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                                REALM OF THE VAMPIRE

                   




Welcome to the on-line version of REALM OF THE VAMPIRE.  Excerpts from various issues are included here.



From REALM OF THE VAMPIRE #9:




                                                                                        


                                                                     
 

THE REAL DRACULA

                                                                by Thomas Schellenberger



    
   
If  Bram Stoker's Dracula did not already have a pale complexion, he certainly would have paled at hearing the atrocities of his alleged real-life counterpart, Prince Vlad Tepes, whose name is becoming as much of a household word.
   
    Scholars Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu have been credited with bringing the fifteenth-century monarch to the attention of a modern world that merely considered Dracula a product of some writer's imagination.  A number of biographers, however, from many different lands, have long chronicled the tales of Vlad III (or IV or V?  There has been controversy over the number of Vlads up to Dracula).  These historians presented varying accounts.
   
    "Did Dracula really live?  Was he actually a vampire? Did he drink blood?"  These are the most frequent questions put to me, and I am so weary of them that one day I might say that Vlad the Impaler truly was one of the undead and still walks the Earth today (though the real Dracula was never associated with vampirism while he lived, some superstitious peasants in Transylvania fear that he does still stalk the populace or that his spirit haunts the island where he is said to be buried).
   
    Vlad Tepes, also known by his enemies as "Sir Stake," "The Berserker," and "The Bloodthirsty Monster" (while it has been stated that Dracula drank blood symbolically McNally and Florescu dispute it), Tepes is considered one of the most colorful and controversial figures in Romania's history.
   
    He is colorful in that he is a major drawing factor in American and Western European tourism and controversial in that his background and image have often been confused and misinterpreted (the Romanians allude this to the novel and motion pictures.  While they are clearly resentful of the "vampire" representation of whom they contend was a gallant hero, they still like to play on the myth for the sake of gaining the American dollar).
   
    Yes, the Romanians do consider Dracula a great protector; an equivalent of George Washington who, like Vlad the Impaler, repelled an awesome invader and established a capital city.
   
    There are some Romanian citizens, still, who regard the ruler as strictly a madman whose barbarianism could never excuse the so-called "defense" of the kingdom.  This was because many of Dracula's own subjects were victims of his cruelties.
   
    All concur that the Prince was a sadistic leader whose deeds or misdeeds were not easily surpassed by other monarchs, before during, or after.  He perhaps would have made even Hitler wince.
   
    Dracula was born in 1431 (500 years prior to the making of the first American Dracula film, which solidified our country's love affair with the Count) in a small town known as Sighisoara.  The house of his birth, described by McNally and Florescu as a "typical German burgher's house," still stands today (a few heads popped out of the windows when I was there.  No, they were not descendants of the Prince, but the men who maintain the place).  A plaque hangs on the wall outside proclaiming that Vlad Dracul, Dracula's father, lived there in 1431.
   
    During that same year, Dracula's family was invested with the Order of the Dragon by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund of Hungary.  Those bestowed by the Order, founded in 1418 by Sigismundo enlisted in the defense of the sovereign of the Order and his family, battled the infidels (particularly the Turks, who threatened to overrun Eastern Europe and make it a Moslem state), and perpetuated the memory of the condemnation of the "heretic" Jan Hus at Constance in 1416.
    
    Dracul (also a violent man, his name meaning "dragon" or "devil") was the illegitimate son of Mircea the Great, Prince of Wallachia.  It should be mentioned at this point that the nation or Romania was not yet to come into existence until after World War I.  Instead, the area consisted of three separate provinces Wallachia, Transylvania, and Moldavia.
   
    In 1436, Dracul, who had become a military commander after receiving the insignia of the Dragon, ousted his half-brother, Aldea, from the Wallachian throne.  He occupied it until 1442, then from 1443 to 1447.
   
    Dracula (the "a" on the end of a name means "the son of") was the second born of the next generation. The eldest was Mircea, the favorite of Dracul who was to escape a fate that Dracula and younger brother, Radu, were soon to suffer.  Later, another Vlad was born, who would become a monk and Wallachia's ruler in 1481.
   
    The Turks, whom Vlad II and his heirs were bound by oath to oppose, had gained the upper hand against the Hungarians by conquering Serbia and Bulgaria.  Indeed, Eastern Europe was again in jeopardy of being dominated by the Muhammadans, and Dracul's stronghold would naturally be included.
   
    Following the death of Emperor Sigismund, Vlad II yielded to pressure and broke the trust placed in him. He signed an alliance with Murad II, the Turkish sultan, which allowed him to remain on the Wallachian throne if he agreed to assist the Turks in the looting and killing of his own people.
   
    Janos Hunyady, the newly appointed governor of Hungary, was understandably upset with Dracul over this development and led an army into the Prince's land to depose him.  Dracul and his family fled to Turkey when Hunyady's soldiers invaded, after which a new ruler, Basarab II, was placed on the throne.
   
    A year later, with Turkish aid, Dracul was returned to power, but under certain conditions.  One was that he pledge never again to participate in military action against Turkey, and that he offer yearly contingents of Wallachian children for the purpose of enlisting in the Turkish janissary corps.
   
    In accordance with the second term, Dracula (at the time, age twelve) and Radu (age nine) were made hostages by the Turks to ensure Vlad II's good behavior (Mircea was allowed to stay, since he was the first heir to the throne).  The Turks had planned to instruct the two Wallachian boys in the ways of their land, but would shape the elder one into a creature destined to cause much death and destruction (one might say that the Turks were creating a "Frankenstein monster").
   
    Dracula felt betrayed, of course, by his father, and would remember his Turkish captors who mistreated him and his younger, weak-natured brother.
   
    It was during this young, impressionable age that Dracula received a penchant for torture.  The future impaler practically made a hobby out of killing, bribing his guards to bring him birds and other smaller animals to "stake" on small sticks.  This could have suggested Renfield, the mental patient in Stoker's novel, who constantly pleaded with the attendants to bring him insects to consume.
   
    Dracula's captors were amused and impressed by the lad's growing ferocity and felt that he would be ideal to serve in his father's place as Prince of Wallachia.  They were also confident of Dracula's continued loyalty to them in spite of his belligerent attitude (were they in for a rude awakening).
   
    In the meantime, Dracula's father, in an attempt to renew his "Dragonist" oath, had put his own salvation and what he claimed his country's ahead of that of his two sons.  Dracul and Mircea had launched a new offensive against the Turkish army, and it was a miracle that Dracula and Radu were not put to death because of it.  When Dracul had later learned that the two boys were still alive, the Turks again sought a promise of obedience from him.
   
    It was not too much later when Janos Hunyady, whose hatred for Dracul had intensified over the years due to pro-Turkish policies and political disputes, led another invading force into Wallachia.  This time it was a success, as Vlad II and heir Mircea were now dead.
   
    In 1448, young Dracula (who was alone; Radu chose to remain with Sultan Hurad) was given an officer's rank in the Turkish army.  With help from his Moslem "friends," Dracula seized his late father's office.
   
