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Hospitality that can come back to bite you.

"It's not like Dawn hasn't grown up in this house knowing all the rules. Especially the biggie, Numero Uno: Do not invite blood-sucking dead people into our home!"
Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Real Me"

Going back in various mythologies is the idea that supernatural beings — such as vampires, ghosts, demons, witches, what have you — cannot enter into a home unless invited to do so. Often such beings will try to gain entrance by tricking a person into believing they are someone else. Once invited, don't expect locked doors to be an obstacle to their entry.

This trope is very old. Traditionally, this trope applied to mythical creatures in general, and there's a load of things that are supposed to invite them in, like putting new shoes on the table, or bringing white hawthorn into the house. Now you know.

Its applications to different types of supernatural creatures have expanded over the years. More often than not the original conceptions of these mythical creatures are identifiable by this trope. Today, this requisite is almost exclusively associated with vampires, a mark Dracula left on vampire fiction, but there are a few other creatures that this trope pops up for on occasion; ghosts, demons and fairies being among the most common.

Interestingly, the definition of "home" in this case can be rather loose; a temporary/mobile shelter like a tent, or a resting place (tomb/crypt) are included as long as the person hiding there is its owner or resident. To compensate, the invite may come from anyone within (like a servant or another guest), and any house where the visitor has been previously (while still alive, for instance) is fair game.

For any story that examines the trope in detail, expect to see creatures dealing with common buildings where the public is invited, invitations are explicit or implied, and the concept of revocation of invitation to be played with. A particularly common gag involves the implications of putting a "Welcome" mat outside your door.

Sub-Trope of Supernatural Repellent. Related to Sacred Hospitality, which also treats the etiquette of hospitality as Serious Business. Invited as Dinner, in which the predator invites the unwitting prey instead of the other way around, can be considered an inversion of the examples regarding vampires. For supernatural beings that ask for hospitality, see Angel Unaware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Princess Resurrection:
    • Reiri requires an invitation to enter Hime's home, but is free to enter at will once that invitation is given. This trope also comes to bite Duke Kinski in the butt, when he seeks to replenish his supply of Royal Blood using Hime's corpse, only to find out that she's alive and well, and denying him entry to her home.
    • This trope is almost exaggerated later on, when Riza and Hiro enter a long-abandoned shack, and still need to invite Reiri inside.
  • In Shiki, vampires are subjected to this limitation. Unfortunately, they can Mind Control a victim they have already bitten once.
  • My Monster Secret uses this, but downplayed for comedy value like all the other traditional vampire weaknesses. Half-vampire Youko can enter buildings without being invited, but feels really guilty about it. For full-blooded vampires like her father Genjirou, however, the trope is played straight. In one story arc, Genjirou goes on a rampage against Youko's friend Asahi, and Youko protects him by taking him into her bedroom and dis-inviting Genjirou, which causes him to be blocked by Some Kind of Force Field; the fact that Genjirou owns the house that contains said bedroom doesn't matter.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: This applies to a ghost in Dead Man's Questions. After becoming a ghost, Yoshikage Kira must receive some sort of permission in order to enter the homes of living people. Even opening the mail slot counts, however.
  • I Got a Cheat Skill in Another World and Became Unrivaled in the Real World, Too: This applies to the cabin that Yuuya becomes the new owner of; where the cabin and the outdoor yard is protected by an impenetrable barrier that keeps monsters out and even prevents thrown weapons from being tossed inside as was shown by a Bloody Ogre on Yuuyas' first night that had tried to attack him. For the first few weeks, Yuuya patrolled the perimeter of his yard using the barrier to keep out the Monsters in order to nab him some easy kills without getting hurt himself.

    Comic Books 
  • This shows up in a Generation X Annual, when Dracula gains entry to the school. In fact, each individual room requires its own separate invite, as each is the domain of whoever lives in that room. However, it doesn't do the Gen Xers much good, since their first response to a knock at the door is to say "Come in."
  • True to the legends, Dracula in The Tomb of Dracula can't enter inside someone's home through a doorway unless he is invited to do so. If in a hurry, he would bypass this by simply crashing through a window.
    • In issue #25, one of the hints that POV character Hannibal King is actually a vampire is when he stops to read a sign on a door saying "Open please come in" before entering a building after hours.
  • Used as a plot point in Fray. Urkonn tells Melaka Fray that anyone who is unwilling to fight the vampire invasion should stay in their homes so they'll be safe due to this trope. Mel starts to Pull the Thread as the vampires broke into her apartment earlier to search it and killed a child there, but how could they have done that if she never invited them in? She realises that Urkonn actually killed the child to motivate her to become the Slayer.
  • In Santa Versus Dracula, this is Dracula's motivation for usurping the role of Santa Claus. Dracula, as a vampire, can only enter houses when invited, whereas Santa can go in and out of any house he wants.

