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Look, we’re not hating. After all, vampires are people too. (Or they were.)
But here’s the thing: we’ve seen the old Hammer films, and it just doesn’t look like any fun to get punctured in the night and drained to the point of death (sexy Interview With the Vampire imagery notwithstanding).
With the above in mind, just in case you’re ever accosted in a dark New Orleans alley by something pale and winged, you’ll want to be prepared. Here’s how to stake out (see what we did there?) your quarry and put those hungry vamps where they belong. Read on for the scary scoop of mythical ways to kill vampires.
Hauntingly pale with long canines for biting into flesh, vampires are, in common lore, much-feared creatures of the night who survive off the blood of the living. Strolling neighborhoods after dark in search of their next innocent victim, vampires are unsettlingly resilient and show no mercy for their prey.
Just how do you kill the undead?
They can’t be suffocated or drowned, they don’t die of lack of food, and they sidestep bullets a la The Matrix. So how can these ghastly beings of the underworld ever be slain? Never fear: here are the top 10 ways to rid yourself of a nasty (and deadly) problem.
10. Just Say “Hell No”
An interesting part of vampire tradition is that the flying dead can’t simply waltz into your bedroom for a midnight snack. To enter your home, a vampire must be invited, lore states. (The rules get a little bit fuzzy when it comes to hotel rooms, camper vans, tents and other non-permanent homes.)
Your easy fix: DON’T invite that ghastly presence in. And if he or she asks politely, answer back in equal politeness, “Hell no, Fangs,” and lock yourself in your room until daylight. (You’ll be just fine, we promise.)
9. Stock Up on Garlic
One of the best ways to repel vampires is with garlic, otherwise known as the stinking rose. Vampires simply hate the traditional recipe veggie and can be driven away by the pungent smell.
If you can stand it, wear garland around your neck, keep several bulbs in your pockets or simply rub your body with garlic juice.
For extra insurance, include a lot of garlic in your daily diet. Supposedly, the smell of your breath and sweat will be enough to keep the night prowlers at bay.
8. Have a Little Faith
Symbols of faith will make a vampire recoil in an instant, so long as the person holding it has enough belief and conviction. Traditionally, crucifixes and crosses have been used to repel these deadly beings, however, Stars of David, Wiccan pentacles and other symbols are now also thought to be just as effective.
Vampires are, according to stories, petrified of the potential wrath of higher powers, so they steer clear of true believers.
Close your eyes, grab your ankh, and watch those bloodsuckers flap away from you like, well, bats out of hell.
7. Visit Your Local Baptismal Font
Water that has been blessed by a priest is also widely believed to repel evil and ward off dark forces. Vampires are forever damned and are literally terrified of religion, so anything sacred is the perfect deterrent.
Just a few drops of holy water will burn their uber-pale skin, so keep a little nearby for your own protection and be ready to douse unearthly intruders at any time — you never know when one might strike.
For the ultimate vamp repeller, fill a water pistol with holy water and mashed-up garlic. (Plus…it’s just so much fun.)
6. Keep the Count Counting
If you suspect a vampire prowls in an area near you, sprinkle poppy seeds, sand, beads or anything small and grain-like all around your ‘hood. The idea is that vampires are said to be compelled to count anything they see in a group. They’ll be forced to tally up every single grain and will be far too occupied to tap at your window.
The obsessive-compulsive nature of Nosferatu is not well-known, so using this little trick will almost certainly surprise your blood-sucking target, giving you plenty of time to put some distance between you.
Got it? Good. Drop those grains and run like…well, you get the idea by now.
5. Stake Through the Heart
We just love the classics! Driving a stake through a vampire’s heart is one of the most well-known methods to kill the already-dead.
Any wooden stake should be fine (though different woods are popular in different countries — hawthorn is favored in Serbia, for example). However, a silver stake is said to be guaranteed to reduce that troublesome vampire to ash and cinders.
4. Annihilate the Leader
Folklore has it that the destruction of the leader of a group of vampires will free his minions from his dark thrall, returning their souls and rendering them human again.
Unfortunately, vampire leaders tend to be powerful, well-protected, well-connected, and crazy azz skillful. If you’re not Buffy or Van Helsing (or for that matter, Abraham Lincoln), leave this trick to the professionals.
3. Grab Some Silver
Like a silver stake, a silver bullet spells instant death for vampires. They are violently allergic to the pure metal and will crumble to dust upon contact, according to vampire lore enthusiasts.
If guns are inaccessible, think silver arrowheads, slingshot rounds, darts, or even cutlery. Practically anything silver will do — so long as you fling it hard enough.
2. Sunlight (Maybe)
Vampires are creatures of the night, lingering in shadows and only emerging from their coffins, caves or basements after the sun has set and most mortals are tucked up safely in bed. So sunlight should kill them.
Unfortunately, while vampire hunters agree that the undead shun sunlight, there is some debate over its lethality. Some argue that even the briefest exposure to UV radiation will turn a vampire into a pillar of screaming flames; others maintain that truly powerful vampires can move around freely during the daytime, suffering only the temporary loss of their super-human abilities.
We say: either way, it’s worth a shot. I mean you wanted to work on your tan anyway, didn’t you? Expose your frightening foe to some sunlight and while she’s writhing, go to town with a stake (see above).
1. Channel “the Slayer”
The slayer is a notorious vampire killer who goes out on the hunt for deadly bloody suckers (think Buffy). They have no fear and are willing to risk their life to benefit others. Abraham Van Helsing is possibly the oldest and most well-known slayer in the world known for killing Count Dracula.
They say to every generation a slayer is born — so sharpen up on your mythical creature-killing skills. With enough training, the next one could be you!