One frightening fact is that there are thousands of real-life vampires walking among us. At least 5,000 self-identified, blood-drinking vampires – people drink both human and animal blood because they feel that they need it to survive – currently live in the U.S., according to the Atlanta Vampire Alliance.
These following real-life vampires took their blood lust one step further and also murdered their victims.
Here we look at the chilling stories of real life vampires…
8. Elizabeth Bathory
Countess Elizabeth Bathory (1560 – 1614) lived in a Hungarian castle where she used her liberty to command a team of servants to bring local peasant girls to her castle. Bathory tortured and killed the girls in the most horrific ways.
Witness accounts describe the Countess biting pieces of flesh from the girls’ faces and bodies, mutilating their genitals and sticking needles under their fingernails and cutting fingers off; some girls were soaked in water and left outside in the snow to freeze. She believed their blood would keep her youthful forever.
Above: Čachtice Castle where the victims were lured
In 1610, the local authorities raided her castle, they found the grounds covered with dead and dying girls, burned, beaten and stabbed. Servants in the castle testified that she had killed at least 200 girls, a figure which has been disputed, sometimes set as low as dozens, and others as high as 600 (earning her the Guinness World Records title of ‘Most Prolific Female Serial Killer’). Bathory died under house arrest a few years later, taking the truth about her crimes with her to the grave.
7. Richard “The Vampire of Sacramento” Chase
Richard Chase was not only one of America’s most prolific serial killers but also a blood drinker and cannibal who attacked his victims in California, earning him the name “The Vampire of Sacramento.” Creepily, he only entered homes that were unlocked as he believed this was an invite from the devil to go inside, whereas those who kept their doors locked at night were safe.
Chase suffered from many delusions, including that his mother was trying to poison him, drinking animal’s blood (which he often mixed with cola) would stop his organs from shrinking, his skull bones had separated and he could see these parts moving around under his skin.
After his arrest, evidence collected by the police included body parts left behind in his apartment. Chase was sentenced to death but before he was sent to the gas chamber, he over-dosed on anti-depressants in his cell.
6. Caius Domitius Veiovis
Caius Domitius Veiovis from Massachusetts was convicted of murdering three men and drinking the blood of one female victim. The shot and dismembered bodies of his victims were found 10 days after the murders in a shallow grave.
In 2000, he used a razor to slash the back of a 16-year-old girl and she was left with a 7-inch scar as part of the ritual. After the brutal slashing, he drank her blood and offered some to his then-girlfriend, Deanne Jones, who also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.
Veiovis had facial implants that made him appear to have horns and told the jurors, following his conviction, that he would see them “all in hell.” He is now serving a life sentence for first-degree murder without possibility of parole.
5. Andrei “The Butcher of Rostov” Chikatilo
Andrei Chikatilo was a Soviet serial killer also known as The Butcher of Rostov. He sexually assaulted, murdered and mutilated at least 52 women and children in Russia between 1978 and 1990. During later interviews he also confessed to eating parts of the bodies and drinking the blood of his victims.
Earlier life: The Butcher of Rostov with his wife and son
A senior psychiatrist, Dr. Andrei Tkachenko, found that although he was suffering from borderline personality disorder with sadistic features, Chikatilo was legally sane and competent to stand trial.
Judge Leonid Akubzhanov made the following speech in court: “Taking into consideration the horrible misdeeds of which he his guilty, this court has no alternative but to impose the only sentence that he deserves. I therefore sentence him to death.” He was then taken to a soundproofed room and shot once behind the right ear.
4. Diana Semenuha
Ukrainian self-confessed “vampire” Diana Semenuha would lure young street children back to her home so she could drink their blood. She believed drinking the blood of her victims would fend off a muscle-wasting disease and kept the children sedated on alcohol as she drained their bodies. The weakened children were then dumped back on the streets.
After a tip-off, she was finally arrested and one police spokesperson said, “The apartment was painted black, with all the windows covered with thick black cloth to stop natural light coming in. The only light came from black candles, and there was a heavy, sickening odour of some sort of incense in the air.”
3. Tsutomu “The Little Girl Murderer” Miyazaki
In just 10 months, Tsutomu Miyazaki terrorized Tokyo by abducting and killing young girls – earning him the name “The Little Girl Murderer” by the media. What made his crimes even more sinister is that he would disturb the families of his victims by sending them package, which included photos and videos, aiming to heighten their grief.
After murdering and dismembering one of his young victims, who was just 5-years-old, he ate some of the young girl’s flesh and drank her blood. Miyazaki was finally caught when he tried to kidnap two sisters who managed to escape and he was sentenced to death.
2. Friedrich “The Butcher of Hannover” Haarmann
Friedrich Fritz Haarmann killed at least 24 victims who were all young, male vagrants that would sleep rough around railway stations. He would lure them back to his apartment in Hanover with the promise of food and somewhere to sleep. He then bit through their throats and drank their blood.
The rumors are that the meat he didn’t keep for himself would then be sold on the black market – he also cashed in on selling the clothes of his victims. During his trial, he was called a “werewolf”, a “vampire”, and a “sexual psychopath.”
He told the court, “Condemn me to death. I ask only for justice. I am not mad. Make it short; make it soon. Deliver me from this life, which is a torment. I will not petition for mercy, nor will I appeal. I want to pass just one more merry night in my cell, with coffee, cheese and cigars, after which I will curse my father and go to my execution as if it were a wedding.”
On April 15th, 1925, as one of the most feared and loathed people in Germany – he was beheaded. His head now rests on a table at Göttingen Medical School.
1. Peter “The Vampire of Düsseldorf” Kurten
German serial killer Peter Kurten was described by Doctor Karl Berg as “the king of the sexual perverts.” He earned the name “The Vampire of Düsseldorf” as he drank the bloods from his victim’s wounds. He murdered nine victims but attempted to take the lives of more than 31.
On July 1st 1931, Kürten received his last meal: a bottle of white wine and fried potatoes. Then at 6am he was taken to a guillotine and beheaded.
His last words were: “Tell me… after my head is chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment, the sound of my own blood gushing from the stump of my neck? That would be the pleasure to end all pleasures.”