Although many people believe vampires to be fictional, their presence is ingrained in our pop culture, thanks to shows like "True Blood," "Twilight," and the latest vampire movie to hit the big screen: "Dracula Untold." Although the rules governing the lives of the undead seem to be as fluid as the blood that they drink, in many of the prevailing tales vampires need to avoid direct sunlight, drink blood from humans and sleep in coffins. With Halloween quickly approaching, we at Redfin decided to sink our teeth into the data and found the best U.S. cities to be a vampire.
Since vampires need to avoid sunlight, we found the average number of cloudy days in a year for each city. Then we looked at how long the bars and clubs can serve alcohol, which is a good indicator of how late places stay open at night (giving vampires something to do). Then we added up the number of blood drives happening in the next month, because the undead need a constant food supply. Finally, we pulled data from a report Redfin published last year identifying cities with the most homes for sale near cemeteries, because vampires wouldn't want to travel too far to get from their home to their coffin when the day breaks.
Read on to find out which cities flew to the top, and which came in dead last. And if you happen to be a vampire, you can start your search for a new home in one of these places.
1. Philadelphia, PA
Cloudy days: 160
Bar Hours: 7 a.m. -- 3 a.m.
# of Blood Banks and Drives: 548
Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries Ranking: 2
It turns out that the City of Brotherly Love is a bloody good place to be for vampires, with plenty of cloudy days, a 3 a.m. closing time and many cemeteries in the city. Philadelphia had the most blood drives planned for the next month -- 548 -- ensuring that vampires would have plenty of places to grab a bite to eat.
Philadelphia vampires would fit right in at the Dracula Ball, a Halloween event taking place at the Trocadero Theatre, or scaring the bejeezus out of people on the street, as one prankster recently captured on camera.
"I'm not surprised Philadelphia tops the list!" said Blakely Minton, a local Redfin real estate agent. "There are a lot of historical homes here, many of which are rumored to be haunted. Examples of places with a spooky past include the Edgar Allan Poe House, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Mütter Museum, the Powel House, the Betsy Ross House... the list goes on. A company called Grim Philly even offers a 'Vampires, Sex and Ghost Tour' that you can take at night."
2. Chicago, IL
Cloudy days: 176
Bar Hours: 7 a.m. -- 5 a.m.
# of Blood Banks and Drives: 103
Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries Ranking: 3
It wouldn't suck to be a vampire in Chicago. Several bars and clubs stay open until 5 a.m., there are more than 100 blood drives in the next month and there are a lot of cemeteries in city limits. Perhaps that's why there's a series of novels called "Chicagoland Vampires" that are set in the city, and why there's a vampire-themed English course at Northwestern University and at the University of Illinois.
Chicago vampires would fit right in at The Vampire Diaries' Official Convention in 2015, the 3rd Annual Zombies vs. Vampires Pub Crawl, or an event hosted by the Chicago Vampire Meetup Group, which boasts 465 members!
"A lot of supernatural tales stem from Chicago's rich history, which includes the Great Chicago Fire, prohibition-era gang activity and the Civil War," said Alex Haried, a local Redfin real estate agent. "The city is home to many places that are rumored to be haunted, including the H.H. Holmes mansion, the Wynekoop Mansion, Jane Addam's Hull House, and more. I'm not aware of any homes that are supposed to be frequented by vampires, but I'm sure those stories are out there."
3. Baltimore, MD
Cloudy days: 152
Bar Hours: 6 a.m. -- 2 a.m.
# of Blood Banks and Drives: 480
Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries Ranking: 1
Baltimore had a high number of blood drives and cloudy days, but it was the number of homes for sale near cemeteries that put the final nail in the coffin. The city was founded in the 1700s and grew over time, so cemeteries became part of the landscape in most neighborhood developments.
Baltimore vampires would fit right in at a Meetup of the House of Maryland By Night Vampire,Witch & Werewolf Alliance, which has 81 members, or perhaps the Mind's Eye Society LARP. On a Saturday night they might attend a Batz over Baltimore event at The Depot Nightclub.
"There are a few ghost tours in Baltimore, including one in Ellicott City where you can walk through older neighborhoods and learn about the history of the city and hear all the ghost stories," said Lynn Ikle, a local Redfin real estate agent. "Some of those historic Georgian-style homes look like they could be the set of a vampire movie."
4. Portland, OR
Cloudy days: 222
Bar Hours: 7 a.m. -- 2:30 a.m.
