02 September 2009

Vampires in South Florida

Miami: "The happy hunting ground of the devil."

South Florida sets an idyllic stage for quite a few vampire dramas in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. "Miami beckons;" she offers "victims just waiting" to be ensnared(Rice: Queen; 491). It is "the vampires' city".

What an attractive opening scene is "South Beach at sunset, in the luxurious warmth of the winterless winter, clean and thriving and drenched in electric light, the gentle breeze moving in from the placid sea, across the dark margin of cream-colored sand, to cool the smooth broad pavements full of happy mortal children" (Rice: Tale; 9). South Florida provides a paradise for all who dwell near the Atlantic shore. Vampires stroll beneath the fronds of coconut palms, silhouetted in the moonlight. From perches in al fresco cafes, they watch the scantily-clad humans as they march down the promenade. Translucent sarongs cling to the oiled thighs of women from every nation. Men, fresh from the gym and glazed in sweat, gawk at halter-bound breasts as their bearers bounce between bars and nightclubs. Miami Beach is a market for flesh--in more ways than one.

"Most people have no idea how many vampires are out there" (Mooney). In South Florida a "community of vampires" thrives. These individuals "sometimes spell [the word] vampyre to differentiate" themselves "from the fictional...forms. They identify with the lonely, torn spirits in vampire stories, but these folks are not your typical goth kids. Nor are they role playing. Some of them claim to be psychic vampires with an ability to drain energy with their minds. And some are sanguine - vampires who lust after and feed on human blood."

The community in South Florida "consists of circles of like-minded vampires and donors, often called 'black swans,' who are willing to let a vampire drink from them." And, wherever vampires thrive, vampire hunters lurk. These "slayers" are "deranged individuals who sometimes try to harm or kill the vampires" (Mooney). Inspired by tales like Van Helsing and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, these glory-seekers arm themselves with arsenals of ridiculous weapons and gallop off, unthinking, like tragic heroes. But, the "slayers" are not heroes and the vampires are not demons incarnate.

"As vampires become pop-culture icons...it's important for the public to understand the truth about this large, mostly unknown segment of society." Vampires are not necessarily devil-worshipers. "There are a lot of Christian vampires. There are Jewish vampires, Buddhist vampires, vampires of every religion. It's just about a philosophy on energy" (Mooney). "It's not Satanism, and we are not evil," declares Evan Christopher, who hosts a Vampire Gathering in Florida. In truth, most vampires of South Florida do not believe themselves to be evil, and they adhere to a strict code of ethics that protects the individuals and the community.

In Miami, the curtain opens in the real "Theatre Des Vampires," but whether you attend a comedy or a tragedy is a matter of perspective (Rice: Vampire).

Mooney, Michael J. "South Florida's underground vampires lust for more than your heart." New Times. 03 Feb 2009.

Rice, Anne. The Tale of a Body Thief.

Rice, Anne. The Queen of the Damned.


  1. Well that explains a lot...LOL! I was never at ease in South Miami Beach, especially. I found the over-exposed, over-stacked and over-built, overly ridiculous. It was a haven for the criminal element who prayed on a sumptuous feast of ready and willing flesh, flaunted for the feeding, ignorant of what or whom would be doing the consuming. An under current of violence could be felt sweeping in waves on the hot, humid and stagnant air. Being on guard, was not my idea of "fun."

    I am thoroughly enjoying this site. Great work Ana.
    FerdyV23 from Twitter.

  2. To Ferdy:
    Yes, I remember discussing clubs with you once before; if I recall correctly, you found my choices strange. In Miami Beach, it's not just the vampires that feed on flesh. Sometimes vampires are the least threatening individuals around...at least their honest about their intentions.

    Thanks for visiting, dear.