Gothic Bite Magazine loves to interview everyone, including those walking straight out of an Epic Gothic novel such as, The Gravedigger. Come meet with Clémentine Lyon.
The First Professional Vampirologist
Dr. Clémentine Lyon is a professional vampirologist. She is a parapsychologist with a doctorate in anthropology and history. She is here to talk about her experience with “living” vampires. Now, this is how interviewing a professional vampirologist happens at Gothic Bite Magazine!
Hello, everyone. I am Clémentine Lyon, a doctor in anthropology and history. My specialization is in ancient history, more precisely legends and folklore. I developed an interest in vampires when realizing that the term of “forceful bite” happened to be mentioned everywhere around ancient civilizations from around the globe.
In April of 2014, when I still worked at RunwayLAB as a lead scientist, I traveled to Austria. I was investigating with my team the Moosham Castle and found the remains of a legitimate petrified vampire corpse. After many verifications and DNA testing, my team and I made the front page of many scientific magazines.
I was then robbed from the discovery, according to a particular council, it is wrong to let the public know about the existence of vampires. Imagine their surprise when I decided to turn against them, refuse their offer for my silence, and become the producer of Life At Dusk, a documentary series about real-life “monsters” like me? No one can keep me silent.
The Questioning of a Professional Vampirologist
A.W. (ALEXA WAYNE): Reading your introduction, it appears that you already know the existence of monsters to be accurate, is that so?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: Yes, it is true. I was born in a family of witches, part of a coven and practicing folk magic, among other types. What was a bit confusing was mixing this practice with being part of the church’s choir. It had me understand at a young age that one doesn’t stop the other.
As a toddler, I was a friend with a wolfgirl, a Stitched, and many witches. It’s quite natural in Mont La Bellerose to be surrounded by all types of people! Humans, Frankensteins, and enjoy everything that life can give you.
A.W.: You say, Frankenstein, is that a type of species or a term you use to define people?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: After Mary Shelley released her novel of Frankenstein’s Monster in the 19th century, the community of “monsters” settled on banishing the “m” word and replacing it with Frankenstein.
“We are Frankensteins’ children.”Dr. Clémentine Lyon — Interviewing A Professional Vampirologist
You have to understand that the word monster has a negative and brutal connotation to it. We are not evil or pathological killers. We identify more with the creature of Frankenstein, misunderstood, and forced for centuries to live hidden from the rest of the world.
Accepting to be called monsters is accepting the definition that comes with it. We are not ugly, mean, scary, or barbarians, we lived among your society for millennia without you even noticing our existence.
The Professional Mont La Bellerose
A.W.: You speak of Mont La Bellerose as if it is a place founded for Frankensteins or at least welcoming for them, what is it about Mont La Bellerose that makes it so different?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: When a Frankenstein, you know where to go to protect your family or start one yourself. There are few places where safety for Frankenstein still exists.
Outside of New Orleans or Louisiana in general, in North America, States like Vermont, Colorado, Minnesota, and Washington are usually the “to-go” places. But not everyone is from the United States.
In Canada, the Northwest Territories are highly recommended for the lack of population. However, not everyone is a fan of snow, especially Swampers. Mont La Bellerose is in the French province of Québec and located about 4-5 hours North of the old town of Montréal.
It’s a town that was built with both humans and Frankensteins working together. It is almost an emblem of brother/sisterhood. Unlike many other cities, Mont La Bellerose has unique protection.
It has a spell maintained by witches and even prayers by the church to keep humans that would have a negative impact away from it. It is for their protection but also ours.
A.W.: You are a blood witch, now to some that can be quite scary, what is a blood witch and, most importantly, a Gravedigger?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: There are two types of blood witches, one that is scary and me. In other words, I’m a hereditary witch. I come from a strong bloodline of witches.
My ancestors are witches dating back to the earliest days of Danes, Saxons, and France, perhaps Bohemia even!
As for what a Gravedigger is, it is most complicated to explain. I have properties in my DNA that allow me to read someone’s life, secrets, repress memories through ingesting one drop of their blood. I do not recommend drinking blood; it is poisonous. I have body attributes that allow me to use this ability.
A Gravedigger is complex and has even more abilities that can be quite disturbing to others, and I do not wish to reveal those in an interview. I know this is “interviewing a professional vampirologist” but that is all I want to say.
Interviewing Vampirologist About Vampires
A.W.: You spent time with vampires, are they what we think they could be, 30 Days of Night or True Blood like?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: I guess that comes with interviewing a professional vampirologist. Okay, vampires, just like humans, are unique individuals.
Some consider them being territorial, but humans are as well when you think about it. Some are solitary, in other words, introverted, while others prefer to be in clans, so group of friends.
I won’t lie, vampires are quite smart and have abilities that humans do not share or even Frankensteins. I wouldn’t recommend for humans to go “vampire hunting” whether to persecute or to befriend.
They are not fond of the spotlight or surrounded by people. When overwhelmed, vampires have a hard time controlling their natural instincts.
Not to alarm anyone, but I feel as I should say something. Vampires can easily be that 30 Days of Night comparison, just like they can be very True Blood like as well. They are people, they have the means to be good or bad, only with sharper teeth and twice the jaw pressure that a grey wolf has.
