Archive for February, 2015

Interview with a vampire!!!

Posted: Friday, 20 February, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

This is a fiction, an advert for a book by way of a interview with a fictional vampire. Don’t take it too seriously but…if you are interested in vampire fiction…

Susan Lattwein

Yes, an interview with a vampire!! IN REAL LIFE!! – as my kids would say.

I was lucky enough to ask Christopher, the vampire from Marigold Deidre Dicer’sThe Black Swan Inheritance a few questions.

the-black-swan-inheritance-final-cover
First, here is a description of the novel.

‘Anita had the kind of reputation in high school no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well, it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening.
The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer.  But Anita is determined not…

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Johann Flückinger and the Vampires.

Posted: Tuesday, 17 February, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

Peedeel's Blog

victim

Flückinger, a surgeon in the Austrian army, compiled with his fellow medical officers, a report on the terrible Vampire epidemics in Serbia. The year was 1732. The Empror of Austria, Charles VI, had ordered an investigation into the rumoured Vampire outbreaks around the Meduegna area. As a result of their findings, the group issued a detailed account of the Vampires, their activities, focusing on individual cases, including that of Arnold Paole – a man known to have had trouble with a Vampire while serving in the army in Greece, and who had been seen by many witnesses wandering at night after his death from a boken neck! Paole, it was decided, was responsible for the outbreak of vampirism.

Flückinger’s report states:

“A woman by the name of Stana, 20 years old, who had died in childbirth two months ago, after a three-day illness, and who had herself said, before her…

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Sanguisuga and the Aluga

Posted: Tuesday, 17 February, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

Peedeel's Blog

devilspirit

Sanguisuga is a Latin term meaning “bloodsucking” used in the Vulgate to explain a passage in Proverbs (30:15) that makes reference to a bloodsucking demon, the Aluga – an Arabic name that translates as: “Horse-leech”, or “Bloodsucking Jinn“ , and traditionally a female demon that feasted on dead babies.

The term Sanguisuga is also used in titles and texts of various eighteenth-century treatises on vampires e.g. DISERTATION ON THE BLOODSUCKING DEAD by Johann Rohl and Johann Hertel, DISSERTATIO DE CADAVERIBUS SANGUISUGA by Johann Stock.

Interestingly the Aluga in some Mediterranean sources is described as a Demonic King of the Vampires…

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Monster Monday: Estrie

Posted: Tuesday, 17 February, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

Write Wrote Written

We all know about vampires and werewolves, or at least we think we do. The legends and myths that inspired these monsters are sometimes surprisingly different, but no less chilling. In this series of posts, Monster Monday, we’ll investigate the monsters that have informed our modern notions, as well as some lesser known monsters. Today, we talk about the Estrie.

Scene from the vampire novel Carmilla Scene from the vampire novel Carmilla

An estrie is a female vampire in Jewish folklore. She generally prefers to seduce men so that she can suck their blood, but she is not overly picky in her victims. She prefers the nighttime, but it is unclear in the legends whether daylight will cause her harm.

She can appear in human form or spirit form, or as an animal, usually a bird or a cat. She is undeterred by religious iconography and can enter into holy places. She can fly if…

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Interview with Kindred

Posted: Tuesday, 17 February, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

My Vispassana Adventure

Posted: Tuesday, 17 February, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

Silveness Weaves Her Magic..

ykdety

Vispassana, as is says in the information blurb, is a process of self-purification by self-observation.

The actual technique is very easy and straight forward.
First you feel the sensation of your breath going through the nostril area.
The next day you learn to observe the sensations below the nostrils and above the upper lip.
Next day you continue the same.
On the Fourth day you expand to feeling the sensations all over your body.
Keep doing this and do not get attached to anything. I am simplifying greatly but it was not complicated.

That is the nut shell…the meat is another story.

The rules are the standard Buddhist rules of :- no killing, stealing, lying, sex or booze.

