Why the Rise in Vampirism?

By Mark A. Kellner

All around us, it seems, we’re told that this is the age of science. Technology’s latest discoveries often end up on the front page and lead off the evening news. There’s a big push in education to focus young minds on careers in the “STEM” fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and schools are encouraged to expand their offerings in these areas.

Yet one of the hotter things for many young people is how to be a vampire, and we’re not talking about a costume worn only on October 31.

Drinking Blood?

One week before Halloween, two middle-school girls, 11 and 12 years of age, were arrested by police in Bartow, Florida, after school officials learned the pair was going to find classmates to kill for the purpose of drinking their blood. The gruesome plot was verified by school officials who said the two students had brought knives and a pizza cutter to school, as well as a goblet.

One news report stated, “According to officials, the 11- and 12-year-old girls said they were Satan worshipers.” The report added, “The girls decided they would attend their first-period classes, then meet in a bathroom, where they would wait for smaller students and overpower them.”

Thankfully, an automated calling system notified one of the girls’ parents their child was missing from class. The parent called school officials and the two miscreants were found in a bathroom where they’d hoped to carry out their plot.

Human Vampires

Sadly, the two Florida pre-teens aren’t unique. John Edgar Browning of the Georgia Institute of Technology has studied “human vampires,” who claim either to drink blood or somehow imbibe the “vital energy” of others, and wrote in Discover magazine that such vampires aren’t unique or isolated: “They are our teachers, our shop clerks, our bartenders, our antique dealers, our IT people, our friends, and for some even, our family and loved ones. Some of us work with vampires every day, or pass them on the street without ever knowing it.”

According to Browning, “Real vampirism is a way for people who might not fit into normal societal boxes to construct an identity and face a world that frequently shuns more than it embraces.”

Media Influence

It might also reflect a continuing—and growing—interest in the occult and in a spirituality distinct from that of Judeo-Christian traditions. The past twenty years have seen a dramatic uptick in media presentations of spiritism as a positive, even friendly, practice. The eight-year run of the original “Charmed” TV series popularized the concept of “good” witches fighting evil and was quickly joined by the Twilight Saga series of books and movies, which are romantic tales about, yes, vampires and the humans with whom they bond. Worldwide, the movies alone grossed more than $3.3 billion at the box office.

If people, young and not-so-young, receive a string of messages from the media and society that being a vampire is somehow “cool,” and that movie-star vampires are attractive and get a lot of attention, should it surprise anyone that people living less-glamorous lives might want to join in the excitement?

Time and any court proceedings might reveal the motives of the two young girls in Florida whose fiendish plot was, thankfully, foiled before anyone could be hurt. And while there are numerous cases of so-called “consenting adults” who will drink another person’s blood, the practice isn’t limited to “sanguinarian” vampires, as they’re called. In New York City, a character named “Father Sebastian” will manufacture a pair of “fangs” for vampire-wannabes to use.

When the Jerusalem council detailed in the book of Acts wrote a decree welcoming Gentiles into the fellowship of the nascent church, they included an injunction that new believers should “abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, [and] from things strangled” (Acts 15:29). While the blood they’re speaking about is the blood of animals, it goes without saying that humans shouldn’t drink the blood of other humans, as implied in Leviticus 17:10–12.

Pagan Christianity

That, plus the occult components of vampirism should be enough to warn Christians away from even play-acting as a vampire, let alone indulging in more serious efforts. Pastor Doug Batchelor has a message about "Pagan Christianity" in which there’s a specific warning against occult practices.

Interestingly, the Bible does talk about Christians imbibing a certain kind of “blood”—the symbolic representation of the life shed by Jesus on the cross for our sins. At the Last Supper, we read, “Then [Jesus] took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:27, 28).

Note carefully: It’s the cup of unfermented wine, also known as grape juice, that Jesus is commending to His disciples. There’s no vampirism here, no imbibing of “life energy” from others. Instead of occult rituals and paganism, the Christian has the unique opportunity of connecting with the only One whose blood can save us, Jesus, through the remembrance known as the communion service.

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