Archive for Friday, 20 January, 2012

Emerging from Darkness (pt 3 Vampires World Wide)

Posted: Friday, 20 January, 2012 by deacongray in Uncategorized


Jan 20 2012 -{Graveyard Press}-

In Ghana there are “Witch Camps” were accused witches who have escaped mob justice and death have gathered together.  In Nigeria a Pentecostal preacher named Helen Ukpabio was quoted in an HBO Special “Saving Africa’s Witch Children” as saying “if a child under the age of 2 screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health, he or she is a servant of Satan.”  It is believed that thousands of children have been killed or abandoned as a result. In South Africa, however there are Vampires.


I am not speaking about the dreaded Asasabonsam or Adze, Demonic predators that stalk the deep forests, or the Ghostly Obayifo that drains psychic energy from its victims, but the much less spooky but seemingly just as rare, living breathing human vampire. A vampire that faces more threat from their own community then their community would ever experience from them. In the middle of it all Octane Val Valur has organized the South African Vampire Alliance.

Today we greet Octarine Val Valur will you tell us a little about where you are from?

OVV: I live in South Africa, in an industrial center called Port Elizabeth, which is a city on the south-east coast. It’s also a tourist haven because of all the beaches and surfing attractions that attracts people from all over the world. Jeffery’s Bay is just up the coast, about an hour from here.

GYP: What is it like there?

OVV: It’s a pretty conservative place still and the city a little more so. It’s odd to think of such a modern city still having such a conservative attitude, despite us having such a modern and advanced constitution that guarantees freedom of religion and expression. PE is pretty much in the “bible belt” of SA – which is pretty much everything from the northern borders, south. There are many, many churches and small one-room cults split off from the Christian mainstream here. Most of them are very active, charismatic and fanatically intolerant of anything they disagree with – mostly homosexuality and other religions. There is a lot of Christian fundamentalism here. I think you can guess that makes things harder for us.

GYP: What do you mean by “…that makes things hard for us?”
OVV: Many gay people, especially lesbians and especially in the black community, face assault and rape inflicted on them as a “punishment” or a “corrective measure” by some of these people. Although general “gay bashing” doesn’t seem to occur much anymore, the Pagan community doesn’t appear to face actual violence in city areas. In under educated rural areas actual witch hunts still take place, with the typical innocent but unpopular old widow or spinster being lynched by religious zealots who wouldn’t know an actual witch if one bit them on the ass. I think all this fosters a culture of fear and dread among SA vamps who consider the idea of coming out. I myself am also coffined, and keep my dayside and nightside distinctly separate.

GYP: So how active is the community there? I mean if everyone lives in fear of being outed, it can’t be that active.

OVV: There is virtually no accessible vampire subculture here of any kind, although in Johannesburg and Cape Town there have been several nightclubs which could have been described as Haevens, though they ceased to exist about three years ago. There are still internet records of their events and activities, but no record whatever of any Houses or other VC type Groups in the country. There are rumors of blood bars in Johannesburg, but I have not been able to confirm.

GYP: You said there are still real witch hunts in the country. Does that limit the pagan community as well?

OVV: Since true freedom of religion is only about 15 years old in SA (satanism and paganism were only de-criminalized in about 1996), even Pagans and Wiccans are still largely underground and keep a low profile. Vampires are virtually invisible, though increasingly we appear to be coming online, and I have been finding more and more South African Kin on the OVC, blissfully unaware that there are any Groups at all in SA.

There are rumors (always are, aren’t there?) of small secretive underground groups of vamps, though I have never met any of them, or had contact with any of them directly. The Pagan community is always aware of vamps for some reason – they know we exist, and mostly (at least in my experience) they are tolerant and welcoming, although I have been warned that not everyone is.

Our experiences late last year (2011) with hostile Pagans and Pagan groups were rather unpleasant, but it is heart-warming to know that among the Pagans, and even among the Pagan leaders, there are vamps too, and even non-vamps who are positive and welcoming towards us. The official face of Pagan culture in SA, the SAPRA and SAPC bodies have all voiced non-discrimination and welcoming to us – as well as support for us during the recent turmoil when we essentially “came out” to the Pagan community in SA, and experienced drama on a large scale from conservative and hostile Pagans.

GYP: So what are you doing to keep in touch, or keep active? Do you have your own organizations, and how do you front them and keep a low profile?

OVV:  I created House Valur. The vamps I have met in real life thus far are all Pagan, and mostly Wiccan. I suppose it is for this reason that all the members of the House are all Wiccans, even though we decided to be a secular group. We belong to the same larger Wiccan coven also, although not all of us are known to the others as vamps.

