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Vampires Living in London

Meetings of the London Vampire Group are held in the Ben Crouch Tavern in central London. Member Heidi Taylor says she was born with "natural fangs. I was always strange as a kid, I didn't fit in and I don't seem to like bright lights."

Nathan, another member, says, "When I was younger I always felt there was something missing. I cut myself and put my mouth to it to stop it bleeding and thought 'this feels great, this is what's missing.'" When he drinks blood, which he describes as metallic-tasting, he says, "I can see everything better and clearer. It's just an amazing feeling."

His blood source is his girlfriend, Gemma, who lets him feed from her because it "makes him happy." She says, "I know that it's something he enjoys, but I suppose in some senses it can be considered romantic to be able to do that for him. I trust him, I know that he's not gonna cause me any harm."

Cliff says, "Vampires are sexy, suave, sophisticated and good dressers?If you look at the classic monsters like Frankenstein or a werewolf, no one says they want to be them. But vampires? They look human, but they have that hypnotic power over their victims, whether it be male or female."

"I'm not harming anyone by doing it," Nathan says. "I mean, there are worse things I could be doing?taking drugs, getting into fights, going out and murdering people. This is something I do with someone who feels safe and secure about the whole thing."

Real vampires may be creepy, but the vampires Whitley Strieber writes about in his new novel ?Lilith?s Dream? are fun and sexy. ?Lilith?s Dream? arrives in bookstores everywhere today and Whitley will talk about his book with Art Bell on Coast to Coast am Wednesday night.

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