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Disappearance of Shelby Ellis Reveals Dangers of Vampire Cults

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Disappearance of Shelby Ellis Reveals Dangers of Vampire Cults

shelby ellisThree weeks ago, 16 year old Shelby Ellis of Atlanta, Georgia went missing. Shelby had become part of an underground cult movement related to the Goth lifestyle, and she recently disappeared, as did two of her friends. All three teens went to school at McEachern High School and shared a common obsession with the vampire underground.

PLEASE NOTE – there is an update to this story posted at the bottom of this article – SCROLL DOWN TO READ.

On October 11th, Shelby got on the bus to school and then never returned home. A week later, a 15-year-old freshman friend of Shelby’s also went missing. The following week, another girl disappeared. All signs point to the three girls running away from home.

According to CBS reporter Wendy Saltzman, the parents, Rich and Wendy Ellis, noticed marked changes in Shelby’s behavior, her obsession with goth and the vampire underground, and the fact that her last Internet activity on her computer was logging into the popular goth underground website known as “Vampire Freaks,” and that on that website she “led a double life.”

shelby ellis

Private Investigation is Under Way

While police are not talking to news reporters, the parents have hired local private investigator Phillip Hambrick to track down their daughter. Phillip told CBS news that, “A lot of things point to that they are in some kind of pact. We don’t know if she has been coerced to go out somewhere, if she has been kidnapped.”

Over the past weekend, police discovered the other two teens and brought them back home involuntarily. However, according to CBS News they are unwilling to provide the whereabouts of Shelby Ellis – all signs that this is a cult-related runaway and that Shelby does not want to return home as well.

Both the family and the investigator suspect that the cause of the disappearance is an underground cult. For some reason, McEachern High School principle Regina Montgomery refused to talk to reporters about the three missing teens and any signs or behaviors that took place within the school that could provide a clue as to the whereabouts of Shelby Ellis.
shelby ellis
Considering the fact that the school failed to return a student home safely from school may be one indication as to why Principle Montgomery is avoiding discussing the case – the school could very well be facing a lawsuit from the parents of the three teens that went missing during the school day.

The Danger of Vampire Cults

People tend to forget the past, if enough time goes by. However, in 1996, the vampire cult scene reared its ugly head when cult leader Rod Ferrell (a 16 year old high school dropout, at the time) and his cult followers met up with 15 year old Heather Wendorf. Ferrell took on the role of the “maker” or leader of the group, which proceeded to take part in daily blood-drinking (of each other’s blood).

The same sort of anti-establishment and anti-authority teenage mentality that led to the formation of so many “hippy” cults in the 1960s is the same mentality behind the teen vampire cults of today. In the case of Rod Ferrell and his group, they eventually murdered Richard and Ruth Wendorf – Heather’s parents.

Ferrell eventually pleaded guilty and sentenced to death, however his sentence was reduced to life. Three other cult followers were also sent to prison. Heather avoided any charges because she wasn’t present at the murder.

Vampire Cults Today

It is important for parents to be aware that this particular cult movement is more dangerous for young and impressionable teenage girls looking for independence from parental authority. Many of the cult leaders, like Ferrell, are mentally disturbed men that use these Internet networks as a predatory tool to identify, locate and meet up with under-aged girls – many of whom willingly post inappropriate images of themselves on their own profiles.

The case of Shelby Ellis may be similar to the many other cases throughout history where a teenage girl runs away from home, looking for freedom and independence. Hopefully her case does not end in the same manner that Heather Wendorf’s ended.

**UPDATE** reported the following update late on November 3rd:

“The good news is that police have found her alive and safe in Lakewood, Washington today. She’d apparently taken a bus to Washington, where she was voluntarily staying with someone who we’re guessing she met online. There’s no word on why she left or what she was doing out west, but we’ll keep you posted.”

This is a fascinating story – a quick blurb pulled from a mainstream media source, that prompted a far wider response than expected, primarily from the “vampire community.”

While I often cover real-world cults here at TopSecretWriters, I should note that the members of this particular community are not “cultists.” Cults are sects – extremist branches – of larger organizations that usually create a dogma that is dangerous and hurtful to its members.

If the article above implied that the entire group of folks that consider themselves part of this community are part of a “cult” – I apologize for the implication.

