VAMPIRES. They can suck your blood or drain your psychic energy, kill you or turn you into one of them.
Or so the stories say.
But the growing interest in stories like the Twilight saga could see “real” vampires emerge from the underground and into the daylight.
University of Western Sydney Associate Professor Adam Possamai, who specialises in sociology of religion, said the growing number of “vampires” was an example of hyper-real religions - new faiths that draw
on religion, philosophy and popular culture to create their own beliefs.
He said people had been interested in vampires since the 1970s, particularly the super-human abilities of vampires.
“Some groups developed and have become quite active on the internet,” he said.
“Dracula has become a modern-day gothic Buddha.”
The Twilight books and movies have attracted a new generation of vampires, different from those that have come before.
While the Anne Rice novel Interview with the Vampire attracted a gothic interest in vampires, the different style in Twilight could see different groups building up.
“The Twilight vampires don’t hide in coffins or catacombs, and seem to spend most of their life in high school,” Prof Possamai said.
“I don’t know which one is worse.
“The Twilight vampires walk in daylight and are very near people. They’re not the monster withdrawn from society.”
Prof Possamai has written Sociology of Religion for Generation X and Y which explores hyper-real religions, including vampirism, Jediism (inspired by Star Wars) and the Church of Satan.
EIGHT=PACK PULLS FANS
WITH the hold of the vampire expected to spread as Twilight’s popularity grows, an opposing force could soon be seen.
Widespread wolf packs could be part of the future; not just ordinary wolves, more like the popular Jacob Black from the series.
This could be especially true if 12-year-olds Raychel White and Breanna Swinnerton have anything to do with it.
Both girls, who were among the school holiday crowd watching Eclipse at Hoyts Penrith on Tuesday, think there are people who believe in the existence of vampires and werewolves, and both would like to become a
werewolf - admittedly mostly to check out Jacob’s “eight-pack” all day.
“I think there are people who change from human form to the form of another, or who think they can,” Raychel said.
Breanna said she thought vampires were “sort of” real.
“I reckon there are probably real vampires,” she said.
Jamee Ball, 15, said while she had never read the books, she did enjoy the movies.
“I watched New Moon (on Monday) and thought I’d like watching Eclipse because (her friend Natasha Collimore) wanted to come,” she said.
“I’m not obsessed or anything. I love Taylor Lautner (Jacob).”