1951 – 1990

HP

Highlights of 1951 – 1990:

Comics Code ban on fictional vampires. Numerous “vampire sightings” in London. Proliferation of fictional vampire characters in popular fiction, books, movies and later TV series. Formation of several societies devoted to the discussion and study of fictional, and later, real Vampi(y)res. Several crimes take place which are reported in the Media as “vampire” crimes – these increase gradually in frequency over the decades. Sean Manchester and the British Occult Society, and the “Highgate Vampire” charade. Anne Rice revolutionizes the fictional vampire and her vision also acts as an influence on self-perception in the VC. The publication of Vrydolak’s “FireHeart” article in fall 1987, radically altering the perception of  “psychic vampires”.  Founding of the Temple Of The Vampire (TOV) in the USA.

1952:

USA – Parapsychologist John W. Campbell proposes the term “psionics”, from psi (‘psyche’) and the ending -onics from electronics (machine), which imply that the paranormal powers of the mind could be made to work reliably. (Article

1953:

Turkey – “Drakula Istanbula”, a Turkish film adaptation of Dracula, is released.

USA – “Eerie” No. 8 includes the first comic book adaptation of Dracula.

1954:

1954_CCASeptember: USA – The Comics Magazine Association of America (CMAA) is formed in response to a widespread public concern over gory and horrific comic-book content. It names New York Magistrate Charles F. Murphy, 44, a specialist in juvenile delinquency, to head the organization and devise a self-policing “code of ethics and standards” for the industry. He establishes the Comics Code Authority (CCA), basing its code upon the largely unenforced code drafted by the Association of Comics Magazine Publishers in 1948, which in turn had been modeled loosely after the 1930 Hollywood Production Code. This code bans graphic depictions of violence and gore in crime and horror comics, as well as the sexual innuendo of what aficionados refer to as good girl art. Fredric Wertham’s 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent had rallied opposition to this type of material in comics, arguing that it was harmful to the children who make up a large segment of the comic book audience. The Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency hearings also held in 1954, and which focused specifically on comic books, have many publishers concerned about government regulation, prompting them to form a self-regulatory body instead. This body lingers on, censoring the content of the comics industry until finally becoming defunct in January 2011. In 1954, the CCA banishes vampires from comic books in the USA altogether. (Article)

September 23: Glasgow, Scotland, UK – The case of the Gorbals Vampire. PC Alex Deeprose is called to Glasgow’s sprawling Southern Necropolis. He expects to be dealing with a simple case of vandalism, but the bizarre sight that awaited him was to make headlines around the world and cause a moral panic that led to the introduction of strict new censorship laws in the UK. Hundreds of children aged from four to 14, some of them armed with knives and sharpened sticks, were patrolling inside the historic graveyard. They are, they tell the bemused constable, hunting a 7ft tall vampire with iron teeth who had already kidnapped and eaten two local boys. Fear of the so-called Gorbals Vampire spreads to many of their parents, who beg PC Deeprose for assurances there is no truth to the rumours.

November: USA – The sci-fi novel “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson presents vampirism as a disease that alters the body and popularizes the concept of a worldwide apocalypse due to disease. The novel is a success and is later adapted to film as “The Last Man on Earth” in 1964, as “The Omega Man” in 1971, and as “I Am Legend” in 2007, along with a direct-to-video 2007 production capitalizing on that film, “I Am Omega”. The novel also inspires t the 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead”. Although it pertains more to vampirism, the book and resulting video are far more influential in the development of the zombie genre in fiction.

1956:

January 6: USA – “Dracula” is aired on the TV show “Matinee Theater” during the period known as “the golden age of television (1955-58). This is the first television adaptation of the play based on Bram Stoker’s book, making it a remake of the 1931 movie Dracula. It was adapted by Robert Esson and directed by Lamont Johnson. Shown in color, the episode had John Carradine as Dracula and Lisa Daniels as Lucy Weston. This is the first time “Dracula” had been presented on television and the first time it had been done in color. The host is John Conte. No copies of it are known to exist. (Article)

1957_I VampiriApril 5: Italy – “I Vampiri” (The Vampires) is an Italian horror film directed by Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava. The film stars Gianna Maria Canale, Carlo D’Angelo and Dario Michaelis as Pierre Lantin. “I Vampiri” is the first sound era Italian horror film – horror film had been banned in Italy in the 1930s and 1940s. Freda directed the film for the first 10 days of production, with cinematographer Mario Bava filling in for him for the remaining two days after Freda left the set. (Article)

April 11: Japan – “Kyuketsuki Ga” (“Vampire Moth”), the first Japanese vampire film, is released. This is a black and white thriller and Japanese film directed by Nobuo Nakagawa. The film is based on novel by Seishi Yokomizo. The plot involves a series of murders where the victims have their necks punctured. This film is said to be the first Japanese film in the vampire genre. (Article)

1957:

February 10: USA – American producer Roger Corman makes the first science fiction vampire movie, “Not of this Earth”. Not of This Earth is a 67-minute black-and-white science fiction film written by Charles B. Griffith and Mark Hanna. The film depicts the dark deeds of an alien intruder who hides under the name of Mr. Johnson. After a nuclear war, the people of his home planet Davanna suffer from an incurable blood disease. Johnson’s mission is to test the blood of humans on its usefulness for his dying kind. (Article)

October 4: Mexico – “El Vampiro” (“The Vampire”) with German Robles is the first of a new wave of Mexican vampire films. The film is about Marta, a young woman who travels to her childhood village only to find that one of her aunts is dead and another is under the influence of Mr. Duval, who later turns out to be a vampire whose name is the Count Karol de Lavud. It is possibly the first movie to actually show a vampire with elongated canines. F.W. Murnau’s Count Orlok (Max Schrek) had elongated incisors; Tod Browning’s Dracula (Bela Lugosi) did not show his teeth at all. This film can therefore be seen as a link between the Universal and the Hammer presentations of vampires. (Article)

1958:

February: USA – The first issue of “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine signals a new interest in horror films in the United States. The publication still operates successfully in 2013. (Article)

