This is not a pre-written or properly formed rant. It's just some ideas that I'm throwing out in the vain hope that I might offer something productive...
Once upon a time, people used to be scared of witches. In fact, depending on where you are in the world, there are still plenty of people who believe in witches and live in fear of their alleged powers. Folklorist & historian, Ronald Hutton (author of 'Triumph Of The Moon') has spent a great amount of time researching the historical records with regards to the European perception of witches. The overwhelming message from both folklore and trial records is that witches were considered to be:
a) Almost exclusively female
The notions that there were 'good' or 'white' witches is a modern construct. The idea that they worked in 'covens' stemmed from an account by R.Scott's 'The Discoverie Of Witchcraft' in the 17th century. Interestingly enough, the notion of teams of witches working in concert stuck in the public mind and shaped future perceptions in spite of the fact that the overwhelming majority of sources relating to witches demonstrate that most Europeans held witches to be evil, bitter, women working malevolent spells on their own. (Hutton distinguishes witches from 'cunningfolk' and 'charmers'. The former being largely male artisans who worked spells for money to boost their income and the latter, being one trick ponies who generally offered a very specific service for free eg: charm warts, tame horses etc.)
Cut to the present day and we find that a modern 'witch' protested against her neighbour's Halloween decorations, claiming that they were a hate crime and religiously insensitive.
Once upon a time, people believed in Vampires. They feared that the undead could sneak out of graves and walk among the living to feast upon their blood. I bet if you travelled around enough, you could still find some people who maintain that this is still true. In fact, it took until 1824 for the British government to strike out an old law from the statute books concerning the staking of vampires.
I'm fairly sure that if you examine the folklore & history of Vampires, the picture you will receive is going to be pretty dismal. Corpses, charnel houses, curses, soulessness, you get the idea. It's not for nothing that Peter Cushing made a film career that comprised mostly of killing Christopher Lee in a variety of different ways.
Cut to 2008. I find 'stop vampire hate on the net'. Whut!?
Turns out that the witches that you thought were witches are not witches but survivals of neolithic pagan religions that are entirely unsubstantiated. Turns out that Vampires are actually quite romantic. They don't just rip people's throats open anymore, they go to highschool and have awkward moments with the girls they've got the hots for. They're clean, well groomed and don't even smell a teeny bit like decaying meat.
And oddly enough, these revamped (pun!) images are increasingly accepted into popular discourse. It's ok to dress like Vlad the Impaler, just so long as everyone knows that you don't drink blood, only 'psychic energy' and that it's always with consent. Not like those other bad vampires. Not like those other bad witches.
What is the human need to flirt with a neutered form of darkness? Why let the facts get in the way of a good story?
What intrigues me is what new sub-culture will spring up? What new evil will become the object of our affections? Is there a limit or will the felons of history become redeemed with enough attention and weak justifications? It's ok to be a witch. It's even ok to be a vampire. History was wrong! We totally misread them! Is it ok to be a Grand Inquisitor? Is it ok to be in the SS? How about the Knights of the KKK? Child murderers?
In 100 years from now, in whatever store replaces Hot Topic as the wellspring of pre-packaged rebellion, will we see teens sloping around malls dressed as 'Muhajadeen'? 'No! You've got it all wrong! It's not about holy war, it's about buying this green jacket and wearing my scarf in this manner. DON'T YOU KNOW ANYTHING!?'