kinds of vampirism before you take one home and put it in the garage! So welcome to Honest Igor's Used Vampire Dealership! We have everything to meet your needs, from the flashiest Count-cape-and-castle style of vampirism to the economical blood fetish. There are at least fifty different types of vampirism, as described in the alt.vampyres FAQ, so we can find something to suit *your* needs. Let's start with a look at a few of our more popular models.

You say you want nothing but the best? High-end vampirism, just like in the movies? Good choice! You get immortality, the power to hypnotize people and turn into a bat, and the chance to look tortured while Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata plays in the background. No one can resist you; you can collect a bevy of brides, gigolos and demented servants. You stride through the ages while lesser mortals wither and die. I haven't even begun to list all the options on this baby!

The upkeep? . . . since you ask . . .

First, you will never age or change. Sound good? Well--if you don't like your mortal appearance, don't expect much improvement. Fat? Scrawny? Weak chin? Huge ears? Those things are now forever. And if you are, say, fifteen, you will *always* appear to be fifteen. Fake ID won't do you any good. What's worse, you will always appear to be a vampire. Impressive fangs. People tend to stare at them. And you thought you felt self-conscious when you had your first pimple? How would you feel about looking like Max Schreck in "Nosferatu"?

Next, you hunger for blood. Bloodlust is every bit as real and urgent as a mortal's need for three square meals a day. You have to plan your existence around that fact. Are you good at planning? Can you identify several good places to find victims? Can you find a victim there and take blood without attracting undue attention? Can you do this night after night for the rest of eternity? Can you think straight while the gnawing hunger drives you mad? You're still mortal, so practice this by not eating for a couple of days. Then go hunting in the woods and kill a deer or squirrel. Or buy a live chicken at a poultry farm and wring its neck. Then clean it, cook it and eat it. If you can't successfully do that to a dumb animal, how can you hope to take on a mortal? Which leads to the next cost--

Killing. How do you feel about killing people? Not just your mean old math teacher or your annoying boss, but anyone and everyone? You may *think* you can control the hunger, but the plain fact is that it controls you. Once you start drinking someone's blood, you may not be able to stop. Can you take the guilt of killing a friend or relative? Or even a total stranger who never did you any harm? You're about to embark on a career which will leave behind an ever-growing number of widows, orphans and other bereaved people. You may have to spend eternity running away from your acts as a serial killer. Stop--do *not* answer this question by killing someone to see how it makes you feel.

Wealth. For some reason roleplayers expect vampirism to confer instant wealth on them; they always think they can get rich quick by expending a dozen or so character points. It don't work that way. So, are you already filthy rich? No? Well, don't worry. You can wait a few centuries while your investments mature. Meanwhile, can you afford to be a vampire? Can you pay the rent? Bribe the authorities into ignoring your depredations? Can you even find and keep a job that allows you to avoid detection as a vampire? No? Then you had better get used to poverty--moving around, hiding your coffin in storm drains and abandoned buildings, wearing ill-fitting clothes that you steal from your victims, and otherwise not impressing your potential victims with your fashion sense. Of course you're only interested in blood, so you won't care about existing in squallor.

Sunlight. As a vampire, you may not be able to tolerate sunlight. Bram Stoker's Dracula could do that, but he didn't like it and it took him centuries to develop a tolerance for sunlight. Many vampires are either immobilized or seriously harmed by sunlight. You may have to spend your days--every moment of every day--lying like a corpse in your coffin. Alternatively you may be able to remain awake during the day, but only in rooms and other chambers from which all sunlight has been cut out--windows covered by thick, heavy drapes, doors always closed and so on. This is a problem in the summer, when (give or take a half hour in the USA, depending on your geographical location) the sun rises at six in the morning and doesn't set until nine that night. Can you plan your night and finish your shopping so that you can return to safety before dawn? If you think you have a clever means of moving about in the daylight, is it reliable enough to risk your existence? Is it something that won't attract undue attention? Will spontaneous combustion pose a threat to your chosen life-style?