May 8: UK – Hammer Films in Great Britain initiates a new wave of interest in vampires with the first of its Dracula films, released in the United States as “The Horror of Dracula”. (Article)

1959:

August 30: New York City, New York, USA – Salvatore Agron, a 16 year old Puerto Rican gang member, murders two teenagers in a Hell’s Kitchen park in New York City while dressed as a film vampire. He is known as the “Cape Man” or “Dracula” because of a red nurse’s cape he liked to wear. In his attack, he plunges a twelve inch dagger into two innocent boys and flees. It is later discovered that Agron mistook both teenagers for members of a gang called the Norsemen who were supposed to show up for a gang fight. He is arrested about ten days later with an accomplice. In court he claims to be a vampire. Judged legally sane by psychiatrists, Agron is later convicted of first-degree murder with no recommendation for clemency and sentenced by Judge Gerald P. Culkin to die in Sing Sing’s electric chair. The United States Supreme Court refuses to reverse the conviction. In February 1962, the Governor of the State of New York commutes Agron’s sentence to life imprisonment. Agron is the subject of the 1998 musical play The Capeman by Paul Simon. (Article)

1960:

February 14: Monteros, Tucumán, Argentina – Florencio Roque Fernandes (25), popularly known as “The Argentine Vampire” or “Vampire of the window” – alluding to his modus operandi, is arrested for entering the bedrooms of more than 15 women, killing them, biting them and drinking their blood. Florencio Fernandez, a mentally ill man suffering from delusions and hallucinations and who had a sexual attraction to blood. From a young age he had begun living on the streets, a victim of neglect of his family. His modus operandi had been to stalk his victims over several days, making sure she was alone at home, and taking advantage of the warm nights of spring or summer time when residents leave their windows open houses during the night. While the victim was sleeping, he would kill them, then bite the body in accordance with the stereotypical style of movie vampires, and then drink the blood of his victim. After experiencing orgasm from this act, he would leave his victim bleeding to death, if they were not already dead. He is hunted down to a cave he occupies by day as he is photophobic and only ventures outside nocturnally. When local police launch a “quaint” operation to capture him, he surrenders without any resistance. He is declared unfit to stand trial and placed in a mental institution, where he dies of natural causes a few years later. (Article)

1961:

Korea – “The Bad Flower” is the first Korean movie adaptation of Dracula.

UK – The book “Selected Highland Folk Tales” by R. Macdonald Robertson published in 1961 bears the tale of the Vampire of Fealaar. The story tells of two poachers who take shelter in an ancient house near Fealaar near Braemar. One of the poachers is attacked by an unseen entity that siezes and bites his leg and sucks blood from him, leaving a scar. The rumor circulated that the house was haunted by a vampire.

1962:

Los Angeles, California, USA – “The Count Dracula Society”, the first of the organisations devoted to the literary figure created by Bram Stoker, is founded by Dr. Donald A. Reed for the serious study of horror films and gothic literature. It is closely associated with the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, dedicated to honoring films and filmmakers in the several genres. The society hosts regular screenings of vampire and horror films and also sponsors an annual gathering at which the Ann Radcliffe Award is given. (Article)

1963:

May 31: Yerba Buena, Mexico – “Magdalena Solis: The Blood Goddess”. A group of con men, and the prostitute Magdalena Solis turn an entire village into a blood cult of vampiric murderers. They convince the village of Yerba Buena that Incan gods living in the mountain nearby are willing to trade fabulous wealth for loyalty and sexual favors. The gullible and poor peasants are convinced, and for three months, several men and women are beaten to death, and the villagers rejoice in drinking their blood. Solis is responsible for at least eight murders, although the numbers have been speculated to be higher, committed in the small community of Yerba Buena, near the city of Monterrey in the Mexican state of Nuevo León. Solis presents herself as a goddess and orders numerous sacrifices for blood rituals. They are caught after just 6 weeks after being reported by two teenage boys (who disappear shorty thereafter). The entire cult is trapped in their cave in a combined police and army operation, and the survivors arrested. Solis and her brother are sentenced to 50 years prison time each, and the rest 30 years apiece. Magdalena Solis is an organized murderer and sexual predator. She is one of the few documented cases of female serial killers who had clear sexual motivations. (Article)

Munich, West Germany – Alfred Kaser kills a ten year old boy and drinks blood from his neck after stabbing him. He is tried in 1965 and given a life sentence.

London, Engand – Dr Lee Illis presents a paper titled “On Porphyria And The Aetiology Of Werewolves”. “Porphyrias are a group of genetic diseases that strike one person in 200,000. About 20,000 sufferers live in South Africa and 5,000 in the rest of the world. In this disease porphyrin, a molecule necessary in red blood cells, is defective. “The sufferer undergoes vomiting, nausea, limb weakness and partial destruction of the nervous system. A rare form of porphyria leads to paralysis, psychotic disturbances, anaemia and insanity. Severe constipation and gut pains can make the sufferer mean and nasty. “Even worse can follow if he gets too much sunlight. The skin becomes itchy and scarred. Nose and fingers drop off. Gums recede and teeth appear large and brown. Excessive hair-growth, even on the forehead, results. “Drinking large quantities of blood can alleviate the symptoms. Red blood cells live about 120 days. But garlic activates an enzyme that destroys them faster and makes the symptoms of congenital porphyria worse.”

1964:

Spain – “Parque de Juelos” (Park Games) is the first Spanish-made vampire movie.

September 18: USA – “The Addam’s Family” is an American television series based on the characters in Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons. The 30-minute series was shot in black-and-white and airs for two seasons on ABC from September 18, 1964, to April 8, 1966, for a total of 64 episodes. It is often compared to its CBS rival, “The Munsters”, which runs for the same two seasons and achieved somewhat higher Nielsen ratings. Both become hallmarks of the period. The show is the first adaptation of the characters to feature The Addams Family Theme. (Article)

September 24: USA – “The Munsters”, an American television sitcom depicting the home life of a family of benign monsters, begins on CBS. It stars Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster and Yvonne De Carlo as his wife, Lily Munster. The series is a satire of both traditional monster movies and the wholesome family fare of the era. (Article)

1965:

Rome, Italy – Pope Paul VI (1897–1978) reorganizes the Holy Office (Office of the Holy Inquisition) and renames it the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Office of the Inquisition is therefore still active in modern times.

