Beware the Psychic Vampire…
Vampires are a well known breed of the undead that have plagued humankind long before Bram Stoker’s Dracula was published in 1897. Throughout history vampires have been presented as demons or devils or evil spirits recognised within superstitions of the past. The Ancient Babylonians influenced ancient Hebrew demonology with stories of the Lilitu, a demon who preyed on babies, and of the shape shifting Estries who would prowl the streets for victims to drain of blood. Images found on shattered pottery remains suggest that the Persians were one of the first civilisations to have depicted figures attempting to drink the blood of humans. The Ancient Greeks and Romans told of the bronze-footed demon daughter of Hecate (the Goddess of Witches & Crossroads) called Empusa who would transform into a beautiful woman to seduce and kill young men in order to quench her thirst for blood, and the Lamia which sucked the blood of children as they slept in bed. Different cultures around the world each have their own vampiric creatures or deities.
Modern vampires have evolved mostly from 18th century and medieval legends, with today’s writers and film makers adding their own attributes to these undead creatures of the night. While the aspect of blood drinking has been kept throughout tradition, many other variations have been attributed with vampires, such as aversion to sunlight, garlic, Holy Water and crucifixes. Methods of destroying an otherwise immortal vampire vary from a stake through the heart, exposure to UV rays, fire and decapitation. Some vampires can allegedly shape shift, and lure their unsuspecting victims often by appearing to be charming and attractive before striking.
Most accept that vampires are a subject of fiction, but what if the undertones of these legends revealed secrets concerning archetypes of real people?
Psychic vampires are very real- you may be unfortunate enough to know one, or could even have had past encounters with several. Psychic vampires could be recognised within social circles, workplaces, schools, or even lurking more closer to home within families or friendships. A vampire refers to “one who preys on the life force of others” while the term psychic encompasses matters of the mind- therefore a psychic vampire can refer someone who drains people’s time, energy or resources, thriving on conflict and negativity to fuel their own agenda. Other more recognised terms for psychic vampires include “attention seekers” or “drama queens”. Let us consider some of the well known attributes of blood-sucking vampires and explore how these might correlate with the destructive and all too familiar behavioural patterns of psychic vampires…
Blood is a precious and vital substance that vampires drain from their victims to quench their thirst and without a fairly regular supply of blood the vampire becomes weakened. Psychic vampires do not literally drink blood, nor do they rely on blood for sustenance, but they do crave constant attention from other people, demanding acknowledgement in forms of flattery, reassurance, sympathy and gratitude. Most of us will accept praise or empathy or thanks humbly from those we trust in times of need, but psychic vampires take this to the extreme and will deliberately manipulate people in order to emote these feelings from others; they may withhold the truth, twist perceptions, exaggerate situations, or lie to attain people’s concern. A child who feels neglected will often resort to inappropriate behaviour in order to be acknowledged by their guardians, as a child in these circumstances does not care if the attention it receives is positive or negative and psychic vampires follow a similar pattern often making mountains out of molehills to receive acknowledgment from others if they feel they are being ignored. The emotions from other people feed the ego of the psychic vampire who will continue to cause issues and find conflict to ensure a continuous supply of energy, lest they are starved of attention. Without the energy of others, a psychic vampire is weak and unstable, often becoming involved with self-destructive behaviours- and in extreme cases- will even be elected to become a ward of hospitals, rehabilitation centres or other institutions so that professionals within the field will acknowledge them, thus switching their energy supply from their exhausted personal networks to a clinical environment in order to be surrounded by constant support.
Vampires are parasitic by nature and appear to be attractive, charming and charismatic in order to attract their prey, which is sometimes referred to as a kind of magic glamour that allows them to go undetected within public. Psychic vampires use this tactic to allure the people around them, masking their spiteful hidden side with over-friendliness and using their persuasiveness to manipulate others. A psychic vampire, who is dependent on others for attention, will often try to make others dependent on them by emphasising their talents, skills or resources as to appear useful and essential to others. Psychic vampires may also give overly-lavish gifts to bask in gratification or to use the gift to gain hold over others in order to make the recipient feel obligated to fulfil the psychic vampire’s own needs. Favours carried out by psychic vampires are rarely out of selflessness, and the psychic vampire will either expect something in return or hold their act of kindness (as it is an “act”) over people to replenish the vibes of gratification at a later date or to make people feel guilty- it seems that one can never be free from dealings with psychic vampires, and certainly nothing comes without strings attached. Within groups, psychic vampires will often elect themselves as leaders for ultimate dominance and control or they will choose roles that are crucial to the task at hand to ensure that they will be put in a position where they can be at the centre of the project, involving themselves with every aspect.
One of the common traits of vampires is their lack of shadow or reflection which symbolises their lack of soul, having traded their mortal spirit for immortality at the price of being a vampire. This aspect can also be applicable to the psychic vampire- a lack of being able to “see” themselves and the inability to reflect internally. A psychic vampire doesn’t take responsibility for their actions, laying blame to those around them; nothing is a psychic vampire’s fault. A psychic vampire refuses to acknowledge themselves or can not see how they are being damaging and destructive. A lack of shadow could symbolically mean that a psychic vampire is often transparent with the truth shining right through them, or it could mean that the psychic vampire is a creature of shadow itself, a dark and hollow character. If their lack of reflection means that they can not see themselves as others see them, a psychic vampire’s lack of shadow means that they are also without the ability to see the darkness that they cast.