Society. While you're lying in your coffin, society goes its merry daylight way. Then the sun goes down. The "Closed" signs start to appear in windows, people go to bed and things get quiet. Yes, some things still happen at night. There are restaurants--but you don't eat, so you aren't a welcome customer. Plus, most people find it extremely awkward to have a meal while sitting at a table with someone who does not eat. Clubs--but you're there to satisfy your wild craving for blood, not to make friends. Things are slow at three in the morning, and even in New York or Los Angeles you may find your social life limited. There's probably no one around to see how romantic you look in your loneliness. Imagine every dateless Saturday night you had in high school and you begin to get the picture.

Of course the common European vampire exists only for blood. Once he's fed he returns to his grave, even if it's well before midnight. All he cares about is blood, so he doesn't mind the boredom. A damnably dull and dull-witted fellow, but if you're lucky you might find a more active and exciting model at our dealership. Too bad the best isn't always available, but that's the way it goes.

Other vampires. There are two kinds of vampires: people who did not want to be vampires, and people who wanted to be vampires. Those who didn't ask for it are not all happy campers, and don't enjoy the company of idiots who thought it would be *tres* nifty to go through eternity like this. Okay, you can avoid people like that. That means you can hang out with other people who wanted to become vampires. But be honest with yourself--would *you* want to spend eternity with someone like you?

And--I'll be honest here--not all vampires will keep the deal they make with you. Turn you into a vampire in exchange for feeding on your blood? No, most of them will drink your blood and leave you dead, and what can you do about it? Nothing, really--but don't blame them. There are already too many vampires in the world. Nobody wants to create more competition. Of course we're not like that, not here at Honest Igor's. Honest!

Sex. Or the lack thereof. Mortals like sex; vampires like blood. As you woo your victim she begins to imagine what will happen in bed. You move closer; she prepares for your first kiss. First base! Guess again; you slide past her lips, bite her throat and drain her blood. For you, *that* is scoring. Your instincts, drives, urges, lusts and appetites now center on *blood,* not copulation. You no longer want to have sex. And even if you happen to become the sort of vampire who can have sex--well, if you didn't just kill her when you took her blood, she's in no condition to cooperate (and if your prey is male, he's definitely out of action; that's the way matters stand, so to speak, when blood pressure and male anatomy interact). And if you choose to become the sort of vampire who is as cold as the grave, your partner is *not* going to find that comfortable, much less romantic.

Enemies. Count on it, when someone learns what you are, they'll want to destroy you. Sure, you can defeat most of them. But sooner or later someone will get lucky and destroy you. Even the friendliest mortal can turn on you. Get ready to spend eternity looking over your shoulder.

Secrecy. You can't trust *anyone.* Even if you don't look vampiric, there's still the danger of discovery. Every time you talk to a mortal you run the risk of making a tiny slip that will reveal your true nature. And if you succumb to the urge to boast, then you may as well pin a sign over your heart that reads "Insert stake here."

Natural or supernatural? Some vampires are a part of the world's ecosystem. Evolution or some other natural force produced them. They don't have magical powers, unless you think a working brain is magic--which it might as well be for some people. If you want to become the sort of vampire who can turn into a bat or wolf, or summon mists and storms, you will have to deal with the powers of darkness. Satan, the dark side of the force, or what have you; the powers of *good* do not endow vampirism on their adherents. Their price is simple: the eternal damnation of your soul, which is not a good thing. Even while you survive as a vampire you may have to disrupt your plans and obey your master's commands, like it or not. Selling your soul, for those who failed contract law, means that you surrender your freedom of will to the aforesaid powers of darkness. You give them total obedience, no matter what it costs you. And one type of vampire is a corpse possessed by a demon; if you become *this* type of vampire, what happens is that your soul--in other words, *you*--goes to Hell for eternity, while some lucky demon gets to roam the world in your (former) body.

Wait, there's more! You may manage to survive as an occult vampire for many centuries, but sooner or later your dark master will come for your soul--and eternity in hell is infinitely longer than all the centuries of your existence, longer, even, than a Sunday afternoon in Provo. Don't worry; here at Honest Igor's Used Vampire Dealership we don't deal in that sort of contract. Trust me, heheheheh . . .

And it never ends. You can't suddenly decide that you're going to become a mortal again. You have a sudden urge to go to the beach with that lovely redhead? You want to marry that handsome fellow you met in the bookstore? You want to spend two weeks in sunny Florida? Get a grip on yourself. Life is no longer an option.

