‘Apotropaic’ is a word generally used to mean something that ward off demons and other evil spirits, but is often used to describe the various methods of stopping a vampire.
There are many methods used by many different major world cultures. While there are many specific categories noted here, most apotropaics fall into four general categories.
- Appeasing’ apotropaics pacify the vampire and remove its urge to kill and spread disease.
- Countering’ apotropaics nullify a harmful ability of a vampire by using a natural substance with a similar, more powerful ability (such as drinking a vampire’s blood to keep it from drinking yours, or countering the disease-causing stench of a vampire with garlic).
- Constricting’ apotropaics work by leaving the vampire unable to move, and therefore unable to leave his grave and spread death and destruction.
- Destructive apotropaics keep vampires in check by killing them.