Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Label Culling

I think my labels list needs to lose a bit of weight (wouldn't be the first time), so I've decided to chop out book/journal/website/blog titles, in favour of retaining their author's names.

However, I'll leave movie titles alone for now.

Anyhoo, as a result, "Dagmar Krauss Vampyr Hunter" in "Journal of a Vampire Hunter" merely becomes "Dagmar Krauss".

Meanwhile, "Taliesin Meets the Vampires", as labeled in "Just a Quick One", "No Need for Clicks", "Word Gets Around", "Frayling's "Vampire" Makes Another Appearance" and "Remake Canned?", will now be subsumed under "Andrew M. Boylan", the blog's author.

"In Small Things Found" (a label attached to "Paranormal Archaeology") will also be subsumed under its author, "ahtzib".

"Internet Vampire Tribune Quarterly" ("Vampire Journals on the Internet") will now be featured under "Vampire Journals".

"Niels K. Petersen" will also incorporate the blog entries with the "Magia Posthuma" label ("Just a Quick One", "Word Gets Around", "Frayling's "Vampire" Makes Another Appearance", "Imitation Isn't Always the Sincerest Form of Flattery" and "On Diaries, Part One").

No more "The Groovy Age of Horror" (
"Just a Quick One"). Instead, Curt Purcell.

And, lastly, because I've only written about it once, out goes "The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire" (and that it also has several contributors, rendering this label culling exercise, futile!).

Another Shout-Out

I've been given a shout-out (here's another), courtesy of Ms. LuluBelle's blog, Reading with a Bite.

In "More Than Fiction", she writes:
In case you haven't come across them yet, there are a some awesome blogs dedicated to the scientific and historical facts, myths, and rumors. Check them out! There is some interesting stuff out there.
She goes on to commend both my blog and Niels K. Petersen's Magia Posthuma.

It's a very flattering description. One I certainly hope to higher attain.

Cheers, Ms. LuluBelle!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Online Non-Fiction Vampire Bibliographies

It's not easy coming across online listings for vampire books of a non-fiction persuasion (i.e., the ones I prefer in the vampire genre).

So thank goodness for for's "Non-Fiction" listing.

There's also the relatively scanty "Non Fiction Works" over at The Vampire Library and paranormal romance author, Michele Hauf, also gives listings of such books on her "Non-Fiction" page.

Her list is fairly good and current, however, I also wrote to her a while ago with some corrections:
From: Anthony Hogg
Date: Friday, 1 February 2008 4:25 PM
Subject: Notes on Your Non-Fiction List

Good afternoon,

Firstly, it's great to see that you've published a list of non-fiction books, as available here:

However, I noticed serveral errors on the list, that bear correcting.

They are:

The actual author is listed as Diana Phillips-Summers.

"Dickie, James - THE UNDEAD - Pocket Books - 1976"
A collection of short vampire sorts, not a non-fiction book about vampires.

"Hetherington, Grant - EVOLUTION OF THE VAMPIRE - Xlibris Corp. - 7/98"
Deceptive title. It's a work of fiction. See plot synopsis on the Amazon link.

"Jerome, Joseph - MONTAGUE SUMMERS: A MEMOIRE - 1965"

"Johnson, VW - DHAMPIR: CHILD OF THE BLOOD - Mystic Rose Books - 1996 (fiction?)"
Yup. Fiction.

"London, Sandra - VAMPIRES OF TRUE CRIME - Feral House - 10/03"
Proper title: True Vampires: Blood-Sucking Killers Past and Present.

"Lovell, Marc - AN ENQUIRY INTO THE EXISTENCE OF VAMPIRES - Doubleday - 1974 re: Vampire in The Shadows - Coronet Books '74 (fiction?)"
Great title, shame it's only a novel. It is mentioned - with a brief plot synopsis - here:

"VAMPIRE BOOK: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UNDEAD - Visible Ink Press - 1994re: 2nd Edition 11/03"
The 2nd edition was actually published in 1998. Or 1999. I'm still not 100% which. The 2003 version, however, is a reprint.

