Although it isn`t known yet in all the countries, clinical vampirism or the Renfield syndrome is a mental disease associated with the desire to drink blood and it almost always has a strong sexual component associated with it.
The name was given in 1992 by Richard Noll after Dracula`s assistant from Bram Stoker`s novel.
The character was a patient in Seward`s sanatory and he suffered from delusions that convinced him that by accumulating as many lives as possible he would become stronger. His illness progresses and he comes to believe that by feeding an animal smaller ones and then eating them he would get more energy.
example: When he catches a spider he first feeds it some flies [growing it] and then he eats it.
The ill are usually men that are sure that in the process of consuming blood there is also an exchange of energy involved.
Noll adds a stressor factor in the early childhood that sets a start to the disease. Commonly an accident or simply an injury that involved a lot of blood. The blood flux is a motif for curiosity in the patient’s case. After reaching puberty the sight of blood flowing excites the ill and all of them describe an acute illusion of control that they have on the victim [animal or man].
Noll found 3 significant stages in the evolution of the disease.
Autovampirism is generally developed first, usually in childhood, by initially self-inducing scrapes or cuts in the skin to produce blood, which is then ingested, to later learning how to open major blood vessels [veins, arteries] in order to drink a steady stream of warm blood more directly. The blood may then be ingested at the time of the opening, or may be saved in jars or other containers for later imbibing or for other reasons. Masturbation often accompanies autovampiristic practices.
Zoophagia [literally the eating of living creatures, but more specifically the drinking of their blood] may develop prior to autovampirism in some cases, but usually is the next to develop. Persons with Renfield’s syndrome may themselves catch and eat or drink the blood of living creatures such as insects, cats, dogs, or birds. The blood of other species may be obtained at places such as slaughter houses and then ingested. Sexual activity may or may not accompany these functions
Vampirism in its true form is the next stage to develop – procuring and drinking the blood of living human beings. This may be done by stealing blood from hospitals, laboratories, and so forth, or by attempting to drink the blood directly from others. Usually this involves some sort of consensual sexual activity, but in lust-murder type cases and in other nonlethal violent crimes, the sexual activity and vampirism may not be consensual.
Very few cases of the syndrome have been described, and the published reports that do exist refer to what has been proposed as Renfield’s syndrome through the use of official psychiatric diagnostic categories such as schizophrenia or as a variety of paraphilia. A number of murderers have performed seemingly vampiric rituals upon their victims. Serial killers Peter Kürten and Richard Trenton Chase were both called “vampires” in the tabloids after they were discovered drinking the blood of the people they murdered.
Because the sangvinal vampire community has started to surface into the eye of the society many fear that the members actually suffer from this disease and that getting blood from donors might not be enough at one point because they no longer have the illusion of control over the victim.
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||Name: Philip Onyancha
Born – 1978/ Died – ****
Number of victims: 19
Some people suffer from delusions and believe that they are vampires, however this is not the case for Philip Onyancha.
According to his testimony, he was recruited into a cult that convinced him of the prospect of wealth and power in exchange for human sacrifice – he would need to also drink the blood of his victims. He never raped the women, only bit down on their necks and drank their blood.
When he was caught the degree of public hysteria and outrage was so aggravated that the crowd wanted to lynch him.
“It is an urge you develop once you are initiated, and since I got into this thing, I have always had a passion to kill. My target was 100 people… once I achieved that I could have been very rich. It is that power of conviction in me, but all that is now gone because I have confessed”
To make matters worse he admitted during interrogations that he deliberately targeted women and children under the age of 10 because they were weaker and he calculated that in a maximum of 5 years he would be done with that stage in the cult and ascent to power.
After his arrest he cooperated fully and led the police to his dumping site [he admitted to 17 deaths, however the skeletons retrieved totaled up to 19 bodies]. Based on the bones and personal belongings recovered from the site, the victims could be identified and given proper burials by their families.
During the trial he said he was grateful to the police for apprehending him because it was the only way to quiet the evil spirits that haunted him. He basically said that he wouldn`t have been able to stop on his own.
In the end Philip Onyancha gave up his own freedom by confessing to his crimes. Kenya was shocked into reality over the possibility of cults and the ocult still perverting their systems of beliefs.
† Vampiric Murderers
I received an e-mail about Ludovico Fatinelli and his “Treatise on vampires”. I did my internet search and got a couple of hits. Among them I found an entire story about this character and his work… unfortunately it was unsubstantiated and I even came across a site that exposed the supposed scholar.
I went over the usual titles that are available in ebook format but could find nothing conclusive.
So I turned to my bookshelf and failed to retrieve any information on this supposed treatise.
I won`t name the bogus site, but the one I found some very interesting articles on the matter on is Diary of an Amateur Vampirologist.
”To be or not to be!” would have been a nice touch, but the correct option to go with is… NOT TO BE since Ludovico Fatinelli never existed and if you look for his alleged “Treatise on vampires”… well, there is nothing to find.
The story you will find on the other hand, is very well structured.
[I give an extract of the page]
The young Florentine went on to study medicine at the University of Padua, where one of his teachers was the great scientist and philosopher Galileo Gallilei. While there, Fatinelli, through the use of increasingly more sophisticated microscopes, discovered that “animalcules” also appeared to live in human tissue. From these observations, the young scientist developed the radical theory that it was these microscopic entities, not moral failures, that were the real source of vampirism. Experiments on animals seemed to bolster his hypothesis, and he set to work on a treatise that would summarize his findings and, he hoped, establish his reputation as a great scientist.
