Highlights of 2009:

March: USA – With the extended deadlines being closed, the final results of the VEWRS and AVEWRS Surveys are released. Having been conducted between March 2006 and March 2009, the surveys represent the largest and most important study ever undertaken within the Vampyre communities. In all results were received from 40 countries: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lativa, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

March 27: Boston, Massachusetts, USA  — an unusual rumor sweeping student classrooms of one of the city’s most prestigious exam schools: “Supposedly 3 students believe that they are vampires and today when a student was bitten the police were informed,” a student writes in a message to TheBostonChannel.com. “I heard that one girl was arrested another suspended.” Police, however, deny reports that anyone at the school was bitten. The rumors are strong enough to cause anxiety among the student body and disrupt classes. Hysteria is blamed on interest in vampires among young people, which has been rekindled in the past year with the release of the hit movie “Twilight”. The headmaster is later forced to announce that there are “no vampires at our school”.

April 30: South Korea – “Thirst”, a South Korean horror film written, produced and directed by Park Chan-wook, is released. It is loosely based on the novel Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola. The film tells the story of a Catholic priest who is in love with his friend’s wife, turning into a vampire through a failed medical experiment. Park has stated, “This film was originally called ‘The Bat’ to convey a sense of horror. After all, it is about vampires. But it is also more than that. It is about passion and a love triangle. I feel that it is unique because it is not just a thriller, and not merely a horror film, but an illicit love story as well.” It is shown at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival where it receives the Jury Prize. (Article)

May 22: Blackburn, Lancashire, England, UK – Blackburn history expert Stephen Smith dismisses the legend of Sarah Roberts as hocus pocus and says that, far from being the third Bride of Dracula, she was just an ordinary weaver from Burnley. He says: ‘The courts in Blackburn could not have tried Sarah and sentenced her to death for any crime, and even in those days the worst that could have happened to her for practising witchcraft would have been a prison sentence.’ Mr Smith’s researches reveal that Sarah was born with the surname Gargett in 1872, and had just one sister who was called neither Andrea nor the equally un-Lancastrian Erica. Sarah married John Roberts 20 years later. The 1901 census lists both husband and wife as weavers and says they had two sons. In the same year, John’s younger brother moved to Lima, Peru, to set up a cotton mill, and the couple later crossed the Atlantic at least once to visit. It was during one trip that Sarah died. Her grandchildren, who were completely unaware of the vampire legend until the well-publicised events of 1993, believe she probably met her end accidentally somewhere isolated. Her husband would have been forced to carry her in a makeshift coffin to the nearest village – but the strange incident could have raised suspicions and spawned an enduring local myth. Mr Smith suspects the legend owes most to spin by the Peruvian media in 1993, noting that tourism in the Pisco area had increased by more than 60 per cent since the Sarah legend took hold. At one point the Mayor of Pisco even said he would like his town twinned with Blackburn – to which the Lancashire town’s own Mayor, Paul Browne, responded: ‘This vampire lark will do our town no good at all.  People around the world will think we are bloodsuckers.’ Roger Booth, Blackburn library’s local history expert, says: ‘Sarah has gone down in history but in reality she was just a cotton weaver. ‘It is understandable people in Peru may have believed this tale in 1913 but it is hard to see how they still thought she was going to emerge from the grave in 1993.’

May 25: Iran – Security forces arrest 104 people accused of being devil worshipers, seizing drugs and alcohol during a party in Shiraz, the semiofficial Mehr News Agency reports. Col. Abbas Hamedi of the Revolutionary Guards said they had been investigating the group, whose members cut themselves and sucked their blood, leading to the arrests on Sunday. “The group’s aim was to promote irreligious behavior,” Colonel Hamedi said, adding they had posted footage of their parties on the Internet. The Islamic Republic, which bans alcohol and narcotics (and just about everything else) launched a crackdown on “indecent Western-inspired movements” such as rappers and “satanists” in 2008. The move is viewed with suspicion by outsiders as it appears to be no more than religious zealotry at work, simply labeling harmless social activities as “evil” and persecuting people for it.

