Hauntingly pale with long canines for biting into flesh, vampires are much feared creatures of the night who survive off the blood of the living. Strolling neighbourhoods after dark in search of their next innocent victim, vampires are horrifyingly resilient and show no mercy.
They can’t be starved of oxygen, they can survive under water and they don’t die of lack of food, so how can these ghastly beings of the underworld ever be slain? Here are top ten ways to repel or kill a vampire.
10. Lock your doors
One thing many people don’t realise is that the walking dead can’t simply waltz into your bedroom to feast on your lifeblood of an evening. To enter a home, vampires must be invited by whoever lives there. The rules get a little bit fuzzy when it comes to hotel rooms, camper vans, tents and other non-permanent homes; so beware at all times.
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 very concept of the stuff and can be driven away by the pungent smell, so wear a garland round your neck, keep several bulbs in your pockets or simply rub your body with garlic juice. If you want to be prepared at all times, make sure you include a lot of garlic in your daily diet and the smell of your breath and sweat should be enough to keep the night prowlers at bay.
8. Keep the 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 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 so petrified of the potential wrath of higher powers; they steer clear of true believers.
7. Visit your local 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 could burn their skin, so keep a little nearby for your own protection and be ready to douse them 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. One tip for wannabe vamp hunters; don’t help yourself to your local church’s font, the vicars don’t appreciate it.
6. Keep the count counting…
If you suspect that a vampire prowls in an area near you, sprinkle poppy seeds, sand, beads or anything small and grain-like all around the site. Vampires are compelled to count and will be forced to tally up every single grain. 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.
5. The classic stake-through-the-heart
Driving a stake through a vampire’s heart is one of the most traditional methods to kill the undead. Any wooden stake should be fine (though different woods are popular in different countries — Hawthorne is favoured in Serbia, for example), however, a silver one is guaranteed to reduce it to ash and cinders. With a good aim and a strong arm, victory could be yours, but watch out as with one bite you too could become a creature of the night.
4. Kill 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 skilful fighters, so only the most hardened vampire hunters should go after them.
3. Silver projectiles
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 just seconds after the bullet penetrates. If guns are inaccessible, then silver arrowheads, slingshot rounds, darts, or even cutlery 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 dank and dusty homes after the sun has set and most mortals are tucked up safely in bed. Vampire hunters agree that the undead shun sunlight, but 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.
1. The Slayer
The slayer is a notorious vampire killer who goes out on the hunt for these 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. To every generation a slayer is born — so watch this space.
Vampires really are chilling beasts of the night, so stay alert at all times. With these ten ways to repel and kill them you should be safe, but beware of those who feast off blood!