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In a world where vampires are relatively common, composing 5-25% of the population, one of two things needs to happen:

  1. Knowing Acceptance-People know there are bloodsuckers with superhuman attributes (strength, speed, senses, and the like) and are totally okay with it. Okay, maybe some people are anti-vampire, but on the whole, humans get along with their fanged counterparts.

  2. Hiding In Plain Sight-Modern-day vampires use our views on tolerance, acceptance, and so on to their advantage, claiming their fangs and odd quirks (like garlic allergy) are due to a genetic condition. This allows them to make the people claiming that they are real, supernatural beings that pose a threat to humanity not only look crazy but outright bad for discriminating against their genetic condition!

I chose 2, but then we have some problems. Not the whole vampires-need-blood-thing, that was dealt with via this question, but then there's all this left:

1. Vocalizations-For some reasons, vampires vocalize often, giving out a (circumstance-specific) cry when pained, alarmed, or distressed. These vocalizations include purring, shrieking, howling, and roaring. Vampires vocalize less often around regular humans, but people are still going to notice that people with fangs make odd noises.

2. Blood Attraction-Vampires react when blood is shed near them. A vampire who's disciplined or well-practiced will only display dilated pupils, tension (their body will tense, even if only slightly), and will seem distracted. However, a vampire who lacks discipline will fixate and/or move towards the wound, and there's a good chance they'll bare their fangs or have an open, watering mouth. In other words, anyone paying attention should realize vampires are attracted to blood. Without a good explanation for this, people will be likely to throw in their lot with those claiming vampires are a real threat to humanity.

3. Imprinting-If a vampire has taken blood from someone for up to a year, they Imprint on that person. (This is only between vampires and their Imprinted, and is meant to help vampires form a more symbiotic relationship with humans). Vampires are very protective of their Imprinted, and have a tendency to get possessive of said Imprinted (much like how regular people are possessive of their spouse). Vampires can sense their Imprinted's location and emotional state as well, and due to the nature of Imprinting, vampires generally understand and support the desires of their Imprinted, even making them their own sometimes.

Now, vampires are hardwired to take blood from the opposite sex, so this could very well look like two people in love, even considering the tendency Imprinted vampires have to follow and stay close to their Imprinted. Even a vampire's ability to apparently know where their Imprinted is and how they're feeling could potentially be interpreted as "they're soulmates, don't question it."

4. Territorialism-A side affect of the magic behind a vampire's inability to enter residences without invitation. Basically, vampires feel very strongly about privacy and are clearly territorial, saying things "like don't touch my desk" and "stay away from my stuff" often. This is probably easy to explain away as a culture thing, but it may also make people feel "that guy's hiding something, and I'm gonna find out."

5. Garlic allergies-Some, not all vampires are allergic to garlic. Vampires can't be allergic to anything except garlic, and like IRL allergies, garlic allergies are common and vary in intensity.

6. Supernatural traits-Vampires are unusually fast, strong, and agile, making it relatively easy for the average vampire to get up to an open window on the second floor of someone's house. This of course will make it clear something is off about people with fangs, but a vampire's night vision and ability to smell blood? That's just pushing it. Granted, most vampires will be smart enough to hide it, but I feel eventually some idiot will let the cat out of the bag, saying something like "Oh yeah, all vampires have enhanced senses, not to mention strength, speed, and agility, but our sense of smell and night vision is especially acute."

7. Vampirization-This is the most important thing to cover up. It's only a matter of time before it happens, and making someone disappear just because some vampire couldn't control themselves will only arouse suspicion. However, anyone close to such a victim will notice that they now have fangs, enhanced attributes (see 5), seem attracted to blood and are suddenly private and territorial, vocalize weirdly.....basically, that something weird has happened.

So far, the best idea I have is that vampires can claim viral or bacterial DNA transfer as the cause of their odd traits, which would make it contagious. (This is a real thing, by the way, so it's at least semi-plausible). Considering all the traits above, this viral or bacterial vector should probably come from a cat.

Thus, my question is: What is The Best Way to Hide Vampires In Plain Sight?

Specifications For Best Answer:

  1. The best answer will have one or more possible methods that will enable vampires to, as I said, "hide in plain sight."

  2. The best answer will also take into account the listed quirks of vampires and have well-thought-out ways to cover them up or account for them so they don't draw the ire and/or suspicion of regular humans.

  3. Finally, the best answer will analyze the reality of viral/bacterial gene transfer (which has happened across species boundaries) and how likely it is that a vampire's unusual traits, like blood attraction, Imprinting, enhanced senses and agility, and what not could be explained by cat genes transferred in this way. If it isn't plausible, the best answer will have either a *plausible *modified version (like a crazed scientist creating a virus to make people more like cats, which is only plausible because truth is stranger than fiction and insanity is a good friend of humanity) or another explanation altogether.