It will be interesting to learn what the cause of the runaway was (if we ever do learn) – but one thing that I think everyone can agree on is that any time any missing child is found alive, that’s always a very good thing.

Thanks to all readers for all of your responses, both public and private.

Originally published on

  • Niki

    This is not “news” it is horribly irrisponsible bigotry.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Niki – I appreciate your reply and input, but I am curious. Bigotry against what group….vampires?

  • Persephone_too

    I’d say it’s bigotry against goths, teenagers, hippies, and anyone who’s even interested in vampires.

    And, btw, which “hippy cults” are you refering to in this article? My roommate was a real Haight Ashburry hippy in the 1960. The hippy movement wasn’t a bunch of cults. It was a social reaction to the mores & hypocrasy of the 1950’s & 60’s.

  • Anonymous

    If anyone interested in vampires – then I’d say it’s bias, not bigotry…If you mean that I’m biased against people that believe in vampires – then most definitely… 🙂
    Vampires were a fabrication resulting from the illness known as consumption in both the U.S. and Europe. Anyone that believes they are a vampire today have….issues. 🙂
    My hippy cult comment referred to the cool-aid drinkers of the 1970s… to link to that article – thanks for the reminder!

  • Anonymous

    If you actually took the time to read the story, you’d see that it was the family’s private investigator that said he believed they’d made a pact and that it involved the vampire group. BTW – I’ve got a call in to the private investigator for an interview.

  • Niki

    And for the record:
    big·ot·ry   /ˈbɪgətri/ Show Spelled
    –noun, plural -ries.
    1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

    Hatred is hatred, regardless of what group you direct it towards or how you try to justify it.

  • Anonymous

    Niki – I respect your opinion, honestly. However, you honestly do not understand bigotry. If I said I hated people who believe in Vampires – I would say you’re right. Please quote where I expressed any hatred of anyone in this article.

    Do I think they are stupid? Yes. But I don’t hate them. 🙂

  • Niki

    Yet you refuse to post my other comment?

  • Anonymous

    Not at all, I’m still reading it. All comments are edited. To be frank Niki, it is quite good. I’m impressed.

  • Anonymous

    Niki – this is inspiring, and I think it certainly shows readers where you stand on the idea of this “community”. Unfortunately – you’re missing the entire point of the article. It isn’t about the “goth” clique – it’s about Vampire cults that are similar to many other dangerous cults (like the Jones cult linked to in the previous response).You have to understand that there’s a very big difference between a community that supports, nourishes and encourages health and success of everyone that is a part of it. “Goth” is just a label that you’re using – and to me it’s irrelevant. I don’t care how you dress, what you look like or whether your body is covered head to toe in piercings. What you label yourself is not the point here. If people feel happy within a clique that they call “Goth” – that’s awesome!However – you’re completely off the point. This article is about Vampirism, and more specifically such groups that are run by mentally disturbed individuals who are predators that seek out innocent, naive kids – and then take advantage of a belief system (such as the belief that you are literally a vampire), in order to take advantage of them, and to eventually hurt them. That is what this article is about.Now…if I understand correctly, you’re implying that I’ve labeled the entire “vampire community” as bad. First – the article specifies that this is about the exploitation of people who believe they are vampires. What I consider “bad” are specific (and very SICK) individuals that enter that community for the sole purpose of exploiting the belief system in order to take advantage of those younger members. Yes – I consider that behavior to be very bad, and a serious threat to MANY young and impressionable kids across the country. This is something parents should be aware of.

  • Anonymous

    LOL…I agree, and appreciate your passion. However misplaced it may be. If you talk to anyone that knows me, they will tell you that I am the furthest from the term “bigoted” that you can possibly get without falling off the face of the planet. 😉

  • Niki

    First I will say that at least I do appreciate that you have taken the time to engage on these issues. But, with all due respect, you are wrong. From the beginning,with very title of your article you are misleading and spreading hate for several reasons:

    1.There is no vampire cult, no cult, no vampires, no anything involved with the Shelby Ellis case. She did not feel safe or secure at home and she ran away. You imply, like other irresponsible reports on this case, that vampires, goths, cults, etc. were involved when there is no evidence, whatsoever, of this.
    2.You say that Shelby was obsessed with the Gothic and vampire underground. Yet, there is no evidence whatsoever that such an “underground” exists in relations to this case or that Shelby has any involvement, or even awareness of such.
    3. You specifically mention the site as a “goth underground” site. Not only is this not true (what is “underground” about it, it is after all a public site.) But you also are implying that the site was some how linked to her “disappearance” which again, is not true in anyway.

