2012

HP

Highlights of 2012: 

“Vampire” divorce and custody case in South Africa, the death of Don Rimer, Vampyre-hater Bill Schnoebelen releases new book attacking the VC, Court of Lazarus celebrates 10th anniversary, more “vampire” crimes, “Emo” killings in Iraq also targeting Vampyres, OVC takes interest in developing local VC’s internationally. Changes in Magisters of Gacrux Halo, the opening of Turais Halo, the founding of House De Nocte and Ordinem Angelus Lapsus. Aurora Co Batman cinema massacre. Beginning of friendly interaction between South African VC and local Therians. The scandalous SAPS “occult related crime” unit reforms covertly and is exposed by Pagan community activists as it relaunches after a 11 year hiatus and focuses on Pagans, Satanists and Vampyres. SAVA internal elections and other changes. 

January 11: Brisbane, Australia – ‘Lesbian vampire killer’ Tracey Wigginton is released from prison after 23 years. She was jailed for the 1989 stabbing murder of Brisbane council worker Edward Baldock, 47. Wigginton, along with three other women, incuding her then-lover, lured Baldock into a car near the South Brisbane sailing club, by the promise of sex, and there Wigginton frenziedly stabbed him 27 times, nearly severing his neck, the Courier-Mail reported. After the murder, Wigginton drank his blood. Wigginton’s release came in spite of a number of concerns from her past prosecutor, relatives of the victim, and even a prison altercation five years ago that saw her confined again to a more secure prison. She will reportedly not be electronically monitored once she is back in society. 

January 12: South Africa – The Citizen newspaper reports that a woman from Gauteng has lost a legal custody battle over her child against her former husband – on the grounds of vampirism. The woman was accused of “indulging in vampire practices involving human blood” by her husband – who found messages on her phone between her and another man, has lost custody of her blind daughter. In court, concern was expressed about the mother and her friend’s involvement with a woman who was said to be involved with a “satanistic cult”. Satanism as a religion is protected under the SA Constitution. The mother claimed the vampire messages were “a joke”. She accused the father of assaulting and raping her and obtained family violence interdict against him. The protection order and rape charges were later withdrawn. The ugly custody battle resulted in the court appointing a curator to represent the child and obtaining a psychological assessment of the parties involved. The psychologist found the mother’s vampiristic conversations with her friend were not jokes but rather represented sexually stimulating suggestions. The woman and her mother both retained the right to spend time with the child, but in effect, this legal judgement casts Vampyres in the light of being unfit parents, and also indicates a prejudicial position in the South African legal system which emphasizes the need for continued individual and community discretion. 

January 12: Seattle,WA, USA – A light-hearted article appears in the Seattle P.I. covering the Seattle Vampire Tours starting from Marcela’s Creole Cookery in Pioneer Square, Seattle. Tours are advertised as running Wednesday through Saturday, starting at 6:30 p.m. The venture appears to be tied to a local ghost tours company. 

January 12: Sweden – The UK Daily Mail reports in an article titled “Cannibal who ate head of former lover proposes to Satan-worshipping vampire girlfriend behind bars of psychiatric unit” that a man convicted of cannibalism has proposed marriage to his similarly convicted girlfriend behind the bars of their psychiatric unit. The reported vampire, Isakin Jonsson, was jailed for stabbing a single father to death. She reportedly then drank his blood – posing in a picture online, before her arrest, with blood dripping from her lips, holding a power saw and a knife. Reportedly, she placed a caption underneath which read: ‘I want to cut the throats of people on the subway.’ Authorities have not yet revealed if the wedding will be allowed or if they will ever be freed. 

January 13: South Africa – Octarine Valur opens a semi-public open group on Facebook called “Friends of the South African Vampire” as an open meeting place for those drawn to the icon of the vampire, those who enjoy the vampire aesthetic, people who indulge in the vampire lifestyle, people who believe they are vampires, and vampires who believe they are people, to network, discuss and chat about anything relating to vampires and vampirism. The goal of the group is to stimulate growth in the local VC, regardless of whether participants are members of the SAVA. The group membership is diverse.

January 15: OVC, USA – Vampire Community News (VCN) announces that at 2 PM ET Saturday, January 14, 2012 retired law enforcement officer and ‘occult crimes expert’ Don Rimer was removed from life support at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital in Virginia Beach, VA after suffering a massive stroke resulting from complications removing blood clots which presented after a recent back surgery. As of Sunday, January 15 doctors are expecting him to pass at some point during the day. Despite the serious differences the vampire, pagan, and occult communities have with “some of Don Rimer’s beliefs and professional practices”, the notice requests members of the VC “to remain respectful of his family and loved ones during this difficult time”.

January 19: Panama City, USA – Two of the suspects in the so-called vampire cult murder of a Parker teenager learned their punishment Thursday. They entered pleas during a pre-trial hearing. The two were charged in the July 2011 beating death of 16-year-old Jacob Hendershot. Parker Police searched for Hendershot for a month before finding his body in some woods near his home in Parker. Investigators believe 18-year-old Stephanie Pistey and 25-year-old Joel Millsap lured Hendershot to Millsap’s home on July 13th. They say Pistey had a sexual relationship with Hendershot but told her boyfriend 17-year-old William Chase, Hendershot had raped her. Once in the home, police say a group of people beat Hendershot to death, then tried to cover-up the killing. Millsap pleaded no contest to second degree murder. The judge immediately sentenced him to 25 years. Tammy Morris also pleaded no contest to accessory to murder after the fact and lying to police. She received three years probation. Hendershot’s mother was in court and reportedly agreed to the plea deals. Pistey, who claimed she is part vampire and part werewolf during a jailhouse interview with Newschannel 7, has already been found mentally incompetent to stand trial. Her boyfriend Chase was hoping for the same ruling, but Judge Fensom recently found him competent. He is expected to reach a plea deal in the next month. The fifth suspect, 20-year-old James T. Gay still faces aggravated battery charges. Pistey is committed to the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee for Psychiatric treatment pending reassesment. If her mental health improves, she could still stand trial. 

January 20: OVC, USA – The Atlanta Vampire Alliance (AVA) releases results of “the Vampi(y)re Accessories Poll – 2012” – “Of the 302 respondents to this poll, 31 indicated no ownership and 271 indicated one or more ownership of the nine listed ‘vampire accessories’. There’s a significant correlation between those who indicated they owned Ankhs with that of the ownership of Custom Fangs and other Vampire-Related Jewelry. Similarly, there’s a strong correlation between those who indicated they own Sigil Jewelry or Signet Rings with Ankh ownership compared to a wider margin of those who indicated they own non-specialized Vampire-Related Jewelry or Rings. This poll was not designed to address the validity of one’s identity as a “vampi(y)re” or imply any value judgments on the ownership or lack thereof of any aforementioned ‘vampire accessory’. The aim of this poll was to examine the frequency and interrelationship, if any, of symbols attributed by outside sources to those who self-identify as “real vampires”. Reputedly, the poll was conducted with about a 5% margin of error. 

January 21: Atlanta, Georgia, USA – The AVA announces the anticipated death of retired law enforcement officer and ‘occult crimes expert’ Don Rimer to the VC. Rimer, who had built a career focused on combating perceived occult-related crimes (as viewed from a conservative Christian fundamentalist perspective) and also focused some of his attention on the real Vampi(y)re Community, died at approximately 10:00 AM ET at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital in Virginia Beach, VA. AVA’s administrator, Merticus repeats a call for respect to be shown towards his family during the period of mourning. Rimer’s memorial service is anticipated in the coming week.

January 21: New York, USA – Regent Naamah of the Court of Lazarus announces the 10th anniversary of the Court is to be celebrated on the 19th of February, 2012. The Court of Lazarus, A Metropolitan Vampire Society & New York City’s Original Salon Noir, was founded in 2002. All VC members are invited.

January 23: South Africa – On SAVA groups, a call is made for increased activity, House meet-ups and growth in the community over 2012.

January 24: USA – Patrick Rodgers of Dracula’s Ball & “The Vampire who foreclosed on Wells Fargo” notoriety (& VVC member) is selected by Republican Congressman Ron Paul as one of his Pennsylvania 2nd Congressional District delegates. It is indicated that Rodgers is currently seeking volunteers and signatures for those living in the PA-2 Congressional District in support of Paul, on a Facebook event page.

January 24: USA – An article by C.A. Huft on the site “Christian Paranormal Answers”, titled “Exposing Vampires” criticizes the Vampyre subculture as being “demonic, evil and a threat to children” and describes even willing Donors as “victims”, and Vampyres as monsters. Community debate on various forums discusses the obvious ignorance (and an obsession with pedophilia) on the part of the writer, who refers to VC sites such as Sanguinarius and others. This is another instance of the Christian lunatic fringe focusing hostile attention on the VC.(Article)

January 24: USA – A report in Religion Dispatches describes how self-described “occult expert” Don Rimer’s death has “reawakened controversy”. The article lays out how “Sensationalist claims earned Rimer serious contempt from Pagan groups and even a few academics, who called him a charlatan and a fear-monger. His seminars on occult crime continued to focus suspicion and enmity on minority religions, kindling the embers of Satanic Panic. Rimer responded to his critics by claiming his contacts included the more benevolent Wiccans, self-identified vampires, and even Satanists. He also insisted that the danger posed by occult crime was real and that he was one of the few people qualified to combat it.” “America has a long history of moral panics regarding the religious Other and it does not appear this pattern will end any time soon. However, Rimer’s passing is an important milestone in the history of America’s fear and fascination surrounding cults and Satanism. He will be dearly missed by his friends and family—and perhaps by some of his “enemies” as well.”

January 26: South Africa – The South African Vampyre Culture Center (SAVCC) is established in order to create and manage an open, free and public reference to South African Vampyre culture for Vampyres, aficionados, seekers and the newly awakened. This website is a project of House Valur and the South African Vampyre Alliance (SAVA) and is aimed at developing the Vampyre Community in South Africa. Intended primarily for use by awakening or solitary Vampyres seeking the community, this resource will also cater for use by Mundanes and other non-Vampyres who are curious about Vampyres and the real Vampyre culture in South Africa in order to provide as clear a picture of Vampyre culture as possible. One of the main aims of the resource is to refer seekers to the community, while debunking misconceptions maintained by mundanes and general critics who are partially or completely ignorant of Vampyres, what we are, what we do – what is true and false – and the ins and outs of our sub-culture.