And, the biggy – Keeping Noble Silence.

Now I am not a Buddhist, it just goes against my inner nature. I love my desires and do not feel my natural state is…

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My Mother thinks She’s a Vampire

Posted: Tuesday, 17 February, 2015 by deacongray in Articles of Interest, Community Announcements, Uncategorized
Tags:

(A 19 Year old Girl talks about struggling with her mother’s unusual identity)

Mom Art
By Deacon Gray

2/10/2015 © Graveyard press

Everyone knows that kid you grew up with who had a weird parent. Jimmy’s mom might be a hippy tree hugger, or Donald’s dad makes everyone separate their trash for compost. But, what if it was your parent, and what if they were much more unusual? Insert Lizzy

Lizzy is a nineteen year old young lady, with bright green eyes, soft red hair, and the pale skin. She was her class vice president, and the leader of the pep club at school. She was in nearly every way the typical teenage girl. Typical with one exception “My mom thinks she is a vampire. Do you know how hard that is to explain to a guy after he picks you up for your first date?”

Lizzy (Elisabeth) laughs a little but the amusement doesn’t reach her eyes. Since she was a little girl her mother has been not only obsessed with vampires, she dressed like one, had fake teeth made, and has been known to drink cow blood. “Thankfully, not in front of guests.”

In time she even started to claim to be a real living vampire, something that not only caused her daughter a little embarrassment, but concern. I’ll let her tell you about in her own words. “I didn’t start out knowing there was anything different about my mother. When other kids talked about their mom, the basics all seemed to match up. She made me clean my room, she got on me about my music being too loud, and she had this weird insistence that leafy greens are important for me to eat, even if I hated them. It wasn’t until a family day at school when I was nine that I really started to notice how she was different.

The kids noticed that she always wore dark colors, they also noticed that she had a Ankh and Pentagram she wore around her neck.  It wasn’t unusual to for kids to ask me if I my mom was a Witch, or Goth. I settled for telling them she was a goth, it made more sense than saying she was a vampire, though given any time more than a few minutes and the subject of vampires was bound to come up. She really came off as mental to most other parents. Parents didn’t allow their kids to come over to my place for sleep over’s, and several told their kids not even play with me.

I honestly don’t think she knew what she was putting me through, though I have to admit it could have been worse. By the time I was in high school my crowd of friends was pretty well established. We were the freaks, the geeks and the rejects, you know… good people. Perhaps that was for the best. We didn’t have to worry all the time about falling out of favor with the cool kids, because to us they weren’t cool. My mom taught us to be ourselves, to understand that we have to allow others to be themselves as well, and I guess that’s a powerful lesson.

I won’t lie to you, it is hard nothing being popular. It’s difficult only having the cool guys pay attention to you because they think they can hook up with you. It’s hard to be seen as less than human, too stupid, ugly, poor, different or dorky to be included. It’s a hard lesson, but I learned it well. Tolerance isn’t about ignoring those you don’t understanding.

I learned My mom is an amazing person; someone who is indeed different, but not crazy. I learned there will always be those people out there who don’t understand, and never will. But, I think the lesson I learned that means the most to me was this one. People who love you for who you are, are the only ones who matter.

I don’t believe that my mother is a vampire, but I know she loves me, and I would rather live a life with a weird parent that loves me, rather than a picture perfect life with a parent who doesn’t take the time or make an effort.

Vampire Community members clash with Vampire Fiction Fans

Posted: Monday, 9 February, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

graveyardpress2Written by A.V.F
 1/21/2015 © Graveyardpress ™

The Tensions between the so called Vampire Community (VC) and a totally separate Vampire Fiction Fans (VF) group have escalated recently as conflicts between them spread. There has always been a fairly healthy cross over between the two elements. Most of the time it has been fairly respectful. Recently I was able to talk to members on both sides of the debate. Deacon Gray and Anthony Hogg.

