Burial Matters: How to prevent your loved ones from rising up -- taking a look at the mythology of vampire prevention.
How can you protect your friends and family from vampirism? What steps can you take to ensure that when their corpse goes in the ground, it stays there? Here are a few ideas, gathered from folk mythology, that have helped in the past.
1. Put Coins On The Corpse's Eyelids -- Many cultures believed that payment was necessary before the soul could travel to the world of the dead. These coins are meant as payment so the soul is not trapped in the body and forced to become a vampire.
2. Stuff Mouth and/or Coffin With Garlic -- Garlic has long been believed to have magical properties in warding off a vampire. In addition, garlic stuffed in the mouth had an added bonus of preventing a vampire from chewing on itself.
3. Bury The Corpse Facedown -- This tactic will help the vampire from rising; as it digs its way out, it is in actuality digging itself in deeper.
4. Bury the Corpse At A Crossroads -- For hundreds of years, crossroads were feared and believed to be a sign of evil. They were to be avoided, particularly at night, because the ground was believed to be unholy. A vampire buried at a crossroads would be trapped within the unhallowed ground.
5. Watch Over The Corpse Until it's Buried -- This would prevent animals jumping over the corpse, or moonlight falling on it, two sure ways to doom a corpse to vampirism.
6. Stake The Ground Above The Corpse -- Driving stakes into the ground above it was a precautionary measure. If the corpse became a vampire, it would impale itself as it tried to escape the earth.
7. Bind Hands & Feet -- Binding the corpse was something not to be taken lightly. Tying up the corpse might impede its efforts to get into the land of the dead (relasing its soul) but at the same time was an effective way to keep a vampire from rising up.
8. Place A Headstone Over The Grave -- Headstones were originally used not as a remembrance, but as a weight to prevent a vampire from escaping the grave.
9. Fill The Coffin With Seeds -- According to folklore, the vampire must count each and every seed before it tries to leave the grave.
10. Tie The Corpse With Hundreds Of Tiny Knots -- Similar to the seeds, vampires must untie every single knot (even those that do not bind them) before rising up.
11. Decapitate The Corpse -- If the head is buried in a separate grave, the vampire would be forced to find its head before going out to feed.
12. Stake The Corpse -- Why wait until you're sure they're a vampire?
13. Bury The Corpse With Food -- A well-fed vampire would not need to cannibalize itself or leave the grave to vampirize others.
14. Place Crucifix and Eucharistic Wafer Within The Coffin -- When all else fails, a cross and a piece of the host might do the trick.
Author: Angie McKaig