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Vampirism and Vampyrism

Glossary of terms about Vampyrism

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Note about vampyres:

As stated in the vampire / vampyre menu, we use the term "vampyres" to refer to a real phenomenon involving real people. We use "vampire" to refer to imaginary mythical creatures who mainly inhabit horror movies and other works of imaginative fiction. This notation is used by some in the vampyre/vampire community, but its use is far from a consensus. In fact, some use the opposite definition; still others use both terms to refer to both types of vampires/vampyres.

Vampyrism is a diverse community. There is no centralized organization to specify beliefs, practices, definitions of terms, etc. Thus, many vampyres do not use some of the terms listed -- e.g. adra, ardetha, Black Swan, Childe, kitra, etc. Some terms are generally restricted to a single group. Also, some terms are defined differently in different cities or areas of North America.

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Adra: A sponsor or mentor of a fledgling vampyre.

Ardetha: An individual who has been awakened as a vampyre as a result of a magickal ritual. This is a controversial belief. 1

Auto-vampirism: The act of drinking one's own blood.

Awakening: The process whereby a latent vampire realizes what their true condition is, and accepts it.

Beacon: A signal in the form of "a particular feeling or energy signature." 8 generated by both vampyres and "latent or potential" vampyres. Its main function is to lead vampyres to latent vampires in order to assist in their awakening. 

The Becoming: The process of conversion from a non-vampyre to a vampyre.

Black Swan: An individual who is not a vampyre but who is close to one or more vampyres and is often a supporter of the community.

The Black Veil : A non-binding but widely accepted ethical guide for vampyres. (The first version of the Black Veil was called The Thirteen Rules of Community.) 10

Blood bond: A feeling of attraction between a vampyre and a donor that is often felt only by the donor. The term also means an initiation ritual in which a vampyre joins a coven. It also refers to a marriage between two vampyres.

Blood Fetishist: An individual who is sexually aroused by the sight of blood. This is generally unrelated to vampyrism.

Blood Junkie: A pejorative synonym for a sanguinarian vampyre.

bulletCutting or piercing skin to release blood. This can be a dangerous procedure unless conducted by a trained individual.
bulletIn ancient times, a medical procedure falsely believed to cure diseases and disorders.

Blood lust: An overwhelming desire to feed on a donor's blood.

Bloodplay: Ritual activities, often of a sexual nature, involving blood.

Chi: Close synonym for prana, or life force. A Chinese term. 

Childe: A pejorative term for an inexperienced vampyre.

Clinical vampirism: Synonym for Renfield's Syndrome.

Coming out of the Coffin: The process of revealing one's vampyrism condition to non-vampyres. This is analogous to gays and lesbians coming out of the closet, and Wiccans and other Neopagans coming out of their broom closet.

Coven: A group of vampyres.

Darkside (a.k.a. Dark side): Synonym for nightside.

Dayside: Mundane activities in the "real world."

Donor: A person, usually a non-vampyre -- who freely volunteers their blood or life energy to be consumed by one or more vampyres.

Dhampyri: an individual who exhibited symptoms of vampyrism prior to puberty.

The Dragon: Synonym for nightside.

Elder: A person who has been active in the vampyre community. for a lengthy interval, and who shares their knowledge with others.

Embrace: A mythical process of converting a non-vampyre into a vampyre by having them ingest the blood of a vampyre. This concept frequently appears in vampire literature, but is foreign to the beliefs of vampyres.

Energy signature: An individual's specific energy pattern which is uniquely theirs. This allegedly enables vampyres to recognize fellow vampyres.

Energy vampire: A vampire who obtains nourishment primarily or entirely by tapping into another person's prana or life force directly, without ingesting their blood.

Excommunication: The act of excluding a vampyre from a coven or from the entire vampyre community.

Feeding: An activity of vampyres in which they consume a donor's blood, or prana from a donor by other means, or elemental energy from nature.

Fledgling: a recently awakened vampyre with little experience.

Gaja: synonym for poser.

Golden Circle: Individuals who form a vampyre coven. This typically includes black swans, vampyres, and kitra.

Haematodipsia: Intense feeling of haematophilia.

Haematomania: A strong psychological craving for blood.

Hematophageous: Having blood as one's only form of nourishment.

Haematophilia: An sexual attraction to the presence of blood.

Haven: A place where vampyres meet.

Hemeralopia: An inability to see in bright light

House: A group of vampyres who share common beliefs, rituals traditions, etc.

Human: A non-vampire. (this can be a confusing term because it implies that vampires are not human.)

The Hunger: An intense psychological and physical need to feed.

Hunter: An individual who attempts to harm either vampyres or persons perceived to be vampyres.

bulletA male vampyre who feeds on pranic energy while involved in sexual activity.
bulletAn mythical male demon who seduced females in their sleep.
bulletSee succubus.

Kindred: Fellow vampyres.

Kitra: An individual who is both a vampyre and a donor.

Klavasi. A vampyre who experienced a post-pubertal awakening. Most vampyres are klavasi.

Latent vampire: A vampyre who has not yet realized her or his condition.

Leech: A pejorative term for a vampyre.

Life force: Synonym for prana.

Mentor: An experienced vampyre who guides a fledgling.

Mortal: A non-vampyre. (This can be a confusing term, because all vampyres are mortal, just like the rest of the population.)

bulletA non-vampyre.
bulletNormal, everyday activities

Nightside: "The life of a vampire; being part of the vampiric community." 2

Of the Blood: Identifying an individual as a vampyre.