    Fan Works 
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supergirl story The Vampire of Steel Kara goes to Sunnydale and the Gang puts her through several tests to ensure that she can get in and out of their houses without permission. Supergirl gets pretty appalled.
    "X-ray vision," said the Englishman. "Just had to make certain. There are, you see, certain things that cannot get inside one's house unless one invites them."
    Supergirl considered that. She'd read Bram Stoker's Dracula, like a lot of kids her age did, when she was in Midvale Orphanage. But to think that 'enter freely, and of your own will' had some bearing in the real world... She shuddered. Well, if vampires existed, at least they weren't rude enough just to barge in your front door without an invite.
  • Played with in the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal. A prison warden at the Tanty Prison has to be reassigned to other duties by the Governor. The luckless guard is a vampire who really wants to fit into human society and to do a regular job. However, he cannot do a cell search, anywhere, because the cons refuse to let him into their cells. As the governor reluctantly concedes, the cons have found a valid loophole.
    • In another story, vampire policewoman Sally von Humperding is refused entry into a hotel in Far Überwald, who know all about vampires trying to get in by night, and aren't having it. The person she needs to speak to inside the hotel is a Witch who is renting a room there. After some thought, the Witch finds a strategy to get around the "Vampires Can Not Enter This Building rule. Sally then discovers she has limited access. Olga Romanoff performs an act of headology on the whole hotel, pointing out that as a guest who is paying for the room, the hotel is providing her with ease and comfort, and is bound to provide this by ancient rule. She can therefore invite whoever she likes in there. Sally gets in through the window, but she discovers if she tries to walk out into the corridor, she hits a painful invisible barrier that bounces her back into Olga's room.
  • In TorontoBatFan's Let Me In series, when Owen and Abby have to face Abby's vampire uncle Jebediah, they use the need for an invitation against him, forcing him inside their house where the lack of an invitation will affect Jebediah just as it initially hit Abby in the film.
  • In A Cold Winter's Night, another Let Me In fanfic, the trope is a fairly minor inconvenience for Owen and Abby who find ways to get invited in with little difficulty.
  • In The One With The Angelic Face, when Angela (the gypsy curse having given Angelus a soul and turned him into a woman) is split into the human female and male vampire selves, she moves out to find another apartment than the one Angelus knows about as there's no way to be sure if Angelus would require an invitation to get into a property that's technically inhabited by "him".
  • The Corrupted Innocent analyses and discusses some of the possible additional rules regarding the angels' need for permission to take a vessel. Word of God speculates that, while angels aren't above torture and coercion, mental manipulation (such as when Zachariah changed Dean and Sam's memories in "It's a Terrible Life") isn't an 'acceptable' means of getting a vessel because the subject wouldn't be saying "Yes" as themselves, creating the risk that the angel would be expelled from a vessel they tried to take under such circumstances. Sam also learns that it wouldn't have counted if the demons had convinced teenage spellcaster Gary to say "Yes" on his behalf when Gary was possessing his body, as Gary's soul would have been out of alignment with Sam's body.
  • As a work that includes, amongst others, the Dresden Files (see below), Child of the Storm has this rule for magic users and the Fae, with a threshold that becomes stronger the more a place is lived in as a home — though in the case of magic users, they can actually go in, just without access to most of their magic, while the Fae have to leave a place as good as, or better than, it was when they arrived. Dracula runs into this when assaulting Avengers mansion, and Takes a Third Option by telekinetically lifting the whole house and tearing it to pieces, destroying the threshold and allowing his forces entrance.
    • Later on, it can be noted by eagle-eyed readers that when experienced SHIELD super-spy Alison Carter meets the Kent family, she very carefully does not invite them in, but rather stands back to allow them entrance. One can never be too paranoid, it would seem.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim features Zim allying with a vampire named Norlock, so this trope comes up, and is played with a little bit. For example, the invitation doesn't need to be given at the entrance (as Zim invites Norlock to stay at his base while they're both a continent away from it). And during a later fight with Dib, Norlock shows that while he needs an invitation to enter a home, things adjacent to the house proper (like a garage) are fair game.
  • Implied to be the case in Nosflutteratu, where Fluttershy was turned into a vampire after unwittingly inviting one into her home.
  • In A New World, Buffy and Dawn are staying at the Immortal's home when vampires suddenly burst in and attack. Buffy quickly works out that they must have been given permission to enter by the Immortal, but she's killed before she can tell anyone. Later, Dawn comes to the same conclusion.
  • In the Zeppo No More series, the vampire Xander turns out to be terrifyingly clever about this:
    • In Zeppo No More, the Scoobies spend most of the story trying to figure out how he's doing it. Then Giles sees a 'Welcome' doormat and realizes that's how.
    • In Zeppo No More 2: The City Of Screams, it turns out that Giles' neighbor has doormat. Since its a duplex, that counts for both of them. Later, he simply sets Kate's apartment on fire to drive her out.
    • In Zeppo No More 3: The X File, he turns out to be the The D.C. Strangler. When asked how he gets in, he dismissively lists a number of ways you can trick someone into inviting you into their home.
    • He gets particularly clever but unsubtle about it in Zeppo No More 5: The Final Chapter. He ties another vampire behind the wheel of a semitruck and sets the truck loose at the Halliwell house. The truck of course hits the house and wrecks it, the vampire meanwhile hits the invitation barrier so hard, it gets crushed and dusted.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Let the Right One In: When Oskar finally gets Eli to tell him what happens if she tries to enter a place uninvited, she demonstrates by stepping inside. Ten or so seconds later, she begins bleeding from every orifice.
    • A similar scene happens in the American remake Let Me In when the vampire Abby enters Owen's apartment without being invited. She bleeds from every pore after just a few seconds. Owen hugs her desperately and invites her inside. When he asks if she would have died if he hadn't said anything, Abby replies that she knew he wouldn't have let that happen.
  • In Fright Night (1985), the protagonist counts on being safe in his home by avoiding this, but his mother invites the vampire neighbor, Jerry Dandrige, into the house anyway.
  • Fright Night (2011):
    • The Brewsters take shelter in their house, thinking this rule will save them, only for Jerry the vampire to rip the gaslines out and ignite them. That's not the only time Jerry abuses a loophole. Apparently simply opening the door for a deliveryman can count as an "invitation" and if a building is abandoned it's fair game.
      Jerry: Don't need an invitation if there's no house.
    • Early in the movie, Charley uses this to test his suspicions about Jerry when the latter comes to his house on the pretext of asking for a beer; he leaves Jerry standing on the doorstep while he fetches one from the kitchen, then comes back and holds the bottle out to him, but Jerry is apparently unable to take it until it passes over the threshold.
    • As Ed flees from Jerry, he breaks into a house and confidently tells the vampire that he cannot enter the house without an invitation. However, he comes in anyway and explains that this house has been empty for a long time.
  • In Poltergeist II: The Other Side, Reverend Kane aka The Beast continually asks, until he is demanding, to be let in the front door. He tries to mentally manipulate Steven to open the door, but makes no effort to open it himself.
  • In The Lost Boys vampires can enter anywhere they want uninvited, however to actually invite a vampire to come in makes it invulnerable to all the traditional weaknesses. This is a plot point, which reveals the identity of the real head vampire.
  • Occurs in Habit, when the protagonist brings his girlfriend back to his apartment for the first time.
  • The Lair of the White Worm: This rule seemingly works both ways. Lady Marsh also invites people into her home in order to kill them.
  • In Nosferatu, it's implied that Ellen had to open the window to invite Orlok in for her sacrificial ploy.
  • In the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, during the final assault on the school dance by the vampire horde, Buffy tells the students they will be safe because the vampires cannot come in uninvited. Her friend then sheepishly mentions that they were already invited — they had all been seniors at the school, and so had received invitations to the dance.
  • Stoker gives an example that doesn't involve vampires in which Charlie asks India's permission to stay with the family. The entire film plays out like a vampire film without the vampires, as noted here.
  • Not made totally obvious in Byzantium. Clara & Eleanor wait for invitations when entering any residence, but there is no discussion as to whether they can enter or not if they don't get one. When Clara tries to kill Frank, she demands to be invited in or that he should come outside. She's stopped from going any further by the phone call hijacked by Savella.
  • Only Lovers Left Alive implies that vampires can enter a house uninvited, but that doing so is considered bad manners and may also be bad luck. Deviates from the norm in that the issue comes up around one vampire entering a house belonging to another vampire.
  • This short film deals with this limitation for a Humanoid Abomination. Unfortunately for the other schmuck, the thing is capable of replicating voices and aware of Exact Words.
  • In the film for Vampire Academy, vampires have to be given permission to enter human houses and rooms ahead of time...but it doesn't mean they can't use hypnosis to force them to say yes.
  • Parodied in What We Do in the Shadows where this limitation means the gang of Friendly Neighborhood Vampires has trouble getting into nightclubs.
  • The vampires in Vampires vs. the Bronx must be invited into a residence to enter it, and to circumvent that weakness they've gone into real estate. When Miguel forbids a vampire from entering his apartment, the vampire does some shady cash deals to buy the building from the landlord, which counts as an invitation.
  • Renfield (2023): Dracula is able to enter Renfield's apartment because Renfield laid out a mat that says "Welcome! Come on in!" right outside it. Later on, Dracula goes to the support group Renfield's been attending, and Mark, the leader, tells him to come on in, despite Renfield's attempt to stop him.

