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How to Fight Off a Vampire

You never know when you'll have to defend yourself against one of these bloodsuckers, so be prepared to bring a vampire to his knees.


  • Step 1: Wear garlic Discourage the undead from wanting to bite you in the first place by wearing garlic around your neck; the pungent bulb is thought to repel vampires because it deters their blood-sucking cousins, mosquitoes.
  • Step 2: Throw seeds If a vampire is approaching you, spill a bag of millet, seed, or rice in front of it. According to both Eastern European folklore and Chinese mythology, it will be unable to resist counting each and every grain, giving you time to escape.
  • Step 3: Head for daylight If possible, expose the vampire to the sun; maneuvering it into sunlight is a sure way to finish it off.
  • Step 4: Toss holy water Toss holy water at it. The challenge here is that you need a lot -- a few sprinkles won't do it.
  • Step 5: Drive a stake Time to come in for the kill. Take a stake made of ash, oak, or cedar and drive it straight through the vampire's heart and into something that will pin it -- like the wall, the floor, or its coffin.
  • TIP: In Macedonia, they forego the stake and just drive a nail through the vampire's navel.
  • Step 6: Cut off its head Once you have the vampire pinned, take an ax and chop off its head.
  • TIP: Boil the head in vinegar; that's they way they finish off the undead in Crete.
  • Step 7: Incinerate it Once it's decapitated, make a big fire and toss both the head and body into it. Poke them around until they're reduced to a pile of ashes.
  • Step 8: Dispose of the ashes Throw the ashes into some water and rest easy, knowing the undead is undone.
  • FACT: In modern-day Romania, vampire killing — that is, digging up a dead relative believed to be one of the undead, cutting out their heart, burning it to ashes, and drinking those ashes mixed with water — is illegal but still practiced.

You Will Need

  • Garlic
  • A cross
  • Rice
  • grain
  • or seeds
  • Lots of holy water
  • A stake made of ash
  • oak
  • or cedar
  • An ax
  • Matches
  • Some water
  • A nail
  • Some vinegar

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