"Perkowski, Jan L. - THE DARKLING: VAMPIRES OF THE SLAVS - Slavica Publishers - 1976"
I think you've gotten mixed up with his 1989 book, which is called The Darkling: A Treatise on Slavic Vampirism. His 1976 book, however, is simply called Vampires of the Slavs.

"DRACULA: ESSAYS ON THE LIFE AND TIMES OF VLAF TEPES - East European Studies #323 - 1991"
I think you mean Vlad!

"Walker, John Edward - THE ORIGIN OF THE VAMPIRE: HOW IT ALL STARTED - Dorrance Pub. Co. - 1/99"
I, too, have been decieved by the book's title before. It's actually a work of fiction. Check out its description on the Amazon link you provided.

This book was written in 1994, and is by Roxana Stuart, not Dudley Wright.

"Yougston, Keanne Keyes"
Should be Youngson, not Youngston.

All that said, your list provided me with a serious of interesting sources I've never come across before. So, I appreciate that.

Anthony Hogg
Remember to be vigilant, folks!

Kindred Spirits?

It seems that I'm not the only amateur vampirologist on the web!

That said, there aren't many others, either.

So far, the only others I've come across (who, at least, explicitly refer to themselves in this way), are a bloke named named Mark, from Boulder, Colorado, who refers to himself a "BloodMeridian" on Twitter and a gal named Liliana from New Mexico, who resides on MySpace.

In her "About Me", she describes herself thusly: "I am an amateur vampirologist and very amateur vampire mythologist. I'm working on becoming less amateur."

I hear ya.

More Karg in Your Diet

I'm the recipient of the occasional Amazon recommendation.

Most of the time, I delete 'em. But today, I was actually recommended something that interested me enough to buy it.

Behold, The Everything Vampire Book: From Vlad the Impaler to the Vampire Lestat - A History of Vampires in Literature, Film, and Legend by Barb Karg, Arjean Spaite and Rick Sutherland (Adams Media, 2009).

It's so fresh, it's publication date is listed as January 17, 2009.

Barb Karg is also the author of The Girl's Guide to Vampires: All You Need to Know About the Original Bad Boys (Adams Media, 2009), another book of very recent vintage (January 18, 2009).

I might get that at some other time, but considering its audience ("Reading level: Ages 9-12"), I don't think it'd hold much of value for me.

I'm expecting Everything... to be similar in nature to Jay Stevenson's The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vampires (Indianapolis, IN: Alpha, 2002). But more current (it deals with Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series).

Here's hoping it'll be a good read!

A Nod from a Treasured Source

One of the great things about the internet is the relative "accessibility" we, Joe (or Jolene) Public have to authors (and other such public figures) we've grown up with.

I came across this nod to my blog on Patricia's Vampire Notes.

As I mentioned in "From Bibliography to Blogs", she's the author of Vampire Readings: An Annotated Bibliography (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1998), a handy bibiliographic guide to vampire fiction (with a little coverage devoted to non-fiction, too).

If you haven't read it yet, I definitely recommend obtaining a copy. That, or you could borrow it via your library of choice!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Remake Canned?

I was quite glad to read coverage concerning the proposed Fright Night (1985) remake been given the flick over at Brian Solomon's The Vault of Horror.

What a relief.

I previously had a brief discussion (see comments) on the proposed remake at Taliesin Meets the Vampires. Not only do I treasure the original movie (its sequel was very influential to my interest in vampires) I'm sick and tired of remakes, in general.

That's not to say I don't enjoy them here and there. Off the top of my head, I'd include The Thing (1982), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Dawn of the Dead (2004) and Halloween (2007) as examples which were carried off quite nicely.

But, seriously, what's the point? Solomon provides an interesting overview of the subject in "Horror Remakes: Then vs Now".

I used to joke about the inevitability of a Gone with the Wind (1939) remake...but at the rate remakes are being churned out these days, it might be a bit more feasible than I first thought.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Note on Amateurs

I've been made the subject of a thread on TFO's MSN Group, DAWWIH.

