Ah, the eternal dilemma: just how to prevent the fiend that is (in Dracula author Bram Stoker’s words) “The Undead”? If she an entranced Bella Swan in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, you can not desire to—at least not once the vampire in question is Edward Cullen. Because that the remainder of us, here’s a guide to some...

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Ah, the eternal dilemma: exactly how to avoid the fiend that is (in Dracula author Bram Stoker’s words) “The Undead”?

If you’re an entranced Bella Swan in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, you could not desire to—at the very least not once the vampire in concern is Edward Cullen. For the rest of us, here’s a overview to some of the methods believed, and actually employed, to ward off vampires transparent the ages.


What adheres to is no for the squeamish. Friends, please don’t try these techniques at home!

(The source for the list: long-time National geographical historian note Jenkins. Mark’s brand-new book, Vampire Forensics, and also the work of National geographical grantee Matteo Borrini in the cemeteries that Venice space the topic of an traveler special premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the National geographical Channel. Read much more of my interview v Mark, including his thoughts on the beginnings of vampires, ~ above the Nat Geo News watch benidormclubdeportivo.org.)

Garlic: The traditional belief that garlic’s odor deters vampires may have originated through the an illness rabies. “In 1998,” write Mark, “Spanish neurologist Dr. Juan Gomez-Alonso do a correlation between reports that rabies outbreaks in and also around the Balkans—especially a damaging one in dogs, wolves, and other animals that plagued Hungary native 1721 to 1728—and the ‘vampire epidemics’ that erupted quickly thereafter. Wolves and also bats, if rabid, have actually the same snarling, slobbering look about them that folklore ascribed to vampires—as would a human being being enduring from rabies. Various other symptoms assistance the rabies-vampire link: Dr. Gomez-Alonso discovered that practically 25 percent the rabid men have a propensity to bite other people. That almost guarantees transmission, together the virus is carried in saliva. Rabies deserve to even aid explain the claimed aversion the vampires to garlic. Infected world display a hypersensitive an answer to any type of pronounced olfactory stimulation, which would certainly naturally include the pungent odor of garlic.”Mirrors and Sunlight: “Rabies may likewise harbor the root of the vampiric fear of mirrors,” note writes. “Strong odors or intuitive stimuli trigger spasms that the face and also vocal muscle of those through rabies, and also this subsequently induces hoarse groans, bared teeth, and a bloody frothing at the mouth. What rabies sufferer would certainly not shrink from such a reflection?” Daylight might only make self-contemplation in a mirror worse. At the very least one scholar has proposed the the genetic red blood cell deficiency porphyria, which (once activated) provides its sufferers pallid and hypersensitive come light, could also have inspired vampire legends.Crucifix and Holy Water: “Any sort of spiritual symbol could deter a vampire,” mark told me in one interview. “Magic circles. Churchyards. Holy ground. And also the literature folks have really played this increase in their stories of vampires.”A Stake with the Heart: Buffy’s famous wooden slayer crest follow ancient practice. “The stake of hawthorn or ash—that’s exactly how they did that in Serbia,” note relates. He speak the story of regrettably Arnold Paole, who went back to his hometown the Medvegia near Kosovo in 1727, convinced he’d fallen prey to a vampire. That ate dust from his thought assailant’s grave come stave turn off the attacks, but died in a loss from a hay wagon numerous weeks later. After neighbors complained the Paole was leaving his dig to throttle them in ~ night, villagers dug him up and also put a stake v his heart. Oh, and also if you occur to be brief of wood, girlfriend could likewise just stab a vampire with everything else is sharp and handy. “Bram Stoker’s Dracula gets a buoy knife in the heart and also his head chopped off,” states Mark. I m sorry brings united state to…Decapitate and also Burn: “Chop turn off the head and also burn the body seems the most universal method of protecting against a vampire. Bereft that a body, girlfriend don’t have a vampire anymore, due to the fact that technically the a reanimated corpse. Over there are constant historical anecdotes where civilization behead and burn doubt vampires. That analogous come how civilization would death witches and also other kinds of malefactors they didn’t desire coming earlier to haunt castle later.” when you’re lopping off the corpse’s head, you could want come tear the end the heart and also lungs for good measure, too, as late 19th-century brand-new Englanders did with “vampires” doubt of dispersing tuberculosis.A Brick, Stone, or Vine between the Teeth: because that insights ~ above this method, we turn to forensic anthropologist Matteo Borrini, Venice during the afflict years, and an excavated skull labeling ID6. Once the black Death first passed through Europe in the 14th century, the lethal scourge killed totally 75 percent that Venice’s population. Succeeding outbreaks—including one in 1576 and also 1577 the likely killed ID6—ravaged the city again over the 2 centuries that followed. Lugged to horrific Lazzaretto Nuovo with thousands of various other plague-struck citizens, she (the skeleton were most likely a woman’s) died there and was hidden in a mass grave. Possibly six weeks after burial, she to be exhumed and a brick inserted carefully between her teeth. Borrini’s Robert Langdon-worthy find for a plausible explanation led him to a 1679 tract by Philip Rohr title De Masticatione Mortuorum: “On the Chewing Dead.” “This volume defined the Nachzehrer—German because that ‘after-devourer’,” mark writes, “a kind of mindless, vampirelike corpse the chews its shroud in the grave before consuming its very own fingers. Together it nibbles away, by some occult process, it additionally slowly kills the enduring members that its family. It might then start gobbling corpses in bordering graves.” Quarantine didn’t avoid the spread of plague, and it would certainly be centuries before folks learned that rat-borne fleas to be the major culprit. Lacking that, some held the Nachzehrer responsible for the disease’s spread. And also so the brick between ID6’s jaws “may it is in the an initial archaeological evidence of what we understand from the books was a reasonably widespread belief.”The legends, novels, and films have actually inspired more than a few unstable civilization to ‘go vampire’ end the years, consuming the blood and flesh of victim in vain really hopes of achieving immortality in this world. But the genuine vampires—blood gorging, infectious-disease bearing ticks, mosquitoes, and rat fleas—remain v us too, taking human being blood and sometimes spreading death with a solitary bite.

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Feast on an ext vampire stories v Vampire Forensics in bookstores…

… and also on the National geographic Channel …

… and also with this story on Borrini’s macabre Venetian exploration from National geographical News.

Image of Venetian vampire skull and brick and also historical vampire illustration courtesy the National geographical Channel