    The new sovereign was fearful of being murdered by the same conspirators who had done away with his family (some of Vlad II's own men had assisted
Hunyady in the coup), so after two months, he fled to Moldavia where his uncle, Prince Bogdan II, ruled.  Three years later, Dracula made an unlikely friend: Hunyady.  The "Son of the Devil" apparently felt that he had little choice in joining with his father's killer, since Bogdan had just been assassinated by a foreigner and the Turks were again on the move after defeating Constantinople.
  
    Neither Dracula nor Hunyady ever fully trusted each other.  Relations had deteriorated, though, between Hunyady and his former protégé, Vladislav II, so Dracula turned out to be the only one he could rely on to help battle his enemies, the Turks.
   
    With the fall of Constantinople, the new Turkish sultan had determined to destroy what was left of Eastern Europe, and Dracula was assigned by to defend the Transylvanian border.  The position of military commander, as his father before him, made Dracula a candidate for the Wallachian throne, which he finally resumed by force in 1456 after Hunyady's death by the plague.
   
    Dracula's reign of terror had actually commenced during this second "cycle."  The Voivode had a good memory and demonstrated that he was not a forgiving person as he executed the boyars who plotted against his father.  He also showed that he would never favor the Turks, as he always welcomed the opportunity to slay one or several.
   
    One of the most popular stories about Vlad Tepes involved two Turkish Tourists who refused to remove their turbans when the Prince passed by on the street.  They explained that it was against their custom. Dracula then informed them that he would like to strengthen their custom,so he ordered his men to nail the Turks' turbans to their heads.
   
    Historical texts have been inconsistent on some of the accounts discussed thus far, but all agree on the viciousness of Prince Vlad Tepes, unparalleled by many.
   
    As any student of Dracula should know, Vlad III's favorite form of execution was impalement on a wooden stake, a nostalgic remembrance of his childhood pastime.  Death by this method was not always instantaneous, as the edge of the shaft was blunted and smeared with oil.  With the intended victim's legs spread apart, the stake was usually driven up the anus until it emerged from the back of the neck.
   
    Over 30,000 foreigners and Wallachians alike were put to death in this manner, and "The Berserker" was said to haven been present at all of the executions.
   
    Dracula's feeling of being betrayed his mistreatment by the Turks, and his constant dread of assassination made him cynical, causing a low regard for human life.
   
    Besides impalement, the Prince compelled others to acts of cannibalism; he killed babies, roasted them, and forced their mothers to eat them (this was one trait that did not exist in the fictitious Dracula, for I have never seen a single movie or book where the familiar black-cloaked figure ever harmed or even threatened a child).
   
    He also had his enemies and subjects hacked to pieces, and would never tolerate illicit sexual behavior, laziness among his people in civilian or military duties, or any form of criminal activity (even petty thieves were being impaled).
   
    Vlad Tepes' defenders today insist that it was an era during which a monarch had to evoke fear and an evil reputation to ensure his continued authority and the salvation of his land.
   
    The "evil reputation" certainly did prove its worth when Dracula had learned of an invading Turkish force which greatly outnumbered his own.  He resorted to a form of "psychological warfare," whereby the Prince had thousands of his own countrymen impaled at that point on the border where the Turks were due to arrive.
   
    The invaders who beheld the gruesome sight were sickened and horrified.  They all retreated, afraid to face the man who had perpetrated such a foul  act.
   
    In the light of all this, it might be appalling to excuse Dracula's mass destruction of innocents for reasons of national survival.  But many contend that such grisly actions were still necessary.
   
    Dracula was also a religious man (the divine and the demonical in one) who believed that constructing churches and monasteries atoned for his sinfulness.  The Voivode has been credited, incidentally, with preserving Christianity throughout Eastern Europe (!) by his unrelenting crusade against the Turks.
   
    By the end of the "Bloodthirsty Monster's" second rule in 1462, the Turks had finally besieged his castle in the Carpathians and destroyed much of it (it was totally destroyed by an earthquake in the early part of the twentieth century).
   
    Dracula's first wife had committed suicide in preference to being captured by the Turks, but the Prince and some of his followers had managed to escape to Hungary.  There, Vlad sought aid from King Matthais, who instead imprisoned the deposed leader.  It was due to the numerous complaints against Dracula by the German inhabitants of Sibiu, a town long scourged by the Voivode.
   
    So for the next fourteen years, Dracula remained a prisoner, eventually becoming a model one.  Convinced of his rehabilitation, Matthias decided to reward the former monarch by helping him regain his leadership of Wallachia.
   
    Dracula had also fallen in love with the King's daughter and married her, which required his conversion to Roman Catholic.  Vlad Tepes had previously hated the Catholic Church, as he had been Eastern Orthodox (though Vlad III had still not been considered a vampire, a superstition of the time held that anyone excommunicated from the Catholic or Orthodox faiths would rise as one of the living dead !).
 
    The "Berserker" made more enemies than ever before, including the Eastern Orthodox Church dignitaries for his entering into a "schismatic" church.  Matthias did indeed manage to secure his son-in-law's old office for him, but it was to be short-lived.  Dracula's third reign ended after only two months on December 26, 1476, during a Turkish invasion.
 
    There are two versions of Dracula's death. Either he was beheaded by the Turks, or he was masquerading as one of the Turks to avoid capture and died at the hands of his own men who mistook him for the enemy.
 
    Vlad Tepes is supposedly buried in a tomb on Snagov Island.  An excavation in 1931 (now what was significant about that year?) failed to turn up his body, so it is theorized that he was interred elsewhere to fool grave robbers or is buried much deeper.  The investigation is continuing.
 
    Another common question asked is "does Dracula have any living descendants?"  The last known direct descendants died in the seventeenth century, but as Vlad had more illegitimate children than he could count, it is a likelihood that several blood relatives are living.
 
    Author Radu Florescu has been seen said to be indirectly descended from Dracula, and a Count Alexander Cepesi, who operate s a blood bank in Turkey, claims to be a descendant.  According to The Dracula Book, by Don Glut, Cepesi says that he "grew up in the very castle where the original Count Dracula committed his heinous crimes."  If that is true, he must have had an unhappy childhood, judging by the present state of the castle.
   
    Clubs and travel agencies continue to offer "Dracula tours" of the area, and Romania enthusiastically welcomes them.  One of the first was General Tourist "Spotlight on Dracula -- An Adventure in Transylvania," which comprised three weeks of travel to "Dracula" landmarks in Romania, Turkey, and England.
 
    As stated earlier, the Romanians do protest Vlad Tepes' vampire image, believing it to be an American invention.  Two people I met in the country, in fact, thought that Bram Stoker was an American.
   
    But bear this in mind:  in spite of their resentment of what they feel is a misrepresentation, the people of Romania are a friendly lot and love to see the Americans who come so far to see them.
   