    You point to one case of a violent act, but what does that violent act have to do with the Gothic and Vampire community? It is no more related than to say we should all fear Christians because of the inquisition. Although, what you are doing is very akin to a witch hunt.

    Further, your intent is quite frankly irrelevant. As writers we must realize the impact that our words could have and the harm that they could do regardless of what our intent may have been. Whether you directly say it or not you are casting a negative shadow onto a community that you know very little about, one which is already vulnerable and being attacked. Connecting Vampires or Goths to Shelby Ellis’s “disappearance” is the same as the Blood Libel used against the Jewish people. And whether you realize it or not, whether you even intended it or not, you are contributing to the problem and the culture of hate and fear.

    Did you bother to prepare for this article by actually speaking to members of the relevant communities before you spoke so negatively of them? And why do you hate people who like vampires? What rational reasoning is there for this? Saying that some people will use that to cause harm has nothing to do with vampires. Some people will use puppies to lure kids in to, does that mean that puppies are evil and we should all fear people who like puppies?

    The truth is that nothing in this case that has been presented pointed to any cult or anything dealing with vampires, yet you and others have continued to report it as if it did. And you speak about these “vampire cults” but do you actually know about any of them? Can you name one or a leader? For that matter do you even know a vampire or anyone in the Vampire Community at all?

    People already fear what is different or unknown, and when you write things like this with hints and innuendos and incorrect or little facts you are only adding to the problem. And yes, when a group is targeted for insults, discrimination, and hatred it IS bigotry, just the same as racism or sexism or the Klan.

    If you want to help parents, and more importantly their children, then why not educate them on the Truth about these communities and give them the tools to understand and connect with their kids, give them talking points to help them understand what their children believe and what is making them feel at home among the Gothic or Vampire community and put out messages of light and fact, instead of adding to the hate and prejudice that is already out there- because whether you intended to or not, that is what you are doing.

  • Anonymous

    “And why do you hate people who like vampires?”

    Niki – what you are doing with that quote is called a “strawman” argument. I suggest you take a break for a moment, re-read what I actually wrote and take a 24 hour pause before you respond. Consider that you just fabricated that quote – why? Because you need to believe that I hate people that like vampires, when I don’t.

    I said that people who BELIEVE in vampires are stupid. Which is true. The basis for vampires originated during the consumption epidemic in both Europe and even occurred during the colonial period in the U.S. The folklore of vampires was a fabrication – a make-believe story – conjured up by people too scared to understand what was really going on within their communities and why such terrible things were happening. Consumption was a horrible disease.

    I admire your support of the “community” that you clearly love a great deal. I think it’s great that you and others can find a social group that will help you get through the struggles of adolescence. However, there’s a much larger picture here involving the concept of people getting drawn into situations that are dangerous.

    I’ve researched cults for years – they are not a fabrication. And I’m not referring to silly “demonic” cult theories. To date, there are hundreds of dangerous cults across the world covering extremist belief systems that cover the entire gamut – from alien entities that want cult followers to offer up their bodies to cult leaders as a “sacrifice” to extremist Christian based groups that preach to followers to kill anyone that supports abortion.

    Make no mistake – belief systems that are not based on fact or reality breed this sort of dangerous cult mentality. So – again – don’t ever put words in my mouth about hating anyone. I don’t hate. What I said was that this particular belief system is stupid – because it is. It also falls into the category of being potentially dangerous – like the other examples I’ve just listed and occurred (and are documented – if you bother looking) throughout history. I’ve already documented a few on this very blog, and will continue documenting the facts about additional ones around the world.

    It is a dangerous belief system. To answer your other cases, yes, I know people from the community – and it’s clearly an effort to fit in to some sort of clique. There is always that need – to fit in. That is, in fact, one of the weaknesses that cause so many people to fall prey to the charisma of cult leaders.

    With that said – no one likes to be labeled a cult – so….nuff said.

    There will be additional reports once I (or fellow reporters) have interviewed the PI or community members in the case. Is this first article speculative? Yes – but it’s only a preliminary piece noting what was written in the news article. There’s certainly more to come as things are corroborated.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the update AVA – and I’ve just posted an update to the blog with a link to the update to this story. Good to hear she returned home safely.

