An Interview with Julia Caples, Lady DarkRose

Posted: Saturday, 31 December, 2011 by nicolajones in Uncategorized
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The vampire community has many notable names and faces, and a history that is complex and the different segments of community often do not know of the individuals who contributed to other areas of the community’s evolution.  If you came to the online vampire community after 2005, you might never have heard of Julia Caples.  And for those who were active online and off prior to then you might have wondered what happened to this notable figure who seemed to vanish from the communities conscious.  I have known Julia, better known as Lady Dark Rose, since 2000.  We met online in a yahoo discussion group, and when she opened House Sable Brahmin I was invited to join.  Julia became my mentor and best friend, and has shaped my personal evolution since then.  We met for the first time in the fall of 2001, when I journeyed to her home in Pennsylvania.   She has been a constant presence in my life ever since.  Recently Julia returned to the internet and working on the Tradition that she founded.  The editors at the Graveyard Press asked me if I could interview Julia, a unique position for any writer, and a challenge to step outside my role as best friend and present questions to her that the community would find interesting, while doing so in an unbiased way considering my involvement in many of the projects that Julia is working on.  I hope I have been successful and that you enjoy the following interview.

Nicola: You have said that you first realized you were a vampire in the seventies as a child, can you describe what that felt like and how you became aware?

Julia: I actually became “aware” that I wasn’t like anybody else that ever knew or even knew of when I was a child in the 70’s. I was raised in a devout Southern Baptist household. I didn’t have access to things like vampire movies, books/stories, pictures etc. I did however have a very basic understanding/knowledge of what the literary/folklore vampire was, thanks to other children talking about those “forbidden” subjects in my youth group at church. I knew that even though I didn’t actually have many of the traits of the literary/folklore vampire, I knew enough about myself (I spent a lot of time alone. Other children instinctively knew that I was not like them. Which suited me just fine; I wasn’t very keen on the idea of spending time with them) to know that I hungered for blood. As well, I was already feeding off of people’s life force and knew enough to recognize that I was doing that (I may not have called it feeding off of life force, but I knew that I was somehow inhaling other people’s “souls”) and that when I did it (which was all the time), I felt unbelievably good. I realized early on that when I would ” inhale people’s souls”, that I would achieve a sense of clarity about all things. I realized that I could understand things about life that even my parents (which in retrospect, is not saying much) were not able to comprehend. So, in conclusion, I didn’t really believe that I was the kind of vampire the kids from church described. Yet I knew that I was something very similar. So, I used the word vampire to describe myself to myself. For some reason I needed to be able to label what it was that I felt (the blood hunger), as well as what I instinctively did. Which was “inhale human souls”. Perhaps, I needed to label myself so as not to feel completely alone.

Nicola:  You have also said that you first publicly described yourself as a vampire in the early eighties, what was your coming out of the coffin like and where and  to whom did you come out to?


My first time as well as any other subsequent times in the mid to late 80’s when I first publicly described myself as a vampire, was in a nut shell, no big deal. I didn’t announce it in any kind of media. I did choose to tell a few select people. Since I started drinking human blood in the 80’s, it was sometimes necessary to explain to those who I fed from what I believed my true inner nature to be. Even at the time in my life, I was adept at hunting. I was able to pick out the type of person who would be able to accept what I was telling them about myself as well as be sympathetic to my need/desire to feed from them. Sometimes it wasn’t necessary to explain any of that to my donors. Since I usually chose to drink human blood during a sexual encounter (that can be many different things). I learned very quickly and early on that a sexual element only adds more power, more oomph, more everything to the consuming of human blood. It was far more convenient and much easier to feed this way. More times than not, my donors complied with my request for their blood without any explanation on my part.  I know that for me, the ability to “enchant” those around me was/is an innate ability. I never had to “work” at it, still don’t. In fact, for me, everything about my vampiric nature came rather easily. I never had any physical or moral struggles with my true nature.

Nicola: What were your early influences?

