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March 06 2009

Best ways to kill a vampire. Novelist Scott Sigler takes on the myriad ways to keep the vamp population down...

Which may shed some light on why Professor Efthimiou's math is wrong about their impossibility.

Loved when Buffy tricked that vamp into drinking holy water. Awww...good times.
Yes, that was a clever moovetty-move-move-move on her part.

Didn't think the link to high-tech weapons made much sense. Methinks sunlight hurts vamps because it's a taboo.

But since when is Fright Night a vampire comedy. Nope , sorry doesn't track. Some moments of comic relief yes but, no, pay attention to the story.

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2009-03-06 02:02 ]
I have to say that Holy Water was an underutilized weapon in the Buffy world.
And wafers!

Good to know Sigler... I'd hate for vampires to attack and the general populace not know how to fight them.
And wafers!

Is there ever any use of holy wafers in the Buffyverse? I think not, so it's not clear that they actually would work at all in that world, is it? We know that Holy Water was pretty painful for vamps, though--and it has the advantage of being a weapon to which humans are immune. Why they ever left the house without a few super-soakers is hard to explain, really.
I don't know, Andrew got a lot of use out of holy water in season seven. Mostly because Buffy wouldn't give him much else.
The holy water works, I have to think, because it's, well, holy. It's a reminder to people of entering church of Baptism--the removal of Original Sin, which is about as far away from a soulless vampire as one might be able to get.

"Wafers" would only work if they've been consecrated (and then no longer a "wafer"), and then consumed by the vampire, which seems a tad unlikely.

We saw holy wafers in Buffy's weapons chest in season one... So I'd assume that they'd work. Unless she just likes the taste!
Best way to kill a vampire?

Give it a show on FOX.
"Wafers" would only work if they've been consecrated (and then no longer a "wafer"), and then consumed by the vampire, which seems a tad unlikely.

Van Helsing uses "sacred wafers" quite a bit in Bram Stoker's Dracula. (And saying that the wafer is no longer a wafer after it's been consecrated is presuming transubstantiation--let's assume that even Protestants deserve to fight vampires--although, admittedly, it's usually Catholic priests that people turn to in Vampire tales).

Of course it would be hard to get a vampire to eat a wafer "as is." But you could crumble it into some other food, or drop it down the back of his neck or something.
Me, I go with fire. That way it doesn't matter what you're up against: vampire, werewolf, zombie, witch (which is ridiculous), demon, etc. They all steer clear of fire.

(Well, zombies actually just keep walking until they're burned to a crisp, which is actually my A#1 reason for disliking them -- fire should stop everything, dang it!)

Let's burn...
Throwing garlic only tends to annoy, I believe beheading is the latest way of ridding yourself of those vermin bloodsuckers.

With that said, "Hey, they got to eat to! Have a heart!'
Well, if you've got one pinned down you could always cram a handful in his mouth. Just watch out for the fangs!

Buffy switching out Kralik's regular water for Holy Water was inspired. But for giggle points I'd have to go with Buffy, Angel & Spike lobbing bottles at the vamps trying to get them outside the Magic Box. (Well, whatever it was called before Giles bought it.)

And I just love that they were clearly labelled "Holy Water."

11thHour LOL! And ouch.
What's the deal with the Holy Water?
It's just a normal liquid who atendend to a mass and was, as the wafers, consecrated. If someone go to church frequentelly, like Drusilla their blood should be sacred to right?
Brasilian Chaos Man; Holy water is a specific substance which is assigned a specific role in church ceremonies and is blessed for that purpose. Likewise sacred wafers, communion wine, chrism oil, etc.

But yes, wafers as weapons, and garlic, are probably either last ditch things a third or foruth back-up weapon as ShadowQuest mentioned.

And it's mainly Buffyverse vamps who are vulnerable to normal ie. non-magical fires.

One additional use for garlic; ground micro-fine and mixed into pepper, Mace, or Mace-pepper combo sprays. Would help keep 'em at a distance,a nd maybe palces liek the MAgic Box carry it. My Mary Sue character in my fics, Jared, never goes out without his sprayer in his right jacket pocket, and a Keltic cross in his left. Two reasons why he survived encoutners with Darla, Angleus, Drusilla, and Harmony, altho admittedly the first three weren't really all that interested in nailing him either.
Thank you DaddyCatALSO, but I still didn't get why these substances could hold more power over vamps, like a consacrated cematery soil, then a person blessed by a priest.
BCM, I think there's an implied ability of an object, which cannot itself sin, to hold a consecration, while a person would presumably lose any such sanctification as soon as a sin was committed... which might rival the half-lives of some artificially created elements for duration, as it were.
Yeah but Dru at the convent didn't seam a sinner, however, thanks. Maybe I'm just in a complain mode.
Wait a minute, didn't we just have a post a few days ago that said vampires DIDN'T exist? Whaaaa?
I always thought a vampire couldn't even enter a church until I saw Buffy/Angel, and saw the scene where Angelus is beginning his campaign of driving not-yet-vampiress Drusilla to despair. In a confessional.
@ Brasilian Chaos Man - unfortunately we're all sinners, even nuns!

