The Vampire that Changed My Life

Lessons from a spooky encounter.


I don’t know about you, but I had never met a vampire before. So, when this girl came up to me and said, “I’m a vampire. Are you afraid of me?” I didn’t quite know what to say.

Without thinking, I tilted my head and replied, “I don’t know,” I said. “I’ve never met one!”

It was a summer night on the boardwalk of Ocean City, N.J. I had finished my junior year of college and was spending the summer with a bunch of college students, learning how to follow Jesus and tell others about Him.

The vampire said her name was Christy, and she appeared to be in her mid-twenties. She had dyed black hair, black fingernails, and black lips. Although Christy had approached me to talk, she wasn’t saying anything. She just sat there, gazing into the waves.

I prayed, asking God to give me wisdom in this strange situation. Then I asked, “So, what makes one a vampire?”

Showing me her wrists, scarred with cut marks, she continued to explain, “I’ve tried to kill myself 3 times. Each time, I couldn’t seem to die. I believe this means that I’m immortal.

I wondered to myself, how do I go deeper with a person who thinks she’s a vampire?

I wondered to myself, how do I go deeper with a person who thinks she’s a vampire? Immediately, as if the Holy Spirit opened my mouth, I asked her, “Christy, what brings you significance in your life?”

“I have brought 30 women into becoming vampires with me. These women had no true friends or real family. Now they have a community where they are accepted.”

I smiled and affirmed Christy. “That is so wonderful – how you see the needs of these women and desire to help them. I am sure they feel quite loved by you and are thankful for the environment of community you’ve created.”

I needed to risk continuing on and addressing the partial truths she was embracing. “You know, I’ve never thought of this before, probably because I’ve never met a vampire, but when you sacrifice animals and believe that drinking their blood is necessary, you are partially right. I, too, believe that the shedding of blood, and ultimately the death of a sacrifice, is necessary for us to be made clean.”

The Holy Spirit had just opened my spiritual eyes to see how these rituals are part of the complete picture of what Jesus did as our perfect sacrifice on the cross. He allowed His blood to be shed on our behalf.

“Christy, I also agree that people are immortal, and that even after this life, there is an eternity out there where we will either be with the God who gave us life, or separated from this God for all eternity. I think you are very wise to see that we were each created to live in community.

With a breath of prayer on my lips, asking for wisdom, I transitioned into the goriest presentation of the gospel I’d ever heard and told.

“Jesus was the only person who ever lived that was perfect. That is why Jesus, and only Jesus, could be the final sacrifice. He was called the Lamb, sent by God the Father to be slaughtered so that we can have a relationship with God on this side of eternity. No other animals need to be sacrificed, because Jesus paid for all of our sins – past, present and future – when He died. Jesus’ blood had to be shed so that His blood could cover us. His blood is what forever cleanses us. If we believe He is the ultimate sacrifice, we will be forgiven for our wrong ways. We will be connected to God for all of eternity.

With a breath of prayer on my lips, asking for wisdom, I transitioned into the goriest presentation of the gospel I’d ever heard and told.

“Until we are with Him in heaven, He has placed in our souls a desire for intimate community here on earth. I believe that the most intimate community happens to those who know and accept Jesus as their final, perfect sacrifice.”

At the end of explaining the gospel in this most unique way, I swallowed hard, looked intensely into her eyes and said, “Do you want to accept Jesus as your final sacrifice and invite Him into your life for all of eternity?”

To my surprise and disappointment, Christy looked back at me and shook her head no. Apparently, she wasn’t ready to make that faith jump yet.

We had been talking for almost 3 hours, and it was two o’clock in the morning. “Wow, Christy! It’s late. Maybe we should meet up again in the morning, if you want to talk more.”

She nodded, and asked if I could take her home since the buses had stopped running. Two friends came with me, and as we drove on the highway, Christy started to knock on the window in a steady, repetitive slow knock.

Knock. Knock. Knock. I asked why she was knocking on the window.

She said, “I feel like something is knocking at my heart.”

The verse in Revelation 3:20 leapt to my mind: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” I shared that verse with her and said, “I think the knocking is Jesus, and He wants you to let Him into your life.”

She then replied, “I feel like I am hungry and thirsty for something, but I don’t know what.”

I remembered a praise song I used to sing: “I want to thirst no more. I want to hunger no more. I want to know that Jesus is my Lord.” I told her these words.

She asked, “Will you sing it for me?”

When I stopped singing, she spoke with great urgency, “Pull over right now! I need to accept Jesus in case I die before we get home!”

I was shocked. Just a few hours earlier she had believed she was immortal; now she was instantly overwhelmed with the fear of her own death. I pulled over and once again shared the main points of the gospel.

She kept nodding her head, saying, “I know. I know. I understand. I want Jesus in my life now!”

She kept nodding her head, saying, “I know. I know. I understand. I want Jesus in my life now!”

So right there, this daughter of darkness became a daughter of light.

She prayed, acknowledging Jesus as her final sacrifice, and that His blood covered her sin.

Later in her driveway I said to her, “If this decision you made tonight is real, we should get together tomorrow at noon to talk about what this really means for your life.”

She opened the car door, smiled and said, “I’ll be there.”

My story with Christy doesn’t end there, but she showed me that the Holy Spirit could take a person who is far away from God and draw her close to Him in an instant. He can give you and me the right words to share even when we are talking to someone we have no clue how to relate to.

As I reflect on this experience, I see how the Holy Spirit entered in and taught me 7 things I hadn’t understood before:

  • The Holy Spirit may want us to engage someone with whom we think we have nothing in common (see 1 Cor. 9:19-22).
  • We can begin the conversation by learning about the other person. What matters most to the person? What does she live for? What brings him significance in life (see 1 Cor. 10:24)?
  • People believe partial truths all the time. We can ask the Holy Spirit to help us connect them to the whole truth (see John 8:32).
  • The Holy Spirit may show us how to share the gospel in a way we have never thought of before (see Acts 17:22-31).
  • Even when we have little or no experience, the Holy Spirit can greatly use us to affect people’s lives (see 1 Cor. 1:27).
  • God the Father has sent us the Helper so that we do not need to be afraid of people, and we can walk in peace in those situations (see Ps. 118:6; 2 Tim. 1:7).
  • The Holy Spirit can bring Scripture to mind that can specifically relate to the person with whom we are engaging (see Acts 28:22-28).

To read more of the story, and learn more from Holly about the Holy Spirit, check out her book, Follow My Lead.