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WHAT IS A VAMPIRE?

For all practical purposes, real vampires are people who - for whatever reason - have some sort of undetermined deficiency that is best resolved with regular intake of either life energy or blood (or both.) Such individuals may have varying degrees of psychic/psi abilities in addition to vampirism. Without feeding, vampires tend to feel "under the weather", cranky, and/or have physical side effects that only resolve after feeding.

The "what is" question is a particularly thorny question within the community because it's quite common for people to take the approach that vampirism, as THEY experience it, "is the only true vampirism" out there and that everyone else is just pulling stuff out of their arse.

We are in all walks of life: A real vampire may be your teacher, your mechanic, your club's DJ, your doctor, your nurse, your next-door neighbor, the help desk person walking you through your computer problems for the umpteenth time, even the person sitting next to you in the pews at church or temple!

Some of us are also goths (and thus have a tendency to wear a lot of black) but many ARE NOT - and can be found in business suits, casual clothing, or even wearing fashionable designs!

ARE YOU PEOPLE ALL VAMPIRES?

Many of the staff and some of the regulars are vampires, but there are plenty more who are not, who just come to hang out for conversation with friends. It is important to remember this, as not everyone has the personal experience to answer some vampire-related questions.

DO YOU HAVE TO KILL PEOPLE TO FEED?

Good gracious, no! We don't need that much in a single feeding - up to a few teaspoons is commonly mentioned - anyone who's killing is several cards shy of a full deck and is of questionable sanity.

HOW DO I KEEP PEOPLE FROM FINDING OUT?

Play it cool, man... Seriously, don't be nervous about it. If you're nervous, people are going to start wondering what's up, and start pestering you to find out why you're acting weird. If you're relaxed about it, they're not going to give it a second thought.

IS VAMPIRISM A RELIGION?

Vampirism itself is not a religion, no.

There are, however, people who do incorporate vampiric concepts into their spiritual practices, but this is NOT representative of the vampire population as a whole. You will actually find a variety of spiritual practices ranging from Christianity, to Wicca / Paganism (which seems to be common, but not a requirement), Muslim, Judaism, even as far away (religiously speaking) as atheism.

IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN CANNIBALISM AND VAMPIRISM?

Definitely not! It is no more cannibalism than oral sex, breast feeding, or swapping spit. Cannibalism involves eating the flesh, which is something not required by vampires.

(Accusations of this nature are typically made by heavily relgious anti-occult types or so-called "occult researchers" that spread more fearmongering than valid information. You'll have to excuse anyone in channel who gets a bit peeved at that - these are the same types of people that lump real vampires in with psychos and serial killers.)

CAN SOMEONE BE TURNED INTO A VAMPIRE? / WILL YOU TURN ME?

No, and no. Sorry. Can't be done no matter how much you beg, plead, or offer money.

THEN HOW DID YOU PEOPLE GET TO BE VAMPIRES?

We were born this way. No, we *don't* know why. And while there are enough theories to make your head spin, there's nothing concrete as even a *potential* cause at this time. (It's one of the reasons we encourage people to explore medical research as a career option...we want to know just as much as you do!)

WHAT ABOUT THE V5 OR K-17/RVK-17 VIRUSES?

The "V5 virus" was promotional material for a BBC-4 series called "Ultraviolet" back in 1998. (No, this is NOT the recent American movie.) You can read the wayback machine's archive of the developer's website (circa 2003), or the IMDB entry if you are having doubts. It actually was NOT a virus in the show! Just a means to identiy vampiric persons - it was referred to as "Code 5" when spoken in dialogue, but displayed as "V5" when written on things. If you can find it, it is highly recommended as being worth the time to watch. View the plot synopsis and details.

The "K17 / RV-K17" virus was promotional material for an Australian movie called "Reign in Darkness", in 2001. You an see the Wayback machine's archive for the character pages of Michael Dorn, Gage, Dr. Swift, and Lance as well as the plot summary and the movie's fictional theory. You should note the name of "RapidFire Productions Pty Ltd" at the bottom of the plot summary and theory pages - that is an Australian movie company (also known as "Cascade Films Pty Ltd").

