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There are many terms I have not included here - they are mainly pertaining to diseases (in which case they would be covered under medical links in the awakening page of the vamp support section in this site) or would be terms that are typically exclusively used in houses/groups/organizations and don't appear to be in common use elsewhere in the realvamp community. There are other sites out there that include such terms, however I don't plan to add the terms in here because they don't apply to what I cover on my site, the exception being terms that are alternates for ones that I do cover. I am also not including terms that are *primarily* used by role-players. I recognize some of them may seem applicable, but there's still the appropriateness test.

This list originally received a starting boost from Sanguinarius' own lexicon, but all expansion, rewording, clarification, additions and maintenance on this list is done by me.



The process of awakening, while used here to refer to anyone who's discovered their vampiric nature, can also refer to someone who's "true" nature is something other than mundane human, but yet not vampiric. Those who consider themselves were-creatures or, for instance, elves, dragons and the like, can also go through a period of awakening. The effects on an individual will vary - no two people go through awakening in exactly the same way, though there may be similarities between members of any awakened type. For instance, those who awaken to their vampiric nature will commonly experience photosensitivity, gradually switching to a nocturnal sleeping schedule, and other similar effects, while those that awaken to other natures may experience part of a different group of effects.

Sometimes, this will simply refer to the process by which the person becomes aware of their vampiric nature, but does not involve many physical changes, if any happen at all. The "characteristics" may already be there - photosensitivity, etc - but the person may simply be unaware of the underlying cause until this point. How well it proceeds in this case depends on the individual's mindset towards it. The awareness may be gradual, a slow process over a varying time period, or sudden if it is sparked by some traumatic event.

Someone asked me in an e-mail if I was sure there are people who are elves, dragons and the like. Well, all I can say is I'm sure that *they're* sure of it. This is not my judgment call to make - I can't verify it online, and I haven't met any of them in person. As long as nobody involved is a menace to society, what they consider themselves to be makes no difference to me. I'm not exactly in a position to throw stones from my glass house, since a large portion of *them* don't believe vampires exist either.

Many experience acute feelings of isolation and alienation during this process, as their new awareness of their inner nature seemingly distances them increasingly from their "normal" family and friends while they adjust. It is normal to experience this, however you do NOT have to let it distance yourself if you don't want it to! You just have to learn what to keep hidden when dealing with non-vampires.


Drinking one's own blood instead of blood from a donor or other source. This is NOT a recommended practice because while it seems to reduce the current cravings or bloodlust, when they come back it is often worse than before.


The primal, instinctive, animalistic, bestial nature of the vampire. This is part-and-parcel of any vampire's nature, not just those that are frustrated from not feeding recently. It can be destructive and cold, and if you don't control it, then you will be under its control. This is different from just "vamping out" but that is when it's most likely to manifest. Depending on the control the individual has, there may be a facial expression ranging from merely aloof to obviously Hungry/Thirsty.

I've seen mentioned on a few message boards how this is primarily a role-player term. I will grant that it's original source is White Wolf....HOWEVER....I feel this term is applicable *anyway* for two reaons - (1) a large number of people are using it in spite of it's RPG source, and (2) when "the beast" is the primary influence at that time, the person's usual sense of calm and reasoning abilities are not exactly up to par - i.e., one of the factors that set people apart from animals said to be the ability to reason - lose some or all of this ability (among others) and the person is said to become more bestial. In other words, I view this as a catchall reference to the mental state, not intended to refer to any role-playing thing.

This does not mean the person is any less "themselves", only that their control is lacking (hence seeming animalistic to outsiders). The person is not particularly *different* as much as *uncontrolled* to various degrees. There is a difference.