    One of my most interesting contacts was Sebastian, the caretaker of Dracula's tomb, who has been mentioned in a couple of texts. According to A Night in Transylvania, by Kurt Brokaw, he has been repeatedly asked if Bela Lugosi is buried in the crypt.  Sebastian was apparently so weary of this that he told me that Dracula's spirit visits him every night (mind you, I did not ask him that silly question; it was merely a joke that he volunteers to all American and British tourists, seemingly).
 
    Not many movies have ever focused on the real Dracula, although Christopher Lee did play Vlad Tepes in a documentary produced in 1972 entitled "In Search of Dracula," (not to be confused with Leonard Nimoy's "In Search Of" television program).  Lee's resemblance to Vlad was considered uncanny; "the same face," was the remark given by one critic.
 
    Vlad Tepes also had a "cameo" in Dan Curtis' version of "Dracula," starring Jack Palance.  The role was certainly appropriate for Palance as he had, coincidentally, played Attila the Hun, another figure from Dracula's stomping grounds, in the 1954 film, "Sign of The Pagan."
 
    Recent novels have featured the "reality" of Count Dracula by centering on his life as Prince Vlad.  He has, however, been kept a "vampire" as most people still cannot disregard that identity.
 
    One of such works was, Dracula Began, by Gail Kimberly (Pyramid, 1976), which contained a truly entertaining (though slightly altered) account of Dracula's boyhood while held in captivity by the Turks.
   
    Others touch on the life of Vlad in, Crimson Kisses (by Asa Drake; Avon, 1981), The Dracula Archives (by Raymond Rudorff; Arbor House, 1971), Bloodright (by Peter Tremayne; Dell, 1977), and, Dracula, My Love (by Peter Tremayne; Dell, 1980).
 
    Though Dracula has remained a vampire in all of these subsequent novels, could his literary image be slowly metamorphosing to that of his real-life counterpart?  It might be considered unlikely, since America's attraction to the Count is based largely on his supernatural escapades.
 
    Still, the history of one Vlad Tepes is an intriguing one and should continue to be related so that new generations can be aware that what is a fine classic is not totally steeped in fantasy.
 
    And just how does one suppose the real Dracula would have reacted to being depicted as a vampire? Judging by his reputation for having been a lover of wit, he may have been greatly amused.




 
                          



From REALM OF THE VAMPIRE #3:



                                                                

                                         HOUSE OF DEATH VISITED


                                                                       by Sharida Rizzuto


     
   
   
The Westgate House of Death is a gallery/museum devoted to necromantic art and literature located in the Uptown section of  New Orleans, Louisiana. Leilah Wendell, poet and artist is the founder.  It is also the home of Wesgate Press.
   
    In the early 1980's Ms. Wendell published the acclaimed small press publication, Undinal Songs.  It, too, was devoted to necromantic themes. She has received much praise for her gallery showings in New York.
Her poetry and other writings have been published in hundreds of publications plus she has been interviewed countless times (interviewed by
Realm Of The Vampire in The Vampire Journal #5 -- 1989).
   
    In 1987, Wendell wrote the Book Of Azrael.  It is about her personal encounters with Death.  Many other necromantic works have followed.  (See list of books at end of article.)

   
    Since  New Orleans contains much historic architecture, including the old European styled cemeteries with above-ground tombs, Leilah was enchanted with the area.  It was then she decided to relocate to New Orleans from New York.  Leilah found an old (approximately 150 years!) Greek Revival mansion in Uptown New Orleans and bought it in the fall of 1990.  In February '91, Leilah held her grand opening and several hundred people attended--mostly from the goth-vampire, general horror enthusiast and/or occult/metaphysical communities.  Since then Leilah has continued to hold parties around Mardi Gras and Halloween plus special functions such as a book signing, poetry reading, necromantic rituals, etc.
   
    Leilah selected New Orleans for her House of Death because it has the appropriate atmosphere for her necromantic endeavors.  She stresses the idea in her works and in her gallery/museum that we are all much too fearful of the ultimate mystery of life--Death.  
    
    She is dedicated to revealing the reality of Death through Azrael, the Angel of Death.  She explains that Death is a lover ready to embrace a person and bring them over to the Other Side--into
that eternal Realm of Darkness that awaits.  It is not something to be feared or shunned but a necessary end of life as we know it and the beginning of a new existence in Eternity.  Through her art and literature she is an endless inspiration for her devotees.  The Westgate House of Death is an experience not to be missed.  It is one probably never before encountered and will help in one's understanding of the greatest mystery of life--one we all face someday.
   
    Leilah's House of Death is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday between 1 - 5 located at 5219 Magazine Street or call (504-899-3077) for an appointment.  (It would be wise to call and check on their latest schedule.) There are prints, paintings and sculptures in addition to books, magazines, note cards, jewelry, incense, and more.  Works by Leilah Wendell are available along with works by fellow artists and writers (including Daniel Kemp, co-director of the gallery/museum) in necromantic themes.  While there be sure to inquire about Leilah's newsletter.  Is is a good way to reach others with similar interests.
    
Warning:  This is a place for the serious study and appreciation of necromantic art and literature.  

Some of Leilah's works:
Book Of Azrael
Encounters With Death
Last Dance
Necromantic Rituals
Our Name Is Melancholy
Shadows In The Half Light


For more information on Leilah Wendell check out--


http://www.westgatenecromantic.com/
Official website for the Westgate

Email:  thewestgate@earthlink.net


http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/Delta/3175/
Azrael's House of Death--The Unofficial Leilah Wendell Website

Check out search engines (Webcrawler, Excite, Yahoo, etc.) for information
on Leilah Wendell, Azrael and Westgate.  There are quite a number of
listings.



                           




From
THE VAMPIRE JOURNAL #3:



Excerpts from BLOOD REVIEWS

REVIEWED BY SUE MARRA:

THE BOOK OF AZRAEL
by Leilah Wendell
Nonfiction (metaphysical)
Paperback
Westgate Press, 1988

