There's this article on io9.com asking this exact question, and I thought that scifi.SE would be the ultimate place to have the matter settled. I present to you:

This is a serious question that has been bothering me. We all know that in most vampire lore, a vampire cannot enter a house without an invitation. It's like an unbreakable barrier. But what would happen if you used a transporter, like on the U.S.S. Enterprise, to beam a vampire inside a house, uninvited?

(Mentioned on Google+ here and here.)

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    I don't know whether to upvote this question as awesome or vote to close as not constructive... lol – OghmaOsiris Nov 5 '11 at 19:13
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    As a side question: What if the house is beamed up and transported over the location of a vampire? – Roalt Nov 5 '11 at 21:07
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    What if you drop a house on a vampire? If the Wicked Witch had been a vampire, would the house have bounced off her? (Then again, she was never actually in the house.) – Keith Thompson Nov 5 '11 at 21:41
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    I laughed out loud when seeing this question on hot questions. Now, this brings the question of what the vampire was doing on the Enterprise and whether it be considered as a house ;) . – James P. Nov 6 '11 at 2:14
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    I doubt the Enterprise would be considered a house, but individual crew quarters might. – Iszi Nov 6 '11 at 15:40

18 Answers 18


Although vampires don't exist in the Star Trek Universe, Star Trek does exist in the Buffy Universe, so I'll vote for this as a reasonable question :-)

In Buffy, a vampire attempting to enter a home to which he has no invite simply hits an invisible and impenetrable barrier. Since the Enterprise crew do on occasions find they cannot transport people because of various barriers - force fields, even on occasions extreme weather conditions on alien planets - I think it's all but certain that that is exactly what would happen if they tried to transport a vampire.

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    Do you mean Star Trek the show exists in the Buffy Universe, or is there something else going on? – Keith Thompson Nov 5 '11 at 21:44
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    Some of the characters in the Buffy universe are Star Trek fans, i.e., the television show exists. – Robert S. Nov 6 '11 at 15:01
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    So no Vaporized Vampires (TM)? – Mateen Ulhaq Nov 6 '11 at 18:52
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    Vampires don't exist in the Star Trek universe? According to whom? – Lightness Races with Monica Jan 6 '13 at 18:54
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit - They do exist in the ST-EU universe; scifi.stackexchange.com/a/56164/20774 – Valorum Sep 16 '14 at 16:39

I imagine that the effects of a vampire being inside a house without an invitation vary depending on the literature you read. I'm going to pose a theory based on the True Blood series.

In the True Blood series, any time a vampire has had their invitation revoked while they are inside a house, they are forced to leave. While the only scenes I've seen seem to have the vampire involuntarily speed-walk themselves out, I think a more unnatural force could take effect if the vampire either could not move themselves or attempted to fight the removal.

Regardless, it is evident (based on the series we're going with here) that a vampire can in fact be in a dwelling uninvited for a very short time - just long enough to be removed.

So, pairing that with transporter technology, here's my theory:

The vampire would transport in normally, but upon final materialization they would be forcibly expunged from the house via the nearest exit. Or, if a "nearest exit" does not exist, they would probably end up "making one" on their way out.

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    the 'forced' to leave scenario might help us to make perpetual motion what if we made a ring of houses that the vampire was uninvited to and put them inside? they can be forced to exit one house, and enter the next! – Fuzz Nov 6 '11 at 14:16
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    @Fuzz The "ring" would have to be infinite. Eventually, (if not immediately on the first shot) the force would re-direct the vampire to exit via a wall that is not connected to another house. – Iszi Nov 6 '11 at 15:25
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    @Fuzz: Like some form of free energy. Maybe that is what the energy source in Ferrengi ships is (they want free stuff) a ring of houses with a vampire in continuous motion between houses. – Martin York Nov 7 '11 at 5:59
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    If a starship is considered a dwelling (Picard's Enterprise has families living on board), what if a vampire is on board a ship and is then disinvited? Under True Blood rules, would the vampire have to speed-walk to the nearest airlock? – Keith Thompson Nov 10 '11 at 8:52
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    Again, the Enterprise could not be a "dwelling" any more than any other military facility - which I'm sure (despite regulations) would fall under the category of "public access" areas in meta-terms. Therefore, as I think I mentioned in another comment, individual crew quarters may be off-limits to vampires, but common areas like Ten-Forward or even the bridge would be accessible. – Iszi Nov 11 '11 at 4:16