Other terms: Hunger, Thirst


See "vampdar" below. This term appears to be used primarily by House Kheperu, and those that share Kheperu's methods of operation. This term is a little more "classy" than mine, but can be confusing to people who aren't familiar with it.
Source: Originally, House Kheperu, but is starting to see more frequent usage elsewhere


A set of common sense guidelines intended to cover the vampiric community. I have not had previous versions on my site because of how closely they resembled White Wolf's "traditions" from Vampire: The Masquerade, and the associated "These look like RPG materials" baggage some people can't get over. I've always felt they were sensible guidelines (once you got past the pretentious writing) because essentially they boil down to "don't do anything stupid or obvious", "don't piss people off", etc. :) The current (2003) revision is far enough away from the V:TM-like original that I now have a copy here.


Rumored underground vampire havens, which have a members-only and very secretive policy. They are only open to properly initiated (usually through a group) members of the community, if then. It is said they serve stored blood and/or have willing donors who provide blood over a bar. Certainly if they exist they are only a part a of a local population's group. I have been unable to personally verify the existence of these, I'm only mentioning them because they come up occasionally in conversation.


Anyone who drinks blood, regardless of motivation.


Someone who is erotically attracted to the sight, taste or smell of blood; they generally have no physical need to consume it, only to "play with it a little" and will usually be happy with small amounts. Blood-fetishism is often accompanied by other sexual fetishes, such as sadism and masochism, and the blood is usually taken during sexual or fetish play, as in a bondage or domination scene.


My general term for any vampire requiring blood in their diet. It is meant to be descriptive about the feeding style without leaving any doubt to anyone new to the concept. I use this term throughout my site in MY writings so that people understand what I am referring to.

Other terms: Blood-drinker, Sanguinarian, Sanguine, probably another half-dozen or so...


A psychological condition, such as Renfield's Syndrome, in which the afflicted person experiences a psychological urge to drink blood. This urge is often satisfied with their own blood, and sufferers of clinical vampirism typically bear slashes from razors and knives up and down their arms from where they have drawn blood from themselves. Particularly sociopathic forms of clinical vampirism drive sufferers to attack and sometimes (although rarely) even kill other people in order to drink their blood. A related condition is known as SMS, or Self-Mutilation Syndrome. This newly named pathology is becoming alarmingly common in American youths. Sufferers of SMS, often known as "cutters", feel the need to cut into their flesh and watch themselves bleed. Some sufferers of SMS also drink the blood drawn out this way, although this is not standard for the disease. Most sufferers of SMS are redirecting feelings of anger, frustration, inadequacy, or emotional pain onto their bodies.

For all the mention I've seen of this on various websites, it has - so far - proven impossible to find mention of it on genuine medical sites or in genuine medical publications. So it's quite possible this this is an "urban legend", spread around because "it sounds good". Nonetheless, it is here because of how frequently it gets mentioned in other places.

Other terms: Renfield's Syndrome


Means the same thing that it means for Gays (except they come out of the closet...). It involves being open or frank with people about being a vampire and all that it entails. Those who have come out in this way do not hide their lifestyle at all, not even in their daily lives. Many people in the vampiric community choose to be "in the coffin" and are not public about their lifestyle outside of the community or scene or private live due to work and/or family issues. After all, we are seen as [sarcasm] either delusional or a menace to public safety. [/sarcasm] (This is the same public, mind you, that thinks a rising crime rate or the latest serial murderer is not front page news. Yes, there are more important things they could be worrying about. No, it's not fair. But we have to deal with it anyway.)
Source: In common usage


Someone who gives/shares their blood or life-energy, without obligation. Many donors prefer to offer themselves to just one vampire, but some donors will offer of themselves to entire groups of vampires, provided they are appreciated and not abused. This can often be an intimate relationship, but is not required to be the case.

Other terms: Source, Supplier (??)


When used with it's proper definition, this is a member of the vampire community who is known and respected for their experience and knowledge. An elder is often a mentor, someone who's willing to take the time to explain things to others so that they know what to expect or know how to behave in situations that come up. A wise elder is open to acquiring new knowledge, for the sake of being able to pass it on to those that need it, even if they don't need the information themselves.