    "For now, allow the sounds that I am making in your mind to become as light as air.
Imagine each word as having sylphlike wings, and rising above its meager definition, and coming to life as the image it conjures. . . ." (Pg. 14)
    "I have come to remind you of old times.  Of an age before time was measured and dissected into lengths suitable for mankind. . . ." (Pgs. 13 & 14)
    Dare to take the hand of this woman.  Let her book be a door to that vast place inside you your mind fears to touch.
    We say someone is remarkable when their true spirit is able to direct their human form, even for an instant.  The recognition of that spirit in our midst, the truths revealed, may move--or terrify us.
    The first to use the truths in these pages to make her own discoveries was the author herself, a gifted writer and artist who has chosen to share with readers of this book the highly disturbing and controversial results of a painful process of unearthing memory, of re-learning what was forgotten--a lifelong vision quest.
    The author, far from allowing herself the pleasure and comfort of giving an audience what they want, what will make them purr and dash off flowery letters of praise, has put herself through the further pain of standing by conclusions many will label fantastic--at the very least.  This sensitive mystic from New York has risked her reputation--her piece of mind--to share the powerful realities which first began manifesting themselves to her during the strange childhood she briefly describes in the Book of Azrael.
    Leilah Wendell is more than equal to the seemingly impossible task she has set herself.
    It isn't easy to find the words to tell ANY story, let alone a remarkable story, much less a remarkable true story in which everything has happened to you.  But with a wry humor often directed at her own foibles, and although she warns the reader of a propensity for  the "purple pen," Wendell has strictly avoided pretentious, tearstain prose to make this unlikely account of an . . . unusual . . . passion one which even the most prosaic reader will embrace as an honest and compelling account of natural human emotion.  Quite a feat given that this is a tale spanning all times on all worlds whose heroine calls herself, with a smile, Lady Death.
    Wendell has shouldered the entire daily as well as the literary responsibilities of the protagonist's role.
She is the heroine of  the Book of Azrael.  She has the ability and the eloquent emotional power to make us feel and see her gripping personal history as part of the collective subconscious, to bring her story to the gut level of universal myth.
    This is the COMMON SENSE, and the author is the Thomas Paine, of the New Age.  The world view is new and fascinating and yet familiar, a synthesis of odd daymares and midnight deja vu.  It encompasses the peculiar logic of synchronicity and the magick of quantum physics. It works.
    "There is no difference between past, present and future.  They are all co-existent.  It is souls that move forward through time, thereby leaving the 'past' in another dimension of reality." (pg. 159)
    Depending on your orientation this is either a hugely important work of nonfiction in the metaphysical realm--or the most haunting tale of star-crossed lovers you're likely to encounter.
   The form of the narrative itself is unique.  This will make the introduction as well as the opening pages difficult for some.  The territory is that strange at first, but any feeling of disorientation will quickly be replaced by the sense that you don't have to read this tale, it will unfold itself in the manner of a dream.  It will sing itself to you.  You will inhale with it the odor of birth.  You may even find yourself enchanted, flipping the two hundred plus pages in one stellar sitting.
    "There is only half-light now where legends once were cast.  Where two shores overlapped, and time lay interbracing many folds revealing facets, each from futures passing." (pg. 67)
    Leilah Wendell is a rarity--a visionary who can impart her visions to others in exquisite detail and who cares enough to make her experiences known.  Even more than her descriptive and emotional skill, perhaps even more than by her artistic talent, you will be struck by her extraordinary courage both in coping with her uniqueness and in baring her heart to the world.  To be truly sensitive in every sense of the word, to be so very vulnerably open, must surely take the tough strength knit of many lives.





                           



From REALM OF THE VAMPIRE #3:




WEBSITE INTERVIEWS

Conducted by Sharida Rizzuto


Vampire Athenaeum--Book Reviews For Creatures Of The Night
Webmistress Strigoaica

http://www.vampireathenaeum.org/                   

The website is devoted to reviewing vampire books both fiction and non-fiction. It is a great place for vampire enthusiasts to read up on the latest books or to find information regarding practically any previously published vampire book they want to know about. The site is always under construction. Webmistress Strigoaica regularly adds new reviews.  If you know of any book you would like to have her add to her review list, be sure to e-mail her at: strigoaica@juno.com (Jennifer L. Mann)

At Realm Of The Vampire we put together a set of questions to ask Webmistress Strigoaica about her site and her vampire interests:

Q)  How did your interest in vampires develop?

My interest in vampires began at an early age.  I remember being four years old and seeing Bela Lugosi in the 1931,"Dracula," on t.v., and thinking, "Wow!"  It wasn't scary, just fascinating to my young mind. My father says one of my favorite books, even before I learned to read, was Bram Stoker's Dracula, which had rather grim illustrations.  Dad says he'd no sooner put it away where he thought I wouldn't get to it when he'd find that I'd gotten it out again.  I had a few vampire toys, although my parents didn't encourage my vampire fascination.  They're very supportive now, though.

Q)  Why did you decide to create your website?

I have nearly 200 vampire books, and I am always looking for more good ones.  I spent quite a lot of time surfing the internet looking for a site that would help me find new titles and possibly provide reviews as well.  When I couldn't find one that suited my needs, I decided to make one myself.  The idea was to have others contribute to the site, so that visitors to the site would have a large number of sites to browse.  Demian from subnation.com offered me the space, and the project took off.  I didn't know anything about doing a website before I began, but learning to do the HTML code has been surprisingly entertaining.  It is an added benefit that allows me to communicate with others who share my love of these books.

Q)  What are some of your favorite vampire books?

All of the vampire books by Barbara Hambly, Elaine Bergstrom, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.  I also love Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite and Burying The Shadow by Storm Constantine.
As for non-fiction books, I think The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead by J. Gordon Melton is a must have, and Paul Barber's Vampires, Burial, and Death is a splendid source of information about the origin of the vampire myth.
I have many favorites, but those are the first ones that come to mind.

Q)  Do you also enjoy vampire films? Is, what ones do you recommend?

There have been a great number of pretty good vampire films, and many more that are just plain bad.  Any fan of vampire films really has to have a high threshold for cheese.  It pervades nearly all of them to varying degrees.  My favorites are "Dracula" (1931) starring Bela Lugosi and "Nosferatu" (1922) which are classics.  Also, "Bram Stoker's Dracula" with Gary Oldman in the title role despite the performance by Keanu Reeves, which I didn't care for at all; "Interview with the Vampire"; the "Subspecies" films, if you ignore Radu's unmoving rubber fingers; "Dracula" (1979) with Frank Langella as Dracula, in spite of the vamping scene with a sort of lava lamp background (I t would have improved the film if it was cut out entirely); "Dance of the Damned"; "Nightlife" which was just plain silly but in a fun way; "Vampire's Kiss" with Nicholas Cage is really original and very weird; and any of the Christopher Lee vampire films, despite the extraordinarily high cheese-factor in some of the later ones.  Anything with Lee and Peter Cushing together is especially good.  The two of them were both splendid. Cushing may never be outdone in the role of Van Helsing.  Although, Anthony Hopkins gave him a run for his money in "Bram Stoker's Dracula."

Q)  What vampire books will always maintain popularity and why?

The original Dracula is such a classic, it will always be in demand.
I think Anne Rice's books will, too, because her vampires reflect her audience.  They are just like us, with the same human desires and failings, except those attributes are magnified into preternatural intensity; and the vampires possess the power to roam the night and drink in its pleasures without fear.  In particular, The Vampire Lestat, because it is the most accessible to the greatest number of people.  It is fast paced, well-written, flows smoothly, and has lots of action--escapist entertainment with tasty vampires added.
Poppy Z. Brite's "Lost Souls" is a work of art, brutal and unmerciful as it is.  It is twisted and beautifully written, and speaks directly to the hearts of those who are in touch with their dark sides as well as being gruesome enough to appeal to the masses to a wide audience.

Q)  What are some of the worst plotlines in vampire books and films?

