Survival skills are something you need to have and hone all year long, but when the calendar turns to October, and we enter the “Season of the Witch,” there are some very particular skills you need to keep in mind.
So, with my tongue firmly in cheek, (or in this case, fang in neck) here are the Top Six Ways to Survive a Vampire Attack! If you have seen enough Vampire movies, you probably know these, but it never fails to brush up and embrace your inner Van Helsing!
- Garlic: Garlic the old standard. The traditional belief that garlic’s odor deters vampires may have originated with the disease rabies. Wolves and bats, if rabid, have the same snarling, slobbering look about them that folklore ascribed to vampires—as would a human being suffering from rabies. People who have been infected with rabies display a hypersensitive response to any pronounced olfactory stimulation, which would naturally include the pungent smell of garlic.
- Crucifix and Holy Water: As folklore has it, any sort of religious symbol might deter a vampire. It does not only have to be a Cross, a Bible or other symbols of Christianity. Expert vampire hunters say, “Magic circles, churchyards, holy ground of any kind, can deter vampires.” Which would seem to answer the age-old question of if a Jewish person could ward off a vampire with a Star of David.
- Sunlight: We all know that daylight is a no-no for bloodsuckers. Scholars believe that the genetic red blood cell deficiency porphyria, which (once activated) renders its sufferers pallid and hypersensitive to light, which probably inspired vampire legends, also was responsible for the legendary creature’s fear of daylight, as real sufferers from porphyria are hypersensitive to light.
- A Stake Through the Heart: Buffy’s famous wooden slayer stakes follow ancient practice. “The stake of hawthorn or ash—that’s how they did it in Serbia,” vampire historian Mark Jenkins, relates. He tells the story of unfortunate Arnold Paole, who returned to his hometown of Medvegia near Kosovo in 1727, convinced he’d fallen prey to a vampire. He ate dirt from his believed assailant’s grave to stave off the attacks but died in a fall from a hay wagon several weeks later. After neighbors complained that Paole was leaving his grave to throttle them at night, villagers dug him up and put a stake through his heart. Oh, and if you happen to be short of wood, you could also just stab a vampire with whatever else is sharp and handy. “Bram Stoker’s Dracula gets a buoy knife in the heart and his head chopped off,” says Mark.
- Decapitate and Burn: Chop off the head and burn the body seems the most universal way of stopping a vampire. Bereft of a body, you don’t have a vampire anymore since technically it’s a reanimated corpse. There are constant historical anecdotes where people behead and burn suspected vampires. It’s analogous to how people would kill witches and other sorts of “Creature of the Night” to prevent them from ever coming back to haunt them later.
Other Monster Killing Tips
Of course for good measure, since vampires may not be the only things going bump in the night out there over the next few weeks, remember: silver bullets kill werewolves, for Zombies it’s always a headshot, the Blob needs to be frozen, the alien from Predator can be killed with conventional weapons if you are badass enough, and the best way to take down a mummy, is to unwrap its bandages.