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    $\begingroup$ It is impossible for vampires to hide in plain sight if they are a significant part of the population and random vampirisation is possible. There are simply too many of them for keeping it a secret. If one meets only one vampire in their life this vampire can be seen as just an eccentric person, but if a significant part of the population shares the same quirks it will be noticed sooner rather than later. I think co-existence is a more realistic path, especially if some kind of symbiotic relationship can be nurtured. $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Apr 7, 2021 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Otkin: Thanks, I will take that into account, but I'll also wait a bit before I take this question down. Who knows, I might get some good answers! I do like the idea of vampire symbiosis though.....hmm...... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Apr 7, 2021 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ If you are working on a book, it would probably be better to rethink imprinting. Possessiveness works okay-ish in romantic eastern fiction but it will not be accepted well in western writing. There was a good answer talking about this in your other thread. This possessiveness also will be a dead giveaway if it is a common trait for vampires. Most humans are rather easy to move on. $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Apr 7, 2021 at 23:51
  • $\begingroup$ (sorry for the comment spam, but I just thought about it) You need to clarify how imprinting works on the human side. If a donor becomes imprinted on their vampire, you are opening a terrible can of consent worms. If not it is still a can of worms but a stalker breed. If you are not planning to become a target of criticism you have to explain everything carefully and in much detail. [I love your ideas, so I would hate to see you being misunderstood] $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Apr 8, 2021 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Otkin: thank you, I really appreciate it. I hope you find the information I added on Imprinting makes it less concerning. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Apr 8, 2021 at 0:13

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I thought about your question long and hard and I cannot find a working solution for your desired outcome even if we go with the lowest proposed percentage of the population (5% are vampires). It could've worked in earlier history when communication and surveillance technologies were poorly developed but it is simply impossible to do in current society.

Five per cent of the total population means that 1 in 20 people is a vampire (basically, if you have neighbours you are almost guaranteed that some of them are not human). With today's total world population of 7.9 billion, it gives us 395 000 000 vampires. It is a lot of vampires! It is also impossible to expect that all 395 million are men and women of steel with divine levels of control and self-discipline, all well-versed in hiding their tracks. Moreover, each of these vampires needs at least 1 human to support their lives. Even if vampires use blood banks there will be still millions of humans involved in the vampire-hiding conspiracy. Someone will talk.

In order to suppress talks and spread of unwanted information 2 things are needed:

  • strict control over every single participant of the conspiracy;
  • full control of all information channels: Public, private, and government.

It is remotely possible that vampires formed a very strict hierarchical clan-based society, preferably matriarchal (if their basic psychology and socialisation are similar to human), with severe punishments for transgressions (death for even the smallest mistake). It is also possible to imagine that over centuries these vampire clans formed some kind of symbiotic relationship with human clans governed by the same strict rules. Human and vampire clans cooperate to solve vampire blood dependency and to cover things up. Still, shit happens. Drunk people talk. Men talk when in bed with beautiful women. Young people brag. Hot-tempered people expose their unusual strength and dexterity. Stupid people do not follow procedures perfectly. Basically, the human factor ruins the best of conspiracies.

The second thing (full control of all information channels) is unachievable in the information age. It is simply not possible to block or suppress all information. Mass media can be owned, especially if vampires are 'old money'. Government can be more or less controlled -- vampires and their allies have enough manpower for that. However, private information channels are impossible to control. There are plenty of group chat platforms that can be used to spread the uber-sensational news about bloodsuckers.

But even if we succeed at building these super-secret clans and can contain the information we will face other problems. For example, medical checkups are mandatory for many occupations and activities in all developed countries. Moreover, in some countries those examinations are not private, e.g. many Japanese companies hire medical brigades to come to workplace to conduct yearly examinations. Only rich and privileged can consistently avoid public medical services. Therefore, it's either all health systems should be controlled by vampires and Co or all vampires should have access to private and tight-lipped healthcare.

Another problem is vampire quirks. When a tiny part of the population displays certain traits it may go unnoticed. However, if 5% of the global population displays a set of traits it will attract attention of scientists. Imprinting as described will be one of the biggest problems. Excessive possessiveness will be studied. There will be armies of psychologists, psyhiatrists, biologists, and government officials. There will be lawyers and policemen on top of that, especially in our time when consent is a big thing.

The problem with consent can be 'solved' if all vampires enter arranged marriages with humans from friendly clans. The notion of consent is historically new. Throughout the history most marriages were decided by political, social, and economic interests of the families rather than brides and grooms. Vampires and Co can keep this tradition going. Of course, younger generations will be influenced by popular culture but private educational system and constant brainwashing (necessary to maintain clans) can convince those naive youngsters. If psychological methods are not enough, just kill dissenting voices.


These are just the biggest holes in the hiding in plain sight idea. I am sure there are many more problem areas that can be pointed out.