New York City, New York, USA – The Count Dracula Fan Club is founded by Dr Jeanne Keyes Youngson a successful animation filmmaker, to promote and encourage the study of Bram Stoker Dracula and vampirism in general. She had been introduced to Dracula and to Vlad the Impaler the fifthteenth-century prince of Wallachia, who was one source of Bram Stoker’s literary figure, while at Maryville College in Tennessee. The occasion for the founding of the Club, however, was her trip to Romania , which brought together her fascination with Dracula and new knowledge concerning Prince Vlad. While in Romania she made the decision to found a Dracula society, and The Count Dracula Fan Club was formally constituted soon after her return.

“The Munsters”, based on the television show of the same name, is the first comic book series featuring a vampire character, despite the almost fanatical enforcement of the Comics Code Authority’s abolition of vampires from comics in the USA.

1966:

April 30: San Francisco, California, USA – The Church of Satan (CoS), a religious organization dedicated to the philosophy of LaVeyan Satanism, is established at the Black House on Walpurgisnacht by Anton Szandor LaVey, who is the church’s High Priest until his death in 1997. The group becomes known as the face of Satanist religion and is also the oldest public Satanist organization. (Article)

June 27: USA – “Dark Shadows”, an American gothic soap opera airs weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966, to April 2, 1971. The series becomes hugely popular when vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) appears a year into its run. Dark Shadows also features werewolves, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel, and a parallel universe. Dark Shadows is distinguished by its vividly melodramatic performances, atmospheric interiors, memorable storylines, numerous dramatic plot twists, unusually adventurous music score, and broad and epic cosmos of characters and heroic adventures. Now regarded as something of a classic, it continues to enjoy an intense cult following and in 2012, Warner Bros produced a film adaptation of the soap opera. (Article)

Philadelphia, Pasedena, USA – Anne de Molay establishes the “Order of Maidenfear”, arguably the oldest known vampyric “House” in the world. It becomes more open as the VC moves online with the advent of the internet in the early 1990’s, playing a role in the development of the community before fading into relative obscurity. [In 2010, the Order is claimed to consist of over fifty “houses” in North America and Europe, including Saturn House in Philadelphia and Cascabel House in Houston. Saturn House serves as the center for the Order. The Robert Parratore debacle of November 2010 is an unmitigated PR disaster for the group and its matriarch, after which its activities decline dramatically. The Order is officially announced as being defunct on 23 March 2013.]

1967:

April: USA – In episode 210 of “Dark Shadows”, vampire character Barnabas Collins makes his first appearance.

London, England, UK – The Vampire Research Society is founded as a specialist unit within the much older British Occult Society by Sean Manchester.

London, England, UK – The “Highgate Vampire” incident sparks an epidemic of vampire hysteria. Sean Manchester of the British occult Society receives an account from a schoolgirl named Elizabeth Wojdyla and a friend who claim to have seen several graves opening in Highgate Cemetary, London – and the occupants rising from them. Elizabeth also reports having nightmares in which “something evil” tried to come into her bedroom.

1968:

Montreal, Canada – The “Vampire Rapist”, a serial killer who mutilates the breasts of his victims by biting them, begins his reign of terror in Montreal, Canada.

1969:

USA – First Issue of “Vampirella”, the longest running vampire comic book to date, is released.

UK – Denholm Elliot plays the title role in a BBC television production of Dracula.

USA – “Does Dracula Really Suck?” (aka Dracula and the Boys) is released as the first in a long line of gay vampire movies.

London, England, UK – Sightings of the “Highgate Vampire” continue at Highgate Cemetery. Elizabeth Wojdyla’s nightmares return but now the malevolent figure reportedly actually enters her bedroom. She reportedly develops the symptoms of pernicious anemia and her neck displays two small wounds suggestive of the classical vampire bite. Sean Manchester of the British Occult Society, treats her as a victim of vampirism and fills her room with garlic, crucifixes and holy water. Her condition and symptoms are reported to soon improve.

San Francisco, California – Anton LaVey publishes “The Satanic Bible”, a collection of essays, observations, and rituals. It contains the core principles of the religion of LaVeyan Satanism, and is considered the foundation of its philosophy and dogma. To date (2013) there have been thirty printings of “The Satanic Bible”, and has sold over a million copies. (Article)

UK – The Times reports “Villagers near the West Pakistan town of Okara are reported to be sleeping indoors, in spite of fierce heat, because they believe vampires are about. They attribute recent deaths among sheep to vampires.”

Lodz, Poland – Stanislav Modzieliewski is convicted of 7 murders, and 6 attempted murders. At his trial, one survivor testifies that she survived by pretending to be dead while he drank blood from her wounds.
1970:
February 2: Sean Manchester of the Highgate Vampire hysteria – is responsible for the vampire research unit of the British Occult Society becoming a self-governing body on 2 February 1970.
March 13: London, England, UK – On the night of Friday 13th March, hundreds of people storm Highgate Cemetery, carrying lit and electric torches, crucifixes, garlic cloves and sharp wooden stakes in search of the Highgate Vampire. By dawn on the following morning, there is still no sign of the vampire. Some think that the the rowdy, rampaging crowds (who caused the 9,000 pounds worth of damage to the cemetery during the night) had scared the creature off. In an orgy of desecration they had exhumed the remains of a woman from a tomb (nope, not hiding in there), stolen lead from coffins, and defaced sepulchers with mindless graffiti.
March 14: London, England, UK – Mass hysteria and “vampire hunts” in vicinity of London’s Highgate Cemetery continue over several days. Before an assembled crowd of onlookers, Sean Manchester – head of the British Occult Society and amateur vampire hunter, and two companions enter a vault at Highgate where three empty coffins are reportedly found. They sprinkle the vaults with salt and holy water, line the coffins with garlic and place a crucifix in each.
April 3: USA – Christopher Lee stars in “El Conde Dracula”, the Spanish film adaptation of Dracula.
August: London, England, UK – Vampire hunting hysteria escalates as the decapitated and partially burned body of a young woman is found at London’s Highgate Cemetery. Before the end of the month, police arrest two men claiming to be vampire hunters.
September: London, England, UK – In the summer (northern hemisphere) of 1970, David Farrant, yet another amateur vampire hunter enters the field of vampirology and investigates the Highgate incident. Police apprehend him as he scales the wall of Highgate Cemetery, armed with a cross and a wooden stake. Mr Farrant is released on a technicality – the vampire hunter evidently sends shivers up the magistrate’s spine with his final remark to the court: “The Highgate Vampire has to be destroyed! He is evil!”