  • Scandinavian folklore has as many stories about this trope as it has stories about Sacred Hospitality, often with The Fair Folk, or even Satan himself, as the guest that comes knocking. The moral of stories with a greater emphasis on this trope tended to lean towards "Don't invite evil into your home." Stories with a greater emphasis on hospitality focused instead on morals about integrity and altruism with the guests often leaving a treasure as a token of their gratitude... And, yes, even Satan did that on occasion... Stories about The Fair Folk inviting humans into their homes, on the other hand? Those tended more often towards morals along the lines of "THAT'S A RIVER SPIRIT, YOU FOOL! YOU THINK YOU CAN SPEND A NIGHT IN HIS HOME WITHOUT DROWNING?!" The moral was not always unwarranted, however.

  • Dracula:
    • Tricking one of the inmates of an insane asylum into inviting you in apparently counts.
    • Also Inverted: The Count is apparently forbidden from doing anything that could be construed as forcing Jonathan Harker to enter his castle or forbidding him from leaving, so stays firmly behind the threshold until he chooses to "Enter freely and of your own will," and when Jonathan insists on leaving, Dracula is quite willing to open the gates, but when Jonathan hears the wolves outside, he asks Dracula to close the doors again. Or Dracula could've just been a dick on a power trip.
    • Another possibility is that since it's ambiguous whether Dracula (at this early stage of the book) is genuinely Affably Evil or Faux Affably Evil, his invitation might be some form of courtesy that modern readers don't get; while his famous invitation may stand out a lot nowadays, Jonathan does not seem to think there is anything strange about it.
    • It's possible that Dracula doesn't realise that humans are not bound by similar rules about invitations; Van Helsing talks at some length about how Dracula is ignorant about the full extent of his own abilities (something which never seems to make it into the films), so maybe Dracula thought Jonathan required an invitation just like he would.
    • Dracula's invitation to Jonathan is never brought up again, not even in the form of Jonathan lamenting the irony that he willingly entered the castle, so it might not have been intended to be particularly important. As noted in the intro, the idea that The Fair Folk etc. could not exercise their full power over humans without some kind of consent is Older Than Dirt, so maybe Stoker was deliberately trying to invoke this trope. Dracula has certain other traits normally associated with The Fair Folk, and it's apparent between this and other elements of subtext that the Dracula story is in at least some part an allegory of the relationship between imperial England and Ireland.
  • Dracula adaptations often maintain that Drac can only prey on those who are receptive to him, at least subconsciously, i.e. he can't drink your blood unless you secretly want him to. These adopt the metaphor of vampirism as sex in Victorian Britain (something Stoker's Van Helsing laughed hard at).
  • Played completely straight in 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King. In fact, the converse is also true: at least one character drives a vampire out of his house by ordering it to leave and stating "I revoke my invitation." With a brandished cross as backup, of course. Making things trickier is that the vampires have some level of charm ability to make people let them in, they're often a dead person that the person knows and they tend to show up in the middle of the night, meaning their potential victim is partially asleep and not thinking clearly. In one case it's even indicated vampires can be invited in by people who are still asleep.
  • Explored in the Artemis Fowl series, where the basic rule is that a fairy trying to enter a house uninvited becomes violently ill, and repeat offenders (such as Mulch Diggums) eventually lose their magical powers entirely. However, the inherent fuzziness of the rule (respectively, what exactly constitutes as an invitation), means there are many loopholes and borderline cases, which often leads to quibbling and word-mincing in-story. In fact, the first book mentions that this trope is enforced by bureaucratic ethics boards that review whether or not invitations are actually valid, and that may interpret the rules less or more restrictive depending on circumstances.
    • In the first book, Artemis tells Root, "None of your race have permission to enter here while I am alive." The fairies take this to mean they can enter when he's dead. Artemis knows this full well and purposely leaves the loophole as the final step in his Evil Plan.
    • In The Eternity Code, Artemis asks Corrupt Corporate Executive Jon Spiro if he thinks Artemis is going to swoop in with his fairy friends and take back the C Cube. Spiro laughs and says, "Bring all the fairy friends you want." Big mistake...
    • Later in The Eternity Code, Juliet gets Holly into a building by calling about public tours and asking, "Hey mister, can I bring my invisible friend?"
    • Holly once used a 'welcome' mat as a loophole.
    • A cry for help in an emergency counts as an invitation, though this worked only thanks to the ethics board, which was lenient because lives were at stake.
    • In one short story, Holly is able to enter a tent because, as a non permanent structure, it doesn't count.
    • When Holly couldn't chase a villain inside the house, she pulled the house down.
  • The Fetchers from Keys to the Kingdom follow this trope. Though, none of the other denizens do, and apparently one doesn't need to OWN the house to invite a Fetcher inside... Monday's Dawn simply waltzed inside Arthur's house and invited his fetchers.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Greg thinks of this trope, and wonders if the same thing works for his weird neighbor kid (accompanied by an illustration of a vampire trying to trick its way into Greg's house by asking to borrow a cup of flour).
  • In Night Watch (Series), this is one of the few traditional beliefs about the vampires that is actually true, most of the other being spread by vampires themselves to give targets a false sense of security. Moreover the invitation can be withdrawn by the host or renounced by the vampire, which is expected from them after a one-time visit unless the host extend it. The rule doesn't help human victims much though, since the vampires can use a sort of "siren song" to hypnotize their target into coming outside.
  • In The Dresden Files:
    • There are two factors that determine whether supernatural creatures can enter. Buildings have a "Threshold" - the more a dwelling is a home rather than just a house, e.g. a well-loved home that has been part of the family for generations has a much stronger threshold than a second house that is rarely used by the bachelor owner. Thresholds are also temporarily weakened by the intrusion of strangers, even ordinary muggles, or being used as a business-place. The second is how magical the creature is. A wizard can enter any home uninvited without damage, but their magical abilities will be weakened while in there. Creatures like demons use bodies of magical ectoplasm to exist in the world and so trying to enter uninvited disrupts their magic, weakening their abilities much more than wizards, and can destroy their bodies entirely. The strength of the threshold determines how severe this effect is.
    • A good way to appreciate this scale is to observe how it affects the three known courts of Vampires. A White Court is mainly a human with a demon tagging along inside; (s)he can cross, but loses access to the demon while inside. A Red Court is mainly a demon with a human skin; crossing is dangerous and debilitating. A Black Court vampire is completely reliant on magic to continue living; they can't cross at all.
    • One noted exception to this effect are The Fair Folk; due to their strict adherence to Sacred Hospitality, they're allowed to cross a threshold intact on the condition they don't leave the place or its inhabitants worse than when they entered, and must obey all laws of Sacred Hospitality when in that place.
    • This is the reason why the protagonist ponies up rent money for an office for his Occult Detective business separate from his residence despite not making much money out of it. As a bachelor living alone, his home's Threshold is on the weak side as it is, and would only get weaker if he makes it a place where other people are supposed to come and go like an office. It's yet another factor contributing to his Perpetual Poverty.
    • Dresden makes a point of asking for an invitation, not just because of magical ramifications, but also because it's polite. Rudolph the rookie cop snorts at that and calls him "Dracula".
    • The threshold also oftentimes serves as a makeshift test against possible shapeshifters. In Summer Knight Dresden asked if he can enter Murphy's home and her response was simply, "I don't know, can you?" It works as a test because Murphy never officially invited Dresden in.