Vampires are usually documented not to appear in mirrors, and often not even to cast a shadow. Given that level of non-interaction with basic physics, I suspect this paradox could never happen simply because the transporter could never get a lock on a vampire, period.

  • This is very dependent upon which vampire lore you're following, though. In many more modern settings, vampires can be seen in mirrors and photographs and even easily walk in daylight. – Iszi Nov 5 '11 at 22:03
  • It's possible, but in theory there would be some actual explanation as to why this occurs with mirrors (and very likely someone on board would try to explain it during a sidebar conversation), and the teleporter's sensors would have likely dealt with alien species that have peculiar properties as well. Still, this would be a possible outcome from a writing perspective, to place a limitation on the vampire character. – Jane Panda Nov 5 '11 at 22:54
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    Vampires don't appear in mirrors because they have no souls. Your soul dwells in the mirror. (This is also why mirrors should be covered after a death in the family, and why breaking a mirror brings seven years' bad luck.) So now we're left with a theological question about the transport of souls. – TRiG Jun 23 '12 at 23:37

The concept of a 'threshold' is used in The Dresden Files to explain why supernatural forces can't enter a home uninvited: it acts as a supernatural barrier. Creatures with a physical body (demons, wizards, etc) can enter uninvited, but it takes a minor physical effort to do so. They also leave the majority of their power at the door. Dresden, who is among the top 40 wizards in the world in terms of raw power can't summon enough to light a candle if he's not invited in. Creatures without a physical body (AND vampires) cannot cross this. This includes creatures of the NeverNever, ghosts, etc.

In book 13 (Ghost Story) we learn definitively that if you cross into a home or building from the NeverNever, you maintain your full power (though you can't re-enter uninvited if you leave).

Therefore, it stands to reason that if you were transported behind a threshold using a Star Trek style teleporter in the Dresden Universe, you would have your full power and be able to act freely.

  • Drat, beat me to it. As I scrolled through the answers I just knew this question was itching for a Dresden-style answer. I think Harry would consider it an interesting logic puzzle. – Saiboogu Nov 7 '11 at 13:44

If vampires existed in the Star Trek universe, and the same weakness of the not entering a house without being invited were also in-universe, I imagine that the transport operator wouldn't be able to recognize the pattern of the vampire to begin with.

If they COULD send it through the pattern buffer, then I wouldn't imagine that they could get a location lock inside the house as the pattern in the buffer wouldn't be able to pass through the barrier.

Again, this is all speculation as vampires don't exist in the Star Trek universe (yet).

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    What about that shape-shifting creature from the original series that would suck all the salt out of a person? :) Sounds pretty close to a vampire. – Dima Nov 5 '11 at 20:48
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    That creature (from "The Man Trap", very early first season) is commonly referred to as a "salt vampire", but the usual vampire lore doesn't seem to apply to it. – Keith Thompson Nov 5 '11 at 21:43
  • Seems to me that forcible transporting would constitute an invitation. – Oldcat Nov 5 '14 at 1:21

I imagine the practical in universe(es!) answer is that the beaming would fail by some unexplained technical difficulties and the vampire would have a nice aha moment and say "I have not been invited into that house..." That would certainly be appealing to writers, for the nice dramatic effect; and could go into that whole "three trials for the hero" sort of writing.

Depends on your favorite vampire series/novel. Sometimes they are ousted, sometimes they cannot by any physics be allowed in (hence the beaming failure), and some literature (dare I say lore) also suggests the vampire will begin to die or bleed to death.