# of Blood Banks and Drives: 274
Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries Ranking: 8
Portland has the second highest number of cloudy days in a year and hundreds of blood drives in the next month, enabling it to stake its claim at No. 4 on this list. In fact, the gray skies and vegetation were similar enough to Forks, Washington, that the producers of the "Twilight" movies filmed several scenes in Portland, including the Cullens' house, located at 3333 NW Quimby St.
Portland vampires would fit right in on the set of NBC's "Grimm," a fairy-tale inspired hit show filmed in the city, or at an event of the Portland Vampire Meetup group, which has 213 members. Date night might involve a trip to Zompire: The Undead Film Festival or the annual Vampire's Masquerade Ball.
"We like to keep it weird in Portland. You'll find groups of people who are into vampires, zombies, ghosts, you name it," said Wayne Olson, a local Redfin real estate agent. "There's a Zombie Walk every year that started as a flash mob but is now an organized event where hundreds of people roam the streets dressed up as zombies. There's also a ghost tour where they hand out real ghost-hunting equipment! And the Vampire's Masquerade Ball draws a crowd every year."
5. Boston, MA
Cloudy days: 164
Bar Hours: 8 a.m. -- 2 a.m.
# of Blood Banks and Drives: 470
Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries Ranking: 4
Boston has plenty of Bruins, and plenty of ruins. The city had a lot of homes for sale near cemeteries and a lot of blood drives, but fewer cloudy days and late-night options than other cities on the list. However, the city is home to one of the most notorious "vampire killers," James Riva, who claimed to be a 700-year-old vampire when he killed his grandmother in 1980. Perhaps that's what inspired the producers of "Being Human," a supernatural drama about vampires, to set the show in Boston.
Boston vampires would fit right in at the Boston Latin School, which made national headlines in 2009 when police were called in because of vampire-related rumors. Or they could sneak into the Boston area White Wolf LARP Group, which plays role-playing games like Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem.
"Boston has some of the oldest cemeteries in the U.S., where you can visit the final resting places of people like John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Samuel Adams. A lot of neighborhoods were built around them, so it makes sense that it would rank high in possible Vampire sightings. Boston is filled with spooky old Victorian homes, many of which still have original finishes from hundreds of years ago, so I can see why it made the list," said Katie Gustafson, a local Redfin real estate agent. "It's a city filled with mysterious charm and character."
6. Washington, DC
Cloudy days: 164
Bar Hours: 8 a.m. -- 3 a.m.
# of Blood Banks and Drives: 471
Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries Ranking: 11
Vampires may want to pull up stakes and move to our nation's capital. Although Washington didn't have as many homes for sale near cemeteries as some of the other cities on the list, there were a high number of blood drives and places that are open until 3 a.m.
Washington vampires would fit right in at the Vamp it Up event at SAX, or at a screening of Orlok, the Vampire in 3D at Artisphere. They might also want to start training for the Vampire 5K, which will take place around this time next year.
"Washington went through a lot of turmoil in its early years, and there are plenty of places that are reportedly haunted as a result," said Michael Alderfer, a local Redfin real estate agent. "There are also a lot of historical homes with unique histories. It's no surprise that eventually something like 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' would come to exist!"
7. Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN
Cloudy days: 169
Bar Hours: 8 a.m. -- 2 a.m.
# of Blood Banks and Drives: 357
Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries Ranking: 10
Vampire rats might not be the only thing out for blood in Minneapolis. With plenty of blood drives, cemeteries and cloudy days, it's not a bad place for vampires to settle down. Perhaps that's why Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey -- who believed he was a vampire -- once ran for governor of Minnesota.
Minneapolis vampires would fit right in at Crypticon Minneapolis, Minnesota's No. 1 horror convention. For a laugh, they could attend "Dracula: The Musical" at the Howard Conn Fine Arts Center. Or they could blend in on the Transylvania Trolley, a Halloween ride on the Como-Harriet streetcar.
"There are a few places that are rumored to be haunted in the Twin Cities area, including the Wabasha Street Caves, Mounds Theater, The Griggs Mansion, the Lakewood Cemetery, First Avenue Nightclub and the fifth floor of City Hall. A lot of the stories are from the 1800s gold rush days, or from gangster activity in the 1920s," said Chris Prescott, a local Redfin real estate agent. "I'm not aware of any famous vampire stories, but we just broke the record for the largest gathering of zombies!"
8. Madison, WI
Cloudy days: 180
Bar Hours: 6 a.m. -- 2:30 a.m.
