Murder is no laughing matter, but it’s fascinating. Still more fascinating is the history of vamp-wannabe killers, who are often the basis for vampire lore, and even a little literature.
Like the Countess Elizabeth Báthory, who in the 16th Century bathed in the blood of hundreds of young women of breeding, and was believed to have been one of the inspirations behind Bram Stoker’s genre defining Dracula.
And then there were run-of-the-mill psychopaths like Fritz Haarmann, who at the turn of the 20th Century gnawed through the necks of male victims and sold their flesh as pork on the black market.
But don’t lull yourself into thinking that vamp-nuttery is a thing of the past. In 1980 James P. Riva became convinced his grandmother was a 700-year-old vampire and shot her four times with bullets painted gold. And in 2002 Allan Menzies stabbed his pal 42 times before drinking his blood, for making fun of Aaliyah’s performance in Queen of the Damned.
Which begs the obvious question: will the soulful vamps that populate our current cultural landscape become the fodder for tomorrow’s bloodthirsty sociopaths? Food for thought, when that Edward Cullen look-alike sidles up to you at your next holiday party.