Interview with a vampire
PORTLAND -- You've seen them in scary movies, comic books and maybe even in your nightmares, but have you ever seen a vampire in real life?
You probably have if you live in Portland.
"Generally a vampire is anything that feeds off the energy of others," says 19-year old art student and vampire, Raven.
She says only a couple of her friends know she is a vampire. Her family, even her fiance are in the dark.
"My mom's Catholic and she'd have a coronary," Raven said.
Raven claims she's a psyonic, or psychic vampire.
"Generally, most people if they have a strong emotion I can feel it from them," she says. "And that tends to be a pain."
Raven says it's both a burden and blessing. She discovered her abilities about three years ago during her "awakening," something every vampire goes through.
"It's just kind of a moment of acceptance," Raven says.
Speaking of acceptance, Raven says there are several rumors about vampires that just aren't necessarily true.
Raven says she loves garlic, and is not bothered by holy water or crosses.
"I used to be a Christian, crosses don't bother me," she says. "There are Christian vampires. I can walk into a church and it doesn't burn that bad."
What about drinking blood?
"I can feed off blood and it does give me a bit of a rush, and it does give energy," Raven explains. "But I don't really need it."
One local vampire enthusiast says she doesn't buy it. For Meredith Gilbert, its all about the fantasy.
"No. I don't believe in supernatural vampires," says Gilbert.
Gilbert has done enough research to know. She saw her first vampire movie at ten years old and has been "sucked" in ever since.
"I like the stories where people actually want to be a vampire," she says.
Gilbert reads every vampire novel and comic book she can get her hands on. She exchanges vampire-speak on-line. But she calls a "real vampire" like Raven fiction.
"If that's what she wants to believe, it doesn't hurt me any....so....she can believe what she wants," says Gilbert.
Raven wants to put Portlanders at ease.
She promises she is not going to fly across the street, or latch onto your neck. She says she's just a minority in this great big world, looking for a little understanding.
"Vampires have to get along in society," Raven says. "They have work, maintain friends, family school everything."
Raven says there are others like her in Portland, and she says she also has vampire friend in Vancouver.
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