This is often used in organizations as well, and does not necessarily mean the same thing as I have set it here. I have seen websites set up for "House/Order such-and-such", but the quality of the site content, and the spelling and grammar used in the content, will often give the impression that the webmaster/group isn't that familiar with either the real vampire community, or the concepts of how to deal with one's inner self.

It has been pointed out that my definition here does not include anything about "leadership".

There's a very good reason for that. In my experience, a lot of the people who classify themselves as a "leader" of this or that (not just within the community) are MUCH more interested in what they themselves have to say, and much LESS interested in what OTHER people have to say. (And besides, if you have a group FULL of leaders....who's doing the following?)

Wisdom is being able to accept that someone else - whether older or younger - may have more information than you do on a particular topic, or that the information they have may provide a much needed understanding that you currently lack. Different people have different backgrounds and thus different pools of knowledge that can be shared.


A psivamp that (pretty exclusively) feeds off natural energy sources such as lightning storms, electricity, etc. This is a fairly new (2003) term that I've seen becoming popular. In my personal opinion, I would categorize this as a subcategory of psychic vampire, since it's all energy anyway. :)

See also: Psychic Vampire, below


These individuals often have a histrionic or narcissistic personality disorder and they are constantly drawing attention to themselves. They usually create dramatic situations and then demand emotional support from those around them. These individuals are emotional vampires. There is nothing metaphysical or spiritual in their condition, it is a simple psychological disorder. Yet it leaves the victims of these clingy, whiny people emotionally and mentally drained after dealing with them. This is a social issue, not a vampiric one (i.e., "drama queens", etc.) so generally these types of people are not to be confused with psivamps; although it IS possible for a psivamp to exhibit this character flaw, non-vamps can have it as well.

Other terms: Psychological vampirism


The act of consuming blood (or, in the case of psi / energy vampires, energy) from a donor or other blood source.


The Hunger is both a psychological and physical sensation. Physically, it manifests as an intense hunger or thirst -- but is not satisfied by food or drink. Psychologically, a vampire in the throes of the Hunger feels agitated and empowered at the same time. Pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, and sometimes even body temperature, increase in anticipation of the act of feeding.

Other terms: Thirst, Need, Beast


Term used to refer to a vampire who feeds both via blood and energy. One school of thought says all vampires are capable of this, however I have seen postings on lists by people who swear they can only feed via one method or another.

Other terms: dual-fueler (used infrequently)


Usually used to refer to someone that hunts, stalks, threatens, or does harm (whether it be physical, psychical, psychological, or emotional) to someone because s/he is a vampire, or because the hunter believes them to be so; or which gathers information to report those who are vampires. A hunter in this case may not be mentally stable - but it is also possible that they may be. They are convinced that vampires are evil and must be killed or destroyed. The best way to deal with them is through the law - report them for stalking and intended bodily harm.

Other terms: Slayer (used often by people who've watched Buffy), Hortontite (from sarasvati)


A vampire who is not aware of his/her inner nature yet. They may not have explored this for a variety of reasons, or they may simply not be ready to understand. It is not advised to "awaken" other vampires, because sometimes there is a reason for them not being aware of it. For example, they may have expressed some tendencies in childhood, but due to family life or environment (i.e., heavily religious fundamentalism), had to "bury" it while growing up. A situation like this can be the result of a survival reflex, and it's best not to interfere. If you are concerned, simply be there and be known to them so that if they start asking the right questions, there's someone there to give them the answers they need.


     1.) A small, bloodsucking worm
     2.) An incredibly rude term to call someone who is a vampire.


Person who assists and guides people who are new being a vampire, or who are unfamiliar with real vampire concepts in general. This is generally used to refer to one-on-one interaction, usually via e-mail or instant messenger, but can also be in person or via other methods online such as IRC, running a website or community. Mentors are teachers by habit or choice, but not necessarily leaders.

One sign of a good mentor is that they will not force their opinions or methods upon you, but rather provide you with information and let you make up your own mind, while answering questions that you may have.

