Highlights of 1998:

January: OVC, USA – Amy Krieytaz sets up “the Vampire Research Resource Page”.

OVC, USA – An influential Psychic Vampires website “Area51/Labyrinth” comes to the community’s attention. Its owner plays a leading role in the community until August 1998, when he abruptly disappears and takes his site down completely for a while, then gives an incomplete and out-of-date mirror site to a friend of his. (sourced from “About the Internet vampiric community” by Amy Krieytaz)

February: OVC, USA – The Vampyre lifestyler component comes to the attention of Sangs and PSI’s when “Prince Verthaine” posts an ad on the Vampire Classifieds message board claiming he is Prince of his city and wants to confer with other Princes, “lifestylers not gamers.” Sanguinarius immediately assume he is a poser and flame him accordingly. Rev. Ralph Osiris, head of the Coven Organization, posts a long message on the Vampire Classifieds message board. He and Amy Krieytaz succeed in making peace between Sanguinarius and Verthaine, who then sets up a website explaining what Vampyre Lifestylers are and what he meant by calling himself a “Prince.” Sanguinarius revises her Statements of Purpose to define the “vampire community” as consisting of blood-drinkers, psychic/energy vampires, and Vampyre lifestylers. (sourced from “About the Internet vampiric community” by Amy Krieytaz) 

February 02: OVC – A proposal is made to create an online group for real Vampi(y)res, following increasing discord between fans of vampire fiction, lifestylers, roleplayers and real Vampi(y)res on an older group “alt.vampires”. This leads to the creation of the group “alt.culture.vampires” shortly after. According to the history section on alt.culture.vampires”: “This newsgroup came about because of a long-running argument in the newsgroup alt.vampyres. Since its inception, AV was primarily focused on the fictional aspect of vampires and vampirism, and the presence of what came to be called Real (TM) Vampires (and the frequently heavy debates that they engendered) was felt to be detrimental to the group. For years it was suggested that a NG be started just for the Real (TM) Vampires, but these were never followed up. Finally, on Feb. 2, 1998, Chooch (chooch@casagrande.com) posted a formal proposal in the news group alt.config that alt.culture.vampires be created. During the minimum seven day waiting period, support messages were also posted by WngdWolf13 (WngdWolf13@aol.com) and klaatu (klaatu@clark.net). Since no objections were posted during that period, on Feb. 9th what’s called a “control:newgroup” message was sent out and the group was created on the newsserver at Zippo.com. Due to a flaw in the original control message (it lacked a necessary “approved” header), a “booster” message was sent out by klaatu on Feb. 11. At that time, the group was also created on clark.net and he posted the message “Welcome to alt.culture.vampires” which became the first message in the group to propagate across Usenet. (That message is now the “Welcome” section of this FAQ.) Thornleaf (solstice@ican.net) volunteered to provide a home for this document and thereby became the first official “Keeper of the FAQ” for ACV.” (Article)

February 25: OVC, USA – The Sanguinarius News & Updates Mailing List is founded on ListBot, and the first message goes out to the smattering of people who’d signed up by then. (Article)

March 8: OVC, USA – Sanguinarius resolves to be a little more open-minded about vampire lifestylers, and extends the focus of her website to include them. The Vampire Discussion Board moves from its InsideTheWeb location to Server.Com. (Article)

July: OVC, USA – By mid-spring non-psivamp sanguinarians become weary of the fact that whenever sanguinarians and psivamps get together to discuss common concerns, the PSI component nearly always dominates the conversations, both because psivamps tend to have more forceful personalities and because the topic of psi-vampirism is a lot more complicated. Sangs struggle to relate to this topic and thus feel increasingly left out. They express feelings of being patronized, and sense that a lot of PSI’s think of Sangs as “unevolved” PSI-vamps. (sourced from “About the Internet vampiric community” by Amy Krieytaz)

July 3: OVC, USA – Sanguinarius moves her site from AOL to Tripod.com. AOL had space limitations and the page was spread out over three different screen names; it could now be consolidated under one. By this time, Sanguinarius was mirrored on theCoven.org, but that domain suddenly vanished; this was temporary. (Article)

August: OVC, USA – At the end of August 1998, Sanguinarius sets up her second message board, “Bloody Minded: A Message Board for Blood Drinkers”, the only such forum which is nonerotic in focus and primarily for sanguinarians, but welcomes all kinds of blood-drinkers. Unexpectedly, the frustrations of the Sangs finally explodes into the public arena, both on “Bloody Minded” itself and on Sanguinarius’s original “Vampire Community Message Board” (which has subsequently been re-named the “Vampiric Community Message Board.” Unfortunately, instead of voicing their frustrations clearly, some Sangs make remarks about how psivamps had “infiltrated and taken over” the community that had grown up around Sanguinarius’s site, and there is some temporary reversion to the notion that only sanguinarians and not PSI-vamps are “real vampires.” (Sanguinarius subsequently explains the latter as a reaction against the idea that all “real vampires” are really PSI-vamps by nature.) (sourced from “About the Internet vampiric community” by Amy Krieytaz) 

August: OVC, USA – A lot of psivamps express that they feel deeply hurt by the sudden and (to them) utterly unexpected burst of hostility toward psivamps. Unfortunately, the psivamps too have been reluctant to voice their feelings in public, and thus the misunderstandings remain unresolved. In only a few weeks, a lot of psivamps change from displaying an attitude of total and undifferentiated “vampire community” unity to a largely internalized desire for complete separation from the Sangs. A few psivamps even speculate that “psi-null” sanguinarians are not “real vampires” but are just “deluded” – as, likewise, some “psi-null” sanguinarians speculate that psivamps are just deluded. (sourced from “About the Internet vampiric community” by Amy Krieytaz) 

August 21: USA – The movie “Blade” is released, with Wesley Snipes as a vampyric Vampyre slayer. The movie and its sub-plot leave a lasting impression on the development of the VC, particularly as it seems to take on aspects of real Vampyre culture which run through the movie franchise.(Article) 

September: OVC, USA – Tensions rise in the fledgling OVC. The consensus that psivamps and sanguinarians are essentially alike finally begins to fall apart. (sourced from “About the Internet vampiric community” by Amy Krieytaz) The dispute between PSI and Sang rages online and in real life and escalates into what becomes known later as “the PSI-Sang War”.