Co-existence is the only viable solution in your scenario. Acceptance may become possible if some kind of symbiotic relationship can be established. Tolerance is possible if vampires live within a strict, well-known, and absolutely enforced set of rules. Uneasy peace (or rather ceasefire) is very likely if vampires comprise 25% of the global population and control a major part of global resources.

Genocide is the most likely outcome, though. We, humans, hate things that we fear and we are pretty good at destroying them.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very well thought answer, thank you! I will account for symbiosis in my setup. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Apr 8, 2021 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias You need to come up with some hefty and tangible benefits for your humans. Greed, of course, rules the world, but the fear and hate of natural predators cannot be underestimated. So, vampires should be able to give humans something that humans cannot get any other way. $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Apr 9, 2021 at 0:01
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  1. The vampires have Complete control Over government, corporations and media. This is not as hard as it sounds the vampires are immortal so would have plenty of time Slowly insinuate themselves into these Institutions And effectively run them from behind the scenes.

  2. Limited contact with humans. There has to be strick rules about interacting with humans. No close friendships, No relationships, Keep all contact with humans Not a part of the conspiracy to as brief as possible.

  3. No hunting. No matter what If bodies start to going missing this secret will be found out. So instead The vampire government provides Blood either from blood banks or Slaves ( Death row inmates, Human trafficking victims, legal immigrants, Anyone else who won't be missed) Perhaps a combination of both.

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    $\begingroup$ I like this answer. I would strengthen it to making vampires the ruling/priest caste, as well as household servants and bodyguards of said rulers and priests. The quirks are mark of the ruling elite, the food are the untouchable caste that nobody will miss or trust. $\endgroup$
    – Bald Bear
    Apr 9, 2021 at 2:14
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Toxoplasma.

Toxoplasma gondii is the go-to organism for most infectious behavioral modifications. It helps mice to stop worrying about the little things in life, like getting eaten, and that helps this apicomplexan (it is an alveolate, a eukaryote) to spread. It also lives in the human brain.

Humans also undergo psychological changes, and up to half of humans are presently infected (in real life) and that doesn't keep anybody up at night, so if we suppose a related organism with more dramatic effects, it should be fine.

This particular species, Toxoplasma sanguinis, a.k.a. "the Symbiote", bears antigens which, by chance, have some similarity to garlic. It regulates the immune system in a very complex and intelligent way (i.e. I have no idea how). The immune system doesn't attack the Symbiote, but it is more effectively balanced against many other threats because the Symbiote carries successful immunoglobulins from one host to the next on large plasmids. (It makes people into monoclonal antibody factories based on past hosts' immune responses). This includes fighting viruses permanently embedded in the human genome that are causing constant low-level inflammation and diseases like macular degeneration, so the Symbiote gives people improved physical characteristics. (I notice you've said nothing about vampires being immortal, but perhaps they live a bit longer also)

Some of the symptoms (vocalizations, privacy) are strange but can certainly be attributed to psychological effects of brain Symbiotes.

Imprinting and blood attraction must be part of the unique evolutionary niche of this organism. I supposed that it can carry useful gene sequences from one host to the next. Perhaps individuals who have this organism can still be "reinfected". When a new cell of T. sanguinis enters the body, it undergoes a conjugation process that spreads its plasmid DNA to some of the existing cells which have lost their plasmids. As such, the entire protozoan population of the body has a vast archive of different DNA strands (in addition to its own standard genome), unlike our own cells that are billions of copies of exactly the same thing.

The instinct to feed on blood is interpreted psychologically as a hunger. When the person fed upon already carries the Symbiote, millions of cells carrying millions of basepairs of plasmid DNA each will be absorbed and their data copied. When the blood contains no trace of Symbiote, the carrier will feel an impulse to try to infect the person with blood or other fluids. The carrier will develop a strong psychological protective instinct, fueled by a shared awareness at the biological level that is hard to quantify, but is informed by the transferred information. I'm not going to interpret the question as requiring a "Lojack"; rather, the carrier will have an internal sense of what the other person would dislike, like, crave, whether it be pears or heavy metal music, perhaps with some very limited form of encoded memory. (There is nowhere near enough bandwidth to just recall what the other person saw like a video).

Acceptance of the organism comes down to a few things:

  • It naturally evolved
  • Many people were infected a long time and no one much noticed
  • The vampire stories about crosses, non-beating hearts etc. are fiction.
  • It prolongs life
  • It strengthens the body
  • It creates a deeper loving connection between people

In very short order, the question becomes not whether those infected are accepted, but whether society can find tolerance for those who are unable to host the Symbiote due to some sort of immunoincompatibility.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is amazing, thank you! I've heard of Toxoplasma, but I didn't realize how well it could be applied to vampires! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Apr 9, 2021 at 0:05

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