@ Snot monster - as an altar guild member at an Episcopal church, I can say that they're more than wafers, even for some of us Prods. We're very careful about consecrated wine and wafers in a way we don't have to be with the not-yet-blessed ones.
@ Snot monster - as an altar guild member at an Episcopal church, I can say that they're more than wafers, even for some of us Prods. We're very careful about consecrated wine and wafers in a way we don't have to be with the not-yet-blessed ones.

Fair enough; the Anglican/Episcopal church has always tried to walk a fairly inclusive line on the transubstantiation/consubstantiation/Real Presence debates. I think most Anglicans, though, would still regard the consecrated wafer as "still a wafer" even if now a "blessed" one. That is, they reject the notion (to which I thought you were referring) that consecration actually brings about a change in the substance of the host so that it becomes the actual body of Christ.

As to Brasilian Chaos Man's questions up above--I think when you're dealing with magic there's not much point in the 'but why doesn't X work' questions. It's like asking why vampires aren't killed by moonlight when we know it's just reflected sunlight. The answer to all such questions is, essentially, "well, that's not how it works." Why are vampires burnt by crosses but not by the symbols of other religions? Why, for that matter, aren't vampires affected by other Christian symbols? How come they can lay hands on a priest (who is, in some views, God's representative on earth) without being burned?

The rules are the rules. As long as the writers stick to them, everything's o.k. But there's not much point in asking why those rules work the way they do.
smfos: Actually, we don't know vamps aren't affteced by symbols of other religions in the Buffyverse, since nobody's ever tried waving a menorah or a mandala or a Thor's hammer at one.

And jsut for the record, Lutherans are careful with Communion elements as well, anything not eaten needs to be buried, not trashed, and the water used to wash the vessels is poured on the ground, not down the drain. Our formula is that the body and blood are "truly present inn with, and under" the bread and wine. And we admit that we don't know what that actually means, we just sorta go with it.
And jsut for the record, Lutherans are careful with Communion elements as well

And just for the record: no one in this thread--particularly not me--ever argued that anybody (Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, whatever...) regards consecrated communion wafers or communion bread as something to be treated lightly or indifferently. O.K?

The claim was made that after consecration it is no longer "a wafer." That claim is not true for most Protestants. It is a special wafer (or bread or breadstick or whatever), but still a wafer.
As to Brasilian Chaos Man's questions up above--I think when you're dealing with magic there's not much point in the 'but why doesn't X work' questions. It's like asking why vampires aren't killed by moonlight when we know it's just reflected sunlight. The answer to all such questions is, essentially, "well, that's not how it works." Why are vampires burnt by crosses but not by the symbols of other religions? Why, for that matter, aren't vampires affected by other Christian symbols? How come they can lay hands on a priest (who is, in some views, God's representative on earth) without being burned?

snot monster from outer space


Good points.
Anyone want to tackle this? A couple people at a hangout asked, after I posted the link about vampires not existing:

1) Could vampires be susceptible to blood-borne pathogens such as HIV?

My reply: I think it depends on who's telling the story and bending the mythos. I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere of a fictional short-story/novel about a vampire with HIV. We know from Buffy/Angel that they can drink alcohol and never feel the effect, yet they can taste the differences in human blood. But since their bodies are "dead" and the blood, again depending on who's telling the story, has mystical influences attached to it, I wouldn't think so.

2) Viruses aren't technically "alive" in the same way that bacteria and other organisms are. Perhaps someone can draw a link or parallel between vampires and viruses?
Google "Vampires and HIV".
I think we would have done that if not interested in the minds of Whedonites.
Sick, or at least thinking they're sick yes, like in "Helpless"
But I don't remember anyone with a disease, however I'm in the middle of the 6th book of Anita Blake and one seems to have a strange sickness.
Tonya J Well, apparently drinking from a drug user does affect a vampire. Or maybe Spike was doing more than just feeding on that flower child.

If vampires don't breathe the way humans do, how can they smoke? Presumably they're just drawing the air and smoke into their lungs and expelling it, but why should the lungs still function?

If the heart isn't beating to circulate the blood, why doesn't it just...pool in their feet or somewhere, and how can they bleed when cut?

If a human is obese, or has thin blood (Anemic, taking aspirin for a heart condition, etc) would the blood taste different?

ETA: And in that same vein (Sorry!): if a human was out of shape when turned, could they then then work out after becoming a vamp and get into shape?

[ edited by ShadowQuest on 2009-03-06 22:06 ]
We know from Buffy/Angel that they can drink alcohol and never feel the effect

We see drunk vampires in BtVS (Spike, specifically). I think it just takes a lot of alcohol to do the job.
Thanks, didn't remember that.

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