January 27: USA – Soferia of the Lightworkers.org blog posts a derisive article (accompanied with a picture of Don Henrie) contending that “psychic vampires do not exist”. The author argues that the belief in psychic vampires is somehow a conspiracy of “fear-mongering” on the part of those who believe (and have been misled or are misleading themselves. Local debate on the matter tends to point out denialism in its argument and expresses the feeling that “energy workers ‘should’ know better” since it is “common knowledge” among energy workers that energy vampires exist.

January 30: Kenya – The hearing of a murder case against a man in Naivasha fails to take off before the High Court in Nakuru. Geoffrey Njoroge Matheri alias Fongo, appears before judge Hellen Omondi but his lawyer is absent. Matheri is facing trial for the murder of Naomi Wairimu, a crime allegedly committed on unknown dates in August, 2008. Matheri earned the nickname ‘vampire’ after his victims, mostly female, alleged that he had been sucking blood from their bodies after kidnapping them. The case is postponed to 7 February.

February 1: House Valur hosts the “Underworld Theme Party” at a local venue in Mintaka Halo. It is attended by up to 40 people.

February 10: The VVC (Voices of the Vampire Community) inducts Octarine Valur, Primus of House Valur and Magister of Mintaka Halo in South Africa, as a member. She is among the latest international members of the VC to be selected. The US-based body aspires to work in the interests of the Vampyre Community, and to improve networking and relations within the community. When the news is announced locally it is received positively by the SA VC.

February 10: Dubai – Gulf News reports that a driver admitted biting a 6 year old girl on her cheeks and neck while ‘playing vampires’. He claims that he did so while playing a “vampire game” with her, as he denies his molestation charges in court. “I acted as a vampire and we were playing a game when I bit her neck, cheeks and thighs… but I did not kiss or molest her,” argued the 21-year-old Sri Lankan driver before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Thursday. I did not molest her it was just a vampire’s game… and she is the one who came to me and asked me to play with her. Prosecutors accused 21-year-old D.W. of sexually molesting the British schoolgirl by kissing her neck, cheeks and thighs. Chief Prosecutor Khaled Al Zarouni has asked for the implementation of the toughest punishment applicable, and which is three to 15 years in jail.(Article)

February 12: Pakistan – The Express Tribune, a subsidiary Of The International Herald Tribune, publishes an article in its Sunday Magazine Feature entitled “The Bite Club”. In the article, a reporter attends a private party held in the basement of the One and One Café in New York City’s East Village to celebrate Fixe Magazine’s anniversary. Fixe is the sponsor of the event, and is a New York-based fetish and sadomasochism (S&M) magazine. The reporter interviews several Vampyres who are members of the Gotham scene and the Court of Lazarus, including Seregon O’Dassey, Dark Shadow Raven X – and mentions prominent community members such as Merticus and Sebastiaan van Houten.(Articlevideo)

February 12: New York City, New York, USA – The UK Daily Mail reports that a former Playboy bunny is suing the New York Police Department claiming they manhandled her following an altercation with a cab driver in 2006. The article “Playmate Suing NYPD For ‘Shoving Her Face Into Pavement’ After Cabbie Believes She’s An Armed Vampire lays out the complaint by Stephanie Adams, 40, who claims police drew their guns on her and with unnecessary force shoved her face to the pavement causing physical injury after her taxi driver accused her as being armed and dangerous. According to the New York Post, the driver, Eric Darko, later told city investigators that he believed Ms Adams was a vampire. Ms Adams previously sued Mr Darko for falsely accusing her as armed during the 2006 incident, according to NJ.com, causing his license to be revoked by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission the same year. He was also fined $2,700. Ms Adams was featured as the Playboy centerfold for their November 1992 calendar. She was the first and only playmate to declare herself a lesbian, though years later become engaged to ‘a loving, supportive, successful man,’ she told the Post in 2009. In 2004 she was named by the Village Voice as their ‘Best NYC lesbian sex symbol. (Article)

February 13: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA – FDL Reporter.com posts that “a man who claimed to be a vampire” witnessed a stabbing in Fond du Lac that stemmed from alleged sexual comments made to a woman. Witness Brian H. Roberts told Detective Jeff Harbridge that he could not handle going back to the bloody scene at Eldorado Apartments where Mary A. Froust, 27, allegedly stabbed Peter J. Doud. Roberts then pointed to his “fangs” and hissed with a growl, according to the criminal complaint. The stabbing on Feb. 9 was an incident that involved “a lot of drinking and strange behavior,” Fond du Lac County District Attorney Dan Kaminsky said during Froust’s initial court appearance. (Article)

February 16: South Africa – The SAVA announces the addition of the Coven of von Draco Dravana as a member group. The Coven is based in the Zaurak Halo and was unknown until recently.The Coven boasts 11 listed members, including Vampyres, witches and assorted otherkin. Further, the founder of the group, Lazarian von Draco, is appointed as the new Magister of the Zaurak Halo for the SAVA. (Article)

February 20: USA – William (aka Bill) Schnoebelen, aka the ‘ex-vampire’ announces the release of his latest book “Romancing Death”. It is about “the popularity of vampirism in today’s pop culture. This fascinating exposé of the dark realities behind romanticizing the occult in our current culture reveals the naked truth about how the church has not addressed the needs of people young and old who fill the holes in their souls and spirits with evil rather than good. Weaving his personal history—including involvement in Wicca, Freemasonry, and vampirism—the author lays out the literary and cultural history of vampirism and closely analyzes the romanticized presentation of the occult in the Twilight saga.” Schnoebelen is widely regarded as a crank and a pretender by scholars and academics. The general occult community claims he could “never have amassed the sum of knowledge and experience he lays claim to in one lifetime” and that, “quite frankly, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about”. The VC echoes these sentiments.

February 23: South Africa – Magister Nereo of Gacrux Halo resigns from the High Council citing an incapacity to fulfil his obligations towards community development and the Halo due to personal circumstances. VP, formerly his Secundus in the Halo, assumes the role of Magister for Gacrux Halo. Nereo retains full membership of the SAVA, while also receiving thanks and gratitude for his work in the early stages of building the SAVA and the SA VC.

February 24: South Africa – The SAVA releases the Mintaka Code, a set of glyphs and pictograms designed to be used by the South African Vampyre Community. The symbols used by the SAVA to represent each of the nine Halos are glyphs belonging to this system. The Code includes a basic vampyric alphabet and symbols in order to communicate certain information and messages reasonably securely and unobtrusively. In many cases, these may be visible in public places without arousing suspicion and without being deciphered or understood by anyone who is not schooled in their use. This letter code is based upon a personal letter substitution code created by Octarine Valur in the 1980’s in order to make personal journal keeping more secure. The Mintaka Code is the vampyric alphabet which started out in House Valur and Mintaka Halo. The developers of this Code are Octarine Valur and Gabriele Draegan, with come assistance from Jhenephyr Phoenix Liliam. Although this Code has been approved and refined for use in the SAVA environment, some non-member groups outside the SAVA express interest in the application of this system.

March 2: Iraq – “Official Reveals The Presence Of “Vampires” In the Holy City Of Baghdad”: Alsumaria News reports in an article on their website that the Ministry of the Interior has released a warning that the “Emo cult” and “vampires” exist within the city of Baghdad, as well as mention of “drinking blood”, “black clothing”, “unruly hairstyles”, “devil-worship” and other things perceived by their religious fundamentalist government as a “threat”. The community foresees a crackdown by Muslim extremists in Iraq. (Article)

March 5: Chicago, IL, USA – The Columbia Chronicle posts “Vampire Pangs: Bleeding Love”, an article detailing interviews with VC members in Chicago club land, including some facts about the sub-culture. (Article)

March 6: South Africa – Octarine Valur releases the long-awaited “Guideline For Magisters And Group Leaders In The SAVA” manual. It is intended for use within the SAVA, as well as for use in helping other community founders to avoid the same pitfalls and obstacles experienced in South Africa, in building their own communities. It is distributed to new community leaders in the Philippines, Norway, Canada, India, the USA, and South Africa.

March 6: South Africa – several new SAVA members who identify as vampyric Pagans report vampophobic harassment by former friends who turned hostile when their status and participation in the VC are made known to them by illicit means. This becomes a frequent occurrence in the SA VC.

March 8: Lockport, New York, USA – A Lockport man has been sentenced to ten years in prison for stabbing his friend – whom he believed to be a vampire – to death the previous spring. 47-year-old Hans Diefenbach received a ten-year sentence. Prosecutors say he fatally stabbed 65-year-old Norma Confer in the back with a butcher knife in her home, and was later deemed incompetent to stand trial and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Diefenbach originally told police he stabbed his friend to death because he thought she was a vampire. Officials say Confer left part of her estate to Diefenbach in her will. (Article)

March 8: South Africa – A new piece of legislation is passed without consulting the public, addressing “piracy, security threats and other societal ills” on the internet. Concern is expressed in the SAVA about how this will affect the OVC, as well as other online communication wrt communities like ours. (Article)

March 8: South Africa – A font called “Mintaka” is designed for the general VC, to make the characters in the recently released Mintaka Code easier to use. This font, created by Samael Anathan from glyphs created as part of the Mintaka Code, which was designed by Octarine Valur and Gabriele Draegan and released by the South African Vampyre Alliance for use within the South African Vampyre Community.

