WITH their sharp fangs and predilection for blood, vampires have become the stuff of legends.
But are they really a myth – or is there truth behind the pale skin and tortured souls?
Could an individual, cursed to eternal life while having to feed on human blood and not being able to see their own reflection or be caught on camera (what, no selfies?!) exist?
Could these predators, who are able to travel faster than the speed of light but not enter a home without being invited in, really walk this earth?
We’ll let you make your own mind up about that one.
However, there certainly are individuals who do believe they have the dangerous traits of a vampire.
“Vampire killer” Mathew Hardman murdered an elderly woman and drank her blood in North Wales in 2001.
The tragic widow, 90, was found with 22 stab wounds and her heart had been removed and placed in a saucepan on a silver platter.
And in one recent case, a teenager let her drunk boyfriend cut her arm and drink her blood while discussing vampires, before stabbinghim during an argument.
Victoria Vanatter, a 19-year-old from Missouri, has pleaded not guilty to domestic assault after the attack with police revealing they had found “I’m sorry” scrawled in blood in the room.
The teen allegedly confessed to investigators that she regularly cut herself to drink her own blood.
But the teen is not the only one to claim to enjoy drinking blood.
In another case, a paedophilevampire had sex with a 14-year-old girl in a Catholic church before drinking her blood in a twisted sex game.
The paedophile Jonathan Davis slit young girl’s wrists, licking their blood in deranged games.
The man often shared photographs of himself on social media, posing with swords and knives appearing to be covered in blood.
Other cases include that of Tracey Wigginton with the woman jailed for nearly 23 years for the brutal murder of a man in Queensland, Australia.
The woman became known as the lesbian vampire killer after she and three other women lured a man into a car before stabbing him 27 times and drinking his bloood.
Recently released from prison, the woman is said to be remorseful for her crimes.
Not all people claiming to be vampires, or being fascinated with the idea of drinking blood, have violent tendencies.
Georgina Condon, 39, from Brisbane, Australia,has drunk the blood of willing donors for more than 20 years.
The woman started drinking blood when she was just 12-years-old, slowly becoming more vampire-like by lightening her skin with talcum powder.
While claiming she drank the blood of her loving boyfriend, she admitted he didn’t like it.
People have claimed to enjoy drinking human blood with hundreds of forums springing up online to help people locate “donors”.
“Vampires” have shared their stories of how they realised they shared more in common with the mythical creatures than humans, with many trading tips on how to feed and how to find people willing to have their blood drunk.
Joseph Laycock, an assistant professor of religion at Texas State University, has said there were many types of vampire.
He said: “Most vampires say that feeding helps them to sustain their health.
“Sanguinarians consume blood while psychic vampires believe they absorb the ‘subtle energy’ or life force from other living things. There are also ‘hybrid’ vampires who engage in both types of feeding.
DrEmyr Williams, a psychology lecturer from Glyndwr University, has claimed there could be up to 15,000 vampires living in the UK.
Speaking to the Daily Star, he said: “Some books say there are between 10,000 and 15,000 people in the UK who call themselves vampires, with maybe another 30,000 being donors.”
Let’s hope they’re all as good-looking as Edward Cullen.
Folklore has portrayed vampires as undead beings who feast on the blood of innocent people.
But the legends of blood-sucking vampires could have been based on real people, experts have revealed.
A team of scientists at Boston Children’s Hospitalbelieve a rare genetic mutation could have caused some people to display traits of “vampires”, leading to the fictitious characters we know about today.
The condition erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), is a blood disorder that affects kids, causing their skin to become very sensitive to light.
The condition affects the body’s ability to make heme, which helps make haemoglobin – part of our blood that helps carry oxygen.
It means their iron levels are too low.
Dr Barry Paw of the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center explained: “It makes them feel very tired and look very pale with increased photosensitivity because they can’t come out in the daylight.”
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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero