Contrary to popular belief, not everyone can afford a secluded castle in the mountains of Transylvania where they can be alone. Not all vampires want to live isolated from the rest of the world. The "haunted gothic forest" does not always provide the protection that some people assume it does. For these reasons and more, many sufficiently human-passing vampires live amongst humans in human cities, towns, villages, etc.
Image credit: Arson 2023 Image description: a nine square moodboard featuring scenecore images, the colour green, and various pride flags. End description.
But I live right in Dublin, Ireland. Hoi, you may remember me. :3 I'm Arson, and I luv 2 partayyy! I go to raves on the regular and I live in one of Ireland's largest cities. I'm here to share my own experiences living among humans before Yukon launches into some less specific information.
I live surrounded by humans simply because I'm a people person!
I picked a large city because I like the anonymity it affords me. To any hunters scouring this webpage for new targets: Good luck finding me! Do you know how many people live in Dublin? I'm practically a needle in a haystack. This anonymity also allows me to stay in one place longer than I'm used to. Before I found the city I used to live in small villages and I'd have to move every few decades. When everyone knows everyone, people start to wonder why you're not aging. Here, nobody but my landlady knows how long I've lived in the same flat and she doesn't care as long as I keep making rent (which is brutal btw. Dublin is EXPENSIVE.)
Furthermore, humans are party animals! If I couldn't go to weekly raves and trade kandi with humans who offer me drugs that are useless to me, I don't know what I would do with myself! I live (or unlive) for festivity. I need to be around people all the time more than I need to drink blood. It's just my personality.
The dating scene isn't great in the foothills of Transylvania either. Do you have any idea how many cute guys live within 20km of me? A lot more than live within 20km of Count Dracula's place!
I love the city. I love having friends and a large dating pool. I love to party. I love being around people and being a vampire doesn't change that.
Of course, I had to make some changes to my flat.
For example, have you every heard of vampire glass? In Buffy, they call it "necro-tempered" and Louis Point-Du-Lac has it in his place nowadays. It's special glass that doesn't let the sun's rays in to kill me. See, I didn't want to look like a crazy hermit shut in with papers all over my windows so I had some vampire glass installed in the dead of night. Now, I can fall asleep with my curtains open after a long night of raving and be fine in the evening.
Speaking of curtains, I had to get good thick ones just in case.
I did also have to move once because the pub below the flat I was renting went out of business and got replaced by a Greek restaurant. God, the stench of garlic nearly strangled me.
Overall, though, living in Dublin has been pretty easy for me. I'm very happy here!
Alright, I'll hand things over to Yukon now~! Byeeee XD
You can't just go to the store and buy a new cloak if you live out in the middle of nowhere. Many vampires enjoy the modern luxuries of gas stations, stores, libraries, parks, etc. I mean, come on. Hundreds of years ago we didn't have these things. The ability to drive to the store and buy everything you need in one place is still a novelty to most vampires. Village general stores aren't nearly as plentiful.
Not only do these places provide their main services, but they also serve as easy hunting grounds. In large cities, it's a lot easier to hunt than in small villages. I mean hell, I know people who live in cities so large all they need to do to hunt is write out a craigslist add that says "I want to drink your blood, no gay stuff," and someone answers! Can you believe that? It isn't that easy everywhere. Dracula has to devise elaborate ruses to get people to his castle. It's so much work.
Image credit: Madhusree Chatragadda. Image description: Mumbai's first 7-11 at night. End description.
Hunting for humans is a lot harder in smaller towns because, well, after a certain point the humans stop going to your castle. It doesn't matter how nice the balls you throw are; the humans won't come to see you if too many people go and don't leave. Having too many casualties in a small village also makes you an easy target for a vampire hunter. Once they catch wind of you, the locals will point them straight to your doorstep.
Like Arson said, just because we're undead doesn't mean we want to be alone.
Image credit: William Henry Dethlef-Koerner. Image description: A couple on a moonlit walk. End description.