I find myself wondering what’s really behind all the hostility

DG: “It’s not that either side is filled with bad people, or overly arrogant people. They are just people with strong opinions that see no reason to compromise due to internet insulation. Also the people involved have different motivations behind their words. The way I see is is that any conversation has value until the first person goes away from the topic and turns toward insults, or uses words that could be considered insulting.  Disrespecting the conversation or the people who are having it by playing silly games can be certainly lead to hostility.

More often than not, the breakdown of the thread and escalation of hostility has to do with bickering about semantics, and other pointless issues. 

 

With both sides posturing over the last few days, it seemed like I would find it fairly easy to get someone from the other point of view to speak out, and it was. Anthony Hogg was asked his opinions about the issue and this is what he had to say

AH: “To me, it’s more than just semantics; there’s a genuine confusion within the VC over what a vampire’s supposed to be. Though some utilize the term for convenience’s sake, others utilize it more literally, thus displaying incredible historical ignorance, and using oxymorons like ‘real vampire,’ which should be clarified. The recent events Deacon Gray refers to offense taken at Amy Mah’s recent tongue-in-cheek comments, made in character, about ‘donors’ on my Facebook group. That means people in the community are trying to apply politically correct notions to imaginary beings most folk in the VC don’t even believe in, anyway! It’s crazy. This is why discussing things in context is important, not forming online lynch mobs.”

So all of this is a fairly new conflict, but hasn’t there always been a lot of conflict with in the community?

“It’s not new at all. In fact it is one the elements I find distasteful about the public vampire community. Every time there is a news article about some “Vampire Attack” or “Vampire Killer” someone from the Vampire Community feels the need to go out onto the news site and educate the reporters and readers about their perspective of a what a real vampire is. Of course even within the VC there isn’t a single quantitative answer to that question. We see someone go out there and make an ass of themselves pretty much every time the subject comes up in the media.  The downside is that the Vampire Fans, well some of them, find the vampire community a great source for their own entertainment.  

A lot of the time they want to use it for their own articles, stories, or self promotion. ‘These people are freaky vampires, but I bet they will love my story’, or ‘ I make jewelry that is gothic, I bet they would be interested in that.’ But I would say the worse of the lot are those who claim to be skeptics, but are really just antagonists.
Their claim to be simply studying or using healthy skepticism is fine, but they failed to see when those discussions have gone passed their logical conclusion. You also have to remember that some of those who are engaging in this behavior aren’t doing so at face value. In 2009 we had a young writer come in to cause issues basically for publicity. I believe we are seeing some of that developing as well ”

The Vampirologist, Anthony Hogg, had a different take on the subject.

“I don’t see much skepticism in the VC at all; at least, not balanced, overarching skepticism. There certainly is a lot of skepticism when it comes to who’s ‘real’ and who’s ‘fake’; banter not far removed from high school cliques.

The irony is, that neither ‘side’ as any proper verification: vampirism is not a recognized condition, outside of psychological papers on ‘clinical vampirism’ which doesn’t even have DSM-5 recognition. In essence, it’s like arguing over comic book character traits. Fan-fic territory; a purely subjective thing. This schoolyard bickering gets in the way of applying serious study to the field, as we’re essentially dealing with people who ‘don’t need’ any proof – but still argue over who’s real and isn’t among themselves anyway.

What makes it worse, is that skeptics are sometimes dismissed as ‘trolls.’ How is dismissing any form of criticism or discussion that steps outside of a circle jerk, ‘trolling’? That is an incredibly unhealthy view for a community to uphold. Not only does it inhibit critical thought, but it also encourages ‘groupthink’ and cult-like behavior. Skepticism should be encouraged, not vilified.”

Why does there have to be conflict at all? I realize strong opinions are going to happen, but are they so strong that we cannot allow each other different thoughts on a subject and move on with topics we can agree with, after all most of the VC members are serious fans as well. Why does there have to be animosity when there is so much to agree on?

