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There are many myths surrounding vampirism in the context of reailty. Some of these myths serve to amuse real vampires and other tend to frustrate them. Perhaps most frustrating of all is that the myths perpetrate this idea of what a vampire is and the romantized version leaves some believing that they want to be a vampire
Then of course there is the other end of this which mostly encompasses the unbelievers.
There is an inherent need to clear up the misconceptions and myths surrounding vampires. In the name of simplicity, there are two categories of vampires. Psi Vampires generally feed off of the energy or life force as it's called. Blood Vampires are just that, they feed on blood. Feeding duration and periods between feedings generally vary among vampires. The following is a basic introduction to what a real vampire is and is not.
Vampires are not immortal. Although it's not unheard of for a vampire to live longer than the avergage, by no means does it suggest a life spanning hundreds of years. Unless you count incarnations of the soul, which is not unique to vampires.
Vampires are not undead. They are very much alive. They did not suffer a literal death to be what they are. Being turned does not involve death. In fact, there is some difference of opinion within the vampire community about whether or not "turning" someone into a vampire is even possible. Some vampires believe they are just born what they are and others believe it possible to turn another individual. No judgements to confirm or deny are made here, it is just a presentation of these things.(although turning an individual into a vampire does sound more like something only done in fiction.)
Vampires cannot be destroyed by sunlight. Vampires are very sensitive to sunlight and have varying degrees of discomfort when exposed to it. For this reason most vampires are naturally nocturnal but are usually obligated to go out in daylight for work and other reasons.
Vampires do not have retractable fangs. Fangs do not appear and disappear magically upon will. Some vampires have sharp, rather unusual canines which may resemble fangs --- and some do not have them. In any case, most vampires do not bite the source to get the blood as it is not very practical or healthy and would be considerably painful.
Vampires do not have special inhuman powers. However, most do have some sort of altered or advanced sense. Some have more acute night vision than the average person, some have developed empathic and other psi abilites. Some are capable of dream walking(some vamps claim they do not dream but have visions instead) and astral projection. It is not unheard of for a vampire to have one or more of these traits, in addition to the ones that are not mentioned. Suffice to say vampires do not turn into bats, change into mist and drift under doors, or rise at sunset to destroy unsuspecting"mortals". Nor do they shun crosses, churches, and garlic. Although.... garlic has been known to make the blood taste slightly bitter.... so the vamps that feed on blood may like a garlic free source.
There is a lot of discussion in regards to what a good definition of a real vampire is and it almost always ends in a great debate. The term "real vampire" in itself to some suggests that the person is not a vampire but thinks they are. Others recognize the term"real vampire" as referring to a vampire that is not mythical - merely a human being who feels they need a little blood (or some pranic energy) to feel healthy. There are those who are vampiric in varying ways but do not refer tothemselves as vampires because they dislike labels and are not fond of the preconceived notions attached to the word vampire. Some have opted to spell vampire as vampyre thinking that seperates them from the mythical vampires. However, there are different definitions for the alternate spelling too and in some cases the meanings are opposite. Trendy spellings aside, it would be interesting to see what becomes of the term "real vampire" and if any new terms make the rounds in the future. It comes down to people assuming freedoms with the English language and then expecting everyone to accept the changes made to definitions - however this does not happen and a breakdown in communcation occurs. It is very difficult to communicate when the standard meanings for words are substituted to suit an individual or group.
This is meant as a basic introduction to what a real vampire is. Vampires, just like anyone else, are not all the same. The above information is a good starting point. And always remember that there are things in the universe that cannot be explained.