Highlights for 2002:

February: New York City, New York, USA – The Court of Lazarus is founded as a social gathering organized by Father Sebastian Todd of the Sanguinarium. It is called ‘The Society Lazarus” for that initial meeting, but the members vote to organize officially as a Vampiric Court. Lazarus becomes known as The Court of Lazarus from the March 2002 gathering onward. The Court of Lazarus is a Vampiric Court based in Lower Manhattan, serving the community from neighboring Courts in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. As New York’s Original ‘Salon Noir’, it is part ritual gathering, part dark performance space and part gothic cocktail party. At present (2013) the CoL is still NYC’s premier VC gathering.

February 1: Bochum, Germany – A couple who claim to be vampires and to have drunk human blood on visits to Britain – Daniel Ruda, 26, a former car-parts salesman, and his wife, Manuela, 23, are sentenced to 15 years and 13 years respectively in a secure psychiatric hospital for killing a man by stabbing him more than 60 times in a satanic ritual in their apartment surrounded by human skulls, cemetery lights, scalpels and incense – because “the Devil ordered them to do so”. Manuela is said to have had animal fangs implanted into her jaw to bite her victims with.  Manuela says she went to “bite parties” in the UK where people drank each others’ blood. “Men were always trotting after me,” she said. “They were my blood donors.” (Article)

February 17: Bogota, Columbia – Police say up to 50 groups of human vampires are operating in the Colombian capital Bogota. They dress in black and drink brandy mixed with human blood. They usually obtain human blood from contacts in transfusion centres or buy animal blood from city abattoirs. Police also make claims that groups of vampires have recently begun stopping passers-by at gunpoint and forcing them to bare their necks. The vampires then allegedly pierce their vein with a razor and take it in turns to drink their blood. A police spokesperson says it is difficult to prosecute the groups because witnesses are afraid to come forward. Victims are also worried people will think they are crazy if they report the attacks. The authorities say they can’t do anything about the vampires without hard evidence and Colombia’s freedom of religion laws mean the police can’t stop and search people just because they are dressed like vampires. In the artcle, Interpol official Juan Prieto tells newspaper El Espectador that he was worried that vampire numbers were increasing. Mr Prieto says vampires could be responsible for several unsolved murders in Bogota, adding: “But we have a problem proving it.” 

February 22: USA – The movie version of Anne Rice’s novel “Queen of the Damned” is released. The  vampire horror film is a loose adaptation of the third novel of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles series, The Queen of the Damned, although the film contains many plot elements from the latter novel’s predecessor, The Vampire Lestat. It stars Aaliyah as the vampire queen Akasha, and Stuart Townsend as the vampire Lestat. Queen of the Damned was released six months after Aaliyah’s death and is dedicated to her memory. (Article)

USA – Michelle Belanger, along with input from Father Sebastian and others, present the Black veil version 2 as a philosophy and tradition of ethics, not rules. This code is annotated as being voluntary and is designed to set an example for the community. This updated and simplified version of the Black Veil is not declared as a set of laws or rules and no longer carries the alternative title ’13 Rules of the Community” but is written as an example set of ethics and ideas presented as community guidelines.

March 22: The sequel to “Blade” – “Blade II” is released. The plot and make-up are the first to refer to vampire-kind in fiction as “the vampire community”, echoing the real VC. It is perhaps this parallel between reality and fiction which attracts real Vampyres to this sort of fiction. (Article)

Wales, UK – A 17-year-old boy is found guilty of the “macabre and ritual” murder of 90-year-old Mabel Leyshon at her north Wales home, in which he removes her heart and drinks her blood. He is jailed for 12 years. 

Virginia, USA – A 19-year-old in Virginia, was charged with murder after stabbing another person 30 times. In his police confession he mentioned vampirism and stated that the taste of the deceased’s blood drove him into a frenzy. 

France – “The Vampire of Paris” — Nicolas Claux (born March 22, 1972, in Cameroon) a convicted French murderer and a self-proclaimed cannibal referred to as “the Vampire of Paris”, is released from prison where he spent his prison term painting portraits of serial killers and depictions of crime scenes and murder victims.

December 23: Rumors of people being attacked for their blood sweep southern areas of Malawi into a vampire hysteria. Terrified villagers leave their fields untended, too scared of becoming the next victims of the mysterious blood-suckers. President Bakili Muluzi joins other officials in trying to calm the situation claims the rumours are unfounded and blames the whole thing on Opposition politicains as a plot to undermine the government. Residents take the law into their own hands, killing one man thought to be a human vampire and badly injuring three others. Some people – mainly women and children – come forward to say they have been victims of the blood-thieves. One woman shows journalists a mark on her arm where she say a needle was inserted to draw her blood. The alleged attacks over three weeks in Blantyre as well as the districts of Thyolo, Mulanje and Chiradzulu. Strangers become victims of vigilantes as villagers are wary of anyone who is not known in their area. One man is stoned to death after being suspected of working with the vampires. In Thyolo, villagers attack three Roman Catholic priests who were strangers to the area. They are beaten and detained overnight before a woman recognises one of them as a priest. Stories abound, including claims that the government is colluding with international aid agencies to supply them with human blood in exchange for food aid. “No government can go about sucking blood of its own people,” says the president. “That’s thuggery.” He adds there would be severe punishment for the unnamed opposition politicians once they are caught. 

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