Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Since when did silver kill a vampire?

Growing up, I watched all the old Universal horror movies and I read a lot of books about creatures of the night. You killed vampires by staking them with a wooden stake. You can keep someone from returning as a vampire by cutting his or her head off and stuffing the mouth full of garlic. You can repel a vampire with a cross (although I will accept Fright Night's premise that you have to believe).

Werewolves were killed with silver. Shoot it with a silver bullet. Bludgeon it with the silver head of a walking stick (as Lawrence Talbot did, but not before he got bitten). I believe I saw one film where a silver candlestick was involved.

At some point, I think it was in the '90s, the two myths got intertwined somehow. Now silver is associated with killing vamps. At least in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, a silver bullet only slows down a vampire; it won't kill one.

It's just kind of irritating.

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