Vampyr F. A. Q.


Do Vampires Still Exist?

There is little tangible evidence available on the existence of Vampires, and undue weight has to be placed on circumstancial evidence.

1. Every occurrence of human combustion - especially 'spontaneous' combustion - needs thorough examination. In practice, this is patchy and details often emerge too late for firm conclusions to be drawn.

A trickle of reports has arisen in Eastern and Central Europe, most provided by professional Vampire hunters. Several isolated reports have come from urban areas in the USA - 50% of these in New York.

2. Vampire-Typical injury reports (neck bites, severe bleeding from small wounds), also need investigation. This is almost impossible, as no health service categorises wounds in a useful way - and victims often go to great lengths to disguise or deny such injury.

3. Exsanguination deaths and missing bodies: A significant number of such events have occurred in key locations; reports of body snatching have continued, some with no evidence of external assistance, and few with any possible motive for such theft.

4. Vampire sightings have increased in recent years; this may be in part due to unwelcome and inaccurate televisual displays - a badly educated public is in increasing danger, and compounds this by false reports

Verification is difficult, but there is sufficient circumstantial evidence, and individual experiences, to assert that not only do Vampires still exist - but they are thriving.


Is anyone still investigating Vampires; Where?

Most sightings, and indeed most legends, still arise in Central Europe; there is little doubt that the species arose in this area, and was probably confined there until about 150 years ago. Recent evidence suggest that the anonymity of large cities has attracted an fast-growing network of vampire communities, attracted by a transient, dislocated population, as well as an active nocturnal life. Most serious researchers are at work in the great cities of the western world, with just a few in the Carpathian Mountains.


Do Vampires Turn To Dust When Staked?

In a word, No. This device, popularized by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was actually a television convenience devised by Joss Whedon to evade the need to justify a stack of corpses littering the graveyards. Staking actually starts an incendiary process, likely to end in a pile of fine white ash, with some boney remnants.


Do Crucifixes Kill Vampires?

A wooden crucifix could cause serious superficial burns, and, given enough time, could prove fatal. But this is a chemical effect, not a religious one. Many vampires are of devout Christian, Central European descent, and a crucifix could well trigger severe guilt feelings; in some cases, self-loathing. But not fatality.


Do Vampires Fear Water?

Yes; A vampire really is an incendiary device waiting to be detonated (check the theory), and water, even steam, presents a real risk to the vampire.


Can Vampires Fly?

Only if they get a ticket. Vampires have been shown turning into bats, wafting effortlesly upward, even leaping out of windows with a 'bat flight' soundtrack to suggest flight. It's all hokum; an exhausted vampire could not fly across Los Angeles and look fresh afterward, any more than I can - whatever Nick Knight might suggest. And why a vampire should even want to turn into a swarm of bats, as suggested by The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, beats me.

Vampires can probably utilize stored energy better than normal folk, and a vertical leap - or rapid escape from pursuit - might suggest flight. But it's not.


Are Vampires Evil?

Not necessarily; vampires just "are"; as a lion is not evil when it kills a zebra, so a vampire is not evil for feeding off a person; living creatures do what they must to survive. The consensus is, however, that for the most part, Vampires are "not very nice".

However, like the fox killing all the chickens in the hen house, rather than just the one, some Vampires are particularly unpleasant - and as they have intelligence, those that choose such a lifestyle are probably evil. Just as some humans are evil ...


Have Vampires Evolved?

Vampires - as we know them - have been recorded since the 1400s, but almost certainly have been around pretty much unchanged, for eons.

Given the unique nature of their lifestyle and physiology, it would be logical to assume that if they have survived this long that they may have evolved in order to survive.

Long-lived creatures are doomed to evolve more slowly, whatever the pressures on them; a longer life means fewer generations, slower reproduction and so fewer opportunities for evolutionary change.

Evolutionary changes should be counted in the thousands of years rather than decades or even centuries, but the nature of viruses and the nature of vampires may have allowed for some crossover; Vampire legends constantly link vampires to the natural world - bats, wolves and crows have all been associated, and though most of such tales are pure tosh (or pure Hollywood!), we do not have any deep knowledge of the more distant past.

Parasitic organisms might appear to have the freedom to reproduce at will; but most are subject to limitations, in some cases a complex life cycle, involving more than one host species, in others a simple population pressure.


Are There Vampire Communities?

Vampires tend to live alone or in small coummunities, sometimes refered to as covens. Vampires who allow their community to grow too large risk discovery and destruction; individuals and small groups might get by for ages - especially in isolated communities. The act of vampirification creates a potential competitor, as well as a blood relative - a community that can support one vampire's appetites might not be able to support two; from such instability mobs, riots and flaming torches are born!


How Do Vampires Survive?

The advance of technology must pose a threat to the vampire; bureaucracy, finger print identification and security photography may force vampires to finally decide whether to risk life within the 'normal' community - or to survive in the netherworld of the drug and crime community, illegal immigrants and the homeless: they must be tempted to want the advantages of each, without the disadvantages of either. I suspect a fear of the tightly-ordered modern world will make the decision for them.

Long life brings opportunities and knowledge; a stable community has the chance - and the need - to plan for the long term. Legends of lonely castles and huge empty estates are probably close to the truth.

The modern equivalent would be the Swiss bank account, the off-shore trust ... but still an emphasis on property, the safest deposit of them all - and the one vital to the Vampire life style.

The vampire down on its luck would be at the mercy of everything life could throw at it - including sunlight - and would probably not survive for long.



Thanks to PK (private), for raising interesting questions