In Januay, 1616, Fatinelli published his findings under the title, Treatise on Vampires. Alas, his timing couldn’t have been worse. Pope Paul V, worried about the rise of Protestantism, had been taking a hard line against any new interpretation of church dogma and decided to make Fatinelli an example. The young man was brought up for the Inquisition, and when he refused to recant the conclusions in his treatise, he was charged with heresy and brought to trial. Though a simple recantation probably could have gotten him off the hook, Fatinelli stood behind his findings. Judgment was swift: the verdict was guilty, the sentence, death.
On April 23, 1616, a huge crowd gathered in Florence’s Piazza Signoria to witness the execution. Fatinelli was tied to a pole atop a pile of logs, which were then set ablaze. The fire ate through the rope securing Fatinelli to the pole, and his left arm flew up in the air. A shriek went through the crowd; many fainted, thinking that the Devil was passing a curse from Fatinelli’s body onto them. But the man on the pyre was only flesh and blood. Once the spectacle was over, one of the most important scientists of the time was ignominiously heaved into a pauper’s grave, where the church hoped he would be forgotten forever.
Interesting read if you`re into fiction… I`m more of a down-to-documented-true-facts type of girl myself 😉 so I feel the need to say that this is all made up!
As I have already mentioned I couldn`t find anything on this on any of my trusted sources.
There were people persecuted by the Church and many corpses were mutilated [most of the times by their own relatives as you can see on the ~Vampire Accounts~ section] but this paper was never written and I`m tempted to supposed that this person never existed either.
If it would have existed we would have herd of it… and to sustain this let me drop an idea: there are private collections on vampirism by important and respectable people all over the world. Not all of them chose to write about this theme, some prefer only to keep their artifacts but all of these collections are catalogued and the titled are listed.
Keep in mind that we have important medieval manifests available online… for example the ~Visum et Repertum~.
Surely, if such a text would have exited we would have know, especially since the bogus site sustains that copies survived and scientists kept working with it as a basis.
If the community was convinced there was a vampire among them or if there had been reports of attacks in the near communities, search parties would be dispensed to the graveyard.
The idea may seam far off to some, but we`re not referring to gatherings similar to those presented in the movies [in “angry torch-carrying mob” scenes].
One cannot fully understand the emotions that drove the peasants back then… grief over loving someone [remember that usually the family members were present during the ritualistic eradication of the so called vampires], fear over losing another family member, confusion and impossibility to go against the majority.
Since it was believed that vampires have the ability to hypnotize the caretakers into protecting them during the day – when the vampire is confined to his coffin, if the gravediggers were protective of several graves, those were scrutinized first.
§ In the case of a careful inspection at the cemetery, the following were considered proof of vampirism:
– holes in the ground
– disarranged dirt on and around the grave
– unusual [dens] fog, especially at nightfall
– scratches on the tomb stones
– fallen and/or dismantled crosses
– tracks on remote or auxiliary exits from the cemetery
– sounds similar to sighs herd from inside the graves during sunset
– strange animal behavior, such as: birds not singing, dogs barking and refusing to enter the cemetery, geese get restless around certain tombs, horses refuse to advance towards certain graves.
§ When opening a coffin, people would look out for:
– eyes and/or mouth open
– unusually pale or reddish face
– teeth or fangs that are larger than normal [not necessarily sharp]
– bloated body [people assumed it was due to the drinking of blood]
– hair longer that at the burial
– long and/or transparent fingernails
– flexible extremities
– lack of decomposition
– blood around the mouth and/or in the coffin
– white liver [when removed]
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† Vampire Accounts
§ Those that died as a result of presumed vampire attacks along with those believed to be “living vampires” were suspected of coming back from beyond the grave so they would benefit of special burial rituals:
– abiding by all the Christian burial customs [it was believed that for 40 days the soul of the departed would remain bound by the family members and the place it once lived in]
– destroy the vampire that caused the death
– all the windows should be open while the body was in the house so that the spirit can freely leave
– keeping certain animals at bay [black cats, ravens etc.]
– keeping the corpse out of the way of shadows and direct hit of moonlight
– covering all mirrors and water surfaces from the household [it was believed that a spirit can remain trapped in it`s own reflexion]
– shutting the eyes of the dead as soon as possible after the death occurred
– putting silver coins on the eyes and/or filling the mouth with garlic
– mutilating the body by piercing it through the heart with a wooden stake
– removing the heart from the body and burying the corpse without it
– putting a crucifix or a book of prayers besides the corpse in the coffin
– [in some regions of Western Europe] positioning the body as follows: hands and legs tied with rope, forcefully shutting the mouth [stuffer with garlic] and securing the head so that it won`t open, wrapping in rugs and nets
– beheading the corpse and placing the head between the legs or in a separate grave
– the body would be burn to ashes
§ After the religious ceremony was over, special arrangements were made at the grave site.
– certain items may be placed on the grave [candles, knives, daggers, wooden stakes] so that if the corpse would try to get out it would encounter obstacles and hurt itself
– an altar was made near the cross, containing: holy water, wild roses, garlic and crucifixes.
– on the paths from around the grave the family would scatter rice, pieces of garlic, wild roses and rocks from the bottom of a river.
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† Vampire Accounts