Porphyria: A group of medical disorders of which most will cause the individual will have a strong reaction to sunlight. Areas of the skin which are exposed to the sun may burn, blister or scar. 3 Some vampire myths may well have originated as a result of the fear of sunlight by persons with porphyria.

Poser: A non-vampyre who pretends to be a vampyre by claiming to:

bulletHave come from a line of vampyres,
bulletBe immortal,
bulletBe unable to step over flowing water,
bulletBe unable to cast an image in a mirror, etc.

Prana: Life force. Sanguinarian vampyres obtain pranic energy through blood; Psi vampyres extract it from other person's emotional energy without consuming blood.

Psi vampyre: A vampyre who feeds off of the emotional energy of another person or persons.

Psychic energy: Forms of energy which may be pranic (from living things) or elemental (from natural forces)

Psychic attack: An action by a psychic vampire which drains prana from another individual without their prior consent.

Psychic vampyre:
bulletAn individual who feeds off of the prana of others by tapping into their emotional energy.
bulletA vampyre with psychic powers.

Real vampire (a.k.a. RealVamp): A sanguine, psychic, psi, or energy vampyre who needs to feed off of other individuals or of nature in order to maintain their health and energy levels.

Renfield's Syndrome. A psychological disorder named after a fictional character in Dracula.  Richard Noll proposed the syndrome. He suggests that children go through blood-related phases until full vampyrism is expressed after puberty. The theory is not widely accepted among mental health professionals. It does not appear in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). More info.

Role player: A synonym for poser.

RPG'er: An individual who considers themselves to be a vampyre because they play that role in a Role Playing Game

Sang: a synonym for Sanguinarian vampyre.

Sanguinarian vampyre: An individual who has a need to consume blood -- usually from human source(s) in order to maintain adequate physical and/or emotional energy. He or she may also tap into the emotional energy of others in addition to consuming blood.

Sanguine: a synonym for Sanguinarian vampyre.

Seeker: An individual who wants to be around vampyres. Often, they want to become a vampyre through the mythical process of embracing.

Sexual vampyre: A vampyre who feeds from the sexual energy released during sexual activity. They are rare among the vampyre community.

Shadow: Synonym for nightside.

Sire, Siring: The mythical act of creating a new vampyre by embracing.

Slayer: An individual who attempts to kill vampires. Sarah Michelle Gellar, "The Chosen One," played the role of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, on a TV program by the same name.

Source: A donor; an individual who willingly donates blood to a vampyre.

bulletA female vampyre who feeds on pranic energy while involved in sexual activity.
bulletAn mythical female demon who seduced males in their sleep.
bulletSee Incubus.

Thirst: Synonym for hunger.

Turning: The process of converting a non-vampyre into a vampyre, generally through blood ingestion or pranic energy exchange. Most vampyres believe that this is impossible. It is a common theme in vampire literature.

Twilight: Establishing an optimum balance between one's Dayside and Nightside activities.

Vamp: Synonym for either vampire or vampyre. Alternately, a sexually predatory non-vampire woman.

bulletA male or female, mythical, animated corpse found only in novels, films, comic books and religious myths who rises from its grave to feed off of the blood of animals or humans. 4
bulletA real female or male person who has a condition requiring them to feed off of the pranic energy of other humans or derive energy from natural forces. Non-vampyres regard vampyrism as a hobby, lifestyle, occultic activity, religion or condition.

Vampire bait: A poser or wannabe who attempts to lure a vampyre into their presence.

Vamping out: An extreme attack of the hunger. It generally produces many physiological changes in the vampyre's body.

Vampire children: A pejorative term referring to children with xeroderma pigmentosum. This is a genetic disease that causes an extreme sensitivity to sunlight. Even ordinary exposure can cause skin cancer. They have no actual connection to vampyres. 5

Vampiress: A female vampire.

Vampyre: A variant of the term "vampire" that is sometimes used to differentiate a real individual from a mythical vampire.

Vampyress: A female vampyre.

Vampyric community: All individuals who either refer to themselves as vampyres, or have been identified as vampyres.

Vampire lifestyler: A non-vampyre who who adopts "fictional vampire imagery and trappings into his/her personal life," often patterning themselves after a fictional character. 6

Vampire tap: An electronic connector which pierces through the insulating layer of a coaxial cable and makes contact with the inner conductor of the cable. It is often used in Ethernet networks that are linked by coaxial cables.  They have no relationship with vampyres or vampires. They are also known as a piercing tap. 7

Wannabe: Pejorative term for a non-vampyre who wants to become one.

White Swan: An individual who opposes the vampyre community.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Encyclopedia," Darkness Embraced," at:
  2. Jodi Lee, "A glossary of Vampiric terms," at:
  3. "American Porphyria Foundation," at:
  4. "Dictionary / Terms," Everything You Need to Know About Vampires, at:
  5. "Definition of Vampire children," at:
  6. Ceinwyn, "Some useful terms...," Society of the Black Swan, at:
  7. "Vampire tap," at:
  8. Sanguinarius, "Terminology & Lingo," at: This is a very extensive glossary.
  9. "Comprehensive Vampire Community Dictionary, House Eclipse, at:
  10. " 'The Black Veil,' v. 1.0 plus information," for Real Vampires, at:

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Copyright © 2005 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2005-OCT-25
Latest update: 2010-JNA-08
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