As a goth page on the net, I just have to have a vampire page, even though GOTHS ARE NOT VAMPIRES. Those spookykids running around saying they're vampires? We scoff at them. Lots.
Vampires are silly. I will be the first to admit to this. They've become more of a joke than anything else. They used to be the monsters under the bed, things to scare children. Your dead spouse coming back for you after the grave, the bodies disinterred and found swelling, breathing, looking alive and fattened with stolen blood. The vampire has become alternately a joke and a forbiden erotic figure. The original vampire was not erotic, it was disgusting. It was a tale with which to frighten children, and even adults. It was the great night terror, the figure that can creep up on you in the dark. The dark has always been scary because people, and things, can creep up on you without your knowledge, the primordial fear that SOMETHING is WATCHING. The idea that you aren't safe, even in your own home.
But the vampire has become something else entirely. There are those who would welcome the vampire's kiss. If you read Bram Stoker's novel Dracula you see the hints of it, the forbidden lover who breaks the rules of society. And after all, it was Bram who popularized the vampire, made Dracula (and unbeknownst to him at the time, but also Bela Lugosi) a household name. And although Stoker's is by far the most popular of the old vampire tales, it is by no means the only that gives the vampire this same role. But these vampirea are still scary figures, the horror tales of a bygone era.
Another large fall for the vampire was Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire. It was the first instance of the sympathetic vampire, and that was taken up in a wave. More often than not now the vampire is a creature to be pitied, to be loved, someone who is only doing what they have to to survive, not the old creature of the night that exists to frighten and feed off the masses. The new vampire, even those that are crass and careless in their eating habits, are more human than monster, creatures of the night who long for the sunshine forever denied them. They are sad creatures, to be pitied, or even heroic figures that try to help humanity. They are what happens when a human is transformed into something not quite human, not a creature born of darkness, existing solely to haunt old friends, or depopulate a town with a mysterious disease.