Researcher blends in a community that drinks human blood for therapies to conduct study

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Vampire Woman
A Mexican body modification and tattoo artist known as "Vampire Woman" poses for a picture at Venezuela Expo Tattoo in Caracas January 29, 2015. Reuters/Jorge Silva

A researcher had offered himself as a donor in a "feeding" of an alleged vampire to build a relationship with a human blood-feeding community in the US, for his study of the “real” vampirism. The community claims that they tend to drink blood due to a strange medical condition that they believe can only be treated by another human blood.

The researcher, John Edgar Browning, from the Louisiana State University, believes that the treatment is being performed by thousands of people in the US, and their symptoms and behaviour are still a mystery. In the community Browning studied, he has found that the practice is more likely to be a medical procedure.

The BBC Future reported that the extraction possibly is being practiced by a small group of people living in underground networks. “From what we can tell, most major cities across the world seem to have a vampire community,” said DJ Williams, a sociologist at Idaho State University.

“This is not a population who are asking to be found,” Browning told the BBC. For his research, Browning had roamed the streets and places, like clubs where he could potentially find vampires.

Browning has then talked to an owner of a goth clothes shop who led him to a woman and guided him. After she heard of his project, the woman told Browning some information about a community that drinks human blood.

“Finally she smiled, and said ‘I think I might know a few’,” Browning said.  As the woman smiled, Browning recalled that he saw “two fangs protruding over her lips,” which are “atrociously sharp.”

Browning was led to form a good relationship with a large group of vampires for his study. The

vampires allowed Browning to interview them regularly about their current condition.

The blood-feeding community has been found to be consisting people living in regular jobs, such as bar staff, nurses and secretaries, while others are Christians active in church and some are atheists. The data from each interview shows that the hunger for blood potentially starts early in puberty.

A young member of the community, age 13 or 14 years old, has actually started drinking human blood after he accidentally brushed his mouth on the wound of his cousin during a fight. The young vampire claims that before the incident, he had been weak and lack energy to do activities, but Browning said “he suddenly felt a lot of vitality” because of the human blood.

Aside from fatigue, other members of the community also suffer from severe headaches and stomach cramps. The BBC author, David Robson, has interviewed a member, kept with an online alias “CJ!,” who is  suffering from irritable bowel and uses blood as a cure.

Another member, taking treatments from human blood is “Kinesia.” She told Robson that she would go over a week without a bowel movement while hungry, and feel nausea if she takes anything other than her “cure food.” Kinesia said that the blood provides her “100 percent” of relief, and improves her mental faculties.

According to CJ!, the blood they consume commonly comes from close friends, while Browning has found that some cases involve payment. But Kinesia drinks her own husband’s blood every couple of weeks.

For the extraction, the donor and the vampire commonly take tests at sexual health clinics to avoid transmissible infections. And upon taking the blood, the vampire uses disposable scalpels or syringes and usually swabs the skin before the first cut.

Health experts warn potential negative effects from directly ingesting the human blood as iron could be toxic if taken in a large volume. However, Browning has found no ill side-effects with the vampires as they could have been consuming the amount that may not cause sickness.

The community believes that their condition could be a problem with their digestive tract, which disables them to absorb nutrients from normal foods. They added that they consume blood as the nutrients have already dissolved so their bodies are able to absorb it.

However, an expert suggests that the relief the vampires feel in drinking blood could be psychological. To date, doctors are still trying to find how the brain controls the human health in physical way.

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