Stranger Than Fiction: Doctors in Turkey Report Real-Life "Vampire" with Multiple Personalities
02.13.13 by BJSprecher
We've all heard the tales of how the the vile practices of Hungarian Countess Erzebet Bathory and Prince Vlad III of Wallachia, a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler, inspired the title character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. We've also heard numerous accounts of killers claiming to be vampires or drinking the blood of their victims as part of their murder rituals. But, it's not just the mythical undead of popular fiction and violent deviants that consume human blood — a real medical condition can lead to such nightmarish behavior. Doctors in Turkey have just documented the latest case of a man with a lust for blood so intense that he started attacking people to satisfy his urges.
The Strange Truth
Arrested multiple times for biting and stabbing several victims in an attempt to drink and collect their blood, a 23-year-old married man with a compulsion to drink blood "as urgent as breathing" was finally taken to the Denizli Military Hospital in southwestern Turkey to be treated by a team of doctors. After an extensive examination, the doctors diagnosed the man with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociative identity disorder (DID), chronic depression and alcohol abuse, describing him as "the first patient with 'vampirism' and DID."
According to the report, the man didn't always crave human blood. His two-year addiction began after he experienced a series of "traumatic events," including the death of his 4-month-old daughter, the murder of his uncle, and witnessing a friend cut off the "head and penis" of another person. The man started out by cutting himself with a razor and then drinking his own blood from a cup, but when his appetite — and the "imaginary companion" who tormented him — wasn't satisfied, he turned to other sources, including packs of blood from blood banks and, eventually, human victims. The man claimed to have no memory of attacking his victims during his blood harvests, and had no empathy for them afterwards. He also had no memory of his childhood between the ages of 5 and 11, and told the doctors that he was often beaten by his mother in his adolescence during her frequent "freak out" episodes.
Six weeks after beginning treatment, the man's blood lust was apparently "in remission," but his DID symptoms remained. He also claimed that the drugs he was being given "were merely sleeping pills" and that "they would not cure him."
This case of "Clinical Vampirism" is highly unusual and extremely rare, but it's not unique. Other such cases of "blood-drinking compulsion" have been documented over the years and the malady has become known as Renfield's Syndrome, named after Dracula's assistant in Stoker's 1897 novel. You can learn more about it by watching the video below.
Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror
(1931), Interview With the Vampire
(1994), The Twilight Saga
Vampires have been on the silver screen for nearly 90 years and they are more popular now than they've ever been. In that time, they've transformed from hellish creatures to be feared to godlike creatures to be desired and worshipped. F.W. Murnau's 1922 German silent vampire movie started it all with Max Schreck's animalistic portrayal of Count Orlok still one of the creepiest vampire portrayals ever captured on film. Nine years later, Bela Lugosi starred as Stoker's Dracula in the Universal classic, creating an iconic look for vampires that would last decades. Neil Jordan's 1994 adaptation of the best-selling novel by Anne Rice ushered in the current wave of "hot and sexy" vampires that reached unprecedented levels of success and adulation with Summitt Entertainment's five-film adaptation of the vampire novels of Stephenie Meyer.