Texas vampire sparks discussion on pop culture

The arrest of a Texas man who broke into a woman’s house, threw her against a wall and tried to suck her blood has sparked discussion over the impact of vampire books and movies on US youth culture.

Whether pop culture played a role in the attack remains to be seen, as 19-year-old Lyle Monroe Bensley awaits a psychiatric evaluation in jail on burglary charges in Galveston, Texas, southeast of Houston.

Found growling and hissing in a parking lot and wearing only boxer shorts, Bensley claimed he was a 500-year-old vampire who needed to “feed,” Galveston Police Capt. Jeff Heyse said.

Vampires have been a focal point of literature since Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula. But fascination, particularly among young people, has peaked in recent years with the popularity of the Twilight books about teenage vampires and the HBO series, True Blood.

Bensley is now being held in the Galveston County Jail on a $40,000 bond for home burglary with intent to commit a felony.

The woman, who lived about two miles from Bensley and did not know him, escaped the attack unharmed.