    • In a reversal where the host is a magical being and the one seeking an invitation is a muggle, Sacred Hospitality must be observed to any invited guest at parties hosted by supernatural beings. If a person sneaks in under false pretenses, such as a forged invitation to a party, or was not formally recognized by the host as a party to the invited guests, the Hospitality need not apply if the host doesn't wish it.
  • Carpe Jugulum: The trope appears as a plot point when Verence, king of Lancre, makes the mistake of sending an Uberwaldean noble family an official invitation to his daughter's christening. note 
  • Played with in Blindsight, along with other elements of vampire mythos. It's not like they are not able to enter the house without invitation — they just get an epileptic fit if they see a right angle, so wouldn't even bother.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Lost, Mab warns Miranda and Theo that his magic circles will only keep out uninvited spirits, and so they must not speak at all. (Spirits have been known to take a liberal interpretation of what constitutes an invitation.)
  • In an early Anita Blake novel, Anita has decided she's had enough of Jean-Claude's manipulative crap, and revokes his invitation. Cue a mystical gust of wind blowing him out of her apartment and slamming the door behind him with all the ire that she would have used herself.
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries: When Sookie Stackhouse gets ticked and revokes her boyfriend Bill's invitation into her house, it seems to put him under a compulsion to leave, as he "walked out with a sort of helpless look on his face."
  • Andre Le Brel, from Mercedes Lackey's Children of the Night, can enter public buildings freely but cannot enter Diana's apartment building (not just her apartment) until invited to come in. Once the invitation is given, though, he can break in at a later time to take shelter from the sun.
  • Played straight in Kitty Norville. Commercial buildings and public spaces are fair game, of course, but any place that is a "home", no matter how metaphorical of one it is, can block a vampire from entering. This leads to a rather funny moment when Rick, one of Kitty's friends, tries to walk through the door of the werewolf restaurant/bar, resulting in a "running into a glass door" moment. As he puts it, although the building is a business, the pack has made it a home as well. Kitty teases him by threatening to not let him in, but eventually does. It also applies even when the one who calls the place "home" is dead, it seems, since the fact Flint House is haunted prevents Roman from entering to come after Kitty and the Paradox PI crew.
  • In Devon Monk's Dead Iron, Mae explicitly refuses permission to enter her home, though the effect appears to be more her spells than the refusal.
  • Enchanted Glass: The Fair Folk (the book calls them "those who don't use iron") have to abide by this rule. One example was when Andrew hears Stashe asking to be let into his office, and tells her to come in. She enters and says something along the lines of "Thank you. We need to be invited in, you know." It wasn't Stashe. Cue Oh, Crap!.
  • Referenced in Fledgling: Shori doesn't actually need to be invited inside anywhere, but at one point decides to play along.
  • The Laundry Files (by Charles Stross): This turns out to be a moot point in The Rhesus Chart, as the vampires can simply hypnotize people into inviting them inside, the difficulty lying in combination locks and swipe cards, not mythical barriers.
  • In the Monster Hunter International universe, vampires work explicitly on the "must be invited" model. However, there are some technicalities that they will exploit without hesitation, such using a large party with lots of strangers around as a cover to walk up to the door and be allowed in by someone who doesn't realize who they are.
    • In the first book, Monster Hunter International:
      • The vampires working with the Big Bad are able to enter the house of a professor with information needed for their quest purely due to the professor in question having a "Welcome" door mat. Owen immediately states he's never buying one of those again.
      • Master vampire and former Monster Hunter Susan Shackleford is able to enter a house to which she wasn't explicitly invited because before becoming a vampire it was her own house. It helps that no one realized she had become a vampire until that point, and it's explicitly mentioned afterwards they fixed the protection around the house to make sure she couldn't do it again.
    • In Monster Hunter Vendetta, a vampire gains access to Owen's jail cell by Mind Controlling another in the same cell to extend an invitation inside, in spite of Owen's citing the invitation rule to prevent her from entering what he was considering his home.note 
  • The M.R. James story "The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral" references this trope. It's not a straight example, though, as the spirits haunting the cathedral have been there for far longer than the story's Villain Protagonist has, and he's already attracted their attention by touching a particular carving.
    When, as I was winding up my watch, I heard a light tap at the door, and a low voice saying "May I come in?"—which I most undoubtedly did hear—I took up the letter from my dressing table, saying "Certainly, come in." No one, however, answered my summons.
  • In The Stress of Her Regard and Hide Me Among the Graves, this applies to the Nephilim, inhuman creatures who inspired the vampire legends. It's less an issue for being invited into buildings, and more an issue for being invited into their victims' lives. Also, they cheat mercilessly; Michael Crawford putting a wedding ring on a statue-form Nephilim's finger counts as an invitation, even though he was just looking for somewhere safe to put it for a moment. Hide Me Among the Graves includes some of the traditional variations, including a woman inviting her ex-husband in not knowing he's been vampirized, and a woman inviting her dead son in even though she does know what he's become.
  • In The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, the Morrigan and her minions cannot enter a house uninvited. When this is used against her, she retorts that she has allies who don't share that limitation, and they're on their way.
  • Although not made explicit, this seems to be the standard MO for Carmilla, which predates Dracula by over 20 years. When we first meet her, she and her "mother" stage a coach accident outside the home of Laura and her father, getting the injured girl invited in to recover while her mother continued an important journey. Later we learn that they pulled the same scam so the young vampire could feed on Bertha Spielsdorf, with Carmilla's mother again getting called away on urgent business so someone else will gallantly offer to play host for her daughter while she's away. Carmilla may not be a pure example, though; while staying with Laura and her father she also kills several young women in the village, seemingly with impunity. These murders happened "offscreen", so we can't be sure of the exact circumstances, but it seems doubtful she pulled elaborate tricks like these for every victim.
  • The One Who Eats Monsters: A weird and complicated version. The gods banished Ryn from human cities at the dawn of time. The only way she could come back is if she were invited, but the gods would never do such a thing. Technically the curse only forces her to obey mortal laws, but that's mostly academic; mortal men obey kings who obey gods, so even if she got permission from men and kings, the gods still wouldn't allow it. But then some American soldiers "rescue" her, and since they have neither kings nor gods in positions of explicit authority, the confused mortals are able to give her permission to enter their cities, since they think she's just a Wild Child.
  • Although this trope does not apply to Twilight vampires, when Edward first comes round to Bella's house (that she is aware of) she gives him an explicit invitation. In Midnight Sun (2020), he is amused and thinks she may be thinking of this aspect of vampire mythology.
  • This usually doesn't apply to vampires in Night World; however witches can cast magical wards around a property that prevent a vampire from entering without the occupant's permission. In Soulmate, Thierry places a special charm made by witches on Hannah's property so that only Night People she invites can enter. Unfortunately, he failed to explain this to her before Maya turns up and Hannah unwittingly invites her inside for an ostensibly friendly chat.
  • Elatsoe: Exploited by Ellie's mother, who uses this to ban a vampire from all of the historical homelands of their tribe. This is pretty painful for the vampire in question, because he's got a long way to go before he can get out off Apache land.
  • Sunshine: In a variant, vampires technically can't feed from anyone without their permission — though mind-controlling them into giving permission is fair game, and few humans have the strength of will to resist for long.

