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November 5, 2009 9:29 PM   Subscribe

Can vampires enter the houses of other vampires without being invited in?
posted by violetk to Grab Bag (29 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
My suspicion is yes. Because when you are a vampire, you are damned. You have to ask permission of those with souls because they are blessed. But the damned don't have to ask the damned for permission because they're damned.

But I also suspect that with the right writer, this rule could be turned on its head.
posted by Sully at 9:31 PM on November 5, 2009


In the Whedonverse, yes.
posted by greta simone at 9:32 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Depends on your mythology. I'm pretty sure in True Blood, Bill Compton explicitly refers to the restriction as applying to mortals' homes.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:35 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree with Sully. In older vampire stories, the living were basically protected by God. This is why crosses drove vampires away. But if you had invited the dead into your home, you were effectively giving up God's protection. Vampires, however, aren't under this protection, so they can barge right on in to each others' homes. They probably wouldn't stay, though... if you're going by the same old vampire stories, they'd need to sleep in the soil they were originally buried in.
posted by katillathehun at 9:59 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why not? I say yes. I am no vampire, nor am I aware of being acquainted with one, yet I could enter another's domicile without being invited (at my own risk, etc.)
posted by bebrave! at 10:02 PM on November 5, 2009


Maybe you need to break this down a little.

If it's daytime, the vampires will all be asleep in their respective coffins, and won't be able to move about outside anyway, so daytime visits can be ruled out entirely.

If it's nighttime, then they'd be out looking for victims, no?

Even if a vampire showed up at another vampire's house one night, vampire #2 wouldn't be around to either invite vampire #1 in, or to not invite them in.

So, you may have created a hypothetical which wouldn't ever take place in reality - a question with no need for an answer.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:18 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I actually took a course on vampires five or six years ago in college. (Woo liberal arts!) The short of it is there is no "right" answer: the vampire myth is hundreds of years old and evolved in several different regions -- the very definition of what a vampire is varies greatly. Most vampire myths don't even incorporate the "you have to invite them in" thing. Similarly, tons of vampire myths don't incorporate other vampire ideas, like the whole sunlight thing, garlic, crosses, whatever. Not every vampire even drinks blood.
posted by Nattie at 10:26 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


In the Whedonverse (rewatching Angel now), Angel explicitly mentions that he can't enter a house if the owner is still living, and he hasn't been granted permission. It's how Gunn proves to the cop that Angel couldn't have killed the actor pretending to be the resurrected Darla's husband, and that, since he was able to burst in, the couple that really lived there must be dead.

In an earlier episode of season 2, Angel and Gunn go to check out an apartment of someone who was severely injured. Angel leans against the invisible barrier while Gunn searches the apartment. Suddenly, Angel falls into the room, and Gunn (I think) says he must not be in critical condition anymore.

So, vampires = dead people, so no permission is needed.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:26 PM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


See also:

So, if the vampire was mounted on a high speed sled, or in some other way launched at the domicile, what then? Also, can the vampire initiate the launch?
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:32 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does a house constitute a home for a vampire? I mean, they might own a place, but really their domicile extends to the boundaries of their coffin. Everything else is just a signature on a piece of paper. This is why smart vampires have a living assistant (a-la Igor). Because once you've got a living person in your "home," you now regain the whole "have to ask permission" angle that you'd otherwise lose (and risk leaving yourself open to attack from other vampires).

the vampire myth is hundreds of years old and evolved in several different regions

Boo...
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:13 AM on November 6, 2009


IANAV, but here's another "no" vote on the grounds of being dead and/or damned.

This is why smart vampires have a living assistant (a-la Igor). Because once you've got a living person in your "home," you now regain the whole "have to ask permission" angle that you'd otherwise lose (and risk leaving yourself open to attack from other vampires).

But wouldn't you then have to worry about remaining on your assistant's good side so they would let you back in your home? And not sell you out to a rival vampire gang?
posted by timeo danaos at 2:24 AM on November 6, 2009


Igor only has to invite you in to Castle Dracul once, though; no take-backs.
posted by hattifattener at 2:40 AM on November 6, 2009


According to True Blood yes. Older, superior vampires can come in his house without his permission, even if he's not there.

True Blood also allows for take-backs, in Season one Sookie kicks Bill out of her house.
posted by like_neon at 3:08 AM on November 6, 2009


Buffy also had take-backs. There was a spell Willow did to revoke the invitation to Spike, and possibly Angel, but I think only Spike.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:27 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


It was both Spike and Angel (when he was Angelus).

