Vampires and Prohibitionists for President

June 23, 2007 (ABC News / Lindsay Hamilton) -- He calls himself a "vampyre" (the Romanian spelling, he says) and claims he's been drinking blood since age five. He also wants to be your next president.

Jonathon "The Impaler" SharkeyJonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey is running unchallenged for the Vampire, Witches and Pagan Party 2008 presidential nomination.

Most Americans would have a hard time naming the 19 more-or-less official candidates, but, in fact, there are hundreds of Americans running on third-party and independent tickets.

Sharkey is running on an "impale criminals" platform.

Gene Amondson, a preacher, supports prohibition.

"Average Joe" Schriner is making his third bid as a, simply put, average Joe.

"If you count those who run in the primary, and those who are write-in candidates and are actually making an effort to run, you have 200 or 300 candidates each cycle," said Ron Gunzburger, the publisher of, a site that tracks both the mainstream and lesser-known contenders.

Even a campaign some would call a joke takes a lot of work. These candidates file Federal Elections Commission paperwork, petition to get on ballots, and traverse the nation trying to drum up support. And for their months of effort they will not even come close to one percent of the vote.

Gunzburger has a few theories on why the outsiders run.

"I think some of them have sincere messages and contribute to the debate," he said. "Some of them are the class clowns who miss the attention since high school finished. And some are running because mom told them they are special, and they believe it still."

Sharkey claims he's "in it to win it." Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., used the same line in her announcement, but Sharkey is willing to share. He said he would welcome Mrs. Clinton as a running mate.

"I expect to win because I think the American people are tired of living in fear," Sharkey said. "America has a chance to put somebody in office that people will fear."

He recognizes his downfalls -- being a Satanist for one -- but he thinks the American people will respond to him "once they get past the fact that I'm a non-Christian. Actually I'm anti-Christian."

At the other end of the spectrum is mild-mannered preacher Gene Amondson. He ran for president in 2004 as part of the Prohibition Party, which has been fielding presidential candidates for 135 years.

"Third party people are dreamers, but we yell out there to make a point," he said. "I speak all over the country on why prohibition was America's best 13 years."

Amondson said his party's membership has dwindled to about 150 people and, "most of them don't even have a pulse," but his goal is simply to get as much media as he did in his last race.

Others have similarly modest goals, like getting on the ballot. That means gathering large numbers of signatures and filing mountains of paperwork.

Although this is his third run, "Average Joe" Schriner expects to get his name on just one ballot -- Ohio. In the past, he's settled on being "an official write-in candidate."

Amondson was on the ballot in two states in 2004 -- Colorado and Louisiana, which helped him get a few thousand votes nationwide. This time, he hopes to see his name in print in five states.

Ever the optimist, Sharkey plans to have offices in all 50 states and plans to see his name on all 50 ballots.

There is one outsider in this race who could have a real chance, if he runs. This week New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg left the Republican Party, fanning rumors that he is planning an independent presidential bid. He denies it, but he is getting lots of press attention anyway.

That is not true of the other outsiders. But Gail Parker, a grandmother running for the Green Party nomination, doesn't mind.

"Participating is winning," she said.


