How to reverse vampirism

Contrary to the literary tradition created by Bram Stoker, there is no precedence in folk belief to support the notion that it is necessary for the victim of a vampire to drink the blood of the vampire in order to become a vampire himself.

But, quite to the contrary, there are cases where the blood of the vampire was used to cure his victim of the illness inflicted by the vampire and/or to prevent the victim from becoming a vampire himself after he dies.

One of the best ways to keep a vampire from drinking your blood was to drink the vampire’s blood first. Blood can be baked into bread, smeared on a potential victim, or simply mixed with brandy and imbibed. The notion was that the vampire would avoid the taint of its own blood when looking for victims. (Barber, 1988,64)

When slaughtered, a great deal of blood pours from this voracious vampire, which is mixed with flour and made into bread. If this bread is eaten then one is free from vampire persecution. The significance of how the blood is consumed must not be forgotten either.

The mixing of blood and bread is very much like the sacrament. In this case the blood and “body” of the vampire give (or restore) life. In the case of ashes, rather than blood, there is simply a reverse; the ashes represent the vampire’s body while the water they are mixed in is the “blood.” 

Where the vampire takes life by drinking the victim’s blood, so here the victim takes the vampire’s life by drinking his blood, thus taking back that which was lost.

In both Romania and Rhode Island, there was also a related practice: fumigation by the smoke from the burning heart or corpse.

In her article, The Vampire in Romania cited above, Agnes Murgoci wrote that, in the Romananti district:

“The heart was cut out, and one piece after another burnt. Last of all the heart was burnt , and those who came near so that the smoke passed over them, and protected them from evil.”