I once met a mother who told me that she always welcomed her son's friends into her home without question for as a Christian she felt called to be salt and light to the world. Then she looked at me sorrowfully and said - "but after what has happened to my family in consequence I have learned to be a little wiser."
Apparently one of her son's friends had a very destructive influence on her family and though she fought valiently against them the drugs and abuse that racked her life were nearly impossible to stop. She was praying daily for the grace of God to restore her family to healing and peace.
I'm not suggesting we should play Sherlock Holms with everyone who enters our homes but there are those guests who come into our livingrooms, bedrooms, and kitchens and feel quite free to hang out for days, weeks, even months and years without ever explaining themselves, who they are, what they believe, or ever revealing the least little bit of their family history.
So my family did a bit of research and we discovered some interesting background on some common "friends" who are entering households all across America. Today I'll start with vampires.
Did you know.....that the Vampire (Wampyr, Vurculac) was popularized in the early 18th century after an influx of vampire superstitions into Western Europe from the Balkans and Eastern Europe where the legends were frequent? The Vampire is a being who subsists by feeding on life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are "undead" or not. As for actual lore, vampire entities have been recorded in many cultures widely seperated and have a wide variety of appearances from nearly human to bloated rotting corpses (this type would eventually become the modern zombie). It was John Polypore's 1819 novella, The Vampyre written fifty years before Dracula, which established the archetype of charismatic and sophisticated vampire. This novel along with Varney the Vampire inspired Bram Stokers's 1897 novel Dracula which provided the basis for the modern fiction. Bram drew on earlier mythologies of werewolves and other legendary demons for his book; it was highly successful and spawned a distinctive genre that was still popular in the 21st century only recently being outdated by modern vampire fiction. The vampir in Dracula comes almost exclusively from Southeastern Europe where verbal traditions were recorded and published. In most cases vampires are remnants of evil beings, suicide victims, or witches but can also be created by a malevolent spirit possessing a corpse or by being bitten by a vampire. It is difficult to make a single, definitive description of the "folkloric" vampire, although several elements are common - they are usually bloated with a ruddy purplish color or dark due to the recent drinking of blood. There are Slavic and Chinese traditions was well as Russian folklore concerning vampires.
So - you have a vampire in your house - so what? He is just there to amuse and entertain your children. Just remember where he comes from. He is a dead guy who wants to kill others and lead them into a state of permanent "undead". Apparently there is more to this myth than a simple entertaining story or it would never have stayed in the imaginations of so many cultures for so long. Your friend Vampire may be dressed to entertain but his mission is to kill.