Highlights of 2008: 

January 1: South Africa – Opening of “The Dhampire”, an author site for Lana Lundy, author of several vampire fiction books. She goes by the name Silver and her son Jason (Jason Sharpblades) acts as Admin. The site features a forum to discuss vampiric topics, and is possibly the first vampcentric website based in South Africa, although it is unclear whether Silver or Jason are themselves actual Vampyres.

January 21: Teeside, Middelsbrough, Scotland, UK – A crazed son who stabs his parents and then drank his stepfather’s blood is detained in a mental institute for the attack. Thomas Owen, 28, thought he had to kill Joe and Sheena Foster to prevent the murder of a little girl, a court hears. Schizophrenic Owen, who had attacked his mother several times before, stormed into her bedroom in the middle of the night with a 10-inch kitchen knife. He launched a vicious attack on Sheena, 47, and Joe, 46, then sucked blood from his stepfather’s wounds, telling him: “Joe, I’ve got to do this. We are vampires together.” Mr Foster, who was knifed 12 times in the left arm and twice in the stomach, persuaded Owen to fetch his dog from the yard and managed to dial 999 on his mobile. Teesside crown court heard that he will never recover full use of his arm. His wife was stabbed in the stomach, right breast and arm. Owen reportedly told paramedics called to the family home in South Loftus, Cleveland: “I’ve got mental problems.” Owen, from Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to his stepfather’s attempted murder and wounding his mother. He was ordered to be detained in a secure hospital. His parents were in court and his mother waved to him as he was led away.

January 24:  Bolivia – A Californian eccentric who named himself after a literary vampire is jailed for bombing two hotels in Bolivia. Triston Jay Amero, 26, goes by the name Lestat Claudius de Orleans y Montevideo, a variation on an Anne Rice vampire character. Amero is sentenced to 30 years in prison without parole for bombing two La Paz hotels in 2006, which left two people dead and strained delicate Bolivia-US relations. Amero is not shy about his talent for blowing things up, a skill he says he learned letting off fireworks with his grandmother. According to US court documents, Amero has received psychiatric treatment since he was seven. He spent time at a juvenile detention centre and often made threats of suicide and violence against authorities. Amero has been a fantasist since a young age. In earlier travels through south America he described himself as a Saudi Arabian lawyer, a pagan high priest, and a public notary. Amero has now returned to Chonchocoro maximum-security jail, which has no clean running water. Amero may not find his fellow inmates too friendly, either: he was caught hiding petrol in his cell last year and admitted plotting to set fire to other prisoners.

January 26: Sweden – Swedish movie “Let the Right One In” based on the vampire novel by John Lindqvist, is released.

January 27: Lancashire, England, UK – A man allegedly confides in his partner that he is a vampire, before biting her three times. William John McInerney, 24, of Douglas Grove, is ordered to stand trial at Preston Crown Court when he appears before Hyndburn magistrates and pleads not guilty to assaulting  Lisa Shepherd by biting her on the cheek, arm and shoulder. He is remanded in custody pending the preparation of committal papers.

May 7: Russia – Russian newspaper PRAVDA (Truth) claims in an article that vampires do exist. The article refers to the numerous crimes which took place around the world involving perpetrators who either exhibited a belief that they were vampires, or followed a classic vampire MO. It also linked vampiric people, somewhat archaically, to porphyria, as well as several other unverified claims.

July 10: UK -“Bathory”, a film about Erzabet Bathory, is released. (Article)

July 11: Mikulovice, Bohemia – At Pardubice, East Bohemia, archaeologists uncover a 4000-year-old grave in Mikulovice, eastern Bohemia, containing the remains of what might have been considered a vampire at the time. One of the graves from the early bronze age burial site was situated away from the others and the male skeleton in it was weighed down with two big stones, one on his chest and the other on his head. Remains treated in this way are now considered as vampiric. The dead man’s contemporaries “were afraid that he might leave his grave and return to the world” Radko Sedlacek from the East Bohemia Museum theorize.

August 9: Caracas, Venezuela  —  At least 38 Warao Indians die in remote villages in Venezuela, and medical experts suspect an outbreak of rabies spread by bites from vampire bats.

August 10: Outbreaks of rabies in various tropical areas of South America, including Brazil and Venezuela are blamed on vampire bats.

Austria – A documentary called “The Vampire Princess”, tries to find evidence for the vampire thesis about the Bohemian Princess Ellenore von Schwarzenberg (1682-1741) who some believe inspired Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula”. According to the makers, “archaeologists, historians and forensic scientists can reveal the truth. The vampire story as we know it is not modeled on a medieval count from Transylvania but rather on the fate of a Bohemian princess from the early 18th century”. The documentary makers found evidence suggesting that Eleonore was suspected of being a vampire after her death. Her apparent reburial conforms to vampire burial rites of the time, and a stone slab was placed over her coffin as if to prevent her from rising. (Article)

September 7: USA – The iconic “True Blood” HBO Vampyre TV series starts airing in the US.

