Father Sebastiaan identifies as a 'real vampire' and has spent the last 25 years helping define the culture of the community he loves so much.
Father Sebastiaan began the task of rallying a vampire community in New York City in 1995, which he says also marked the beginning of his work as a 'fangsmith' (someone who makes prosthetic fangs). After training under a prosthedontist, he made his first pair of fangs for his mother, but now he's made fangs for thousands around the world.
“It sets the tone of the psychological archetype,” he explains. “I don’t wear them all the time, because I don’t need fangs to be a vampire. They’re an aesthetic symbolic thing.”
While many may assume vampires drink blood, Father Sebastiaan says this is extremely uncommon, and only 3-5% of 'real vampires' have practiced blood drinking. And while he says that vampires do need to feed on energy, blood drinking is the most impractical way to do this.
“You go to events like a concert, you'll feel the energy, you can take it in,” he explains. “A vampire knows how to tap that energy and harvest it. That's the easiest one that almost anybody can do, so anybody can be a vampire.”
While role players attend Father Sebastiaan's 'Endless Nigh Vampire Ball' Halloween events to immerse themselves in vampire culture for a night, 'lifestyle vampires' embrace the identity of a vampire as a culture.
"It's based on spirituality," he says. “We have tea parties, and classes, and seminars, and discussion circles, and rituals, and games, and archery, and we eat together."
"This does not happen in mundane life."