Vampires and Silver

by Vicky
(Tumkur, Karnataka, India)

Question:
I heard that vampires are injured when they come in contact with silver. If it's true, then like silver are there any more materials that vampires cannot touch? Can you give the list of them?

Answer:
Silver has a unique place in vampire mythology as the single, solid, naturally occurring substance that can injure a vampire. The ultraviolet rays of sunlight can harm a vampire, as can fire or holy water, but these are all substances that have to be "created" in order to be used. We can create machines that emit ultraviolet rays, we can bless water, and we can start fires, but all of these require planning, special spiritual connections, or specific chemical reactions in order to exist. Silver is a naturally occurring mineral that, in and of itself, can be dangerous to vampires.

Why silver and not, say, gold or copper or any other mineral? Well, no one can say, as we have not been able to sit a vampire down and do any scientific studies on the matter, but for whatever reason silver has been known for thousands of years across thousands of cultures to be a very potent material against several supernatural monsters, such as vampires and werewolves.

For whatever scientific or chemical reason, silver has a unique effect upon vampires when it comes in contact with their skin. Not only does it burn, but it also has a paralyzing effect, making it so a vampire cannot pull the silver off of itself. It's somewhat similar to the way humans become paralyzed by electrical currents - the muscles seize and the person becomes unable to disconnect themselves from the source. While in both cases this is not necessarily deadly in small amounts, there is the possibility of major injury with enough exposure.

The burns caused by silver are minor compared to those caused by sunlight. Silver has the effect, though, of slowing a vampire's ability to heal so greatly that over enough time it could effectively destroy a vampire. The paralysis effect makes it so much more dangerous than other materials in that a vampire could be incapacitated simply by chaining them up with silver chains, handcuffs, or wires. Despite a vampire's incredible strength, the paralysis effect makes it so that they cannot break free of these chains without outside assistance.

While there are other materials and objects that serve as vampire repellents, none come close to matching the effects of silver.

For a list of vampire repellents, click here.

-Mike

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