Dark Tourist (2018) s01e03 Episode Script

United States

[crickets] [narrator] I'm a journalist from New Zealand, and I've always been drawn to the weirder side of life.
[crickets] [narrator] So I've decided to investigate dark tourism, a global phenomenon where people choose to vacation in places associated with death and destruction.
This trip takes me to America, where I visit three dark tourist destinations.
[woman screaming] [narrator] In New Orleans, I go undercover to search for real vampires.
[David] Can I level with you? [David]I just look at you guys and I think you’re here as food.
[narrator] and I discover a national tragedy that’s turned into a tourist attraction in Texas.
She'll have bone fragments in her hair, and brain tissue is scattered all over the car.
[narrator] In Milwaukee, I join a dark tourist on the trail of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
If you gave me a body and said, "You've got to dismember this and get rid of it," I would not know where to start.
[narrator] I'm David Farrier, and this trip gets weirder than I ever imagined.
[series music theme] [narrator] I'm in the United States, and my first stop is in the Midwest - the city of Milwaukee famous for beer and cheese and a serial killer.
Now, I’ve always been fascinated by serial killers, the more graphic, the better.
But I'm on my way to meet someone who's even more into the stuff than me.
She's a self-proclaimed dark tourist.
And she's agreed to let me join her on a gruesome tour dedicated to the Cream City cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer.
[news girl] Police in Wisconsin are investigating a grisly discovery in a Milwaukee apartment.
[news man] Numerous pieces from as many as 15 human bodies, including three heads, preserved in a refrigerator.
[narrator] I'm here to pick up Natalie.
She's a Dahmer fanatic and she's always dreamed of coming to Milwaukee.
- [David] Hey, Natalie.
- How do you do? [David] It's so nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you.
- You've never been here, right? - No.
No, I haven't.
- Which is ridiculous! [both laughing] [David] 'Cause Dahmer's your guy, and you've never been here.
[David] See, I was wondering who would turn up, who it would be.
- [Natalie] I figured you might have been.
- I was looking for the black T-shirt.
You've got the black T-shirt.
All black, everything, you know.
[Natalie] But it's Morrissey.
He's a vegan.
[David] So you're into a lot of this.
I mean, you are a dark tourist.
Mostly from the comfort of my home, 'cause I like to read.
When did you first hear about the Dahmer case? When do you think that kind of seized your brain? [Natalie] Well, I was ten years old when it happened, and it didn't really register.
When you're ten years old, you don't really have an understanding of what cannibalism is.
[narrator] So far, Natalie seems pretty normal.
But I'm still really curious to see what makes her tick.
- Beautiful AirBnb.
- Oh, nice! [David] With the Dahmer story, what is it about the gory aspects that draw people to it? There's never been a case quite like his, where there were lobotomies, attempts to turn people into zombies, cannibalism.
All of this in one.
And he wasn't a sadist, either.
He actually granted the small mercy of drugging and strangling his victims, if you could call it that, before, you know, the eviscerations.
He had that little element of niceness to him.
[Natalie] If you want to call it that.
If you could call it that.
- Before he drilled into their brains! - The small mercy, yes.
Because he was like literally in there with all the guts and the blood and he was chopping them up.
He could not be more involved in the gore.
He started with road kill, and then gradually worked his way up to lobotomies and intestines.
[narrator] Natalie sure knows her stuff about Dahmer, but her passion doesn't end there.
She collects anything strange and has something she wants to show me.
Who is this? Juan Diego.
He's a South American male.
Can I touch? I’ve never really touched a real human sort of skull before.
I feel like Jeffrey Dahmer would have probably held a lot of these.
[Natalie] He did have a lot of those! And then he’d crush them up and get rid of them.
Well, he saved a few for his altar that he was building in his apartment.
Do you sometimes see any little correlations between the two of you? No, I don't! This is strictly just me being weird.
[narrator] I’ve barely met Natalie and already she’s showing me her bone collection.
Well, I'm just amazed that you were allowed to travel with that in your bag.
But it's America, right? Crazier things have happened.
They certainly have.
[narrator] I leave Natalie to wrap up her skull and go down to Shaker's Bar.
