A MAN who lives as a vampire has said he ‘just wants to be treated like everyone else’.

Darkness Vlad Tepes, who said he had been living as a vampire for 13 years, sleeps in a custom made-to-measure coffin.


He said he had also drunk cow and pig’s blood, as well as a human blood substitute.

Darkness said until recently he had very few problems from other people.

However this changed when he went for a drink with friends at a pub in Oswaldtwistle where he said he was openly abused because of the way he dressed.

He likened the abuse to the attack on Sophie Lancaster, the teenager who was murdered in a Bacup park because of she was dressed like a Goth.

Her mother Sylvia said she supports Darkness, who changed his name by deed poll, adding that the treatment he had received was ‘completely out of order’.

The 25-year-old said: “I went into the pub with two mates and a lad piped up and asked if I was abused as a child when I was young because of the way I look.

“I felt so ashamed and embarrassed that I would get asked such a personal question based on my choice of lifestyle.

“Everyone has their beliefs and I don’t believe I should be persecuted for following mine.

“It’s this kind of behaviour that cost the life of Sophie Lancaster in Bacup in 2007.

“I might be a vampire but I just want to be treated like everyone else.

“People have got to accept the fact that what’s normal to them is not normal to us, and what’s normal to us is not normal to them.”

Darkness said he first became attracted to the vampire lifestyle as a teenager.

As part of his beliefs, he sleeps in a custom made-to-measure coffin that weighs 25 kilos is roughly 6ft 7in long. He is 6ft 6ins tall.

He also has a strict balanced diet which stays away from fatty foods, and drinks cow’s and pig’s blood, as well as a human blood substitute.

He said: “My life was always a secret until I came out two years ago.

“I first learnt about vampires when I was 13 and growing up in Galway.

“I was taking my dog for a walk through the woodlands and I saw a group of girls dressed up and I thought they were zombies.

“I ran home because I was scared at first, but then I became really curious.

“One day I found them again, and they initiated me into their coven, and I have been a vampire ever since.

“To be a vampire is to believe that I have a living body but a dead soul.

“But I think there’s a lot of preconceptions about being a vampire from films and books like Twilight or Dracula.

“Garlic doesn’t affect me and I can quite happily walk around in the sunlight.

“The coffin is purely a choice option to being a vampire, it’s one that I do because it feels right.”

Darkness has lived in Blackburn since 2012, and said he was high up in an East Lancashire coven of vampires called Underworld.

Darkness said: “Being a vampire is difficult and of course there are struggles in everyday life.

“But I’m happy to stand by my choice.”

Sylvia Lancaster, Sophie’s mother, said: “The sad part is we hear these kind of stories all the time.

“It is far more common than people realise, and it is completely out of order.

“People should be allowed to wear what they want and have the freedom to express themselves free from persecution.”

According to www.sanguinarius.org a vampire is: “Someone who incorporates fictional vampire imagery and trappings into his or her personal life, often cultivating a ‘Vampiric’ physical appearance.

“This is including but not limited to a very pale complexion, a wardrobe made up predominantly of dark clothing, a style of dress which is modelled on Victorian or Renaissance fashions, black or blood-red lipstick, sunglasses, fangs, and FX contacts.”