See also: Elder


A romanian term used to denote "living vampire". This was proposed by the Scarlet Moon Organization in 2000 as a substitute for "vampire" to eliminate some of the preconceived ideas people have when hearing "the V-Word". However, it has not caught on, and thus is not in common usage yet (as of 2009).


Term used (in this usage) to distinguish those who are not vampires from those who are. (Using "mundane" to describe people not involved in a particular subculture or interest genre is fairly common - such as the Society for Creative Anachronisms referring to anyone not in the SCA - even if you're not used to the idea.) This is more accurate and less derogatory than "mortal" or "human", and serves to distinguish those who are merely living normal, mundane lives unencumbered with vampirism. I, personally, try to advocate use of "mundane" over other terms as it sounds less degrading. Kinda difficult to convince someone you're fairly harmless when you're insulting them in the process. :)

I proposed this back around 1998 or 1999 on Sanguinarius' old forum, and it seems to have caught on. You can read more details over here.


At it's most basic, this is aperson who self-identifies as something other than a "normal" human. It is often debated whether "otherkin" includes vampires or not, I don't know whether that's because many vampires consider themselves human as well, or for some other reason. Some otherkin get positively antagonist at the idea of including vampires in the definition. :/ While vampires are probably the most commonly findable on the 'net, this term also includes people who self-identify as elves, dragons, were-creatures/therians, etc.


Someone pretending or claiming to be a vampire who is not, with the intent of deceiving others by making false claims as to their powers, abilities, lifespan, etc. They may simply be bored people "out to have a little fun", or they may actually believe their claim but come up with reasons why they can't prove it if you happen to meet them in person. In the past there have been many roleplayers who come along doing exactly this, which is why role-players in general tend to be given the "cold shoulder" until people get to know them better.


Someone who "drains" life-energy (prana, chi, life-force, etc.) rather than blood from others. Most energy vampires feed upon chi or pranic energy and avoid drinking blood. Some intermingle energy vampirism with blood-drinking. Also referred to as psi-vamps, most energy vampires exhibit the same characteristics that distinguish other real vampires, including light sensitivity, a nocturnal lifestyle, and periods of the Hunger or Thirst. Not infrequently, psi-vamps may also experience the Thirst in varying degrees of intensity, and in fact, there are many similarities in condition between the psi-vamps and the sanguinarians, with the main difference being, so far as I can see, the psi-vamps' need/ability to drain energy.

Other terms: Energy vampire, psyvamp, psivamp, Elemental vampire, Prana/Pranic vampire


Someone who has a condition which includes, but is not limited, to a physical thirst / driving need for blood (which is non-erotic in nature; and in more significant quantity than is generally required or desired by recreational blood-drinkers) and/or psychic energy. Such a person also tends to have increased physical and/or psychic sensitivities, sensitivity to light (especially sunlight) and a tendency towards a nocturnal sleep cycle.

Many vampires believe the condition does include the potential for an indefinitely long lifespan, but this belief has not been irrefutably proven, to the best of my knowledge. Many vampires can and do maintain a youthful appearance as they get older, this can be for a variety of reasons. It does NOT, however, include the abilities to change shape, fly, heal instantaneously, accomplish superhuman feats of strength or speed, etc.

Source: Vyrdolak, from VAMPYRES-L in the 1990's
Other terms: Sanguinarian, sanguivore, Moroii, psyvamp, psivamp, strigoi vii, and several others...


     1.) A vampire/blood-drinker's former donor who parts company on hostile terms and causes trouble;
     2.) A vampire who can't handle things and becomes violent and/or irresponsible, posing a danger/threat to both self and others.


Someone who engages in role playing games (RPGs). Due to the overwhelming prevalence of role-players online who get real vampires confused with their role-playing universe, this has come to be used as a derogatory term for those who play Vampire: The Masquerade/Vampire: The Requiem or similar vampire RPGs and/or who pretend to be a vampire in their free time when they really are not.