  • Niki

    To quote you exactly…..”If you mean that I’m biased against people that believe in vampires – then most definitely… :-)” So, why then are BIASED (which is also a form of hatred whether you admit it or not) towards people who believe something that you disagree with?

    Further, please do not treat me like a child. I am an adult, I am not dealing with the “the struggles of adolescence”, nor am I naive. I am in my mid 30’s, graduated cum laude with a B.A. in English, a minor in Philosophy and I am currently working on a graduate project on this very topic. So I speak with passion, AND knowledge.

    As someone who has researched vampires, vampire myth, history, lore, and current vampire culture for several years, I can tell you that your view about the the history of the figure of the vampire is wrong on many levels, but that is another debate for another time.

    You say this article is speculative, first of all, that is a problem. Responsible reporting would not put out a piece of speculation as fact; and how many people are going to read what you wrote (or just see the title) and take it for its word, assuming that some vampire cult actually kidnapped a girl when that never happened? And in the mean time, how many people will be hurt by it? This is why it is irresponsible.

    I am not denying that there are cults out there, very dangerous ones. I am denying that the Gothic and Vampire community in general is a cult, that there has been any evidence reported that a cult of any sort was involved in this case, or that the mentioned site is in any way a cult. Those are the misguided and offensive points that I am denying and calling you and other reporters out on.

  • Niki

    That is what I have been trying to tell you this entire time. I do appreciate the fact that you were willing to print an update and apology. I sincerely thank you for that and wish other main stream media would follow your lead.

  • Anonymous

    Bias isn’t hate – it’s a tendency to lean in one direction on an issue.

    “As someone who has researched vampires, vampire myth, history, lore, and current vampire culture for several years, I can tell you that your view about the the history of the figure of the vampire is wrong on many levels, but that is another debate for another time.”

    I can tell you that, without a doubt, you will lose that debate.

    Again, the Vampire community isn’t a cult – it is simply a belief system (NOT based on fact or evidence) that can lead to the formation of sects – breakoffs – of dangerous cults.

    If I had to choose to write the article over – to warn parents that they need to protect their kids from belief systems that aren’t based on reality or fact – that can be manipulated by outside, charismatic personalities and exploited…of course I would do so.

    The evidence of the involvement of the belief system came from the Private Investigator that revealed the existence of the belief system. This article is a warning to parents about the potential – where such a belief system could end up. It’s something that’s important to watch out for – history is replete with examples of young teens ripped from homes and indoctrinated into cults. Regardless of whether this was the case in this event – the potential was there and still exists for others.

  • Anonymous

    Niki – I think out of all of this, there is one thing that you and I can agree on. And it is that the mainstream media will never do that. 🙂
    This is why alternative media is so important…one way or another you will get the truth, no matter what.

  • Persephone_too

    I think Niki misread & misunderstood your statement. I didn’t think you said you hated people who like or are interested in vampires. However, to say anyone who beileves in vampires is stupid, is a bit closed-minded too.

    The word “vampire” means many different things to different people. Tuberculosis and other diseases in the 19th century and earlier did account for much belief in vampires. However, folklore about vampiric beings varies widely & inlcudes far more than the idea of vampires made popular by Bram Stoker.

    People in the modern vampire subculture do not think they are this kind of immortal or revenant vampire. They generally use the term to describe a metaphysical condition, supported by Eastern belief systems in which life is thought to supported by a kind of life-force energy called prana in Hindu texts & chi in Chinese ones.

    I don’t think you have to believe in these belief systems, but since mainsteam religions are also not supported by verifiable facts, I don’t think it’s fair to call fringe belief systems “stupid” when you apparently don’t even understand them. I’ve heard people put down Hindu beliefs because they say Hindus think the world is sitting on the back off a turtle or Pagan beliefs because they think pagans worship the Christian devil. These are spurrious assumptions that show a serious lack of understanding of the cultures & belief systems these people were criticising.

    I suspect you are doing much the same with the goth & vampire subcultures. If you want to understand the vampire subculture for what it truely is, I suggest reading _Vampires_Today_, by Joseph Laycock, _Vampires_in_Their_Own_Words_, by Michelle Belanger, or checking out the Voices of the Vampire Communtiy website. The VVC membership comprises many of the most respected & knowlegable members of the vampire community & acts as an official contact point for members of the media who wish to learn more about the community.

