A Vampiric Plea for Tolerance
A man from Blackburn, England named Darkness Vlad Tepes—And no, that isn’t the name on the guy’s birth certificate; I wonder if he pronounces “Tepes” correctly?—claims that he has been living the life of a vampire for the past thirteen years. He drinks blood: cow’s and pig’s blood, as well as human “blood substitute.” (What exactly is “human blood substitute?”) He sleeps in a custom-made coffin. Recently he’s had some problems, being harassed by locals for his choice of lifestyle. He likens his treatment to the recent (2007) killing of a teenage girl because she was dressed as a goth. Nobody has tried to harm Darkness (that this linked-to article mentions; see source link below) but the reactions of some people have made him uncomfortable and afraid for his safety.
It’d be easy to poke fun. “I have a living body but a dead soul,” says Darkness. What the hell does that even mean? But why should the guy suffer any kind of harassment just because of the way he looks or because of his beliefs? “Everyone has their beliefs and I don’t believe I should be persecuted for following mine,” he says, and rightfully so. He isn’t hurting anyone. “I might be a vampire but I just want to be treated like everyone else,” Darkness says. And he should be. “People have got to accept the fact that what’s normal to them is not normal to us, and what’s normal to us is not normal to them,” Darkness says. Or, in other words, different strokes. It takes ‘em to move the world.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
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