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Vampire Guide 502: What is the Cause of Vampirism?
A look at several of the common theories on the net

Unfortunately, no one knows the reason, or "cause" of vampirism. It's all just speculation and personal theory. It generally falls into the following categories (which I've attempted to give a brief overview of with the factors going for and against the theory):

  • Genetic This theory says that a vampire is a vampire because there is a vampiric "gene" which makes a person biologically different from people without this/these gene(s). Were this true, it would probably be very recessive so it can "lurk" in family lines and show up out of the blue (like red hair in a family with all brunettes), but also why it can seem to always show up in lines as well (coming from a vampiric grandmother, father, and having a vampiric child for example).

Pros: Explains the commonly reported physiological differences, sensitivities, and physical reactions  that many vampires have. (see Vampire Guide 301) Could also account for differences in ability to digest blood.

At this time, it's completely improvable. Additionally, pending on the radical nature of such differences, the question of being a sub-species comes into play. There can not be too much difference or else people of this "sub-species" would be unable to breed with "normal" humans and this is known to be possible.

  • Spiritual/Soul This theory says the vampiric person possesses a non-human soul; a soul which is contained within a human body, but is vampiric in origin. Similar in thoughts to that of most types of "otherkin." Most who follow this theory, do in fact term themselves a type of otherkin. (see What are Otherkin? and the sister site, Embracing Mystery for more on otherkin specifically) Generally, the nature of the vampiric soul is seen to stay dormant until the body is done with it's "normal" developments, at which point, a secondary wave of changes occur, bringing on the Awakening to their "true," inner nature.

Pros: Some use a secondary genetic backing for this theory, speculating that the soul/spirit does in fact modify the genetic code in some (unknown/unexplained) ways to better force the human body to accommodate the vampiric needs such as digestion of blood, better predatory senses, etc. This would also account for the specific common physiology and sensitivities. (see Vampire Guide 301)

Cons: Certainly improvable now and for the foreseeable future. Does not specifically address the tendency for some vampires to come from family with vampiric lines (though some speculate that vampiric souls would be drawn to suitable bodies and therefore, stay oftentimes in families which have appropriate genetic lines). 

  • Parasitic/Symbiotic Entity This theory states that the vampiric person is actually a host to a completely separate entity. The person is fully human in soul/spirit and genetics, but there is a secondary life form within the host body (either parasitic or symbiotic depending on point of view). Many people who uphold this theory do in fact believe the condition to be "curable" by the removal of the entity, though some believe it to be fatal to the host (as they are now linked). Those who offer this "cure" usually expect a high price for their services.

Pros: This separate entity would cause drastic changes to hosts body and brings on pluses and minuses such as increased healing for the host, but a need to ingest blood. Would either override the genetic theory by saying the DNA of the entity would be enough to alter the host body and/or the entity would be able to alter directly the host's DNA to bring on vampiric characteristics. (see Vampire Guide 301)

Cons: No explanation for how this entity would come to be in a person in the first place; no reasoning for the age of "awakening" to be similarly found at late teens/early twenties, no reason for it showing up in family lines.

  • Damaged/Missing Charkas; Energy Deficiencies; etc. This theory states a vampiric person is born with a "metaphysical" disorder which requires supplemental sources such as blood. This again is commonly seen as "cure-able" or "fixable" pending on the specifics of the theory (some see a missing charka, while others simply see it as blocked or damaged which can be repaired).

Pros: Better explains the needs of psychic vampires and the constant need to pull ambient energies. Can be seen as a genetic damage which would run in family lines but might not always show up.

Cons: Doesn't truly explain any commonly seen vampiric characteristics (see Vampire Guide 301) ; doesn't explain need for blood ingestion; doesn't explain remaining dormant until late teens/early 20's; doesn't really explain link within family lines; doesn't offer much in the way of cause of initial contraction of blockage/damage.

  • Virus or other outside pathogen This theory states there is a virus or other similar biological explanation for a vampire-like disease/condition which is contracted (somehow) and which either alters the physiology of the person, or causes cascading changes in some unknown ways ("retrovirus" is a common term seen in connection with this theory).

Pros: Might explain showing up in "out of the blue" in families for which there are no other vampiric people; might support the vampiric genetic theory in that the virus would cause changes leading to common vampiric characteristics (see Vampire Guide 301) .

Cons: This would make it seem transferable or "catch-able" when it's not; doesn't explain for people getting "exposed" to it who know no other vampiric people; states basically that this virus is either manufactured {there are many sites out there with references to "V5" but this is FICTION and was created as hype for a British TV SHOW}, or is some sort of retrovirus which causes cascade changes to the infected person's DNA. It's been used by a TV show for marketing, and has additionally been used frequently as a "conspiracy theory" of government wrong-doing leaving very little actual credence.

Most of these theories are only that - guesses. Many of these theories don't really stand up to critical thinking and process. Several of these theories are populated and their appeal is increased by various books/movies/other fictional usage of similar explanations.

The short answer is there is no "right" answer at the moment. To each their own truth. There may not even be a single "cause" for vampirism and there might be varying "types" of it which all look outwardly similar, but are caused by different reasons. Until and unless people with these collective traits who take on the term "vampire" or "vampiric" or "sanguinarian" allow themselves to be seriously studied in controlled, scientific groups, there's not going to be a definitive answer.

Read any site you want and research other's opinions, however, take it all with a grain of salt and make your own thoughts and theories.


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