Remember a few years back when everyone loved vampires, and then Twilight came out and ruined an entire subgenre of horror fiction that had been going strong for over 100 years? Thanks, Stephenie Meyer! Yep, vampires had a good run, from Dracula to Nosferatu to Bunnicula. They were so popular that there are literally people out there today who think they are vampires. Isn't that adorable? It is. It is verifiably adorbs, in fact. But don't ever tell them that, because they have liberal arts degrees and will use their extensive vocabularies to try to overcompensate for their delusional state of being, and how they were probably friendless as children and now use this fantasy to keep themselves feeling like they belong to an exclusive and better group of people who are actually "beyond" human, and that means they are NOT adorable. Even though they so are! Squee!
But like I said, vampires have gone the way of the dodo and the Swamp Monster. (And no one gives a shit about Swamp Monster. Remember in Monster Squad, how all he did was stand there and look like a menacing fish while Wolfman got dialog and a full-on kick in the balls?) Zombies are now the monster du jour, though they're really on the razor's edge at this point, too. Soon enough, they'll grow tiresome and we'll all become enamored of Sasquatch or demonic mattresses. But the vampire will never truly go away, thanks to the fact we have the little bastards roaming the countryside for real! Real vampires! Isn't that crazy? "Real" in the sense that they're animals which people refer to as vampires because they'll suck you dry of your precious, life-sustaining fluids as soon as cuddle with you. But you get my meaning.
#6. The Vampire Squirrel
You probably hate it when I set up an article topic and then immediately 180 on it, but hey, I'm the writer and can do what I like. I could even tell you how hot you look when you read my sentences and that I want us to go live on a houseboat together. What would you say to that? Please say yes. Please. But also, on to my 180 twist! You see, the vampire squirrel is a real animal, but it also is maybe (probably definitely) kind of a load of shit.
This little guy is adorable, and is generally known as the Tufted Ground squirrel when it's not disemboweling deer. What the hell, you say? Yes, tufted. But also, there are rumors that the squirrel will climb into low branches and, when an animal like a deer passes below, will drop on it, gut it, and eat its internal organs. Just the organs, mind you; not the meat or anything.
Gotta leave something for his moose buddies, after all.
The stories of this angry, bloodthirsty squirrel generally come from locals in Borneo, possibly from the town Fuckwithatouristan, but maybe from all over. Science has yet to record the savagery of the squirrel, and so far has mostly captured it sitting, with its bushy tail making it look less like a vampire and more like Donald Trump's hair -- which is still evil and bloodthirsty, but in subtly different ways.
#5. Vampire Bats
Samuel Betkowski/Moment/Getty Images
Big deal. Vampire bats exist. Every jackass knows that, right? Well aren't you just a smarty pants? Do you know why they call vampire bats vampires? I mean, aside from the obvious, since they drink blood? Well, that's the only reason. But it's still cool to appreciate the fact that the vampire bat is literally the only mammal on Earth that sustains itself on the blood of its victims. Not even Real Housewives do that.
Sandstein / Wiki Commons
"Lawyers don't count as mammals."
A colony of 100 bats can bleed about 25 cows dry over the course of a year, making them slightly less efficient at killing cows than the fast food industry, but still pretty horrible in a general sense if you happen to be bovine in any way. Not that either choice is good, but would you rather be killed by a clown who travels around with Grimace, or in the middle of the night by the soft flutter of leather wings and a weird, warm sensation in your ass, as a bat sinks its fangs into you?
You'd be undercooked and poorly seasoned either way, so pick whatever, really.
In case you think they're all bad, it's worth noting that vampire bats rarely feed on humans (though it does happen from time to time), and that female bats in a roost will help care for orphaned babies if something happens to their biological mothers. Isn't that sweet? They also share food communally, which I assume means spitting on each other -- something other bats haven't been observed doing. Aww, they're precious little monsters!
#4. The Vampire Squid
Generally speaking, most animals have super-lame Latin names. Do you know the Latin name of the beaver? Castor Canadensis. That sounds like Canadian oil for the dimwitted. The vampire squid, which already sounds awesome, has the Latin name Vampyroteuthis infernalis, which is a million times cooler. Goth kids wish their parents had named them that. That name has built-in street cred.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
"The ocean is my tears."
Our creepy friend the vampire squid loses a bit of its creep factor when you realize that it's smaller than a Chihuahua. In fact, they only grow to be about one foot long. Which is super lame, unless movies like Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark or Ghoulies freak you out and you have an aversion to tiny monsters. In that case, never go swimming again, because these freaky little shits have the largest eyes relative to their body size of any animal on Earth. Which is awful, when you think about it. Giant eyes? Ever seen a person with eyes that were too big? It's literally the most off-putting feature a human can have. Big feet? You're considered cool. Big hands? Must be good at sports. Big boobs? We love you! But big eyes? Yeech, no thanks.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
If the local Walgreens ever runs out of waterproof guyliner, blame this asshole.
Unfortunately for gore enthusiasts, the vampire squid doesn't suck the blood from porpoises or anything. It got its name thanks to the fact that it has red eyes and a creepy, cape-like webbing that connects its tentacles. So basically, whichever Jacques Cousteau was out on the water the day they discovered this thing had a flair for the dramatic.