"I Am Dracula!" (1931)

WILLIAM H.  He was a seclusive youngster who preferred to play alone; he did not care nor was he encouraged to associate with other children.  He, like his aunt, liked to read "deep books."  Without ever having had instruction in music, without being able to comprehend any rhythm, he liked for hours to discuss movies and operas, especially since the age of about ten years.  Since that age he seemed languid, complained often of being tired, was more preoccupied and irritable than he had been previously, and frequently amused himself by dressing himself in various costumes and singing and acting before the mirror.  He had always been considered as a "queer" and "different" child...

On July 25 (1931), he was strongly impressed by the moving picture, Son of India, which he had asked to see.  He returned home to see his mother on the same day.  He was not in any way unusual until July 28, when around midnight he woke his mother by a burst of crying and asked her: "Mother, is there a Heaven?  Do take me to a priest.  I want to do the right thing.  I want to be a singer.  I want opera, divine music."  He kept talking excitedly about music, religion, the Orient, and "the higher things in life."  During the next day he was very quiet, brooding, and looked sad and absorbed.  He was preoccupied with the problems of his parents.  In the following two nights, he acted as he had the night before.  He was admitted to the Clinic on July 31.  He was excited, overtalkative, his speech was poorly connected, vague, and full of abstractions.  "I will be a great singer, he said.  "I will help mankind; I am the Redeemer: I will die on the cross.  "I am Dracula!"

Leo Kanner. Child Psychiatry (Baltimore: Charles C. Thomas, 1935). p. 495. 

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