Teenager in protective custody after joining 'vampire' boyfriend

February 24, 2010 (Northfieldnews / Kay Fate) -- A Faribault teenager who left home to join a 45-year-old self-proclaimed vampire has been placed in protective custody. According to Faribault Police Chief Dan Collins, Paige Brewer, 16, had arrived in Faribault at about 9 a.m. Thursday in order to report alleged abuse at the hands of her mother. Brewer and Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey were met in the parking lot of the Hope Center by Faribault Police officers, who took the pair into custody without incident, Collins said. The Hope Center -- which provides advocacy services for victims of family violence and sexual assault -- played no role in the situation. Sharkey, Collins said, was working with the authorities to bring Brewer to Faribault to discuss the reported family abuse, but wasn't aware of the plans of law enforcement. Brewer was placed in protective custody by Rice County Social Services, he said, while Sharkey was questioned and released. The couple has said they are in love and planned to marry in August. While Brewer is of legal age of consent, Sharkey's age, previous criminal record, his predilection for young women and eccentric pursuits of political office had family, friends and officials concerned. "It's a temporary placement," Collins said about Brewer, "until social services and the court can get things in place, give her an opportunity to talk to people." When confronted by authorities, Sharkey was also served with harassment and restraining orders, citing threats, slanderous acts and stalking. Brewer's mother, Jillian Moen, was granted the order through the Hennepin County Court system. The order includes Brewer as a victim. Sharkey said he was "appalled" by the handling of the situation. "Believe me, if I'd known they were planning this, there would've been Russian agents there, and it would have been an international incident," he said. "They wouldn't have dealt with these local yokels." He alleges he's in contact with Vladimir Putin. Brewer -- who had been staying with her maternal grandmother before she left town -- has alleged Moen emotionally and physically abused her. Moen denies the claim, and worries that her daughter will leave again. Brewer said last week she would refuse counseling. Moen has opened a fund called "Paige's Hope Fund for Troubled Teens." "I want this not just for placement of children in this state," Moen said, "but for raising public awareness and lobbying for change." First up, she said, "is this ridiculous age of consent. It's a grave injustice to parents statewide." In the meantime, she hopes her family has seen the last of Sharkey. "I think this time, the vampire bit off more than he could chew," she said.

Jailed 'vampire' still wants to be governor

December 23, 2009 (CityPages / Hart Van Denburg) -- Minnesotans can expect a campaign announcement on the "Ides of March" from a vampire currently behind bars in an Indiana prison for threatening a judge -- he wants to be our governor. Seriously? Who knows, but remember last week we told you about "Vampire King" Jonathon Sharkey? He briefly ran for Minnesota governor in 2006 and recently pleaded guilty to harassing a Rochester teenage girl by e-mail. Sharkey says he's not through with politics here Up North. Apparently he placed a call to Rochester Post-Bulletin News Editor Mike Klein on Tuesday morning "to tell him he plans to announce he is running for Minnesota governor on 'The Ides of March.'" The Ides of March is the name the ancient Romans gave to March 15, the day they worshipped the god Mars. If you studied Shakespeare, you may also remember that in "Julius Caesar," Brutus warns Caesar to "beware the Ides of March," the day on which Caesar is eventually assassinated. Hat tip too, to the Star Tribune, which unearthed his archived campaign Web page. This seems an apt holiday quote:
My name is Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey, Ph.D., L.D.D.D. I am a Satanic Dark Priest, Sanguinarian Vampyre and a Hecate Witch. My Magikal Path name is: Lord Ares. I despise and hate the Christian God the Father. He is my enemy. However, it doesn't mean that I hate all his followers. This Country was founded on religious rights and freedoms. This is guaranteed under the 1st Amendment of our great constitution. This right allows me to worship Lucifer and the Goddess Hecate, just as it allows you to worship the Goddess/God of your choice.
Full of cheer, that Sharkey.

'Vampire' leader sentenced for threatening judge

December 16, 2009 (WISH) -- A man claiming to be a vampire leader was sentenced to over two years in jail for threatening a Marion County judge. Prosecutors said Rocky Flash, a.k.a. Jonathon Sharkey, pleaded guilty to one count of intimidation, a class D felony, for threatening Judge David Certo and his family. Prosecutors said Flash claims to be the leader of Vampyre Nation (VN) and stated that he will beat, torture, impale, dismember and decapitate Judge Certo. According to probable cause documents, Flash sent an email from a library threatening the judge. A library worker monitoring computer usage found documents linking Flash to the threat. Flash was sentenced to 884 days in jail. Flash is also not to have any other contact with Judge Certo and his family.

