Vampires are handy characters, as they can do double duty as monster/villains and the classic, misunderstood romantic hero.
Back when I was growing up, getting caught with a copy of 'Creepy,' 'Eerie' or 'Vampirella' was almost as bad as your parents finding out you were reading 'Playboy.'
I know about various fictional and folkloric vampire mythoses the way other people know about the personal life of celebrities.
Horror serves a cathartic role in human society, all throughout the world. It is a way of confronting the darkness, both within and without.
Personally, I don't trust people who go out of their way to state they never read or watch horror and insist there's something wrong with those of us who do.