Julia:  As I stated previously, I didn’t really have any influences. As a child, I was forbidden to watch vampire movies, read vampire books, or have any access to anything vampiric or occult in nature. As a pre-teen and as a teenager, I lived on the streets, or I was fighting for my survival (non vampiric), or I was giving birth to children and in general, living in one long nightmare. I didn’t have any inclination to seek out anything that had to do with vampires (movies, books, folklore) besides; everything I needed to know about being a “vampire” was already inside of me. On some level, I already knew that. I did however meet a witch (a Wiccan) when I was in the midst of what would be the start of one horrific nightmare after another. I was 12 years old when the Wiccan came into my life. She opened my mind to all kinds of possibilities. Not vampiric ones, but the door to the occult (and its many paths) and new possibilities had been unlocked for me. I had always been drawn to all things Occult (especially those things considered “dark” in nature) as a child.

Nicola: You were well known in the nineties as public figure for blood drinkers, what all media did you do and what were your intentions for doing so?

Julia: Yes, I was very well known in the nineties as a vampire (blood drinker).  Side Note: Notice that I am not using the term Sanguinarian, that is a label created by the OVC. I’m not sure why we needed a new word to describe ourselves? Perhaps, to many in the community (mostly the OVC), Sanguinarian sounds less predatory, less “dark”. Blood drinker seems more honest, more raw, more in keeping with our predatory natures. Make no mistake; if you are a vampire, you are a predator. You can live in denial all you want. Bottom line, vampire equates predator, on some level. Sorry, long side note. By the early nineties, I really had no idea what/who was really out there in regards to any kind of structural vampire group/society/community. I came to realize that I am probably not the only real living vampire in the world. So, I started my own vampire magazine (no internet yet), in order to find and bring together others like myself. In doing that, I opened a flood gate. Every kind of person, vampire or not, came out of the wood work. I was inundated with magazines, books, illustrations, original writings, and requests from vampire researchers and so on, to share with them my insights and life story. I was approached by an author to be interviewed for a chapter in his book. After the book was published and even before (due to people like Marty Riccardo, a very well-known and respected vampire researcher and writer, singing my praises), the media couldn’t seem to get enough of the “normal” looking mother who is a vampire and a witch. I did daytime talk shows in the USA and in Europe. I was in the book ‘Something in the Blood’. I was interviewed in many vampire magazines. I was interviewed in local “what’s happening” magazines. I did TV shows about the mysterious and unknown things in our world. I spoke at various vampire gatherings. My intentions for doing so much media here and in Europe, started with noble intentions. I sincerely wanted to find the others like myself and help them. Which I did indeed accomplish. Along the way, I became self-important with all the attention I was receiving. I made poor choices, in part, because of my status as a vampire celebrity. Towards the end of my celebrity status, I had come back to myself and was only interested in finding and helping others like myself.
Nicola:    Can you tell us what all shows you appeared on and in which year?  What were those experiences like?  What was the worst show you did in your opinion?  What  was your favorite show that  you did?

Julia: I will do my best to tell you all the shows that I appeared in, not in chronological order. I am fuzzy about a lot of the media that I did. I moved a lot and lost quite a bit of my records and/or tapes, copies of print media and so on that I had of the different media that I did.

The Ricki Lake Show-1994?

(Author’s Note: This show was my first introduction to Living Vampires, I remember watching it in 1994 when it aired).

A German Documentary (I can’t remember the name of the production company) 1994

Black Pearls Documentary-1993 or 1994

Belfast Radio (in Ireland) 1995?

Here’s Johnny (Late night talk show in London) 1997?

Exploring the Unknown-2000

Penn & Teller: Bullshit-2004

The Bill Cunningham Show-2011

Tons of local radio shows in Florida and  San Francisco, California.

These are the only one’s that I can think of off the top of my head.

For the most part, most of my experiences with doing these shows was positive, especially the documentaries. The worst show I did was The Ricki Lake Show…bar none. Ricki Lake and her “people” were rude and condescending. They were very unprofessional (in my opinion). My best experience was doing The Here’s Johnny Show in London. I got paid a lot of money for starters. I was treated like a sane person, not a delusional wanna be vampire/role player. I got to see fabulous London and hang out with that nights other guest on the show–Richard E. Grant, (from ‘Warlock’ and ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ movies fame). He told me that he thought what I had to say was fascinating. As well as the awesome crew from the show. It was as all around awesome experience. I would also like to mention the media that I turned down. I turned these down mostly because I thought that they would do the community more harm than good.

