“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” ~ Poem on the Statue of Liberty, Emma Lazarus
Indeed, waves of wretched refuse did wash-up on America’s shore: the Irish fled the Emerald Isle to escape the potato famine; Jews escaped marauding Cossacks and Russian pogroms; Italian anarchists escaped persecution; the Dutch fled the horror of wearing clogs and growing tulips, and British vampires escaped the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In 1897 London, Archibald Constable and Co. published Dracula by the Irish author Bram Stoker. The book portrayed vampires in an unsympathetic light, to say the least. Fearing pogroms, British vampires packed their bags and fled to America, landing at the sweaty buzzing beehive of Ellis Island.
In 1924 Chicago, vampires gather at the Vamp-Art Café in Towertown and share stories.