"Vampire ritual slated at
Mountain Temple Center."
This is an actual headline from the October issue of the Omega News, a local publication covering New Age topics. You can’t get much spookier than a real vampire ritual for Halloween.
On closer reading, though, the article says this ritual will include dancing, music, costumes and a potluck dinner. That doesn’t sound so scary.
Then there’s this line: "Attendance is adults only, as it will be a clothing optional event."
Will there really be casserole-eating vampires undressing and boogeying down this Saturday? Maybe.
Michael Crowley, proprietor of Mountain Temple Center and host of the event, drove his white Harley (with a matching sidecar for his two white wolves) to meet for coffee and explain the evening. He said the ritual is a vampire-themed play based on a vampire role-playing game. No bona fide bloodsuckers will be in it.
Instead, the actors will be people from across the Valley who frequent the center. But vampires inevitably attend, Crowley promises, and chances are some will disrobe. Folks of all stripes — even creatures of the night, apparently — can’t resist a Jacuzzi.
"There could be naked, hot-tubbing vampires," he said.
Because his center caters to those who follow alternative spiritual paths, Crowley — who is not a vampire — comes in contact with people who consider themselves vampires. "I help facilitate their learning," he said.
He admits that vampires might also be endeared to him because he shares a surname with Aleister Crowley, author of books on magic and the occult.
When pressed for details on the tenets of the vampire faith, Crowley was vague. Stroking his wiry salt-andpepper beard, he says there is a Church of the Vampire, but members prefer to stay underground.
He added that vampire and living dead myths have been present in societies worldwide for thousands of years — even predating Vlad the Impaler, a brutal 15th-century ruler in a Romanian area north of Transylvania. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was based on this real-life evildoer.
Saturday’s play, though, will be a script based on the Book of Nod. Derived from a game called Vampire: The Masquerade, it explains how vampires came into being. Crowley describes it as a biblical story "from a different point of view."
For instance, the story of Cain and Abel will be told from Cain’s perspective, and the Garden of Eden will be seen through the Serpent’s eyes. "Vampires are supposedly the mark of Cain," Crowley said. "They think of him as their originator or father."
If this sounds a bit heretical to you, then it’s best not to show up.
"Our motto is, the only thing we don’t tolerate is intolerance," Crowley said.
"Who’s Your Demon?"
Michael Crowley will appear on Charles Goyette’s radio program between 7 and 10 p.m. today on KFYI (550 AM) to answer the question, "Who’s Your Demon?" Listeners can call in and give their date of birth and Crowley will tell them which demon is associated with their birthday and what that demon’s powers are. He might also tell them about their respective angel and tarot card, depending on time constraints.