Ghastly ghouls and devilish demons have been said to haunt the world since the dawn of time, but few are as feared and revered as the vampire. With origins dating all the way back to the first tales of a bloodsucking man-like creature in ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, this frightening beast of the night is more than just a Hollywood invention.

Tales of vampirism span millennia and each culture has its own depiction of what these foul fanged lurkers of the dark have in store for their victims, and what evil characteristics they display.

As October 31st beckons and the veil between the mortal and supernatural world grows thin, you may need to be extra careful who you trust when you’re trick or treating this Halloween. So, how do you spot a present-day Dracula? Here are some pointers (and not just the fangs) to look out for:

The Sun Comes Out, and They Go In(side)

Aversion to sunlight is one of the key indicators of vampirism. Do you never see this person in the daylight hours, or do they mysteriously appear only after the sun has set? Early sightings of vampires said they would recoil at the sight of the sun as it weakened their strength. However, the logical explanation for this is these people were sufferers of porphyria, a disease that causes blisters to form when skin is exposed to sunlight. Or maybe they were vampires...

They Aren’t Avoiding Garlic Because They Have a Date

Does your suspect refuse to eat your spaghetti? What may seem like a cruel rejection of a home-cooked meal could actually be avoidance of garlic. Tools to ward off vampires are called apotropaics, and garlic is one of the common ways to keep the biting beasties at bay. Rosaries, holy water, and crucifixes are also a good thing to keep around (store-bought is fine). While garlic doesn’t appear to harm those afflicted with vampirism, they will avoid it like the plague, possibly due to a connection with rabies. Those sick with rabies are prone to hypersensitivity, and would therefore be susceptible to the strong flavour and scent of garlic. Or they’re vampires…

Their Teeth Look a Little Too Sharp

Went to the dentist with your buddy for moral support and noticed something peculiar about their cuspids? While there are no definitive characteristics of vampires throughout history and in popular culture, fangs are usually an integral part of their genetic makeup, thanks to films such as Nosferatu injecting this belief into modern society. These extra-long and pointy teeth are used to suck the blood from their victims, and have no other use. Your friend is a vampire.

They Aren’t Afraid of Flying

The fear of flying (aerophobia) is quite common, but if your travel companion seems to show no trepidation at all, it could be because they’re used to flying themselves - as a bat. Ever since the vampire bat was discovered in the 16th century, and literary icon Dracula could shapeshift into the flying sonar-using species, it’s been widely accepted that vampires can transform into a bat. Sell your plane ticket, because your compadre is a vampire.

Mirror Selfies Are a No-Go

Vampires are described by some cultures as living beings and others as undead, but most agree they have no souls. If your cloaked pal won’t take mirror selfies with you, it’s time to check their teeth. Again, the logical explanation for someone not wanting to see their own reflection is rabies. Legend has it that a man was not rabid if he could look at his own reflection. They could still be a vampire though...

Welcomes Are Very Important to Them

American serial killer Richard Chase (known as The Vampire of Sacramento) only broke into unlocked houses. He saw locked doors as a sign that he wasn’t welcome at a house, but unlocked doors as an invitation to come inside, just like a vampire. If your chum won’t cross the threshold into your apartment without a sincere invite, shut the door on that vampire.

It may be worth packing a stake in your candy bag this Hallows Eve, as you never know what could be lurking behind the door you knock on (hopefully not raisins).