1971:

Marvel Comics releases “The Tomb of Dracula”. Morbius, the Living Vampire, is the first new vampire character introduced after the revision of the Comics Code allowed vampires to reappear in comic books. The fact that this story depicts a “living vampire” draws interest from real living Vampyres in the readership.

Canada – Wayne Boden who became infamous in 1968 as the “Vampire Rapist,” after his distinctive modus operandi, is finally captured and given four life sentences.

1972:

USA – “The Night Stalker” with Darrin McGavin becomes the most watched television movie to that point in time.

Hong Kong – “Vampire Kung-Fu” is released in Hong Kong as the first of a string of vampire martial arts films of varying degrees of absurdity.

Romania – The documentary book “In search of Dracula” by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu introduces Vlad the Impaler, the historical Dracula, to the world of contemporary vampire fans and links the two, creating a great deal of unhappiness in Romania, where Vlad is seen as a national hero.

The book “A Dream of Dracula” by Leonard Wolf compliments McNally’s and Florencu’s effort in calling attention to vampire lore.

The book “Three Vampires of History” by Donald Glut is the first attempt to assemble the stories of all the historical vampire figures.

Suffolk County, New York, USA – Stephen Kaplan, a noted paranormal investigator and vampirlogist, founds The Vampire Research Center. His work dealing with subcultures is later to draw out many self-identifying Vampyres who form part of his research and are featured in his 1984 book “Vampires Are”. (Article)

May 10: Nuremburg, West Germany – Kuno Hoffman (40) is arrested 4 days after murdering two people in order to drink their blood. Hoffman, a deaf mute, does so with the motive of restoring his health and becoming good looking and young. He has a history of mental illness (necrophilia) and has a nine year history of escaping from a local mental hospital. He has reportedly also by this time become something of a menace in desecrating fresh graves, mutilating corpses to obtain blood and for necrophilia. He is deemed fit to stand trial and is given a life sentence. (Article)

August 25: USA – “Blacula” is the first attempt to popularize the vampire genre for the popular black cinema. It stars William Marshall, a Shakespearean actor in the role of an African prince who travels through nineteenth century Europe to campaign against the slave trade, where he becomes a vampire and wanders modern day Los Angeles. (Article)

Canada – “Vampires, Dwarves and Witches Among the Ontario Kashubs”, an 85 page report by Jan L. Perkowski and commissioned by the Canadian Museum of Civilization, appears. It includes first-hand accounts of vampire activity in the town of Wilno, the oldest Polish (Kaszubian) settlement in Canada. The report upsets the locals and is denounced in the Canadian House of Commons.

1973:

USA – Nancy Garden’s “Vampires” launches a wave of juvenile literature for children and youth.

London, England, UK – The Dracula Society is founded by actors Bernard Davies and Bruce Wightman. It caters for lovers of “the vampire and his kind” – werewolves, reanimated mummies, mad scientists and their creations, and all the other monsters spawned by the Gothic genre. The Society is founded specifically to enable its members to travel to regions such as Transylvania, which had scarcely been touched by western tourism at the time of the Society’s formation. Now over forty years on, the Society’s main emphasis is on its London-based meetings, which include guest speakers, discussions, quizzes, film and video screenings, and auctions. It also still regularly organizes group trips to places with Gothic and/or supernatural associations, both in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Stoke-On-Trent, England, UK – Demetrius Myiciura chokes to death on garlic flowers which he used to stuff into his mouth at bedtime. Myiciura, a Polish expatriate, was terrified of vampires.

1974:

January 4: USA – The serial killer Ted Bundy, who aligned his modus operandi to the vampire image by biting his victims, begins his reign of terror across the USA, which last until his capture in 1978. Karen Sparks (often identified as Joni Lenz in Bundy literature) (age 18) is bludgeoned and sexually assaulted in her bed as she slept, but survives. (Article)

February 8: USA – Dan Curtis Productions’ version of “Dracula” (1973) airs, starring Jack Palance in a made-for-television movie. (Article)

1975:

USA – Sci-fi author Fred Saberhagen proposes viewing Dracula as a hero rather than a villain in “The Dracula Tape”. Fred Thomas Saberhagen (May 18, 1930 – June 29, 2007) an American science fiction and fantasy author most famous for his Berserker series of science fiction short stories and S.F. novels. Saberhagen also wrote a series of vampire novels in which the vampires (including the famous Dracula) are the protagonists, and a series of post-apocalyptic mytho-magical novels beginning with his popular Empire of the East and continuing through a long series of Swords and Lost Swords novels.

USA – “The World of Dark Shadows” is founded as the first Dark Shadows fanzine.

June 21: USA – The Temple of Set is founded by Michael A. Aquino. The ToS has its origins in the Church of Satan, resulting from a schism within the organization. The Temple of Set is founded by former members of the Church of Satan and is configured as an umbrella organization that has a number of specialized orders whose members concentrate on specific areas of research and black magic applications of the results of that research. The Temple of Set, historically, is more theistic-based unlike the CoS which from the very beginning up to the present day, is atheistic – a point which many believe resulted in the personality clashes leading up to the schism to begin with.

USA – “Salem’s Lot” is a horror fiction novel written by the American author Stephen King. It is his second published novel. The story involves a writer named Ben Mears who returns to the town where he lived as a boy between the ages of 9 through 13 (Jerusalem’s Lot, or ‘Salem’s Lot for short) in Maine to discover that the residents are all becoming vampires. The book is adapted into at least two movies and several TV series over the next 3 decades.

