Reason Vampires Are Not Indestructable
The vampire is a creature with supernatural abilities. Imagine a world where vampires are indescructable, evil, power hungry creatures that can never be stopped. That doesn’t sound very fun, does it? This is why author’s and screenwriter’s need to create weaknesses for their creatures. Since Bram Stoker is the original inventor of Dracula, many of the banes vampires experience were derived from his original novel, which was first published in 1897. The proper name for the weakness a paranormal creature possess is an apotropaic. Apotropaics keep the monsters from fantasy at bay; without them we would be frightened of every story written that contains a supernatural being.
What Are Vampires Apotropaics
The most common vampire weaknesses are those which have been most often used. The first one that comes to mind for most people is garlic. Garlic has the ability to ward off blood thirsty creatures and induce a fight or flight reaction out of them. In older literature the flight option is almost assuredly used, whereas in new age vampiric literature the creatures tend to defy common beliefs. One may then ask, but why garlic? The most reasonable explanation is that the idea of vampires originated during a time of great illness and the spread of common diseases. Garlic is known to contain antiseptic properties, meaning it has bacteria killing abilities.
Another common apotropaic of vampires is holy water and of course the cross. Vampires are thought to be demonic, so the power of religion must repel them. If religion was thought to be weak against vampires, people may not have accepted the tales into their lives. The stories would never have evolved the way they have and the lore we admire now may never have surfaced.
A favorite apotropaic of mine for vampires is countering their obsessive compulsive disorder with witty tricks and traps. Vamps are often displayed as overly obsessed counters and decor arrangers. By utilizing this knowledge, a human can show their superior intelligence and defeat the evil blood thirsty creature. This brings hope to humans when reading about terrifying creatures.
Lastly, I would love to touch on an almost hidden weakness of vampires, which is the inability to enter a home which they have not previously owned or been invited into. A human is actually safe inside their house if they do not invite the vamp inside. Amazing! Think about it, if your child is ever afraid of the vampire he or she just saw on the television, well now they shouldn’t be anymore. You can tell them that no one in the family will let Dracula in and by doing so, you are all perfectly safe. This final one is a very key ingredient to any successful supernatural creature in the literary world and that is the absolute certainty that you are safe while you sleep.
Vampires will always be a common paranormal genre no matter the era because of these instilled apotropaics. However, this is not to say the genre will not evolve and create more or less. In addition, there are many, many more weaknesses related to vampires out there and I only believe the ones listed in this article to be the most important.