Not all role-players fit in this derogatory category...and some role-players ARE real vampires (because it's a convenient way to relieve some of the stress of hiding that aspect of themselves, while still hiding it.) They may play V:TM/V:TR or they may play different games - don't judge all role-players by the few, the annoying, the trolls on the boards and lists. :)

As a roleplayer myself (of the Dungeons & Dragons variety) I can easily understand the fascination and interest in playing vampire characters. Actually being vampiric will add.....extra depth to the character roleplay. :)


Someone who has a physical thirst / need / craving for blood (which is non-erotic in nature) in more significant or more frequent quantity than is generally required or desired by other (recreational/fetish) blood-drinkers. This is an alternate term used to avoid the stereotyping associated with the word "vampire", and it is specifically NOT used to include psivampirism.

Sanguinarians apparently do not get the benefits from pranic energy, or else for some reason they are unable to feed psychically like psi / energy vampires. At this time (2009) I am unable to tell why.

Other terms: Sanguin, Sanguine, and often abbreviated to just "sang", which can be confusing when seen out of context.


This is a name, not a description. Sanguinarius is the one and only person behind and it's related services such as the associated IRC channel and message board.

I have seen people posting on lists or message boards saying "I'm a sanguinarius" - their usage is incorrect, what they mean is "sanguinarian" (see above).


A term that pops up now and then, used to define sanguinarians who have primarily or exclusively a blood-based diet. I have not met any these people personally to know how much of the diet the blooddrinking typically covers, so I cannot give any further details or verification. Such claims are not always taken seriously online.

Possible source: It was pointed out that it may have originated from the Vampirella comics in the 1990's.


A psychological condition which has apparently begun to grow among American youth. Sufferers of SMS, also known as cutters, feel the need to cut into their flesh and watch themselves bleed. Some sufferers of SMS also drink the blood drawn out this way, although this is NOT standard for the disorder. Most sufferers of SMS are redirecting feelings of anger, frustration, inadequacy, or emotional pain onto their bodies, and use the cutting as a means of distracting themselves from these feelings.

I have links for SMS information and support over on the Personal Issues page.


A form of psychic vampirism where feeding is done primarily from sexual energy, with or without the exchange of blood. The feeding can be done intentionally or unconsciously / unintentionally. A common term for vampires who feed exclusively through sex is Succubus, a word which originally denoted a Mediaeval demon which was believed to visit the dreams of men and tempt them into sexual misconduct. The male version of the word, although not as widespread, is Incubus.

Other terms: Incubus, Succubus


See "Black Veil", above.


See "Hunger", above.


Someone (usually on the message boards or in a chatroom) who deliberately causes a disturbance by making comments of a derogatory or slanderous nature, designed to irritate everyone. The person doesn't care who s/he is angering with their comments, only that they are making essentially a public nuisance of themselves and getting attention. Most boards have a "Do Not Feed The Trolls" policy in effect, even if it's not followed - the reason is because if you pretend the troll isn't there, 9 times out of 10 they'll go away, frustrated that they couldn't annoy everyone else.


Experiencing an acute flare-up of symptoms generally involving a change in the person's manner, breathing, pulse rate, and thought patterns acompanied with an increase in sensitivity of senses. This causes a person to seem more primal and animalistic. Also see "Vamping out", below
Source: LadySlinky, from Sanguinarius' message boards


Sort for "vampire radar", a variation on "gaydar", used to describe the feeling a realvamp gets when meeting another realvamp. Experienced vampires - experienced in this case meaning only that they've met enough other real vamps live and in person - are able to tell when they meet another vampire, and this is the best way to describe it to non-vamps. The effect is not something easily described, as it is experienced in different ways by different people. This is more common among unaffiliated individuals with a strong sense of humor than among anyone affiliated with groups or other organizations.

Other terms: Beacon


Experiencing an acute flare-up of the Thirst. This also involves a change in the person's manner, breathing, pulse rate, thought patterns, etc., as their body gears up to attempt to go out and satisfy the Thirst. This is a real thing, not a fantasy thing. The Beast tends to be much more noticeable while vamping out, as control tends to be more difficult.