I get really tired of the "vampire laments his/her cursed existence but doesn't have the nerve to end it--means alluring mortal battles with evil within him/herself--finds some way to become mortal again and they live happily ever after" plot.  It isn't the worst, but it is the most over-used.  I don't object to some of the ones that might be considered "bad" as long as they are original, although it helps if the story is well-written.

Q)  What kind of response does your website receive?

It has had almost 4,000 hits since it went on-line in February 1997.  The Vampire Athenaeum is up to over 300 titles now, which is really exciting.  I am particularly pleased when I get e-mail with comments about books and reviews to add to the site.  I want as many opinions expressed about as many books as possible.

Q)  What are your future plans for your website?

The dust is still settling from the construction of the main structure of the site.  I just completed an index by title, so now visitors can look up books alphabetically by author or title as they choose.  I would like to see many more reviews added, and for my part I add a new review of my own as often as I can.


Santiago, the Mad Vampire
Webmaster Santiago

http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/4268/

What a weird, bizarre, and wonderful website for vampire lovers!  Visitors to the site will find a broad assortment of interesting vampire tidbits and links to other fascinating vampire sites.  Definitely for those who seek something entirely different in the realm of vampires.  Here are the questions we put to the Mad Vampyre and his reply:

Q)  What motivated you to put a vampire site on the web?

Well, it was during the summer and I really had nothing else to do with my hordes of free time...so, I figured it was a good way to spread my insanity over a wider medium than the e-mail list I was on (where "Santiago, the Mad Vampyre" was really born...he was such a cute baby, I wonder where I went wrong??)

Q)  What type of response have you received?

Most of the people that go to my page and tell me they were there, tell me I'm a freak.  I had one person ask me if I had ever taken Lithium, and others that feel themselves kindred spirits, looking for another freak ta chat with (which I'm always available for as long as you don't mind my long-winded pointless ramblings that go on and on for no perceivable reason other than so I can hear myself think and that is a rare pleasure for me).

Q)  From your website it's obvious that you have a variety of interests.  How did you develop those diverse interests?

Ooooh...good question...I really have no idea??  I try to keep an open mind, and when something interests me, it stays.  I think most of the stuff on my page is either comical, or dark...or both.  I like stuff that can show that it is evil and nasty, but you can still laugh at or with it.  Santiago is like that, I can drink your blood or tell you a joke, and you could laugh or scream either way!

Q)  Though you are majoring in Environmental Biology you definitely show talent in your writings.  Might you change your major to Creative Writing in the future?

If you think I've got talent, you obviously haven't read any of the stuff I've done.  But, you're right...why am I in Env.  Bio?  The reason is that I wanted to be an Eco-terrorist (or at least say that's what I wanted), but that grew old, so if all goes well, next year I'll be in Theatre Arts.  Over the summer I plan on writing a screenplay.  The problem with my writing is that I'm never happy with my stuff if I think about it, so almost all of the stuff I do is on the fly.  I usually regret it later, but people...for some reason seem to like it. *Shrug* People are strange.

Q)  What are some of your favorite vampire sites on the net?

Another toughie, since I obviously can't say my own site. Uh...The Malkavian Homepage by Erehwon is a very cool place.  It shows that vampires can be humorous or terrifying or both.  There is also The Death Watch which isn't vampiric but it does tell you how many seconds you have left to live.  And, The Tick Page--ticks such blood, right?

Q)  What are some of your favorite vampire novels?

Dracula by Bram Stoker is a good book.  Despite all of its flaws, and I know it can be a dry read, it's probably the Grand daddy of all things vampiric today!  (Can you hear those historians screaming already?!) Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice is an excellent piece (gotta luv those Theatre Vamps, right?).  It did weird things to my mind as I read it (as if cereal box ingredient labels don't' do the same thing), but I wasn't too impressed by the rest of the Chronicles...they just didn't pull my strings.  I don't do as much vampiric reading as I'd like, and tend to have a weirder range--I read comics from The Crow and Lobo all the way to Ambush Bug and The Heckler...but those aren't particularly vampiric.

Q)  I hope that wasn't too painful?

Nope, my anesthetic must be workin'...oooh...look at the pretty colors...

E-mail the Mad Vampyre, Santiago, at dmupham@saturn.nsac.ns.ca



From upcoming issue of  REALM OF THE VAMPIRE:




INTERVIEW WITH WEBMASTER, DEREK of LORD RUTHVEN


conducted by Lucinda MacGregor



Q)  How did you develop your interest in vampires and Lord Byron?

Well, I have always been fascinated with monsters, but it took me a while to appreciate vampires in particular.  But I can pinpoint exactly when it was late one night at a friend's house, watching "The Lost Boys."  I love that movie to this day, even though it has many detractors.  My interest in Lord Ruthven (and consequently, Lord Byron) stems from my interest in vampires.  I find it interesting how the image of the vampire has changed from antiquity to present day.  The modern vampire of literature seems to bear more in common with the incubus/succubus than the bestial vampires of the dark ages.

Q)  What inspired you to create your website and how difficult was it to put it together?

I looked on the Internet and couldn't find many resources on Lord Ruthven.  I thought that it was a shame because, while there are many sites about Anne Rice or Dracula, there were only a handful of sites that dealt with the character responsible for the modern vampire archetype.  I've always been a "give credit where it's due" kind of person.
Also, I got really sick of people who acted as if the vampires people actually believed it bore a resemblance to Lestat or "Vampire:  The Masquerade."  I felt that if more people knew about Lord Ruthven, then they would gain insight into how the current image of the vampire developed instead of sniping at me because I told them that "Clan Toreador" didn't exist.
The site wasn't very hard to create and put together.

Q)  What is the background on Lord Byron and the "Lord Ruthven" story?

Lord Byron had begun a story but never finished it.  Some time later, his former friend John Polidori decided to finish the story, but he used Byron as the model for the villain, Lord Ruthven.  When the completed story, now entitled "The Vampyre," was published, it was a great success because everyone believed it to have been written by Byron.  Of course, it wasn't and the situation caused a great deal of distress to both Polidori and Byron.

Q)  What other works of literary vampire fiction would you recommend?

I am--very--picky about the vampire fiction that I like.  It has to be different in some way to keep me entertained.  Now, I don't want everything I read to rewrite the rules every time, but "Forever Knight" fan fiction with the names changed to create a "whole new universe" just doesn't appeal to me.  And don't even get me started on vampire "bad girl" comics . . .
So what do I like? I like older works like "Carmilla," since those tales define the modern vampire.  I am interested in the goth scene, so the newer works I enjoy tend to draw from that aesthetic. I am a really big fan of Nancy A. Collins, and I also like Poppy Z. Brite to a degree.  I also enjoy Laurell K. Hamilton's "Anita Blake" series.  I loved Anne Rice's first three "Vampire Chronicles," but I really, really hate her imitators.  There are exceptions, but they are rare. For a complete change of pace, I recommend Christopher Moore's delightful Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story.
I sometimes enjoy historical vampire novels.  I have found Kim Newman's "Anno Dracula" series to be consistently fun and inventive.  I thought that Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Hotel Transylvania was entertaining, and I also enjoyed Tom Holland's Lord of the Dead (a.k.a. The Vampyre in Europe).  Fans of Lord Ruthven, in particular, are encouraged to seek out the latter novel.
I enjoy vampire movies, but as with literature, the bad far outweigh the good or even passable.  I am sick of the "slap-fangs-on-someone-we-have-instant-vampire-movie" many low-budget film makers have made.  I have recently rediscovered the great old Hammer films, which in many ways have never been equaled.