It's the hub of the Dahmer tour industry.
Set up for people like me.
I've come here to meet Bella and Michelle, who run the Cream City Cannibal Tour.
- We like bad boys.
Women like bad boys.
- Serial killers are definitely - Bad boys.
- By definition, a bad boy.
Yes, they are.
I'm very much into spirits and into death.
- That's something - You're into death? - I'm into death.
- [David] Hence Jeffrey Dahmer.
- [woman] Yes.
- [David] Who caused a lot of death.
He did cause a lot of death, but he was like the perfect storm of issues that I think caused this man to become what he was.
So, I actually have a fair amount of empathy and sympathy for him.
[David] That's something I'm struggling with, because I understand the empathy to a point.
But then at the same time, he did absolutely unforgivable things.
So, the empathy can only go so far.
He didn't enjoy the act of killing at all.
He just wanted someone there for him, and didn't want to have to take care of them.
I think that's something everyone can connect with, in a way.
Everybody wants somebody there.
Nobody loves People don't love being lonely.
[narrator] I can't get my head around why so many women seem to be attracted to Dahmer, a gay serial killer.
I meet up again with Natalie.
She’s all amped for tonight’s tour.
[David] That's funny 'cause your enthusiasm is infectious.
I feel strange that I am enthusiastic about it.
Clearly nobody wants anyone to be murdered and no one should be happy about it.
It will be interesting to see who does turn up for it.
I've heard they get bachelorette parties, which is kind of amazing.
[David] Twenty and five.
[employee] Lets get a wristband.
[woman] All right! Everybody that is coming on the Cream City Cannibal Tour this evening, could you please join us outside, in the alleyway, so we may begin this tour? [David] Natalie was spot on about the bachelorette parties.
The tour is dominated by women in their 30s.
Maybe, like the tour guides, they’re all secretly hot for Jeffrey Dahmer, the ultimate bad boy.
I’m just excited to finally satisfy my bloody curiosity by getting into the graphic details.
[blonde] Another method he used is he actually tried to create a sex slave that wouldn't have any needs, wouldn't speak, wouldn't do much, but he still wanted them alive.
So, to do this, he decided to drill an inch and a quarter into their skulls.
And at first he poured boiling water, and then he tried different cleaning agents.
[narrator] I’m into all these disgusting bits, and I’m not the only one.
He's super interesting, yes.
 'Cause he's different than your stereotypical I think women just also want to fix everybody, too.
I don't think that's - [woman] Way to be psychological.
- I know.
Well, it's true.
I mean Yeah.
How would you fix him? What would be your methodology, do you think? Little snuggles.
- Little drill in the brain.
- Right.
Snuggles, but not too close.
[narrator] The tour takes us to Club 219, where Dahmer picked up many of his victims.
And things start to get weird.
If anyone is here with us right now, can you please cross the rods? [woman] That's a yes.
Now, can you please uncross the rods for me? If you're feeling low on energy, you may use my energy if need be.
If we are speaking to Jeffrey Dahmer currently, can you please cross the rods? Does anybody have any questions for Mr.
Dahmer? They've lost me, Natalie.
- Have they lost you? - Totally.
[Natalie] Very tacky as well.
- [David] They annoyed me.
- [Natalie] It was annoying.
- Are you annoyed? - I am annoyed.
I've got really no patience for woo like that.
Thank you.
- [David] Woo or bullshit? - Woo, yeah, bull [Natalie] That's a nice way of saying bullshit.
[narrator] I can’t imagine how the families of his victims would feel, knowing this tour was trying to call up Jeffrey Dahmer’s ghost.
[tv presenter] Some real-life drama today in a Milwaukee courtroom.
Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to 15 consecutive life terms without parole.
[narrator] Natalie and I are interested in what makes Dahmer tick.
But the divining rods weren’t going to give us any answers.
Before I leave Milwaukee, it seemed a waste not to dig deeper, to get some real insight.
[David speaking] [narrator] Dahmer was like an itch I needed to scratch.
So I arranged to meet up with Wendy Patrickus, the lawyer who defended Dahmer in court.
- [David] Hello, Wendy.
- [Wendy] Hello.