March 9: OVC – International bloggers and human rights groups create a stir over claims that Iraq is busy conducting a LGBT, Emo genocide, and that up to 100 youth and school children aged 14-20 have been abducted from schools, off the streets and from their homes by death squads and religious police and murdered for “adopting western-style clothing and hairstyles”, “Emo culture” as well as “vampirism and satanism”. Deaths are reported to be grusome, and involve torture and “stoning” with concrete blocks intended to break the bones of the limbs and then the skull in order to cause suffering and then death. Grisly and heart-rending pictures of at least two teenager’s bloodied bodies are circulated on the web by human rights advocates. In the VC, these reports are greeted with shock, disgust and horror, and demonstrate precisely why our communities have remained in the shadows so long, especially in areas where even mundanes have no human rights among their own. (Article)

March 9: India – The Times of India posts an article under the ‘mystic’ section, and entitled “Meet the ‘psychic vampires'”, quoting Sangeeta Krishnan, High Priestess, Maya Wicca Tradition, as saying “If you’ve ever been in a crowded train or party and come back home feeling physically sick, angry, cranky, or irritable for no reason, you were probably subjected to an attack from a psychic vampire.” The article and the comments of Krishnan are generally criticised and picked apart within the community. (Article1234)

March 9: South Africa – Inspired by recent events (the Pagan-Vampyre Conflict, the Iraqi “emo” genocide) a community warning system based on a standard threat-assessment model is adopted by the SAVA. It operates off a scale of 0 to 10, and includes a system which gauges the potential threat of any hostility directed towards the Community. Threat assessment and risk levels are numbered and color-coded, and easy to read guides are distributed within the SAVA.

March 10: Iraq – Reports finally begin to make international mainstream news that Iraqi militia and religious police death-squads have been abducting people they suspect of being LGBT, Emo, vampires, or satanists, and massacring them. Reports estimate a death toll as high as 100, with each death verified with a relayed copy of a death certificate. The reports claim, supplying copies of statements by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior as proof that the government aided and abetted these acts, in that the Iraqi government and Department of Education granted the death squads permission to enter schools and remove students whom they perceive as undesirable, “seditious” or “too feminine” (boys) or “too masculine” (girls), and to “eliminate” them, including instructions to “keep it secret”. International human rights groups finally begin to react to the situation. By late Saturday, claims are made by political analysts that the killings were intended by political rivals to embarrass the Iraqi president as being unable to protect the Iraqi people, at the Arab League meeting on 29 March. (Article123 ,4)

March 11: Norway – Human rights advocates experience difficulty in attracting the attention of local media, as a neo-Nazi riot in the capital that day leads to clashes with the police, and occupies much of public and news media attention for that period. Much of the world’s media is also slow to respond, greeting the reports from Iraq with skepticism and disbelief, despite assurances from the originators and sources within the country which confirm authenticity of claims made.

March 11: Iraq – Police units specifically assigned duties to protect minority groups from violence and persecution report in interviews that they are powerless to carry out this mandate, being outnumbered and underpowered. Islamist clerics also interviewed make conflicting claims, with one prominent cleric calling the attacks “terrorism” and another that all reports of these attacks are false and a part of an international conspiracy. A report on events in the country is finally released from Reuters.

March 11: In South Africa, no news coverage is given to the tragedy unfolding in the Middle East as yet, despite foreign news reports being forwarded to virtually all newspapers, TV and Radio in the country by human right activists. Appeals are made to government to take the matter up with the UN and the Iraqi government.

March 12: OVC – Petitions and news updates on the massacres in Iraq circulate in the OVC. Activists have been spurred into action on the matter of massacres in Iraq, debate continues around recent events. While documents of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, quoted in innumerable articles on the web, make official (and quite serious) references to “vampires” and “blood-drinking”, it is generally considered more likely that these references are (like the accusations of “witchcraft” and “satanism”) – entirely false and based purely on assumptions made while the regime was looking for ways to scapegoat and demonize a cultural minority group, rather than serious references to actual Vampyres or a VC in that country.

March 12: In South Africa, no general coverage of the Iraqi genocide is available in the mainstream news media, save for two small mentions in a local LGBT online magazine. Later on this date, News24 finally posts a short article referring to the crisis. (Article)

March 16: USA – Stephanie Marie Pistey, the young woman who claims she is a vampire, appears in court to enter a plea of no contest to being an accessory after the fact to the second-degree murder of Jacob Hendershot,16. Circuit Judge James Fensom sentences her to 12 years in prison followed by three years probation.

March 20: OVC, USA – Community figure, Belfazaar Ashantison, releases a document titled “How I started NOVA”, detailing how he founded the New Orleans Vampire Association, and rebuilt the VC in New Orleans after the devastation of hurricane Katrina. The article is hailed as being extremely useful for founders of new communities worldwide. (Article)

March 20: USA – Bryan D. Confere, 22, the man who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl, dies at his home. Confere pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual abuse in 2011 for a crime that occurred in 2006 when he was 17. Police describe the death as “not suspicious” and there is no investigation, said Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Bryan Robbins. The obituary does not list a cause of death. While he was out on a $70,000 bond for the 2006 crime, he travelled to Boston and attempted to take a 12-year-old girl from her South Boston home. Confere’s car broke down a few houses away from the girl’s home and he continued on foot. He left a 16-year-old Pennsylvania girl, who was a runaway, in his vehicle as he proceeded toward the 12-year-old’s home. The 16-year-old girl caught the attention of people living in the area and called 911. He was arrested before he reached the 12-year-old’s home. Confere met the 12-year-old on GothCityChat.com, an online chat room. Confere also had a profile on vampirefreaks.com. The case in Boston fell apart and he was sent back to West Virginia where he was sentenced last March to six months to two years in the Anthony Center in Greenbrier County. He also was required to register as a sex offender for life. (Article)

March 22: Wisconsin, USA – Neil L. Whitehead, a University of Wisconsin-Madison anthropology professor who fearlessly studied the dark side of humanity – even when it endangered his life – dies following an illness, aged 56. He is remembered for his willingness to explore taboo, his love of intellectual back-and-forth, and the admiration and affection he inspired among colleagues and students. Whitehead had taught at UW-Madison since 1993, and was chairman of the Department of Anthropology. His academic interests tended toward illuminating darkness, and on occasion focused on the topic of real vampirism. During a 2007 interview about Goth culture and its ties to punk rock and vampirism on the Wisconsin Public Radio show, “Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders,” Whitehead described the aesthetic of Goth as “a confrontation with darkness. That is, not to run away from it, but to walk into it – to examine the deepest and darkest fears that we have with the intent of turning them into something creative, even beautiful.” (ArticleArticle)

March 24: Netherlands – A video clip circulates on the OVC, showing how undercover reporters from a Dutch newspaper (De Telegraaf) infiltrate a local Vampyre group in order to record a sanguine feeding with a hidden camera. The video is posted on the newspaper website. This is used as a VC warning, with the safety tip: “When strangers join your forum (as fellow ‘vampires’) and then approach you via e-mail seeking to learn more about sanguinarian feeding and ask to meet you and watch you sang feed from your donor – keep in mind they could always be undercover journalists filming you with a hidden camera and later airing it on your local public broadcasting network.” (Article)

March 26: Madison, Wisconsin, USA – A Monona man faces numerous charges following an incident at a State Street bar in the city’s downtown, early Sunday morning where he allegedly bit another man in the neck, according to Madison police. The incident happened just after 2 a.m. Sunday at Whiskey Jack’s Saloon in the 500 block of State Street. According to police, Benjamin Hoppe, 24, grabbed the hand of a 21-year-old woman and forced her to touch his groin area. Then, police said he bit the neck of a 21-year-old man out on the dance floor. The victim told police Hoppe was “acting like a vampire,” that he appeared out of nowhere and bit him quickly before trying to disappear into the crowd. Hoppe was quickly identified by dancers and kicked out by a bouncer, according to police. Police said he was arrested shortly afterwards outside the bar. Police said Hoppe faces charges of fourth-degree sexual assault, disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana, among other charges. (Article)

March 27: Dumbiedykes, Scotland, UK – An article in “The Scotsman” tells how a gang of teenagers launched a terrifying, unprovoked attack on Gena Willenberg, 32, mother of two, after accusing her of being a “goth”. She was left with a broken nose, a cut and badly swollen eye, and bruising all over her chest after being set-upon in Viewcraig Gardens, Dumbiedykes, simply because of “the way she looks”. The Texan, who moved to Edinburgh last year, had gone to visit her sister-in-law with a friend when the gang of older teenagers began hurling vile abuse at them. “They started shouting at me and my friend that we were f****** goths and they were going to kick our f****** heads in,” she said. “It was intimidating and I didn’t understand it because I’m not a goth. My friend had blue hair, but it was still just foul abuse. “We turned our back and just kept going and that was when they attacked me. One of them tried to smash a bottle over the back of my head, but fortunately it didn’t break. Then they started punching and kicking me. “I fell to the ground and they just kept on kicking me. My friend tried to stop them from stamping on me and they attacked her, too. “There was one girl in the group and she pulled my hair back so one of her friends could kick me in the face.” She said the attack only ended when her sister-in-law came out and started screaming at the gang. Police were called and Gena was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment. She needed work to reset her nose and put stitches in her eye. Her friend, who had a burst lip, also needed stitches. The gang also stole Gena’s mobile phone, which she said was worth more than £300. She said that she had heard about trouble in the area previously but had never been threatened or attacked. “I’m completely shocked,” she said. “It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever had to deal with in my life and I just had no idea that people could be so cruel to complete strangers just because of the way they look.” Local Conservative councillor Cameron Rose said: “I am appalled by this incident and I feel very sorry for the young lady from Texas. “Over recent weeks there has been an increased police presence in the area which has helped in terms of young people who have been involved in criminal activity, but clearly it is an ongoing issue in the area. (Article)

March 27: Dubai – A Sri Lankan driver, 21, is sentenced to six months in jail on Monday for molesting a six-year-old schoolgirl while playing ‘a vampire game’ with her. The driver will be deported after serving his jail term as per the order of the Court of First Instance. He is believed to have kissed and bit the girl on her cheek, neck and thigh in July last year. He has been on trial on a molestation charge. The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days at the Court of Appeal. The girl, a British national, said during the Public Prosecution investigation that she asked the defendant to play with her. The accused then chose to play the vampire game. While playing with her he bit and kissed her. The girl’s mother, a 27-year-old saleswoman, filed a police complaint after spotting marks on her daughter’s body. The mother had left her girl at her father’s house. The driver, who is the friend of their housemaid, played with her the vampire game, the girl told her mother. He kissed and bit her on many parts of her body. (Article)

March 27: OVC, International – A copy of a German radio show which discusses vampire fiction, and touches only in a small part on the subculture, is linked to and circulated within the OVC, but passes with little discussion. “Die Konjunktur der Blutsauger. Faszination Vampir.” (The economy of the bloodsuckers. Vampire fascination.) The page displaying the audio stream features links to the Vampire Bibliothek in Germany, and also to an Austrian VC group. (Stream)

March 27: Toronto, Canada – The formation of TOVA (Toronto Ontario Vampi(y)re Association) is announced on the OVC “for all vampires ONLY in and around the Toronto area Psi, Sang, Hybrid… Looking for Real Vampires in the area” A call is also made for others to help organize for meetings, get togethers, and other social activities. It is mentioned that this group is based on NOVA (New Orleans Vampire Association).