Q)  What are some of your favorite Lord Byron or vampire websites on the net?

The best general interest vampire site is Pathway to Darkness (http://www.pathwaytodarkness.com).  Another great site is graFIXer's Draculeum  (http://www.rz.tu-ilmenau.de/~rossmann/), which receives my highest recommendation.  The best Lord Byron page that I have found is located at (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8916/byron.html).

Q)  What future plans do you have for your website?

The Lord Ruthven page is a static site.  I put it up to educate people, but past that I don't think there is a whole lot more that I can do with it.  I may give it a design overhaul when I get the time.
I am currently designing a website devoted to werewolves, a subject that has very little exposure on the Internet.

Q)  Any other comments you would care to make regarding your website or vampires in general?

I have many comments concerning vampires--unfortunately, most of them are not very nice.  But it's important to note that my often virulent criticism comes from my deep love for the subject and respect for the writers who I feel "get it."
The most deplorable trend in current vampire fiction is what I call "Vampire Lite."  This trend is typified by the numerous works where the vampires are depicted as misunderstood nice guys (sometimes with "evil," fanatical vampire hunters stalking them).  A vampire completely divorced from the darkness is nothing more than a superhero with an aversion to sunlight and a drinking problem.  To me, even the most virtuous vampire needs a dangerous side if he or she is going to stay entertaining.  A thinly-disguised romance novel hero with fangs is boring.
It sounds harsh, but I think that popularity is oftentimes the undoing of the vampire.  I remember the vampire boom of the mid-90's, and how the handful of good works were swallowed by an outpouring of dross that choked the genre.  I suffered severe burnout.
In conclusion, if you write a piece of fiction (or make a film) concerning vampires, do it because you love the subject.  Not because it's trendy, not because it will make you money.  Do it because you respect the subject matter.

Thanks for talking to us about your website and your serious interest in vampires.  It's nice to see a site devoted to the literary vampire aficionado instead of the modern day goth-vampire genre.  There's much too much of that already available.

To visit the Lord Ruthven website go to:
http://gothic.vei.net/lordruthven/ruthven.htm




                 



Excerpts from the upcoming issue:



BLOOD NOTES


by Sharida Rizzuto & Lucinda MacGregor



American Vampire Fans, Victims, Practitioners
by Norine Dresser
W. W. Norton & Company:  New York, 1989

Hardback & Trade Paperback

It is a terrific book for vampire fans.  It tells everything there is to know about vampires and vampire fandom.  There is also included an appendix of publications and organizations.  This book is a welcome addition to the pop culture of the vampire.

The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series
by Laurell K. Hamilton
Ace Books:  New York
Paperback 


There are several books in the series. Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of The Damned, The Lunatic Cafe, The Killing Dance, Bloody Bones, and Blue Moon (published in that order) are all quite good. The series includes monsters galore of various kinds.  It is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining vampire series ever published.  The writer is to be commended for the enormity of her imagination.

Tanya Huff  has also written a series with a Toronto based detective and her writer/friend who just happens to be a vampire.  Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, and Blood Debt (in that order) are published by Daw Books.

The Blood Countess
by Andrei Codrescu published
Dell Books:  New York, 1995 
Paperback


It is based on the life of the infamous human vampire, Elizabeth Bathory, the Hungarian countess who bathed in the blood of hundreds of young virgins to maintain her youthful appearance.  The novel is full of rich historic detail.  It is a deeply disturbing tale.  Codrescu is a native of Transylvania.  Who better to write about vampires?  And, now he resides in New Orleans (along with the likes of Anne Rice and Poppy Z. Brite).

Blood Farm
by Sam Siciliano
Pageant Books:  New York, 1989
Paperback

Siciliano is off to a good start with his first novel.  The particularly bleak landscape is set in rural Iowa. The reader can experience the cold and snow and the damp chill of the vampire's lair, an old farm mansion.  The unusual setting is coupled with a few other novel twists that make it a different kind of a vampire story.

Bloodlust--Conversations With Real Vampires
by Carol Page
Harper Collins Publishers:  New York, 1991
Hardback

Carol Page approaches vampirism from a general sociological viewpoint:  how and why people become fascinated with vampires.  While she does include some historical background, her emphasis is on contemporary practitioners.  Ms. Page interviewed several interesting individuals regarding their involvement in blood-drinking and other vampirish activities.  She exposes them at their best and at their worst.
In a lighter vein, Page devotes a chapter to the Hunt-a-Vampire Weekend she attended that is held annually in Whitby, England by the Dracula Society of London.  The guests are there purely for entertainment.  They view vampire films and discuss vampire literature.  They also play games, hold a costume contest, and take a walking tour of the historic sites which relate to Bram Stoker's Dracula.  The idea is to eat, drink, and be merry.  No kinky stuff there.


The Blood Of The Covenant

by Brent Monahan
St. Martin's Paperbacks:  New York, 1995
Paperback 

It is a sequel to The Book of Common Dread.  The author weaves magic and history together to tell a fascinating vampire tale.  Original and suspenseful.


Classic Horror Writers

edited by Harold Bloom (part of the Writers of English: Lives and Works Series)
Chelsea House Publishers:  New York, 1994
Paperback

It covers the gothic works of writers Ambrose Bierce, Sheridan LeFanu, Matthew Gregory Lewis, Edgar Allan Poe, Ann Raddiffe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and others.

The Complete Vampire Companion
Legend and Lore of The Living Dead

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
MacMillian:  New York, 1994
Trade Paperback
&
Vampires Among Us
Pocket Books:  New York City, NY, 1991
Paperback

The first book contains extensive information about vampires in literature plus film, television, music, and fandom.  It also contains a section devoted to the legendary vampire as well as the contemporary kind.
This is a well-written book that is classy, informative, and entertaining.  The second book is more about vampire wannabes and fandom.  Very entertaining.

Dracula the Novel & The Legend
A Study of Bram Stoker's Gothic Masterpiece
by Clive Leatherdale
The Aquarian Press: London, 1985
Trade Paperback

The author presents a thorough background of the vampire in history and legend including Vlad Dracula. He includes the many symbolic interpretations attached to Dracula, Stoker, and vampires in general.  He covers the sexual, political, religious, sociological, and psychological aspects of Dracula and vampirism. Leatherdale does not miss much.