- So, we're in town for Dahmer.
- Yes.
I mean, it's sort of curious to meet you because we've met with second-hand stories, but you were there from the beginning.
[Wendy] Oh.
I spent so much time with him.
I mean, I saw him basically every day.
But I asked him flat out.
I said, "Is it true that you did eat some of the body parts?" And he said yes.
I actually asked him how he prepared it and he he said that he went and got a meat tenderizer from Sears, and he basically just cooked it up like you would cook up any steak.
And I gave him a piece of paper one day and he drew for me what was the shrine.
[Natalie] I've seen a picture a thousand times.
That's the shrine? [Wendy] And he signed it at the bottom and dated it.
[Natalie] Holy cow! [David] Oh, so he was going to have a whole little sort of [Wendy] He did.
He saved the entire bodies of these two on the end.
He had a thing for hands.
He had saved the hands a lot of times and obviously the penis.
And then he had this lamp that had these globes that kind of went over the top of each one of the skulls that he would have, to kind of highlight it.
And then he would just sit there in his chair.
BLACK PLUSH CHAIR And it was his own little shrine to himself.
It's so odd 'cause it's almost like a child's drawing and yet it's about something so incredibly I mean, this is like True Detective or something.
Right? [Wendy] Right.
- But beyond.
- [Wendy] Way beyond.
[narrator] It’s so eerie thinking of Dahmer drawing this and signing it.
Then Wendy surprises us.
A tape of one of her interviews with Dahmer.
[David] So this was his first This was him talking about his first Milwaukee victim.
[sound of tape recorder] [Wendy] You were telling me about your motivation is the fact that you wanted them to stay.
Was it also for you the type of thing that was sexually arousing? [Dahmer] Yeah, it was.
[Wendy] At the time hat you were strangling him? [Dahmer] Not at that time, but afterwards.
[narrator] Hearing Dahmer’s voice spelling out the gruesome details is chilling, and Natalie seems to be in a trance.
- [Wendy] You were not erect? - No.
[Dahmer] Just knowing that he was with me [Dahmer indistinctively speaking] that he was still there.
He might have been a body only, but [Wendy] Did you do anything sexual to his body after you strangled him? [Dahmer] Ah! Let's see ta-dah! How was that for you, Natalie? That was Wendy is so cool.
It was fantastic.
She's knowledgeable and matter-of-fact and really brings home that this is something that really happened.
And seeing the papers that she has, the drawing of the shrine that he made, I couldn't take my eyes of it.
You couldn't either.
I could tell.
- [David] No.
- Going back to it.
- [David] It was captivating.
- It really was.
Just this simple line drawing.
[narrator] As someone who’s never killed anyone, or made a trophy room full of skulls, it’s sort of fascinating getting inside the mind of someone who has.
I think that’s why people like me and Natalie are drawn to this stuff.
It’s like taking a weird holiday, some escapism, before going back to your normal, dull existence, grateful you’re alive and don’t have any corpses rotting in your bathtub.
I always just think, why are humans drawn to those sort of gross details? You just kind of are drawn to it.
[Natalie] Even if you're going, "Oh, my God, that's horrible.
That's sick.
Tell me more!" So - Yes, tell me another gross thing.
- Yeah.
[Natalie] You're condemning it at the same time maybe, but you still want to hear and see more about it.
[David] That's the thing.
We're all sickos, Natalie.
That's what I think.
We just didn't know it until now.
[narrator] I travel a thousand miles south to my next dark tourist destination: Dallas, Texas.
[narrator] X marks the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated back in 1963.
Looking around, It’s obvious JFK’s death is being exploited for money.
And business is booming.
[man] Second window down from the top.
Look for the white box.
[man] Second window down from the top.
- [man] There have been fights down here.
- [David] Fights? Over what? Over territory.
Men are very territorial.
So, we will get in fights over territory.
- Do you want some payment for this? - Yes.
- You do? How much is - Forty dollars.
I've got I can give you twenty.
Is twenty good? [narrator] I want to understand exactly how a grisly death can be turned into a tourist experience.
[police car] So I’m going on the two biggest JFK tours in town.
I’m curious to see who operates these tours and how they tell the story.
