Unlike with Buffy
But! If you ever do get stuck facing a "living" vampire, here are some thins to know:
- According to many legends, vampires cannot cross running water, so, if you steal the vampire's hat (no, don't ask me how to go about doing that and, yes, vampires are just assumed to be wearing hats, I guess) and throw it out into a river or stream or whatever, and taunt him about the hat, he will be unable to help himself and go after the hat. Yeah, vampires have some behavior issues beyond just the biting thing. Attempting to cross into the running water to retrieve the hat will cause the vampire to drown.
- Staking a vampire will not kill a vampire. This is not a Buffy thing where the vampire turns to dust or, even, just dies. The staking only incapacitates the vampire, effectively paralyzing it. Once that's accomplished, other things which can actually destroy the vampire can be done. [On an interesting note, Joss Whedon wanted to do something like this in Buffy but decided that having the characters always having to deal with paralyzed vampire corpses would become too cumbersome so decided on the "dusting" as a way to deal with that.]
- Vampires are not killed (or even hurt) by sunlight. Potentially, it may make them less strong and fast, but it's not going to cause them to burst into flame. If you will note (and you will need to have read Dracula), Dracula had no issue moving around in sunlight. [The idea that vampires can't go about in daylight seems to stem from early 20th century movies. In actuality, vampires don't cast shadows (which is related to the whole reflection thing), so filming at night was the only way to get around that.]
- Vampires, actually, can be "killed" through physical means just like a person can. Of course, going hand-to-hand with a vampire is not the best way to accomplish that since they are faster and stronger than humans. However, a vampire is just as susceptible to swords, arrows, and bullets as anything else. The problem is in getting the vampire to stay "killed."
- The stake. The stake is used to immobilize the vampire. Ash and hawthorn have been very popular and, also, oak to a lesser extent. Most legends say the stake should go through the heart, but some say the stomach and some say the mouth. Theoretically, burying a staked vampire will prevent the vampire from ever rising, although it won't destroy it.
- Beheading. Beheading is a much better way to kill a vampire but, still, not a sure thing. Just cutting off the vampire's head isn't enough to make sure it will stay dead. Some legends say it needs to be buried between the vampire's feet or "behind" the buttocks (I'm not quite sure what "behind" the buttocks means in this context). Others say the head needs to be carried off and buried somewhere else entirely.
- Garlic. Garlic could be used to keep a vampire in its grave. Stuffing it in the mouth was common, but some sources say it had to be stuffed in all orifices. I'm not sure if it means all when it says all, but, if it does, ew!
- Boiling water. Once a vampire was in the ground, pouring boiling water over the grave would keep it there.
- Dismemberment. Sometimes, vampires were persistent. In those cases, the body was dismembered and buried in separate locations.
- Cannibalism. In some cases, the vampire was even more persistent. In such extreme cases, after the dismemberment, the body was fed to the family of the deceased, whom it was usually "haunting." The "victims" generally died anyway.
- Cremation. Ah, burning. Burning the body has long been viewed as the most effective way of destroying a vampire, yet, throughout history, it has often been the last resort. Why? I can't really answer that question, but, almost always, other methods for banishing the vampire were tried, first, before the body was finally burned.
And thus ends vampire week. I didn't cover everything, but there's been a lot of information over the course of the week, and I hope you've enjoyed it. There may even be some vampire lore worth turning into stories. The one thing I'm quite certain of, though, is that nowhere in anything I read was there any mention of vampires and sparkling. Not once. And, now, I'm scared that in 100 years people will think that vampires do sparkle just like we think vampires can't go out in the sun. What a horrible thought...
Now that is frightening!
But here are some things that are not:
1. The "Oh, How I Miss You" blogfest is coming up. Go here to read about it and sign up.
2. There's a big serial giveaway and rafflecopter thing happening, right now. Go here to find out about that. You can also find out about it at the following sites:
Susan Kaye Quinn
E.J. Wesley, Author
Confessions of a Watery Tart