    Live-Action TV 
  • There was an Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode that dealt with this limitation. The brother-and-sister protagonists believed their new neighbors were vampires and made sure not to invite them in. After seeing the mother and father walk in sunlight, however, they realize they are just being suspicious of their oddities. The mother innocently asks if her under-the-weather son can come over to play video games, and the kids agree. The son is the vampire.
  • My Babysitter's a Vampire shows what happens to vampires and fledglings should they even accidentally slip their fingers within someone's home before being invited in first. Rory did this and got his hands momentarily burned and he nearly fell out of the sky.
  • Being Human (UK): This limitation appears. In one episode, George and Annie save a friend from a vampire attacker by simply closing the front door, leaving him screaming "Invite me in! Invite me in!"
    • Cutler in the series 4 finale breaks into Honolulu Heights without an invitation. Although only small bits of him actually burst into flames, such as his fingers when they cross the threshold, when he enters he starts to basically get cooked. He eventually suffers third degree burns all over his body and terrible pain, but we don't find out if he would have eventually died.
    • In Series 3, this lead to a Mass "Oh, Crap!" from everyone when Wyndham casually walks into the house and is completely unharmed! Followed by a further Oh, Crap! moment when he implies that many of the Old Ones no longer suffer this particular limitation.
      Wyndham: You don't live to be a thousand years old without learning a few tricks...
  • In the Being Human (US), a vampire can enter a house uninvited, but he starts burning and very quickly dies. On one occasion Bishop breaks into the trio's house and attacks them, and flees before suffering permanent harm.
    • The restriction only applies if the location belongs to a living human (werewolves count as humans); if a house is legally owned by a vampire, other vampires can enter freely. If the owner or resident of a location changes, the invitation lapses. On one occasion, someone arranges for a house to be legally sold while a whole bunch of vampires are trapped inside; the vampires no longer have a valid invitation to the house, and are all destroyed.
    • In Season 4, Kenny is able to enter the groups' home without an invitation because this is where he was "born", giving him apparently free access.
  • Averted in Blood Ties (2007). On the other hand, we don't really see Henry breaking into a lot of places. Usually, he invites girls to his own place for a night of fun (they're usually fine but tired afterwards).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel:
    • Vampires have this limitation. The Buffyverse established an elaborate sense of Magic A Is Magic A with the invite: it must be an actual residence (house, apartment, dormitory) and not merely a "public accommodation" (a motel room), only a resident can give the invitation (when Buffy was sleeping on Dawn and Xander's couch and had no other residence, she still was officially a guest and couldn't invite Spike in), the invitation must be clear (just saying "come in" is enough, answering "I guess" when a vampire asks if they can enter is not) and verbal (head nods and hand waves do not count), the invite requirement is voided when the occupant is dead (Angel once watched a man get killed by vampires when the man had invited them in earlier and refused to invite him), the invite is only needed once unless a certain "uninvite" spell is cast (this was done for Angel, Spike and Harmony) - the invitation can only be rescinded magically, not verbally, and once Cordelia lost a special "Invite Angel into Her New Apartment" moment because earlier while she was apartment-shopping she said he could visit once she found a new place. The Buffyverse treats it as an actual mystical barrier that acts similar to a wall.
    • There's also plenty of discussion on how clever vampires will get around the restriction. In the first Angel episode, "City of", a rich vampire, Russell Winters, would set pretty girls up in apartments he owned. Since technically they were his guests, he could come and go as he wished – and eat them. When Spike showed up later in "In the Dark", the characters tell Cordelia she shouldn't go back to her place, as Spike could just burn it down to get to her. Spike also tells Dawn a story about how he got a woman to invite her into her home by dint of Spike holding her husband hostage and promising her the man would live if she cooperated.
    • It should also be noted that this only applies to human residences; vampires and other demons have no such protection. Angel, in the episode "Somnambulist" from the first season, breaks into the apartment of his vampiric ex-protégé Penn with no trouble. This also applies to half-demons such as Connor or Billy Blim, even if ordinary humans also live there. His ability to do so for Billy's home is what clues them in that Billy is part demon.
    • In "I Was Made To Love You", Spike arrives at the Magic Box store after the Scoobies find out about his obsession with Buffy. The Scoobies make no secret about how they don't want him there, and Willow claims they're trying to find a way to "un-invite" him from the Magic Box, even though it's a public place, meaning Spike can enter and exist at his leisure. Xander, however, says they might as well let him in... so they can toss him right back out.
    • The Buffyverse vampire invitation rules are also particular about how a building is used. For instance, when Angel briefly stays in the Hyperion Hotel in the 1950s, he can enter any room because the hotel is a public accommodation and no one's home. Half a century later, however, when Fred moves into the long-closed Hyperion with Angel's other friends, she must invite the vampire into her room because the hotel is no longer open to the public.
    • Some vampires were able to break into dormitory rooms during the first few days of semester, because the students were throwing a welcoming party and the flyer said "everybody is invited".
    • It was played for comedy in the second-season episode "Untouched" in which, while the human Gunn could enter an apartment and snoop around, Angel was left leaning against the invisible barrier of the doorway. He then fell into the apartment when the owner died in the hospital.
    • In the episode "Billy", after concluding that man Lilah manipulated the Fang Gang into freeing is behind the recent murders, Angel heads to confront her. He furiously kicks her door off its hinges...but since he hasn't been invited in that's about all he can do.
    Lilah: That's a very dramatic entrance...except for the part where, you can't enter.
    • Also when Angelus and Spike are trying to gate-crash the party of their Arch-Nemesis the Immortal in Rome, only they can't get in because they're Not on the List.
    • It's also played for laughs in a Buffy episode where Harmony and her vampire gang confront the Scoobies at Buffy's house. In reaction to Harmony's taunting, Dawn yells at her, "Oh yeah, come inside and say that!" before she is muffled by Xander. Too late. Also, since Dawn yelled that at her specifically, only Harmony can get in. Her lackeys are stuck outside.
    • Xander used it against her moments earlier. While standing in the doorway, he goaded Harmony into attacking him, and then laughed when she hit the invitation barrier.
    • Willow also learns the price of carelessness in the Season 4 episode "The Initiative" while at her college dorm. Spike knocks on the door and, without thinking, Willow replies, "Come in." Fortunately for her, Spike had just had his Restraining Bolt installed.
    • They even pay careful attention to it in first-season episodes of Buffy before it's revealed that Angel is a vampire. Buffy and Angel are being chased by the Master's goons, and Buffy leads Angel to her home and tells him to "Get in, come on!"
    • Angelus was always pretty good about slipping or tricking his way around this little inconvenience. In one episode he convinced Holtz's daughter to invite him inside by claiming to be friends, asking for an invitation inside, and making certain she voiced it verbally.
    • And after he was first made a vampire, he tricked his own kid sister into inviting him in on the pretense that he was an angel taking the form of her beloved dead brother. Cue Death of a Child.
    • In "Dear Boy", this actually got Angel off the hook for a murder accusation. When he's accused of the murder of Mr. Kramer, Kate storms the Hyperion with a SWAT team to arrest him, but is forced to acknowledge he's innocent when they point out a hole in his wife'snote  story; Angel, being a vampire, couldn't possibly have just stormed in and killed someone in their own home unless he was explicitly invited or the real owners were already dead.
    • Angel did once get into a home despite the invite restriction...Kate didn't want to invite him in when she attempted suicide, but Angel was able to get in and revived her. Kate speculated that the Powers That Be broke the rules to let him save her.
    • The only time the rule was ever completely broken on Buffy was in "Halloween", where a boy who had become his vampire costume somehow broke into Buffy's house on his own. No explanation for how he was able to do this is given, though it was probably due to him not being a true vampire.
