Better Know Your Real Texas Vampires

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So, there's a new Dracula movie coming out and Halloween is around the corner. Vampires are currently like the Rolling Stones in that they are ancient and trying desperately to stay relevant. Their heyday has passed in cinema and it couldn't come soon enough. Time to move onto weresloths or something like that.

However, just because vampires are going extinct on screen doesn't mean that they're going extinct everywhere. In fact, right here in Texas we have several types that you should definitely keep an eye out for...

The Crazy Vampire In 2011 Lyle Monroe Bensley, 19, broke into a woman's house in Galveston and started biting her in her sleep. She escaped from the house and he followed her out into the street before she got away in her car. Later, when the police apprehended him he claimed to be a 500-year-old vampire who wished to be detained because he didn't want to feed on humans. The police were very accommodating to his request.

The Trucker Vampire Though not indigenous to Texas, our state was one of the many that saw the trucker vampire, Timothy Jay Vafeades drive his rig through. What no one knew was that he used that rig to play out fantasies of sexual assault and vampirism. He'd kidnapped a 19-year-old family relative and kept her imprisoned in his truck while they rambled over the country. Vafeades would wear fake fangs and force his captive to wear them as well before having sex with her more than 100 times. He is currently awaiting trial in Utah. The FBI is still trying to find other victims that Vafeades may have picked up on his routes.

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The Vampire Vet Remember how the Cullens were the "nice" vampires in Twilight because they only ate animals? Prepare for that illusion to be popped. Millard "Lou" Tierce, also know as the Vampire Vet, was arrested earlier this year for animal cruelty regarding his treatment of a Leonberger (a giant dog breed originating in Germany) at the Camp Bowie Animal Clinic in Fort Worth. Jamie and Marian Harris had dropped the dog off for a minor anal gland issue, and were shocked when they came to pick him up. The 170-pound dog was listless and dragging. Tierce said that an x-ray revealed the dog, Sid, had a congenital spine defect and recommended euthanizing him. The Harrises tearfully agreed.

Months later a former employee of the clinic contacted the family to inform them that their dog was still alive, and was being regularly used as a blood donor for the clinic while being held in filthy, unsafe conditions. There were also allegations of experimentation being done on Sid and other animals. The Harrises managed to recover Sid, who is much improved after several surgeries. They are currently suing Tierce for $1 million.

The Vampire Rejuvenist People spend billions of dollars looking for a way to look young. Texas' Dr. Jennifer Walden has the answer, and it's a crazy as it is awesome. It involves injecting blood plasma into the face. Kim Kardashian had one done and the cost is around $2,000. The procedure involves drawing a patient's blood, spinning into a centrifuge to separate the red cells, and then re-injecting it into your face through tiny holes that they poke in you.

Walden wants to add lasers to the mix. She wants to bleed you and shoot your blood back at you with lasers. That is possibly the most metal thing ever done. And yes, putting blood on your skin to look younger is exactly what the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Bathory did to inspire Bram Stoker's vampire novel. Well remembered.

Vampire Bats People who wanted to get America involved and worried about global warming did it all wrong. They talked about the environment and the ice caps and blah blah blah. What they should have said is "global warming is literally causing a jellyfish apocalypse" and most folks would have jumped right on board.

Another thing to thank global warming for? Vampire bats are moving to invade Texas. Texas State University scientists predict that within 50 years the temperature will have risen enough for the bats to make their way north of Mexico and right into the rich cattle ranches of the Lone Star State. Their mammalian blood-drinking ways spreads rabies, and cost Mexican cattle ranchers millions each year in lost livestock. To say nothing of the fact that, yes, they can and will drink the blood of sleeping humans and, yes, you can definitely get rabies that way.

So go enjoy your Dracula movie when it's out folks. Just remember, the vampires are among us and in Texas they are scary as hell.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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