Odd News Show

Zombies, Werewolves, and Vampires Might Just Be Weird Brits

A doctor, whose name isn’t Frankenstein, says that Dracula, wolfmen, and zombies exist in real life, and he’s got a diagnosis for them.

By Bram Teitelman · March 28, 2024

Howl you doin'? Public domain/Wikimedia commons

Disclaimer: Although this article is based on the sharp fangs of truth, it does contain a bite of satire. Keep your garlic handy…

Who among us doesn’t have a friend that kinda sucks? You know, someone in the group that just kinda wound up there and nobody quite knows how, or who brought them in. Or that person you’ve known since you were a kid, but now that you’re both adults, their entire personality type is “crossfit” or “being a vegan.” Or maybe one that enjoys feasting on the blood of humans, channeling the immortal and undead? We’ve all been there, and according to a clinical psychologist, the last type is more common than you think.

The UK’s Daily Star suggests that Britain might be full of real life vampires, zombies, and werewolves after catching up with Dr. Brian Sharpless, who’s written a book about horrific diagnoses, Monsters on the Couch: The Real Psychological Disorders Behind Your Favorite Horror Movies. Sharpless says he’s met people that think that they’re zombies, and that there are medical diagnoses for bloodsuckers (it’s not “lawyers”) and those that think they can transform into werewolves. We’ll start with the suckers, as it’s perhaps the most obvious - it’s called Renfield Syndrome, or if you hate literary references, clinical vampirism. It’s a compulsion to consume blood for non-nutritional purposes. Sharpless says it’s sometimes a sex thing, but if you’re Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox cracking open a warm one, it’s just “weird magical sh*t.” 

“Of course if people are shy about disclosing how much they smoke or drink to their doctor are they likely to say that they drink blood?’’
Dr. Brian Sharpless

And if being a zombie is in your head, in your he-ee-ad, you might have Cotard’s syndrome, the good doctor says. The syndrome takes its name from Dr. Jules Cotard, who in 1880 treated a 43 year-old woman who told him she was a decomposing body. Since then, other patients have shuffled forward, with Sharpless saying “Many folks with Cotard’s believe that they’re essentially rotting, walking corpses, which would fit with our Hollywood idea of a zombie.’’ He adds that many of those with the syndrome suffer from depression, nihilism, and anxiety, also known as being a Mets fan. Sadly, unlike that, he says the delusions of immortality, along with the aforementioned traits, may cause those suffering to harm themselves.

Are they really monsters, or can they be cured by Universal healthcare?  Thomas Hawk/Wikimedia Commons

And then there’s clinical lycanthropy, of the belief you can turn into a wolf (or a teen one.) The fun thing about this is that Sharpless states that it’s not just wolves that people feel they can turn into, stating that some have felt that they can change into dogs, cows, and in even one case, a “were-gerbil.” If Universal isn’t optioning that case right now, someone needs to get on it immediately. The doc says that medication and electroconvulsive therapy can help those suffering from clinical lycanthropy… but isn’t electroconvulsion what reanimated Frankenstein?