“That would be amazing. There are a lot of things that our communities are in sync about. We both have a love for vampire fiction in its many different forms. The truth is that there will always be people out there who see the VC members and suspect the local mental hospital ran out of beds. Being well skilled in the psychology field, I am sure, they will drop in, not to stroke their own ego’s, but to help the poor deluded people find their way back to reason. They will say they are “just curious” or that they really “find the community fascinating” at first, then move toward the idea of “helping those who are being lead into believing the vampire non-sense” Of course the VC members will be more than happy to join in the conflict, and it doesn’t take long before they are both arguing the definition and spelling of vampire all over again. Both sides of the conflict have their trolls, and both sides will see those trolls come out in force the moment they smell a good debate that they can turn into mudslinging.”

Deacon, I read your last article, are you trying to say that you are immune or above mudslinging?”

“Not at all, respect is earned and I tend to conduct my own discourse based on the level of respect I have for the individual.  Everyone starts out with basic human respect from me, though not everyone shares that mentality . Recently a pundit who didn’t like my article decided to jump into the debate. That would not have been an issue, but he lost my respect by immediately being condescending. I just blocked him and moved on, I don’t recall his name.
The subject of that article “Bubble Gum Vampires Speak” might say the same thing about me, but if she looked back over the various posts she would see I wasn’t condescending with her at all initially. It took some time to lose my respect to that level, not that it is OK to be mean.

“I’m not even sure who Gray is referring to; and that’s something else that should be addressed: if you can’t ‘name names,’ don’t imply things about people.  This passive-aggressive bullshit must stop.

On my own groups I encourage debate; too many groups and forums shy from it, because it escalates into mudslinging. I understand that. However, I take a different approach: we all let off some steam sometimes. Things get heated, but deep down, everyone is ‘decent’, especially if you give them a chance to cool off and apologize. Those that don’t? Well, that’s on their heads. All should strive for clarity: question what someone says, what they’re saying; resist the urge to jump down their throat. Try to understand them.

Amy Mah is a classic case: few seem to ‘get’ that she is a satirist, but through satire, she opens the door to self-reflection. Like many, I was at first a little hostile toward her, but then I started talking to her and finally ‘got’ her. Her discussions on ‘spheres’ of reality are particularly intriguing and I would encourage others to open dialogue with her, too. At the end of the day, many disagreements come from two parties being unable to understand each other, as it does from outright malice. Give people the benefit of the doubt.”

” The ‘Amy Mah’ debate is an interesting point. She uses her fictional persona as a means to slip out of accountability for the things she says.  It’s too easy to be insulting, or flippant toward the vampire community, than back peddle blaming it on a fictional character, or claiming it’s satire. You have to remember she is interacting with people having a real conversation, and role playing a character…sometimes.  I understand Anthony’s defensiveness about her though, they are partners on several ventures.

I’m not positive that the conflict between the two elements will ever be fully resolved, but I am positive that if they stopped posturing and simply had conversations, that they would find more they agree on than disagree about. So in closing I would like to ask a fairly simple question. “Dracula Untold” do you think it was a new high for the vampire fiction Genre? I loved the film, but what did you think of it? Deacon I will start with you

“It touches a little more on some of the traditional elements of the Dracula story based on Hungarian historical setting, but it has nothing on the old classics novels. For me Bram’s Dracula is unparalleled as a novel, though far from historically accurate in the time period, but it’s a lot better than Twilight.
At the same time the projected villainy of the Ottoman Turks is over played, it was such an demonification of the culture as to be amusing. If you were actually looking at historical context the Ottoman were entering into an enlightened period in their history, while the Eastern Eurpoens were so busy fighting over every scrap of nobility that they ultimately lost the region. 

