If you're interested in various subcultural or community studies, the Vampirism & Energy Work Research Study (VEWRS/AVEWRS), sanguinarian and/or psychic vampirism, or the vampire community in general you will want to purchase a copy of this book. There hasn't been anything quite like this published before... a very different kind of text/approach than that of Ramsland, Guiley, Guinn, and others.
The academic and sociological significance of this work can't be underscored enough. Laycock offers a sweeping scholarly examination of the vampire community and the process of self-identification as a vampire. He counters many of the negative stereotypes of the vampire community and posits thought-provoking arguments regarding ontological diversity. Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vampires-Today-Truth-Modern-Vampirism/dp/0313364729/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230149021&sr=1-1
Praeger Publishers: http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/C36472.aspx
Religion Dispatches Article: http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/rdbook/1438/modern_vampires%3A_your_neighbors_and_spouses/?page=1
Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampirism Additional Notes: The author holds a Masters of Divinity from Harvard University, a recipient of a grant from the Pluralism Project, and currently enrolled in the Division of Religious and Theological Studies at Boston University where he's working on his PhD. He has presented on the topic of vampirism at the American Academy of Religion Conference in San Diego where he argued that "vampirism" should not be classified as a new religious movement (NRM) and to faculty at the University of Michigan and other institutional bodies on the sociological and emergent scientific aspects of vampirism.
Chapter 1: What Is a Vampire? or, The Varieties of Vampiric Experience
Chapter 2: Why Vampires?
Chapter 3: The Vampire Milieu
Chapter 4: Initiatory Vampire Groups: Vampirism as Apotheosis
Chapter 5: The Vampire Community
Chapter 6: Vampirism and Religion, a Dialogue
Chapter 7: Out of the Shadows
Chapter 8: Vampires and the Modern
Bibliography & Index
Vampires are not just the stuff of folklore and fiction. This book explores the modern world of vampirism in all its variety.
Around the globe, untold numbers of people are identifying as "vampires" and following the ways of "vampirism." But what does it mean to be a vampire? Is vampirism a religion? Is it a fantasy? Is it a medical condition? Based upon extensive interviews with members of the Atlanta Vampire Alliance and others within vampire communities throughout the United States, Vampires Today looks at the many expressions of vampirism.
In the past two decades, modern vampirism has come under increased study, yet most scholarship has portrayed the vampire community as a cultural phenomenon or, at worst, as a religious cult. Having interviewed many vampires across the country, both "lifestylers" and "real," even those "reluctants" who try not to be vampires, Laycock argues that today's vampires are best understood as an identity group and that vampirism has caused a profound change in how individuals choose to define themselves. As vampires come "out of the closet," either as followers of a "religion" or "lifestyle" or as people biologically distinct from other humans, their confrontation with mainstream society will raise questions about the definition of "normal" and what it means to be human.
In this book, readers will meet "lifestyle vampires," who adopt a culture and a gothic ascetic associated with the vampires of art and legend. They will be introduced to "real" vampires, who feel that they must actually consume blood and/or psychic energy for their well being. They will hear from members of the Atlanta Vampire Alliance, and they will learn about the Order of the Vampyre, the Ordo Strigoi Vii, and the Temple of the Vampire.
There is no doubt that anyone who reads this book will find the details of real vampire life--including vampire role-playing games, grimoires, "vampyre" balls, vampire houses like House Sahjaza and House Kheperu, the vampire "caste" system, and other details--utterly fascinating.