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First Person | Getting Fanged

IMG_0090Alexa Tsoulis-Reay Carlos Rodriguez, a customer of the fang-maker known as Father Sebastiaan, shows off his new fangs. The author, while researching an article on vampire culture, purchased a custom-made set of the prosthetics, too.

On a recent soggy fall evening just past 7 p.m., I found myself standing on Fourth Avenue, smoking a cigarette while my new custom-made vampire fangs set. Next to me hovered a six-foot tall man dressed in a shiny black butcher’s apron, splattered with white paste, like he had been interrupted while baking a cake. A black cowboy hat sat upon his long-blonde hair.

Meet Father Sebastiaan aka Sebastiaan van Houten: Master Fangsmith, a self-described living vampire and head of the Sabretooth Clan.

“The Father,” as he is commonly known, has lived in Paris since 2007. Attracted by the scent of Halloween, he returns to the East Village every October to custom design removable fangs. He sets up shop in a tiny red and black windowless room, just past the pirate costumes inside the Halloween Adventure costume store on Fourth Avenue near 11th Street. He is assisted by Victor Magnus, whom he met in 1995 in a Greenwich Village magic store and who now runs the New York arm of the fang business.

I had been researching vampire culture and heard that I must talk to Father Sebastiaan, fang-maker extraordinaire. When we met for the first time, he insisted that I experience the fang design firsthand to truly understand his craft. After some convincing, I submitted to the procedure.

Seated inside his cramped workroom, I was instructed to use my pinkies to stretch open my mouth and reveal the top of my teeth and gums. I felt like a cat, about to get an oral vaccination. “I’ll make them subtle,” he said, then, turning to Mr. Magnus, who hovered nearby, he added, “We don’t want to make her look like a beaver.” Next, I was told to roar and throw a pair of devil’s horns. This took some time for me to perfect.
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