June: USA – “Vampires.com” is set up as a Vampyre community news resource.

June 16: Jaipur, India – The Times of India reports that doctors in Karauli’s Hindaun town are forcing children from nearby villages to donate blood. Police report over 30 minors had been exploited. The children, all aged 14 or below, were lured with kachouri and fruit juice and brought to two hospitals, Rajgirish Nursing Home and Tirupati Hospital, where blood was taken from them. The cleaners of these two hospitals used to drop the children back home and kept tabs on them for a few days lest the children complain about it to their family members. The police suspect that each unit of blood taken from these children was sold for at least Rs 5,000 to some private hospitals in UP and MP. Police suspect the involvement of an inter-state gang — however records could not be confiscated as they had been destroyed.

USA – “By Blood We Live”, a collection of vampire stories with contributions from authors such as Stephen King, Anne Rice, Tanith Lee, L. A. Banks, Garth Nix, and more, is published.  

USA – “How to Be a Vampire: A Fangs-On Guide for the Newly Undead” by Amy Gray, is published.

London, England, UK – Infamous “vampire hunter” and often ridiculed exorcist and clergyman, Sean manchester posts in his Vampire Research Society blog about the real Vampyre Community, labeling real living Vampyres as “vampiroids”, denying their authenticity: “…vampiroids are not vampires. Some actually believe themselves to be vampires, but, of course, they are not. How could they be when the definition of a vampire, upon examination, is revealed to be a dead body that issues forth from its tomb in the night to quaff the warm blood of the living, whereby it is nourished and preserved? Vampiroids, therefore, cannot be re-animated corpses with an awful supernatural existence beyond the grave. People who either believe themselves to be vampires, or want to become vampires and affect what they construe to be vampiristic lifestyles, even when this is taken to extremes, are invariably vampiroids.” Since the 1980s, however, vampiroid cults have flourished and continue to do so. Many hundreds of people have been lured by their false promises of fulfillment. The reality is emptiness, isolation, manipulation, discord, lies and hatred. Cult members undergo a profound change. Family and friends witness a change for the worse, but cult victims are programmed to feel good about the change. They are no longer able to critically evaluate to the degree that was possible prior to recruitment into their new lifestyle. Tell-tale signs may include sudden drastic personality transformations; appearing distant (as trance states are common); seeming detached; being withdrawn and secretive; appearing to be cold or emotionless to family and friends; physical deterioration and a loss of critical ability.” Manchester continues to categorize his own uninformed views of “different” forms of “vampiroids” and connects the real Vampyre Community to satanic cults and perpetuates the idiotic “satanic-panic” mentality of the 1980’s.

August 17: Toronto, Canada – Police allege Derek Campbell, 28, of Toronto met a 13-year-old girl on the Vampirefreaks.com website in 2007 and took video footage of her in sexual positions. Campbell has been charged with making and possessing child pornography, sexual assault and interference, invitation to sexual touching, and bestiality.

August 19: Toronto, Canada – A second arrest is made in the same week by the Toronto police child exploitation and sex crimes unit that involves members of the vampire freaks.com website. Arthur Brown of Toronto met a 14-year-old girl on the website vampirefreaks.com in 2008 and made arrangements to meet. On Wednesday, after a police investigation, Brown, who goes by the name darkboi, was charged with sexual assault and sexual interference stemming from that meeting. “Police believe there may be more victims,” said Det. Paul Krawcyzk with the child exploitation unit. Brown’s profile on vampire freaks.com says his long-term goal is to settle down with three to seven submissive sex slaves who will be monogamous to him while he remains polygamous. “I am probably twice your age or maybe even three times your age. If that is a problem for you keep moving. I do not have time for ageists,” Brown’s profile says. It goes on to say his likes include guns, bondage and S&M. His dislikes include U.S. President Barack Obama, feminism and “people who judge me.”

