Capes, fangs, a dislike for garlic and a fear of crucifixes. These are images one might commonly think of when considering vampires. However, wanted by the US government and holding a 10 year reign as one of the world’s premier blood suckers, Steve Leighton is here to explain it isn’t all Blade and Buffy in the world of the un-dead. On a dark autumn night, from Steve’s home in a secret location he tells us the truth about vampirism, and what it takes to be one. Let’s begin an interview with a vampire.
I am a real vampire. I appreciate that for many this is a rather strange topic, and will be approached with a rather substantial level of scepticism, which, truth be told I kind of like. However, believe or not, I am a real vampire.
I like to think of your arrogance to the truth about us, as the Headache Paradox. We know without a shadow of doubt that there are zero pain receptors in the brain, though we all get inflicted with painful headaches from time to time. We then seek remedies and ailments for this condition, which scientifically simply cannot exist, yet they do and there isn’t a person on this Earth that would disagree with that. We vampires are simply a headache people refuse to accept.
Now, I am but one of an unknown number of real vampires in this world and a figure of fear, lust, deception and curiosity for many. Unnecessarily though I’d like to add, as I’m pretty much just like you.
Firstly, I’d like to clear something up. Sunlight does not affect us. Of course we prefer the night; I myself am almost exclusively nocturnal these days. However, when need be I can brave the sunlight as easily as any human. Secondly, many of you will think I’m crazy. Many of you will discredit my claims and that is fine. I am not a vampire for anyone’s approval, I am a vampire because this is the path set before me, it’s a path I cannot veer from and a path I frankly, don’t want to veer from.
I am not alone in this either. There are hundreds, thousands, who knows, maybe even millions of us on this planet. If you are one, or think you might be, consult my website and I can help. For those of you still sceptical, check my website for vampire clubs in your area, review the ‘how to find a real vampire tab’. There you will find a comprehensive listing of the traits to look out for and I’m sure you’ll be chillingly surprised as to what you will find.
My story has been somewhat of a solitary one. My upbringing, though not essentially different to any other young boy growing up in 1980’s New York State, did have some notable effects on my decision to embrace vampirism when I was 25. I was never overly religious growing up, and to this day I am still not particularly close pals with Mr Christ and his buddies. That’s to say, I certainly did not follow the same path as Reverend Bill Schnoebelen during his account of vampirism. Which I would like to point out is a farcical as the rest of his bull shit claims. That man was no more of a vampire than I am Lycan. I’m surprised you gave him the opportunity to voice his laughable opinions in the first place. But I digress.
As a young man I was very good in school. I had a natural affinity in sport, and was part of both the swim team and the soccer team. I also achieved very good grades in all of my classes, all but the early morning ones. Even back then I was generally nocturnal and always had an underlying curiosity as to why. I was also developing quite quickly as what I like to call an ‘energy user,’ drawing energy from my surroundings and my classmates. The resulting affect was the ability to excel in many things my classmates simply were not able to complete as efficiently.
I was awakened when I was 25. I was turned by a vampire who I cannot name for fear of the repercussion’s I may incur on both myself and this magazine. Also, the details of the turning I do not want to deeply discuss as that will equip wannabe’s and poser’s with the necessary knowledge to start claiming they are brethren of mine.
The decision to become a vampire was one of the easiest I’ve ever been compelled to make. It was less of a new beginning as it was a welcome closure to a life in which I did not belong. It was like closing your eyes and waking anew, with a fresh, more comfortable approach to life; a welcome equilibrium.
One thing Hollywood got correct about vampirism, however, is the thirst. As soon as I was turned the thirst grew, and you must satisfy it or fear the worst. Frankly, I have never denied myself sweet indulgence, so I would not like to comment on the repercussions there in, though lack of blood for several days saps energy and your natural vampiric powers start to perish. I once went a whole month living purely off blood, and I have never felt as healthy or as powerful before or since.
Something Hollywood most certainly got wrong though is the depiction of us creeping up behind unwitting victims, grabbing them from behind and draping our long black cape over their torso to mock-German tones of “I’ve come to suck your blood”. Never in my experience has a vampire fed this way (though I have not met them all). I personally prefer the use of donors (of which I have many) and drawing the blood safely and in a measured amount. Each consenting donor is required to have all the standard blood tests to ensure of their purity before I will consider drinking them, and if they are clean I usually draw the blood with a syringe. You can pick them up relatively easily at any needle exchange. (The good folks there are well aware of us vampires’ business and are more than happy to oblige. What would you prefer, giving needles to junkies so they can pass out in a doped up haze under a flyover, or someone like me be given them to prevent me killing and drinking that sorry junkie, snoozing under the flyover?)
In terms of quantity I don’t take much, less than would be drawn at a blood bank or even by a doctor for a quick test, but it’s enough to satisfy my thirst. I have no idea how many human’s I have drunk over the years either, though the figure is probably in the hundreds by now. When human blood isn’t possible, I rely on a constant intake of animal bloods, which all have nuanced tastes and varied after-effects. For the curious check out the ‘how to get blood’ tab on my site, especially if you’re a vampire reading this and are looking for options.
Slayers are also more common than people realise. Where do you think the inspiration for Buffy came from after-all? I, myself was very good friends with a slayer for several years and even shared a bed with her on many occasions. (I actually keep my trusted knife Choppy at my bedside, with which she could have slayed me with time and time again, should she have felt obliged). Slayers are as real phenomena as real vampires, and I can only speculate on the numbers. However, it is assumedly comparable to the numbers of real vampires. These slayers are the anti-vampire. Their sole purpose is to hunt us and kill us, but only if we display an obvious intent to harm either other slayers or human beings. They also have increased abilities, better than simple humans and are more than capable of ending a vampire’s life should they feel appropriately obliged. Traditionally vampires and slayers have not co-existed, as vampires and lycans have not seen eye to eye. However, I have never experienced animosity through them and continue to count one as a close personal friend. I would actually urge all fellow vampires and slayers to be less quick to judge each other and attempt to get along for the good of both our species. That being said, I urge slayers to dispose of any vampire taking advantage of their naturally strong position over human beings. I’ll even let you borrow choppy.
Fundamentally I am no different to you than anyone else. Apart from the fact that I am living the life I was born to live and I don’t hide behind society’s deluded sense of ‘normal’. What I would like to see is the acceptance of my (imposed) lifestyle and for real vampires and humans to live comfortably alongside one and another. I would like to see a world where we can walk into a grocery store and buy a pint of blood just like any human can buy a pint of milk. The Red Cross, for example, throws away blood daily as it’s unusable in blood transfusions. I think I speak for all real vampires when I say, we would more than happily pay good money for that blood as we can still drink it and still draw the vital nourishment from it we so desperately need. The sad truth is modern society is not accepting to my species. The dismissal of vampires’ very existence, when we are as blatant and as valid as any other species is one of the only lasting prejudices still accepted by broader humanity. I would like to see the end of this imposing social regime and allow others to be as liberated as myself.