My first tour promises to be the most in-depth and comprehensive.
- Robin.
- Hello! - I'm David.
- David, I'm Robin.
- It’s nice to meet you - Good to meet you.
There was no missing you here.
- You stand out.
- Did something Did something make me stand out? Not my face.
I know you're here to take a look at the car.
Oh, there’s no missing it! Really? Even someone your generation.
I’m impressed, David! [narrator] Robin calls himself a historian, dedicating 40 years of his life to researching the JFK assassination.
And he’s dead serious about all the details that come with it.
[Robin] So, David, if you want to sit in the car where the president sat.
- David, you ready? - I'm ready.
[Robin] Let's take a ride.
[Robin] What my customers want to do is to re-live President Kennedy’s motorcade route.
We’re on it right now.
What we’re talking about is on that on that day, November 22, 1963, an American president, our 35th president, John F.
Kennedy was publicly and brutally murdered.
That is ground zero.
That's where it happened.
That cross represents where the president is when he first reacts to a bullet.
9 seconds later, the president's head is taken off right here.
Look at the picket fence.
There are professional assassins behind that fence, David.
There's also a shooting team in the Dal-Tex Building that day, waiting for the president.
[narrator] Robin is utterly convinced that multiple people conspired to kill the president.
[Robin] Zapruder's offices are in that building, right there, 501 Elm Place.
By the way, some things y'all need to know about the Zapruder film [narrator] I really like Robin, but I feel like I’m stuck in a car with my eccentric uncle.
And for someone calling themselves an historian, this was sounding a lot more conspiratorial than I expected.
[Robin] But he's not on the sixth floor in that corner window with a rifle, although there is someone in that window at that moment with a rifle.
[David] How do you retain all this information? It's constant.
It never stops.
You know, David, I mentioned the other day I was with a couple from Brisbane for nine hours.
- I didn't shut up for nine hours.
- Is that why you started doing the tour? 'Cause your family got sick of hearing about it? Yeah, I needed another audience.
[narrator] Robin ditches the motorcade, but that doesn’t slow him down.
[Robin] Okay, let's keep up.
- [David] You're quick.
We're motoring.
- [Robin] Come on! In 1964, in the Spring of '64, David, the Warren Commission members come to Dallas because they want to get in that window, because whoever's firing from that window can't see the President.
- There's cars coming.
- That's okay.
The President, when he Come on! When you're on the trail of the assassins, it gets dangerous.
I can tell.
I can tell that you get excited by it.
Well, David, even though I do this a lot these events still boil my blood.
I get I'm a little wound up.
The president was executed publicly and brutally right here because he was withdrawing from Vietnam.
[narrator] Robin's a patriot at heart, but he’s convinced the official inquiry got it wrong.
And this tour is his way of setting the record straight.
He says that JFK was killed by a sinister alliance between the CIA and the mafia, which involved multiple gunmen.
By now, Robin’s been going for four hours, and I’m worried he’s gunning to beat his record of nine.
and it's blown out the back of his skull.
The President's head is taken off.
- A third of his brain is gone.
- [David] You're getting an audience.
[narrator] And on top that, he keeps getting distracted.
He would do things like political assassinations and overthrow governments [narrator] I get the feeling Robin isn’t in this for the money.
He just wants to spread his truth to anyone who'll listen.
There’s shooters behind this fence.
You stay with us.
[narrator] Robin's keen to continue the tour, but I'm already late for my next JFK experience, so I take the chance to quietly slip away.
But there’s one slight hurdle.
I’ve been caught in the crossfire of Robin’s endless tour.
Your pin number, please.
A hundred and five dollars later I travel to the other, slightly shadier side of town to meet Ricardo, who’s known for his speedier tours, probably helped by the fact he tells the official, much shorter version of who killed the president.
I wonder what his take on the story is.
[Ricardo] The cool thing about Kennedy standing here is that we put him here for a reason.
So you can come up and take a selfie.
[David] Aha! There's a Lincoln Continental.
We've got the cruisers, and then we have the buses.
Yeah, right.
Does Robin keep What's Robin's car doing here? [Ricardo] Yeah, his car, we store it here.