This is all taking for granted vampires exist in Star Trek; which isn't really out of the question. Some holodeck/Q intervention could easily be a plot device to allow this sort of oddness. Also early on there was an episode of Next Generation where the Enterprise entered a location in space where "time and space and thought" were all connected. Something like this would allow for vampires as well.



Evidently, the teleportation technologies in Star Trek (at least in ToS) strictly work harmoniously to manipulate matter (and antimatter; see 'The Naked Time').

That said, if a typical vampire is made of atoms (the type of atoms we're familiar with), then it is logical to assume a vampire can be beamed into the house without a problem.

Staying in the house remains a dubious issue, nonetheless.


Well, based off of several transporter scenes in which a person was only partially materialized into the transporter room, or into the chosen destination I would have to think that an uninvited Vampire would be only partially materialize inside the house before the computer realized that it could not in fact reassemble the vampire at this location; this would presumably cause one of two results. 1) The Vampire would be reassembled back in the transporter room in tact. or 2)If through some technical issue (which I believe has happened at least once though I can't site an episode), or the lack of computer protocol for the Vampire being "uninvited", would cause the Vampire to be atomically lost in space / time and essentially die, unless through some outside action such as Q, the Vampire's essence could be saved.

As for the house being transported onto the Vampire in some fashion... since the Vampire was not trying to enter the house uninvited but rather the house was trying to enter the Vampire uninvited :) i would say the rule would not apply, and the house would need to make a hasty apology and exit, possibly offering the Vampire a warm bed for the night. :)


I like the approach in Let the Right One In (and similarly, the U.S. remake Let Me In and in Being Human), where a vampire is physically able to enter uninvited, but will soon perish if they do not leave fairly quickly.

So beaming in would represent no difficulty, but you'd want to leave pretty quick.


If the transporter can transport the vampire at all, then it can absolutely put the vampire in the house uninvited. The vampire would be obliged to exit post-haste.

Now what if there was a planet to which the vampire wasn't invited. Would the vampire have to jump into extraordinarily low orbit?

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    A house owner can easily say that a vampire isn't invited. It's harder to tell, on a planetary scale, who would have the authority to say so. Some planets might have a single top authority, but Earth (at least currently) doesn't. I think in the context of Star Trek however, even Earth does. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Nov 6 '11 at 11:16
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    If we follow the True Blood lore, there is no such thing as a planet to which the vampire is uninvited because planets are essentially another form of public-access property. I believe there was a scene in True Blood where a group of vampires were able to remain in Merlotte's bar, despite having been told to leave by Sam himself. – Iszi Nov 6 '11 at 15:37
  • In the Buffy-verse, likewise, unless the whole planet was nothing but private dwellings, some public space exists and vamps can't be barred from public spaces. (Even if the public space is part of a private home.) Likewise, hotel rooms can be entered freely... as evidenced in Angel. – aramis Nov 7 '11 at 4:19
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    I like Dresden Files lore on that one -- A person or family living in a space creates the threshold. Large loving family has a bigger threshold than a bachelor pad. Interesting, this contradicts Angel - The hotel rooms would gain thresholds over time since they weren't hotel rooms any longer - they were permanent residences. – Saiboogu Nov 7 '11 at 13:47
  1. Vampires in various lore are 'turned' all the time in houses that they weren't necessarily invited into while humans. A minor point.
  2. The General Rule is, a vampire cannot physically enter a house it's not invited into.

Now, despite its name, a Transporter does not so much move living creatures, as it actually disintegrates the object, takes the data about the quantum make-up of the object, and then rebuilds it at a specific location.

So, the Transport'ed vampire is actually created in this house. As newly-turned vampires don't 'historically' get immediately expelled from houses they were turned in as soon as they regain consciousness as a new vampire (not every vampire is created in a forest), one cannot expect a newly quantum-level-rebuilt Cold One to get magically evicted.