What? You say that you don't to become the Bela Lugosi/Christopher Lee sort of vampire? Or one of those exotic Japanese or Hindu imports that you see on our lot? Well, okay. It's a radical lifestyle change and I haven't even scratched the surface on the costs.

Let me show you one of our spiritual vampires. You turn into a ghostly creature--ectoplasm and all that--visit people at night and have sex with them. Gosh-wow-keen! Lots of fun as you feed on their vital life forces. Just hope that nobody performs an exorcism while you're in that ghostly shape. Remember, there is always a way to fight and destroy everything. What's more, sooner or later you will be tempted to boast about your sexual triumphs. This means that in short order most people will stop taking you seriously. Then you'll try to prove yourself to them. You'll probably get arrested for attempted rape; certainly the police will try to connect you with other sex crimes. If you don't go to jail you could end up in a psychiatric institution. That's embarrassing, because we all know how hard it is to convince a therapist that you aren't crazy. Psychologists can be *so* unreasonable about things they don't understand.

Well, sir or madam as the case may be, let's move along to the next model on the salesroom floor. Kick the tires on this baby: psivamp. As a psychic vampire you can retain many--perhaps even all--of the features of your mortal life. In fact, by feeding on the mental energies of others, you can maintain your youth, vigor and mind beyond the normal limits. And as psychic feedings are hard to detect, there's less danger that someone will hunt you down and kill you.

Drawbacks? It's a rare form of vampirism, without the glamor and respect associated with graveyards and goblins. And at times a psivamp finds it hard to locate a decent meal; they still tell the sad tale of the psivamp who starved to death at the 1980 Republican Presidential Convention. What's worse, if you feed on a paranoid, schizophrenic or other mentally-disabled person, you may find yourself adversely effected. Even if you're careful and feed only on the finest minds, you have to face the fact that you are draining the people around you. They become boring, unimaginative and lethargic, which definitely puts a damper on your relationship with them. Imagine that everyone you know has turned into Dan Quayle and you've got the picture.

Besides, psivamp is a rather esoteric model. Ask yourself this: *why* do you want to suck mental energy from other people? What are you doing with the energies you already have?

Hmm--well, let's check out blood fetishism, which is the vampiric equivalent of riding a moped. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone you're interested, I know you're just asking for a friend. Drinking blood is an intimate, sexy turn-on. It's often a prelude to sex. Some practitioners hold that it will increase your vitality and prolong your life, without the awkward problems associated with being undead. You can work in an office by day, dress up in black and indulge yourself by night, and return to the mundane world the next morning.

What does the sticker say? Well, fetishistic blood-drinking is usually something that happens in the later stages of a romance. In other words you already have to know someone fairly well. Are you any good at that? You don't just walk up to someone, offer to exchange sips of blood and then head for the bedroom. Plus drinking too much blood can make you barf, which spoils the romantic mood. And, yes, you can catch diseases this way. That includes hepatitis and AIDS. Have you ever met an AIDS patient? Even the ones who can afford the best treatments are suffering, and have no guarantee that the disease won't roar back to life and kill them.

You say you don't believe you can catch AIDS? You asked your partner and he says he tested clean, honest, no fooling? Uh-oh, our credit department just showed me its report on you. Sorry, there's a definite deficit in your IQ account. Don't let the doorknob hit you on the butt on your way out--your brain couldn't take the impact.

--Igor Chompinsky 

[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!

The following letter from Professor Jon Martin, Ph.D., Associate Professor for Virology from the Mercer University School of Medicine, explains the current status of human retroviruses: "...Personally, I think the retrovirus as an explanation is a clever notion... but nothing more than that. There are only three retroviruses known to infect the human. One of them is HIV, which causes AIDS. A second one causes an uncommon leukemia (human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus; HTLV), and the third is not yet clearly associated with human disease (but is related to HTLV)."

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].

[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.

The typical dhampir story has a vampire bothering a town. A wandering dhampir comes through, hears of the town's troubles, and offers to kill the vampire, for a fee. The dhampir would go out into the town square and call out a challenge to the vampire, asking him to meet the dhampir in the town square the next day. (Vampires in these legends aren't limited to nighttime.)