We take care of it.
[David] Right.
If something happens, we need it cleaned up.
[David] I thought he was the competition? No, no.
Definitely not.
No, he's a good friend.
What do you make of his tour? He has a very different operation.
He has a totally different operation than we do, yeah.
We grab his six-hour tour, and we break it down to about 15 minutes.
- So it's not like Robin's seven-hour - No, no.
That's an expedition, brother.
The cool thing about the bus, this is the new VR tour that we have.
- [David] VR? - What? - Virtual reality.
- You've got it, brother.
You're moving into VR? It's such an unusual way to show off the city, as well, ‘cause this is all about someone's assassination.
Well, I do find it strange.
Sometimes I think "Man, I'm making money off the assassination of Kennedy.
" You know? But I'm also historically giving a story.
[narrator] Ricardo’s keeping the story alive with new technology, but I wonder if it might be getting in the way of the facts.
[Ricardo] Once in a while, you'll get a person that thinks it's kind of tacky, but that's one in a million.
And if it's not you doing it, someone else will come in and fill that spot.
- And fill that spot, probably.
- Yeah.
- I don't know if they'll do VR.
- No one's pushing it this far.
No, nobody's pushing it this far, no.
[narrator] I’m fascinated by all the different ways he’s cashing in on the killing.
Today he wants to shoot a new VR scene involving Lee Harvey Oswald.
He was the man the official inquiry says pulled the trigger and afterwards fled to this suburban boarding house.
[Ricardo] How are you doing? [narrator] Pat grew up here and actually met Oswald when she was 11.
[Pat] Welcome to 1963.
- It looks amazing in here.
- [Pat] Thank you.
[David] Is this as it was? Yes, this is the configuration the house was in, in 1963, on the day of the assassination.
[narrator] No one knows what happened in this house, so Ricardo’s going to fill in the gaps.
He sees himself as a bit of an Oliver Stone.
You know, he was always calm, anyway, you know what I mean? [narrator] In today’s scene, Oswald has to come in to get a gun he'll later use to kill a policeman.
- [Ricardo] Pat, I'm moving your pictures.
- Okay.
Let’s do it.
All right, here we go.
[Ricardo] Action.
[Ricardo] Look around.
Yeah, there you go.
Putting the gun back there.
[narrator] Even with a skilled director at the helm, Ricardo's Oswald seems to be cracking under pressure.
[actor] Have to redo it.
It wouldn't go in my I couldn't get it to go.
- [Ricardo] We've got to go again.
- Yeah.
- That's fine.
- It was close.
[Ricardo] Now, don't forget [Ricardo] Kyle, who's playing Oswald, if it was the real Lee Harvey Oswald, he just killed President Kennedy about 45 minutes ago.
So what's he feeling and what's he really doing? - Stressed out.
- There you go.
- He's out there.
- I think you captured that.
- How was that for you? - Turned his back to the camera and put the gun so that everybody could see that he was hiding the gun.
I think that was a good move.
- [David] You’ve got to make up some stuff.
- Yeah.
[David] Yeah, creative license.
[narrator] I feel like Ricardo’s creative take on history might be getting in the way of the facts.
I wonder what Robin would think.
So I’ve arranged to catch up with him at his other job.
When he’s not dealing in dead presidents, he's dealing in regular dead people.
What do we have here? We have pine, we have oak, we have maple.
We have mahogany.
We have cherry.
We have different species of wood.
[narrator] Robin can’t help himself.
Straight away, it feels like another tour.
made of wood.
So, we end up in this room.
Whatever you're talking about, I feel you're a complete expert on.
The history of any subject: golf, baseball, football, the sports we play in America.
Golf history, very important to me.
Of course, we know golf originated in Scotland.
So, you're off again.
- What? - On a topic.
You pick a topic and you're just you're deep into it.
- It's remarkable.
- Well, David, what can I say? Have you always been like that, since you were a kid? Yes, and I'm incurable, David.
A few family members have tried to cure me.
You do a thing that I've noticed that's quite a good technique, where you always say the person's name that you're talking to in the sentence.
It makes you feel really wanted.
Is that something you've always done? - [Robin] I learned this from my dad.