Dateline-1994 or 1995 (they wanted to interview me about Roderick Justin Ferrell. If you don’t know who he is, you should. Go look it up. My thoughts at the time were that having the Vampire community associated with him would be a very bad thing.)

David Letterman-1996 (I decided that nothing good could possibly come from being interviewed by David Letterman. I don’t really have a concrete reason, it was mostly a feeling.)

The Howard Stern Show-1996 (The same reasoning that I stated for the David Letterman Show, I applied to doing the Howard Stern Show. I couldn’t possibly see what good could come of it. Even though I was asked to do these shows during a time in my life when I was self-absorbed, I was able to look outside of myself enough, to see the mistake it would have been to do these shows.)

Montel Williams-1996 (For this show, I probably would had done it. However, the timing was off. I had too much already going on, media wise.)

I mention these shows for two reasons. One, these are or were, media shows with audiences in the millions. I would have reached a lot of people. Two, I wonder now if I had done these shows, what differences would they had made for the community as well as in my life.

Nicola: You had a chapter about you in the book Something in the Blood, can you tell us about the experience of being interviewed for the book?

Julia: I was chapter 13 in the book ‘Something in the Blood’. My over all experience being interviewed for the book was really a good experience. The authors, Jeff Guinn with Andy Grieser, were very open-minded (at least that is how they seemed to me, during my interview) and very funny (I really like funny people). They seemed genuinely interested in understanding who/what I perceived myself to be. I remained in close contact with Jeff Guinn for many years after the book was published. By doing that book, I was able to reach out to quite a few people (vampires) and help them to have a better understanding about themselves and hopefully unlock some doors for them and make available knowledge that was previously unavailable to them.

Nicola: What all print media did you contribute to or be interviewed for? What about radio? Do you have any interesting experiences to share?

Julia: I will try to remember all the print media and radio that I did. Like I previously stated, most of the information is coming straight from my memory. I moved a lot and had most of my belongings stolen from me on several occasions. Amongst those belongings that were stolen, most of the media that I did for the community were taken. Okay, here it goes…off the top of my head:

Weekly World News (no longer in publication as of 2010…a moment of silence)

Java (October-Special Horrible Issue-Arizona)

Journal of the Dark (several times)

V.I.E. (several times)

Something in the Blood

Vampyre Magazine (Issue #1)

Not “print” media, but I did quite a few online interviews over the years (mostly in the beginning of the OVC).

Belfast Radio (this was an awesome interview).

Tons of local radio in Florida and  San Francisco,California
Nicola: You published your own underground Magazine the Dark Rose Journal; can you tell me about the experience and what it taught you?

Julia: Yes, I published (which means, especially in the beginning, that I edited, wrote all the articles and fiction, did all the illustrations and physically put the 80+ pages magazine together myself…no matter what Jeff Guinn’s assumptions when he interviewed me) a Vampyre Magazine–‘The DarkRose Journal’ in the early to late 90’s. It was, to my knowledge, one of the first international zines that were dedicated to “real” living vampyres. I am using the “Y” spelling of the word vampire now because that is how I spelled it in my magazine (back in the early 90’s). My reasons for doing that were two-fold. First, spelling it with a “Y” is a much older spelling of the word. I just liked the way it looked better than the modern version. Second, that was my way of differentiating “real” vampyres from role-players, life-stylers and club kids.  Anyways, I’m not implying that I was the only one or even the first magazine to explore “real” living vampyres from the perspective of a “real” living vampyre. However, I was certainly among the group that was the early trailblazers of the “real” vampyre Community. My time publishing ‘The DarkRose Journal’ was an explosion of growth, spiritually, socially and physically. Like I said earlier, after I published the first issue of the Journal, Vampyres came into my life from all over the world, from under every rock, out of every cave and yes, out of every coffin (sometimes literally). I was bombarded with “vampires” who needed my help, who wanted me to join them (that means all kinds of different things), who wanted to “set me straight” about what a vampire really was, those who wanted to join me, and so on. It also brought out the fanatic Christians as well as it brought out people who truly thought that they were real vampire hunters. The overall lesson I learned from publishing ‘The DarkRose Journal’ was that there is a real need to find others like myself and form some kind of bind and help each other in whatever way we can.