    • In Season 5, Buffy tolerates Spike's Stalker with a Crush behavior until she discovers he's fallen in love with her (and realizes he's getting too close to her family). She then gets Willow to bar Spike from the house. Then Spike shows himself willing to give his life to protect Dawn, so in the season finale Buffy invites him back into her home.
    • Played for laughs again when Angel waited patiently for an invite before entering Buffy's house despite having prior permission. He was just being polite.
    • Also the answer to how Dracula was able to enter Buffy's home: Turns out he ran into Buffy's mom in town, and Drac being who he is, she gave him an open invitation to drop by sometime.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", the Stenza species hold ritual hunts on other planets, in this case Earth, and they must be given permission before their travel pods can be teleported to their destination. Unfortunately, the permission takes the form of a glowing button with no instructions, so all it takes is a human ignorantly pressing it to give consent. Because naturally, a a button that's glowing and hovering in the air, just has to be pressed.
  • In another series with a vampire played by Geraint Wyn Davies, Dracula: the Series, this is played straight. Dracula, though knowing where Gustav von Helsing lives, can't go there without an invitation. On one occasion, Gustav's nephew Max puts out an ad in the newspaper looking for anyone with information on the whereabouts of his uncle; Chris and Sophie point out that the Big Bad would know, and the ad could count as an invitation, which would let him walk right into their house. Dracula saw the ad, but doesn't take them up on it.
  • An episode of The Dresden Files has this about a dragon. When Harry remembers this fact, he also recalls that the only person who asked his permission to enter was Connie Murphy, revealing her to be the dragon. The others just barged in. At the end of the episode, the real Connie asks his permission to enter. He is hesitant to answer, at which point she brushes him off and enters anyway, much to his relief.
  • First Kill: Legacy vampires need an invitation to enter someone's house. Cal's parents attempt to forbid Juliette entering theirs, though it doesn't work since Cal previously let her in.
  • Averted Trope in Forever Knight despite its vampires having the other classic vampire weaknesses. This is because it would be inconvenient if Vampire Detective Nick Knight can't enter a perp's place without an invite. You could argue that a search warrant would apply, but it's not like Nick always waits for one.
  • Good Omens (2019):
    • In season 2 we learn that angel Aziraphale's bookshop counts as Heaven's outpost on Earth, and so no demon can enter without invitation. Crowley is an exception, of course, being the angel's one true love.
    • Surprisingly, even Crowley's car becomes Heaven's embassy when Aziraphale drives it. That's the reason why demon Shax cannot enter it and has to trick Aziraphale into inviting her.
  • House: Taub lampshades this when one of the other applicants was refusing to break into a patient's home looking for clues to help with their medical diagnosis.
    Taub: Are you a vampire? It's okay. We're inviting you in.
  • Completely averted in Moonlight. Vamps can come and go wherever they please. Kinda hard to be a private investigator when you have to ask someone's permission to enter a crime scene when you're trying not to attract attention.
  • Supernatural:
    • In the episode "Everybody Loves a Clown", the Rakshasa is shown to have this limitation. It gets around it by dressing up as a clown and tricking children into letting it in. Vampires also exist in the series, but are not stated to require invitations to people's homes — given that John says "most vampire myths are crap", it may be that they don't.
    • In a variation, angels require permission to possess a human vessel, and the permission must be reiterated if an angel leaves the vessel and then wants to return to it, whereas demons can come and go as they please. This limitation turns out to be a good thing in season five, when Michael and Lucifer want to possess Dean and Sam respectively, but can't without their say-so, and the angel/demon contrast comes into play in season nine when Sam is possessed by a malevolent angel, who buries Sam in a mental fantasy and refuses to leave him. Dean asks Castiel to enter his brother and explain what's going on so Sam can cast the antagonistic angel out, but Castiel can't because the angel won't give him permission and Sam isn't able to. Crowley doesn't have this problem, however, and so he does it instead. Unfortunately, permission obtained by lying, torture, manipulation, or coercion works just as well as permission willingly given, and not all angels are above that.
  • True Blood
    • Not only are invitations needed for vampires to enter, but if an invitation is rescinded, an invisible force pushes the vampire out. Sometimes, if their fangs are out, they automatically retract, implying their powers are taken away until they're outside. The amount of force used seems to vary — sometimes it's portrayed like an extremely strong wind lifting up and hurling the vampire away, and in one instance, the vampire just sorta looks like he's standing on a skateboard that just got pushed toward the door.
    • When stopping Jessica Hamby from hurting her abusive parents, Bill glamors Jessica's sister into inviting him into the house when her parents refuse.
    • This is only true for homes owned by non-vampires, as demonstrated by Franklin entering Bill's house despite Jessica's objections, since the last human who owned said house died a year before. A public place (a non-dwelling) is also fair game.
    • The invitation can also be forced. In a later episode, Sookie and Eric are talking on the porch, when Eric hears something inside with his super-hearing. He nearly slams Sookie into the wall and forces her to invite him in. This was to protect her, though, as there was a werewolf waiting inside.
    • Poor Jessica had her invitation rescinded from two different houses in the same night; it didn't seem to matter that she lived in one of them.
    • Eric gets around the invitation to Sookie's house by buying her house during the year that she is missing presumed dead, making it his house. For extra dickishness points he builds an extra windowless room that connects to Sookie's bedroom.
    • Sarah Newlin is able to rescind Jessica's invitation for Jason's house, even though she's only been there for a couple of hours at best. Apparently anyone can rescind any vampire's invitation.
  • Bob from Twin Peaks. Series writer and co-creator Mark Frost describes him thusly:
    "When Leland talks about knowing Bob as a child and says this was someone who invited me to play and I invited him in, there's a certain classic type of vampire myth that comes into play when a soul that invites something into it to take part in its life cannot then refuse it anything."
  • The limitation also applies in The Vampire Diaries.
    • In a Fridge Logic moment, one man who became a vampire suddenly found himself barred from his own home. Since he lived alone, there was nobody who could invite him inside, and apparently the rules don't regard a vampire as a rightful owner. Gets especially odd when it is confirmed that a vampire can enter a house whose sole inhabitant is dead. The general fan assumption is simply that someone else owns the house.
    • The vampires themselves have taken advantage of this, by living with a severely compulsed human in order to create a threshold to keep out unfriendly vampires.
    • The opposite is a problem for Damon: He killed the only human in his house, so now hostile vampires can come and go whenever they please. He doesn't even bother locking the door anymore.
    • In the second season Elijah is killed, his body is moved into a house he hadn't been invited into, and comes back to life. In apparent pain he mutters "I can't be here" and runs outside.
    • In the 18th episode of season 2 Elena legally gets ownership of the Salvatore house. The brothers even have to stand outside while the paperwork is filed.
    • In the second to last episode of season 3 Klaus wants to get into the Gilbert residence to take Elena (who is actually not there at the time). He is told he will not be getting an invitation, so then he super throws a soccer ball and a few fence posts. Last he is seen with a container of gasoline and piece of wood.
    • When Elena and Caroline attend a college party, they're thrown when they can't cross the doorway and realize the rules count for a fraternity/sorority house. Luckily, one of the residents doesn't notice but offers an off-hand "come on in" to allow them inside.
    • In an episode of the Sequel Series The Originals, Elijah overcomes this. He uses his legal connections to have the state use eminent domain to seize the house someone has been hiding out in, making it public property. Cue the Oh, Crap! face as Elijah walks through the door
  • The horror anthology show Monsters had an episode called "Pool Sharks" that featured a literal Vamp that would haunt bars and pool halls to seduce men and wager each others' 'bodies' on a game of pool. When the hero of the story asks why bother with the bet, the vampire explains that she needs an invite to feed on her victims, which bets and wagers count as.
  • Let the Right One In: Vampires need to be invited in. Eleanor covers this by claiming that her dad says it's impolite to go into someone's home without asking first.

