After the end of the Civil War in America, society did what it usually does after war and bloodshed, which is to revel in activities that are whimsical if somewhat morbid. Such was the creation of the Vampires' Club.
Some of the fraternal organizations in existence were the Military Order of the Serpent (also known as “The Snaix”), The Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo, Odd Fellows, and The Ancient Mystic Order of Bagmen of Bagdad. Britain boasts one of the oldest of these groups, The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, founded in 1822.
“The Vampires,” seem to have been an organization of much the same ilk as The Thirteen Club. One would expect these sorts of hi-jinks in the Parisian death-cafes, Café du mort/Café du neant, where the “decadent”—or, more often the tourists, wishing to be thought daring—sipped absinthe and watched weird shows of the living turning to corpses, then to skeletons, and back, rather like a skeletal strip-tease.
All these groups provided a convenient excuse to get together and “raise hell” in rather puerile ways, as we note in the following account published in the newspaper State [Columbia, SC] May 7, 1892: p. 6:
FEAST OF THE VAMPIRES.
A New York Times article the day after the 1892 party reported on the party decorations of coffins, skeletons and vampires on wires and described the scene as “one hundred Vampires around the tables, including many actors, doctors, and professional men.” The fate of these Vampires is unclear as there is not much extant information on the organization. Unlike their muse, the group likely did not exist for very long.
Source - MrsDaffodil
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