March 28: Springfield, Massachusetts, USA – Publicity generated by a surveillance video of a 25-year-old man, suspected of robbing the St. James Avenue Racing Mart at gunpoint earlier this month, prompts him to turn himself in to police early Wednesday morning. The suspect, wearing a distinctive black and red hooded sweatshirt designed to look like a movie vampire, entered the store on March 16 shortly before 4 a.m., displayed a gun in his waistband and demanded cash, Sgt. John M. Delaney said. He was identified as Thomas Garner of 43 Berkeley St. Delaney said Garner walked into the Pearl Street station shortly after midnight and turned himself in to the officer at the front desk. Garner told police that his mother saw the segment and kicked him out of the house. He then went to his girlfriend’s home but she also watched the segment and refused to let him in. “With no place else to go he turned himself in to the police station,” Delaney said. Garner denied the charges Wednesday in District Court. He was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail and a bindover hearing, to see if the case will be moved from District Court to Superior Court, will be held on April 27. This report is yet another example of how the “vampire” tag is applied to criminals wholly unrelated to the actual topic of Vampyres and the VC, and adds to the increasing discontent of the VC on this kind of negative image and stereotyping being applied to our community. (Article)

March 29: South Africa – Efforts by human rights activists in South Africa to draw public attention to the human rights crisis in Iraq are sabotaged by failure on the part of government and opposition parties as well as the general Media to react to calls to action. Local human rights bodies have also failed to speak out or react, creating the impression of general apathy. No interest is displayed by any of these bodies at all in the matter.

April 4: South Africa – Work begins on the first ever introspective survey of the SA VC by the SAVA. Questions are formulated.

April 9: India – the Deccan Chronicle reports that “villages around the Indian town of Dharmapuri are in the midst of an unusual problem. Unsubstantiated reports of vampires draining cattle have frightened entire communities such that residents are staying off the streets after sunset. To quell the spread of this unmitigated bullpucky, local politicians have placed a price on these non-existent vampires’ heads. Evidence of a re-dead vampire (or a Ratha Kaatteri) nets an amateur Van Helsing 1 lakh of rupees, or a smidge under $2000.” (Article) Aside from the high rate of very real witch hunts in India, authorities appear to have overlooked the existence of real Vampyres in India, who are mortally offended at the gesture. Considering the number of “witch” hunts in India (the highest worldwide outside of Africa), it is seen as highly irresponsible of Indian authorities to make such a reward offer – legitimising the ignorance of those who believe such vampires exist, and who will be motivated by the allure of such a reward to go hunting for the nearest likely-looking widow, cat-lady, neighborhood “witch” – or emo kid, and probably kill them in typical hysterical mob fashion. It is said that Indian authorities “had better be ready to bear the responsibility when some hysterical villager walks in to their offices and drops a body of an innocent on their table and asks for his money. Just because mythical vampires don’t exist, doesn’t mean that those who believe in them and fear them, will know the difference between cunning political maneuvers and fact.

April 10: South Africa – the Vampyre & Vampyric Donor Focus Group Survey (VVDFGS), the first to specifically focus on self-identified Vampyres in South Africa, is announced by the SAVA, with a launch date of 1 May 2012. (Article)

April 10: Durban, South Africa – Independent On Line posts an article – “Cops probe ‘vampire slayer’ PI”. Private investigator Brad Nathanson is in hot water with the police and his Facebook friends after he shot a man – who he thought was a thief – and then posted a picture of the man on Facebook. The outrage was increased after he posted a picture on Facebook of a man who had drowned and whose body was lying at the bottom of a pool. He said the dead man’s employer had called him for help on Sunday morning after the police had failed to respond to his calls for more than an hour. Describing how he manages to spot thieves or crime in progress, Nathanson said: “I feel like a vampire slayer. Only vampire slayers can spot a vampire walking among people.” (Article)

April 16: South Africa – Due to the Magisters of two Halos (Avior and Gacrux) being temporarily unavailable, two members from those Halos are appointed by the High Council of the SAVA as Acting Secundi. Psion Valur is appointed to Avior, while Samael Anathan – one of the original founding members, is appointed to Gacrux Halo, and his appointment is made permanent.

April 23: OVC – Calls are made on numerous VC sites for volunteers to assist in translating what is called “core VC documents” – those items which lay out, define and explain in clear, basic and easily understandable terms, what real Vampyres and our community are all about. This appears to be a strong initiative to translate as many core VC documents into as many languages as possible and to make them available via the VC’s numerous websites. Naturally, local communities will then have access to invaluable knowledge and experience of other previously inaccessible parts of the VC information resource – and in their own languages. (Article)

May 1: South Africa – the SA Vampyre Culture Center and the SAVA launch the Vampyre & Vampyric Donor Focus Group Survey (VVDFGS).

May 2: South Africa – A new local movie is announced, which is being produced in Cape Town by an intrepid group of independent movie-makers. Of special note to the local VC, is the detail that at least one of the crew is a self-identified Vampyre. (Article)

May 3: South Africa – Pursuant to a suggestion made by a forum representing “traditional leaders”, a governmental body begins discussing the removal of clauses in the South African Constitution which protect against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Human rights activists are in an uproar, and appeals are made for individuals and groups across the human rights spectrum to stand together on this matter. (Article)

May 5: South Africa – Erostine Cruor Turais is appointed the first Magister for the Turais Halo, and founds House Cruor. (Article)

May 21: South Africa – It is announced by the SAVA that V.P., the Magister of Gacrux Halo and a founding member, has resigned from the SAVA High Council, citing possible relocation to another country and other personal factors which render her unable to continue rendering her service to the SAVA in the capacity of Magister. The High Council of the SAVA, on behalf of the Membership, wishes her well in her journey, and thanks her for her contribution to the growth and development of the SAVA and the local VC. The post of Magister for Gacrux Halo is filled, with immediate effect, by Samael Anathan, who has until now been acting Secundus of Gacrux Halo.

May 21: South Africa – A SA VC Level 7 Red Alert is issued, concerning magickal and energy attacks being made on numerous members of the community over a period of several days. The warning includes suggestions about keeping nightside and dayside separate on forums such as Facebook.

May 23: South Africa – as a result of reported attacks on numerous individuals in the local VC, the SAVA begins providing training in energy-work and defenses against Psychic attacks to its members.

May 30: USA – An American designer has come up with an eerie lamp which is powered by human blood. The bulb exudes a strange blue glow and has been designed by a U.S. designer Mike Thompson. To set the bulb aglow one is supposed to break the top off, use the jagged glass to cut yourself and pour your blood in where it reacts with the chemicals inside, the Daily Mail reported. (Article)

June 1: South Africa – The local Pagan community erupts into controversy when Pagan leader figures expose details of how they have come under verbal attack by members of an apparently militant separatist movement. The movement, which follows a cult-like ideology focused on an imminent coming “shift” in the Earth’s magnetic poles, accompanied by a collapse in technology and civilization, is claimed by a whistle-blower to have at least one training camp in the Western Cape where select recruits will be given combat training to form a defense against the ensuing chaos, and of course all things dark – such as other Pagans who do not follow the same path as they. Details provided by the whistle-blower – including threats of death – are posted by a Pagan leader on Facebook, exposing the entire enterprise and its shadowy dealings for all to see. This group accuses this figure as being “dark” and also of “stealing their energy” in the fashion of a psi Vampyre. A list of dayside and nightside names and numerous aliases is included. Legal repercussions are threatened by individuals named in the group. Arguments, denials and claims of victimization ensue. Noting the similarity between the stated goals and activities of this group, as well as the anti-Vampyre sentiments expressed previously by some of those named, and of associated Pagan groups, the Vampyre Community looks on with great interest.

June 3: South Africa – The SAVA Vampyre Academy launches a closed Facebook group intended to provide class online instruction in numerous issues of interest to the local VC. A test group of 5 students is assembled and the first class begins on June 4.

June 8: Cleveland, Ohio – House Kheperu hosts its annual Open House event.

June 10: South Africa – The SAVA Magister for Ilyatha Halo is dismissed following threats to secede her halo from the SA Vampyre Alliance. The cause of this division appears to center around personal differences on the issue of members in the SAVA. The former Magister withdraws her House from SAVA membership, and both remaining House members follow her. Kay Valkir, Halo Secundus for Ilyatha, is appointed Magister with immediate effect and remains with the SAVA. This event leads to drastic changes in SAVA structure and outlook.

June 11: San Diego, California, USA – An article “Man With Vampire Teeth Arrested For Attacking Homeless Man” appears in Huffington Post. It is reported that local police arrested a man who has what was described as “vampire teeth.” The sharp-toothed suspect was accused of attacking a homeless man and threatening to kill him. Police were called to a shopping center in the La Jolla section of San Diego. Officers arrived to find a 55-year-old man wounded and bleeding with his left eye swollen shut. “The attacker kicked him repeatedly in the face, head and ribs while saying that he wanted to kill him”. Police and papers were astute enough to note that the man who did the attacking did so by kicking the victim, not biting him, despite having a set of choppers perfect for the job. “Officers arrested the suspect a short time later and booked him on felony assault charges, NBC San Diego reported, adding that, like the victim, the suspect also appears to be a transient.” (Article)

June 12: The High Council of the SAVA recognizes Octarine Valur as Founder of the SAVA and of the SA Vampyre Community, and agrees to the creation of the post of Regent of the SAVA, a post which will exist to maintain stability in the organisation and the young community.