    Anyone can believe they are a vampire and call himself such, but that doesn’t mean he is representaive of the whole vampire community. If 5 or 6 young people call themselves a “vampire cult”, such as Rod Ferell & his friends did, that doesn’t make them part of some bigger secret underground vampire cult. People like them are no more representive of the rest of the vampire community than an abortion clinic bomber is representive of all Christians.

  • Niki

    Although I still disagree with you on several points, I am grateful that you were gracious enough to update the article and apologize to the community, so I will simply leave you with this thought….

    If I took your same words and said that people should be cautious of black people because of the potential that a black person could be a drug dealer, this would clearly be seen as a bigoted statement, so why should it be different for any group? The “potential” is also there that you will create hysteria and unfounded bias towards any group that is different or unique and I hope that in the future you will consider the very real, and serious obligations that you have as a writer in regards to issues like this, less you create your own cult of hysteria…..and as far as reality, perhaps you should remember that there are many who would say that main stream Christianity (or Judaism, etc.) is also a cult not based on reality, we should tread lightly when telling other people what they are allowed to believe.

    I hope you will remember this experience in the future and not act, or write, too hastily 🙂

  • Niki

    As a fellow writer, I do wholeheartedly agree with you on this 🙂

    (even with all the typos after a very long day,lol)

  • Anonymous

    Very, very, very well written. I appreciate this feedback and the references – I hope that readers who are interested in that aspect of the belief system will check out those books. I have to agree that as a general rule – cults tend to always portray a very negative image to the larger group that they claim to represent. Extremist Muslim terrorists are a good example – certain NOT representative of the Muslim religion.

    Thanks for the insight!

  • Anonymous

    One skill that I think every good writer must have is not only the ability to teach and inform, but also the humility to learn from readers. Thanks for the great discussion tonight. 🙂

  • Niki

    Very well said and I agree. And, likewise, thank you for being responsive and open minded enough to engage me on these issues and for your time and consideration. 🙂

  • Niki

    Persophone, I did not misread or misunderstand him, I simply see that disrespect such as unjustly calling people’s beliefs stupid, and related prejudices are all forms of hatred, it is all part of the same big black hole of intolerance, but I did correct the way I phrased the question, hopefully in a more charitable way. You made some very good points, as well, and hopefully more people will educate themselves on these issues before they react.

  • Synester Shadows

    I really appreciate the fact that you pointed out that our site, Vampirefreaks, in which I am a member of is not a vampire cult. The media has made this tough for us especially sense it was us that joined together the most to try to find this girl. Again I am greatly thanking you for this article. Any information about vampirefreaks, please feel free to email me at and i will be glad to answer any questions you may have. Thanks again.

  • Deacongray

    I personally see it as fear mongering. In the 80s everytime there was a missing kid people screamed “It’s the satanists! a Satanic Cult.”

    So exactly how many murders and kiddnappings were actually attributed to Satanic Cults by the FBI? Zero

    These people might dress the part, but they are just crazies that could have just as easily of put on the cloths of Clowns…or Cowboys, or Christians..or whatever.
    Just because Jones killed all his followers does not mean we should link every Christian Organization together with terms like “Christian Death Cult!” or Mormons as being polyamorous.
    Simply stated you used the broad brush of sensationalism to draw attention to your work…good job you got it. You are not equel to the National Enquirer. I don’t care how many additions, or followups you post..the article is still up, the fear monger title is still drawing readers and you are still happily benifiting from trashing somthing you know nothing about.

    Deacon Gray

  • Anonymous

    No problem – an online community can’t classify as a cult due to the fact that it just doesn’t meet the criteria of secrecy, member indoctrination (rather than expressive freedom), etc… It is definitely unfortunate if the Private Investigator’s statement to the media is ever used as justification to call Vampirefreaks itself a cult.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comments Deacon.

    The danger is the lure of any cult – and that is the danger this article is meant to convey to parents…because it’s a very real danger. Here are a few cases to wet your appetite and get your research rolling. Our researchers at TopSecretWriters have covered a few of these, and we intent to cover many more with documented evidence of their activities and the harm to society that these groups cause.