Vigo, Spain – A neurologist at Hospital Xero in Vigo, Spain – Dr Juan Gomez-Alonso suggests that 18th century vampire hysteria was in part fueled by rabies epidemics. In a study published in the September issue of “Neurology”, he compares the symptoms of rabies to to symptoms ascribed to vampires of the day. In the 1720’s at the time of the major vampire hysteria in Eastern Europe, an outbreak of rabies has been documented among dogs, wolves and other animals. Many agree with his theory, which postulates that the outbreak of rabies at that time could well have fueled the growth of the vampire legend as we know it today.

September 1: OVC, USA – “Bloody Minded: A Message Board for Blood Drinkers” founded on Server.com. This board provided a more specific forum to address the topics and concerns of those who drink blood. (Article)

September 4: OVC, USA – The old InsideTheWeb Vampire Discussion board has been converted into the Vam-Personals. (Article)

September 26: OVC, USA – In a message on Sanguinarius’s “Vampiric Community Message Board” titled “A Statement to the Community at Large (long),” Inanna Arthen (Vyrdolak) concedes that “I guess you do fit into ‘categories’ after all.” Previously, she had been the arch-opponent of the very idea of categorizing “real vampires” as blood vamps, psivamps, etc., and her statements had often been quoted or paraphrased (with or without crediting her) by other proponents of an undifferentiated “real vampire” concept. In her message, Vyrdolak concludes further that “The strenuous efforts of some of us to unite vampire-oriented people under some sort of overreaching aegis (with categories, without categories, with labels, without labels, with gamers, without gamers) has, like a gigantic rubberband, snapped and scattered in many directions.” Given the large and very real overlap between blood vamps and psivamps, the community has not permanently fallen apart, as some people believe it has at this stage. What is shattered is the idea of unity based on grand theories of how all “real vampires” are all alike, with consequent exclusion of blood fetishists and NPEH’s from the theoretical basis of unity. Some are hopeful that the Community is in transition toward a community which will genuinely accept diversity rather than trying to explain it away, and in which people will form subgroups based on real common concerns rather than on definitions of “real vampire.” The breaking apart of the “real vampire” consensus is later seen as an absolutely necessary first step in such a transition. (sourced from “About the Internet vampiric community” by Amy Krieytaz)

October 30: USA – “John Carpenter’s Vampires” based on the book “Vampires” is released.

San Francisco, California, USA – On October 20, a man who allegedly slashed the throats of at least four homeless people, killing one, tells police he is a 2000-year-old vampire who thrives on drinking blood. Joshua Rudiger, 21, is arrested on charges of slashing the throat of a homeless man in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The victim, who survived the attack, points Rudiger out to police, who arrest him and find a bloody knife stuck in his belt. Police sources tell reporters that Rudiger claimed to be a vampire and in at least three cases had apparently used his victims’ blood to scrawl the Chinese character for “death” on the pavement near the scenes of the attacks. “He talked for a long time and said a lot of weird things,” one police source told the San Francisco Examiner, noting that none of the slashing victims had reported that their attacker attempted to drink their blood. “We’ll never know if he really drank the victims’ blood, but we’re sure he’s the guy who slashed their throats.” It is later revealed that Rudiger has a history of mental illness and had claimed to be a Ninja warrior as well as a vampire. Rudiger is diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, yet despite his mental condition, he is sentenced to 23 years in prison for second-degree murder. (Article)

November 5: OVC, USA – Sanguinarius moves the Vampire-Discussion group to OneList. OneList later becomes Egroups and finally Yahoo! Groups. (Article)

USA – “Pandora” and “The Vampire, Armand” by Anne Rice are published.

Germany – Formation of the Vampyre band “Blutengel” (German: Blood Angel), a German futurepop musical group. It was formed by singer Chris Pohl (also of the groups Terminal Choice, Tumor, and Miss Construction and the owner of the Fear Section label) after he had to leave Seelenkrank  due to contractual and legal problems. The lyrics are written primarily in German and English and are presented with male and female vocals. Blutengel was formed in 1998 after Chris Pohl had decided to give up the preceding project, Seelenkrank due to contractual problems. In an interview with Side Line magazine, band leader Chris had the following to say to the question “”Considering BE’s vampiric nature, have you ever had any particularly interesting encounters with fans?” – “Yes, not with fans, but rather with girls who didn’t know who I was. There was I time when I went out searching for girls with whom to share my blood. I found many who liked it. That was a very dangerous thing to do, but also very erotic; to have a girl in my bed and to cover her body with my blood doing the ‘big thing’, well…” The band continues to have a popular cult following in Germany, Europe and world-wide.

New York City, New York, USA – Katherine Ramsland (clinical psychologist; journalist and bestselling biographer) makes contact with Father Sebastian Todd and asks him to serve as a consultant for a book she is writing entitled “Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today”. Her intention is to follow in the last known footsteps of investigative reporter Susan Walsh (who disappeared around the same time as the historic Vampyre Ball at the Limelight in July 1996.) A release party for the book is held at LBV (Long Black Veil) in 1998.

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