June 12: OVC – Real Vampire News (RVN) posts an article by Lady M discussing vampyric ageing and the rejuvenating physical effects of ingesting blood. “There are very few articles available with regard to ‘vampiric aging’ yet we are faced with a population of vampires that are now in their 40’s and even approaching, if not already, the 50 mark. Many of our older community members, as can be attested through photos available on many internet sites, look no different than they did 10 even 15 years ago. ” (Article)

June 18: Malaysia – The announcement of a Malaysian Vampyre motorcycle enthusiast group draws the attention of the OVC. “The Vampyres Malaysia Motorcycle Group was established in 2012. We currently open a chapter in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, as a mutual benefit group that promotes motorcycling for our own amusement. The Vampyres Malaysia Motorcycle Group are comprised of a diverse group of individuals who share a common passion for riding motorcycles. Vampyres Malaysia is an MG – a motorcycle group which govern with the MG hierarchy and influenced by Vampire ranking system, which make this MG very unique and stands on its own class. Vampyres Malaysia Motorcycle Group (VMMG) is a community on its own ground. VMMG DO NOT INVOLVE in any crime of racist event.” (Article)

July 03: USA – The article “Late Awakenings”, by Octarine Valur posted on SAVN, is re-posted on venerable VC resource Sanguinarius.org and described as “Another fine article from the SAVA (South African Vampyre Alliance) discusses the the awakening process, with brief anecdotes from other awakened self-identified real vampires talking about their awakening experiences.” (Article)

July 12: USA – “I Am Legend” star Will Smith seems tipped to direct a vampire infused tale ‘Redemption of Cain’. Will Smith, who is also producing the film through his Overbrook Entertainment banner, is also looking to make the film, now with the working title The Redemption of Cain, his directorial debut too. (Article)

July 13: Bulgaria – Bulgaria’s history museum plans to display a “vampire” skeleton this month after unearthing the 700-year-old remains of two men stabbed through the chest with iron rods. Archaeologists, excavating a monastery near the Black Sea city of Sozopol, discovered the skeletons which were buried in a pagan ritual that they said was aimed at keeping the men from turning into vampires. (Article)

July 14: USA – Writer and director Jason Figgis releases a first look at his latest production, “The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann”, a new vampire flick from October Eleven Pictures Ltd. “The pic promises the goods with the tagline: “Vampires. Daylight. No Sparkles.” Indeed. “It’s the story of a teenage girl who is seduced into an incredibly violent sect of day-walking vampires,” said Figgis. “Her class mates start to go missing and two detectives believe that she is the prime suspect. Nothing is quite as it seems for those about her as the disturbed teenager runs amok, killing at will in the woodlands by her home; aided by her vampire guides who are training her in the art of the kill – with horrifically bloody results for those closest to her.” (Article)

July 17: Baltimore, USA – Vampire Travel Agency, the third show to be exhibited at the fairly new Sophia Jacob gallery in down­town Baltimore. The show is presented by Max Guy and Peggy Chiang, who make up Szechuan Best, a curatorial endeavor that started in early 2011. Vampire Travel Agency is the latest in their series of shows that challenges the original context of the space it inhabits. (Article)

July 19: USA – The Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC) launches a short community survey entitled “Vampire Community Accountability – A Short Questionnaire” aimed at gauging the overall perception of the VC from within.

July 20: Aurora, Colorado, USA – A lone attacker is arrested after an incident at a local cinema, having killed 12 and wounded more than 50 people in the audience at a screening of “Batman: Dark Knight Rising”. The man in his early 20’s reportedly used handguns and teargas grenades. He fired until police arrived on the scene, and then surrendered to them, claiming to be the Batman character “the Joker”. His car parked outside was found to be filled with explosives, and his apartment was rigged to explode with enough force to level the building in his complex. His motives for the attack remain unknown, but of relevance to the VC is the detail that one of his victims was a member of the Vampyre Community. (Article)

July 22: OVC, USA – It is made known in “Names Spoken In Shadows: A Vampire’s Memorial”, a public statement by author and VC figure Michelle Belanger, that one of the 12 victims of the July 20 shooting in a cinema in Aurora, Colorado had been a member of the Vampyre Community. (Article)

July 23: Rome, Italy – Chicago Tribune reports the Venice Film Festival’s 27th Critics’ Week unveils its lineup of nine first works, including eight world preems, in which women directors feature prominently. The closer will be the world preem of U.S. helmer Xan Cassavetes’ “Kiss of the Damned” a story about two beautiful French vampire sisters staying at a summer estate in Connecticut. (Article)

July 24: Aurora, Colorado, USA – The “Joker”, the man arrested for killing 12 people (including one member of the local Vampyre community) makes his first court appearance, complete with garish orange hair. (Article)

July 24: Quezon City, Philippines – The Sun (UK) runs an article telling how, wild-eyed and teeth bared, hostage take Reimer Parparan, 24, “looked like a vampire” as a brave woman – believed to be the hostage’s mother – held up a red crucifix at him. “The terrifying ordeal in Quezon City in the Philippines looked as if it could only end in tragedy. But despite the terrible danger, the woman remained astonishingly calm. After the eight-hour stand-off – which lasted from last Friday night into Saturday morning – she eventually stepped in and grabbed Parparan’s arms. Cops then tackled the hostage-taker and released the boy, identified as Mark Jason Pineda. The lad was treated in hospital for two small nicks on his neck from the ice pick. He was otherwise unharmed. Parparan had walked to the city’s Barangay Kristong Hari district from Cavite, more than 13 miles away, before suddenly taking the child hostage at around 11pm, local reports said. The stalemate was resolved around 7.30am on Saturday morning. Conflicting reports claim the woman ended the hostage crisis by stepping in when Parparan briefly dropped the ice pick – while cops claim negotiators talked him down. Parparan was arrested and is now facing charges of serious illegal detention, said Quezon City Police District Chief Superintendent Mario O Dela Vega.” Aside from the use of the word “vampire” to describe the captor, this incident has nothing at all to do with Vampyres, aside from further stereotyping those who identify as vampyric. (Article)

July 25: USA – News breaks that Twilight star Kristen Stewart has allegedly cheated on boyfriend and Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson with her Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. The photographic evidence of their makeout session will be released in the next issue of US Weekly. Sanders is 41, married to a model for British Vogue and has two young children. (Article)

July 25: USA – With The Twilight Saga set to finally end with this fall’s release of Breaking Dawn, there will be a vampire void in need of filling. In a press release it has been announced that NBC has ordered 10 episodes of Dracula, a new drama series that will star Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the iconic vampire character. The show will focus on Dracula in London as he poses as an American entrepreneur who claims to want to bring modern-day science to Victorian society, when in fact he’s really out for revenge on those who ruined his life many centuries earlier. His malicious plan runs into complications, however, when he meets a woman he believes to be a reincarnation of his dead wife and falls deeply in love with her. Production is set to begin at some point later this year, with no premiere date yet known. (Article)

July 26: Edmonton, Canada – Edmonton-based horror-comedy Truckstop Bloodsuckers will debut across Canada on BiteTV channels and as a web series later this month before coming out as a full-length feature movie. Truckstop Bloodsuckers is a campy horror-comedy that focuses on vampire waitresses working in a small town diner. The series was shot in Edmonton with an almost-all local cast and crew and produced by local company Mosaic Productions. (Article)

July 27: India – A new Bollywood movie is announced entitled “Raaz 3”, reportedly featuring a vampire character, although media gossips cannot seem to decide on which of the male and female lead characters is the vampire! (Article)

July 27: India – Community builder, Ashwin Shadowside, announces the formation of AIVO (Alliance of Indian Vampires & Otherkin) which is joint community for IVA (Indian Vampire Alliance) and IOA (Indian Otherkin Alliance). Shadowside says the AIVO will start inducting members from August 15, 2012 (Independence Day for India). A meeting has also been called to discuss final issues.

July 29: Chile – “Vampire stars”. A new study finds a surprising number of massive stars in our Milky Way galaxy are part of close stellar duos, but most of these companion stars have turbulent relationships — with one “vampire star” sucking gas from the other, or the two stars violently merging to form a single star. Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile studied massive O-type stars, which are very hot and incredibly bright. With vampire stars, the lower-mass star sucks fresh hydrogen from its companion, substantially increasing its mass and enabling it to live much longer than a single star of the same mass would, the researchers explained. The victim star, on the other hand, is left with an exposed core that mimics the appearance of a much younger star. (Article)

August 2: USA – Religion Dispatches features a guest editorial from Joseph Laycock, religion scholar and author of “Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism.” Laycock examined the most recent crackpot theory from crackpot conspiracy theory king David Icke, of the “reptoid hypothesis” infamy. Further articles continue to discuss the risks of a re-emergance of “satanic panic” or Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) witch hunts in the near future. (ArticleArticle)

August 2: USA – An American toy company, Heroes in Action toys, has released ‘Baracula,’ a vampire action-figure in the eight-inch tall doll which resembles President Barack Obama, who has received a blood-curdling makeover. It plays on the joke that the president is ‘going to suck the economy dry’, and also comes at a time when vampires are the latest buzz-word, with popular shows and films like True Blood and Twilight watched by millions. It features the Democrat wearing a Dracula-like outfit with cape and baring a pair of fangs. The doll is for sale for $24.99 USD, but is sold out on many sites offering the undead presidential doll. The same company recently unveiled a figure of Obama’s presidential rival Mitt Romney as a robot. It also features The Ronmy, a Ronald Reagan zombie, Linconstein – Abraham Lincoln imagined as Frankenstein’s monster, and the Spirits of 1776. (Article)

August 2: Peru – New research shows that a small number of isolated Peruvians have natural immunity from the animal-transmitted disease, rabies. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in 15 people living in the remote Amazonian region in Peru are protected without medical intervention against the virus that kills more than 55,000 people globally every year. Their trick: Vampire bats exposed the remote Peruvians to enough of the rabies virus to confer resistance, but not enough to kill them. (Article)

August 3: USA – Child star Selena Gomez will play a rebellious 118 year-old “teenage” vampire named Mavis in Sony’s new computer-animated 3D comedy film “Hotel Transylvania” due out in theatres September 28th 2012. “It’s a family-oriented movie and it touches on monsters and Dracula and all the stories that have been around for ages,” Gomez told Fox News Latino. Gomez voices the character of Mavis, who has been living in her father’s castle all her life. Comedian Adam Sandler voices Dracula, Gomez’s over protective dad who will stop at nothing to make sure his daughter’s curiosity doesn’t get the best of her. Selena Gomez is best known as a pre-teen singer, Disney actress and girlfriend of Justin Bieber. (Article)