Also, regarding the high-speed vampire launching, in the Buffyverse the vampires always seem to really get hit with the physical barrier to the point it pushes them back a little. I imagine something similar in a high-speed launch scenario.
posted by olinerd at 3:48 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, if the vampire was mounted on a high speed sled, or in some other way launched at the domicile, what then? Also, can the vampire initiate the launch?

Probably they could. The result would just be a flat vampire. Unless it was some kind of magic sled, like Santa's.

Alternately see Let the Right One In for a different take on the whole 'vampire entering univited' trope.
posted by permafrost at 3:50 AM on November 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


It varies by writer and myth, as others have said. Anne Rice's vampires could go anywhere they wanted, unimpeded. I don't believe Dracula was inhibited by invites but I'd have to re-read the novel to verify that. Also Dracula had no problems at all moving about in daytime, although he was weaker.
posted by elendil71 at 4:26 AM on November 6, 2009


But wouldn't you then have to worry about remaining on your assistant's good side so they would let you back in your home? And not sell you out to a rival vampire gang?

Hey, don't hate the players.

Also Dracula had no problems at all moving about in daytime, although he was weaker.

Except crossing running water. But that's one part of the myth that's usually left out cause it constrains writers way too much.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:20 AM on November 6, 2009


like_neon said: True Blood also allows for take-backs, in Season one Sookie kicks Bill out of her house.

Well my personal guilty secret is really enjoying the Sookie Stackhouse series of books without having seen any of the True Blood HBO series, and what like_neon said is dead on right (sorry).

Sookie rescinds her invitation to both Bill and Eric at the end of book 3 and they are "forced" out of her house against their will, to the point of having to walk out backwards. In the next book Eric has to be explicitly invited in before he can cross the threshold, but when other Vampires visit places like the Fangtasia club they just seem to be able to walk in uninvited (I told you it was my guilty secret).

I don't know what the Charlaine Harris books are based on as far as Vampire-lore is concerned, but this certainly seems to apply in that world.
posted by 543DoublePlay at 6:34 AM on November 6, 2009


LKH's Anita Blake books have invitations too but also take-backs. There doesn't seem to be any restriction on other vampires entering other vampire living spaces. (IIRC, it seems that the main living space is the Circus, but I'm not sure how much that changes the sense of 'living space' since it's a public place too.)
posted by sperose at 7:46 AM on November 6, 2009


Tangentially, there's another subset of vampire folk mythology where people were encouraged to scatter rice or grains in front of their doors. The idea being--I have no idea where this comes from--that a vampire was forced to painstakingly (heh) count every single grain before he was allowed to enter.
posted by Skot at 8:23 AM on November 6, 2009


Skot, wasn't that a plot device used in the circus/vampire episode of X-Files?
posted by scarykarrey at 10:40 AM on November 6, 2009


Think of the protective field as a non-Newtonian fluid. High velocity vampires = splat.

Invitations for vampires should follow the rules for any other social interaction - it's not easy or polite to disinvite people from a party, function, location. Plus, dis-inviting a vampire should re-invoke God's blessing/protection, though that may not be automatic. It makes sense to me that disinvitation should require one make amends to God with faithful, honest repentance. Perhaps even a ceremony or ritual, if only a simple one.

If I recall correctly in Salem's Lot, the vampire was not dissuaded from killing the priest who held up a cross, as the priest had lost his faith, and the cross was just a piece of wood. An insincere disinvitation would not hold up, similarly.
posted by Xoebe at 10:45 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I remember that. Was it "Bad Blood"? I seem to remember the suddenly thwarted vampire being really peeved about having to count a bunch of shit up. "What did you do that for?"
posted by Skot at 10:53 AM on November 6, 2009


Off on a tangent (so I apologize) but is the whole counting thing the basis for Count von Count on Sesame Street?
posted by 543DoublePlay at 11:08 AM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


It WAS "Bad Blood." Mulder threw his sunflower seeds at the vamp, who got all exasperated and said something like, "You're in big trouble now!" as he bent down to pick up all the seeds.
posted by bluishorange at 11:16 AM on November 6, 2009


Spike definately snick into Angels house to spy on him on multiple occasions on both shows, so for Whedon fans it is allowed. Also Xooebe, at least in Buffy vampires may be damned but that doesn't seem to factor into the disinvitation, which is a wiccan spell not merely a fact.
posted by itsonreserve at 11:19 AM on November 6, 2009


It WAS "Bad Blood."

Just for posterity's sake, the scene occurs 33 minutes into the episode (sans-commercials).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:46 PM on November 7, 2009


In Lost Boys Max asks Micheal to ask him into the house. Though technically it is Micheal's Mom's house.
posted by collocation at 9:13 PM on November 7, 2009


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