    – David Koresh & Waco – 86 dead – “Koresh enjoyed the bodies of his young female followers, while painting himself of the Messiah”.
    – Order of the Solar Temple – 69 dead.
    – Yahweh Ben Yahweh and the Temple of Love – 14 slayings
    – Jeffrey Lundgren & His Sect of the CJCLDS – murdered an entire family with the assistance of his 19 yr old son.
    – Sun Myung Moon – “Lures in young people and separates them from their loved ones by making them feel a part of a new and more loving family” – believes he is god and should be treated as god.
    – Children of God (David Berg)
    – Heaven’s Gate – 38 dead

    The list goes on and on.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Synester – which form of Vampirism? Do you believe you need to suck the blood of other people?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Sappho! I’ll check out the site and am interested in learning more from you (maybe an interview about real vampirism?) It would be great to get the truth out there vs. any myths that might exist… just from the private reaction I’ve received – there are certainly a lot of myths that even I believed until hearing from a few members recently.

    I’m glad you appreciate the dangers of cult mentality! Let’s discuss further via email, I’ll contact you. Thanks for the reminder that I need to add my e-mail credentials to our contact page!


  • Niki

    Then, if I may suggest, why no change the title and the focus to do JUST an article about cults? Especially since the Shelby Ellis case, as far as anyone knows, had nothing to do with cults or Vampires or Goths.

  • Niki

    I will say that I am at least glad to see that you are open minded enough to consider that your previous notions were misguided and uninformed and that you are willing to learn the (not so scary) Truth about the Vampire and Gothic community. I think that you will find that most of us are quite articulate and welcome opportunities to set the record straight.

  • Anonymous

    Well – it’s not true that it had nothing to do with the Vampire community. It’s actually fascinating and I’m hoping to interview some folks from within that community to get some more insight. Here’s some more updates from the “mainstream”:

    “Wendy said, “I don’t believe Shelby wanted to be found.”

    Shelby’s parents believe she got help from someone she met on

    Wendy said Shelby was obsessed with vampires and a dark underworld, and she may have found someone who shared her interest.

    Wendy said, “We don’t allow certain things of the Gothic lifestyle.”

    Richmond believed his daughter’s behavior was influenced by the

    Richmond said, “That particular website,, is a deviant behavior website. I think it’s abnormal. People who frequent that website frequent it because they have some other issue.”

    Interesting. It appears to me that there’s simply a conflict of belief systems within the family. Anyway – it wouldn’t be accurate to say this case has nothing to do with Vampires or Goths – obviously it does. It really comes down to who you agree with, or the parents! It seems clear the parents at least really believe the Vampire community had a part to play.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks – it’s always been my approach to enter into a dialogue with any group, regardless of belief system. I’ve found that those that have nothing to hide are usually more than willing to enter into a dialogue. On the flip side I’ve come across countless scam artists that run away screaming when faced with an open interview…lol.

  • Niki

    I did not see anything new there that I have not been telling you and other reporters about already (I and others have been having the same discussion on there as here), and again, there is NOTHING there that even hints that this had anything to do with a cult, the Vampire Community, or even the web site other than the stepmother (who has been caught in at least two lies already) says she thinks someone she met there helped her. There is NO EVIDENCE whatsoever that this is true, and even if it is, that is about a person she met on a site that helped her (NOTE KEYWORD HELPED). Which again would have nothing to do with the Vampire Community and again, no link, no hint of evidence that any cult was involved in any way.

    So I believe the question is, why continue to push the connection when there is not one?

  • Niki

    I would also like to point out that you seem to be confusing with the Vampire Community…..there are NOT the same things. Are there some members of the Vampire community that may frequent the social networking site, sure? But guess what, they are facebook to. So is facebook a vampire cult?

    Not everything with the word vampire in it is related to The Vampire Community.

  • Sanguinarius

    Your article is a shining example of yellow journalism. The damage has already been done; your apology is not accepted. Edit the original article to remove the offending comments and I might consider accepting your apology. — Sanguinarius

  • You wrote “The basis for vampires originated during the consumption epidemic in both Europe and even occurred during the colonial period in the U.S.”

    Vampires predate colonial America by several thousand years. In ancient Greece, the were called vrykolakas or vrukolaks and in medieval Eastern Europe, they were called by at least 10-15 different names, if not more, depending on what locale you were in. The history of “the vampire” dates back as far as mankind’s earliest beginnings.

