- Autovampirism: the individual drinks his own blood, often by biting or cutting himself, or picking scabs
- Zoophagia: the individual eats live animals or drinks their blood
- True Vampirism: the individual solely focuses on the blood of other humans and may resort to crime to obtain the blood. The sources of blood may be stolen from blood banks or hospitals or may be direct from other people. In the most extreme cases clinical vampires may commit violent crimes including murder to feed their craving.
“True vampires” believe that blood is a life force they need and through its ingestion they will gain immortality. Additionally, individuals with Renfield’s Syndrome often associate blood with sexual excitement and fantasies. A sexual fetish for licking or drinking blood through bloodletting or biting is called hematolagnia. The disorder is typically sparked by an event in childhood in which the sufferer associates the sight or taste of blood with excitement. It is during puberty that the feelings of attraction to blood become sexual in nature.
In order for a crime to be considered a vampire crime, the drinking of blood or the desire to drink blood must be the major motive. There are four known reasons while self proclaimed vampires commit crime: the sexual pleasure derived from drinking blood; involvement in a vampire cult ritual; mental illness (Renfield’s Syndrome); or under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs (bath salts). Vampire crimes are obviously very rare, but there have been some notable cases. Take the case of Richard Case, dubbed "The Vampire of Sacramento". In 1977 Chase murdered six people in a span of one month. After shooting his victims he drank their blood and cannibalized their remains. Two years earlier he had been hospitalized after injecting rabbit and dog blood into his veins. Chase was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and committed suicide in prison. Just last year, Lyle Monroe Bensley, a 19 year-old Texas man, was arrested after breaking into a woman's apartment and biting her neck. Once in custody, he told police that he was a 500 year-old vampire who needed to be restrained because he “needed to feed” but didn't want to hurt anybody. Look at this way; vampirism represents just another in the line of duty occupational hazard for law enforcement!
So What Happens if You Drink Human Blood?
In case you need some more reasons why drinking blood is not good a good idea…
First of all, if you drink the blood of a person who is infected with HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or other blood borne diseases you will be at significant risk for acquiring the same. And while a “little taste” of blood won’t hurt you, heavy consumption can lead to heart disease, liver failure, and even cancer. Blood is rich in iron, and in high doses is toxic. Untreated hemochromatos (iron overload) can be fatal. Chances are pretty high that you will not achieve immortality by drinking anyone’s blood (or eating anyone’s organs).
So back to the first question, what do you do with a vampire. Obviously, protecting yourself, the public, and the purported vampire from harm, injury or death is your primary responsibility. You are not going to be able to convince a delusional vampire of anything. Don’t even try; you will probably just agitate him/her further, potentially escalate the situation, and increase the risk for violence. Nobody wants to deal with an aggressive vampire! Contrary to vampiric folklore, clinical vampires do respond to pepper spray, tasers, and “lead” bullets. There is absolutely no need for your department to supply you with wooden stakes, silver bullets, holy water, mirrors, or garlic as part of your protective gear. I am not sure if spit socks are of any use or not. There are certainly some vampires who need emergency medical treatment. Others will fare just fine in jail or prison, but should perhaps be housed alone.
Trick or Treat?