Vlad The Impaler: On the Dangers of Drinking Human Blood.

Vlad Ţepeş, the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia (...
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So Prince Charles is related to Vlad the Impaler and now wishes to preserve the Transylvanian forest to go howl in.

But I hope Charles doesn’t decide to follow in Vlad’s footsteps.  According to the castle of spirits website Vlad liked to have his enemies impaled.  Not a good day for the paparazzi if Charles comes out in a cape.  The site also has a number of fun stories, including that Vlad was allergic to blood, which may have made him crave it.

Elizabeth of Bathory was the lady who bathed in blood, and had a list of her 650 victims.  No word on her internal intake.

We all know that eating human brains is a bad idea (sorry, zombie wannabes).  It’s due to the transfer of prion diseases.

How about human blood?  Well, we have the standard blood borne diseases:  hepatitis, aids, and any bacterial infection the victim happened to have.  You’d also be imbibing any drugs (recreational or prescription) the person was taking at the time of “harvest.”

If transplant patients are to be believed, you might take on some of the personality of the victim.

There’s also this ongoing problem of blood type.  How does Dracula sniff out only O- blood?

On a more serious note, vampirism does exist.  It’s a serious, often fatal and very dangerous psychiatric illness.  Here are three case histories.

S Afr Med J. 1983 Feb 19;63(8):278-81.

Clinical vampirism. A presentation of 3 cases and a re-evaluation of Haigh, the ‘acid-bath murderer’.


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. It is hypothetically the expression of an inherited archaic myth, the act of taking blood being a ritual that gives temporary relief. From ancient times vampirists have given substance to belief in the existence of supernatural vampires. Four vampirists, including Haigh, the ‘acid-bath murderer’, are described. From childhood they cut themselves, drank their own, exogenous human or animal blood to relieve a craving, dreamed of blood-shed, associated with the dead, and had a changing identity. They were intelligent, with no family mental or social pathology. Some self-cutters are auto-vampirists; females are not likely to assault others for blood, but males are potentially dangerous. Vampirism may be a cause of unpredictable repeated assault and murder, and should be looked for in violent criminals who are self-mutilators. No specific treatment is known.




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