Message 1 in the thread is covered elsewhere, so I'll respond to Message 2 in this post.

First we begin with TFO's comments about labeling myself an amateur vampirologist:
Anthony Hogg describes himself as an "amateur vampirologist" with the nickname "tnuocalucard" which, of course, spells Count Dracula backwards. I am beginning to understand why he terms himself "amateur" in the vampirological stakes!
Allow me to explain why I refer to myself as an amateur vampirologist.

Firstly, a vampirologist is someone who studies vampires. This doesn't mean they go about prying open coffin lids and such, it means they take a scholarly, academic bent to the subject in question.

I consider myself to be an amateur because even though I've been studying the topic for some years, I've never had anything formally published on it.

The use of "tnuocalucard" (yes, Count Dracula backwards) in one of my Amazon accounts wasn't a reference to being an amateur, but a bit of an in-joke. It was the name of a character featured in a small play I wrote as an assignment for one of my high school subjects. I hope that clarifies things for TFO.

That said, I'm rather amused by TFO's gloating over my use of the term "amateur", considering that I've exposed him as a blatant plagiarist. Not bad for an "amateur", eh?

Niels K. Petersen, a Danish vampirologist, has also revealed the same thing.

So, going by the dictionary definition, not only can we dismiss TFO as an amateur ("1. a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons") but also as a vampirologist, in one fell swoop.

Next, TFO decides to discuss links to me on Amazon, as well as an criticism of my list, "The Complete Vampirologist's Library":
Anthony Hogg's list of vampire books (including his reviews of same) omit any mention of The Highgate Vampire, The Vampire Hunter's Handbook and Carmel. I wonder why? Perhaps they are not suitable material for "amateur vampirologists"?
I find this is a rather daft criticism - especially considering the vast amount of books available on the subject - but I'll respond to it, nonetheless.

At the time of composing that list a few years ago, I hadn't read any of those books. I gave mention to the ones I had read.

Admittedly, it was a bit premature calling the list "Complete", but I think it still holds up well. I might even write a follow-up some day.

That said, I have since read the first edition of The Highgate Vampire (1985).

And I still wouldn't add it to the list.

I've yet to read The Vampire Hunter's Handbook (1997), but I'd be surprised if the 96 page tome would have anything of much use, considering the reviews it's received. Like this one from Amazon member, Cupcakedoll:
This is a very thin book.

A short section is about hunting vampires.

The rest is the author arguing against the ideas of another group at the time. It wasn't much interest or use to me so I was glad I got it by interlibrary loan before I spent any money.

As to Carmel (2000), dubbed a "sequel" to Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897), I don't quite see the correlation in it being valuable for vampire research. Especially considering that it's a work of fiction.

You should also know that it's not wise to purely rely on books written by a single author. However, it's nice and "convenient" that each of the Sean Manchester book covers you reproduced, all lead to sites affiliated to the Vampire Research Society's website...where they're offered for sale.

Are there any other books in the field that you'd recommend? Ones that aren't written by Manchester?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

On Diaries, Part Two

(Continued from previous blog entry.)

We now move along to "The case of Mercy Brown". His method of investigating the case? Copying it from Wikipedia's "Mercy Brown vampire incident" article (last modified on 11 January 2009, at 15:55).

The same level of originality is to be found in "Emma S------ and Eleonore Zügun", which is another extract from Montague Summers' The Vampire: His Kith & Kin (1928), which is at least cited. Sames goes for "Concomitants of Vampirism" and "Introducing Montague Summers" (aka "The Vampire: His Kith & Kin").

Meanwhile, "Discerning the Vampire" cribs portions from Seán Manchester's "A Demonologist's Reflections on Time Travel", an extract from Stray Ghosts.

And last of all, his most recent entry, "Montague Summers", is a copy-n-paste job of the Vampire Research Society's "Montague Summers" page.

