• Graveyard Shift

Modern Vampires and How They Practice the Ancient Art of Drinking Blood

How do modern vampires drink blood? When it comes to cinematic, full-blown IRL Gothic horror, nothing compares to the delicious terrors a plasma-slurping vampire cult can conjure up. (Most people, in fact, immediately think of Hammer Horror or serial murders committed by white faced, clove-smoking '80s kids). But the fact is that many “serious” blood drinkers (or “sanguinarians,” as many of them prefer to be called), regard their beliefs and practices as being close to sacred.

Information on these movements is admittedly scarce, and serious studies on them are mostly to be found within academic sociology departments; but rest assured that these present-day Nosferaturians are out there gorging themselves on the “elixir of life” as we speak, and they're probably closer to you than you think - especially if you live in a vampire-associated metropolis like New Orleans. Here's some of the most noteworthy contemporary cults/organizations.

  • The Atlanta Vampire Alliance Looks for Donors to Donate Their "Life Force Energy"

    Photo: Hammer Horror

    The Atlanta Vampire Alliance (or AVA) claims to accept members from both “sanguinarian and psychic” backgrounds; they're also clear on the fact that they're not a role-playing group, or a “religious, spiritual, or occult entity.” Rather, they define themselves as an organization devoted to “individuals who cannot adequately sustain their own physical, mental, or spiritual well-being without the taking of blood or vital life force energy from other sources, often human.”

    Blood is obtained through willing donors, most of whom are found through networking within the group. All participants are encouraged to procure blood testing for safety reasons, and to make their arrangements through written or verbal contract.

    How is the blood administered? According to an interview last year in The Guardian, “modern vampires get their sustenance through inch-long incisions made by a sterilized scalpel on a fleshy part of the body that doesn't scar,” and sometimes medical personnel even facilitate operations... just, you know, to be safe.

  • Sanguinarius Helps Vampires Drink Blood - And Avoid Cult Brainwashing

    Photo: Hammer Horror

    Sanguinarius.org is a vampire community resource. Despite its reputation as a cult, it's actually an organization devoted to bringing the vampire community together. In fact, it even has a “cult danger awareness” section, which warns against the threats of “brainwashing,” “mass suicides,” and other pitfalls commonly associated with Manson-like depravity.

    The group claims to promote “safer feeding practices” and strives for “acknowledgment of donor concern," and they're quick to explain that everything they do is strictly legal and by the books: human blood always comes from willing human sources, and animal blood generally comes “fresh from the butcher,” or from “rare-cooked meats.”

    In other words, no sacrifices or nocturnal nabbing of possums.

  • The New Orleans Vampire Association Is for Blood Drinkers and Do-Gooders

    Photo: Film Arts Guild

    The New Orleans Vampire Association (or NOVA) is a non-profit organization comprised of seven “houses” (all bearing enigmatic names like “House of Mystic Echoes" or “Esoteric Gateway Order"). This organization is different in that it's focused on community outreach that goes beyond "mere" vampirism: members regularly feed the homeless and organize community benefits for the poor at Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas.

    According to an article in the The Washington Post, many of the organization's donors are friends who simply volunteer their blood, and some donate it for money, like one would at any other blood bank or plasma center. Sometimes, too, members merely decide to approach individuals they think might be into it. (According to the author of this story, who did volunteer his blood for the sake of a juicy tale, the consuming vampire used a disposable scalpel to make a prick in his back, then “put his mouth over the warm liquid, and lapped it up.")

  • Voices of the Vampire Connects Blood Drinkers Through Their Facebook Page

    Photo: Columbia Pictures

    Voices of the Vampire, or Vampire Community News, is an organization that facilitates a wide variety of balls, get-togethers, and other events, and endorses safe blood-drinking practices. “We are physically human, and susceptible to human diseases,” the group's Q&A reminds active blood drinkers; and organization founders advise human donors to always “supply medical documentation to show they are free of blood-borne diseases.”

    Feeding is done according to personal preference (i.e., open-mouthed or tubal), and the group's active Facebook page contains discussion on many feeding-related issues. It also contains links to many scholarly resources, like TED Talks on “how young blood might reduce aging.”