Dracula The Vampire and The Critics
ed. by Margaret L. Carter
UMI Research Press:  Michigan, 1988
Hardback

This is a fascinating study for aficionados of Bram Stoker's Dracula and vampire lovers of all kinds.  There are 21 essays included by various notable scholars.  Folklore, politics, sexuality, and Dracula as a Victorian novel are just some of the topics covered.
Carter has edited and authored other similar works:  Curse of the Undead (Fawcett, 1970),  Demon Lovers and Strange Seductions (Fawcett, 1972),  Shadow of a Shade:  Vampirism in Literature (Gordon Press, 1975),  Spector or Delusion? The Supernatural in Gothic Fiction (UMI Research Press, 1987),  The Vampire in Literature A Critical Bibliography (UMI Research Press, 1989), etc.

In Hot Blood
by Petru Popescu
Fawcett:  New York, 1989
Paperback

The setting is New Orleans with its decadent historical French Quarter, river plantations, and swampy surroundings.  Other ingredients include an old aristocratic family and a young woman from San Francisco. She has arrived in the Crescent City to oversee the opening of the new branch of her popular boutique.
The "damsel in distress" is at the center of this sensuous tale of vampires along the Mississippi.  Popescu authored The Last Wave, which was later made into a film starring Richard Chamberlain, a strange tale involving Australia's aborigines and their Dreamtime.  However, this is his first attempt at writing in the vampire genre.
New Orleans is an extremely popular setting for many vampire novels thanks to Anne Rice, Poppy Z. Brite, Nancy Collins, and others.  Popescu's novel contains elements akin to Anne Rice's vampire chronicles but Anne Rice he is not.  Avid vampire fans will want to read it anyway.


Leanna Possession Of A Woman
by Marie Kiraly
Berkley Books:  New York, 1996
Paperback

Previously Kiraly wrote Mina: The Dracula Story Continues.  Now she continues with a vampire tale set in New Orleans.  Though this setting is becoming commonplace in vampire fiction, Kiraly's novel is original and well-written.  It's a real page turner.  Good plotting and detail.

Liquid Dreams of  Vampires
by Martin V. Riccardo, publisher of the late Journal of  Vampire Studies  
Llewellyn Books:  St. Paul, MN 1996
Trade Paperback

His book is devoted to the erotic and haunting dreams of vampires that many people experience.  He includes a solid background of vampire lore and history.  It is entertaining and a worthwhile addition to any vampire collection.  We look forward to any future literary endeavors by Martin Riccardo, a true vampirologist.

Lord of the Dead
by Tom Holland
Pocket Books:  New York, 1995
Paperback 

Lord Byron is a suitable historical figure to portray as a vampire.  The 19th century poet had a reputation as a cruel seducer and that made him both compelling as well as repellent.  Truly fascinating.  We understand there is a sequel to this vampire book but we have not  had a chance to read it.


The Lost A Novel of Dark Discoveries  
by Jonathan Aycliffe
Harper Prism:  New York, 1996
Hardback

It is set in contemporary Rumania.  A young teacher inherits a Rumanian castle and the title of count to go along with it.  A "must" read.  It's well done, entertaining, and has lots of atmosphere.

Madeline After The Fall of Usher
by Marie Kiraly
Berkley Books:  New York, 1996
Paperback

It is based on Edgar Allan Poe's "House of Usher" and what really happened to the Usher family. Aficionados of gothic literature will definitely enjoy it.


Those Who Hunt the Night
by Barbara Hambly
Del Rey Books:  New York, 1988

Hardback & Paperback

Readers of vampire novels who enjoy Anne Rice and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro will also enjoy Ms. Hambly's book.  It even has appeal for Sherlock Holmes aficionados.  However, it is not an imitation.
The story is set in Victorian London, and the hero, Prof. Asher and his wife, are somewhat of a Holmes and Watson team.  Asher is asked by London's oldest vampire to help find the one responsible for murdering his fellow vampires.  If he does not find the killer his wife and he will suffer a fate worse than death!  Prof. Asher and his wife make a good team.
(Note:  The long awaited sequel to this book, Traveling With the Dead, was published in 1995.  Well done.)

Traveling With The Dead  
by Barbara Hambly
Dell Ray Books:  New York, 1995
Paperback 

It is the long awaited sequel to Those Who Hunt The Night. Hambly's Asher is a memorable character in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes.  It is well-written and an entertaining read.


The Thrill of Fear--250 Years of Scary Entertainment
by Walter Kendrick
Grove Press:  New York, 1991
Hardback

The author covers a broad range of material regarding the horror genre in films and literature.  A good portion of the book covers topics dear to any vampire lover:  Gothic literature (the "graveyard school" of writing), vampires on film, the fear of death, and much, much more.  A fascinating read.  Highly entertaining!  Time well spent. You will find yourself reading it again and again.

The Vampire Book--Encyclopedia of the Undead
Video Hound's Vampires on Video

J. Gordon Melton
Visible Ink Press:  Detroit, MI
1994 & '99 for the Encyclopedia and 1998 for the Video book
Trade Paperback


The Encyclopedia is an outstanding piece of research.  He covers practically everything in the vampire genre.  Recently he published an updated version.  However,  that does not mean that one should overlook the older version in favor of the newer one.  The older version contains a lot of interesting material not included in the second version, and the newer version, of course, contains things not included in the older version.  Either way one cannot go wrong in buying  both editions.  And, the Video book should interest any vampire film buff.

The Vampire in Literature A Critical Bibliography
ed. by Margaret L. Carter
UMI Research Press:  Michigan, 1989
Hardback

Every poem, story, and article written in the vampire genre is probably listed in this book up to 1989.
There are also several chapters devoted to the discussion of vampire literature.  Vampire enthusiasts and scholars alike will want a copy for their reference library.


Vampire Legends of Rhode Island
by Christopher Rondina
Covered Bridge Press, 1997
Trade Paperback

Here is a fascinating read for any vampire enthusiast interested in vampire legends.  Rondina covers the background of  the alleged vampires of late 18th through late 19th century Rhode Island with tidbits on various vampire topics.  It is interesting, entertaining, and well-written.  The production values are nicely done.  A good collector's item for vampire buffs.

Vampire the Complete Guide to The World of The Undead
by Manuela Dunn Mascetti
Viking Studio Books: New York, 1992
Hardback

Ms. Mascetti covers a diverse variety of vampire legends from around the world.  Literary and historical vampires are included.
There is an astounding collection of eerie and haunting photos and drawings which accompany the text. Overall the book has a haunting quality that stays with the reader long after finishing it.  A "must" for all vampire lovers and other creatures who dwell in the darkness.


Vampires
Restless Creatures of the Night

by Jean Marigny
Discoveries series
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.:  New York, 1994 (English translation)
Paperback

This is a wonderful addition to the Discoveries series which is an outstanding endeavor.  It is a delightful little classy book that covers the background of the earliest known origins of vampires up to the present day plus covering the vampire in literature, film & television.  It is the kind of book one can carry around in a purse or a pocket and read from it time and again.  In addition, it contains some wonderful drawings, paintings, and photographs.