# of Blood Banks and Drives: 180
Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries Ranking: n/a
Madison was the dark horse on the list; it had fewer than 10 homes for sale near cemeteries when we ran the analysis last year, but what it lacks in graveyards it makes up for in cloudy days, serving hours and blood drives. It's also not far from Mineral Point, where there have been reports of a vampire that haunts the Graceland Cemetery.
Madison vampires would fit right in at The Vampire's Ball at Club Inferno; they might even win the costume contest! They could also learn a little bit more about their history at a University of Wisconsin-Madison class called "The Vampire In Literature And Film." If that wasn't enough, they could head to the Madison Public Library for some vampire book recommendations.
"Madison is a very inclusive community, so vampires would likely be accepted for who they are here," said Brian Callahan, a local Redfin real estate agent. "And people in Madison love Halloween! There's a big event on State Street called 'Freakfest' where tens of thousands of people dress up and listen to live bands. It's one of the largest Halloween celebrations in the Midwest."
9. Atlanta, GA
Cloudy days: 149
Bar Hours: 9 a.m. -- 2:30 a.m.
# of Blood Banks and Drives: 311
Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries Ranking: 5
It turns out vampires wouldn't bat an eye at moving to Atlanta. Although it has the least number of cloudy days as any city on the top 10 list, there are plenty of cemeteries in the city where vampires could escape. In fact the Atlanta suburb of Covington, Georgia, is where "The Vampire Diaries" is filmed; those interested in learning more can take the "Vampire Stalkers" Mystic Falls tour.
Atlanta vampires would fit right in at The Atlanta Vampire Alliance, which promotes itself as "a neutral Vampire Community organization." Or they could attend the Atlanta Vampire Meetup Group, which boasts 591 members. For fun they might go to the Masquerade Nightclub, which is rumored to be frequented by vampires. They might also want to start training for the Vampire 5k on December 6.
"A lot of people in Atlanta have an interest in the paranormal, and there are many historical homes and places that are reportedly haunted," said Adam Kappel, a local Redfin real estate agent. "Those spooky-looking places might be why so many scary movies and TV shows are filmed here, like 'The Walking Dead' and 'Vampire Diaries.'"
10. Seattle, WA
Cloudy days: 226
Bar Hours: 6 a.m. -- 2 a.m.
# of Blood Banks and Drives: 98
Homes for Sale Near Cemeteries Ranking: 37
Seattle's cloudy weather made the city's placement on the top 10 list a dead giveaway, but you might be surprised that it came in at the dead end. Seattle had the least number of blood drives and homes for sale near cemeteries, and the bars close at a relatively early time of 2 a.m. However, that didn't stop Stephenie Meyer from setting her infamous "Twilight" novels in Forks, Washington, which is about a four-hour drive from Seattle.
The popularity of the "Twilight" series might have inspired the First Vampire Tour of Seattle, which is no longer operating, but which took curious visitors to "the site of a Blood Letting Den from years past where it's said that vampires will be lurking and fifty eyes will be upon you." It might have also led to the rumors of a vampire attack in Lake Stevens back in 2009. Vampires in Seattle will want to avoid the Seattle Buffy Meetup Group, which has 233 members. But they'd fit right in at the "Choose Your Vampire Adventure" game of flashlight tag at Magnuson Park.
"The Twilight movies definitely put the Northwest on the map as a good destination for vampires," said Dan Mullins, a local Redfin real estate agent. "Forks, Washington, used to be a small town that most people had never heard of, and now it's a tourist destination. But I think vampires would prefer Seattle; it's almost as cloudy and there's a lot more to do!"
5 Cities Where it Would Suck to Be a Vampire
The following cities came in dead last when it comes to ideal locations for vampires. Not only are they too sunny, they all had less than 100 blood drives in the next month, and very few homes for sale near cemeteries. San Diego and Sacramento are particularly dangerous for vampires, because California is the top garlic-producing state!
1. San Diego, CA
2. Sacramento, CA
3. Tampa, FL
4. Austin, TX
5. Denver, CO
We pulled the mean number of cloudy days through 2012 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Information on alcohol serving regulations came from the government pages of each city. We found the number of blood banks and blood drives happening in the next month from directories available at Redcrossblood.org, Americasblood.org and local blood centers. The cemeteries ranking came from data Redfin pulled last year for a report identifying cities with the most homes for sale near cemeteries, which looked at 90 U.S. Census MSAs and cemetery data supplied by OpenStreetMap.org.