In some ways the vamp coven grew out of the Wiccan coven because for some unknown reason it appears Wicca is appealing to vamps, so it is that most of our members have come to us this way.

In mid 2010, we at House Valur developed a law set for our area, called the Totum Lex Vampyrica (TLV) which we feel works better for us than the Black Veil, and caters better to our circumstances here. It seems that according to some interpretations on blood consumption laws here, possessing blood or donating or consuming it is a criminal offense, which puts a grim shade on our existence here. The TLV has also been translated and distributed amongst Spanish-speaking communities in Europe and South America. Many in the US VC have criticized it because they are more able to live freely and openly, forgetting that it is not even remotely so easy for us to do the same.

GYP: So aside from the threat of physical harm you also face a good deal of discrimination?

OVV: People get fired or evicted from their homes for lots of reasons, but also for their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, which political party they support, or just for what religion they are – even if they are not allowed to discriminate, they find some other official reason to get rid of the people they don’t like for these actual reasons.

On our forum (The Real Vampire Forum) as well as in House Valur, we don’t differentiate anymore between Sang and PSI vamps all the time, if we discuss how we feed then its a topic on feeding, not on who we are – but we just classify as Vampires. We are of the opinion that continuously harping on feeding methods as a definition of vampiric nature, and an obsession with sub-classifying our kind, tends to divide and polarize the community. And then we wonder why people start thinking in an “us” and “them” mentality.

I have always approached the idea of building the SA VC from the ground up with the concept of avoiding the mistakes of the OVC and US VC in general, including strife and polarization between religious or spiritual groups, as well as a repeat of a psi/sang war.

GYP: So you are the only group out there, or are there others in South Africa?

OVV: In 2010 I happened across a Group in Centurion, Pretoria which was founded in December 2009 by Izak Nagel, called House of Havoc. It is a vamp coven, which has been active on Facebook and Youtube, doing some low-key advocacy work for the VC. One of the Facebook groups used is an Afrikaans FB group called “Regte Moderne Vampiere” (Real Modern Vampires). House Valur and House of Havoc entered into a formal relationship in mid 2010. House of Havoc is behind some of the vampire themed parties in Pretoria and Johannesburg currently.


I started a Facebook group called “Real Vampi(y)res South Africa” in early 2011, in an attempt to build the local VC, attract local Kin and so on, which has succeeded to various degrees – in fact, it is on this group which the SAVA came into being in mid to late May 2011.

GYP: What is the SAVA?
OVV: The South African Vampi(y)re Alliance (SAVA)

Several individuals came together on the Real Vampi(y)res South Africa group on Facebook on 19 May to discuss formalizing the SA VC. The conversation turned to the VJC and the Charter I had just finished for that project, and thus I was asked to base a Constitution on the VJC Charter in order to establish the SAVA. Although the original VJC Charter took me almost 2 weeks to complete through 2 draft versions, several FAQ’s and many, many dramatic arguments on several Facebook groups and forums, this project took me over a week to complete – and was received with open arms and not one iota of criticism. In fact, it was welcomed and complimented. To say I was surprised is an understatement. I have since grown to appreciate it as a difference in culture – I have been so accustomed to the US VC with its long-established culture of drama and storms in a teacup, the failure to be dropped in a blender of drama stumped me.

At any rate, after a few minor modifications, the draft SAVA Constitution was accepted by the representatives of the three other Houses. Aside from House of Havoc and House Valur, two new Houses were being formed, one in Cape Town () and another in Johannesburg (House Nereo), and according to the Halo system laid out in the Constitution, the SAVA began with these 4 Houses based in 3 Halos or provinces of South Africa.

House Nereo, in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province (Gauteng Halo), started on 27 May 2011 with three members, and adopted the Totum Lex Vampyrica of House Valur as its system of ethics.

GYP: So it sounds like you have a lot going on, despite the tribulation of being in a discriminatory culture.

OVV: Last year we started the SA Vampyre News page, and in the process, we attracted the attention of the local media, with one of our more prominent local figures (Magister of Gacrux Halo) giving no less than 2 interviews with different papers. SAVA also hosted a small but successful event in Johannesburg, which drew new blood to the group.

Currently I would say that the “scene” here in SA is very much alive, although it is guarded, underground and secretive. Some, a very few, are bravely open about being vampiric, and working to network and build the VC.

I want to thank a moment to thank Octarine Val Valur for her time and for being so forth coming in this interview. In the Next part of the our vampires world Wide section we will talk to a woman from Portugal, and explore what it is like to live in old Europe as an Otherkin