This happens when something sets off a psychological trigger of some sort, and then the Thirst kicks in on a larger or unexpected scale. (Usually it's more unexpected than suddenly increasing.) Different things will trigger it in different people, quite often it's the sight/smell of blood, and happens more often when the vamp is Thirsty.

Other terms: Beasting, Twoofing


Also referred to as "The V-Word". Stereotypes, bad spellings and all, this is the term that (at least currently) best describes people who feel they need to drink blood or drain energy to thrive. Many people get the wrong impression from this term so some prefer to use "sanguinarian" (see above) instead to give them a chance to explain without the other person freaking out.


The art and style associated with the (stereotypical, usually American) vampire. This includes figures with long, slender limbs and pale or bone-white skin, androgynous beauty, Victorian or Medieval styles and themes, trappings of lace and velvet, funerary décor, and overall dark and melancholy themes. Scenes of crypts, abandoned castles, and shadowy landscapes abound in artwork that appeals to the vampire aesthetic. There is some crossover between the vampire aesthetic and the lifestyler crowd (described below) and the goth subculture simply because of similar tastes in music, but don't *ever* make the mistake of thinking that goth = vampire, unless the person you're talking to happens to be both, because non-vampiric goths tend to get really really pissed at the misconception.


A poser or wannabe who is just screaming or whining for a vampire to come after them. (What they get may be an entirely different situation than what they hope for or expect...) This is one of a few derogatory terms for someone who wants to become a vampire; they usually have unrealistic expectations of what it would be like. Most have a very romanticized vision of vampirism, and they seem to think it would improve their lives somehow or make them more interesting. Many are attracted by a false vision of a vampire's powers. They usually fail to look at the practical side of becoming a vampire, such as necessary changes in lifestyle, finding sources to feed from, and trying to hold a job (and thus be able to pay the bills) while balancing one's vampiric nature with daily life.

Other terms: Vamp-a-bee (from usenet alt.vampyres / alt.culture.vampyres), Wannabe


Someone who incorporates fictional vampire imagery and trappings into his/her daily personal life, often cultivating a "Vampiric" physical appearance (including but not limited to a very pale complexion, a wardrobe made up predominantly of dark clothing, a style of dress which is modeled on Victorian or Renaissance fashions, black or blood-red lipstick, sunglasses, fangs, special effects contacts, etc) or decor in their living space, and perhaps a melancholy or gloomy attitude.

Lifestylers often form alternative extended families and social structures modeled on the "covens" or "clans" of vampire fiction and role-playing games. Many also utilize terminology taken from vampire fiction and RPGs. Some are real vampires in the sense of craving blood - and consider this method of living to be "celebrating" or "embracing" their vampiric nature - while others are blood fetishists or recreational blooddrinkers and still others are just drawn to the looks and appearance alone, perhaps as a means to try to appear "cool" to their friends. This is not to say real vampires cannot be lifestyles - only that not all lifestylers are real vampires.

Some use the "vampyre" spelling with an attempt at more "class". I prefer not to because it seems too pretentious. It is hotly debated in some circles as to WHAT the "vampyre" spelling implies over the normal "vampire" spelling.


A game company that produces the game "Vampire, the Masquerade" (usually abbreviated as "V:TM"), "Werewolf: the Apocalypse", and several others. They can be very interesting games if you're into that sort of thing, but leads to game-related terminology in use by people who see this as their only exposure to the concept of vampires, werecreatures, and other non-human beings. Their game setting is called the "World of Darkness" and makes the assumption that the supernatural has a much greater impact on people's lives than it does in reality. (Well, at least *I* haven't heard stories of 8' werewolves and random vampire attacks outside of journalistic sensationalism and the Weekly World News...) The game itself IS interesting, however too many people use it as an excuse to blur the lines between reality and fantasy (i.e., "I'm *really* a member of clan <Brujah/Gangrel/Ventrue/etc.>"), and that's not a good thing.

Related terms: World of Darkness / WOD, Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and lots lots more...


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