Anthony, your thoughts? I think it was passable popcorn entertainment. It was like 300 (2006) meets The Mummy (1999). Nothing spectacular, but it shows how far we’ve come from Universal’s first Dracula offering in 1931: the bad guy’s now the good guy. Well, not quite: to make him the ‘good’ guy, you have to strip him, or dilute all his unsavory habits: like his sick sense of humour!

Let’s face it: the guy was a fuckin’ psychopath, but in the movie, he’s a tragic antihero. The other thing that interests me, is how much it blends the vampire/Dracula mythos with the myth McNally and Florescu created by shoehorning as much of Stoker’s story into Vlad’s. Movies like this, help undo all the hard work of scholars like Elizabeth Miller, who’ve spent decades unraveling that Gordian knot. But eh, at the end of the day, it’s just a movie.

Vampires, Marks and Rubes.

Posted: Sunday, 8 February, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

sideshow-banner-line
By Deacon Gray
2/8/2015 (c) Graveyard Press

The carnival is active this month. On the right we have barkers calling for the rubes to come and give their both love, on the left, we have the guys smoothly calling to the marks that will easily be drawn in by the promise of a prize they would never buy for themselves.
What I am I talking about? Our community these days. Look around us, look at the people who we see from outside the community who come in and draw us into conversations or debates that get heated and a lot of attention. Why? Why do you think they are trying so hard to engage us?

Is it because they are curious? Is it because they are skeptic? They would balk at the very concept. I will tell you who they are. They are basically just people. People who don’t see us as what we are, but as a means to an end. We become Marks…people sucked into buying their products, or at least that is the aim, or  Rubes, lured in to play their silly little games that work to promote their agenda. Either way, we aren’t really people to them.

Fast words, a draw, and a goal is really what it is all about, while we… are just the moment. One hundred people pissed off, for fifteen followers. Is it worth it…well in a crowd of one hundred thousand, fifteen hundreds isn’t bad.

Skeptic’s silenced?

Posted: Tuesday, 3 February, 2015 by deacongray in Uncategorized

2/3/2015 (c) The Graveyard Press

Are Skeptics silenced with in the Vampire Community? I know that the so called skeptics feel that any attempt they make at reasonable skepticism is met with hostility, and many of the vampires feel that there is a certain banality to the approach of the skeptics from the onset

Skeptic Meme

Ultimately the struggle between the two sides turns toxic, but does it have too?

I understand the skeptics lack of belief in what we are and what we claim. It’s a given that there will be those people, after all the VC claims to be filled with “Vampires”

If we go onto other peoples forums that aren’t about the VC and bring up VC  matters, we have to expect skeptics to question our claims. WE are the ones who made the assertion to start with.

IF we didn’t want challenged on the point, than why bring it to a forum where there can be no other response? The very act is ego in its rawest form, there is no other reasonable explanation for doing it.
The same holds true with these so called Skeptics.  They are skeptical, we get it, heck we are skeptical of various beliefs within our own community. Of course the only reason a  self proclaimed “Skeptic” of the VC would seek out so called vampires in their own forums to pronounce their skepticism is Ego.

 

The Vampires on their forums don’t owe Skeptics a damn thing.  They call it tribalism or say that the VC members are afraid of outsiders…the truth is that the community has dealt with their silliness for years. We have better things to do, even if we get side tracked by the drama.

Skeptics will always be there, and there will always be those who a real interest who aren’t interested in showing us the light, or educating us poor delusional bastards. There are good people who want to learn so don’t silence them.

For the skeptics I have this advise. Approach any community as urban anthropologist. Take a little while to learn about the culture you are walking into too. I am not just talking about when dealing with the VC, or the OKC, but bikers, hipsters or any other group out there that has been around long enough to develop cultural aspects all of their own.

You can walk in like a ham handed fool, but ultimately you will just run into issues. IN the biker world something as simple as touching another person Harley can result in a seriously bad day. IN the VC the worst you will have to deal with is people being a little mean, or shutting down on you, Still…a little time and consideration goes a long way.