The next day, the dhampir would go to the town square, do his little ritual, and wait for the vampire to show up. He'd then wrestle the invisible vampire and beat him, and chase the vampire out of town. End of the town's vampire problems.

Apparently, there were people in Romania who would wander about and perform this service for villages where the people thought a vampire had been attacking them up until very recent times. Whether they were really dhampirs or just hucksters I'll leave up to you. (Personally, I think it likely that village life was boring enough that it was worth it to pay some guy to roll around on the village square apparently fighting an invisible opponent, just for laughs.)

Dhampirs in legend don't have any other special abilities other than being able to see vampires -- apparently these vampires aren't very tough, just invisible. Just as with vampire legends, however, writers have liked the idea of a dhampir and have added to the legend when using it, often completely redoing it and just taking the name (as with Vampire Hunter D, for example).

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_.


[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 (Kitsune's page). She has an enormous collection of vampire books and her site also includes some reviews. Cathy Krusberg does excellent reviews and posts new ones regularly. A partial archive of her reviews can be found at


For a list of vampire fiction, e-mail David C. Mudie's ( for his _Suggested Reading for alt.vampyres_, or wait for it to be posted to the net.


Travis S. Casey wrote all opinions unless stated otherwise.

Barber, Paul. _Vampires, Burial, and Death_
THE book to read if you're at all interested in the origins of the vampire myth. Barber takes several actual accounts of vampire plagues, analyzes the various popular theories on where the vampire myth came from in light of them, and comes up with his own theory. Along the way, he touches on many other areas of legend and gives a great deal of detail about how bodies tend to decompose.

The following info comes from Alyce Wilson; some of it overlaps with what Travis Casey has written. The info has been reformatted to fit better into this FAQ, but the content has not been changed. Recommended Vampire Reading List (Non-Fiction) - This list may be reposted as long as this header is retained. Compiled by Alyce Wilson []. Updates/corrections should be e-mailed to above address. >:-[ (I vant to suck your e-mail account time!)

Aylesworth, Thomas G. _Vampires and Other Ghosts_. Circa 1975.
A surprisingly complete children's guide to vampires (with some inaccuracies by way of omission -- lack of space).

Brosnan, John. _The Horror People_. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1976.
A general overview of the history of horror films (primarily in America). Concerned with the *people* involved in horror films -- actors and producers/directors. Features a large section on the Hammer vampire films starring Christopher Lee.

Bunson, Matthew. _The Vampire Encyclopedia_. New York: Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1993.
A compendium of vampire lore and theory. Lists movies, myths, and literary references.

Carter, Margaret L., ed. _'Dracula': The Vampire and the Critics_. Ann Arbor, Michigan and London: UMI Research Press, 1988.
A collection of critical essays about Stoker's _Dracula_ and its connotations in society as a myth and as a novel.

Dresser, Norine. _American Vampires: Fans, Victims, and Practitioners_. New York and London: W.W. Norton and Co., Inc., 1989.
Explores the myth of the American vampire; data collected through questionnaires to students, porphyria patients and vampire fans. Additional data was taken from the media. Documents how Americans identify with and imitate vampirism.

Glut, Donald F. _The Dracula Book_. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1975.
Expands on Dracula material from his previous book. Discusses the vampire image in respect to Count Dracula. A self-proclaimed contribution to the "Draculamania" of the 1970s -- the "years of the bat."

Jones, Stephen. _The Illustrated Vampire Movie Guide_. Vol. I London: Titan Books, 1993.
It does what it says. It says what it does. A comprehensive guide to all international movies with a vampire theme or something approximating one. Even includes movies where vamps make brief appearances (such as _The Magic Christian_). Rates each movie from 1 to 5 bats.

Leatherdale, Clive. _Dracula, The Novel and the Legend: A Study of Bram Stoker's Gothic Masterpiece_. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: Aquarian Press, 1985.
Traces the vampire legend through myth and literature. Provides analytical perspectives on Dracula's role in culture and sociology.

