As we approach Halloween, it is unsurprising that our thoughts turn to scary spooks and menacing monsters, however, at the moment, vampires seem to be particularly popular.


The time was when the main group of people who were fascinated by the toothy trouble makers were Goths but recently in Australia the academic world has also been moving to ‘the darkside’. The University of Western Sydney’s Adam Possamai, author of Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y, has studied the rise of ”hyper-real” religions drawing on popular culture.

”People are becoming inspired by the characteristics of the vampire and see them as a source of fulfilling their potential and inner abilities,” Associate Professor Possamai said.

Another researcher; Danielle Kirby studied the ”Otherkin”, who meet in an online forum and believe they are partially or entirely non-human. She discovered there are about 800 members of the Otherkin network – not that all of its members believe themselves to be vampires; other popular identities included dragons, fairies and angels. Nevertheless, vampires were the figures that the majority of members identified with. Ms Kirby said

“The online and secretive nature of many self-described vampires – some who profess to drink blood, others who consume ”psychic energy” – make it difficult to pin down numbers but believers say there could be 300 in Australia.”

Before you decide to sharpen your fangs and join this subculture take heed from the Australian College of General Practitioners president Chris Mitchell who has stated that vampiric pursuits are dangerous due to ”the potential transmission of blood-borne diseases”.

I think I shall play safe and settle for a nice cup of tea instead – how about you?


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