August 3: USA – Delay in vampire film’s production in West Milford is temporary, the New Jersey.com announces. The need to fine-tune his screenplay has caused filmmaker Ron Stillman to delay production of his film “The Cult of the Iron Cobra.” The West Milford resident has assured actors, actresses and extras that he will announce a new date to start filming as soon as necessary changes in the project are made. He had hoped to begin filming in West Milford in May. The plot of his story describes how the Countess Elizabeth Bathory (1560–1614) became the original vampire. The script includes physiological details. Stillman said this is a first in the many vampire stories that have been produced over the years. Plans for filming locations include Budapest in Hungary, where Stillman made some arrangements while on a trip there in February. (Article)

August 3: Japan – Dance in the Vampire Bund manga to end – The September issue of Media Factory’s Monthly Comic Flapper magazine announces that Nozomu Tamaki is ending his Dance in the Vampire Bund horror action manga in the next issue on September 5. The story follows the intrigue surrounding Mina Tepes, the princess of vampires who creates a special district for her kind off the coast of Japan. Tamaki launched the manga in Monthly Comic Flapper in 2005, and Media Factory published the 13th book volume in March. Seven Seas Entertainment will publish the 13th volume in October, and the 14th English-language volume is already tentatively listed for release on May 14, 2013. A television anime adaptation premiered in 2010, and Funimation released the anime in North America. The original manga also inspired a spinoff manga series call Dive in the Vampire Bund, and Seven Seas is publishing that in North America as well. (ArticleArticle)

August 5: Atlanta, Georgia, USA – “Barthelemy vampire bites Brewer, earns DQ” – Former contender champion Grady ‘Bad Boy’ Brewer is dropped on his way to earning a disqualification win over southpaw Giorbis Barthelemy at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. Barthelemy, 39, unwittingly sunk his teeth into Brewer’s neck in a move that was Tyson-esque and was thrown out of the fight despite being ahead and having the better of the contest up to that point. Brewer’s chomping opponent Barthelemy may now face a ban from the sport. (Article)

August 7: South Africa – Weres/Therians interacting with the local Vampyre Community are made to feel welcome to interact openly via an article on the SAVN site and also in the Friends group on Facebook. A Therian Wolf Alpha welcomes the gesture. (Article)

August 7: OVC, USA: Public comments made by the head of a House in the USA, pertaining to the relationship between donors and Vampyres in the community, result in international OVC outrage. In comments allegedly posted by the individual to his own Facebook wall, and in an expose’ posted by the Admin of a donor forum in her blog, including screenshots of the posts, this individual unashamedly equates donors with “cattle”, also calling them “blood-bags” and “food”, delivering harsh criticism regarding their levels of participation in the community and protections from abuses. The sentiments expressed create an atmosphere of discomfort in the OVC, while donors and Vampyres post messages of disappointment and protest, a very vocal minority posts intimidating and degrading messages aimed at those protesting. (Article)

August 7: South Africa – The SAVA releases a statement to clarify its position regarding donors and donor abuse following the publicized outburst regarding donors and donor abuse in the American VC. This helps to defuse the situation in the local community, which has been finding donors hard to come by. (Article)

August 7: Queensland, Australia – Police arrest a man in Australia after a breakthrough in one of Victoria’s most bizarre cold cases, arresting a man for the 2003 murder of prostitute Shane Chartres-Abbott. Warren Shea, 40, from Benowa, a suburb on the Gold Coast, is charged with one count of murder and appeared in the Southport Magistrates Court, where Victorian detectives sought his extradition. Chartres-Abbott was shot dead in an alleged professional hit outside his Reservoir home on June 4, 2003 as he was travelling to the Melbourne County Court, where he was due to appear to face rape charges. He was ambushed by two gunmen. One attacked Chartres-Abbott’s pregnant girlfriend and her father while the second shot him dead. The woman who had accused Chartres-Abbott of rape, was found by staff at the South Yarra Saville Hotel covered in bruises and bite marks. Part of her tongue was missing. Chartres-Abbott was arrested shortly after the attack with the victim’s blood on his pants and her phone in his bag. He claimed he was the real victim and that he was forced to flee the hotel when the woman told him vice bosses planned to use him in a ‘‘snuff movie’’, a pornographic film that would end with his death. The victim also told police Chartres-Abbott claimed that he was a 200-year-old vampire. Less than a week into his County Court trial, his lawyers asked that the defendant’s address be struck from the record because of fears for his safety. (Article)

August 7: OVC – Friends of Heidica Northernlight make it known that the founder of the Norwegian VC is gravely ill in hospital suffering an unidentified viral infection. On the same day, long time OVC community figure Sanguinarius announces that she will be shortly undergoing planned heart surgery and has made adequate arrangements for all VC resources under her control, should she not survive.

August 7: USA – Season 4 of “The Vampire Diaries” is announced to start on October 11, with news of several plot twists following the rebirth of the lead character Elana as a vampire in the last episode of season 3. The series is immensely popular with real Vampyres also.

August 7: USA – In circulating media gossip that serves to irritate the real VC yet again, tabloids claim that Twilight stars Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s relationship is in trouble after images went public about her infidelity with a married UK movie director. While Stewart argues the tryst was a once-off, some sources claim the affair lasted anything up to six months. Twilight fans are distraught and wonder if the newborn sparkly ‘vampire’ will be able to twinkle her way out of this one.

August 8: Melbourne, Australia – A Queensland man charged over the murder of Melbourne’s self-proclaimed vampire Shane Chartres-Abbott, “categorically” denies the police allegation, according to his lawyer. Warren Thomas Shea, of Benowa on the Gold Coast, appeared briefly at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court facing one count of murder. Outside court, his lawyer tells the gathered media: “Mr Shea categorically denies the allegations made against him and he very much looks forward to vigorously defending them.” Police are also looking for another suspect – a man named Mark Adrian Perry – over the killing. (Article)

August 18: OVC – Armitage SoulShroude opens a renewed debate about the formation of a controlling authority for the entire Vampyre Community. “What if the entire community got together and formed a new court system, a new hierarchy that is based off the entire community voting members in to sit on “chairs” or what ever we want to call it? A final democracy where the Elders are voted in by those who want to contribute for the benefit of voices being heard. It could benefit the whole of the community by sharing a common ground and it could be by vote of members of the entire community to decide punishments for those who “step out of line”. Not necessarily a politically correct policing of the community or the “chair” members, nothing like that. But an entire community sharing their voice in what should be done if a member gets out of hand? No bully tactic policing, a democracy for a new united community with true Elderships that doesn’t consist of crappy titles such as Regent, Lord, Lady or what ever else that might piss of a few members who just don’t like those regally viewed terms. A new set of rules that don’t seem to be adopted from a roleplayer’s game, or a vote on what a new set of rules is by the entire community. This might be a step in the right direction.” SoulShroude requests input from the community, and the debate, though lasting a number of days, fades out into silence and inaction as it has done numerous times in the past.

August 20: USA – online auction giant eBay announces a ban on the advertising of services and sales relating to spells, potions and magic. From September it will be banning the sale of items classified as “metaphysical”, putting an end to literally thousands of auctions for magical gryphon’s feet, wands of summoning, amulets, potions and more. How exactly do you return a “Vampire Mistress Sex Spirit” or a “Cash and Financial Windfall Casting Spell” after all? That’s part of the problem and a situation that arises too often on eBay, according to the company — and now it’s taking a stand. The site says that the decision came after “a large number of mis-classified items and eBay policy violations” that often led to “issues that can be difficult to resolve.” In other words, the site had difficulty dealing with intangible items – meaning hexes, spirits, conjuring and more – that disgruntled magicians in training were struggling to return. Among the items that will be banned as of August 30, 2012: “advice; spells; curses; hexing; conjuring; magic; prayers; blessing services; magic potions; healing sessions; work from home businesses and information; wholesale lists, and drop shop lists.” eBay spokeswoman Johnna Hoff said that “items that have a tangible value for the item itself and may also be used in metaphysical rites and practices (for instance, jewelry, crystals, incense, candles, and books) are allowed in most cases.” The changes have perturbed a few customers. Over 1,000 tarot card-readers and potion-drinkers have signed a “Don’t ban our psychics on eBay” petition. The site’s metaphysics department is estimated to lose about 100,000 products in its online, world-wide inventory. Comment is made in the VC that perhaps less “turning spells” will now be sold to unsuspecting idi – um, clients. (Article)

August 21: Argawanon, Cebu Island, Philippines – Telegraph UK reports that a pub landlord accused of being a vampire by superstitious villagers in the Philippines has won a battle to clear his name. For five years John Teagle, the landlord of the Walmer Castle Pub in Margate, Kent, has been viewed with suspicion by the residents of Argawanon, on Cebu Island in the Philippines. The aunt of his wife Elsa, who was born on the island, reportedly spread the vicious rumor after he refused to lend her cash in 2007. The 68-year-old father-of-three was shunned after she told local radio that he was a ‘descendant of Dracula’ and drank the blood of children and that scars on Mr Teagle’s body – caused by operations to treat colon cancer were wounds he suffered as he bolted from police hunting him for being one of the undead. Mr Teagle owns a holiday home on the island and regularly visits. His ordeal is over after Argawanon’s Barrio Capitan – a kind of councillor – stepped in and interrogated the aunt and others who had made the claims against Mr Teagle at a 500-strong ‘council meeting’ on the island. The chief reprimanded those responsible for the vampire rumors and ordered them to stop. Mr Teagle said he was ‘very relieved’, but fears that some villagers still have a sneaking suspicion that he is a supernatural creature of the night. (Article)

August 23: UK – News & Star reports that a persistent crank caller in Cumbria who claimed to have been bitten by a vampire after drunkenly dialling 999 has been jailed. The reasons Michael Alfred Shepherd gave for the calls ranged from nose bleeds to vomiting blood. Shepherd confessed to “eating drugs” and having an alcohol problem but said he made the calls from genuine fears for his health. He was found guilty of persistently using a public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety following his trial. Shepherd, 35, made 25 calls to the North West Ambulance Service from January 14 to April 6. Reasons included toothache to being bitten by a vampire. Mr Nigel Beeson, prosecuting, said: “On one occasion he said ‘I want help for alcohol dependency and I have been bitten by a vampire’.” The court heard Shepherd, of Egerton Court, Barrow, had two previous convictions for making nuisance calls to the 999 number and had served 12 weeks and eight weeks in jail for the convictions. Shepherd was sentenced to 126 days for making nuisance calls and 42 days for making threats to cause criminal damage. (Article)