The only entries that I had a bit of difficulty in tracing verbatim content from, were "The haunting of Elizabeth Wojdyla" and "The case of Petre Toma".

So what do we have with Diary of a Vampirologist? A "diary" that regurgitates the contents of other websites, which it could just as easily link to and/or provide commentary on. Its author is a "vampirologist" whose study is all but non-existent, going by the content relayed thus far.

Even his page design, page name and username have been borderline ripped-off from me. Indeed, he has previously "tailed" me in other mediums, as well as repeatedly plagiarised material, so his latest incarnation comes as no real shock. His agenda is an apparent mouthpiece for the Vampire Research Society, as is apparent from his frequent "borrowings" and dissemination of their writings. I also suspect his assumption of identities similar to mine is an attempt to get people confused as to thinking we are one and the same person.

This is highlighted be his approbation of one of my usernames, by aping the title of my blog and even by outright copying the title and format (which, I admittedly based on Magia Posthuma's) of another of my blogs.

The sinister intent of such actions becomes apparent, especially after Ms. LuluBelle's recent comment to "Imitation Isn't Always the Sincerest Form of Flattery", regarding Niel's uncovering of plagiarism on Diary of a Vampirologist:
That's interesting... I actually almost deleted you off my blogroll because of the plagerism post. Glad I didn't, because it wasn't you!

Oh, and now that he's been rumbled, don't be surprise if a few changes start taking place on his blog. Which is why I took the recourse of saving the pages I've discussed. Wouldn't be the first time.

On Diaries, Part One

Normally, when we write diaries, we describe our own thoughts and experiences.

"The Overseer" of Diary of a Vampirologist seems to have great difficulty grasping this concept. Indeed his use of the term "vampirologist", regards someone who studies vampires in different media. We'll see how much of his blog actually carries that out.

Niels K. Petersen first brought The Overseer's copy-n-paste blog entries to attention in "Plagiarism" for Magia Posthuma. But, just how extensively plagiarised are they? That's what I intended to find out.

Oh, but before I continue, I'll provide a correction to my previous post. I indicated that The Overseer's "Introducing Montague Summers" (which, after my previous post, has been re-titled to "The Vampire: His Kith & Kin") was his first blog entry. It wasn't.

His first actual entry was "Genesis of the word "Vampire"", which, regardless, still postdates my first entry. His inaugural blog entry also conveniently serves as the perfect springboard to this investigation. Why? Because it's nothing but an un-cited chunk of Wikipedia's "Vampire" article (last modified on 13 January 2009, at 02:00). The only real difference is, that the "Footnotes" in the Wikipedia article have been relisted as "Source" in The Overseer's.

Now we move onto "Those who are not vampires". He lists his source simply as "Seán Manchester" (his tendency to very vaguely list his references is a recurring theme, unsurprisingly). Is this a copy-n-paste job, too?

You better believe it.

It appears on a MySpace forum thread called "Vampirism". The entry in question is ripped off from someone calling themselves "The Highgate Vampire" (presumably a pseudonym for
Seán Manchester, considering The Overseer's citation) in a post dated Tuesday, 30 December 2008 2:38 AM.

Next up is "Definition of a Vampire". Its sources are listed as "Seán Manchester" and "Montague Summers." Well, that certainly helps. But so does Google!

It looks like The Overseer tried to be a bit more sneaky this time, and rather than completely copy-n-pasting in verbatim, decided to rearrange the contents of "Vampires: Their Kith & Kin", the Vampire Research Society's FAQ page. Nice try. Incidentally, the same practice was carried out on The Overseer's "Why do people dismiss Vampires?". Ditto for "Vampire antidotes and exorcism".

Noticing a pattern?

"Philosophy of Vampirism" at least cites Montague Summers' The Vampire: His Kith & Kin (1928), but one must question the redundancy of copy-n-pasting a portion of his book, when the whole thing is available online.

