To Slay a VampirebySean Renaud©
I should start by telling you that I don't actually think you're a dummy. Vampire slaying can be a very daunting task your first time out and it requires a lot of skills that most people build up over a life time. If you're reading this book you obviously don't have the time to learn these skills gradually. Perhaps your brother was turned into a vampire and you need to kill the head vampire before it becomes permanent. Maybe you've been bitten yourself. Whatever the reason is that you're getting ready to embark upon this quest you shouldn't go unprepared.
We'll start with the basics because that's what's most important. Getting through the second encounter. I say the second encounter because since you've lived long enough to read this you've already survived your first encounter. Congratulations. Ninety nine point nine (repeating of course) percent of people fail what you've accomplished. You have survived a vampire. So go pour yourself a drink, you're going to need it.
We should start by identifying the precise species of vampire you've encountered. Yes there are several different species of vampire and knowing exactly what you're up against makes a lot of difference as to what equipment you should carry. Right now I would recommend hanging cloves of garlic from all the windows and doors of your house as well as pouring salt along those entrances. If you have a welcome mat or anything welcoming people into your home displayed outside bring them inside right now. These are only precautions they do not protect you against all species of vampire but you're better off with these things in place. I'll start by describing the most common species. If you encounter and survive a new species please notify me so I can adjust this list. Lives depend on it.
Vampirus Buffus: One of the more common species since the late nineties is Vampirus Buffus. This is good because they are one of the weaker species of vampire. They have no special powers of shape shifting or hypnosis. They aren't especially strong either. They can be killed by decapitation, fire, sunlight or a stake through the heart. Upon death they turn to dust. Crosses work against this species burning them like touching a hot iron. You should take into account that it's just a hot iron you're waving around if the vampire wants you bad enough he'll bat it away or even let you burn him so he can kill you. There are also a few twisted ones who get off on pain. Holy water has a similar effect. There is a single known subspecies of this breed known as a Turokon. They are much stronger and their hearts are encased in bone making it difficult to pierce.
Vampirus Bladicus: This is another common species. It is similar to the Vampirus Buffus in that decapitation or UV rays are fatal to this breed. Like Vampirus Buffus they have no shape shifting or hypnosis. Wooden stakes just piss them off so don't waist your time. Silver bullets will kill them and is the preferred method of destruction. There is a formula that I am no privy to that will make their heads exploded. I personally don't recommend searching for this because honestly silver bullets will suffice. This species is very fast, able to dodge bullets even at close range if they are aware of your attack. There is also a known subspecies of Vampirus Bladicus with a barbed tongue. The subspecies is only vulnerable to UV radiation.
Vampirus Stokus: While increasingly uncommon in number this is your most basic vampire. They can be killed in all of the ways mentioned previous to this entry. In addition they can not cross directly over water. They can change into mist, bats and wolves seemingly at will and must sleep during the day unlike the previous species which must avoid sunlight but can otherwise remain active during the day.
Vampirus Hellinius: You're screwed. No pure human has ever survived combat with one of these monsters so if you've seen one and lived it's for a reason.
There are several other species of vampire that are only known in certain regions. Eventually texts will be written to identify such beasts as the Kami No Oni, the Japanesse vampire that must count anything placed in front of it before moving on which is fortunate in a land where rice is a staple part of the diet. Just throw dinner on the floor and escape. I will also explain now to defeat a Lenku Gar, the African vampire. It's not a true vampire, it eats skin rather than drink blood. Very gross.
Now I'll explain to you the weaknesses of various vampires so you can be better able to protect yourself. This is just going to be a quick list of weapons and protective to keep on yourself at all times.
Crosses are only effective about fifty percent of the time but since you can pick on up on a necklace at your nearest store for a few bucks I recommend it. It is important that the cross be visible in order to have it' effect.
Holy Water is again only effective fifty percent of the time. If your cross works there is a good chance that Holy Water will as well. If you find yourself in this position I recommend asking your local priest to bless as much water as you can. Trust me on this Holy Water Balloons are far more effective than Holy Hand Grenades. Particularly because there is no counting involved.
Wooden Stakes are a staple and often times slay the vampire outright. However if the body does not turn to dust I recommend decapitation AND cremation. There is a reason for this. Some species like Stokus aren't slain by a stake to the heart. Instead it pins them to the earth. If someone removes it the vampire can attack you and he'll be upset. If you decapitate him and that doesn't kill him and someone removes the stake he might throw his head at you. In my experience a flying head with teeth is an unpleasant thing to have thrown at you. Cremation may not happen fast enough. If the stake burns before the vampire does you have a flaming vampire coming after you. A friend of mine had third degree burns over half his body because he failed to take this precaution and had to wrestle a flaming vampire. Fortunately he had another stake on him and was able to defeat his attacker.