1976:

InterviewWithTheVampireUSA – “Interview with the Vampire” by Anne Rice is published. The novel has a profound effect on vampire fiction as a genre, as well as on how vampires are perceived by audiences. The novel spawns one movie adaptation in the 1980’s still viewed as a timeless classic, even within the VC.

USA – Author Stephen King is nominated for the World Fantasy Award for his vampire novel, “Salem’s Lot”.

USA – Shadowcon, the first national Dark Shadows convention, is organized by Dark Shadows fans.

1977:

USA – A new dramatic version of “Dracula” opens on Broadway starring Frank Langella. Louis Jourdan stars in the title role in Count Dracula, a three-hour version of Bram Stoker’s book on BBC Television.

USA – Martin V. Riccardo founds the Vampire Studies Society.

Fairfax, Virginia, USA – a 25-year old secretary, Debbora Fitzjohn, disappears. John Crutchley, later called the “Vampire Rapist”, is placed under close scrutiny because he is Fitzjohn’s boyfriend and she was last seen alive at the trailer park where Crutchley lived. As a result, he is questioned several times for his possible involvement in her disappearance. However, nothing comes of it due to lack of evidence, even after her skeletal remains are found by a hunter in October 1978. Law enforcement attempts to link Crutchley to subsequent disappearances in the area, fail due to lack of evidence. (Article)

London, England, UK – Sean Manchester of the Vampire Research Society begins an investigation of a mansion near Highgate Cemetery, London, that has a reputation as being haunted. On several occasions Manchester and his associates enter the house. They claim to find a coffin a coffin in the basement, which they drag into the backyard. Inside the casket Manchester reportedly claimed to find none other than the Highgate Vampire – which he stakes, later stating that it “turned into a slimy, foul smelling substance”. Conveniently, Mr Manchester also claims to have burned the coffin afterwards, destroying all evidence.

1978:

January: Sacramento, USA – Richard Chase is caught and jailed after a four day blood binge in January 1978 in which he claimed six lives. He earned the nickname “The Vampire of Sacramento” because he drank the blood of his victims and ate their internal organs. Chase, a paranoid schizophrenic, had a lengthy record of severe mental illness and a close study of the case reveals a large degree of culpability on the part of his parents – particularly his mother, who refused to accept that her son required medication, and healthcare professionals who had been handling his case for years but who simply allowed things to continue. Chase was also able to purchase numerous firearms legally, without any legal restrictions to prevent someone as mentally incompetent as he to do so. (Article)

February 15: Florida, USA – Ted Bundy, another “vampire” serial killer who bites his victims and who has been responsible for a 4 year reign of terror across several states in the USA, is finally arrested and brought to trial in Florida. He eventually confesses to the murder of 30 victims, although he is suspected of causing an estimated 100 deaths.

USA – Author Chelsea Quin Yarbo’s novel “Hotel Transylvania” joins the volumes of Fred Saberhagen and Anne Rice as a third major effort to begin a reappraisal of the vampire myth during the decade.

USA – Eric Held and Dorothy Nixon found the Vampire Information Exchange.

December 22: Ukraine, USSR – Andrei Chikatilo, known as the “Forest Strip Vampire”, “The Butcher of Rostov”, “The Red Ripper” and “The Rostov Ripper” begins his career as serial killer which lasts until 1990, when he is caught and convicted of 52 murders. The 1992 movie “Gorki Park” is based upon his career as a serial killer. (Article)

1979:
January 26: UK – “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is recorded during a six-hour session at Beck Studios in Wellingborough on 26 January 1979 by a newly formed British band called “Bauhaus”. The song is over nine minutes in length and was recorded “live in the studio” in a single take. David J, the band’s bassist, claims on his website to have written the lyrics. The singing does not start (in the studio version) until several minutes into the track. The title references horror film star Bela Lugosi (1882–1956), who did much to establish the modern vampire image as the title character in the 1931 film Dracula.  The song is the band’s first single, and is often considered to be the first Gothic rock record released, becoming the first hit in the new Gothic rock music movement. (Article)
USA – Based on the success of the new Broadway production, Universal Pictures remakes “Dracula” (1979), starring Frank Langella.
April 11: Kampala, Uganda – Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda until his overthrow and exile in 1979, is alleged to have sucked or eaten body parts of murdered political opponents. This is attributed to personal rituals to “absorb the power” of his dead foes and only stands out in the long list of eccentricities in this dictators erratic behavior. (Article)

June 13: USA – The “Buck Rogers of the 25th Century” TV series (launched March 14, 1979) features a vampire-like character in season one, episode 14, “Space Vampire”.

July 23: Florida, USA – Ted Bundy, “vampire” serial killer, is sentenced to death in Florida for the murder of at least 30 women.

USA – “Bunnicula”, an endearing children’s book series written by Deborah and James Howe, about a vampire rabbit who sucks the juice out of vegetables, first appears in book form. The story is centered on the Monroe family and their pets and is told from the perspective of their dog Harold. The Monroes find a bunny at the theater where they were watching a Dracula film. Because of this, they name him Bunnicula. Their cat Chester, however, is convinced Bunnicula is a vampire and attempts to get Harold (the dog) to help save the Monroes from the perceived menace. It becomes a hit and crosses over to an animated TV series and spawns follow-up books. The story is later used by conservatives to indicate how the pervasive image of the vampire can be introduced to children early in life.

USA – Shadowgram is founded as a Dark Shadow’s fanzine.

November 1: New York City, New York, USA – “Dracula” aka “The Capeman” Salvatore Agron is finally released from prison on November 1, 1979 after spending years in jail for murdering two young boys while dressed like a movie vampire in 1959. A television movie based on his life is proposed and he sets up a fund for the families of his victims with the money he received. Agron later works as a youth counselor, sspeaing out against gang violence for over five years. (Article)

1980:
Dublin, Ireland – The Bram Stoker Society is founded.
April 10: Marshfield, Massachusetts, USA – James P. Riva (aka “The Schizophrenic Vampire” because he tells the police he is a 700 year old vampire who needed to drink her blood) kills his grandmother with a gun and drinks blood from the wounds. Later he confesses that he heard the voice of a vampire promising him eternal life for the act. (Article)
May 22: New York, USA – Richard Francis Cottingham of New York is arrested for raping and slashing a young prostitute and drinking her blood. He was nicknamed ‘the torso killer’, due to his habit of dismembering his victims, usually leaving nothing but a torso behind. Cottingham was a 31-year old computer operator and valued employee of Blue Cross-Blue Shield in downtown New York City. While he was also a married, respectable man with three children, he raped, killed and mutilated 6 prostitutes in New York and New Jersey.