'Vampire' explains death threat against judge

December 17, 2009 (WTHR) -- Indianapolis - A man who claims to lead a group of vampires was sentenced for threatening a Marion County Judge Wednesday. 45-year-old Rocky Flash - also known as Jonathon Sharkey - pleaded guilty to making death threats against Marion County Judge David Certo and his family. Certo presided over another case involving Flash. Eyewitness News asked him if he made the threats against the judge. "Negative," Flash said. "What I said was, in emotion, once David Certo is found guilty in court, I will beat him, torture him, impale him, dismember him, then decapitate him. Once he was found guilty and once he was arrested, which this warrant, which was signed and presented to President Bush would attest." Flash claims to be the leader of Vampyre Nation. He told prosecutors the judge violated vampire laws. Flash will spend more than two years in jail. He cannot have contact with the judge and has to stay out of Indiana for a year after serving his sentence.

Self-described vampire pleads guilty to harassment

June 1, 2009 (Post-Bulletin / Jeffrey Pieters) -- A last-minute guilty plea averted a trial for a self-described vampire and one-time fringe candidate for Minnesota governor.  Jonathon Sharkey, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of gross-misdemeanor harassment in Olmsted District Court on Monday. Two other misdemeanor charges were dropped under an agreement with prosecutors. Sharkey's trial was to have begun on Wednesday.

His sentence, 180 days in jail, is considered satisfied. Sharkey stayed in jail while awaiting trial, but he will remain in custody pending extradition to Indiana, where he faces two felony charges.

Sharkey is being held under the name John Albert Sharkey, but he is perhaps better known by a nickname, "The Impaler."

He was charged with harassing a teenage Rochester girl by e-mail in 2007.

She had come in contact with Sharkey as a political supporter through his MySpace page. A year earlier, he was a candidate for Minnesota governor under a party banner called Vampyres, Witches and Pagans. In 2007, he said he was a candidate for president.

Sharkey and the girl began what was described as an online dating relationship, but within two weeks the girl tried to end it. She told Sharkey a made-up story that she was a member of an elite vampire-hunter society but even after that, she told police, Sharkey wouldn't leave her alone, court documents say.

Some of the messages from Sharkey to the girl were threatening in nature, authorities said.

In court on Monday, the girl and her father read prepared statements before Judge Kevin Lund handed down the sentence.

"I hope he lives out the rest of his life with nothing but misery and shame," the girl said.

Her father described how Sharkey's threats made the whole family feel unsafe. For two years, he said, his daughter was "basically incarcerated" at home due to fear. The family feared retaliation from Sharkey or one of his friends, he said.

"I would like this to be the end of this," the father said, "although I fear that it may not be."

Sharkey read a rambling statement that included his thoughts about the case but also touched on his political ambitions. His threats to the girl, he said, were in response to her threats to him.

"It is a sad day in American justice when (the girl) can threaten to cut off the head of a presidential candidate," he said.

Sharkey said his Tennessee home was burned down in retaliation for the charges, and alleged that his civil rights were violated when he was extradited from Indiana to face charges here.

Richard Smith, Sharkey's attorney, said Sharkey now plans to fight extradition back to Indiana.

Sharkey said he intends to run for governor again, but is reserving a formal announcement for Nov. 13 --  Friday the 13th.

Judge Refuses to drop charges against 'Vampire King'

March 30, 2009 -- A Southern Minnesota judge is refusing to dismiss charges against a self proclaimed vampire king.
Jonathon Sharkey is accused of sending harassing e-mails to a 15 year old Rochester girl in 2007.

Sharkey got upset when the girl told him she was a member of an elite vampire hunter society.

The judge is also advising Sharkey not to fire his public defender and represent himself.

He says Sharkey's belief that the Olmsted County public defender's office is under investigation for malfeasance is in his words "utter non-sense."

Sharkey is being held on $125,000 dollars bond.

A plea hearing is set for a week from Monday.


Vampire dumped by teen after web romance

February 13, 2009 (The Daily Telegraph) -- A self-styled "vampire" faces charges of threatening a teenage girl who tried to break off their web relationship by telling him she was a vampire hunter. The bizarre story unfolded after John Alfred Sharkey, 44,  was held in a New Jersey jail this week in lieu of $125,000 bail. He was charged last summer but didn't appear in court until last month after he was arrested on a warrant.

Sharkey, who calls himself the "The Impaler," ran as the Vampyres, Witches and Pagans party candidate for Minnesota governor in 2006.