  • In Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, the demon Mephistopheles cannot enter Faust's study in human form until Faust has told him to come in three times. He was, however, not subject to this inhibition while he was transformed into a dog in the preceding scene. He also reveals that ghosts and demons must always leave a house by the same way they have entered.
    Faust: A knock? Enter! Who's plaguing me again?
    Mephistopheles: I am.
    Faust: Enter!
    Mephistopheles: Three times you must say it, then.

    Urban Legends 
  • Stories of Black-Eyed Children frequently have them appearing on someone's doorstep and trying to convince the person to invite them inside, as they're apparently unable to enter otherwise.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Vampires have this restriction, and some workarounds. Public buildings are fair game, hypnosis can convince a home's inhabitants to give an invite, and as Van Richten's Guide to the Vampire points out, a vampiric feudal lord (like, say, Strahd Von Zarovich) technically owns any home in his domain. A person's tomb is also out of bounds, since it's their ultimate "home" and they won't be in any state to give an invitation, though a vampire can use necromancy on the interred remains and have their new minion bring out whatever they need. Vampire dragons are also bound by this convention, but have a simple solution — reduce the home to a pile of rubble, then pick what they want out of the debris.
    • Wu Jen and (in 3.5) Warlock classes are required to have "taboos"; this is suggested as a possibility.
  • Pathfinder: It's not clear whether or not this is actually true, but legends hold that cairn linnorms — serpentine dragons that live in cairns, burial mounds and necropoles — can neither enter nor leave a tomb without the express permission of the interred's descendants — or the interred themselves, should they have risen into undeath.
  • Vampire: The Requiem: The Zelani, a Daeva bloodline, have the weakness of being unable to enter a dwelling uninvited. If they try to, they take aggravated damage (equivalent to plunging your hand into fire or being exposed to sunlight). This isn't so much based on ancient tradition, as the fact that the bloodline's founder was horribly brutalized and tormented by a vampiric home invader.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade older members of Clan Tzimisce, who all suffer from extreme territoriality, believe in Sacred Hospitality and obey this trope as a matter of tradition. But a tradition is all it is, so don't press your luck. It's also a possible Flaw a player can choose for his character to have.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: While this particular weakness is rare among other vampires, Necrarchs find it almost impossible to enter a building that mortals made a home unless expressly invited — trying to do so otherwise will cause them great physical harm if they manage it at all. However, this only applies to intact buildings. A ruined house that has someone living in it doesn't count, nor does an inhabitated natural shelter-even a worked one like the parts of Dwarf Holds that are carved out of the mountain. It is believed to be a weakness specifically created by Nagash to make it difficult for the most magically potent bloodline to leave their libraries.

    Video Games 
  • A Vampyre Story: Mona discovers this restriction applies when she tries to enter the house of a man who mistreats his wife. How does she get in? By tricking the wife into inviting her. Mona gets it double-hard; the home in question doubles as a shop for the seamstress wife, which should theoretically at least give Mona a little leeway (for example, with the sign saying, "We're open, please come in!") but she still needs to fool the lady of the house into giving her a verbal invitation.
  • One Sim in MySims, while he may or may not be a vampire, certainly makes reference to vampire tropes, including this one.
  • Guilty Gear has this occur with Slayer, who opens his Story Mode in XX telling Ky that it is it is "customary for the king of the night to ask for permission from the protector of the day before venturing into the sunlight".
  • Referenced in Conker's Bad Fur Day. During the Spooky chapter, Conker comes across a large mansion on a hill. When entering the building, he's welcomed by the owner, a count modeled after Gary Oldman's character in Bram Stoker's Dracula. After being invited to pass, the red squirrel comments while crossing the manor's threshold that there must be something of significance in this act but he can't think of anything.
  • The protagonist of Vampyr (2018) has this as one of his vampiric weaknesses, requiring him to convince others to allow him into their abodes before entering.
  • Inverted in Darkest Dungeon's DLC. In order to access the Courtyard and battle the Crimson Court (which are the local take on vampires), you must be Invited as Dinner; you cannot enter the Courtyard without a formal invitation. At high infestation levels, wandering Gatekeepers start appearing in normal expeditions, and if you can kill it before it runs off on turn 2, it'll drop an invitation as loot.
  • In League of Legends, all demons have this restriction. Evelynn can't hurt anyone who doesn't lust after her. Tahm Kench can't do anything without making a Deal with the Devil with his victim (in his lore story, he explicitly states that he needs someone to "let [him] in"). Nocturne can't do anything to people who aren't feeling fear in their dreams. Fiddlesticks can't harm anyone who isn't afraid, but that isn't very hard for it to fix.
  • 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds: One of many weaknesses the vampire has. Public places like the McDonald's have an open invitation to anyone, which is how the vampire got in in the first place. There is a way to get the cashier to revoke the implied-by-default invitation.
  • Dragon Age: Demons and Spirits cannot possess anyone without consent. If they want a host, said host has to invite them in first. However, most demons aren't above engaging in manipulation or outright torture to gain said "consent".
  • Following from the source material, vampires in Baldur's Gate III cannot normally enter homes. However, vampire party member Astarion had this restriction lifted when he had the Mind Flayer tadpole inserted into his brain, mostly because it would be nigh-impossible to play as a rogue who can't break into houses.
    Astarion: Standing in the sun, wading through a river, wandering into homes without an invitation... they're all perfectly mundane activities now!

    Visual Novels 
  • Needing invitation to enter is one of the few classical vampire tropes in effect for the vampires of Havenfall Is for Lovers. It's also relatively simple to rescind the invitation, forcibly ejecting the vampire from the premises, simply by telling them to Get Out!. The only snag is that the person who invited the vampire in has to be the one to revoke the invitation, which causes problems on Diego's route - Grace was the one who invited Victor Thorne into the house she and the protagonist live in, and since Grace is missing, there's no way to make the house safe from him, requiring the protagonist to stay over first at the bowling alley and then at Diego's house.

