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Neighbors can be tricky things, particularly in cities where you’re in close proximity, but anywhere really. Every once in a while, we get a very strange or creepy neighbor that makes us wonder and question what may really be going on. We begin to theorize, laying awake, what was that weird stare? What was that weird sound? Geez, what’s up with that guy? As Jim Morrison once asserted, people are strange, but I know from personal experience: the undead are even stranger. Could that guy be a vampire? Well, set your paranoid mind to ease or pick up and move; here is a short list of signs that your neighbor could, indeed, be a member of the undead variety, specifically, a vampire.
1. The Move In
So you’re onto something strange; it’s reflection time. Think back to when your neighbor moved in. Have you asked where they moved from? Transylvania is a safe bet they’re a vampire and you probably don’t need to guess anymore, but perhaps they’re from somewhere else? Maybe a major city? Vampires, while seeming to appreciate solitude, actually enjoy large cities because they provide great hunting grounds. If you live in a city, this could be a vampire seeking another hunting ground (perhaps hunters got too close), but a sleepy suburb or small town is not out of the question for a vampire. Much like in Stephen King’s great case study, Salem’s Lot, vampires also enjoy a quiet place where no one can really decipher what is going on. The move-in is very important to reflect on, not just the area. Did a large box packed in dirt get delivered? Vampires cannot cross running water without being surrounded by dirt from their homeland (they are also quite nostalgic creatures, much like Robert Smith of the Cure). Perhaps several boxes surrounded by earth (if there are more than one), and perhaps you only saw the movers during the day with no neighbors in sight. These are all things that could mean your neighbor(s) is (are) member(s) of the undead.
2. The Condition of Surrounding Neighbors
Are your other neighbors suffering from mysterious illness? Do they appear fatigued? Are you fatigued? Are you having nightmares of the new neighbor(s) staring at you, coming through your window and perching themselves at the foot of your bed? Certainly, poor sleep and bad dreams and general malaise are not always indicators that your neighbor is a vampire, but in conjunction with the rest of this list, these factors could be something to take into generous consideration. If you’re constantly waking up feeling drained and your neighbor under suspicion is appearing to be energized on their evening outings, they could be a vampire. Also, take note! Do you have mosquito bite-like abrasions on your neck during these episodes of mystery ailments? Do your other neighbors? I’m not suggesting you predicate the belief your neighbor is a vampire on simply this factor, but consider this list!
3. The Hours of Operation
This one is very important! Some vampires can travel in the daylight much like Anne Rice’s study subject, Lestat, a very powerful member of the undead, who consumed the blood of one of the first vampires and gained the ability to walk in sunlight (not without consequence though). Vampires do not sparkle (sorry, Edward, I call bull), they burn. The stronger the vampire, the less susceptible to the ills of the sun, but their power becomes diminished over time with repeated exposure to the light, so they prefer to go out at night and generally will present with an almost glowing pallor as a result of the lack of sun. If they do go out in the day, take note of their garb, which I will address at length in the next part of our list.
4. The Style of Clothes
Vampires typically wear black. I am not suggesting that your goth neighbor is a vampire, but they could be in conjunction with other items on this list. Granted, vampires do very much enjoy the beauty of color, they typically wear black because of the nature of their hunting- it’s messy business! Black enables them to blend into the darkness to stalk unsuspecting prey (although, many older vampires are incredibly charming and can lure their prey with lust; the more powerful can use hypnosis). Vampires feed on primarily the life-blood of the living (but sometimes they also feed off energy, through a route of invading dreams), so given this information, it makes sense that they’d not want their clothes to become stained and also be camouflaged in darkness. Disposing of bloodied clothes could draw suspicion and they've got an eternity to live and feed. I’ve mentioned vampires are quite nostalgic creatures (please note, Louis, another of Anne Rice’s case subjects), they typically gravitate towards the styles of the time in which they were turned for their own comfort. Dracula, himself, preferred the cloaks and garb of his own time, for both nostalgia and convenience; cloaks can protect a vampire that has accidentally stayed out too long. Some vampires may choose cloaks, some may choose broad rimmed old-timey hats, but some may also choose a very rock and roll style. Vampires such as the aforementioned Lestat are slightly less nostalgic and seek the forwardness of the times; they are bold and wish to flaunt and display, which brings me to my point that all vampires do differ in this aspect, but do consider their garb as it’s not completely arbitrary.
5. The People (and Things) Coming In/Out (and how they come out)
Do your neighbors rarely have any trash? Vampires, as I’ve mentioned, don’t eat typical food, so they probably won’t have need of recycling either. I’m not saying your environmentally unfriendly neighbor is a vampire, just simply if they are a vampire, they may not have much to dispose of. You may see them dispose of stained clothing once in a while, but your experienced vampire will have learned better. You may also see a singular or multiple bats coming in and out through an open window on the lower level of the home; or a black cat coming from the cat door or one of the lower windows; perhaps, towards dusk you may even see a dark mist coming from the home. This is because most vampires have the capabilities to shape shift. You may also observe them frequently bringing back people to their home at late night hours. Your Casanova-like neighbor may not simply be a skillful master of the arts of seduction if these people emerge drained and confused with those mosquito-like abrasions on their necks (of course, they could just be hung over). Pay attention to the comings and goings of people and animals, because this could be a valuable clue that may save you from becoming dinner!
Individually, these things on the list are arbitrary, but together they may alert you to the bloodsucking nature of your neighbor. If you suspect your neighbor is a vampire, it would be ill-advised to contact your local vampire hunter, as vampires are gifted with the capabilities of mind reading and mind control, and you could find yourself in a much more dire position. Garlic and crucifixes are little more than legend and lore and are completely ineffective, and some vampires are actually very fond of crucifixes; garlic is little more than an annoyance of smell to them. My advice would be to either befriend your neighbor and offer to help them hunt if moving is absolutely out of the question, but do consider the fate of Renfield, who helped the infamous Dracula. You may try a stake through the heart, but as I’ve mentioned, vampires have a powerful mind control and you may find yourself in a tragic position. If you’d like to become a vampire, be careful what you wish for; Rice’s subject Luis gravely regretted his decision to never again see another sunrise. I wish you the best of luck if your neighbor is a vampire, as it leaves you with few options, but not all vampires are evil. So, set your mind at ease, and mind your own business!
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