Whickering Place is a multilayered supernatural thriller with a love story and internal/external conflicts. One of the external conflicts involves a vampire cult that is actively and successfully recruiting, and you know … just killing a few people along the way.
As a little introduction, I thought it might be interesting to cast some light and history on this subculture and direct you to some online research for those who might like to know more.
Although in Whickering Place, The Colony is a dangerous, demon-obsessed, human-sacrificing group, I’ve also included other characters who consider themselves vampires (or sanguinarians) but don’t want anything to do with demons or hurting people. And that’s really more like the individuals I’ve read about in my quest to find “real-life” vampires.
A modern-day vampire is also known as a sanguinarian. In short, this is one who actively practices the consumption of blood. This may be several times a week, daily, or just every so often. It is considered an “alternative lifestyle.” Most sanguinarians/vampires are quick to insist they only do this through very safe practices with willing donors who’ve had their blood checked for diseases, and death is never a part of it. Often the incisions are made in the fleshy areas of the body (shoulders are popular). This may be done with razor blades, scalpels, needles, or special instruments for just this purpose. There may be a sexual component to the act or not. Some vampires are “psychic energy” vampires and do not consume blood at all.
Back in the nineties, long before Twilight or True Blood but around the time when the Interview with the Vampire movie came out, I read a nonfiction account of a journalist who went into various cities to interview individuals who lived their lives as vampires (some openly, some secretly). Now, there are numerous writings about the subject. An article from The Guardian reports on Merticus, a member of Atlanta’s Vampire Alliance, who lives a normal life as an antique dealer, a husband, and a vampire. The same article also illuminates results from a study in which vampires from 40 countries were found to have a much higher incidence of illnesses (including asthma and endocrine disorders).
Another article in Bustle details facts about real-life vampires, such as many sanguinarians begin drinking blood in high school, they only want willing donors, and they don’t create other vampires by biting them (in case you were wondering).
Both of these articles suggest you may have vampires living in your neighborhood and not even know it.
And even National Geographic has a nice little overview of the historical to post-modern vampire. Through the ages, many deceased individuals have been mistakenly deemed a vampire due to shrinking skin which makes teeth appear elongated and purge fluid that seeps through the mouth and nose of a decomposing corpse. Fascinating stuff.
So, if you want to delve a little further into the question of whether vampires really do exist, I encourage you to take a peek at a few of the online articles. You may never look at your neighbors the same way again.