- That's a dad trick.
There's no sweeter sound to anyone's ears than their own name.
It works.
It really works.
[Robin] Believe it, there are times that I like to be quiet.
- I know you don't believe that.
- I don't believe you.
[Robin] But maybe I'll convince you later.
But, anyway Shall we meet your wife? I think that would be fantastic.
That is my [narrtor] Robin is rather proud that the house is modeled on the White House.
And I wondered, who was the Jackie to his JFK? Who would live with this walking, talking Wikipedia page? [David] What do you think of his I guess, his attention to detail and storytelling and [wife] It drives me crazy.
- Does it? - [wife] It does.
That's what you wanted her to say.
Just give me the basic details and let's keep moving.
But he likes to get into what we call the minutiae.
- Do you want to see some more rooms? - Yeah, we'll have a look around.
[narrator] This was my chance to see what Robin thought of Ricardo.
Ricardo and I have very little in common including the Kennedy assassination because he doesn't know a damn thing about the Kennedy assassination, and I've told him that to his face.
Is that too blunt for an international audience? - [David] I think they can cope.
- But there is a market for Ricardo.
Ricardo is a very good businessman.
He knows how to entertain people.
With Ricardo, it's more about entertainment.
We have an unholy alliance.
I've never met Ricardo, but I think the difference between Ricardo and Robin is Robin is a historian, and Ricardo is a tourist trap.
- [Ricardo] Are y'all ready? - [tourists] Ready! [Ricardo] I can't hear you in the back, folks! - [Ricardo] Are y'all ready? - [tourists] Yeah! [Ricardo] Let's do this! Bubanowskis! [music] [Ricardo] Ladies and gentlemen, look over to the right side.
[Ricardo] We have Mrs.
Kennedy coming on our tour with us.
[narrator] Like his VR experience, Ricardo's night tours are pretty bizarre.
The tours retrace JKF’s last ride in a convoy of Texas-themed golf buggies, complete with their own pumping sound systems.
Ricardo is all about adding value.
- Can I hear an "amen"? - Amen! That's what I'm talking about.
Jackie, come on out.
[narrator] He pays an actress to dress up as Kennedy’s wife.
And in this town, bad taste or not she's a photo magnet.
Jackie's been quite depressed tonight, but she's cheering up for the photos.
[Ricardo] Well, Jackie, she just lost her husband.
- So she's acting sort of the part.
- Are you kidding me? She has to.
Once she puts that hat on, she's not even supposed to be smiling.
- Right.
- It's in her contract.
[narrator] As we approach Dealey Plaza, Ricardo turns the music down and dials up the drama.
[Ricardo] Ladies and gentlemen, on November 22nd, 1963, that road right there right behind us is the exact direction that President Kennedy was coming that day.
But someone'll be on the top of the sixth floor of that building right there.
And that man is Lee Harvey Oswald.
[David] How important is the truth to you? I think more I go with the entertainment part, you know? Some people want to be You come to a new city, you want to have a good time.
[Ricardo] That's us.
Know what I mean? We know how to good time, and I will over-exaggerate some parts but the story line we'll keep straight.
Lee Harvey Oswald from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository has that weapon pointing down, and the first shot will go off right here.
It will miss the president, but the second shot will hit him right there where the X is.
And automatically, Ms.
Kennedy is covered with blood.
She'll have bone fragments in her hair, and brain tissue is scattered all over the car.
She just saw her husband's head explode right next to her.
[narrator] It’s a hell of a way to end a tour, and it’s certainly killed the party vibe, but it’s definitely memorable.
And perhaps sometimes people need to be shocked so they don’t forget the past.
[Ricardo] The only reason she doesn't want to move is ‘'cause she’s scared that more of his brain will just fall out.
[narrator] With dark tourism, nothing is taboo.
[Ricardo] And that is the end of your JFK tour.
Ta-da! [narrator] And people love it.
[narrator] Five hundred miles east, in the deep South, my last stop is in New Orleans, the Big Easy.
Most tourists come here for the jazz or to dance on Bourbon Street.
But you can also find vampire tours on every corner.