Wikipedia is obviously a handy "source" (albeit, unlisted) for The Overseer, considering that his blog entry, "The case of Arnold Paole" has been cribbed from "Arnold Paole" (last modified on 14 January 2009, at 01:32), right down to the sources. Niels also contends that The Overseer also made use of his "Visum et repertum" blog entry. However, if this is the case, I'd say that the Wikipedia article, in turn, may be plagiaristic.

The free online encyclopedia is used once again for "The case of Peter Plogojowitz". Compare it with Wikipedia's "Peter Plogowitz" article (last modified on 3 January 2009, at 16:41).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Imitation Isn't Always the Sincerest Form of Flattery

I was rather startled to read Niels' "Plagiarism" blog entry on Magia Posthuma.

Why? Because of this:
Someone calling him- or herself The Overseer has started a blog called Diary of a Vampirologist that includes posts on a couple of famous 18th century vampirism.

The similarity of the title made me think, briefly, that my blog was being referred to!

But it couldn't possibly be. I've never plagiarised anything from him, and if I have quoted him, I would no doubt have given citation.

So, I decided to check out the link...and came across this.

Yep, a blog called Diary of a Vampirologist (DOAV). Gee, I wonder why that title sounds familiar. Oh, and doesn't that choice of background look familiar too...

(I've saved a link to the page, so if it "mysteriously" changes in format, I'll post up a screencap for the sake of comparison!)

For the record, my blog pre-dated his own. Note the date of my first blog entry against his.

However, the other interesting item that stems from the plagiaristic blog is its author's username, i.e. "The Overseer".

As it happens, it's the same username I use on another blog I write for.

I've got a hunch that the author of DOAV could quite possibly be the one and the same person written about here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Frayling's "Vampire" Makes Another Appearance

I've just read Taliesin's "From Demons to Dracula - review", which cites this very blog:
My caution with regards the book started small, there were just the occasional areas that gave me pause for thought and I could actually understand why they occurred. There is an illustration in the introduction, page 12, of “‘a vampire rises from the grave…’in an 18th century illustration” . Actually, not long before receiving the book (as a Christmas present from my ever loving wife) I read an article about this illustration on the blog Diary of an Amateur Vampirologist. It seems the illustration was reproduced in Frayling’s Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula (listed in the bibliography of this) as such a piece, but it is actually of "BIANCA RUBEA, wife of BAPTISTA Á PORTA / crushes herself with the tombstone of her husband." A minor problem, as it is an illustration of a suicide and not a vampire, but I can see why Beresford believed it to be of a vampire given Frayling used it as such.
I most recently dealt with this erroneously-named picture in "Hats Off to Erwin".

Taliesin also left a comment to said blog, which I'll reply to here:
I am currently reading "From Demons to Dracula" by Matthew Beresford, which so far is quite good - expect a review when read.
As mentioned, I did read it. Loved it. If you're interested, you might want to check out Niels K. Petersen's coverage of it over at Magia Posthuma.

I'm sure I'll get around to obtaining a copy of the book, sometime, myself.
However, the illustration is reproduced in that with the caption "A vampire rises from the grave, from an eighteenth century illustration."
Ah, yes. Nearly the exact same caption it's given in Frayling's book, Vampyres: From Lord Byron to Count Dracula (1991).
It accompanioes the introduction. Now, given Beresford cites Frayling in his bibliography, the place he picked it from is clear but, it seems, this one is likely to run and run...
I'd agree that Frayling's book is the most likely source for the picture's erroneous description. The obvious clue to this is the caption that follows it in Frayling's work: "A vampire rises from the grave, illustrating an early eighteenth century treatise on the undead."

A slightly different wording to that found in Beresford's book, as you've quoted it, but recognisable, nonetheless.

I certainly hope it doesn't catch on as a picture representing an undead rising from the tomb. Though, there is certainly an irony in that description, considering that it actually depicts a woman entombing herself, certainly not rising in search of blood.

So folks, if you see this picture (chances are, with the original caption removed)...

...being referred to as anything even remotely vampiric, then dismiss it as bad research. Indeed, it's not even from the "eighteenth century", but the seventeenth. For, according to the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the image was published in 1699.
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