The dark shadowy world has called to many a young person throughout the years, earning them numerous brands such as “Goths” or more recently “Emo-kids”. However never before have their numbers swollen to such heights as they are today. Is it just regular teenage angst on the rise or is it that vampires have suddenly become one of the cool kids?
The “Twilight” syndrome
With the popularity of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series showing no sign of stopping on either the bookshelf or the big screen, it is obvious that Vampires have suddenly been thrust into the spot light and oh how they sparkle to today’s children. Her popular stories featured around a human, vampire, werewolf love triangle is really nothing new (Anita’s twisted romances from Laurell K. Hamilton comes to mind right off the bat) but the audience it is set to appeal to certainly is. Where Hamilton’s books are at times wall-to-wall sex, Meyer instead chooses to pursue the awkward Romeo and Juliet angle. Her formula of a love that will fight to overcome anything, a heroine with an ugly duck complex and the aforementioned triangle has cooked up something that appeals to a vast majority of young people, but is it really all fun and games? Take for example this question; posed by a seven-year-old girl to actor Robert Patterson or Edward Cullen, as he’s known for his lead role in the Twilight saga, “Can you bite me?”
On Thanksgiving, in 1996, a sixteen-year-old boy killed two people and drank some of their blood. His name is Roderick Ferrell and he believes he is an elder vampire with superhuman powers; his two victims, Richard and Naoma Wendorf, the parents of his underage lover. An avid player of the Role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade, Ferrell had created his own coven of like-minded young people and lead them on bloodletting rituals in graveyards. His own mother was later found to have been sending sexually explicit love letters to one of the boys near her son, just 14, trying to convince him to have a carnal initiation with her so that she may become a vampire as well. Ferrell had been driven to kill the Wendorfs so that he may save his girlfriend from what she referred to as, “Hell.” Ferrell truly believed in the fantasy he had built up and because his mother had allowed and even feed that fantasy a family was put to ruin.
Now most players of any role playing game are harmless devotees who have a day job, a wife and kids, a real life outside of the world they play in. For them it is an escape from the drudgery of the everyday. However a small number of people have a hard time living in a world where they feel powerless or unattractive. So they cope with this harsh real reality by immersing themselves in a better make believe one. So much so that when something from the real world threatens that thin line of make believe, such as concerned parents, they react violently. Roderick Ferrell had been so convincing in his conviction that he was an ancient vampire that he managed to turn the Wendorfs daughter into a believer as well. Her belief played a key part in what ultimately led to this tragic crime.
“Perception is reality.” -A wise man
(Sources: “The Science of Vampires” Katherine Ramsland, www.trutv.com)