When kids start accusing strangers of biting them, the fascination has obviously gone too far. Enter Erin Westrate, 17, who went to the movies to see the vampire film, New Moon, part of the Twilight film saga. The film is hugely popular on a now-global scale, and the vampire craze has become a worldwide phenomenon. Inevitably, there will be people who take it too far. In an earlier interview with the vampire Merticus, a member of the real vampire subculture in modern America, as well as other members of the Global Vampire Discussion, we all basically agreed on one thing: Vampire crimes set the subculture back, and make it hard for others to accept vampirism as a legitimate lifestyle.
So when a vampire-like crime occurs, or real vampires are accused of crimes, even wrongly so, the whole community suffers a blow. Back to the Westrate girl. Her initial story was that during the film, the man kept making sexual come-ons to her, which she rejected. After the film, she claims he attacked her, grabbed her by her hair, forced her head forward, and bit the back of her neck. As we can all imagine, parents everywhere were shocked, and everyone was inches from deciding that “maybe vampires aren’t so awesome after all…” and therefore shifting the trend, based on one teen’s alleged encounter. The media held its breath.
Then, not even 24 hours later, Erin Westrate recanted, because her friends told the police another story, –that Westrate had flirted back with the unnamed man, who was around 40 years old, and she had willingly been close to him when he “kissed” her neck. It was only after the man had left that Westrate contacted the police, and filed the report. As of the time of her non-fiction retelling of the story to police, the local cops were considering pressing charges on the teen for filing a false report. What I find the most disturbing isn’t the ties to the vampire craze here, it’s the tie to statutory rape and sexual assault on minors. Don’t be afraid of vampires, guys; be afraid of jail bait. It lurks around every corner, and is more dangerous than a vampire could ever hope to be. One vampire can kill you, but the word of a teenage girl can ruin the rest of your life.