Vampire Apotropaics Part 3: Undead Bondage

In this segment learn how carpets, oil or a bowl of cold water can keep a vampire in his place.

This segment of vampire aprotopaics deals with constraint or restrictive measures. The goal is to make sure the undead cannot move or leave its grave. The most obvious implement were ropes. In some areas of Eastern Europe the knees were bound or the whole body tightly tied with rope. Finally, binding the corpse in a carpet completely immobilized it, thus preventing the vampire from rising from the dead.

Sharp items, meant to injure or weaken the vampire were also common. Many corpses were buried with knives or the more infamous sickle (possible the reason we associate death with a sickle). Usually the sharp item was positioned to cause damage to the undead. With the sickle, it was placed over the neck so that if the vampire should rise, he would slice off his head.

A 19th century image of the reaper

A 19th century image of the reaper

In Morocco steel, iron, or silver daggers were left in the grave while the Slavs used hairpins. Thorns also did the job, though being much smaller, these were inserted in key points: under the tongue or in the navel. Some corpses were bound with thorny briars. On possible reason for this was to keep the body from swelling (a key sign of vampirism). In Eastern Prussia, a bowl of cold water was placed under the boards were the corpse lay in rest. Additionally, tin spoon were laid on top to weigh the body down.

Explorer VI:Vampire ForensicsNGC US- Ep Code: 4816

In 2006, a team excavated a mass grave from the 16th century in Venice. They discovered a skeleton with a brick jammed between it’s teeth. Possibly another restraint to keep the vampire from attacking.

Iron has always been though to repel evil. In Romania, iron forks were sometimes stabbed into the heart, eyes, and breast of the deceased while the Bulgarians drove a red-hot poker through the heart. Boiling oil, poured around the grave, was believed to prevent the vampire form leaving. So too, bowls of of excrement and poison.

Sometimes just ignoring a vampire was enough to protect yourself. In Romanian lore, it was believed that vampires could only ask a question one time. The superstition arose that you should only answer someone if they call upon you three times. If you answer a vampire’s request, then he will have power over you.

In Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me Mustafa (played by Will Ferrel) must be asked a question three time for him to answer it. Not really a vampire, but it sprang to mind. Click the picture for a link to the scene on YouTube.

In “Austin Powers The Spy Who Shagged Me” Mustafa (played by Will Ferrel) must be asked a question three time for him to answer it. Not really a vampire, but it sprang to mind. Click the picture for a link to the scene on YouTube.

In the final segment, we explore ways to destroy the vampire, including but not limited to drinking ashes, a needle, and a sock (yes, a sock).

Tim Kane

10 of the Worst Reality TV Concepts and Catchphrases

I watch a lot of reality TV. Not because I adore it. Mostly because I hardly watch TV at all these days and there’s little commitment with these shows. You can watch one or two episodes and see all you need. I was recently watching Craft Wars (with Tori Spelling) and caught the most ridiculous elimination catchphrase: “Pack up your glue gun. You’re done in this craft war.”

This got me thinking. There have been as many lousy reality TV concepts as there are bad elimination catch phrases. Here are few that, thankfully, no one has tried yet.

10 American’s Top Politician
Honestly, this is how we should do elections. More people would watch and probably vote. However, it would truly underscore the shallowness of our political system.

Elimination Catchphrase: The votes are in… Your campaign is over.

Will Ferrel and Zach Galifianaki compete for congress.

9 Barista Wars
I’m guessing baristas would battle over who could whip the best foam on a cappuccino or churn out the frostiest frappe.

Elimination Catchphrase: You’re frappe was forgettable.

8 Top Neighborhood Watch
Inspired by the movie, The Watch, perhaps warring neighborhood watches could compete over the best way to foil car thieves and burglars.

Elimination Catchphrase: Pack your flashlight and leave the neighborhood.

The Watch movie starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade.

7 Top Skating Pro
Yes, we have the X Games, but what about the drama behind the half-pipe? Here skaters would compete for the best moves and the most stellar personality.

Elimination Catchphrase: You’re ollie ollie outta here. (Ollie is the name of a basic movie in skateboarding.)

6 Project Gossip
Rumors always plague us wherever we go. Yet who can dish it out the best? Finally a Reality TV that has snarky back-biting during AND after each competition.

Elimination Catchphrase: The dirt you dished didn’t stick. Time to clean up you game.

5 Hacked
Gardeners compete each show to create the best landscape. There’s a special segment with a mystery shrub. Ooo, so exciting.

Elimination Catchphrase: Pack your shears and mow. (Can you hear the rim shot? I can.)

4 Garbage Wars
Dueling sanitation workers compete to collect unusual trash items in the shortest time. Imagine Fear Factor but as a job.

Elimination Catchphrase: You’ve been kicked to the curb.

3 America’s Next Top Teacher
As a teacher myself, it sometimes feels like this. Here we give a set of teachers the worst students, no supplies, and a cramped room to teach in. (Hey, it’s called reality, people.)

Elimination Catchphrase: You have a failing grade. You’ve flunked out of school.

2 Project Spreadsheet
Finally, a show that explores the devil may care life of accountants. Each episode sees which accountants can make it through various financial challenges and… (wait for it) come back in black.

Elimination Catchphrase: You’re bottom line didn’t hold up. You’re downsized.

Although Dwight Schrute isn’t an accountant, he certainly could do the job.

1 Top Surgeon
Life or death. Who wouldn’t watch? One slip of the scalpel and we lose the patient. At least they pay the patient volunteers well. Plus you get to be on TV.

Elimination Catchphrase: You didn’t make the cut. Pack your scalpel and exit the hospital.

Forever watching…

Tim Kane