Silver doesn't work very often but when it does it solves all of your problems. Since it's also useful against werewolves, which occasionally are found in the employ or more recently at war with vampires I recommend having some around. Silver bullets are best but expensive. Silver arrowheads and a crossbow is cheaper because you can retrieve and reuse your ammunition. If you're trained with a sword lining it with silver is also a viable plan.
Fire and sunlight work on all known species of vampire which is good. If you've got a flame thrower you're pretty much set. For the rest of us orange juice concentrate mixed with gasoline makes for a good substitute for napalm. UV flashlights are also available and make a fine deterrent and even weapon in some cases. You should have a flashlight in your anti-zombie kit and in your earthquake kit as well I recommend you spring the extra for UV just encase this situation should occur.
You're human though and that means you're probably on the defense here. Your first line of defense is your home. The Buffus and Stokus species are unable to enter a home uninvited. However if they are invited they can enter anytime after that. So never invite strangers into your home at night. This only applies to a residence a store is a public place and thus all are invited by the nature of the place. Some hunters and slayer have suggested that a welcome mat at your front door counts as an invitation which is why I recommend removing these during an encounter, and in general not having them. Get something with a bunny rabbit or God Bless but nothing that could count as an invitation.
You're second line of defense is daylight. All vampires are weak during the day and this is when you should attack if you must and when you should escape if you can. There isn't much to tell you about sunlight. It has been noted that if you live above the Artic Circle where the sun can set for weeks at a time you're fucked. It can also be noted that if you live in a place like Seattle where it always rains. . .honestly you were going to kill yourself sooner or later anyway. I recommend you feed yourself to the vampire to keep it out of my neighborhood.
Salt, garlic and other cooking items are usually worthless but in some cases a vampire may be unable to cross a line of salt. Since you can make a line of salt beneath your carpet there is no reason not to be covered in this aspect but it probably won't work. Garlic is the same way, often useless but you can try it if you like. However if you must use food in your defense I recommend eggplant. Why eggplant? Because it's disgusting and I hope that any self respecting vampire would refuse to eat anybody who eats eggplant.
That about covers your offense and defense. You can identify a vampire species through its powers and weaknesses which will allow you to kill it when the time comes. So all that's left is how do you locate the vampire to kill? There are three popular methods none of which I recommend but I will tell you them anyway. The first is to use yourself as bait. If you're a woman go wear your best "come bite me" outfit. It's the same one that makes human males want to bite you, if you need assistance choosing please send me pictures, remember your life may depend on this. I will respond. Then you wait to be attacked and slay the vampire. This only works in movies for girls with super powers. The rest of us cannot safely employ this method.
The second method involves letting the vampire feed and then following it back to its lair then attacking some time during the day. The advantage to this plan is that you can attack during the day which makes the vampire easier to deal with. The real flaw in this plan is vampires are fast so you might not be able to keep up, they are also very intelligent and may have know you are tracking them. If they are not sleeping during the day you may just have delivered them a midday snack. Just like you appreciate it when the pizza man shows up I the middle of the night with a free pizza vampires appreciate people who show up midday without proper planning.
The third and least common method is also he newest. It involves tracking the beast based on locating its hunting ground and working out the most likely location for it's lair. Just like those UCLA professors found Osama Bin Ladin using human migration patterns the same thing works on vampires. This method is safe, but I don't recommend it because it's imprecise and leads to people getting sloppy. Basically it narrows it down to a specific neighborhood but it then you have to go door to door. People get mad when you douse them with water for no good reason. Worse you get bored after the first three houses.
My favorite method is to let the word out that you know about the vampire and call him out. He'll come to you, and you can set your home up as a giant vampire trap. You'll have home court advantage, you'll have weapons stashed for your immediate use and best of all traps. Walk through the wrong door? BAM bucket of Holy Water falls on your head. Take that Dracula! Turn on the light so you can see? UV rays for growing my weed! How do you like me now Count?
Remember that as long as the vampire still has a body there is still a chance that it will return. So if whatever method you chose to employ didn't destroy the body utterly you must. As mentioned earlier always decapitate and cremate the corpse. If you're feeling especially thorough you can mix the ashes with salt and Holy Water and then bury the remains on hallowed ground.
If you have a specific question not answered here please leave a comment or write me directly. The information I can give you may be what saves your life. Happy hunting.