Nicola:  You ran an early incarnation of a house, called the Dark Court, what was your motivation for it and can you tell me about the inception and evolution of the group?

Julia: Yes, after the first issue of ‘The DarkRose Journal’ was published, quite a few local “vampires” came out of their hiding places to meet me. They always wanted to meet at the local Gothic club. Upon meeting certain individuals, it became clear to me that they were looking for someone to open certain “vampiric” doors for them. So, even though I personally didn’t think that any of them were “real” living vampyres, I created a Vampyre Coven-The Dark Court. They seemed to be craving this kind of closeness with me. Since, we became a very close knit group of vamps, it made my then current situation (I had 2 small children to take of) a whole lot easier. We, The Dark Court, met at night (I know, big shocker) after my children were asleep or during the day (another shocker…I had little kids, I had to get up during the daylight hours) when my children were at school. These meetings were, being completely honest, more for my benefit than for theirs. I had my own non vampyre human buffet to feed from, whenever I wanted. I tried to impart my vampiric knowledge to them, as well as help them unlock previously locked doors that opened up into the many realms of the Occult. I don’t think that they absorbed much of what I gave them. I think that they mostly liked making the rounds in the vampire/goth culture, while being seen with the local vampire celebrity. We, The Dark Court, did do a lot of public Vampyre ceremonies in a few different venues. It was quite mesmerizing from the audience’s perspective, at least that’s what we were always told. We raised money performing these ceremonies and used the revenue to help local charities. So, I amend my previous statement. The Dark Court didn’t mostly exist for my benefit. We did indeed help others which in turn helped us to grow and evolve as individuals. So, I guess it was a win, win scenario. They got what they wanted (status of some kind, at least in their minds) and I received what I wanted/needed.

Nicola: What made you create House Sable Brahmin and what was your inspiration for the Cimmerian Illuminati?

Julia: Initially, I was asked to create a House for the Sanguinarium by another well-known member of the community (not well known then, but well known now). The Sanguinarium was just taking off when I created House Sable Brahmin. I had just gotten married right around the same time the house was being created. My husband, at the time, helped me create House Sable Brahmin. It was actually more important to him than it was to me. I was just doing it because those I was close to at the time asked me to join them by creating a House. I kept my House very simple (it was real life and online). It initially consisted of Elders (Yes, I was an “official”-had a public ceremony in NY and everything-Adept Elder in the Community. I was even given a special Ankh to wear…WooHoo!) and Mavens (initiates). Once I saw the error in that
(you cannot, in my opinion, give someone the title of Elder. A true Elder probably doesn’t even know that they are a true Elder. They certainly don’t “wear” the title of Elder plastered across their forehead. Perhaps assigning labels and positions to the members of a House works for others, but it did not work for me or my members). After I did away with all the labels and encouraged “real” free speech among the members, my House did okay for a time. However, I felt that it never had any real growth or evolution. I felt that it’s only purpose seemed to become just another House taking up internet space. In my opinion, it served no real purpose other than to boost individual ego’s and/or the House’s ego in the community. I didn’t/don’t need a House to find those who resonate with the Darkborne Tradition–the spiritual path of Cimmerian Illuminati…this is my path, a path that was borne from my innate vampiric Essence.

Let’s break it down:

Cimmerian Illuminati: A balance of Darkness and Illumination. If you will…an illuminating Darkness. Cimmerian Illuminati is a blending of Elemental Magick, Blood (feeding and Magickal/ritual uses), sexual magick, and innate vampiric abilities. As disciples of “Endarkment” (Just to be clear, I coined this term in 2000 in the OVC), we use Cimmerian Illuminati to continuously evolve our divine spiritual and physical legacy.

Let me define Cimmerian for you: Cimmerian a) Pertaining to Cimmerium, a town at the mouth of the Palus Maeotis. The ancients pretended that this country was involved in Darkness; whence the phrase Cimmerian Darkness, to denote a dark or continued obscurity. b) One of the mythical or ancient Cimmerti, first prominently mentioned by Homer. Written also as Kimmerian.

