Austin vampire community promotes acceptance and charity.
By Pam Paz
Halloween often reminds people of spooky creatures, such as goblins, zombies and ghosts. Vampires represent another Halloween staple.
They made a reemergence in Hollywood with “Twilight” and “True Blood,” which feed on the idea that vampires are not legends, but living among us.
Even in Texas.
The Vampire Court of Austin, whose core members identify as vampires, is an organization whose mission is “to provide a safe haven and family environment for all of Austin’s vampire community as well as give back and support the city that has supported us,” the group’s website states.
Logan South and his girlfriend, Daley Catherine, are the vampire king and queen of the court. In March, they were featured on the MTV show “True Life” in an episode titled, “I Want Respect for My Sect.”
South, a fangsmith, is also the owner of Nocturnity, a vampire-friendly nightclub. A fangsmith is someone who creates professional, dental-acrylic fangs for people to “slip on and off.” He said he colors them to match the teeth of the people who wear them.
South said through years of research, he has become comfortable calling himself a vampire.
He said he uses the word “vampire” because “it’s the best way for me to describe who I am, what I am and what I feel.”
Michelle Balenger, a psychic vampire and author of “Psychic Vampire Index,” offers the most philosophically poignant explanation for a vampire awakening, South said.
“There’s no particular way in which anyone discovers it; most of us have what we call an awakening,” he said.
South said there are three types of vampires: sanguinary, energy and sexual.
A sanguinary vampire is one who drinks blood to nourish physical needs.
An energy, or aura vampire, as South and Catherine identify themselves, is one who feeds off the energy of others. South said this is the most common way to feed.
The third type of vampire South described is a sexual vampire. These types of vampires feed off the energy sexual arousal produces. South said these vampires possess charismatic personalities and can “charm the pants right off of you.”
South and Catherine organized the Vampire Court of Austin, starting with 10-15 vampires in 2011.
They have grown to almost 65 members, not including extended members. Extended members are the non-vampire human companions, South said.
Acceptance into the court is contingent on an application and screening process. Prospective vampires need appropriate knowledge of the court’s mission, and the court council needs to ensure the prospects are who they say they are, South said.
Many vampire communities have failed because of the need for one person to be in power, he said. The Vampire Court of Austin does not operate in this manner.
“We are essentially a vampire town hall; we’re not a coven or a house,” South said.
South and Catherine were elected as king and queen of the court. He said they wanted to honor the traditions of vampire communities but run the court democratically.
Although only vampires are allowed to be in the court, South said the court is accepting of all facets of life. “We don’t discriminate.”
The court has monthly meetings in which they discuss upcoming events and any important topics the members and council bring up.
The biggest event is the Austin Vampire Ball. This year was the third and largest. Last year’s ball attracted almost 600 vampires and non-vampires. This year’s ball was Oct. 23-25 with more than 700 tickets sold.
South said the Vampire Carnival is an event organized for the spring. The court also hosts other events through South’s companies, Dead South and Nocturnity.
In addition to this, the court is also involved in giving back to the community. South said they have volunteered at the Austin Food Bank, preparing almost 2,000 meals, at the Dell Children’s Hospital, Austin’s Gay Pride parade and the Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas.
Members dress in goth fashion and wear fangs at such events.
South stressed the Vampire Court of Austin is an accepting court and he wants people who identify as vampires to feel they can be themselves.
He also said the city of Austin has been supportive of them, which is the reason why they give back to the community. “It’s our duty and responsibility to give back,” he said.
He said the downtown nightlife and warehouse district have been very supportive of the court and their goals.
The local gay community has also accepted the group.
South said the court has received a good response from the community since its appearance on MTV and the local news. He said the mentality of the Austin community has allowed the court to be open about their group.
South said he does not react to people who are small-minded and bigoted. “I don’t have time for people who are hateful,” he said.
For more information about the Vampire Court of Austin, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VampireCourtofAustin.