“Parents Against Goth” organization, a hate group focusing on goths, emos and real Vampyres is established by Rev. R.G. Green with “GodHatesGoths.com” as its official website. The view of the good reverend is “The greatest threat to today’s society is the rise of the gothic subculture. Goth is a sinister and violent subculture obsessed with Satanism, Wicca, Vampirism, BDSM, rape, child abuse, Hitler, bondage, sick sexual perversions, serial killers, death, drugs, self mutilation and other sick practices to vile to mention. Goth’s are the Devil’s Children. In my opinion, Goths are more dangerous to children than pedophiles”. It later transpires that GodHatesGoths.com is a lampoon web site written from an exaggerated fundamentalist Christian point of view and presented as the official website of an apparently non-existent organization “Parents Against Goth”, headed by a completely fictional character, Rev. R. G. Green.” This website is very believable and still exists to the present day (2013) raising the ire of those who are taken in by its rhetoric, while also undoubtedly influencing conservative thinking and fueling bigotry against both goths and Vampyres.

October 10: South Africa – The SA Pagan Council is designated by SA Revenue Services as a Public Benefit Organisation under the relevant Act, which reads: “5. Religion, Belief or Philosophy a) The promotion or practice of religion which encompasses acts of worship, witness, teaching and community service based on a belief in a deity.” This marks the first official and legal recognition of Paganism as a religion in Africa.

October 26: Siberia – Reports circulate that a previously unknown population of vampire moths has been discovered in Siberia. Entomologists say the sanguinarian moths may have evolved from a purely fruit-eating species. Only slight variations in wing patterns distinguish the Russian population from a widely distributed moth species, Calyptra thalictri, in central and southern Europe, which known to feed only on fruit. When the Russian moths were experimentally offered human hands this summer, the insects drilled their hook-and-barb-lined tongues under the skin and sucked blood. Entomologist Jennifer Zaspel from the University of Florida in Gainesville says the discovery suggests the moth population could be on an “evolutionary trajectory” away from other C. thalictri populations. Zaspel’s research is funded in part by a grant from the National Geographic Society. This is the second population of vampire moths Zaspel and her team have found. They discovered the first in Russia in 2006. The following January, she undertakes to compare the Russian population’s DNA to that of other populations and other species to confirm her suspicions. “Based on geography, based on behavior, and based on a phenotypic variation we saw in the wing pattern, we can speculate that this represents something different, something new,” Zaspel says. “But it is really difficult to say without knowing genetic differences between individuals in that population, and among individuals from other populations, how different this group is going to be.” This is seen as significant because if it turns out that Zaspel has indeed caught a fruit-eating moth evolving blood-feeding behavior, it could provide clues as to how some moths develop a taste for blood.

The launch of “The Path of the Kherete” – a project or offshoot of House Kheperu. Several Houses align themselves with House Kheperu by using their material. This project aims to align existing Houses around the world, with similar values, with House Kheperu, and to inspire the founding of new Houses under the guidance of House Kheperu. “Kherete” Houses are reportedly “not directly affiliated with House Kheperu or the Kheprians in any way, other than some common links of lore and ritual.” Like most Kherete-inspired traditions, they follow an ethical code equivalent to the Black Veil, as published in “The Psychic Vampire Codex” by Michelle Belanger.

Texas, USA – In a report probably linked to the “chupacabra” phenomenon, a “vampire dog” is blamed for the death of 30 chickens on a farm in Texas.

November 16: Trendhunter reports the US newspaper industry is taking advantage of the movie ‘Twilight’ anticipation to sell more papers. Many newspapers across the country include free promo posters for the movie as advertisements for the vampire flick ‘Twilight’ opening 21 November. The L.A. Times, USA Weekend and even the Peninsula Daily News from Washington all urge fans of Bella and Edward to purchase the paper to get a free poster. It is been reported that USA Weekend has even altered their logo on the cover for the November 16th issue.

November 17: Los Angeles, California, USA – “Twilight”, the first of a series of movies based on Stephanie Meyer’s series of Vampyre novels premieres to an astounding reception. As pervasive as the series of books had been, the movies unleash a hysteria particularly among teenage girls who divide themselves into “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” in reference to the two male leads, one allegedly a vampire, the other a werewolf. Twilight becomes an irritation for real Vampyres who begin to encounter these crazed, obsessed fans online, looking for “real vampires who sparkle”.  (Article)

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