Upon entering the Sanguinarium with my House–I needed to explain my spiritual path, if I had one (as per the rules). I had named my beliefs/path quite a while ago…The Darkborne Tradition. Cimmerian Illuminati, was a more detailed explanation of that original belief system.

Our Darkness is not the absence of Light. It is one of Illuminating Darkness. It is Endarkment

Nicola: After you had your son you took a break from the community, and focused on family and your own personal path, can you share any lessons you learned during that time?  Do you find motherhood more fulfilling now, having been able to focus solely on your children for a while?

Julia: After my experience with doing the Penn & Teller: Bullshit Show (really, the name of the show should have made me turn it down) two weeks after I gave birth to my 3rd child, I decided to take some time off from the online Vampire community and doing publicity for the community. I tried to be a better mother to my newest addition, than I was to my 2 older children—who were at the time of the birth of my 3rd son, almost grown. My life has/does consist of so much more than the vampire community. Because of the things that happened to me, starting in my childhood, when I became a vampyre celebrity (a Z list celebrity to be sure), for the first time, people were seeking me out to learn from me, to be with/around me. Instead of seeking me out to abuse me, torture me, rape me, beat me, or any number of horrible things. So, in the midst of my “celebrity”, I became self-absorbed–and while I never abused my children or denied them my love, there were definitely times when I was neglectful. I definitely missed some of the precious moments of their childhoods. I vowed to myself and my newborn son that I would be a better mother this time around. So, I felt it necessary to remove myself from the OVC. Not the real life community. I was still who/what I am, and lived my life as such. I just stopped doing media, of any kind for the community. I stayed away from the OVC for about 6 years. When I returned, it had changed quite a lot. My sabbatical from the OVC taught me very little. For I never really gleaned much of anything useful from the OVC. For me, knowledge is gained in in real life experiences. I personally, never learned anything of significance from the OVC sites/forums. For me, most of the information that is available in the OVC, is old hat, or it is, in my opinion, complete and utter bullshit. Not all, just most of it. I’m not negating the usefulness of the OVC, just explaining that real vampyres existed long before the OVC. My time away, like I already stated, allowed me to be the mother that I should have been with my oldest children. Basically, my whole time away from the OVC, was spent raising my son. I didn’t change who/what I am, other than I learned I was not the center of the Universe, Vampire or otherwise. I ate a huge piece of reality and humble pie…and it was delicious.

Nicola:     Do you have any advice for new mothers who are in the community about raising a child as a vampire?

Julia: The best advice I can give a new mother in the V Community raising a child as a vampire is…DON’T raise your child as a vampire. That is, in my opinion, a form of spiritual/emotional abuse. Just because you are a “vampire” doesn’t mean that your children are “vampires”. You absolutely cannot influence them in any way. They have to discover their own inner nature (whatever that is) on their own.

Now, if I read this question incorrectly, and you are actually asking me, how does a young mother raise a child when the mother is a vampire…is a different answer, of course. Being a parent has nothing to do with being a vampire. I would hope that a young vampire mother would be more tolerant and open-minded than the young non-vampire mother. However everyone is an individual with individual personalities and belief systems. I raised my children to learn HOW to think, not WHAT to think. As a result (even though my children suffered horribly due to the ignorance of others), my 2 oldest children have become beautiful and awesome adults. They are productive members of society, while at the same time being empathic, compassionate, and passionate, beyond kind hearted human beings. I never included them in any part of my vampirism. They knew of it (how could they not). They asked a few questions, but in general could have cared less. They still, to this day, could care less. Just love your children for who they are, not what/who you want/think they should be. Never abuse them physically, spiritually or emotionally on any level. I know that seems like a given, but you might be surprised how many people abuse their children and don’t even realize that they are doing it. My 2 oldest children are the product of rape (by the same man, who I was forced to marry at the age of 17). I mention this only to convey a point. Even though they were borne of vile ignorance and violence, I never saw them as anything but the most beautiful creations and the truest meanings in my world. I never took out the horror that I suffered, due to their “father” raping me, on them. I simply love them and appreciate them for who/what they are.

Nicola:     What do you see as the Future for the Darkborne Tradition?