UK – The English Vampires Haven is founded.

UK – Contemporary reports of dead animals found drained of blood arise from an area called Finchley, in England. Naturally, Sean Manchester of the Vampire Research Society, believes that a vampire created by the bite of the Highgate Vampire is the cause.

August 31: Poland –  Julian Koltun (born 1950) a railway laborer turned serial-killer, claims his first victim – a Russian woman close to the Polish-Soviet Union border, who survives the attack. In the four months that follow, Koltun attacks at least six other women.  (Article)

USA – The World Federation of Dark Shadows Clubs (now the Dark Shadows Official Fan Club) is founded.

September 17: Poland – Julian Koltun (born 1950) a railway laborer dubbed the “Podlaski Vampire, commits his first murder. He leaves the body so badly mutilated that he becomes known as “the Podlaski Vampire”.  (Article)

December 26: California, USA – Richard Chase, the so-called “Dracula killer” and “Vampire of Sacramento”, commits suicide in his California prison cell. (Article)

1981:

January: Warsaw, Poland – Julian Koltun a railway laborer dubbed the “Podlaski Vampire,” is arrested for raping seven women, killing two of them, and drinking their blood. Between 1980 and 1981 he is thought to have killed these two women and suspected of attacking at least six others in several farming communities in Poland.  (Article)

1982:

August: Poland – Serial killer “the Podlaski Vampire” Julian Koltun is sentenced first to life in prison – and then to death for his string of assaults and two murders.  (Article)

1983:
The first vampire RPG (role-playing game), “Ravenloft” is released as a “Dungeons and Dragons” module featuring the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich. The American game publishing company TSR, Inc. releases it as a standalone adventure booklet in 1983 for use with the first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game. It was written by Tracy and Laura Hickman, who began work on Ravenloft in the late 1970s, intent on creating a frightening portrait of a vampire in a setting that combined Gothic horror with the D&D game system. While living in Provo, Utah, they wrote the adventures Pharaoh and Ravenloft. When they began work on Ravenloft, they felt the vampire archetype had become overused, trite, and mundane, and decided to create a frightening version of the creature for the module. They play-tested the adventure with a group of players each Halloween for five years before it was published in 1983. Ravenloft is later licensed to Arthaus Games for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition and Dungeons and Dragons v.3.5 and published by White Wolf Game Studio through the Sword & Sorcery Studios imprint. White Wolf later goes on to release the now famous World of Darkness game set “Vampire: the Masquerade” at the end of the decade, also about vampires. Many real Vampyres are drawn to the game play to meet with and to socialize with others. It signals the beginning of the end of the isolation for real self-identifying Vampyres in the pre-internet age. (Article)
USA – Dark Shadows Festival is founded to host an annual Dark Shadows convention.
September 8: Manhattan Beach, California, USA – The onset of what later became known as “Satanic Ritual Abuse” hysteria begins. Parents of children at a preschool allege that their children had been sexually abused in “satanic rituals” and the issue spirals out of control with accusations, police and FBI involvement resulting in the McMartin preschool trial. On September 8 1983, the police send a form letter to about 200 parents of students at the McMartin school, stating that their children might have been abused, and asking the parents to question their children. Parents become hysterical and react on assumption. Some of the accusations are described as “bizarre”, overlapping with accusations that mirror the just-starting Satanic ritual abuse panic. It is alleged that, in addition to having been sexually abused, they saw witches fly, traveled in a hot-air balloon, and were taken through underground tunnels. When shown a series of photographs by Danny Davis (the McMartins’ lawyer), one child identifies actor Chuck Norris as one of the abusers. Some of the abuse is alleged to have occurred in secret tunnels beneath the school. Several investigations turn up evidence of old buildings on the site and other debris from before the school was built, but no evidence of any secret chambers is found. Members of the McMartin family, who operate the preschool in California, are charged with numerous acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. Accusations are made in 1983 but arrests and the pretrial investigation run from 1984 to 1987. The media blows the case out of proporstion, fanning the flames of SRA hysteria by presenting the accusations of the hysterical parents unchallenged. The trial runs from 1987 to 1990. After six years of criminal trials, no convictions are obtained, and all charges are dropped in 1990. When the trial ends in 1990 it results in the longest and most expensive (and utterly pointless) criminal trial in American history. (Article)
December: In the December issues of “Dr. Strange”, Marvel Comic’s ace occultist kills all the vampires in the world, thus banishing them from Marvel Comics for the next six years.

1984:

January: Milan, Italy – Known as “Dracula, in the double-breasted suit,” a natty ice-cream salesman is accused of raping and biting the necks of more than forty women over a period of seven years when he make a court appearance. Victims describe how Renato Antonio Cirillo, 40, struck every two months, threatening his victim with a knife, tying her up, raping her, and finally biting her on the neck “vampire-style.” He was eventually brought to justice because several of the ice-cream Dracula’s victim’s identified Cirillo as having a tattoo in a foreign language on his chest.

Noted vampirologist and paranormal researcher, and founder/director of the Vampire Research Center, Stephen Kaplan publishes his book “Vampires Are” which deals with the phenomenon of real self-identifying Vampyres. (Article)

USA – The McMartin preschool trial of 1984 to 1990 begins, and is the longest trial currently recognized in American history. The victims, mostly the McMartin family, are accused of “satanic ritual abuse” of children placed in their daycare facility.  Claims include abducting children to fictitious underground tunnels, flying around “like witches”, blood drinking, mutilation of corpses, and human sacrifice (this is not a murder trial). More than 350 people are involved in the fabrication of the allegations, which are taken seriously by the media, the public, the courts, the prosecution, and the public. However this case marks the ignition point of the USA’s “Satanic Panic” hysteria, which resulted in a torrent of similar cases – many of which saw numerous wrongful convictions and a further spread of media hysteria. Many occult communities move back into the shadows fearful of being accused of crimes based on their religious beliefs. (Article)

1985:

USA – The novel “The Vampire, Lestat” by Anne Rice is published and reaches the best seller list.

