Is Your Neighbor a Nosferatu?
So you're sitting in your living room staring out the window at the house across the street. The huge exterior is decidedly overgrown and unkempt, the windows are covered with black paper, and there's a barbed wire security fence around the entire perimeter. You never see anyone or anything save for smoke wafting out the chimney with vague regularity. But every so often, you think you catch a glimpse of a shadow moving around the yard. Is it a neighborhood cat, or is your neighbor a nosferatu?
How Do You Spot a Vampire?
Given their ability to meld into society, vampires can be tricky to identify. According to most experts, the one commonality among vampires is the pallor of their skin, which can range from white to grayish to greenish to translucent. Of course in the modern era, how does one distinguish a vampire from a Marilyn Manson fan? If you're determined to identify a vampire, there are several things to look for:
Their skin color. As mentioned above, are they white as a sheet, or ghostlike in their appearance? If burned during a flambé accident, do they immediately regenerate? Also worthy of note are extremely red lips, which could indicate a recent feeding.
An aversion to garlic. A fact that should preclude that you're likely to never find a vampire hanging out at Pizza Hut or any Olive Garden restaurant. They may also have a reaction to wolvesbane, silver, hawthorn, or anything resembling a long, sharply pointed object.
A dislike or total aversion to holy artifacts including but not limited to crosses, crucifixes, Eucharist wafers, biblical passages, or holy water. If touched by a religious icon, their skin may even burn. Take care though, as many modern bloodsuckers have absolutely no issue with holy icons.
Unlike humans, vampires will be icy cold to the touch. Without a beating heart to send warm blood throughout their circulatory system, they will be both literally and figuratively cold-hearted beasts.
A lack of mirrors in their home or on their person, as well as a lack of reflection in a mirror. Also, if your overly friendly neighbor's smiling face is missing from the group photos taken at your latest barbeque, it's likely not Kodak's fault.
The color black. Any vampire worth their hemoglobin will dress entirely in black. But be warned — many a vampire will retain various adornments, commonly red, white, or silver in color, so as to maintain fashion decorum and throw hunters off the scent. They may also wear sunglasses in the dead of night or wear clothes that were fashionable in the late twelfth century.
No shadow, or alternately, a shadow that moves independent of the vampire. If your neighbor is dancing the conga and his shadow is sitting in the La-Z-Boy watching Monday Night Football, you've got a problem.
Abnormal canines. And by this we don't mean mutant Labradors. A vampire's fangs may extend upon arousal, but in their dormant position, the canines may appear a bit elongated or exceptionally sharp. If they can open a can of Bush's Baked Beans without a can opener … be afraid.
The fact that they rise at dusk and remain awake until dawn, claiming that they're “night owls.” To test this, trying inviting them to IHOP for Sunday brunch.
They may smell of freshly dug earth, indeed reeking of it like a cheap cologne. If they're not a botanist or gravedigger by profession, a vampire could be afoot.
A consistent appearance. Vampires are creatures of habit and obsession, whereby they may always look the same in regard to attire, but most especially in regard to aging. Their physical appearance, right down to the last wrinkle, will remain eternal. If you don't see a liver spot, be warned. Your liver may be in jeopardy.