So they might not sparkle in the sun, be breathtakingly beautiful, or flee at the sight of a cross. But there are those who live amongst us inflicted with Clinical Vampirism:
"Clinical vampirism is named after the mythical vampire, and is a recognizable, although rare, clinical entity characterized by periodic compulsive blood-drinking, affinity with the dead and uncertain identity." (Wikipedia)
In other words, addiction to blood is a legit medical condition. It's a strong addiction - so strong, people kill for it.
Still not buying it? Here's proof - 3 real-life killers diagnosed with clinical vampirism:
1) Richard Chase, aka "Dracula"
1975: Chase was institutionalized after found drinking bird blood, and injecting rabbit blood in his veins. In the hospital, he got his fix by extracting some blood from a therapy dog.
1977: Chase got arrested after being found in a park - his body was smeared with blood, and a bucket of blood was in his truck. After the blood was determined to be from cattle, he was released with no charges.
A few months later: Chase murdered 7 people over the scope of a week or two, and drank most of their blood (amongst other incredibly gory "-isms" you can read about here).
1979: Chase was convicted of 6 counts of first degree murder, and sentenced to death in a gas chamber, but managed to kill himself on death row.
2) Tracey Wigginton, aka "Lesbian Vampire Killer"
Tracey Wigginton (b. 1965) is a self-confessed female vampire with an interest in the occult. She apparently didn't eat solid food, and instead lived on pig and cow blood obtained from the local butchery. Her girlfriend would often slit her wrists so Tracey could drink her blood.
But it wasn't enough - in 1989, Tracey recruited 3 other friends to help better satisfy her craving for blood. They seduced a 47-year-old drunk man on his way home from a bar, and offered to give him a ride. Tracey drove him to a park, stabbed him 27 times, nearly decapitated him, and drank his blood.
In 1991 Tracey was sentenced to life in prison, and was released on parole in 2012.
3) Peter Kürten, aka "The Vampire of Düsseldorf"
From 1921 until his conviction in 1931, Peter Kürten carried out an estimated 79 murders. Sexual sadism was his primary motive, but investigator's soon discovered that he also enjoyed drinking his victims's blood.
Shortly before his execution, Kürten made the following statement:
"Tell me, after my head has been chopped off will I still be able to hear; at least for a moment, the sound of my own blood gushing from the stump of my neck?... That would be the pleasure to end all pleasures".
In 1931 Kürten was charged with nine murders, and seven attempted murders. He was sentenced to death and executed via guillotine.
So... do you think they're "real" vampires?
Facts courtesy of Wikipedia.