This is a post for all of you would-be vampire hunters – you know who you are. We have mentioned in past posts the various means of destroying a vampire, and today I am going to go a little more in depth with one method – staking a vampire with a stake made of hawthorn. You see, hawthorn was used way back in the day pretty regularly against supposed vampires.
First off, let me get all scientific on your ass; hawthorn is either a tree or quick growing thorny shrub and its scientific name is “Crataegus.” It’s a member of the rose family and can be identified by blooming clusters of white or pink flowers. Now that we have that bit of info covered we can get to the good stuff.
In Europe, it was the wood of the hawthorn tree was used for its anti-vampire powers, especially among the Slavs, so it was used to make stakes. There are loads of superstitions surrounding hawthorn from all over the world – It is said to symbolize “good hope” because the plant signals that winter has ended and spring has begun. In ancient times women in Athens wore it on their wedding day and the Romans considered it a charm against witchcraft and sorcery. Over in England hawthorn was not to be brought in a house, especially if it has flowers. If someone were to bring it inside, they then had to throw it right back out the front door.
But it doesn’t even end there; in Bosnia people once put hawthorn twigs in their clothes when they went to a funeral and when they left they would drop twigs along the way. This way if the deceased turned into a vampire it would stop and pick up the twigs, becoming too distracted to follow the living home. The wood of the hawthorn was carved into stakes and then pounded into the grave of a person, that way if they rose as a vampire they would stake themselves. People also used the thorns of the hawthorn to keep vampires at bay by placing them into the deceased’s clothing or coffin, pinning them down.
Now you vampire slayers have more information to add to your mental arsenal. Knowledge is power after all.