There is so much symbolism in vampires it has to be grouped into categories:  sexual, destruction/consumption, transformation/assimilation, and parasite.  At this point there is an entire genre of vampires as thinly veiled male sexuality out there and the leading example of them sparkle. The destruction/consumption category is what we would deem the classical monster variety.  Those that may be able to talk, but are out there to “get em” and eat ’em and get killed by the good guy if it’s a hero story or win if it’s a horror/tragedy.  The transformation/assimilation variety is a bit of a combination sexual and destructive and is usually seen somewhat like a cult leader creating it’s group.  Vampires create covens which then become a new race that will take over the world or something depending on the plot.  In the Underworld movie series they are really conflicted and emo about that but it still goes on regardless.

And then there’s the parasite.  This is the vampire that doesn’t want to be seen, doesn’t want to be known, who is hiding in plain sight.  He/she doesn’t want to change anyone or destroy them, in fact that would be the worst outcome.  He/she wants to go unnoticed as they use those around them, feeding off people, taking from them, exploiting them and giving nothing back in return.  To this end they use manipulation, cons and half truths, to get people to do what they wants, act the way they want, and make them feel that this is completely normal and mutual when in fact everything goes one way.

Vampires can be significant others, bosses, peers, partners, friends, group members or even family.  It can be hard for those interacting with them to see or recognize what is going on although those outside the situation can usually see it fairly quickly.  The hard part is that the victim is usually emotionally involved and the vampire makes sure of this and to build defences against anyone that might speak against them.  They set up preëmptive stories about how they are misunderstood and weave romantic stories or desperate pleas so that the victim will remain engaged and think that they are the only ones that can resolve the situation, which somehow never gets resolved.  So how can someone recognize such a situation when they are in it?  The easiest way is to note that any interaction with the person ends up negative for the other person.  If you are always tired or in a bad mood or even damaged at the end of an interaction with this person, it is very possible that they are acting as a vampire.  And even if they’re not, things still need to change.

There is a ton of information out there now about real “vampires” in people’s lives, how to recognize them, how to extract yourself from them, and how to prevent these situations from reoccurring.  During this season it’s fun to dress up like one or to tease someone by chasing with a container of glitter, but when the holiday is over and the costumes get put away, if they are still flitting around in your life you might want to shine the light of day upon them.  (And if they sparkle you’d better hope they are vegetarian…)