1985_Fright NightAugust 2: USA – The movie “Fright Night” combines vampire horror with humor. It is remade in 2011. (Article)

New York City, New York, USA – House Sahjaza establishes itself as a Vampyre coven. It is one of the original Vampyre Houses established first as a Vampyre-Witch Coven in the 1970’s and evolving to Z/n Society c. in mid 1990’s, by Goddess Rosemary, the high priestess, and others of their order of Vampyre/Witches. With time, the group evolves to what is now House Sahjaza.

Pittsburgh, USA – John Crutchley is arrested for rape. Reportedly he also drank the blood of his victim, and later confesses to having an insatiable thirst for human blood. He claims to have been drinking blood from willing donors for a number of years.

May 30: USA – Academic David Dolphin presents a paper to the American Association for the Advancement of Science outlining a theory that porphyria might underlie the reports of vampyrism. He argues that since the treatment for porphyria was the injection of heme, it was possible that in the past people suffering porphyria might have attempted to drink blood as a method of relieving their symptoms. Among those whom critiqued Dolphin’s hypothesis was Paul Barber. Firstly, Barber noted, there was no evidence to show that the consumption of blood had any affect on the disease itself and only held up as long as one did not look at the available data too closely and discounted the powers of observation of those making the reports. Such reports which did not support the theory that any of those reported exhibited the symptoms of Porphyria.

November: Malabar, Brevard County, Florida, USA – a nude teen female, handcuffed at both feet and ankles, is discovered crawling along the side of the road by a truck driver. She points out the location of the house where she had escaped from. He notes the location, takes her home, and calls for police and an ambulance. The hospital determines she is missing between 40 and 45 percent of her blood and has ligature marks on her neck. She’d been hitchhiking the day before and the man who gave her a ride was willing to take her where she needed to go, but said he had to stop off at home first. He invited her in, and she refused, and he got into the back seat of the car and choked her unconscious. The hitchhiker awoke to find that she was tied to a kitchen countertop, arms and legs immobilized. A video camera had been set up, along with lights. The man raped her and videotaped the action. Then he inserted needles into her arm and wrist and carefully extracted blood and began to drink it, telling her that he was a vampire. After that, he handcuffed her and put her in the bathtub, returning later for another round of sexual assault and blood extraction. The next morning, after a third round, the man handcuffed the hitchhiker and left her in the bathroom, saying that he would be back later for further assaults, and that if she tried to escape in the interim, his brother would come and kill her. It was after the attacker had left the house that she was able to push out of the bathroom window and crawl to the road. Had she not escaped then, doctors believed, she might well have died from a further round of blood extraction. (Article)

1986:
April 16: New York City, New York, USA – Dracula” aka “The Capeman” Salvatore Agron who spent years in jail for murdering two young boys while dressed like a movie vampire in 1959, is admitted to a hospital with pneumonia and internal bleeding and dies six days later at age 42. (Article)
June: USA – John Crutchley, “the Vampire Rapist”, suspected of a chain of murders numbering more than 30 dating back to 1977, is convicted of just one kidnapping, rape, and assault – that of the teen girl found crawling naked on the highway, in shackles. He is convicted, jailed for 25 to life, but released in 1996 on good behavior. He is rearrested a day and a half later on drug charges, jailed for life under the “three strikes rule” and dies in custody in 2002.  (Article)
1987:
USA – The publication of Vrydolak’s “FireHeart” article in fall 1987 becomes a landmark moment in the Vampyre subculture. Prior to this time nobody, under any circumstances, considers a “psychic vampire” something that could be positive, or that anyone would ever admit to being. Every book at this stage which deals with “real life vampirism” defines vampirism on the basis of blood drinking. If psychic vampires are mentioned at all, it is in the context of early occult literature that describes psychic vampires as people (or astral entities) who drains the vitality of others, either unconsciously or maliciously. Some books describe “psychic vampires” as the leechlike, clinging, using personality types defined and denounced by both the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set.
France – “Ordo Tenebrae” is founded as a Vampyre House (House Noctem Theatrika) under the name “Confrerie des Dragons Noirs” (Brotherhood of the Black Dragons) from (1987-1993). In 1993 it becomes “The Tenebrae Tribe”, and in 2001 it becomes “Ordo Tenebrae”. Originally it follows a tradition of the “Maeutique du Precieux Sang”, becoming over time a Psychic Vampyre community. This is a very secretive group that maintains a closed website and does not publicly interact with the rest of the VC.
July 31: USA – “The Lost Boys” directed by Joel Schumacher, the first in a series of vampire movies, later hailed as a classic for its time, is released. “The Lost Boys” is a 1987 American teen horror/comedy starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, and Barnard Hughes. The film is about two Arizona brothers who move to California and end up fighting a gang of teenage vampires. The title is a reference to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie’s stories about Peter Pan and Neverland, who, like the vampires, never grow up. (Article)
October 1: USA – “My Best Friend Is a Vampire” (also known as “I was a Teenage Vampire”) is an American horror-comedy film directed by Jimmy Huston. The story revolves around a newly made vampire who is trying to live as a “good” vampire and not feed on humans. Jeremy is played by Robert Sean Leonard and Rene Auberjonois also stars as Jeremy’s vampire guidance counsel. The film’s themes include prejudice, identity, gender roles, and adolescence. (Article)
October 2: USA – “Near Dark” an American vampire/Western horror film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by her and Eric Red is released. The story follows a young man in a small midwestern town that becomes involved with a family of nomadic American vampires. Starring then little-known actors Adrian Pasdar and Jenny Wright, the film is part of a revival of serious vampire movies in the late 1980s. The film performs poorly at the box office upon release, but is viewed favorably by critics subsequently and today still has a sizable cult following. (Article)

San Francisco, California, USA – a student jogging in a San Francisco park is kidnapped and forced into a van. The assailant slashes his cheek, holds him for an hour in the van and drinks his blood and then releases him without further harm. This case has never been solved.

