The Second Guy Who Got Me Thinking

So now you know the whole thing about my girlfriend Jen and vampires. In the last post I wrote about the book that got her started and how I read it to be a “good” boyfriend who shows an interest in her interests. The book was good and now I am interested.

My mom was right. Jen was pretty much blown away that I read any vampire book let alone her favorite one. …and I did enjoy it. But it really got me thinking about this vampire thing. It is a crazy hot topic these days. Jen isn’t the only one who thinks vampires are real. I did a Google search for “real vampires” and the result was a ridiculous amount of websites. The perpetual grad student in me duly noted and bookmarked each for more in-depth review later.

I ignored this stuff for a while but it just kept randomly coming back at me. You know how you never really notice love songs until you’ve just gone through a breakup and then all of a sudden the entire world soundtrack is nothing but love songs? That’s how the vampire thing was. Weird news stories in my feed, vampire memes on Facebook and songs that I’d heard a million times before that started to take on a new meaning when I heard them through my new vamp filter.

Push came to shove when I started dreaming about vampires – and I don’t mean occasionally. Like every f*cking night for two weeks. I tried to just focus on my happy place (just me on a massage table in some tropical oasis with the best not-chatty-type massage therapist and the sound of waves gently breaking) before I went to sleep. No. Didn’t work.

I was too embarrassed to tell my friends. I told my mom I was having trouble sleeping and she offer me Ambien. Um, no.

I’ve seen a truckload of people I know on Ambien. They’re batsh*t crazy in the ten minutes before they fall asleep. AND, this is a big “and”, they get up and do weird sh*t. Eat a half a bag of dog food, pee in the hall closet or decide to drive to Costco and stock up on a forty year supply of cheesy poof balls in the gallon size plastic jar. No thanks.

I finally told Scott what was really going on. Now, I’ve known Scott since we were six and his family bought the house across the street from us. Scott stalked my backyard for three months trying to get an invite to play war with my crew. He was an outsider dork for that first three months but earned his place and we’ve had a pretty serious bromance ever since. (Yes, I said bromance. I’m not ashamed. Scott’s my brother from another mother.)

Scott’s solution was Benadryl. Yes, the allergy stuff. His exact word were “this sh*t’ll lay you out dude. Swear to freakin’ Christ you won’t dream about sh*t.”

On Scott’s advice and against my better judgement I took four Benadryl. Did I mention that Scott’s a pharmacy tech? He was a jet engine flight line mechanic until the demon weed took over and he flunked his piss test. Apparently no one syncs up those kind of records because he is a full fledged pharmacy dude now. To his credit he hasn’t smoked out in over four years now so you’re probably safe.

Anyway Scott assured me that a guy my size would be given 100 mg of Benadryl in the emergency room for any kind of allergic reaction with no problem.

Scott was right I did not dream about vampires. I did not dream. I also did not wake up the next morning. I slept through my alarm. I slept through the back up alarm on my cell. I slept through everything. I woke up at 5:17 pm the next day because Dave, our yellow lab, jumped on me and me and pawed me awake. He had to pee. Bad.

To Dave’s credit he didn’t pee or sh*t in the house. He’s reliable like that. I’ll tell you more about Dave another time – he probably deserves his own blog.

Now I don’t know if I’m just a mama’s boy who doesn’t know it or what – but again it was my mom who had the right advice. I finally just told her the whole story about why I was have sleep problems and she said “Well, Michael sometimes you just need to follow the lead the universe keeps pitching at you.”


My mom is, very seriously, a super anti-weirdness practicing Catholic. WTF?

She sounded so… I don’t know. New agey? I don’t have a word for it. But she went on to say that maybe if I just immersed myself in this for a while I’d get it out of my system and I might be able to sleep. Ok. That sounded more mom-like. Get it out of my system. I can do that.

Which brings me to… the second guy that got me thinking.

I took mom’s advice. I started out on Google with the search phrase “real vampires.”  The search results were impressive in numbers alone. Real or not, there are a lot of people who think they are and are willing to pay for a website to proclaim it.  The first one that really caught my eye was

The guy behind this site, Steve Leighton, is very serious about this stuff. From his comments page it looks like he is willing to debate anybody on the virtue of his theory of vampires. He presents his theory on the homepage of the site right up front. What is also interesting is the right sidebar discussion on psychotic depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and catalepsy. Not sure I get the connection.

Steve’s theory is that vampires are real and that they are suffering from infection with an endogenous retrovirus which he calls vHERV. He presents his case in a semi-haphazard manner with sketchy “sources” but he does make a point. Vampires could be real. They could be people with a weird, little known gene defect that makes them susceptible to a virus that causes a vampire mutation syndrome.

He has a ton of other stuff on his site – the new vampire code, how to find a real vampire and a list of links but it was his theory that I keep thinking about because if vampires are real then how? What science can explain the leap from fiction to fact?

The more I read about virology the more I like the theory. Steve doesn’t do a very good job of making his case but his core belief in the virus idea is plausible. Check out his site at and see what you think.