[woman screaming] [narrator] While a lot of it is just theatrics, I've heard real vampires live here, ones that need human blood to survive.
I'm going undercover as a dark tourist to find the living dead and watch them feed.
I meet a man called Maven, who makes a living making fangs, a vocation so rare, he invented his own job title.
I started seeing this vision of of a silhouetted blacksmith pounding away at something.
It just kind of came to me.
And I said, "Blacksmith, blacksmith, blacksmith.
" And then I said, "Fangsmith.
" [David] Now here you are.
- [David] Full-time fangsmith.
- That's right.
[David] Why are you getting fangs? Because I love it.
I think it's absolutely sexy.
- [Maven] Everybody loves vampires.
- [girl laughing] Yeah.
- [David] Are you a vampire, Maven? - What you're talking about? [Maven laughing] [David] Because you do have a certain look going.
Oh, you know, would a predator tell its prey what it is? [David mumbling] It's a reasonable answer.
But, I mean, do you identify as a vampire? I got my first set of fangs when I was 20 21.
And it was a very life-changing experience.
I started feeling all these new feelings and I wanted to explore them.
I don't think there's any right or wrong way to be a vampire.
It's something very personal to everybody.
[David] So it's like a scene.
It's like being a goth - or an indie kid? - [Maven] No, it's not like being a goth.
[Maven] One more close-up.
[Maven] A little There you go.
I love it, thank you.
Thank you.
- [Maven] No problem.
- I love them.
[narrator] At a hundred and fifty dollars, it’s more expensive than being clamped.
But if being fangsmithed will help me fit into this strange new world, I'm prepared to give it a go.
- Well, are you ready for the big reveal? - Yeah, I’d like to see them.
Have a look.
Oh, they’re great.
[narrator] Now I've got Maven's trust, he tells me I should meet a couple who’ve recently had an elaborate vampire wedding.
What I get excited about is the fact they claim to drink human blood.
[groom] I vow to share every part of myself with you in this life and every life hereafter.
[narrator] Logan and Daley agree to meet me and bring along their “donor.
” I’m over the moon.
I’m about to see some neck biting and furious sucking.
[David] Can I level with you? I just look at you guys and I think you're here as food.
No, that's just me.
- [Daley] That's true.
- That is what That's how you came into this relationship? [David] You all feel quite sexually charged to me.
- Thank you! - [blonde] That's just all the time.
I mean, yeah, even your breasts are always out there.
- They're just lovely.
- You know, I can't really She just can't control these half the time.
Is it like feeding and sex at the same time? I feed primarily sexually.
That's where I get the most out of it.
In this whole situation, is it like a threesome of some kind? - [Logan] Sometimes.
- [David] So it is all a big - Sometimes.
- [David] Sort of Okay.
I just kind of feel like I want to see the process.
[David] Is that appropriate? If they’re fine with it, then I’m fine with it.
I’ll take one little one here and another one directly to the side, so that way it just kind of opens up.
[Logan] I always like it to trickle, just a little bit.
[Logan] Visual stimulation, mental stimulation.
[Logan] Always very gentle.
[creapy music] [narrator] I don't fully understand what's going on.
[creapy music] [narrator] This feels a bit more sex than survival.
And It was hardly the bloodbath I was expecting.
[creapy music] Thank you so much, darling.
[narrator] While I’m grateful hey had let me into their private world, I’m not convinced they need each other’s blood to stay alive, which is my definition of a vampire.
I do have one last hope, and it’s way off any tourist trail.
I’ve been told about a house out in the suburbs, which is home to a bunch of authentic vampires.
There, I’ll be front row at a vampire ritual where someone feeds on blood for survival.
- Laurie, how are you? - Hello.
- I'm David.
- Nice to meet you.
[narrator] Despite living forever, apparently, vampires still celebrate birthdays.
[Laurie] Yes.
We have a birthday.
We have a birthday party tonight.
[narrator] So far, everything seems fairly mundane.
I wonder if they’re all here for the blood or just a slice of cake.
- There's some people in there.
- [David] People everywhere.
- There’s another bathroom in there, too.
- I'm David.
- Hi, David.
- This is David.
- Donovan.
- Donovan.
- I'm Zar.
- Zar.