McNally, Raymond T. _A Clutch of Vampires: These Being Among the Best from History and Literature_. 1974.
A collection of factual accounts of (so-called?) actual historical vampires, as well as some fictional stories. [McNally also wrote excellent book on historical Vlad Tepes, a/k/a. Dracula.]

Ramsland, Katherine. _The Vampire Companion: The Official Guide to Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles_. New York: Ballantine Books, 1993.
A cross-referenced guide to Rice's vampire books, as well as _The Witching Hour_, which shares some characters with _The Vampire Lestat_ and _Tale of the Body Thief_. Recommend reading the chronicles *and* TWH before reading this guide.

Senf, Carol. _The Vampire in Nineteenth Century Literature_. Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1988.
Examines the progression of vampires from myth to Gothic villain, to modern literature.

Summers, Montague. _The Vampire: His Kith and Kin_. New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, 1929.
Classic work by the noted vampirologist. Although a little difficult to read by modern standards, a valuable work because of its extensive documentation.

Twitchell, James B. _The Living Dead: A Study of the Vampire in Romantic Literature_. Durham, N.C.: Duke U.P., 1987.
Looks at female and male vampires in poetry and prose of the Nineteenth century. Good for understanding of evolution of vampire myth in literature.

Robert D. Herrick II reviews these books. If you know of more books that should be brought to my attention, e-mail and I'll check them out.

Guiley, Rosemary E. _Vampires Among Us_ New York, NY: Pocket Books, 1991.
Contains a lot of information about 'real' vampires like the vampire of Highgate Cemetery and various people who claim to be vampires. Entertaining, at the very least, it also contains a good bit of legend that is quite useful.

Melton, J. Gordon. _The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead_ Detroit, MI: Visible Ink Press, 1994.
A really good source for learning about vampires and related topics. Some of the topics seem a little cheesy (like a description of Castle Dracula), but overall an excellent buy. For $16.95 (in 1995), you just can't get more information in one place. [FAQ note: The 1999 Second Edition retails for $19.95]

What follows is a list of books prepared by London "Rakshasa" Myers that may be of interest to writers as sources of inspiration or merely to get an idea of what is out there to look at the moment for ideas and other things such as that. Many are just good reads and have already been inspirations for many people to go on with their writing. The opinions expressed below are those of Rakshasa, and not necessarily those of the FAQ maintainer. Therefore, please forward all questions about this portion of the FAQ to Rakshasa at

Bainbridge, S. (1994). _Blood and Roses_. New York: Diamond Books.
Fiction book about the "other vampire" in England at the time of Dracula. Personally I found it hard to get into.

Brite, P.Z. (1993). _Lost Souls_. New York: Dell Books.
Fiction story about three vampires-Molochai, Twig and Zillah- two friends-Ghost and Steve-and Nothing, a boy who's lost in the world. Personally it's one of my favorite vampire books.

Campbell, J.L. (1985). J. Le Fune in ed. _Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror_ (Vol. 1-3). Ed. E.F. Bleiler. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
Discusses the authors of Fantasy and Horror stories in great detail, including who or what inspired their stories.

_Vampire Stories_. (1993). Ed. Richard Dalby. Castle Books.
Forwards and introductions to some of the early vampire stories written by Peter Crushing. Stories include Carmilla, Dracula's Guest, Varney the Vampire and the short unfinished vampire story by Lord Byron.

Hurwood, B.J. (1981). _Vampires_. Quick Fox Publishing.
History and myths of vampires. Very informative book with discussions on vampires in most cultures. Hurwood goes into different ideas of where vampire myths came from and where and why myths surrounding them sprung up.

Kaplan, S. (1984). _Vampires Are_. ETC Publication.
Dr. Kaplan, a noted vampirologist, sets his findings down in a book for all us to read. The beginning of the book is about who he goes about investigating vampires and identifying fakes from real vampires over the phone. The second part of the book is information and ideas on where vampires came from, why they are like they are, the diseases that cause vampire like symptoms, vampire probability tests, and little know facts. Highly informative.

Kiraly, M. (1994). _Mina_. New York: Berkeley Books.
Fiction book about Mina's life after the death of Dracula.

Machiavelli, N. (1981). _The Prince_. New York: Bantam Books.
Not a vampire book, but a must read for anyone interested in vampires. Machiavellian theories are commonly linked to vampire powers.