August 24: UK – Seenit reports that Hammer Films has started a public YouTube channel where all of it’s classic horror films – including many vampire flicks – will eventually be visible. The channel will also give fans their first glimpse of classic titles which have been restored under an initiative launched earlier this year by Hammer’s owner Exclusive Media. Official Hammer historian, Marcus Hearn and Hammer archivist, Robert J.E. Simpson will provide new on-air commentary and film introductions. The channel’s full schedule will be published and regularly updated on http://www.hammerfilms.com (Article) (Hammer Channel on YouTube)

August 24: USA – Jerry Nelson, the skilled puppeteer who played Sesame Street’s math-addicted vampire Count von Count, has died at the age of 78 years, The Jim Henson Co. confirms. (Article)

August 26: San Francisco, USA – Police officer Gared Hansen, who enjoys taking pictures of scantily-clad women dressed as vampires, mermaids, and other mythical creatures has been temporarily suspended from the police force. According to The Daily Mail, this vampire-friendly cop is taking the case to court. Hansen claims that, when his passion for unusual photography was revealed to his superiors, they decided he wasn’t setting a good example for the San Francisco Police Force. As a result, the 36-year-old officer is filing a federal civil rights lawsuit which claims that he was wrongfully suspended for what he does during his time away from the force. According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland on August 9, Hansen states he was suspended twice for his love of dark and sexy photography. The first incident took place in 2009; the second in 2010. Hansen, who has worked for the San Francisco Police Department for seven years, claims that his art isn’t pornographic, and shouldn’t reflect negatively on his co-workers or the city. (Article)

August 27: New Orleans, USA – The Vampyre Community of New Orleans braces for harsh weather from a tropical storm dubbed “Isaac”. It is reported that between 30-40 Vampyres and Otherkin opt to remain in the city rather than to evacuate.

August 27: India and UK – Times of India posts an article about “emotional vampires” referring to another article by the UK Daily Mail, both referring to a new book by Albert J. Bernstein “Emotional Vampires: Dealing With People Who Drain You Dry”. (Articlearticle)

August 28: OVC, USA – Ryu Noctem Aeternus (the group leader who recently stirred up a hornet’s nest with his careless labeling of donors as “blood bags” and “cattle”) announces the union of House Sabertooth Noctem Aeternus and House Maven Lore. Armitage Soulshroude offers congratulations and states that House Solaris is considering doing the same. This is significant in that it is two Gotham factions forming an alliance following Armitage Soulshroude’s statements on “a more unified and democratically operated Vampire Community”, which led to a heated debate centered on a central VC governing body. According to Soulshroude, the only obstacle to his group joining this alliance is, House Solaris does not follow the Gotham ‘philosophy’. Some view the matter with suspicion following that at least some of the groups involved have been understood to be part of the “gangster culture”.

August 30: Hollywood, USA – An entertainment media news site, Wetpaint, circulates rumors that actress Wynona Ryder (Bram Stoker’s Dracula) is a vampire on account of the 40 year old actress still looking extremely young for her age. Keanu Reeves, who was Ryder’s co-star in the 1991 rendition of the Dracula movie, also became the target of similar claims before his death in a skiing accident in 2011, as did several other youthful looking actors in their 40’s. (Article)

August 30: Grants, New Mexico, USA – A man charged in a massive child porn ring and who authorities say talked about raping and cooking children was an aspiring horror writer. The Gallup Independent reports that Richard Dates posted a vampire story on the writing website Helium. In his story, a vampire father and son raid a hospital of blood. The 67-year-old was charged last week with possessing child pornography in an international investigation that began in Massachusetts. Dates, a former Cibola Beacon reporter, worked as a science teacher in New Mexico and a tutor in the Chicago area. Dates told federal agents that he had used a photo editing program on several photos of butchered body parts, sending them out online. He is being held without bond and is seeking court appointed attorney. (Article)

August 31: DragonCon, an annual event widely attended by Vampyres begins, running over August 31 – September 3.

September 10: South Africa – In a press release, the South African Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA) addresses the formation of a new Occult Crime Unit to investigate crimes supposedly linked to supernatural events or committed out of a belief in the supernatural. Of special significance to our community, is the specific mention in the leaked SAPS memo, of vampirism as one focus area of this new unit, which comes across as eerily similar to its predecessor, which terrorized non-Christian religious and spiritual communities through the lens of ill-conceived “Satanic panic” doctrine during its 1991-2000 tenure, until it was disbanded after being found to be “out of touch” with the country’s new constitution. Uncertainty grips the local community. It later transpires that this is the same unit which has existed covertly and illegally since being announced as “disbanded” in 2000. (Article)

September 18: South Africa – Mainstream media begins to pick up on the matter of the new police “occult related crime” unit, after concerted efforts are made by Pagan advocates to cover the story. The first article, from tabloid Daily Sun, makes a mockery of the issue. Several subsequent articles by serious newspapers treat the matter more seriously, but still foster the impression that witches and Pagans are over-reacting, paranoid or that those in the sights of the new unit deserve the unwelcome attention. (ArticleArticleArticle)

September 20: South Africa – The SAPS Witch and Vampyre hunting unit debacle continues, with one article in providing a response from the SAPS: “…national police spokesman Colonel Vish Naidoo said police were not targeting religious groups and that investigating such crimes was not new.” Various sources indicate that the SAPS holds the view that “occult experts” such as former SAPS member Kobus Jonker and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) hold more accurate knowledge about Paganism, Witchcraft and Vampyrism than do the participants of these communities themselves, whom it is claimed, they consider ignorant. (ArticleArticle)

September 20: Global – This period sees a marked drop in news reports of “vampire”-related crimes around the world.

September 25: Canada – E1 Entertainment releases “Vampire Dog” on DVD. This Canadian kiddy vampire doggy flick about a boy who befriends an adorable talking vampire dog stars Collin Makechnie, Julia Sara Stone, Amy Matysio, Ronald Peterson, and Norm McDonald as the last guy you’d ever expect to hear cast as the voice of the 600-year-old vampire dog named Fang. (Article)

September 29: South Africa – Internal investigations reveal that a former member of the SAVA has been allowed access to confidential information by a serving member of the High Council, an act which results in simmering mistrust and power plays behind the scenes erupting into open drama.

September 30: South Africa – The Regency of the SAVA acts to preserve the organization by enacting a rectification plan by which the High Council is dissolved and magisterial elections are announced. Further, the SAVA membership policies will no longer be House-based, but rather individual-based, meaning that members no longer need to be House leaders in order to hold positions in the SAVA, and that Houses may affiliate to the SAVA via friendship agreements, but will not be considered de facto “members” of the body as in the past.

October 1: South Africa – the SAVA magisterial election process starts off with the nomination of candidates. Community activity and participation is considered positive and heightened.

October 1: OVC – Real Vampire Life (formerly Real Vampire News) launches the “The Living Vampire ~ A Social Survey” survey. It is intended that the results of this survey will be made available to the “Vampire, The Exhibition” project by Victory Hill Productions and also made freely available online to whoever wishes to access the information. (Article)

October 6: Mexico – Two Mexicans known as The Wolfman and The Vampire Woman join forces to speak out against bullying and domestic violence in a talk in the western city of Zapopan. (Article)

October 6: South Africa – A new report out of the University of Chicago provides the first insight on a new species of dinosaur – the Pegomastax africanus, a creature that occurred in South Africa, and was about the size of a house cat and had a pair of Dracula-esque giant canine teeth. According to the first analysis from University of Chicago, professor Paul Sereno, the Pegomastax africanus, which literally translates to “giant jaw from Africa”, although just declared a new species, the fossil was actually discovered on a dig in South Africa in 1983. Sereno claims that he saw the remains for the first time in a lab at Harvard while working on his graduate degree, had planned to analyze and report his finding right then and there, but was distracted by bigger, more ambitious research projects. (Article)

October 7: North Tyneside, UK – Sunday Sun reports that doctors are baffled at the case of a ten year old girl – dubbed her family’s “little vampire”, has been diagnosed as being allergic to sunlight and UV rays. Within minutes of being exposed to sunlight or UV rays Megan is covered in rashes, blisters, burns and swelling. Even within her own home she isn’t safe with electric lights setting off a reaction and an hour in front of the TV causing torment. “It hurts like sunburn and it’s really itchy, I can tell straight away when it comes on. The other day I could hardly walk because my legs were hurting so much.” Megan Hume and her desperate family are awaiting an appointment to see a specialist. (Article)

October 8: South Africa – the SAVA Magisterial Elections officially end, with the first round concluding on Friday 5 October. The second round ended on October 8, with the selection of Halo Secundi for two Halos. Results included below. The High Council is reformed with the following Magisters: Atria Halo – Nox Kassapu, Avior Halo – Circe Arcanum, Ilyatha Halo – Kay Valkir Noctem, Mintaka Halo – Kitra Draegan Seymore, Zaurak Halo – Jaco Lazarian von Draco Dravana. Secundi are: Ilyatha Halo – Ahzek Ahriman, Mintaka Halo – Vidal Astaroth. (Article)

October 10: Hong Kong, China – An article in Hong Kong Standard “Passenger bloodied in ‘vampire’ rail rage” reports that a mobile phone video uploaded to YouTube shows a vampire-like attack on the Guangzhou MTR in which a retired man bites off part of a young schoolteacher’s ear. It is reported Passengers fled to each end of the carriage and watched in horror as the attacker, dressed in a light-colored shirt, pinned the 28-year-old teacher across a seat and started biting his head, splattering blood across the floor. The teacher had angered the retiree by pushing him as he rushed to claim a seat on the Route 4 train. They quarreled and started fighting before the younger man was pushed onto the seat, held down and bitten repeatedly on the head and arms. Both were handed over to Guangzhou police and freed after being reprimanded. (ArticleVideo)

October 26: New Orleans, USA – At an Endless Night event, local community elder and NOVA founder Belfazaar Ashantison is ejected from the event and banned from attending all future events, without any apparent justification. The New Orleans Vampire Association (NOVA) in turn bans all associates and employees of the OSV and Endless Nights from attending their own local events. The incident recalls sentiments aired in 2011 when a similar banning at an Endless Night event occurred.