Nice to meet you, Zar.
Nice to meet you! And I understand everyone here is a vampire, is that correct? - Everyone that we know, yeah.
- Amazing.
Except us and our crew.
We don't know that.
I don't know that yet, actually.
I might be, I just don't know it.
You don't know.
We went on the vampire tour when we got here and we met a few vampires, and it just seemed like everyone was putting on an act, whereas you seem much more like a real You don't feel like you're acting to me.
Well, this is my home.
I mean, this is my life.
This isn't This isn't a show.
This is our family.
This is family to us.
May not be necessarily accepted by their biological family.
People call that chosen family.
That is the cutest thing! That is the cutest thing.
[David] Is this your typical vampire birthday party, would you say? [Laurie] We like any excuse to eat.
[people laughing] Any holiday to get together! [narrator] It’s surprisingly stress-free hanging out with vampires.
But I’m still hungry to see someone drink some blood.
[singing psalm in foreign language] [singing psalm in foreign language] [singing psalm in foreign language] [narrator] Zar starts chanting and spitting alcohol into the doorway to fend off bad spirits.
[Zar] This is New Orleans’ voodoo.
[narrator] I’m unsure if this is part of vampire culture, but he insists on doing it before feeding.
[sound of thunders and rain] [Zar] What a lot of people don’t understand is evil is brazen.
It's not going to sneak up your drain pipes.
It's not going to crawl through your windows.
It's going to walk through your doors.
[narrator] Zar has chosen his donor for the night his roommate, Donovan.
I'm excited by the idea but nervous as hell for Donovan.
Apparently, it’s his first time.
He’s a virgin donor.
Why are you doing this, I guess, was my question.
Because I trust him, and if I was in the same position as him, I know he'd do the same for me.
- [Zar] You may as well pop that off.
- [David] And you guys [David] You're gay, but you are not together.
This is a - [Zar] Nah, he's straight.
- [David] You're straight.
You're gay.
So, the feeding thing is just entirely separate from sexuality or sex.
[Zar] Yeah.
If he walked into my house straight, he'll leave my house straight.
[narrator] I can’t help but feel this vampire stuff always ends up having a sexual vibe to it.
Or maybe I’ve just watched too much Twilight.
And how often do you need to do this? At my most hungry, if I'm super spiritually active six ounces.
That's quite a lot.
Or is it not? It is to me because I don't have any.
I don't need any blood, so it seems like a lot to me.
[narrator] Six ounces is three quarters of a cup, for those who don’t do a lot of baking.
[David] If you don't do this, what happens? [Zar] My hair will be dull and lifeless, my eyes will be kind of glazed over, hard for me to focus on things.
[Zar] This is an antiseptic wash.
[narrator] I had no idea vampires were so obsessed with hygiene.
[Zar] Get it bleeding.
See how it starts to bleed out again.
And how does that feel or taste or In all honesty when the blood hits my tongue, there's just this I don't know, crackle of energy.
So, I'm not The easiest way to say it is, it's like It's very much like I've finally come to life.
One more time.
It is quite strange, isn't it? - What? - I mean this.
I mean, we're in a little bathroom.
You're getting your energy from someone else's blood.
[Zar] To quote Anjelica Huston in in The Addams Family, "What's normal for the spider is chaos to the fly.
" I've been prescribed prenatal vitamins.
I've been prescribed vitamin B shots in the backside.
I've been prescribed stay away from this kind of food, eat this kind of food, drink this kind of drink, and none of it worked.
But the blood does? [Zar] The blood helps me because I am a vampire.
[singing happy birthday] Happy birthday, dear MK Happy birthday to you [everybody clapping] [narrator] This is definitely in my top ten birthday parties of all time.
I’ve finally met some real vampires who feed on both blood and ice-cream cake.
I had felt uneasy watching a grown man lick up Donovan's back blood but I’ve decided vampirism has very little to do with actual blood and more to do with a group of outsiders finding a community.
I’ve been waiting for this ice cream all day.
[everybody laughing] [narrator] Being a dark tourist has given me access to a world I would never normally see.
And I've found that even in the most secret, hidden corners, there’s always a glimmer of light.
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