  • As for my little corner of the web (haha) running a cult (and it has been called that), it’s not so. I encourage people to think for themselves and make their own decisions. Hell, I don’t want to do that for them. I might screw up. Then where would we both (or all) be? Homefully you’ll see why I take umbrage at your article and remarks.

  • Anonymous

    If you liked this one – you’ll love the upcoming expose about real-life Vampire cults coming up soon. 😉

  • Anonymous

    Are you saying Europeans were free from consumption?

  • Anonymous

    I’m always interested in learning more about anyone or any group – but do not take kindly to bullying.

  • And how am I bullying you? By taking umbrage?

  • I’m saying the origin of vampires, at least folkloricly/historically, goes a lot further back than what you stated.

  • Anonymous

    The only thing that will change about any article is if it’s shown any of the facts are incorrect. All quotes are from parents or the PI. Any editorializing/opinion is my right.

  • Anonymous

    And I’m saying that the folklore you refer to originates from misunderstood diseases and superstition, even as far back as you mention.

  • Persephone_too

    I should have said this sooner, but I’ll say it now. Ryan (the author) actually listened & responded to comments on this page with an open mind and was man enough to admit when his assumptions were wrong.

    – Thanks so much, Ryan, for your update at the bottom of your article.

  • Niki

    Facts or more bigoted propaganda?

  • Anonymous

    Thank you – I appreciate that! And will certainly be sure in the future to avoid taking witness statements at face value!

  • Anonymous

    LOL…you like that word, don’t you. 🙂 Yes, you can be certain that facts will rule the day.

  • Niki

    I hope that that is the case. But I must admit I am somewhat puzzled by the fact that you are still letting the offensive content stand. I do appreciate the effort so far; however, others have made a valid point about the damage that it is still doing, the headline alone is false and irresponsible.

  • Anonymous

    You have evidence of the identity and background of the person she was staying with prior to the police bringing her back home?

  • Anonymous

    Furthermore – you are lucky I’ve allowed your libelous statement about Wendy to remain in the comments section. Calling someone a liar, without any specifics, is dangerous territory.

  • Niki

    I think that is totally irrelevant since a person can not exactly be a cult all by himself o_0. Further, she left of her own accord. But more importantly, YOU are the one being irresponsible for reporting such hysteria without any proof whatsoever!!! The burden of proof is on the writer, sort of common sense 101 there.

  • Anonymous

    I can understand the sensitivity, but I don’t think, for example, that Christians would have any problem with someone labeling a Christian group a “cult” if that’s exactly what a group is….I do understand the meaning of the word, thank you.As far as the implied cult connection in this article, it isn’t a reference to VampireFreaks – it references the fact that her parents reported she had an obsession with “Vampirism”. Her interest in Vampires isn’t the connection made to cults – it’s the “obsession” in combination with her disappearance. If she had an obsession with Fundamentalist Christianity and she had disappeared, the article would have been about the dangers of young children potentially exploited by Christian cults…understand now?

  • Anonymous

    No – I am simply pointing out that an “obsession” with ANY belief system can make a person susceptible to dangerous cults. You’ve stated that it’s “untrue” as though you have more information as to the background of the story, and you called Wendy a liar without any evidence of such….do you not apply the same rules of evidence to yourself?

  • Persephone_too

    Cult: Dictionary Definition
    The definition of the term ‘cult’ as provided by the Merriam-Webster dictionary covers a variety meanings:

    1 : formal religious veneration : worship
    2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
    3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
    4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator
    5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
    b : the object of such devotion
    c : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

    These checklists at Wikipedia may also help you distiguish whether a group shold be decribed as a “cult” or not.

    Btw, I think you’ll find very few actual vampire cults. Most groups are just a bunch of people sharing similar views. They aren’t organized like a religious cult, they aren’t dogmaic, & they don’t show allengce to some head guru.

    If on the otherhand you consider a “cult of popularity” a cult, then you’ll have to include every fan-club for every celebrity a “cult” as well.

  • Anonymous

    #3 – and typically when I choose to cover a specific cult under that definition I only cover it if it can be appended with the word “dangerous” – such as previous criminal activity, charges brought against the leader or otherwise harmful to the members.

“The thing about the truth is, not a lot of people can handle it.” -Conor McGregor

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