CAN YOU TELL ME IF I'M A VAMPIRE?

Not over the internet for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it's hard to rule out all mundane causes of symptoms just from an internet conversation.

There's a reason we recommend everyone get checked out by their doctors - it's to be certain there aren't any mundane causes - i.e., diabetes, lupus, etc. You also need to investigate the side effects of any and ALL drugs (prescription OR recreational) you're taking to be certain they're not causing any problems either - don't depend on your doctor, because 99 times out of 100 they like are NOT going to be familiar with every little side effect, especially the rare ones (Dilantin's photosensitivity, for example), or they may chalk up the known side effects that you're experiencing to "it's all in your head" (the joint pain, inflammation, headaches, general malaise, etc. from Statin drugs is a prime example of symptoms often being blown off by doctors.)

Minimum testing recommended: "CBC with differential", "Chem20"/"Complete (or Comprehensive) Metabolic", FULL thyroid panel (Free T4, Free T3, TRH, TSH, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies, etc.), Anemia testing (Ferritin, Folate, Iron, TIBC, Transferrin Saturation, B12, clotting factors), and Autoimmune testing (ANA, CRP, ESR/Sedimentation Rate, Fibrinogen, HLA-B27, Homocysteine, Rheumatoid Factor, Tumor Necrosis factor, Uric Acid). Most of these will be covered under insurance, if your primary care doctor writes out the form. Explain that you want a "*complete* baseline set of tests" to compare changes to as you get older. That generally works, though I've had to check off the additional boxes as needed on occasion if the doctor pulled a "just smile and nod" routine. (I'm a firm believer in as much information as possible at one shot. I mean, as long as they've got a needle in you anyway for tests, might as well get them all done at the same time...:) )

Get copies of your bloodwork results - fight with your doctor if you have to! - and look them up yourself on LabTestsOnline (all the links above come from there). The site doesn't have the suitable ranges, but if you have your paperwork, you HAVE the ranges right on there, and the paperwork will tell you what's out of range and how extensively - the website will tell you whether being out of range is an issue.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, MY MEDICATIONS MIGHT AFFECT ME?

Any prescription - or non-prescription - medical (or recreational pharmaceuticals, shall we say...) has effects on the body besides the one(s) it's intended for. You need to be aware of the side effects of ALL medications you may be taking, whether occasionally or daily, so that you can account for any and all possible influences on what you're experiencing.

Just one example, some pain medications - or even antidepressents - can cause photosensitivity...or an upset / painful stomach when you don't eat regularly. Topical ointments can even cause photosensitivity! (This is by no means a complete list of any possible side effects - most drugs have a laundry list of at least 20-50 side effects you need to be aware of before blaming something else for your troubles.)

Living on fast food and junk food can cause a LOT of malnutrition issues that most conventional doctors will treat by medication, rather than educating you on what you shouldn't be eating. Malnutrition issues WILL aggravate any side effects issues, simply because your body doesn't have the proper fuel with which to counter the negative effects of the medications.

You can check out the information and side effects of your prescription medications here at RXList - just type in the drug name (generic names will work too) and it'll spit back the results - click "Side Effects" in the left hand column (and enable Javascript) and you'll see all the potential problems. Chances are likely you'll have the generic form in your medicine cabinet, so just compare the version name of generic listed on your pill bottle with the results on the website.

BUT REALLY, I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT I AM!

Sorry, we still can't tell you. Same reasons as were just stated. Asking in IRC despite this won't get us to make exceptions for you.

OTHER FAQ LINKS FOR MORE DETAILS:

SphynxCatVP FAQ pages
Sanguinarius FAQ pages
Lono676767's FAQ
Sarasvati's FAQ
Vyrdolak's FAQ


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