Highlights of 1996:

January 19: USA – The movie “From Dusk Till Dawn,” written by Quentin Tarantino, starring George Clooney opens nationwide in the USA.

April 2: USA – The TV series “Kindred: the Embraced”, based on the “Vampire: the Masquerade” RPG, airs for a whole 8 episodes before being canceled. It is still a wide favorite with the real VC today.

April 5: USA – “Nadja”, a film by Michael Almereyda is released. Elina Löwensohn stars as Nadja and Peter Fonda as Van Helsing. As the character’s names suggest, Nadja is a vampire film, but treating elements of the genre in an understated arthouse style. The deadpan acting, episodic nature of the plot, and the presence of Martin Donovan and Löwensohn are suggestive of a Hal Hartley film though he was not involved in the production. The Chicago Review called it “Hal Hartley meets David Lynch”. The style of the film changes from dramatic horror to horror comedy by the end as evidenced by the laughing vampire toy during a trip to Romania. The film is shot in black and white by Jim Denault mostly at night in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including use of the PXL-2000, and is underscored by an incessantly creepy, dreamlike score/soundscape by Simon Fisher Turner as well as the songs “Soon” and “Lose My Breath” by My Bloody Valentine and “Strangers” and “Roads” by Portishead.

May 2: Juarez, Mexico – A woman  reports being attacked by a Chupacabra “vampire goat sucker” creature. A rash of chupacabra sightings and attacks are reported over this period around the country as well as across the border in neighboring states in the USA. 

May 8: South Africa – With the adoption of the new South African Constitution, all forms of non-Abrahamic religion are decriminalized and accorded equal status under law. Witchcraft is no longer considered a crime, although some harassment related to occult practice still persists. Many conservative Christian groups, confusing Pagan religion with Satanism and the hysterical SRA view of occult religions, object.

July 16: Manhattan, New York, USA – The real Vampyre community enters a darker chapter of modern Vampyre history when female reporter, Susan Walsh disappears while writing a story on downtown Manhattan’s mysterious “vampire underground”. Susan Walsh (writer) was a freelance writer who disappeared shortly after doing an article on New York City’s vampire community for The Village Voice. Her research began at La Commedia del Sangue and she was introduced to local vampire, Christian, as a guide to the community by Sokol. According to Katherine Ramsland’s book, Piercing the Darkness, Sokol believed Susan Walsh was still alive and that her disappearance had nothing to do with the vampire community she was investigating. (Article)

November 25: Eustis, Florida, USA – The “Vampire Clan” killers – four American teenagers who flee after a vicious murder-spree in which the parents of one of the children were murdered, are caught in Florida. Ferrell – the self-proclaimed leader of the Clan’s attorneys portrayed him as a troubled youth, addicted to drugs and sexually abused by relatives, and whose mother pleaded guilty in Kentucky in 1997 to trying to seduce a 14-year-old boy during a vampire initiation rite. Ferrell told people that he was a 500-year-old vampire named Vesago. In 1998, Ferrell pleads guilty to the double slaying of a couple from Eustis, Florida, becoming the youngest person in the United States on Death Row. Originally sentenced to death, Ferrell’s penalty has since been reduced to life without parole.

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