Julia: As far as the future of The Darkborne Tradition goes, I would like for it to be a “beacon” in the glorious Darkness for those who resonate with its path (in whatever way). I want it to evolve and grow, just as the life we live should evolve and grow. I do not want it to stagnate, like I see much of the Vampire Community has. Perhaps some people will come and they will leave as they evolve and no longer feel that they need or fit with The Darkborne Path. That is as it should be. I hope that an influx of people dedicated to understanding their true inner natures, will keep the Tradition alive and growing. Where it might eventually end up, I cannot say. The point of The Darkborne Traditions existence is to be but a stepping stone, on the many different paths of its members. Hopefully, as its members evolve and move on, they will take some of The Darkborne Tradition with them. In doing so, we will forever be a part of the cycle of Universal Energy, passed on from Vampyre to Vampyre.

Side Note (I know, yet another one): When I left the OVC those 6 or so years, my best friend Nicola Jones, kept the fire of The Darkborne Tradition burning within the community. Honestly, I dropped the ball and left quite a few people without guidance, just swaying in the wind. Nicola never gave up spreading the word that there was/is an alternative to all the other “stuff” that the community (not everyone in the community) tries to dictate as the only truth about real living vampires. Thank you Nicola from the bottom of my vampire Essence.

Nicola: Awe shucks, your welcome!

Nicola: What projects are you currently working on?

Julia: I am currently writing my memoir. Which does relate to the Vampire Community…a huge chunk of the book will be about my experiences in the V Community. Let me explain. I was bombarded in the 90’s by various publishers and other writers, to write my life story. I couldn’t do it then. Good thing too, I would have written it for all the wrong reasons. Now that my life has become somewhat settled (at least compared to what it has been), I feel that now is the time to share my story. The truth is, my life story is to most people incomprehensible. It is the stuff of fiction. It is unfathomable to most, vampire or not. I have faced a great many horrors. Not that I think most people will be able to relate to the things that happened in my life. But I think that my message of no matter how horror filled someone perceives their life to be, I mean no matter what, you keep going. You never give up; you never surrender (Thanks ‘Galaxy Quest’). You don’t allow yourself to become a victim of anyone or anything. The worthless meat suits who tried to break you, are so far beneath you that they are not even worthy of your hate. That no matter what the reader is going through, if I can make it through Hell and come out smelling like a Dark Rose. Then surely they can conquer anything that comes along in their life. I am not judging one person’s misfortune as being better or worse than mine. There is no scale.  I plan on using the proceeds from my book to start/help an organization for abused women and children. As well, I would like to give some of the money to the Vampire Community. I just haven’t decided in what capacity yet. I am also working on co-writing with Nicola Jones, The Darkborne Grimoire. I don’t want to say too much about it. Plagarism runs rampant in this community.

Nicola:  What is your hope for the future of the vampire community?

Julia: My hope for the future of the Vampire Community is simply that those involved with the community, whether “real” vampires or not, continue to evolve and grow spiritually, physically and socially. Until individuals within the community actually evolve and grow in those areas, the community will stagnate or worse, become completely driven by drama and false prophets. A community is only as evolved as i’s members. I’m not sure where the community is headed. Real vampyres are not part of the herd. We follow ourselves, our inner vampiric Essence (at least we should be).

Nicola: Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of the Graveyard Press?

Julia: “Believe nothing, O monks, merely because you have been told it…or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings–that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.” ~Attributed to Buddha

Now apply this quote to living your life as a vampyre.

Just breathe…every breath is miraculous, no matter what kind of Being you are. Every life-force (through blood and/or psi) that we “breathe” in, we also “breathe” back out into the Universe. We take the life’s energy, heal it, evolve it…then we “breathe” it back out to be once again assimilated into the endless continuum of Universal Energy. Just keep breathing…

Just breathe…every breath is miraculous, no matter what kind of Being you are. Every life-force (through blood and/or psi) that we “breathe” in, we also “breathe” back out into the Universe. We take the life’s energy, heal it, evolve it…then we “breathe” it back out to be once again assimilated into the endless continuum of Universal Energy. Just keep breathing…

Evolve dammit!

  1. is it ok to re post this to my wall on facebbok

  2. deacongray says:

    Sure post i to anywhere you like

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