In myths a vampire’s lair is either one of two extremes- it is either a cold, dark place devoid of human necessities or comforts such as a tomb, crypt, basement/attic, or abandoned building, or, a vampire could reside in a palace of sheer luxury and prestige depending on their status and disguise. The homes of psychic vampires often reflect this theme depending on their own preference of environment- having people around their house means that they are in control of their territory while visiting the homes of others allows psychic vampires to drain resources elsewhere. If a psychic vampire’s home is dilapidated and lacking, they will prey on the generosity and pity from others who open their own homes compassionately to them. On the other hand, if a psychic vampire’s home is designed to appear be comfortable and inviting (especially with unique or exclusive features to impress) they prefer being the host for their victims, making it increasingly harder for their guests to leave by offering more luxuries, restricting transport or limiting communications with the outside world.
According to legend, vampires cannot enter a dwelling unless invited to do so by the inhabitants, and once the invitation has been extended, the vampire is then free to access the property whenever they please. This is a warning that could also apply to the psychic vampire- once you let them inside, into your home or into your social circle they can be very tricky to get rid of. Psychic vampires have a habit of dropping by unexpectedly or unannounced once your whereabouts are revealed, often out staying their welcome, intruding upon the occupants’ privacy or free time. They do not respect others’ homes as being a private sanctuary belonging to another, but as territory which they can access whenever they choose. Some psychic vampires go as far as constantly criticising the home’s interior or actually move things around, sometimes even bringing their belongings in order to gain more control of that home to mark it as their territory. Psychic vampires do have their own homes, but often visit or stay away from their own base in order to take advantage of the resources of others; if you have someone that frequently turns up around dinner time complaining how they are hungry and not able to feed themselves, and yet can somehow to afford to buy luxury items and meet their other expenses, then you’ve got a psychic vampire joining you for dinner.
Psychic vampires are people that are entirely dependent on social interactions (and reactions), and, unlike vampires of previous centuries, these modern vamps have access to technology- namely computers or phones. Psychic vampires will often incessantly text, email or call you if they cannot be in your immediate presence as this is their way of being able to gain attention from afar. Psychic vampires are likely to get annoyed if you do not respond straight away, resenting that they are not an immediate priority. Often causing a stir on social networking sites (similar to what are known online as “trolls”) psychic vampires will continually update their statuses with dramatic or cryptic messages designed to draw people to them. Like trolls, psychic vampires cause riots and chaos in forums and discussion boards, asserting their self-proclaimed superiority with deliberate provocations and controversial opinions.
Theories as to how one becomes a vampire varies throughout legends, but the fundamental method is that a vampire drinks blood from their victim who then drinks the blood of the vampire in order to turn; this exchange of bodily fluids resulting in mutation mimics how infections and viruses are spread. Socially, this could represent how a psychic vampire can infect others with their negativity, and if one puts up little resistance to their bite, one could end up a psychic vampire themselves. Poisoning people with words is a classic trait of the manipulative psychic vampire who attempts to dominate social situations, or puts themselves in the middle of others’ conflicts in order to be “mediator” so that they are in the firing line of energy between the discord of people without being the direct target of negativity.
How can we protect ourselves from psychic vampires, the social parasite? With the profound historic influence of Christianity, the concept of crucifixes and Holy Water as defensive tools against vampires was introduced. Consecrated or Holy ground, such as churches, provided sanctuaries and safe shelter from vampires. This may demonstrate that a faith with pure intentions and/or those who have strong ethics or genuine morals are able to actively defend themselves against psychic vampires in resisting the poisonous bite by continuing to hold onto their own personal beliefs, knowing better than to trust the word of a psychic vampire.
Vampires are traditionally nocturnal creatures. Exposure to sunlight is a generally effective way to destroy vampires as the UV rays cause the vampire to burst into flames or crumble into a pile of ash or turn to stone. Vampires retreat from daylight and shirk away from the sun; if the sun is a symbol of light and illumination then it can be assumed that psychic vampires also fear exposure. By remaining positive and armed with the truth, one can protect themselves from psychic vampires.
Frequency of how often a vampire needs to feed varies, but the thirst for blood is ultimately never satisfied and as long as a vampire has access to blood sources it can retain its power and function fully. As psychic vampires feeds on attention the best way to get rid of one is to starve it of attention, denying it a source of conflict or concern. If removing a vampire’s teeth or gagging a vampire prevents it from biting, consider “gagging” your psychic vampire by removing them from social networking sites, or having minimal contact with them, keeping a safe distance with firm boundaries. As difficult as it may be, one should not fuel a conflict with a psychic vampire as this is the very reaction they are looking for. Psychic vampires become weakened when their egos remain unfed, and by ignoring them one does not acknowledge them which frustrates the psychic vampire even more so.
If you suspect that you know a psychic vampire, remain calm and strong. Vampirism is its own curse, and, like vampires having to relocate their feeding ground once they have been exposed for what they are, psychic vampires will have to change their social circles, moving on to more unsuspecting people once their current acquaintances have recognised the psychic vamp’s motives, outing them as trouble maker or user. The ironic curse of the socially dependent psychic vampire is that in the end they will be alone, ultimately isolating and preventing themselves from experiencing genuine friendships and relationships.