If your school has to issue a press release denying your vampire problem…

[UPDATE] Welcome, Instapundit readers.  Yes, this is a real story.

…then it’s pretty clear: you have a vampire problem.

Headmaster: No Vampires At Our School
Boston Latin H.S. Tries To Quash Rumors

BOSTON — The headmaster of one of the city’s most prestigious exam schools is dealing with an unusual rumor sweeping student classrooms.

There are no vampires at Boston Latin School, says headmaster Lynne Moone Teta.


Yeah. Damn right you saw this movie. We all did. And we all know what happens next: there’s going to be a few more people gone, and then there’s going to be a couple more, and there’s going to be some conveniently-upcoming big shindig and the bloodsucking fiends are going to be converging en masse on the conveniently-stake-free walking smorgasbord. Just like clockwork.

Well, I’m here to properly help. Not to try to tell you why there are no vampires, really: if there aren’t any, why bother telling you? No, I’m here to tell you what to do when one of the gore-lusting leeches comes smashing through the walls looking for your precious bodily fluids.

This Bostonlist PSA looked promising, but as far as I can tell it’s just apparently ripping on Twilight. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course: but probably you should use something more… practical. So, here goes.

  1. Guns are not actually useless.  While most legends of the nosferatu agree that you can’t actually kill one with a firearm and make it stick – for some reason, carbon-based weapons are more ‘natural’ than metal-based ones, even though neither is exclusively made in a cyclotron or anything* – vampires do apparently have some nodding acquaintance with our reality, as witnessed by the fact that you can see them and they drink your blood and they don’t collapse into a pile of quarks and all that.  That should mean that when you intersect the path of one with some high-velocity lumps of metal going the other way, the resulting reaffirmation of the primacy of Newtonian law should at least slow the leech down.  So shoot it three or four more times and then use whatever method you think will actually work.
  2. Know what method will actually work. This will require a good deal of research: as the two best popularizations on the subject (Anno Dracula and The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me but Your Teeth Are in My Neck) make clear, there are quite a lot of different kinds of bloodthirsty Undead out there.  To help with that… fortunately, there’s the Internet.  And unfortunately, there’s the Internet.  Still, if you run out of research time, there’s always this technique.  Inelegant, but it works.
  3. Religious symbols.  There’s always going to be an argument whether or not it’s the actual item or the belief behind it that makes a religious symbol an apotropaic ward against the Undead (for those of a philosophical bent, the movie Fright Night explores this conundrum in more detail).  Your best bet is probably tracking down whatever anti-vampiric techniques your own personal faith structure dictates, and following them carefully.  If this does not appeal, become either a Roman Catholic, or a Baptist: the first gives you a valuable formal support structure and the second pretty much lets you use a shotgun as your apotropaic symbol anyway.
  4. Lastly: Don’t bother talking to them. If they were interested in being transgressive, yet safe predators they wouldn’t be smashing through your wall to drink your blood, now would they?  Sheesh.  This ranks right up there with “Don’t split up!” as advice to the would be vampire-hunter.

Hope this helps, kids.  And, remember: you have to wait until s/he actually shows the fangs before you can stake the Annoying Authority Figure Who Was Really A Vampire All Along.  It can mean the difference between dealing with a thirty-to-life jail sentence, and dealing with a merely suddenly-dusty school uniform.

Moe Lane

*But see The Stress of Her Regard for an interesting counterargument.

38 thoughts on “If your school has to issue a press release denying your vampire problem…”

  1. Great, NOW someone tells me! Where were you 20 years ago when I needed this, Moe?! Thirty to life is a long damn time.

    1. :looking at clock: In about 10 minutes, the answer would be “Celebrating my 19th birthday. Alone. As was the wont of geeks.”

      But I’m not bitter.

  2. Vampire literature is uncertain on this point. Crossbows turn up in a certain number of canonical works, but it may be that a bullet is simply not enough wood to achieve the necessary effect.

  3. Barbula; I’d recommend ash toothpicks. Dip them in a silver solution, and load them as flechettes into a shotgun shell. You may need a plastic sabot to make them really fly.

  4. The problem with wooden bullets is density: you can get pretty hard woods, but they’re just not heavy enough (one reason why I think that they’ve used them in crowd control situations, at least in Oakland) to penetrate. On the plus side, they’re probably fine for knocking down your standard charging undead, allowing you to finish with something a bit more focused.

  5. I bust my buns preparing for the Zombie Apocolypse, and suddenly it’s vampires. I hope my zombie-killing kit works on vampires too.

  6. FORGET STAKES. FORGET WOOD. Dracula was killed by a freakin’ BOWIE KNIFE!!! I kid you not, the count was stabbed through the heart with good ol’ American steel, go read it yourself.

    So leave the wood at home next to your collection of Buffy DVDs. Get yourself a big hunkin knife.

  7. Funny 🙂 I will expect concrete information on space aliens next….we need to be prepared!

  8. Oddly, the knife through the heart thing is more or less what Saberhagen used to justify his entire revisionist Dracula cycle.

    And that is, indeed, an awesome gun. 🙂

  9. There are no vampires at Boston Latin School, says headmaster Lynne Moone Teta.

    Which means the headmaster is the head vampire. Plus “Lynne Moone Teta” spelled backwards is “Ate Ten O Omen Nyl”!

  10. I recommend RPGs and ATGMs. As pointed out, whilst they may not actually kill a vampire, they will keep it busy enough reassembling its scattered bits to give you time to go and get the silver nitrate.

  11. Guns are not actually useless.

    Seabury Quinn’s Jules de Grandin dealt with the “immune to firearms” canard: the old folk tales knew nothing of modern weaponry.

  12. You know, I don’t know if I’m fully checked out on Seabury Quinn. I recognize the name, of course – but I’m pretty sure that I don’t have any of his books.

  13. Wooden stakes I’ve heard of, but I thought that silver bullets worked well also. (Have I mixed up my monsters?)

  14. Silver is group 1B metal, as is gold and copper. I think Barnes DPX would do the job respectably.

    Of course, as a mechanical engineer raised Baptist in the Western U.S. I may be especially blessed in my apotropaic choices.

    Happy Birthday!

  15. Tim Powers argued in the book of his I mentioned above that vampires (werewolves, too) were actually silicon-based lifeforms that could be disrupted by extremes in electrical connectivity: hence silver (one of the best electrical conductors) and wood (one of the worst).

    Tim Powers is very, very neat.

  16. The version of Dracula I read in my younger days demonstrated that silver bullets were effective against vampires. Expensive, yes, but when your neck is on the line, what’s a little money?

    Now, for outside work, a little flamethrower would be nice.

  17. “Which means the headmaster is the head vampire. Plus “Lynne Moone Teta” spelled backwards is “Ate Ten O Omen Nyl”!”

    And, not surprisingly, in Japanese “Ate Ten O Omen Nyl” can mean either “number one bloodsucker” or “needs more desu”, depending on the pitch accent. I am not making this up.

  18. I recommend RPGs and ATGMs.

    I don’t see how role-playing games are going to help. I mean, I’ve killed Strahd many times over, but when he comes in to and actually starts trying to get me, I don’t see that my 3e rule books are going to help.

    The only out I see is to possibly stab him with my miniatures. Is pewter close enough to silver to count?

  19. Vampires: humans that cannot produce red blood cells that evolved to steal them from other humans.

  20. I wonder, with modern genetic engineering technology, can one actually make a human vampire?
    And nonhuman “vampires” do annoy us every summer at every Boston school. They are called mosquitoes.

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