The name is Aleister. It is not actually my name, but its a pretty good name to go by. I am referred to by the vampire community as a “mundane”. In other words, I am non-vampiric. I was introduced to this shadowy world by my girlfriend Aura – who has been a sanguine vampire for many years. Being a newcomer to this community has given me an opportunity to make a number of observations. I’d like to keep my view completely objective – but how that will turn out, we have yet to see.
I have met some fantastic people and, contrary to what outsiders might think, there is a tremendous amount of love and friendship between them. These people are by no means outcasts. There is a huge network of vampires and everybody seems to know each other, or heard of each other. They drink blood. I’m sure they know how eccentric that seems, and jokes are plentiful in their online forums, chats and social networks.
In this day and age, the internet is the biggest information conduit and it’s no surprise that communities which lean more towards the “darkside” are online…. but – I know what you folks are thinking here. Although their names, mannerisms and dress-sense may lead one to believe this is an escape from reality, this is most definitely not the case. Vampires give themselves “nightside” names for obvious reasons – persecution. Persecution and prejudice from colleagues, parents, lovers. I’m sure there are those who are masquerading as real vampires for the sake of entertainment, but these I’m sure are the minority.
The nature of these communities is secretive to a small extent only as far as in protecting their identities. The vampires I have spoken to have been open books. They are more than happy to divulge their routines, ways and beliefs – which are vast. From Pagans to Wiccan, multi-belief structures – taking aspects of all religions – it seems all can be found under this umbrella of acceptance.
Since the media has picked up their scent, they have people believing this is something new. This, my friends, is a fallacy. Some vampires I have spoken to were already practicing in the 1980s. These myths and legends had to spawn from somewhere and, as these things go, got all twisted up. I believe religion has a lot to answer for, as it has molded peoples perception of right and wrong into something else entirely.
It has been an ongoing journey, delving into this society and I find myself fascinated more and more with the culture. I am not a conservative person but I had my doubts. This passed in a day. Just one day it took me to accept the reality that my soul-mate drinks blood. I’d say I got over it, but it’s not something to get over. It either is, or it’s not. This shouldn’t have been a hurdle in our relationship. It should be a “Hey, you’re vegetarian? That’s great! I make killer potato bake!” moment. The comments I read on a recent article about vampires were quite frankly abhorrent – that people would take time out of their lives to spout rubbish and ridicule people they knew nothing about, is beyond me.
As South Africans, change has played a huge role in our lives. Everyday we are seeing new facets of our society – and why not? I feel privileged to have this insight into a culture I was previously excluded from. I am not an active vampire, or donor. I have no intention to become one. My name is Aleister. It’s not my name, but its a good name to know you by.