A vast energetic confluence appears to be underway, and it's a good idea for people of the open-minded persuasion to pay careful heed to the ways of the spirit world. This aside, the possibility of physical vampirism is not to be so readily discarded.
Consider what the Vampire is, and the possibility that a handful of them exist becomes clear. Despite the biological unlikelihood of a species of this sort, the fact remains that there are more things in Heaven and Earth than Horatio's philosophy could think to dream of. And whatever the case, if even one such mutation or visitor from beyond ever has or still does walk among us, its primary ecology is that of a predator; what's more, it's a predator that feeds on human beings.
Neither the Vicar nor anyone serious expects the reader to be completely persuaded that Vampires are real and walk among us. But we can all have a great deal more scary fun if we recognize that this possibility is not as far outside the range of our reality as we would like. Consider how many abandoned buildings there are in any fair-sized town, to say nothing of large cities. Consider too how many people go missing on a daily basis. As of January 2011, over 85,000 missing persons cases were on the books. There are ample places for setting up secret Vampire covens or dens, and a ready supply of blood is available to such a cadre in the form of people who go missing, never to be found.
Flat Earth Society and know that humanity is capable of astonishing denial whether in part or as a whole.
A more advanced and suave, sleek predatory species could be dwelling here in the guise of human beings and making a great game of our whole psychosocial parade. Note the recent and significant surge of interest in all things Vampire. The success of numerous films, books and television shows bears noisy and flashy evidence to the fact that people love this genre and its attendant themes. But the secret underbelly of the whole thing could be much worse. Cults and covens have formed as a result; some commit horrific crimes and their charges and sentences are a matter of public record. While these are the acts of the anti-social and misguided, they may be reflections of a deeper truth: Humanity has a predator that we barely acknowledge and fearfully transform into lustful entertainment.
The most obvious rejoinder is clear: the reader has never seen or encountered even the rumors of such a thing in the real world. The Vicar would like to tell you the same, but in the Wizard business, one runs across all manner of unpleasant possibilities and not a few dark realities. The fact remains that while you or your social circle have not been fed upon, this does not mean the same is true for the tens of thousands of people who go missing world wide and are never found again. If a major municipal police department found a body tomorrow morning with tell-tale bite marks and thoroughly exsanguinated, then the debate would still rage. No one would accept that a Vampire was on the loose. It would be a murder attributed to people in the grip of a frantic fantasy, experiencing a psychotic break with reality. And if there were any sense amongst investigators that something unnatural was at work, you can be more certain that we the people would never, ever hear of it.
|Italian "Vampire skull, with a brick shoved into the jaws to prevent nocturnal feedings.|
Are they real? We cannot know this either way. In the absence of evidence, the tendency is to assume evidence of absence. This is generally a bad move when we recognize that our knowledge of reality is bounded by the senses, memory and direct experience. In terms of personal truth, only a handful of human beings actually know that there is a moon, and not just an image in the sky. They know this because they have been there. Being there is worth more than all the pictures and words in the world.
Grigori Rasputin is definitely one of the Vicar's favorite sorcerers, albeit a wicked and weird bastard with a penchant for violating that most basic of the true practitioner's codes: restraint. Rasputin's excesses - political, spiritual, chemical and sexual - are the stuff of legend. His life was a rampage and his capacity to manipulate and control is perhaps not mythic at all. But it is in the manner of his dying that serious thinkers must come to wonder at the power of the occult.
Rasputin appears to have had a significant capacity for healing; some of this resided in his psychological control over individuals and his ability to calm them. Calm people certainly deal better with ailments and injuries, and this increases chances of recovery. But this is also a form of magic, centered in the arcane arts because the tranquil mind can be focused upon changing the condition of the body. The Vicar has always been of two minds about Grigori, alongside most historians of record.
Rasputin's death is the important part of the story for our purposes, however. For a variety of reasons - not least because he had made himself obnoxious to the powerful - Prince Felix Yusupov and other members of the aristocracy resolved to murder him. This is where it gets weird, and worth re-reading even if you know the story. Rasputin was invited to the Yusupov palace to meet the Tsar's beautiful niece. When he arrived, Yusupov and his compatriots fed Rasputin poisoned wine and tea cakes. These, it is reported, the man ate without effect. The poison in question? Cyanide.
The Vicar wishes only to make a few points. First, Vampires are immune to poison and bullets in the mythos. So too, Rasputin. Vampires - usually male, but sometimes female (particularly where Susan Sarandon is concerned) - are said to be fond of young women, as was Rasputin. And they are thought to exercise frightening powers of will. So too, Rasputin. The upshot?
Sightings of Rasputin and encounters with him are still reported around the world.
Oh, and the Russian Museum of Erotica claims to have his penis on display. So if he is/was a Vampire, he's a dickless one.
The Vicar can't resist a bit of ribald humor from time to time.