In another thread, asking what people didn’t like in vampire books, a lot of people said they’re tired of vampires having secret societies. I didn’t see people go into what they wanted to see instead of this, or how it might work, as I’d think it’d be hard to get all vampires on the same page of keeping themselves hidden. Do people not want vampires trying to hide amongst people, instead humans knowing about them? Or do people just want vampires to be loners who all just realize it’s in their best interest to not advertise they have to drink blood and make sure not to get caught?
I think with any genre, if it’s overused, poorly executed, and there’s no variation, then it can get boring. There are multiple ways of tackling the secret society and vampire stories. The secret society can be the vampires themselves, or vampires are everywhere and within the vampire community there is a secret society like the freemasons. Maybe the vampire hunters are the secret society who not only defend humanity but also make sure the existence of vampires is never known to them.
There definitely has to be a reason for having a secret society. A group of friends who want to do things without others knowing maybe? Persecution from society? Want to summon some big baddie without the townsfolk knowing about it? Maybe you’ve been involved in a cult or a secret society and are using vampires to share your experiences in that setting. There’s definitely room for creativity when it comes to keeping secrets. Human retainers (who are sworn to secrecy), having secret handshakes or codewords to recognize one another. Maybe wearing certain symbols.
If we’re looking at vampires that don’t form or aren’t a secret society, they’re most likely out in the open and are in existence to the denizens of the story’s universe. They’d be the bulk of night shift workers. But not all vampires are sentient and can be of the zombie/horror movie type. They’d be awake when the sun’s set, they go about doing their business, and then they’d hide somewhere away from the sun. From the sewers to someone’s closet.