As long as there have been legends of vampires, there have been methods by which to either kill them, or protect oneself and family from them. Before there was Christianity, however, there was still legends of vampires; what then of the use of holy symbols and idols to stave off the visits of a hungry undead individual? Before Christianity it was believed among the Balkans, Slavs, and other cultures indigenous to Europe that vampires were practically obsessive compulsive in their need for order. Some ways to deter vampires would be hanging a tangled net on a gatepost, or sprinkling tiny seeds, or grain outside the doorway. It was believed that the vampire would become so busy counting the seeds of untangling the net, that he’d forget his pray and become fixed on completing his or her task.
Other non-religious ways to fend off vampires is of course, garlic; either wearing it, or spraying a thin mist mixed with water in the air, keeping it near for the scent, over doorways, etc. Keeping holly placed around the house is another technique, as is also keeping a log of juniper in a home. Ringing bells are even said to keep vampires away, as well as placing mirrors around a home or on doors, and also crossing over running water. Holy water, the consecrated sacrament, crosses, eating blood bread, drinking blood brandy, or even burying wine nearby are also supposed to be protection against vampires.
Killing a vampire was accomplished by touching lead items to the gravestone of the walking corpse, beheading it, and/or hammering a stake through its heart. Cremating a vampire is also a surefire way to kill it, or piercing it with a blessed sword. Some Asian beliefs dictate that one can trap a vampire in its grave by sprinkling red peas, rice, roses, garlic, stones over where the body would lay in its grave. Others believe that immersing the vampire’s body in water will destroy it. Dhampirs, -the children of a vampire and human union, –are believed to have the ability to cast out a vampire, by simply commanding it, as well as having the ability to see them when they’re invisible.