• Graveyard Shift

All The Ways To Kill A Vampire: A Primer

The sharp fangs. The penchant for wearing capes. And, of course, the unquenchable thirst for blood. Vampires have been a folklore fixture for centuries, and methods for slaying vampires have been around just as long. These undead creatures of the night entice as much as they terrify - though you probably wouldn't be thrilled to discover your boyfriend is a vampire.

But let's say you do fall under the sway of a real-life vampire. It's crucial that you understand ways of freeing yourself from a vampire's curse, before the horrific figure drains you of your life force or turns you into a bloodsucker yourself. Beginners looking for advice on how to kill a vampire likely know the basics: scare it off with garlic, shoo it away with holy water, or take a wooden stake straight to its heart. But the best ways to get rid of a vampire can be as simple as exposing it to a ray of sunlight, or just waiting it out until it starves. With a few easy tricks, you can free yourself of the dark shadow lurking in your life.

  • Stake It Through The Heart

    Photo: CW

    Although it may be primitive, a wooden stake to the heart is one of the most effective ways to kill a vampire. The origins of this legend are unclear; it might be tied to Vlad the Impaler, who earned his gruesome nickname from his practice of impaling his enemies on wooden spikes. Wherever the notion of staking a vamp came from, all the stories agree: you must hit the vampire's heart to kill it.

    Some cultures take the story even further, suggesting that certain types of wood, like oak and hawthorn, are better suited to vampire slaying than others. But you can likely whittle down any chunk of furniture to use as a weapon against the undead in a pinch.

  • Expose It To Sunlight

    Photo: Columbia Pictures

    You’ve got to be rather cunning to trick a vampire into the sunlight, but if you do, they’re in for a world of hurt. Sunlight is arguably the slowest and most painful way to kill a vampire, as their skin literally begins to melt.

    Some vampire aficionados argue that sunlight doesn't figure into the oldest vampire lore. It might have become associated with vampires thanks to films like Nosferatu, in which the titular baddie vanishes in the light of day.

  • Surround It With Garlic

    Photo: Columbia Pictures

    Garlic might be the most famous vampire repellant. The fragrant bulb can be used in a variety of ways: you can wear it, hang it in your windows, or rub in on your front door to keep the undead at bay. Some cultures believed that garlic could protect corpses from vampires after death, too. Corpses were sometimes buried with their orifices filled with garlic to prevent possession.

    Beyond vampires, garlic was a traditional remedy for many illnesses, from animal bites to the bubonic plague.

  • Get It Bitten By A Werewolf

    Photo: Screen Gems

    The vampire-werewolf rivalry is as old as time, though its origins are unclear. Maybe the two mythical creatures feel they have to fight it out to prove their superiority? Despite their mutual hatred, these two ancient enemies have a lot in common. Both prefer night, both have extended life spans, and both feed on humans to survive. However, these two species share a key distinction: if a vampire ingests werewolf blood, it becomes stronger, but if a werewolf bites a vampire, it dies.