Mascetti, M.D. (1992). _Vampires: The Complete Guide to the World of the Undead_. Viking Studio Books.
My personal favorite. Mascetti explains ideas of myths surrounding vampires, everything from being staked at cross roads to why vampires in the old horror movies rose from their coffins with their arms up. It's also the only book I've come across that discusses modern traditions and their link to vampire history. Mascetti discusses all the famous "Vampires" in history as well.

Rice, Anne. _The Vampire Chronicles_ (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned, Tale of the Body Thief, Memnoch the Devil)
All books I'm sure are discussed in this FAQ at length.

Romkey, M. (1993). _I, Vampire_. New York: Fawcett Gold Medal.
Fiction story of David and his fight against the historical murderer, turned vampire: Jack the Ripper. Many historical figures play vampiric parts.

Romkey, M. (1994). _The Vampire Papers_. New York: Fawcett Gold Medal.
Fictional story of David... and his historical friends... continued.

_Vampires: Two Centuries of Great vampire stories_. (1987). Ed. Ryan, A. Doubleday & Company, Inc.
Along the same line as _Vampire Stories_. A collection of Vampire stories.

_Book of Dracula_. (1992). Ed. Shepard, L. Wings Books.
Collection of vampire stories and other horror stories, including Poe and Dickens.

Shepard, L. _Encyclopedia of occultism and parapsychology. (1985). Vol. 1-3. Michigan: Gale Research Company.
Look under headings on Vampires and Sex for vampire topics. Informative on how vampires are seen though the occult's eyes, and how early Christian churches views vampires.

Stoker, B. (1992 ed). _Dracula_
Another Fiction book I'm sure the FAQ already deals with.

[3.02] Where can I get a list of vampire comics?

Here, of course. Publishers are listed after the title in parentheses where known. Titles with more than one publisher (usually due to reprinting) are separated by slashes.

Anne Rice: Master Of Rampling Gate (Innovation)
Astro City Vol. 2 #5-9 (DC: Homage)
Avenue X (Innovation)
Batman: Nosferatu (DC: Elseworlds)
Batman & Dracula: Red Rain (DC: Elseworlds)
Blade (Marvel)
Blood: A Tale (Epic/DC: Vertigo)
Blood Junkies On Capitol Hill (Eternity)
Blood Of Dracula (Apple)
BloodChilde (Millennium)
Books of Magic (DC: Vertigo)
Bram Stoker's Dracula (Topps - movie adaptation)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Darkhorse)
Carmilla (Malibu/Aircel)
Chastity: Rocked (Chaos)
Chastity: Theatre of Pain (Chaos)
Crimson (DC: Wildstorm)
Dark Shadows (Gold Key/Innovation)
Deadbeats (Claypool)
Dhampire: Stillborn (DC: Vertigo)
Dracula (Dell)
Dracula (Eternity)
Dracula: Collectors Issue (Dell)
Dracula: Lady in the Tomb (Eternity)
Dracula: Lord of the Undead (Marvel)
Dracula: Return of the Impaler (Slave Labor)
Dracula: Suicide Club (Adventure)
Dracula Chronicles (Topps)
Dracula in Hell (Apple)
Dracula vs. Zorro (Topps/Image)
Elementals: The Vampires' Revenge (Comico)
Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (Claypool)
Ghosts Of Dracula (Eternity)
Giant Size Dracula (Marvel)
Hellblazer (DC: Vertigo)
Hitman (DC)
Interview with the Vampire (Innovation)
Lady Vampire (Blackout)
Lost, The (Caliber)
Morbius (Marvel)
Morbius Revisited (Marvel)
Necroscope (Malibu/Caliber)
Night's Children (Fantaco/Millenium)
Nightstalkers (Marvel)
Nosferatu (Antarctic/Venus)
Preacher (DC: Vertigo)
Preacher Special: Cassidy: Blood and Whiskey (DC: Vertigo)
Purgatori (Chaos)
Queen of the Damned (Innovation)
Renfield (Caliber)
Sugarvirus (Tundra UK)
Sunglasses After Dark (Verotik)
Sweet #1 (Adept Books)
Sweetmeats (Tundra)
Tomb Of Dracula (Marvel)
Vampire Lestat, The (Innovation)
Vampirella (Warren/Harris)
Vamps (DC: Vertigo)
Vamps: Hollywood and Vein (DC: Vertigo)
Vamps: Pumpkin Time (DC: Vertigo)
Vigil: Fall from Grace (Innovation/Millenium/Duality Press)
Vigil: Rebirth (Innovation/Millenium/Duality Press)
Vlad The Impaler (Topps)
X-men vs. Dracula (Marvel)

[3.03] Do vampires appear in anime? If so, which ones?

