How to Catch a Vampire

In Wes Craven's 2000 film, Dracula 2000, Van Helsing (Christopher Plummer) came up with an innovative way to trap Dracula (Gerard Butler) by making use of the basics. Leading the demonic sucker into a dark London alleyway, Van Helsing disappeared into a doorway. Dracula, attempting to follow him, paused, sensing something was afoot.

At that point, Van Helsing reappeared in Dracula's view as he reached out in front of him to discover that what he was staring at was a mirror. Given that he casts no reflection, Van Helsing was actually standing behind Dracula and immediately brought down iron bars around the fiend to form a prison cell. How clever is that?

Nailing a Nefarious Nightcrawler

For the most part, one of the best methods for catching vampires is to corner them in such a way that you can expose them to sunlight, torch them, or even drown them, as was done to Christopher Lee's Dracula in Dracula: Prince of Darkness. The key is making use of whatever weaponry or on-the-fly ingenuity you can conjure up at that very moment.

In the 1979 Dracula, for example, Dracula's last stand in the hold of a ship gave Van Helsing the opportunity to entangle and hoist the sucker upward to the top of the mast to burn in the sun's rays. In Dracula 2000, a similar method was employed, with Mary Van Helsing wrapping cable around Dracula's neck and falling with him off the edge of a building. She watched from below as Dracula (aka Judas Iscariot) dangled from the building and burnt with the rising sun.

Like garlic, the rowan tree, commonly known as the mountain ash, is believed to repel the undead. Its wood is used to make crosses or in gravesites to keep a vampire at bay. Also, those who avoid going near mountain ash can be viewed as vampiric suspects.

Bait and Switch

For many literary and cinematic vampires, especially in classic films, the standard form of destruction is finding the vampire at rest and staking it through the heart. That tidy setup doesn't necessarily work on all modern-day vampires. The most important concept every vampire hunter needs to grasp, just like any hunter, soldier, or chess master, is how to assess and capitalize on your opponent's weaknesses.

For the sci-fi nosferatu it may require a genetically self-mutating form of intergalactic Ebola. For the comedic berserker it could mean dressing like Bozo the Clown and shooting a holy water pistol. For the folkloric incarnation you might have to reanimate its natural predator. Whatever the situation, it's safe to say that there are no steadfast rules in destroying a nefarious neckaholic. The best you can do is start with the basics and go from there to find what works.

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