Sharkey says he was running for president in 2007 when a 16-year-old girl wrote a message of support on his MySpace page. She told police that they began dating online and that the threats began when she tried to break off the relationship.

She told police that "in a desperate attempt" to get him to leave her alone, she had e-mailed him that she was a member of an elite vampire hunter society and that continuing their relationship would put him in danger.

Her father told police that he had talked to Sharkey but that Sharkey had continued to call the girl and write letters to her parents.

He was charged with felony harassment and two misdemeanors: coercion with a threat to inflict bodily harm and coercion with a threat to expose a secret or disgrace.

Sharkey was supposed to appear in court here in August but got a delay by saying he had been hurt in a pro wrestling match. He then missed a September hearing, and a warrant was issued.

The complaint says Sharkey told a Rochester police sergeant who called him in August that he was a vampire "who needs to drink human blood for strength." It says he referred to the girl as his wife and princess.


'Vampire' charged with threatening Bush, Court official

October 1, 2008 -- One of Middle Tennessee's newest residents is a man of many titles. Jonathon Sharkey said he's a presidential candidate, a former wrestler and a vampire. He is in jail, charged with threatening the president and a court official.

Sharkey faces felony charges in Minnesota and Indiana. Neighbors said he showed up in Tennessee this summer. Since that time, he's left a lasting impression. He made a name for himself on the Internet where he claims to be the imperial king of vampires.

In July, he moved from Minnesota to Grundy County, Tenn. Altamont is about 100 miles southeast of Nashville. Neighbors knew nothing about his checkered past. "Just average Joe type," said neighbor Don Kamtman about Sharkey. "You know, just nice, very polite. Never said a cuss word or anything."

When word spread that Sharkey wanted to turn a plot of land into a commune for fellow vampires, Kamtman knew trouble was brewing. "These people up here are very religious, you know," he said. "And they don't want change and vampires they don't need."

On Saturday, local law enforcement arrested Sharkey for felony warrants in Minnesota and Indiana. The charges include making threats against President Bush and an Indiana judge. Grundy County Sheriff's investigators may never know why Sharkey moved into their county.  But with the information they've gathered so far, they've come to at least one conclusion.

"In my 18 years on top of the mountain this is one of the most bizarre cases that we've dealt with," said Grundy County Chief Deputy Lonnie Cleek. When investigators arrested Sharkey they confiscated two rifles and this wooden stake with steel spikes.

For neighbors, "it's just been kind of a mess and we're caught in the middle," Kamtman said. "You know we sold the place to him and it's just causing more trouble for me and my neighbors. And I wish I hadn't sold it to him now," he said.

Kamtman can't turn back time. He's keeping his faith in the legal system.

Because of overcrowding at the county jail, Sharkey is being held in the Marion County Jail. He faces possible extradition to deal with his felony charges in Minnesota. While in jail, someone set fire to a piece of Sharkey's property. Grundy County investigators said so far they have no suspects in the case.


Vampire's property burned after his arrest

September 30, 2008 -- A professed vampire with Presidential aspirations is in the Marion County jail and his property burned. Jonathon Sharkey, who calls himself "The Impaler," bought five acres of land in Grundy County near Tracy City, TN about 3 months ago.

Sharkey says he bought the land to start a commune for vampires, witches and pagans. He also started a party with that same name and filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for President. He is not on the Tennessee or Georgia ballots.

On Saturday night Grundy deputies arrested him on his land on a harassment and failure to show in court charges out of Minnesota.

The very next night, while Sharkey was in jail, his tree house style dwelling went up in flames. That fire is under investigation. "The Impaler" says he's not leaving.

Sharkey said, "Just because there are a few ignorant people who are full of hatred and want to oppress people doesn't mean a lot of people in Grundy County are bad." He's staying in the Marion County jail for safety reasons. Sheriff Bo Burnett says he has caused no problems but has been held in isolation for his own protection.

Sharkey's scheduled for court tomorrow.


Fanged Films

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

Drawn to Vamps?