08 August 2009

The dangers of fiction

Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars Fancy's flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole
In low pursuit;
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control
Is wisdom's root.
[Robert Burns]

Fantasy is fiction, and reality is something different. I've been telling you what angers me about vampire fiction, and now I will share why it is so dangerous.

"On 11 December 2002, 22-year-old Allan Menzies killed 21-year-old Thomas McKendrick in Fauldhouse, West Lothian, Scotland" (Pile 190). The two were childhood friends yet Menzies "bludgeoned Thomas McKendrick...about the head with a hammer and stabbed him 42 times" (Roberston). What could lead a young man to such a gruesome crime? Well, he blamed Akasha.

"Menzies told the courts that he was under instructions from the female vampire Akasha, a character in the Anne Rice novel (and film of the same name) Queen of the Damned" (Pile 190). "On the day of the killing...McKendrick had made an insulting, sexual remark about Akasha, the heroine of the film, and had asked: 'You don't really believe in vampires, do you?'" Menzies "told the jury" that Akasha "had been standing beside him in his kitchen when Mr McKendrick insulted her" (Robertson).

He asserted that the decision to defend Akasha's honor was easy because he had already "been 'ordered' to kill" a human so that he could become an immortal vampire (Robertson). "Menzies claimed" that Akasha had previously "visited him in his bedroom and promised him immortality if he killed people" (Judge).

After slaughtering his friend, Menzies "drank the blood of his victim and ate part of his head" (Robertson). He "then buried the body in a shallow grave" (Russo 64). After this "savage and merciless attack, involving gratuitous and sustained violence of a most horrific nature," he asserted that he was a "vampire and would be rewarded with immortality 'in the next life'" (Robertson).

This "man who claimed to be a vampire was branded an evil psychopath" and "he was jailed ...for the 'abominable' murder of a childhood friend" (Robertson). "During his trial, he declared he was now immortal and a vampire" (Pile 190). "The High Court in Edinburgh heard that Menzies had a sadistic trait and enjoyed violence. As a 14-year-old, he was given a three-year sentence for stabbing a fellow pupil in front of classmates." Furthermore, "Menzies was said to have a vivid fantasy life, involving Nazis, serial killers and vampires." Some psychologists blame aggravated schizophrenia for the strange and morbid hallucinations, but regardless Menzies was considered "an evil, violent and highly dangerous man" (Robertson). He was "sentenced to a minimum of 14 years" (Pile 190). In November of 2004, "Alan Menzies, the so-called 'vampire killer'," was "found dead in his cell at Shotts Prison. It is believed he took his own life" (Judge).

Was Menzies mentally unstable? The answer is clear. Characters from fantasy novels do not appear in your bedroom to deliver sinister messages, and you cannot gain immortality by following orders...it's simply not possible.

Do not blame the authors, for they only write according to their readers' demands. Instead, remember that the books are stamped -fiction-, and that authors only write snippets of their wildest imaginations. And, if you happen to run across Lestat de Lioncourt in a dark alley, walk away slowly and check for Tom Cruise's latest whereabouts.



Burns, Robert. "A Bard's Epitaph."
Judge, Ben. 'Vampire killer' found dead in cell. News.scotsman.com. 15 November 2004
Pile, Steve. Real cities.
Roberston, John. "Vampire case man jailed for 18 years." News.scotsman.com. 09 October 2003.
Russo, Arlene. Vampire Nation.


  1. I remembering hearing about this incident! It is very tragic and sad. Anne Rice's books have about as much truth in them as Dr. Suess, and so, it is horrible that people who cannot tell reality from fantasy interpret badly written fiction for truth.

    As always, a great read!

  2. Well Lance, this is nothing new. People have been believing in many deities for centuries. Are any of them not fictitious? I hope not, but it's doubtful. People are more than willing to escape from reality.

  3. this sort of thinks happens all to often, i remember a case from florida were a group of kids killed a family for their blood, claiming the group leader was a vampire and needed the blood.

  4. This reminds me of the story of a man being bit by another man and how some people though that he was a zombie. The crazy guy was exhibiting zombie-like qualities. He was moaning and had his hands out in front of him, and he tackled the other guy to the ground and bit a chunk out of his arm then proceeded to eat it x.x