Akazukin Cha-Cha *
Bastard! (ep. 4)
Bubblegum Crisis (eps. 5-6)
Cyber City Oedo 808 (File 3)
Darkside Blues
Demon City Shinjuku
Don Dracula *
Doomed Megalopolis
Dracula (based on the Marvel comic "Tomb of Dracula")
Ghost Sweeper Mikami *
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure *
Master of Mosquiton **
Mermaid Forest
Mermaid Scar
Night Walker *
Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge (all 4 eps.)
Ogre Slayer
Phantom Quest Corp. (ep. 1)
Sailor Moon Super S Special *
Twilight of the Dark Master
Urusei Yatsura (ep. 27)
Vampire Hunter D
Vampire Princess Miyu **
Vampire Wars

* not available in the US
** TV series not released in the US, but OAVs are available

[3.04] Where can I get a list of and information about vampire movies?

The following is a HUGE list of vampire movies, complete with links to each movie's listing at the Internet Movie Database.

the VAMPYRES Film list.

[3.05] Are there any organizations I could join?

Some of the following list of vampire organizations are taken from alt.gothic FAQ, maintained by Peter Wake ( I have no personal knowledge of some of these organizations, so if you get ripped off, don't blame me. Next time, don't send cash in the mail. Some of the vampire magazines listed come from

The Vampire Information Exchange Newsletter
P. O. Box 328
Brooklyn, NY 11229-0328
$4.00 gets you membership information for this group which publishes a newsletter (above) that talks about lots of real-life vampire related topics.

Nocturnal Ecstasy
PO Box 147
Palos Heights, IL 60463-0147

R.I.P. (Red Ink Pages)
424 West Commonwealth Suite 173
Fullerton, CA 92632

Vampire Research Institute
send: S.A.S.E.
P. O. Box 21067
Seattle, WA 98111

"Good guys wear fangs" fanzine
c/o Mary Ann B McKinnon, editor
284 Blunk Avenue
MI481 70

Temple Of The Vampire
Box 3582
Lacey, WA 98509
The information packet fee is $5.00; Membership dues are $10.00 per month. This is an organized religion of vampires that promotes psychic vampirism with the subsequent sacrifice of the stolen life-force to the Sumerian goddess Tiamat. These people are very serious about this--only serious requests will be honored. (FAQ MAINTAINER'S NOTE: In the past on this news group, there have been volatile flame wars surrounding the aforementioned Temple of the Vampire. There are those on this news group who believed, or may still believe, that the Temple of the Vampire was misrepresenting itself and using the facade of a religion to sell a product. As with anything of this nature, take it with a grain of salt and a bit of wisdom. I do not mean this as a denouement of the beliefs of the Temple of the Vampire but merely a warning to be careful with this group or any other.)

Temple of Set
PO Box 470307
San Francisco, CA 94147
Dues: $65/year
Membership includes: Correspondence, newsletters and bulletins, information clearinghouse.

Order of the Vampyre
PO Box 470307
San Francisco, CA 94147
Part of the Temple of Set. They publish a newsletter, _Nightwing_, and a journal, _The Vampyre Papers_. Send to the above address for information.

The Dracula Society
P.O. Box 13129
London SW20 82J
United Kingdom
Publishes "Voices from the Vaults"

The Bram Stoker Society
c/o Albert Power
43 Castel Court
Killiney Hill Road
County Dublin

Publishing c/o Jule Ghoul
2926 West Leland Ave
Chicago, IL 60625-3716
Talks about the latest information in the vampire genre like movies and music. They also sell some vampire paraphernalia. $30/year for about 12 issues. The publishing schedule is erratic, but constant. Single issues are $4 each. Reportedly, information can be out of date. It's recommended you send a SASE/IRC for info.

