The vampire is the most seductive of monsters. In Bram Stoker's Dracula, he appears grotesque and evil, yet still has the power to bring beautiful young women under his control. In Anne Rice's brilliant Interview With the Vampire, the monster is humanized so that we feel his loneliness and pain.
A vampire cannot enter your home unless you invite him in, but once he has been invited, he can come and go freely. Vampires sometimes masquerade as Girl Scouts or Jehovah's Witnesses for this reason. Before inviting a Girl Scout into your home, make sure she casts a reflection in a mirror. Just to be safe, never invite a Jehovah's Witness into your home.
Vampires are repelled by garlic, crosses, holy water, and roses, which were the flower of the Virgin. They are also repelled by the song The Rose, by Bette Midler.
Sergei Lukyanenko's "Night Watch" is a deeply Russian take on vampires and the supernatural. In this quote, the hero, Anton, learns that his neighbors are vampires:
They're really nice people. I wanted to borrow a drill from them once, and Kostya's father Gennady, he's a contractor, just came around and had some fun helping out with the concrete walls, demonstrating conclusively that the intelligentsia can't survive without the proletariat. . .
And now suddenly I could see they weren't human beings at all.
It was terrifying. The brownish-gray auras, the hideous pressure. I stopped dead, staring at them in horror. Polina, Kostya's mother, looked surprised, the boy froze and turned his face away. But the head of the family walked toward me, moving deeper into the Twilight as he came, walking with the elegant stride that only vampires, dead and alive at the same time, have. The Twilight is their natural habitat.
"Hello, Anton," he said.
The world around me was gray and dead. I'd dived into the Twilight after him without even noticing it.
"I knew you'd cross the barrier some day," he said. "Everything's okay."
I took a step back -- and Gennady's face quivered.
"Everything's okay," he said. He opened his shirt and I saw the registration tag, a blue imprint on the gray skin. "We're all registered. Polina! Kostya!"
His wife also crossed into the Twilight and unfastened her blouse. The boy didn't move, and it took a stern glance from his father to get him to show his blue seal.
"I have to check," I whispered. My passes were clumsy; I lost track twice and had to start again. Finally the seal responded. Permanent registration, no known violations. . .
"Is everything okay?" asked Gennady. "Can we go now?"
"Don't worry about it. We knew you'd become an Other some day."
"Go on," I said. It was against the rules, but that was the last thing I was bothered about.
"Yes..." Gennady paused for a moment before he left the Twilight. "I've been in your home. . .Anton, I return to you your invitation to enter..."
Everything was just as it should be.
They walked away, and I sat down on a bench, beside an old granny warming herself in the sunshine. I lit a cigarette, trying to sort out my thoughts. The granny looked at me and said:
"Nice people, aren't they, Arkasha?"
She was always getting my name wrong. She had only two or three months left to live, I could see that quite clearly now.
"Not exactly..." I said. I smoked three cigarettes, then trudged off into the house. I stood in the doorway for a moment, watching the gray "vampire's trail" fade away. I'd just learned how to see it that very day.