November 2: South Africa – Circe Arcanum, former SAVA member and Magister of Avior Halo establishes the Iron Temple “A Spiritual Place of Seeking & Understanding of our Evolution. Helping each other to grow through the massive shifts and changes we are all going through. For those that Self-Identify as Vampyres, Wolves, Hybrids, Angelkin, Dragonkin, Pagans, Witches & All Those That Seek.”. (Link)

November 3: Egypt – Daily News Egypt compares recruiting for the terrorist group “Muslim Brotherhood” to a Vampyre Community. “…So like a vampire community, only a Muslim Brother can transform you into one.” The VC in general does not welcome the comparison. (Article)

November 6: USA – A VC poll indicates that of 129 participants who were queried about their participation in the 2012 presidential election, and overwhelming majority supported Obama (60%), with other candidates receiving significantly smaller portions of the pie. 9% of respondents indicated that they abstained from the vote. (Article)

November 7: Nelspruit, South Africa – an article from small town community tabloid “The Lowvelder” based in Nelspruit appears on the Look Local website, claiming that “Black magic crimes on the increase. Muti murders, grave and morgue robberies and people being drained of their blood crimes are apparently on the increase in the province.” “Lowvelder interviewed Lt Col Tshume John Mbambo, a member of the occult task team in the province. He revealed the shocking fact that he was currently working on 32 cases. He said they were muti murders, morgue and grave robberies, mob killings of witches and blood drainage of victims.” ““We also have vampire cases but not like the movies,” Mbambo explained. “Criminals drug victims especially when they are in some form of public transport. A stranger will offer them a refreshing drink which has been drugged after which they drain off their blood. Apparently they sell it.” In a comment below the article, writer Tereasa Ferrari replied to criticism from VC members: “I interviewed a policeman who is involved as an advisor of the Occult task team. Those were direct quotes from the policeman. We as journalists are not allowed to form our own opinions in a story but purely have to report accurately what is said to us in an interview. I will comment on the fact that the policeman spoke of private body parts and those are not used for organ transplants. The other point about blood is that SANBS does supply blood to government hospitals and if people cannot afford blood, the government hospitals do provide it in emergency situations. This was no attack in any way to any form of religion as the policeman does state he was not investigating beliefs but crimes. If he used the term vampires, you would have to fight Hollywood on that issue as well as they have always been classified as blood drinking or draining creatures. My story was not to address people’s individual religious beliefs but to expose the amount of crimes that are on the increase of this nature.”

November 12: USA – TV/Web documentary on the New Orleans Vampyre Community, “Vampires: The Show – New Orleans” is nominated for an IAWTV Award For Best Documentary (Web) Series. (Article)

November 15: South Africa – SAVA undergoes more changes to its internal structure. In an internal announcement published on SAVN, the change in focus is described as “streamlining”. “SAVA’s focus will shift from being a perceived territorial community “governing body” in order to take on a role more in line with being a community representative body. The point of such a body is to convey the understanding that it consists of more experienced participants who have a stronger grasp of what the SA VC is all about, those who are willing and able to conduct themselves as representatives of the SA VC and to contribute to the building of our community and culture by means of their own efforts through debate, contribution or other action, in co-operation with others. Other aims or uses of the body will be to address inaccuracies in press and media reports, or propaganda, and to promote a positive image and understanding of the Vampyre Community.” Significant in the changes is the change of membership policy, in which Houses no longer form a part of the SAVA, but membership becomes entirely focused on individuals. (Article)

November 15: South Africa – The Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn Part 2 opens nationwide. The VC heaves a sigh of relief at the end of this series.

November 19: USA – Movies.com interviews founder of Real Vampire News (now Real Vampire Life) John Reason on the question “What does Twilight get right about real-life vampires?” The article as a whole is well received by the community. (Article)

November 19: Australia – Christian Today posts an article about Twilight, focusing on comments by evangelist Mark Driscoll who labels the series of movies “porn for teenage girls”. The article refers to Driscoll’s blog, which is subtitled “A Father’s Fright of Twilight,” where Driscoll states, “Twilight is for teenage girls what porn is to teenage boys: sick, twisted, evil, dangerous, deceptive, and popular.” (Article)

November 21: South Africa – A seminal article by Cian Ashling is published on SAVN, entitled “Looking Into The Culture Of Fear And Aggression” in which some very important observations are made about the current situation the SA VC finds itself in. It is considered a fresh local take on a topic considered in more open and developed communities to be staid and over-discussed, which seems to indicate to some that the critics may have missed the point. (Article)

November 22: Austin, Texas, USA – The Vampire Court of Austin hosts a Thanksgiving food drive under the name “Nocturnity’s Fangsgiving Food Drive” at Elysium night club, Red River. (LinkLink)

November 22: New Orleans, USA – The New Orleans Vampire Association (NOVA) hosts its annual Thanksgiving outreach program, providing food to the destitute in New Orleans. (Link)

November 27: South Africa – “Ghost Spotter East London”, an apparent satire page on Facebook comes to the attention of the SA VC. An SAVN article describes how “…sporting the logo of the Ghost Busters movies, Ghost Spotter East London claims to act against occult and supernatural forces in the East London area. Of course, since this group also posts reports about apparent observation and infiltration of supposed “vampire houses” in East London, we couldn’t resist taking a closer look at it.” “Several posts made by the anonymous creator of the group, including one sporting a map of East London with a poorly drawn red pentacle superimposed over it, makes wild and boastful claims about a ‘vampire house’, a ‘satanic vampire church’, infiltration of said ‘vampire house’, and that ‘thanks to the support of the community’ this would be “going down” shortly.” Regardless of the real intent of the creator, the group had drawn the attention of many religious fundamentalists who openly support the far fetched claims posted on it as though they were real, and also growing argument and criticism from others. Ironically, within 24 hours, the page vanishes from Facebook. (ArticleArticle)

November 30: USA – John W. Morehead, well known religious scholar picks apart evangelist Mark Driscoll’s recent and latest criticism of the Twilight movie series. He states: “…he exemplifies some of the worst sensationalism and alarmism that Evangelicals are unfortunately known for when it comes to minority religions such as paganism, social identities like vampires, and popular culture. How is this the case? First, Driscoll has confused the literary and cinematic expressions of the horror vampire with real-world vampirism. The two are very different. One derives from folklore and horror, and in the case of Twilight, from teen paranormal romance, and the other is a social identity found in the real world. This is not to say that there may not be overlaps at times in certain cases, but Evangelicals all too readily make the worst kinds of assumptions and connections that many times aren’t there. Second, Driscoll draws a cause and effect relationship between reading books or watching films related to paranormal fantasy vampires and teens who cut themselves and identify in some way with blood letting and consumption. This relationship is assumed, not proven, and none of the sources he quotes in the post demonstrate what he thinks he is proving. Third, Driscoll does not understand the vampire subculture he finds so objectionable. He paints a picture of sexual deviancy and blood drinking, likely without any attempt at engaging the diversity of self-identified vampires, or good resources on the subject like the Atlanta Vampire Alliance or Joseph Laycock’s fine book Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampirism (Praeger, 2009). The result is a case of continued ignorance, misrepresentation, and bearing false witness about our neighbors. Fourth, Driscoll connects all of this to paganism and the occult. Where is his evidence of this? He provides no evidence that contemporary pagans are somehow connected to the Twilight phenomenon, or that those who identify with esotericism are conspiring to consume the blood of young innocents. In the absence of evidence Driscoll argues by sheer assertion, and unfortunately perpetuates the ignorance and fears of the Western esoteric tradition, usually known by the more pejorative term “the occult” among Evangelicals, and associates it with forms of cultural deviancy such as blood drinking and sexual perversion. Not only is this inaccurate, but Driscoll might recall that the earliest Christians were also viewed with suspicion as the members of a Jewish cult who were said to engage in sexual deviancy, while also eating their founder’s flesh and drinking his blood. Just as those in first century Palestine passed along the worst rumors and allegations about the Christian sect, so too has Driscoll, now a member of Christianity that has shifted from the margins to a position of power, passes along rumors about other minority groups.” (Article)

November 30: USA – Vampire themed ocean cruises have become all the rage, Port Hole magazine reports. Cruises with Twilight or Anne Rice themes are described in an article laden with vampire puns, arranged by tour agent Linda Wolf. (Article)

December 3: USA – The death of Eric Bloodstorm is announced to the VC. “Eric Bloodstorm 1966 – 2012 It’s with great sadness that I pass along the tragic news of Eric Bloodstorm’s sudden passing from an apparent heart attack in the early morning hours of December 3, 2012. Eric was a resident of Portland, Oregon and a long-time and well respected vampire and BDSM community member. Many of you probably knew him from Portland’s Vampire Masquerade Ball, the Portland Vampire Meetup Group, his membership in Voices of the Vampire Community (VVC), The Dark Nations, and his involvement with his local bondage and fetish community. A PayPal account has been established to help his family with final arrangements and a benefit is being planned later in December. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts during this difficult time. You touched so many lives Eric; you will be missed!” (Notice)

December 12: South Africa – An article is published on SA Vampyre News (SAVN) titled “The Obfuscation of Father Sebastiaan Inc. An Illuminating Investigation for the Vampi(y)re Community”, which focuses on perceived trends in the OSV and addresses local concerns about OSV expansion into foreign territories, exploring the possibilities of South Africa being one possible future market for the OSV franchise. Written by Octarine Valure, the article features lengthy and detailed personal accounts obtained by means of interviews of long-term members of the VC. Subjects such as the history of the “Legacy Ankh”, the suicide of Lord D’Drennan, and the banning of locally revered community figures Father Vincent and Belfazaar Ashantison from different Endless Night events in 2011 and 2012 respectively, are covered. The article is generally welcomed by the international community, and hailed as ‘definitive’ and ‘long overdue’. (Article)

December 27: South Africa – The Vampyre History Project (aka The Secret History Of The Vampyre) releases the history post for 2012, and announces the milestone on SAVN. (Article)

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