Anne Rice and The Lost Boys Turned Me Into a Blood-Sucking Vampire

A severe mental illness, combined with a vampire obsession, almost caused me to drink someone else’s blood

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After the chaos and trauma of my 30s and 40s, there were quite a few things about my life that were erased from my memory. Huge chunks of my childhood, teens, and 20s were gone, and I am only now starting to remember some events as I journey through recovery.

Sometimes, something I do or see triggers a memory. I was scrolling through Facebook yesterday and saw a comment from a friend about the movie, Interview with a Vampire when suddenly my mind flooded with snapshots from a time in my mid-20s when I courted an obsession with Anne Rice and immortal vampires.

Obsession and unmedicated psychosis almost turned me into a real blood-drinking creature of the night.

For many of us, the 1980s were a time of change and growth, where we spent much of our time absorbing the media and pop culture trying to figure out where in society we fit in.

I was running from my past, trying to escape years of religious indoctrination and undiagnosed mental illness. I was a new husband and father and was reluctantly trying to mature and be the kind of person my family could be proud of.

I was an obsessive person, latching on to people and things and overthinking every aspect of my fixations.

1987 saw me running to the theater watching The Lost Boys over and over until I had the dialogue almost memorized and had copied every nuance of David’s (Kiefer Sutherland) character.

I had the black trenchcoat and clothing, with my Dr. Marten’s knockoffs and a pentagram necklace. My hair was spiked, and I walked around always looking like I needed a shave. I copied the evil looks, malice, and air of superiority that David radiated with such ease, and convinced myself that I scared people who passed me on the street.

Obsession was so easy for me because I had voices constantly egging me on in the background of my mind. Those voices told me I was powerful and evil, and if I really wanted to be a vampire, all I had to do was believe I already was.

It was about that time that my friend, Mario, introduced me to Anne Rices’ The Vampire Chronicles, and it didn’t take me long to add the world she built to my out-of-control obsessions. I inhaled Interview with a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat. I fell in love with Lestat De Lioncourt and dreamed of situations where I was a partner in crime with the immortals.

Mario and I shared our obsessions, and when we were at work, we role-played to make the shifts go faster. He was Marius, and I was Magnus, and when we weren’t working, I would leave my wife and kids at home and run through the streets of Tucson in my black trenchcoat with Marius by my side.

When I was in bed at night, alone with my thoughts and the ever-present voices, they would do their best to convince me that if I wanted to be an immortal vampire enough, I could make it a reality.

I started picking up books on witchcraft and the magic of Aleister Crowley. Before long, I had darkened the windows of an extra room and began having ceremonies and rituals, trying to figure out the secret to immortality. Some of the more obscure rituals I found in old dusty books involved me drinking my own blood.

I had gone completely off the deep end, and the voices were loving the chaos.

I kept my activities from the notice of my wife, but I knew it wouldn’t be long before she saw the cuts on my arms and started asking about them. I wouldn’t know it until much later, but this experimentation laid the groundwork for the massive amount of self-harm I practiced in later years.

Marius (Mario) wasn’t near as deep into the whole mythology of vampires, magic, and rituals that I was, but one day we were at his house talking about the newest book in the series called Queen of the Damned and the subject of blood-drinking came up. What we wondered was whether the only thing keeping us from being real immortal vampires was that we hadn’t drunk someone else’s blood.

Then, somewhere deep inside, the sane part of me that was pushed down by the voices broke through, and as clear as day said, “Are you seriously thinking about hurting someone? How crazy are you?”

My foggy brain cleared, and I started to see things clearly for once. I began to see just how insane I had been acting. The part of me that could still reason took over and started calling the shots.

I stopped reading Anne Rice’s books. I think they are lovely, and I understand there are quite many more books in the series now, but I couldn’t bring myself to immerse myself in that world again. I did see the movies when they came out, but by that time, that mythology had ceased to have any meaning for me.

The whole situation was one of the reasons why later on, when the depression, anxiety, and voices got too unbearable, I finally saw a doctor. It would be many years before I admitted to anyone that I had hallucinations and thought harming others, but it drove me to realize I couldn’t fix what was wrong with me on my own.

I removed every bit of obsession with vampires, magic rituals, blood, and being immoral until all that was left was my black trenchcoat and leather military boots.

After all, a guy can still look cool, right?

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Writer | Essayist | Video Content Creator | Future member of the two-comma club | Dreamer - I am doing it my way and it might take a bit longer. Don't wait up.

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