An early twentieth century Vampire story, The House of the Vampire is a remarkable work on several fronts. First published in 1907, The House of the Vampire is arguably one of the first gay vampire stories as well as being an early American example of the genre. Viereck’s work is also remarkable for its time as the story speaks of psychic vampirism in addition to the more traditional hemoglobin-based variety.
George Sylvester Viereck (1884-1962) was allegedly the grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm I. Contemporary stories circulated that his father, Louis, was the Kaiser’s illegitimate son by a German actress Edwina Viereck. When the younger Viereck was twelve, he emigrated with his family to the United States. He first became known for poetry, many of which were in homophillic or Uranian style. He was a close friend and associate of Nicola Tesla. Soon after the publication of House of the Vampire, Viereck’s political ideology took an unfortunate turn. In the years leading up to the advent of World War I, he became increasingly more pro-German. He launched two propagandist publications, The International and The Fatherland. An interesting side-note, the expatriate Aleister Crowley wrote for both publications allegedly under the secret auspices of British Intelligence. Viereck’s German affiliations continued through to the second World War and he was imprisoned for his activities from 1942 to 1947.