NEW ADDITIONS!


The Vampire In Legend And Fact
by Basil Copper
Citadel Press - Carol Communications:  New York, 1973
Trade Paperback


A very interesting read about both the legendary vampire and vampire in early films.  Well done.  Copper has written many entertaining books in a broad spectrum of  both fiction and non-fiction.  His book, Necropolis, with a Sherlock Holmes-like detective is particularly good.  Some of his books are out-of-print so it might take some detective work to track down available used copies.


A Heritage of Horror
The English Gothic Cinema 1946-1972

by David Pirie
Avon Books:  New York, 1973
Trade Paperback

No Hammer horror aficionado should be without a copy of this book!  However, it is probably out-of-print. Simply put:  Track it down! 



Vampires, Burial and Death
Folklore and Reality

by Paul Barber
Yale University Press:  New Haven, CT, 1988

Trade Paperback

A fascinating, though a bit morbid, read.  Barber knows his stuff.  He tells some interesting true stories about individuals in the past few centuries who were believed to be real vampires.  He also covers some pretty gruesome details about how bodies deteriorate after death and that the possibility of any of those so-called vampires of the past actually being vampires is impossible.  Barber certainly does not believe in vampires, but his book is still a worthwhile read (as well as adding to a collection--great research material) for all of you true believers out there.


The Vampire Bedside Companion
The Amazing World of Vampires in Fact and Fiction

Written & Edited by Peter Underwood
Leslie Frewin of London:  London, England, 1975

Hardback

Informative and entertaining.  It includes sections by Sean Manchester (now a bishop in one of the branches of the Catholic Church in England -- he also operates the Gothic Press) on The Highgate Vampire (an incident he was involved with), Dr. Sir Devendra P. Varma (was an expert on vampires) among others.
This book is probably out-of-print but is one that no good vampire lover should be without.


In Search of Dracula

by Raymond McNally & Radu Florescu
New York Graphic Society:  Greenwich, CT, 1973
Hardback
Dracula Was a Woman:  in search of the Blood Countess of Transylvania

by Raymond McNally
McGraw-Hill:  New York City, NY, 1983
Hardback
In Search of Dracula Twenty Years Later

by Raymond McNally & Radu Florescu
Houghton, Mifflin:  Boston, MA, 1994
Trade Paperback
Dracula: a biography of Vlad the Impaler, 1431-1476

by Radu Florescu & Raymond McNally
Hawthorn:  New York City, NY, 1973
Hardback

Dracula:  Prince of many faces; his life and his times

by Radu Florescu
Little Brown:  Boston, MA, 1989
Hardback


All of the above books are essential reading, research material and collecting for any aficionado of vampires.  Well researched and entertaining.  They have been the leading authorities on vampires for many years.  Unfortunately, Raymond McNally recently passed away.


The Vampire Encyclopedia

by Matthew Bunson
Crown:  New York City, NY, 1993
Trade Paperback

Covers a weath ofinformation about vampires and should be added to any collection of vampire research.



True Vampires of History

by Donald Glut
Castle, 1971
Hardback
& The Dracula Book
Scarcrow:  Methuen, NJ, 1975
Hardback
Both are informative and entertaining.  The second book is devoted to vampires in film and covers lots of material.  Good collectors' book.

The Dracula Scapbook
ed. by Peter Haining
Bramhall House, New York City, NY, 1976
Trade Paperback
A nice selection of materials about vampires--great for any collection.


Vampires

by Vincent Hillyer
Loose Change:  Los Banos, CA, 1988
Trade Paperback
Entertaining.  Worth reading.


Lust for Blood:  the consuming story of vampires

by Olga Hoyt
Stein and Day:  New York City, NY, 1984
Hardback

Well researched and entertaining.  Hoyt covers material about human vampires and wannabes.  Definitely a good read. Worth collecting.

Vampires

by Bernhard Hurwood
Quick Fox:  New York City, New York,  1981
Trade Paperback
This book is out-of-print but it is well worth tracking down.  An essential book for vampire research.  Much about human vampires.
 One of the most intersting books about the subject.  Hurwood passed away several years ago.

Vampires Are
Stephen Kaplan & Carol Kane
ETC Publications:  Palm Springs, CA, 1984
Interesting research about human vampires and wannabes.  Kaplan passed away  several years ago.

The Highgate Vampire
by Sean Manchester
British Occult Society:  London, England, 1985
Trade Paperback
& by Gothic Press:  London, England, 1991
Hardback, Revised Edition


Manchester is a vampire hunter and he is also a bishop in one of the branches of the Catholic Church in England.  (He makes me think of the famous late Montegue Summers who wrote many scholarly books about vampires, werewolves and witchcraft; he was also a bishop in the Catholic Church except from the photographs of Manchester he looks a good bit like a Lord Byron.)  He writes about his encounter with a vampire in Highgate Cemetery (famous cemetery in London--it is a "must" see kind of place for anyone visiting there--very old and creepy--visit some of the many websites on the Internet with photographs of the place--in fact if you go to one of our other websites there is a page with a huge listing of websites for the Highgate Cemetery).  Manchester's book is certainly one to add to a vampire collection. He operates Gothic Press.  Do a search on Google or some other search engine--several links turn up for him.  He publishes some interesting books.


The Natural History of Vampires

by Anthony Masters
Rupert Hart-Davies:  London, England, 1972
Hardback


Well researched.  Lots of interesting  stories about individuals accused of vampirism throughout history. Add this one to any collection.


Truth About Dracula

by Gabriel Ronay
St. Martin's Press:  London, England, 1972
Hardback

About Vlad Tepes and other vampires in history.  A good read. 


The Vampire: his kith and kin
(The best of the two books listed here.)
by Montague Summers
Originally published in 1928 but last published in 1991 (we have the 1960 edition)
Dorset:  New York City, NE, 1991
Hardback
& The Vampire in Europe
Originally published in 1929 but last in 1980 (we have the 1963 edition)
Aquarian:  Wellingborough, UK, 1980

The Rev. Summers books are scholarly and he believed in the existence of vampires (but that they were evil).  He also believed witches and werewolves existed.  Summers was a Catholic priest in England.  His books are essential to any research and collection.


The Vampire

by Olga Volta
Award:  New York City, NY, 1962
Paperback

Vampires in history and literature.  Much bibliographical material.  Short but worth reading.  

A Dream of Dracula:  in search of the living dead
by Leonard Wolf
Little, Brown:   Boston, MA, 1972
Hardback
& ed. of The Annotated Dracula
C. N. Potter:  New York City, New York, 1975
Hardback  

Wolf's book is entertaining.  A somewhat scholarly approach yet done in a popular vein.  Definitely add to the collection.  Good research.
Wolf's edition of Dracula is nicely done with lots of gothic illustrations.  It is probably the best edition of Dracula ever published. You will want to find a copy.





NOTE:  MORE TO COME!