I have read a little bit about the Kentucky Vampire Cult thing, and it seems to me that Rod Ferrell was unbalanced mentally and unfortunately able to influence some rather impressionable friends of his to participate in his fantasies. I do not think that the murders really were vampire-related all that much. I think it was just an excuse to engage in some senseless, brutal violence. The reason it got labelled a “vampire” crime was the media grabbed onto the fact that the group was involved in playing the roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade, and any mention of vampires in relation to crimes or violence is a surefire way to grab readers'; attention and sell more papers. That's unfortunate but true, at least in this country. Hopefully, people in other countries have more taste than that. 🙂
These days, people are really going in for vampires in a big way. Anything from the RPG game Vampire: The Masquerade to Anne Rice's vampire books (and movies). That has its good points and its bad points. On one hand, more people like vampires; on the other hand, it makes more people want to be “fashionable” and want to be like the glamorous, powerful vampires the see on the big screen and read about. Where do “real vampires” fit into all this? Well, a lot of vampire fans and those who want to be like vampires see us and either don't know the differences between us and the fictional vampires, or don't take the time to learn, or don't care. Some read up on people like us and then still want to “be a vampire”, not making the distinction still. We get barraged with pleas to make them into vampires, etc. It gets annoying, lol.
Also, with vampires so popular, they are higher in more people's minds, and not all of those people are mentally stable. Some are psychotic and use “the vampires” as an excuse to release their violent tendencies, as in the case of Rod Ferrell, as well as the more recent incident involving the boy from Wales who killed an old lady in an attempt to become a vampire because he wanted to become immortal. Of course, most real vampires are not any more violent than any other person, but the media still has a heyday warning of the dangers and how evil, nasty or dangerous those who claim to be “real vampires” are.
There are those who just like to dress the part and live a “vampiric” lifestyle, going to Vampyre clubs and other vampire-related events. They are fine with me. There's something to be said about the “vampyre” fashions and styles, clubs and events. It's an outgrowth of the Gothic subculture, for the most part, but it's evolved into it's own subculture, and is distinct from Gothic.
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