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A Clove of Garlic: 9 Reasons Why Vampires Fear It!

Posted by Matthew Garlic Shaker / garlicshaker.com on

Coming in contact with a clove of garlic is one of the vampire’s greatest fears. But why does this lore exist? Certainly other Nosferatu fighting weapons seem more plausible and dangerous than a vegetable. A stake through the heart would hurt anyone, and the cross certainly evokes a powerful iconography that nearly everyone can understand. If you don't wear sunblock you could get a very serious sunburn. Really anybody can understand fearing these things to some extent. But why do vampires fear garlic? 

It is complex to understand why a vampire can be repelled away by such a seemingly benign herb (Yes, garlic is both a vegetable and an herb). Just throw some garlic in a vampires face and it will go running like a baby. It has often been speculated that vampires are afraid of garlic due to the strong smell. They have also been purported to fear spring onions and even leeks because they are both strong smelling like garlic (this sounds like a great soup to me). But this rationale seems extremely unlikely given the power of a vampire. Also, vampires live in coffins and certainly those must be a quite musty. Vampires are very powerful mythological creatures that have a multitude of special talents. It seems very unlikely that a creature that can fly, turn into a bat, drinks blood, and lives forever as an immortal would cower at the sight of some garlic bread with parmesan cheese. I can’t see Bela Lugosi screaming like a little school kid, and running off in a tizzy at the first sight of someone eating a tasty slice of takeout pizza from Garlic Jim’s! Mmmmm…. Pizza! Makes me hungry just thinking about it.

Garlic has historically been used to repel blood sucking insects in gardens. It is commonly grown to act as a natural insect repellent because the pungent aroma acts like natures deodorant. Even ticks flee at a whiff of the delicious stinking rose! There are some insecticides that are made of blended garlic extracts just to ensure they work well. However, leeches are actually attracted to garlic and will attach to a hand covered in garlic oils 30 seconds faster than a clean hand. So it seems there is actually some contradiction that garlic repels blood suckers. Who knew! Some people wonder if vampires are even real (not me, I have a couple ex’s that I’m certain drained my blood or at least I felt like they had when I looked at my bank account). Maybe I hadn’t planted enough garlic around my house.

Garlic is a super strong natural antibiotic that kills most infections if used properly. In fact, prior to the invention of antibiotics garlic was one of the primary ways people killed bacterial infections. In all vampire belief systems and lore, except for Russian (Vodka anyone?), vampires are created by an infection of the blood and spend eternity draining the blood of others to squash there endless thirst for the red stuff. It could be that because garlic has such strong curative properties the myths around vampire’s fears of garlic are founded in their fear of dying by the cure. That would actually make some sense. Garlic could cure the disease that afflicts them which would consequently kill the vampire. Alliumphobia is the name of the phobia of the fear of garlic. Vampires obviously have this phobia badly. It seems strange that there is a phobia for a fear that a mythological creature has for a vegetable, but who I am to judge? Kidding… people get alliumphobia too.

Ancient ways to keep off evil

The use of garlic is known all over the world, not only as a tasty accent to foods, but also as a charm against evil spirits. Even in places such as China or Malaysia, people smear the forehead of their children to protect them from Vampires, and in the West Indies too, garlic is used as a means of protection against the evil practices and magical spells of Witches and Sorcerers.The question is, if garlic can be effectively used to keep away a vampires that are on the loose then where does this belief originate? Garlic was used even when a church conducted ceremonies in order to keep off evil spirits. vampires are greatly associated with evil, this being the main reason they are kept away by the garlic. Garlic was used for more than just fighting vampires in the past, it was also used for keeping away werewolves, ward off various evil spirits, and to protect against demonic possession. People believed that by hanging some garlic bulbs around the neck that it would protect against nearly every form of evil. Crushing and rubbing some garlic on the horns of a bull would even protect their cattle from the walking dead.

During the early Victorian era of witch burning, wolf hunts, and when vampire killing was everywhere, holy men thought that what looked human, but behaved differently must be a demon, vampire, or witch. It was during this time that traveling vendors saw the potential for making money, and they promoted garlic as the ultimate weapon for keeping vampires away. As a result, people started to wear garlic like a necklace everyday because the prevalent lore stated that vampires drank blood from the neck. They sold a lot of garlic due to this promotion and fear mongering. Eventually it was such a common belief that garlic was a great weapon against evil that it remained unchallenged for hundreds of years. During this time people mostly wore garlic rather than eat it. Their spaghetti must have been pretty bland!

The use of a garlic clove to defend against monsters predates most modern history. Garlic (Allium Sativum) has been used as a charm against evil and dates back the ancient Egyptians. They believed in a Vampire-like ghost that killed sleeping children by sucking up their breath. The protection that was used against the attacks of this murderous monster was a wreath of garlic.

