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7 Facts You Need To Know About Real-Life Vampires (Yes, You Read That Correctly)

You’ve undoubtedly swooned over Edward Cullen or planned out your wedding to Damon Salvatore. But then you realized these fictional characters are the most unattainable kind of celebrity crush – because vampires don’t even exist! No matter how dreamy they are. Or so, you thought

According to a recent July 2015 study published in Critical Social Work, science says vampires are the real deal. Here’s what you need to know about them so you can start imagining your future with an IRL Damon Salvatore.

1. They were born this way.

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No, vampires don’t exist to sweep girls, who are bored and longing for adventure, off their feet like they do in the movies and television shows. A recent study published in found a group of people who consider themselves actual vampires, and according to Smithsonian, they were born this way.

2. They’re afraid of being judged.

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According to the study, vampires often don’t disclose their identity (even to doctors or therapists) because of stigmas and the fear of being judged.

3. They drink blood for energy…

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Merticus, a vampire, explained to Refinery29 that real-life vampires can’t sustain their own well-being without using blood for energy.

4. And without it, they actually get sick.

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According to Merticus, vampires will become physically sick, uncomfortable and depressed if they don’t feed.

5. But don’t worry …

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… you won’t need to fend them off with garlic. Consensual donors actually provide the blood most of the time.

5. They have their own private community.

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Just like Damon and Stefan Salvatore and the Cullen clan, vampires stick together IRL, too. They find each other online, says Smithsonian, and forge a bond through various social networks.

6. They don’t all dress the part.

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When you think of vampires, you probably assume they rock capes and only wear black, right? Well, according to Smithsonian, not all people who consider themselves “vamps” role play. Some people identify as vampires purely because of their thirst for blood.

7. They’re completely ordinary people.

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Unlike Edward Cullen and Stefan Salvatore, vampires aren’t mysterious loners who you get a funny feeling about. According to Smithsonian, vampires are actually normal, successful people with some unique lifestyle preferences.

So, fang fans: Have you ever met anyone who identified as an actual vampire? Were any stereotypes you had about them debunked after you interacted with them? Drop us a comment telling us all about your experience!

*Go behind the scenes of TVD Season 6!*

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