Phill White
82 Ripcroft
Portland, Dorset DT5 2EE
Send IRC for information.

PO Box 168
Osceola, IN 46561
A quarterly publication serving the vampire community with original fiction, poetry, artwork, book and movie reviews, fashion, legends, role-playing games, and much more. $18/4 issues (1 year), $5 an issue (Prices slightly more for international orders. Contact or visit their website at

Tammy Pond
PO Box 17006
Rochester, NY 14617-0306
Another good vampire genre magazine. A lot of people like this one. This one is finally getting active again. Due to deaths in the family and personal problems, things were on hiatus, but work has begun again. $15/year - 4 issues.

The Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club
P.O. Box 58277
New Orleans, LA 70158-8277
Basically an Anne Rice fan club. If you like the work she's done, check it out.

Club Vampyre
1764 Lugonia, Ste 104, No. 223
Redlands, CA 92374
This club publishes a magazine that contains original fiction and general information about the Gothic subculture.

Cheeky Devil Vampire Research
P.O. Box 80212
Midland, TX 79708-0212
They do research of legends and modern society concerning vampires and publish a newsletter to boot.

The Count Dracula Society
334 W. 54th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90037
A club that studies horror films and Gothic literature.

The Count Dracula Fan Club
Penthouse N, 29 Washington St. Sq. W.
New York, NY 10011
Another Dracula Club.

The Camarilla
50 South Main #25-S-8
Salt Lake City, UT 84144
A club for those who play the White Wolf game Vampire: the Masquerade and want to be known nationally for it. They also publish a fanzine.


[4.01] How can I find out more about _Forever Knight_?

Fan Club Information:

To be part of the Forever Knight fan club, send $15 (US) to:

Forever Knight Fan Club
P.O. Box 1108
Boston, MA 02103-1108

More Forever Knight Fan Clubs and Organizations can be found in the FAQ for

For more information through Internet:

There are two newsgroups dedicated to Forever Knight on usenet: - The FAQ for this group can be found at

For the general FK mailing list:
for information: send mail to
to subscribe: send message [SUBSCRIBE FORKNI-L first-name last-name] to
For the FK fiction mailing list:
to subscribe: send message [SUBSCRIBE fkfic-l first-name last-name] to
For the virtual fourth season discussion list:
to subscribe: send message [SUBSCRIBE fkv4s-l first-name last-name] to

[4.02] Where can I get more info about _Interview with a Vampire_ and the rest of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles?

The newsgroup dedicated to Anne Rice is:

alt.books.anne-rice - abar 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

or try the e-mail listserv:

for information: send mail to
to subscribe: send message [SUBSCRIBE ANNERICE first-name last-name] to

For those with access to IRC, you might want to check out the channel:


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

Newsgroups related to the game: and - Well, and 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 can be found at - A.G.V.T.M. 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. This newsgroup is... a newsgroup, not a bar, not a haven, not a hang out... it's just what it appears to be. A newsgroup. The FAQ for this group can be found at - A newsgroup for Malkavians to post in character, and out. The FAQ for this group can be found at

[4.04] Where can I get more info on real vampires?

alt.culture.vampires - 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 lifestyles, 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 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





[4.05] What are some other Internet vampire resources?

There is occasionally a lengthy post listing vampire related web sites. Watch the newsgroup.

Finally, for more newsgroups, try:

alt.books.poppy-z-brite - We're happy to have a forum for connection and discussion and welcome anybody who shares our interest in this truly wonderful writer. So don't be shy, jump on in! The FAQ for this group can be found at - the card game Jyhad (also known as Vampire: the Eternal Struggle) - is an unmoderated USENET newsgroup devoted to the discussion of the television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," herein abbreviated as BVTS. The FAQ for this group can be found at


For those with access to IRC, you might want to check out the channels:



#alt.vampyres (This one was founded by people from this group but discussions of vampyres are minimal, at best.)


[5.01] Who has helped to make this fine document possible?

Extra Special Thanks go to:

Travis S. Casey for starting this whole 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
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

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
Greg Palmer
Geoffrey Brent
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])