In Romania, garlic is also a weapon of importance in the everlasting battle against Vampires. Romanians used to make certain that they ate garlic every day for their protection. They also smeared garlic on the windows and the doors of their houses, on the gates to their farmyards, and even on the horns of their cattle. They believed that these Vampires had a great fear of garlic. If a deceased person was thought to be in danger of becoming a Vampire one way of protecting them from turning was with garlic. This was done in order to prevent evil spirits from entering the dead body. Another anti-Vampire practice that we can find in Romania is the anointing of the corpse, especially the heels, with a mixture of oil, fat, incense, gunpowder and garlic.

Many spiritual practices and religions believe that decalcifying the pineal gland (also known as the third eye) helps people who want to tune their spiritual antenna and refine their pineal gland . The pineal gland is a tiny pea-shaped gland located in the geometric center of the brain that is believed to improve health functions and self-awareness. It is believe by some Eastern and Earth based religions that garlic can detox and decalcify the pineal gland allowing for a sense of all knowing euphoria and oneness. This decalcifying process according to these ancient practices are supposed to allow positive energies in the body and ward off evil spirits which would likely include vampires. 

Hollywood and Garlic 

In the movies, garlic has often been used as a vampire hunter’s weapon. Hollywood has a long history of perpetuating the vampire garlic mythology. In The Lost Boys, a great film about vampires, the characters played by Corey Haim and Corey Feldman draped themselves in necklaces made of garlic bulbs prior to engaging in the final battle against the vampires who plagued their town of Santa Cruz, California. I love that movie!

In literature, Bram Stoker was the first to use garlic as a repellent to vampires, in his classic novel, Dracula. Many people believe that the idea of garlic as a deterrent to vampires began because they suck blood like mosquitoes do. Garlic was often used to repel mosquitoes during Bram Stokers era and before the era of chemical preparations and bug sprays. This excerpt from Dracula states: “We went into the room, taking the [garlic] with us. The Professor's actions were certainly odd and not to be found in any pharmacopeia that I ever heard of. First he fastened up the windows and latched them securely. Next, taking a handful of the flowers, he rubbed them all over the sashes, as though to ensure that every whiff of air that might get in would be laden with the garlic smell. Then with the wisp he rubbed all over the jamb of the door, above, below, and at each side, and round the fireplace in the same way.It all seemed grotesque to me, and presently I said, "Well, Professor, I know you always have a reason for what you do, but this certainly puzzles me. It is well we have no sceptic here, or he would say that you were working some spell to keep out an evil spirit.""Perhaps I am!" He answered quietly as he began to make the wreath which Lucy was to wear round her neck.” Lucy must have felt safe after that!

Why vampires are terrified of garlic (and why they probably should be!):

1. Vampires fear garlic because of the powerful sweet smell.

2. Garlic can be a cause of Alliumphobia in vampires that is mainly cause by the curative properties of the allicin compound.

3. Vampires are blood suckers that will not suck blood that contains antibacterial from garlic. This is because they suffer from Poporphyritic hemophilia, which is a deficiency of red blood cells that will led to killing of the bacteria they need to live

4. Vampires are allergic to garlic bulbs and don't like Italian food.

5. Garlic will make the blood poisonous for the blood sucking vampires, thus making them to stay away from people who have eaten it.

6. Garlic is a natural remedy for many diseases, including antibacterial properties which makes the vampires scared since it may provide and prevent infections.

7. Vampire’s blood is infected with a property that can be cured by garlic. 

8. Historically, garlic is a major way to keep off anything associated with evil spirits or even vampires and other blood sucking insects.

9. Vampires do not like shinny and reflective items, which is the case for garlic bulbs for they are white and shiny during the night.

How to use garlic to keep away vampires

When you need to keep away a vampire using garlic make sure you have an adequate supply. Don’t run out for goodness sake there are vampires around! Buy bags and bags of it! Hang cloves of garlic on every entry to your house. This includes the chimneys, doors, windows and the gate entries. Ensure that you have also rubbed some on your keyhole to ensure that the vampires cannot peep into your house and then hang a garlic wreath around everyone’s neck. Eat some linguine with clam sauce, and double up on the garlic. After you do all of this you are good and somewhat vampire safe. Start inviting vampires over because they can't touch you. Those wimpy vampires don’t stand a chance against you now. You are now the Garlic King! You can do anything! For more fun ways to have a good time  visit our garlic fun page! To fight off vampires it is best to use garlic that is free of its skin. Its so much stronger skin free when fighting off the undead. Watch this peeling garlic video and a Garlic Shaker to your arsenal! Dracula will run away like a baby.  

For further reference visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire

  • A Clove of Garlic
  • Vampires
  • Vampire Unfriendly
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