250px-The_Vampire_Diaries_(title_card)September 10: USA – “The Vampire Diaries”, a TV series based on a book series by L. J. Smith, premiers in the USA starring Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. It is an immediate hit overall with the VC, whose favorite characters include Damon and Stefan Salvatore (the two vampire brothers from 1864, played by Somerhalder and Wesley). Set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls and filmed in the town of Covington, Georgia, Covington soon begins to cash in on the booming vampire tourist trade, with a replica bar inspired by the Mystic Grill of the series, opening in 2013.

October 23: USA – “The Vampire’s Assistant”, the movie adaption of the book by Darren Shan, is released. (Article)

October 25: Australia – A $1 million reward is posted for a man believed to have ordered the execution-style murder of self-proclaimed vampire Shane Chartres-Abbott. Chartres-Abbott, who worked as a male prostitute, was gunned down in broad daylight in Reservoir, in Melbourne’s north, on June 4, 2003. One man assaulted his pregnant girlfriend and father while another shot dead Chartres-Abbott at the scene. One man is serving a life sentence in jail after pleading guilty to the murder in March 2008. A warrant for the arrest of Mark Adrian Perry – who police had earlier identified in September 2005 as Mark Andrew living under an alias – was issued for ordering the execution of Chartres-Abbott. Perry was last seen in Queensland in September 2007 but is now believed to be living under a new identity and may have changed his appearance.

November: Mexico – Nación Vampírica is created by Phoennos Immortalis (PI) and Lord V. (LV), two real vampires from the Spanish speaking real Vampyre community of México. They are also founders of the group Novo Ordo Draconis. PI and LV create two noteable texts in Spanish: “The Vampiricon” and the “Declaration of Blood”. The Nación Vampírica website is first located on a free server, starting in November 2009. In January of 2010 they register another website (www.nacionvampirica.org) which closes, leaving only the forum active: http://nacionvampirica.foromx.org/ (Source: Noctalium)

Mexico – “The Vampiricón” is published in Spanish by Phoennos Immortalis (PI) and Lord V. (LV) on the Nación Vampírica website. It is conceptual and philosophical guidance about real Vampyres and vampirism, summarizing their personal views on the subject. Divided into six sections, each designed to address a specific aspect: Nature, Vampirism, Darkness, Blood, Energy and Awakening, each section consists of a series of points that sum up the philosophy of Vampiricón. The etymology of Vampiricón is, according to its creators: “Vampiricus”, latinized form of “vampiric” and the suffix “Icon” as an adjective. Something like “In or On the Vampiric”. Vampiricón word is an abbreviation for “Codex Sanguinus Vampiricus”, that is to say Vampiric Sanguineous Code. (Source: Noctalium)

November 20: USA – The second “Twilight” movie, “New Moon” is released to a growing audience. 

December: South Africa – Kannaan Ministries, a right wing Christian fundamentalist group, release “Twilight – A Warning” – a serious attempt to analyze the Vampyre community – but tainted by using the Twilight series of books and movies as a reference. The author refers to religious ideology, using it as a lens through which to view the real Vampyre community, and also misinterprets and mis-defines terms and issues relating to the topic. Although not as hysterical as the Parents Against Goth website, it is a very biased document that will suit the sort of people who like to discriminate against others on the basis of fear, ignorance and prejudice.

Centurion, South Africa – House of Havoc Vampire Coven forms at the end of 2009 with the stated goal to unite the vampire community within South Africa and eventually have regional Houses or Havens for Vampyre/donors. The group’s activities appear to have stalled by early 2010, and by June of that year, dormant.

USA – The Social Security Administration releases its annual report of the most popular baby names, with Vampire baby names reportedly on the increase. With Meyer’s wildly popular vampire Twilight series gaining ground as a phenomenon it appears Stephanie Meyer’s books have influenced the most popular baby names of 2009. 555 US couples named their baby boys ‘Cullen,’ according to the report, making it the biggest increase in any boy’s name ever, moving it up nearly 300 places from its 2008 place on the list. The most popular boys name of 2009 is reported to be ‘Jacob.’ The most popular girls name of 2009? Isabella – or ‘Bella’, which also showed an increase. Almost 22,000 Isabella’s and nearly 21,000 Jacobs arrived in 2009.

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