Summary: Transporter recreates physical structure of vampire at the spot. Vampire doesn't actually, definitively enter the beam-location premises. Vampires thrive on technicalities and work-arounds.


At the heart of this paradox is the problem of not knowing how in detail the transporter works, or how a vampire not being able to go into a house without being invited works. The lack of details on the functioning of either of these makes speculation difficult.

So it would seem that one of two possibilities may happen depending on the practicalities. Firstly, if the force that prevents vampires entering houses is strong enough to prevent the initial transporter lock into the house, then the transporting process would fail. Having said that, it is not clear to me the precise parameters of the permission--how long does it last, does it have to be renewed if the building is changed, or changes hands? So if this was rigorous enough, the transporter may detect this problem, and be able to report it back.

However, the other side may be that the transporter can lock on sufficiently, and start the transport, if a certain amount of the vampire needs to be present before it takes hold, then the transport would start but may falter when enough vampire its present to experience the rejection. This is liable to disrupt the transport, I would think, although the entire vampire may manage to arrive before experiencing the rejection. I think a vampire would be very brave to try this.


It would depend entirely upon the canonical rules of magic under which the vampire exists.

For example, under the Dresden rules, magic and technology don't mix. The transporter would probably fry or explode the instant that it tried to lock up any magical item/being. So there would be no way to force the paradox to occur.

In many of the media based series (Buffy, Moonlight), vampires who are in a home and have their "entry privileges" revoked are summarily ejected (not necessarily safely). In some of these universes, a similar type of ejection would probably take place. In others, the "tainted" molecules would not be allowed to enter the house and the transport would probably just fail (transporters being designed to fail gracefully so as not to allow people to die - that being considered a sub-optimal outcome and likely a matter for government regulation and/or investigation).


Since "Let the Right One In," a Swedish film, hasn't been mentioned yet, and I think it's relevant, I'll take a stab at this.

In the film in question, a vampire in the form of a 12-year-old girl befriends a boy of similar age. He decides to see what happens if he doesn't invite her in, and so deliberately refuses the invitation. She enters anyway, and immediately begins to hemorrhage from her orifices (and possibly her skin, I don't recall). The bleeding ceases immediately upon the extension of an invitation.

So, in this universe, the Enterprise could likely beam a vampire into any home, but there would be a mess afterwards.


While I doubt the common vampire rules apply, I would like to point out that Star Trek has at least one creature that could be considered a vampire. It's even been nicknamed the Salt Vampire - the species' original name is unknown.

In TOS 1x05, The Man Trap, it successfully snuck aboard the Enterprise through the transporter beam, by posing as another crewman.


If in-universe rules of The Vampire Diaries are valid, the answer is YES.

Once, an original vampire (named Elijah) was temporarily killed and his body was kept (successfully) in a house for which he wasn't allowed. When he became alive again, he started to suffocate. His body failed to function correctly. Overall, he wasn't feeling comfortable in the house until he rushed & exited the house.

So, Enterprise can beam down a vampire in a house he/she don't have permission to enter. But, just after materialization, he/she would start suffocating & wouldn't feel comfortable. The vampire would need to exit the house to function correctly.


I would think a transporter would transport all the matter it could lock onto, but not any "magical" parts of the vampire. You would simply get a lifeless corpse appearing in the target house which would promptly collapse to the floor before starting to decompose.

Transporting involves scanning, converting to energy and then reconstructing. Since the scanners would only see a dead body, only a dead body would be reconstructed. The vampires essence would remain on the ship in the transporter room and probably try to possess someone.

  • This does not explain why the human mind and soul survives? You could argue that memories are encoded in synapses that can be scanned and reconstructed, but that's not really the case for those intangible traits that makes us human. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 20 '12 at 18:59
  • I thought that was what the "Heisenburg Compensators" were for? – Nick Aug 20 '12 at 20:28

As people have already mentioned it would depend on the lore of the Vampire you take.

For example in "Being Human" (UK version), a Vampire being trapped in a house they were no longer invited to would cause them to die if they were unable to leave.

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