Have any of you ever seen that "Interview With The Vampire" show? I'm not going to spoil it if you haven't, don't worry. I'll just bring it up to say: Do you think Lestat would have gotten a date half that easily if he traded houses with Nosferatu? Living in a castle is great: if you don't get lonely easily or have lots of people to fill it. The sheer isolation of living apart from all others is something that makes some vampires hate themselves and their vampirism.
Being around people can stop you from spiraling out of control. It can ground you, at least a little. It's nice to have friends, you know.
The truth is, vampires don't always seek out the company of humans because they have alterior motives. You guys aren't just blood to us, you know. Like Arson said, humans make great friends. You organize more social events than vampires do when we're trying to fly under the radar and as long as we can get invited in they're usually splendid. You know, if you're into that kind of thing. I don't really go to "organized fun" things. But lots of people do. Beyond that, you guys are alive and that's something some vampires forget. Once you've been undead as long as I have, humans and their fleeting lives become fascinating.
There are vampire kids and teenagers, you know.
Image credit: Vampire Knight (2004). Image description: The three main characters of Vampire Knight in front of a red background. End description.
They go to school like anyone else. I mean, have you ever wondered why so many private school kids are just downright eerie? It's because they're vampires. Take the kids from Vampire Knight for example. A private high school with a day class and a night class is the perfect place for vampire youth to get a quality education.
I mean, obviously you don't need a private school either. The Cullen kids go to public high school and they seem to like it just fine. Some eternally-high school-aged vampires make a game out of collecting diplomas from as many high schools as they can.
And then there's post-secondary education. If you've got a lot of money, you can spend eternity studying as many fields as you like. It's a good way to pass a couple decades if you can afford it. I learned carpentry in the late 80's and Arson has a doctorate degree in sociology. Technically I should call him Dr. Arson but I'm not going to do that because he's like eight centuries younger than I am. Anyway, you know the best part of university? Nobody cares how you dress there. Nobody notices if you act weird. A vampire in university can act like a vampire and everyone will just assume they're a weird arts student or an engineering student running on fumes after their last midterm.
And contrary to popular belief, many vampires need steady jobs like humans do. We take night shifts, graveyard shifts, and seasonal work during the darker months to make ends meet. Being a vamprire does not automatically absolve you of the need for currency.
Image credit: Vampire In The Garden (2022) Image Description: The two main characters of Vampire In The Garden yelling at each other. End description.
Like Arson and I said earlier; it's easier to remain undetected by hunters when you live in a big city. It's a "safety in numbers" type of thing. See the girl in the picture? That's Fine, (Pronounces Fin-ay) AKA Vampire MacObvious. Her house stuck out like a sore thumb. If you want to go undetected by vampire hunters, you need to live somewhere that isn't a huge gothic manor in the middle of nowhere that obviously belongs to a vampire.
In a big city, there are weirdos. There are disappearances. There are neighbors you never see because they work the night shift. Hell, you problably don't know all your neighbor's names. Nobody questions each other about their whereabouts or their strange clothes. When you see thousands of people every day, you forget faces. You tune them out. This makes it really easy for nonhumans to blend in.
The only exception to this "big city = protection" rule is obviously if the city you live in is known as a vampire hotspot or a vampire city. But how many of those can you name?
Modern vampires need regular humans.
Modern vampires are closer to humans than they are to vampires like me. They have human friends and families by default. Human society does not quite embrace them the same as others but they have an easier time living in it than I would for example.
Psychic vampires need to be around people to feed effectively. They can even feed passively on large groups of humans. Sanguinarians require a human donor. Regular human beings are necessary to the modern vampire, and modern vampires provide a service to them as well.
From a metaphysical standpoint, psychic vampires do help humans by clearing out their old psychic energy and making room for new energy to bloom. I believe, as do many vampires, that psy-vamps are just as integral to human society as human society is to them.
Image credit: Anonymous. Image description: Red, dripping text that reads "A Vampire's Love." End description.