Portland Pictures: 8th Annual Vampire Masquerade Ball

March 20, 2010 PDX Pipeline

Kimberly Gehl

I attended the Vampire Masquerade Ball for the 2nd year in a row this past Saturday and 1) danced my socks off, 2) took lots of pictures of the exquisite costumes that guests were dawning this year, 3) made sure to steal a moment with the lovely woman responsible for the event, Lady Raven, to grab a picture and congratulate her on another sensational Ball. Held, as always, at the majestic Melody Ballroom (located at 6th and SE Alder), this year’s Ball featured haunting music performed by cellist Adam Hurst and guests; amazing aerial dance performances by Night Flight Aerial, a delicious buffet of sensuous cheeses, meats and chocolates; an array of regional vendors selling masks, costumes accessories and – of course – “fresh blood”; and the much anticipated midnight waltz (which I made sure to be dancing during, even if I’m not an expert at the waltz ). This year’s ball was the biggest yet and I’m already looking forward to next year’s!”


Vampires Masquerade Ball: Portland’s Gothic Elegance Revealed

March 31, 2009 11:50 AM Portland Vampire Examiner

Devon Downeysmith

“….We take our tickets and walk up the stairs in to the ballroom. The room is dimly lit and a performance is just finishing on the main stage. I see baroque candelabras on the stage and tables scattered around the room all decorated with black tablecloths and tea lights. The bar at the back of the room is serving themed drinks, like the strong cocktail appropriately named “Rigor Mortis”, or the red wine simply named “Vampire”. As the performance ends and the people gathered at the front of the room begin to disperse, I can see their beautiful outfits in all their intricate details. Feathers, corsets, ruffles, and all colors of ball gowns float past me in a prancing display of Gothic beauty. I find my senses overwhelmed by the pulchritude of the night. Jessica and I grab a table and decide to just people watch for awhile. By now the performance is completely over and the DJ has started to play music again. It’s far from anything you’d hear in a typical club, and honestly I don’t quite understand how one would dance to it. But as I look to the floor I realize the attendees obviously know something I don’t, and I watch them float across the floor with a grace and symmetry like I’ve never seen. The evening’s constituents neither bump nor grind like I am unfortunately all too accustomed to witnessing in the clubs; they move their arms rhythmically, unabashedly to the music’s rhythms; I find myself wishing I felt that free anywhere, much less at a ball. They seem so uninhibited, so ultimately in their element. “

“….Beauty, darkness, excitement of the unknown, the question of our own mortality and what lies beyond, our fascination with civility, chivalry and high culture; the ball touched on all of these elements and many more. Further, the ball touched on the very reason I myself have become so obsessed with everything vampire: escapism, a distraction from the harsh realities of life, a sweet diversion tinged with just enough darkness and adventure to make it oh so intoxicating and utterly irresistible. With regards to the ball I can only say that just like vampires, I couldn’t get enough. Despite the fact that I didn’t really know anyone, or know anything about Portland’s local goth/industrial community, they still welcomed me in with open arms and didn’t make me feel less than in any capacity. I wish the whole of mainstream society could be that kind and sweet. What can I say? I’ll definitely be back next year, and I hope to see you there!”


Event: 5th Annual Vampire’s Masquerade Ball, Gothic Beauty Magazine, issue 23, 2007

After parking the car my friend and I emerged, hositing up our brocade gowns, lest they brush the rain-soaked pavement that is Portland’s red carpet. Our platform heels ushered us along the sidewalk as we dashed off to the 5th Annual Vampire’s Masquerade Ball on the arms of our suitors. In the City of Roses our tight knit gothic community has experience with club nights and events that come and go. One annual staple has not only endured but also flourished in its five-year history. Before even entering the venue we knew we were in the right place. The hearses parked bumper to bumper in the front were a dead giveaway. As we sauntered our way to the entrance, we watched as a sea of limousines dropped more patrons off for what my friends have nicknamed, with affection, “the Gothic Prom”.”

“….Each year the accouterments grow more elaborate and gothic fashion is on its grandest display. With tulle, velvet, feathers, corsets, masks, and elaborate headdresses every which way I turned, my fear that I was perhaps wearing the same dress as another was quickly put to rest. Many people spend months constructing their own designs to wear; some prefer to purchase locally, while others often revamp clothing they already own. The ladies were not alone in their pomp, with the man donning top hats, walking sticks and frock coats–oh my!”


Goths love a big ball, but they watch their backs, necks

The Portland Tribune, Jun 16, 2006

Anne Marie Distefano

“….There is a smattering of vampires here, mixed into the crowd of more than 400. But the realms of fashion being explored extend further – the Victorian era, horror movies, fetish wear, art nouveau and underground comics have all contributed to the look that is now called gothic. And tonight, with a full moon in the sky, is the goths’ homecoming dance. When Lady Raven, who organized this masquerade, talks about the gothic scene, she uses the word “community” a lot. She says Portland and Seattle both have strong goth communities – as evidenced by the turnout tonight.”

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