A.W.: Vampires subsist on blood, but throughout the television era, we’ve seen some capable of eating food or survive on animals, which is real?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: All of the above. Some vampires can subsist on blood alone and nothing else, those are mostly older vampires, and they are strict about using VitaL Hemo.
VitaL is a company created by Bernabé DeVilliers, a biotechnologist who was able to create cloned blood while adding the nutrients necessary for vampires to be nourished without having to rely on killing humans or animals.
Vampires can technically subsist on any mammals’ blood, even whales, for that matter. When vampires were in the wild, no humans around, they would often drink from animals.
However, even among the most ruthless vampires, due to their animalistic instincts, they would rarely kill even the smallest prey. Psychologically, I believe they relate to animals better than humans.
Vampires that are capable of eating are usually hybrids. As a result of a mix between a werewolf and vampire or a third or quarter vampire. Those are extremely rare but are not uncommon.
However, eventually, you exist, or you don’t. It’s the law of physics. Either the body adapts to the vampire gene or rejects it entirely. It’s a temporary state for all hybrids. They lose it or keep it. There is no half in the vampire world. Even the gene is snobbish.
Vampirologist Professional Sexuality
A.W.: While living with vampires, you witness much of their behavior and interactions, how do they procreate?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: That is a very private matter for vampires. One does not simply walk to a vampire and say, “I want to become a vampire.”
The process is long and studied. Vampires choose their scion—their word, meticulously because once the scion becomes vampire, they are Donors—their term. They must teach the ways of the vampire, politics, code of conduct, nourishment, traveling, way of living, and procreate.
“The process is long, as I’ve said; it’s not something they decide to do. Vampires do not procreate like us.”Dr. Clémentine Lyon — Interviewing A Professional Vampirologist
They must share their blood, and the one they chose must go through the stages of death. It is psychologically hard on vampires who have to watch their “child” die and hope their gene is compatible, and the human body won’t reject it.
There is an established law and with a penalty quite severe. If the transgression is made of turning anyone under the age of 24 years-old. All scions must be 24 years of age or older.
The reason is that once you are a vampire, there is no turning back, you become immortal and stuck in the appearance you had once dead. Scars, tattoos, all present and on some occasion, rare though, you lose them all, and you’re almost born a babe again!
A.W.: Did vampires accept you among them easily when you appeared everywhere as the first professional vampirologist to bring one of their corpses to light?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: Like any human group, some accepted me while others not so much. I wouldn’t go where I wasn’t wanted.
So, because people knew I was looking to prove the existence of Frankensteins, including vampires slowly, I would receive leads to bring my team and me to places where vampires were said to hang out.
I am from Mont La Bellerose, I know which province, States, countries where vampires live. My team and I could easily separate the fake or hoax leads with the real ones.
The last two leads we got were genuine, and we did meet vampires. We’re not talking lifestylers or role-playing gamers, but actual bloodsucking people. It was magnificent and terrorizing. I’ve never felt that small in my life.
They appeared mean, but it was fear that we would expose their home. That is not the goal of Life At Dusk. We only want to prove Frankensteins are like any other humans. So, those vampires did welcome us, and to this day, we are friends.
A Professional Vampirologist Historian
A.W.: Who are the oldest vampires you have ever met?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: A Viking named Ragnar Lodbrok. As a historian, I cherish the Viking era because it is still, to this day, a mystery. How did they travel back and forth without a compass?
We don’t know how they crossed to North America so early and made so many voyages. Did they forge an alliance with Native Americans? So many questions without answers.
Vikings didn’t write back in those times, in Ragnar’s time, so everything is speculative or from studies done by scientists.
Other ways to know more about them is through encounters the Anglo-Saxons had, or France had. Vikings encompass many ancient civilizations. They were effective in what they did and wanted to accomplish.
When I met Ragnar, it was like standing in front of a mirror. It was giving me a glimpse of the past. I was allowed to stare at history. A man who bore a name that went down in history as both a hero and a tyrant.
That is all I wish to say about Ragnar.
A.W.: A question that I am sure many would like to know, do vampires mix well with humans and other Frankensteins?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: Like any other human, some are introverts and some extroverts. Some are okay with the company of humans or other Frankensteins, while others prefer to remain solitary.
In terms of being friendly, vampires that one might encounter or might have cross thousands of times are friendly. Those that are the 30 Days of Night type nest with vampires in the far north.
A.W.: As the last question, for interviewing a professional vampirologist, what are your thoughts when it comes to comparing who is the scariest Frankensteins, who is it in your opinion?
CLÉMENTINE LYON: The scariest being is the one that can ally itself with humans and convince them to hunt all Frankensteins and those who support them to extinction.
Humans turned on themselves often throughout their history, don’t think for a second, Frankensteins haven’t done the same. We are our greatest heroes and our worst enemies.
Toe to toe, the only being capable of bringing a vampire down is a Stitched. But, they are on the endangered list.
This is our first “interviewing a professional vampirologist” article! Dr. Lyon is the main female character of the Lord Impaler series and now returns to the pages of the novel you can find on Amazon as a digital copy or paperback.
Gothic Bite Magazine is interviewing fictional characters now and bringing them to life for your entertainment. Maybe next time, Vlad can show up! In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed Interviewing A Professional Vampirologist!