  • Came up in Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name; Conrad smacked into the air when he tried to enter Ples's house with the rest of the crew, since technically all of them were trespassing.
  • Sam in Sluggy Freelance has this restriction, but not every vampire in the Sluggyverse does. On one occasion, Sam tracks down Dr. Schlock, who is decked out with every anti-vampire trick possible. He then points out Sam can't even enter his motel room without an invitation. In a rare moment of intelligence, Sam pulls out a gun, shoots Dr. Schlock in the leg, and asks, "Can I come in?"
  • Discussed in This Is the Worst Idea You've Ever Had!. Cynthia and Nicole argue about whether or not a vampire could get into their car without being invited. Later, we see a vampire trapped outside of Nicole's house by some sort of forcefield while another is able to enter freely because Nicole invited him in.
  • Sort of used in Daniel. While the vampiric titular character seems to be able to enter any buildings as he pleases, he apparently needed an "invitation" back into the life of his love, Christine.
  • In Deep Fried, a kid who's afraid of clowns tries to pull this on Beepo. Beepo's response? "Our evil is too strong." Of course, Beepo is just being a Jerkass.
  • Alluded to in Darken.
  • In Thistil Mistil Kistil, Loki's valley is supposed to work like this.
  • The Kingfisher features vampires that require invitation. There are degrees of invitation and other complications, most of which isn't explained in the comic unless it becomes an issue.
  • Zebra Girl: Vampires can't come inside a home unless they have been invited. Sadly, a welcome mat counts as an invitation.
  • Patrik The Vampire: Patrik needs an invitation to enter a residence and if that invitation is revoked he is throw right back out.
  • The Night Belongs to Us: Vampires can only enter a house if invited. When Ada first carries the unconscious Hank home, she has to drop off/throw Hank into the hallway because she can't cross the threshold.
  • xkcd:
    • In the Alt Text of this strip, COVID social distancing practices are likened to the myth that vampires need to be invited into a house. In this case, just because you invite a vampire in, doesn't mean they're going to step foot inside your "haunted plague box".
    • In what might be a Call-Back, this strip has the female character conflate public health rules with common courtesy by claiming that now that she's vaccinated against COVID-19, she can visit a stranger's house freely. Her confusion continues in the Alt Text when the homeowner objects, and she thinks they've mistaken her for a vampire that needs an explicit invitation.
      Homeowner: You still can't walk into someone's house without being invited!
      Woman: What? Oh, I see your confusion. No, this vaccine is for a bat virus. I'm fine with doorways and garlic and stuff.
  • The raven spirits from Archipelago cannot enter your head without an explicit permission. Then again, they only care about the Exact Words here - at least one character was definitely coerced into it, and another doesn't seem to have taken this seriously ("oops" would be an understatement of the year).

    Web Original 
  • The Skinwalkers from Gemini Home Entertainment seem to operate by this within the Moonlight Acres Camp grounds due to a Deal that the camp had made with "The Well Dressed Men" that allows for the Skinwalkers to take anyone at the camp to be sacrificed, with the only provisio is that the Skinwalkers don't destroy the cabins. Instead, they just knock on the cabin doors, and only take the campers when someone opens the door for them.
  • The GREYLOCK Tapes: The thoughtforms seem to be unable to do certain things without humans explicitly allowing them to. In trojan technology, for instance, the skeletal thoughtform was able to enter Kate's room but wasn't able to attack her until she let it come closer.
  • How to Survive Camping:
    • Many of the beings mentioned follow "hospitality laws", meaning they cannot enter someone's house unless they are invited in; it's even said that The Devil itself might be repelled for lack of invitation. It's usually a very bad sign when one isn't bound by that rule. According to the man with a skull cup, humans used to follow these laws as well, but that tradition was lost to time.
    • While the little girl also needs to be invited in order to enter the owner's house, any point of entry left open counts as an invitation, as long as it has been opened by the proper resident of the house and is deemed a "formal" entrance (i.e. one leading directly into the house proper, which includes windows but excludes garage doors).
  • Given a modern twist in the Momo creepypasta series. Momo is only able to torment those who contact her on WhatsApp.
  • Parodied in "Let Me In", where TomSka has to deal with a vampire trying to convince him to let him into his home. And doing it badly until he pulls a cheap trick on Tom. Except he's actually Jehovah's Witness and not a vampire, meaning he was just being "polite".

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • In the episode "May I Come In?", the gang deals with a vampire called Hierophant, who is beholden to the old ways, which includes needing an invitation. Peppermint Butler knows this and taunts him from the door. Later, Jake uses his shapeshifting powers to turn into a house for the others to hide in, and again Hierophant can't go in. Hierophant is finally defeated when a random character accidentally bumps into him and knocks him inside House Jake. He freaks out about entering without an invitation and turns to dust. Curiously, none of the other vampires have this problem - the Hierophant seemed to be holding himself to a certain standard, as a self-proclaimed "old-school revenant".
    • Subverted with the titular entities in "Blank Eyed Girl", who all come and go as they please despite the legends to the contrary.
  • Avengers Assemble: Hawkeye and Whitney Frost attempt to hold out against Dracula by using this trope. Dracula, being Dracula, finds a workaround by having his vampires simply tear the safehouse apart.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: In "Vampirus", Frylock warns Meatwad to never let vampires in the house unless he invites them inside. Meatwad does exactly that, by asking them to come in just as a horde of them arrive outside the house.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • When Hsi Wu the Sky Demon gets released into the mortal world, he winds up losing his tail in the process. Jackie Chan and company manage to catch the tail and take it back to Uncle's shop. Knowing that the demon would want to come back for it, Uncle puts a Protective Charm on the shop which will keep all demons out unless invited inside. Hsi Wu then tricks Jade into inviting him inside by disguising himself as a boy at her school and pretending to be her friend.
    • Also played in reverse in another episode where the group is exploring an ancient temple, and stuck in this temple is a girl cursed to become a monster in order to keep out intruders. After the girl explains this, Jade reasons that they can't be intruding if the girl invites them in, allowing them to explore without triggering the curse.
  • Scary Godmother: In the animated Halloween special, the eponymous Scary Godmother is throwing a Halloween party. A family of vampires arrives and is confused that they continue to stand outside. She forgot that vampires can't enter into someone's home without being invited inside. And they have to be invited in every time. In the second special, they try to enter and hit a magical barrier.
  • This appears in Archie's Weird Mysteries, when Riverdale is under attack by a vampire. The gang are all warned about how vampires can't enter a house unless they're invited, so they figure that they're all safe at Veronica's Halloween costume party. Unfortunately, Smithers wasn't clued in on this in time.
  • In Gravity Falls, Bill Cipher can only enter someone's mind if they shake his hand and make a deal with him (or in Gideon's case, enter someone's mind on another's behalf). This ends up playing a major part in the Grand Finale when he needs to enter Ford's mind to get the info he needs to escape Gravity Falls.
  • One Robot Chicken sketch has a vampire get around this by simply killing a man with a harpoon gun and pulling him out of his home.
  • Subtly referenced in Castlevania (2017). When Dracula is shown in a flashback gathering an army for his destruction of mankind, he visits Isaac's home and asks to be invited inside, which Isaac obliges. Given that this version of Dracula is a powerful Sorcerous Overlord who wouldn't usually care about being invited into a place (if an enemy hypothetically refused him entry, he'd probably just smash his way in anyway), it's ambiguous if he actually needed to be invited or if it's simply a polite courtesy he extended to Isaac in particular.
  • In The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters, the Grundel latches onto his victims by appearing before them and promising they'd have fun together if they were to let him in.
    Grundel: Come out and play, Child. Come out and play.
  • In Bunnicula, the title character has this problem when entering other peoople's homes. One episode focused on Bunnicula's former vampire master going through great lengths to get invited into Bunnicula's current home in order to enslave him.


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Alternative Title(s): Vampire Invitation


Moonlight Acres

A popular myth arose in the 1930s when campgoers began to have sightings of Skinwalkers.

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