A man in Blackburn, England has been living as a vampire for 13 years. The 25-year-old named Darkness Vlad Tepes even sleeps in a custom made-to-measure coffin and drinks blood.
He has kept his vampire identity under wraps until recently, but claims that he "just wants to be treated like everyone else." Tepes, who claims he drinks cow's blood, pig's blood, and a human substitute also has a custom coffin is 6 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 55 pounds to fit Tepes' frame as he is 6 feet 6 inches tall, according to USA Today. Up until recently, he says he has not run into any problems with other people.
Darkness Vlad Tepes, who had his name legally changed, explained how he recently went out to a pub in Oswaldtwistle with friends when he was openly harassed because of the way he was dressed. "I went into the pub with two mates and a lad piped up and asked if I was abused as a child when I was young because of the way I look," Tepes says.
"I felt so ashamed and embarrassed that I would get asked such a personal question based on my choice of lifestyle," he added.
Tepes likened the experience to that of the attack on Sophie Lancaster, a teenager who was murdered because she was dressed like a Goth at a Bacup park.
Sophie's mother, Sylvia, says that she supports Tepes and that the treatment he received was "completely out of order."
Darkness states, "Everyone has their beliefs and I don't believe I should be persecuted for following mine." He continued, "it's this kind of behavior that cost the life of Sophie Lancaster in Bacup in 2007."
He reports living as a vampire for around 13 years now stating of his first experience,"I first learnt about vampires when I was 13 and growing up in Galway." He continued, " I was taking my dog for a walk through the woodlands and I saw a group of girls dressed up and I thought they were zombies. I ran home because I was scared at first, but then I became really curious. One day I found them again, and they initiated me into their coven, and I have been a vampire ever since."0comments
Tepes also explains exactly what it means to be a vampire: "To be a vampire is to believe that I have a living body but a dead soul. But I think there's a lot of preconceptions about being a vampire from films and books like Twilight or Dracula. Garlic doesn't affect me and I can quite happily walk around in the sunlight. The coffin is purely a choice option to being a vampire, it's one that I do because it feels right."
Have you ever encountered someone who identifies as a vampire?