1988:

Toronto, Canada – Fashion, in a vampyric sense, arrives on the scene in a big way with the opening of the retail outlet “Siren”, founded by Groovella Blak. Located in Toronto, on Queen Street West, it is the world’s first establishment catering to the enthusiasms of the overlapping communities devoted to the Goth and Vampyre genres. internationally recognized Gothic and vampiric fashion store ‘Siren’ is also described by J. Gordon Melton in December 1998 in “The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead”. By 1998 it had become the “world’s oldest shop catering to the combined enthusiasms of the overlapping communities devoted to the Gothic and vampire genres.” Groovella Blak, who owned Siren, also later founded the Gothic Society of Canada with then husband Morpheus Blak (which still exists today as “The Dark Place”). Groovella was Toronto’s best known “Goth girl”, considered a sort of ‘fairy godmother’, and at the height of the Toronto vampire craze in mid-’90s had her canine teeth filed into fangs and always wore black or black with red. However, Icewind, the organizer of the Toronto Vampire Meetup Group, stated that obsession with vampire mythology and fashion is simply part of Goth subculture itself and does not make one a vampire, “they’re not what we’d call vampires, they just like the culture.” (Article)

London, England, UK – The British Occult Society is formally disbanded by the then president, Sean Manchester. The Vampire Research Society continues to this day.

London, England, UK – “Count Duckula” an animated UK TV series begins, running till 2003, spanning 63 episodes, with a green vegetarian vampire duck as the main character.

Colorado, USA – The Lord Ruthven Assembly is founded by scholars and writers who maintain an active interest in vampires in literature, myth and lore. The group holds annual meetings and presents “the Lord Ruthven Award”, recognizing a deserving work in vampire fiction or scholarship. The group is named for Lord Ruthven, a character in “the Vampyre” written by John Polidori in 1819. (SiteArticle)

Soho, London, UK. In a case still unsolved, six men report being picked up by a woman who accompanies them home before allegedly slipping them drugged alcohol, cuts their wrists and feeds on them while unconscious.

1989:

January 24: Ted Bundy, “vampire” serial killer, is executed in the electric chair.

Montpellier, France – House Byron (formerly known as “Des de l’Obscuritas Marcheurs) is founded by the late Father Jean-Louis Byron. It grows to become the most influential and important Spanish-speaking Vampyric House. Over time, the number of members increases considerably and House Byron later extends to Paris, which subsequently would be the first official headquarters. Later, the highest authorities are divided to form a new headquarters in Barcelona, Spain where it is based today.

USA – Nancy Collins wins a Bram Stoker Award for her vampire novel, “Sunglasses After Dark”.

June 1: Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA – Jan Perkowski, a Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Virginia publishes “The Darkling: A Treatise on Slavic Vampirism”, containing original vampire accounts translated into English from over twenty languages, many for the first time, including coverage of a vampire trial held in Dubrovnik in 1737.

October 20: Australia – The “Lesbian Vampire Killer” Tracey Wigginton kills an inebriated man by stabbing him 27 times, nearly severing his head and then drinking his blood. She receives life imprisonment. Wigginton is the only one of the four co-accused who pleads guilty to the charge of murder. Therefore, there is no trial and few details are disclosed to the court as to why this incident occurred. Her then-girlfriend, Lisa Ptachinski, and two other women fuel rumors about Wigginton having vampiric tendencies, stating that the reason for the murder was to enable the drinking of the man’s blood. On the night of the murder, Wigginton, Ptaschinski and two other women lured 47-year-old Edward Baldock to a park on the banks of the Brisbane River. There, Wigginton stabbed him 27 times, nearly severing his head. Later, in 1991, she is sentenced to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court of Queensland with a minimum of 13 years. In 2006 she assaults a fellow inmate and a prison guard. She makes four unsuccessful parole applications until 2011 when the parole board grants her application. Wigginton is released from prison on January 11, 2012. (Article,12)

December: The Temple Of The Vampire (TOV) is founded in the USA, describing itself as an international church devoted to the Vampire religion, legally registered with the U.S. federal government and having membership meetings worldwide. “The Temple Of The Vampire, the only true Vampire religion in the world, is an experiment begun in December 1989 to publicly attract these lost members of the Vampire Family and encourage them to realize their heritage.”

December 16: Romania – Overthrow of Romanian dictator Nikolai Ceaucescu opens Transylvania to Dracula enthusiasts. (Article)

December 23: Miami, Florida, USA – More than a dozen people have been attacked by a biting bandit with a definite modus operandi: He stalks his victims at night, grabs them in a choke hold, sinks his teeth into their body and steals their money, jewelry or other valuables while they writhe in pain. The luckier victims are left with a nasty scar on their shoulders, cheeks or hands. Two are not so lucky: One loses an ear that is later reattached; the other loses a finger permanently. While many residents of Homestead, a city of 30,000, worry about the biting bandit – one person becomes known for not allowing fear get in the way of his entrepreneurial spirit. Tom Szatkowski, manager of the Gift Box in the heart of the city’s historic district, begins selling hand-painted “Biting Bandit Bite Patrol” T-shirts for $5.

1990:

January 30: Miami, Florida, USA – Police launch a full scale manhunt before they finally arrest Miami’s “Biting Bandit,” Bobby Lester, who chomps his way through more than a dozen robbery victims before being caught.

Junin, Peru – in the backwoods town of Junin, Octavio Flores, 21, is hospitalized for acute anemia. The reason for this is revealed when he admits he has an incredible thirst for blood, but being too scared of AIDS to stalk victims, he resorts to frequently slashing his wrists to drink his own blood instead. Over a period of months he had nearly drunk himself dry.

October 15: Ukraine – The “Forest Strip Vampire” Andrei Chikotilo is found guilty on 52 of 53 charges of murder and sentenced to death. (Article)

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