From folkloric figures like Lamia and Grendel who feast on human flesh, to historical monsters like Vlad the Impaler and Elizabeth Báthory who reveled in human blood and carnage, to Bram Stoker’s legendary Dracula, the antecedents to the modern vampire have instilled fear and morbid fascination for centuries. Especially during periods of social devastation, imperial conquest, plague, and mass death, vampires and vampiric figures have featured prominently in popular imagination. In every case, the cultural phenomenon of the vampire reveals much about the time, place, and people from which it emerged—and the persistent relevance and adaptability of the vampire allegory likewise reveals much about the evolution of human society and its timeless struggle to come to terms with death. So, in the age of runaway capitalist destruction and climate catastrophe, what should we make of the popularity of new vampire allegories like Netflix’s Midnight Mass and the Provincetown series in the new season of FX’s American Horror Story?

In this panel discussion, just in time for Halloween, the TRNN team hosts a wide-ranging discussion about the historical significance of the vampire and its enduring allure in the 21st century. Our panel today includes: TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez; TRNN Managing Editor Jocelyn Dombroski; Marc Steiner, host of The Marc Steiner Show; and special guest, renowned author and editor Lyta Gold.

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Stephen Frank

Maximillian Alvarez


Maximillian Alvarez is the editor-in-chief of The Real News Network, and the host of Working People, ​“a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.

Jocelyn Dombroski

Managing Editor

Jocelyn Dombroski is managing editor at The Real News Network.

Marc Steiner

Host, The Marc Steiner Show

Marc Steiner is the host of "The Marc Steiner Show" on TRNN. He is a Peabody Award-winning journalist who has spent his life working on social justice issues. He walked his first picket line at age 13, and at age 16 became the youngest person in Maryland arrested at a civil rights protest during the Freedom Rides through Cambridge. As part of the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, Marc helped organize poor white communities with the Young Patriots, the white Appalachian counterpart to the Black Panthers. Early in his career he counseled at-risk youth in therapeutic settings and founded a theater program in the Maryland State prison system. He also taught theater for 10 years at the Baltimore School for the Arts. From 1993-2018 Marc's signature “Marc Steiner Show” aired on Baltimore’s public radio airwaves, both WYPR—which Marc co-founded—and Morgan State University’s WEAA.

Lyta Gold

Lyta Gold is a freelance writer and editor. She is also the host of the TRNN podcast Art for the End Times. Follow her at @lyta_gold.

Stephen Frank

Director IT & Web Services