Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One Wooden Stake Please

Fascination with the vampire seems to be pervasive these days and that makes this Black Rose editor very happy. After all, I’ve been a fan of vampires for a long time. There is a flip-side to the vampire, however, that deserves just as much consideration. For every vampire, there must be a vampire slayer. Consider that the vampire in both folklore and fiction seems epitomize evil. That being the case, then there must be one whose job it is to destroy that evil. Probably the best known slayer is, of course, Stoker’s Van Helsing.

Nearly every culture has their form of a vampire, the most familiar to us being the revenant (Dracula is a revenant). Destruction of the vampire began with local customs and the tools of the slayers seen in fiction and in films derives from the Slavic customs. For example, the wooden stake through the heart came about from one such custom. If a spirit is believed to have escaped the grave and is attacking the living, one solution is to open the grave and stake the body to ensure it cannot rise. From this custom grew the legend of killing a vampire by a stake through the heart. Sunlight and crosses came about through fiction not folklore. To be an effective slayer, however, requires serious study into the customs of the region. Here in our world, we’ll stick to the tools influenced by both Slavic customs and the Christian Church.

So, what does a good slayer need? First and foremost: a nice wooden stake and a mallet. A little holy water doesn’t hurt nor does a crucifix. Toss in a Bible (more for the slayers comfort than as a real weapon), and a clove or two of garlic. The most effective weapon and the one seen most in varying cultures, is fire. The one sure way to destroy any vampire is with a roaring conflagration! Be sure to include a nice box of matches in a slayers kit. A dagger is often included although its use is somewhat limited. Second to the effectiveness of fire is the ability to take the vampire’s head. For that something more substantial than a dagger is needed. A sword is a nice weapon to have on hand even if it doesn’t fit into the slayer’s kit.

With the kit ready and armed with the knowledge needed to understand the enemy, a slayer is ready for a hard night’s work. Any takers?

10 comments:

  1. Hmm...slayer?
    How about we follow your lead? lol

    Enjoyed your post.

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  2. I loved your post Rene. Especially since a good vamp always needs a decent slayer to fall for.

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  3. I've been a huge fan of vampires for a long time but vampire slayers are interesting characters as well. Great post!

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  4. Buffy and Angel... sigh... Boy do I miss them!

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  5. Great post, Rene.

    I've always loved the old black and white vampire movies. Used to watch them as a kid, and for some reason, I always felt sad for the vampire :)

    And there's something about matching a slayer and a vampire.

    Marie Kenward

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  6. LOL, Buffy and Angel used to be our choice "family" programming. My youngest is now waiting for the new kid type Vampire movie that is coming out on Friday. Loved the post!!!

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  7. Rene,
    Awesome post! I love the old lore and the newer takes as well. From Dracula, Barnabas, Edward, Vamps will live on. And so it seems will those whose job it is to destroy them. Now I do have to get back to my wolves.

    Dayana~

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  8. This makes me want to create a vampire slayer costume for Halloween. *grin* Great post!

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  9. Cool post, however, I wouldn't want to stake one, I'd want to hang out with one! :)

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