The Dead Travel Fast

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Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Piata Fintinele, Romania

Piata Fintinele, Romania Source: Eric Nuzum hide caption

itoggle caption Source: Eric Nuzum

Vampires are a peculiar bunch. They only come out at night. They sleep in coffins. And, oh yea, they suck the life out of you. Literally. I always thought vamps were just fodder for scary stories. But, turns out, there's actually a solid number of people in real life who identify as vampires, only they refer to themselves as the "undead." Now, I don't know if they bite into the necks of virgins, but they have been know to drink their own blood. Yum. Read about this and more in Eric Nuzum's new book The Dead Travel Fast. And tell us, what excites (or disgusts) you about vampires? And to all the undead out there, what's it like to be a vampire?

PS — Check out that sexy picture... it's the first one I've posted all by myself! This is a big step for me. I feel like I'm growing.



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I belong to a group that celebrate and play the games put out by White Wolf gaming. Vampire: the Requiem has a world wide following in our group, with players in the US, Canada, Belgium, the UK, Brazil, Japan, Australia.
No blood drinking,(actually fobidden by the rules) but a social game that attempts to hide the society from Mortals. While many of the players may be geeks in real life, it is a wonderful lively(pun intended) way to experience being the monster in all of us.

Sent by Dennis Gilmore | 3:14 PM | 10-31-2007

I'm trying to see every vampire movie ever made. So far I've seen 383 vampire movies. I keep a list of every one I've seen since I can't remember all of them anymore.

Sent by Chris Franklin | 3:16 PM | 10-31-2007

Vampire novels make up a huge portion of the romance genre. Authors like Sherrilyn Kenyon and J.R. Ward have made vampire heroes and their stories the fastest-selling sub-genre in the business. Agents and editors snap them up and fans are crazy about them. Nowadays vampires are considered by some to be the sexiest men and women on the planet.

Liz Selvig, Anchorage,AK

Sent by Liz Selvig | 3:36 PM | 10-31-2007

Here's a fun little wine country-themed vampire flick we recently posted to YouTube.

The Vampyre Sommelier's Dilemma

Sent by Daedalus Howel | 3:37 PM | 10-31-2007

I used to really enjoy Vampires in literature and movies. But now that its become a "Lifestyle," I am thoroughly sick of it.

Its taken all of the fun out of it. I think what did it for me, was that weirdo Sharkey, the ex wrestler/political candidate that claimed to be a vampire who wanted to impale terrorists on the lawn of the governors mansion, and who made statements that he *owned covens and made it sound like some sort of "religion."

It had gotten on my nerves before, but that was pretty much it for me.

It had just become this excuse for people to act out and dress poorly.

I would rather deal with crackheads. I can at least understand why they do what they do.


Who wants to actually make it a goal to grow up and be a giant human shaped tick?

Sent by Sundog | 4:29 PM | 10-31-2007

Sorry to be a party pooper, but Eric Nuzum doesn't seem to have even a basic understanding of the historical Dracula, based on his response to one listener. Dracula did not grow up in fear of being impaled, because he was being kept as a royal hostage in the Sultan's court in Istanbul, in view of becoming a puppet prince when his father died (which did indeed happen). Second, he never ruled Transsylvania, which was then a semi-autonomous duchy within the Kingdom of Hungary. He did attack several Transsylvanian Saxon cities, which is where part of the legend comes from (the Saxon and German language pamphlets portrayed him as a blood-drinking tyrant). Third, impalement was a common form of punishment at the time, and by no means more gruesome than what was being practiced in the West of Europe (see the execution of William Wallace for instance). Finally, it is not just the communists who revered Vlad the Impaler as a national hero, pretty much all Romanians hold him in high esteem as a fierce resister to the Ottoman occupation. Vlad is a very common boy's name, and references to the Impaler as a just and noble prince come into written literature as early as the 1890s - the poetry of Mihai Eminescu. I just don't understand how someone who claims to be so interested in the vampire lore and who even went to Romania on a trip can be so uninformed about this. For anyone interested I recommend R.T. McNally and Radu Florescu's "In Search of Dracula".

Sent by Vlad Tzepesh | 7:53 PM | 10-31-2007

We had a self-proclaimed vampire in our dorms at San Francisco State in the late 80s. A few people thought the goth-thing was interesting, but most of us thought it dorky.

His name was Darren or something like that, but we all called him "Darwood" in honor of the Bewitched-like connection to dorkiness.

Sent by Rob at Kintropy | 7:20 AM | 11-1-2007

Yes, Eric's comments on the historical Dracula were almost all incorrect. He was right about one thing, though. There is very little connection between Vlad Dracula and Count Dracula (the vampire) other than that Bram Stoker borrowed Vlad's nickname for his fictional vampire.

Sent by Elizabeth Miller | 5:13 PM | 11-1-2007

I just wanted to elaborate on Mr. Nuzum's understanding of what a "psychic vampire" is. Basically, this term has two meanings (though he only considered the first, and I feel the caller may have been referring to the second): there are those psychic vampires who believe they are actually vampires who cannot function without feeding off the emotions of others (as opposed to blood)--the definition described by Nuzum; and then there is the understanding of this term as a psychological disorder. This second definition is not literally related to vampirism, but is the term used to describe individuals who feed off of others by draining them emotionally and psychologically, not just by imagining / believing they are doing so (as in the first definition of the term).

Sent by Siobahn | 9:34 PM | 11-1-2007

His exploration of vampires as energy/soul thieves was intriguing. Reminds me of the antagonist on Bubba Hotep.

What if vampires really aren't after anything above your neck?

Would be as sexy then?

Sent by Sundog | 12:14 PM | 11-2-2007