Don’t Move, or You’ll Get Staked

Published October 12, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

Defending yourself against the undead depends entirely on which type you are dealing with. So in an effort to keep this post short, I will focus on the traditional European vampire.

Of course, in order to properly defend yourself, you must first be able to identify the fiend in question. Sometimes it isn’t always as easy as pointing out the pasty person with pointy teeth, an extreme aversion to the sun, and weird eating habits. Sometimes, it involves more detective work.

Old beliefs thought virgin boys and stallions were the only way unroot the fiends, but since either is hard to come by in this day and age, here are a few tips:

1. If a person prefers their stake on the barely dead side, or refuse food altogether, be alert. they may only be befriending you because you look like a tasty snack.

2. Vampires are said to be unable to cross consecrated grounds. If you are suspicious, invite the suspect to church. If this fails, you can also suggest a walk through the park, but make sure your path contains a bridge, for vampires can’t cross running water either.

3. If they request permission to enter your abode, think twice. that harmless old bitty asking for a cup of sugar may be after something far more sinister. Like your blood.

4. If your loved one suddenly possesses usually sharp teeth and an enhanced sense of smell, well then you’re probably Little Red Riding Hood, and grandma is the Big Bad Wolf. However, this shouldn’t discount vampires. Offer grandma some spaghetti and garlic bread before you make your decision. Your life could depend on it.

5. If your friend likes to lurk in dark corners of clubs, alleyways, and malls and wears horribly outdated dark clothing, then you may have reason to be suspect. Or, your friend is a tragic hipster. It could go either way.

You should also remember that while in some traditions vampires can’t walk in the sun, this isn’t always the case. Dracula could walk in the sun–he was powerless, but still cleverly fiendish.

OFFENSIVE MEASURES

Stake

The most popular weapon is easily the stake. Handy and easily concealable, a stake is quite possibly the most effective weapon, except for maybe fire. This weapon is typically made of ash, hawthorn, or oak. A stake through the heart* is a sure way of destroying the undead. A stake can be either a hand weapon, like the one above, or shot from a crossbow.

there are some traditions that say pinning a vampire in its coffin with a metal stake will keep it secure and out of trouble. If you are going to choose this method of combat, I would combine it with one of the next two techniques.

*Parts of Serbia believed in piercing the stomach.

Fire

There is no denying the destructive capabilities of fire. That’s really all. Set fire to that fiend! Preferrably with burning bolts.

Decapitation

Really, any sharp weapon will do, but my favorite is the katana for a variety of reasons. Designed to be an extension of your body, a katana is the forerunner of swords. they can cut through anything, and I mean anything. I watched one pierce through metal armor, and leather? Leather doesn’t stand a chance. Neither do the bloodsucker’s heads.

DEFENSIVE MEASURES

Holy items

According to Christian folkloric beliefs, any sacred item will ward off the evil undead. Holy water, rosaries, and crosses provide ample protection.

Organic items

Obviously garlic takes the forefront of organic repellants, but rose and hawthorn branches have also been proven to ward off the undead bloodsuckers. they  also smell better.  Unless you think smelling like you were soaked in a vat of garlic sauce is sexy, then, well, you’re weird.

Alright, this should start your journey on becoming a savvy slayer, but like an profession, it requires a lot of work. And ingenuity. Look at Buffy. She survived for so long for being so creative. She also had the help of friends. It’s always good to have a sidekick or two when hunting.

Safety in numbers, my friends. Safety in numbers*

*Also, the more of them, the less chance you have of being eaten. Pure and simple logic.

 

What tips and tricks do you have for detecting and defeating vampires?

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