A stake through the heart?


Okay, so we know that a stake through the heart kills a vampire.

I want to know WHY?

If a vampire is “undead” and no longer has a beating heart, how would a stake through the heart kill him?

So when I started writing my vampire story (Awakened By Death is what I’m calling it) I researched this heartbeat thing.

First , we all agree that the point of staking the heart is to stop the heart from pumping blood right? Yes. Okay. So, you’re being chased by a vampire you just happen to have some sharp object and are alive and close enough to shove that object into the vampire’s chest. Oh Yeah! You just killed your attacker, right? But wait! His heart doesn’t beat. He glares at you, pulls that stake out of his own chest and proceeds to see you as a steak.  Yummy, a fiesty one, he thinks. So all you accomplished was really pissing him off. NOW you’re in for it. Prepare to die at the hands of an Angry and hungry vampire.

OR! Maybe you are lucky and our beliefs of vampires are wrong and he does have a beating heart. Not beating as your’s or mine (some 60 – 72 beats per minute, more like under 25 beats per minute) but beating none the less. That stake sticking out of his chest, stops him for enough time that you are able to get away. (HOPEFULLY) We all know vampires have incredible rates of recovery.

Many ancient legends believed in living vampires, so we would have to agree there is a chance of a beating heart. The idea of killing a vampire with a stake only makes sense if the heart beats. Also we have to think why a vampire needs to feed off living blood. Most agree that he needs the blood of the living to keep him in a state of reanimation. Once the blood he’s fed off of gets to the stomach, what happens?

Somehow that blood has to move from the stomach to the rest of the body to allow him to move. I read somewhere that the muscles move the blood to various places in the body, instead of the heart. However, that would mean (under normal circumstances) that the muscles would have to spasm to push the blood through the veins. Yet, we never see or hear of a vampire having constant muscle twitches in able to move. Normally the muscles aren’t able to do that job of moving the blood, so either that was very wrong or Vampires have some special rule for their blood flow.

Please don’t tell me they don’t need blood moving through the body! They would not be able to move if blood was not in their whole body some way or other. Unless you want to say Vampires are a fictional character and as such don’t have to follow any of biology’s rules! In which case I would smile slyly and turn. “To each his own.” But, if you are like me and want to believe in the possibility of a true creature…

Leave me your thoughts. Lets get deep into this.

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14 thoughts on “A stake through the heart?

  1. hastywords says:

    If I were to build a vampire he would have a soul and his soul would be housed in his inanimate heart but if pierced his soul would escape. So basically his soul is trapped forever unless he is killed and it escapes to hell….lol. And as far as needing blood I would make it because they hunger for the evil part of any human and it is the evil that animates them like a battery in a machine! lol thanks you made me think!

  2. Carrie says:

    When I was younger I studied the different vampire lore out there. I loved the Vampire Encyclopedia book I had found in the library. Have you had a chance to check it out? If not here http://books.google.com/books/about/The_vampire_encyclopedia.html?id=1FjWAAAAMAAJ

    • mari wells says:

      I haven’t seen that one. I read a ton of different books back when i was a tween/ teenager, and again when I started writing my vamp novel. I’ve always loved Vampires too. I’ll look into it. Thanks

  3. SpidrGoddess says:

    In the tv show Supernatural, staking a vampire’s heart will not kill it. One must sever the head from the body for the beast to die.

  4. Keri Peardon says:

    My vampires won’t survive a stake to the chest (or a shotgun blast) because they really are alive (although in a state of semi-hibernation) and they need their heart to pump blood. Too big a wound (anywhere) and they will bleed out and die before they can heal.

    Folkloric vampires, though, tended to get a stake through the heart because the heart was thought to be the seat of the soul and a vampire was either 1) a dead body with a soul still animating it, or 2) a dead body with a demon/evil soul animating it. Puncture the heart and you’ll release the soul.

    That didn’t always work, though. In the case of Arnold Paul (Paole), he got up the night after the staking, pulled the stake out of his heart, and proceeded to angrily beat people with it. The next day they decapitated the body and burned it. (Come back from that, beyatch.)

    Most stakes had to be a specific wood–not just anything would do. Holly and whitethorn and a few other woods were popular because they were considered holy (linked both to old pagan religions and Christian myths). The holiness of the wood helped with the release of the soul.

    (I kid you not, I wrote my senior history thesis in college on vampire mythology. LOL)

  5. Victoria Salter says:

    I don’t think it’s right to kill vampires at all, unless, of course, it is absolutely necessary. How would you like to have your flesh or skin burned, be poisoned, have your skin cut or branded or be stabbed through the heart?
    Vampires are not always evil. Watch Tim Burton’s movie “Dark Shadows”. The vampire in that film, defends his family and, possibly, others as well against an evil witch and saves a girl who had been falling from a cliff by biting her to give her some of his abilities.
    Watch “The Little Vampire”. In that movie, the human character is saved from being hit by a truck by a vampire. Another vampire also saves him from being left in a coffin by a vampire hunter, of all the people.
    It may be true that vampires are scared of crosses and crucifixes, but I think that this is kind of understandable considering that they have supposedly had them jabbed through their hearts so much over the years. Would you be scared if someone were to point a gun at you?
    I am convinced that something must be added to Holy water to make it burn vampires since being blessed by anyone, even a priest or preacher, would probably not make it hurt them like it supposedly does. I am not saying that the Holy water that you may see in churches is not pure, but surely the stuff that the vampire hunters use must have something else added to it?
    Yes, they do feed off of others, but, if they do exist, they may not have a choice but to do so. If they are real, there are probably at least a few good vampires out there who only do this in order to survive.
    Please at least watch the movies that I mentioned above before you go vampire hunting. Please do not kill vampires, or anyone else for that matter, unless absolutely necessary.

    • mari wells says:

      I don’t think any one should go around hunting vampires.
      I have seen “The Little Vampire” years ago, I haven’t watched “Dark Shadows” yet.
      I do think that some are “good” or try to be good. The vampires I write about (well, some of them) don’t feed from humans, (some think of humans like a hamburger.)
      I was taking mostly about old legend and how they don’t make sense (some times they’re just plain funny. Read my post Are Vampires OCD?

      I haven’t ever thought of a vampire being afraid of a cross or stake, etc; but you pose a good logical reason as to why they would be afraid. If that is the case. My vampires can only be killed by being decapitated then burned. The only one capable of such a task is another vampire.

      Holy water (as my understanding) has a large amount of salt added to it, then the priest prays over it.

      Please don’t misunderstand me, I am in no way trying to say vampires are lousy and deserve to die. I think they’re …(speechless, awesome, amazing, fascinating, no word is acceptable. They’re that cool.)

      This post was meant to get us all thing about the fact that a vampire’s heart doesn’t beat it is accepted, yet a stake through the heart is an agreed on method of killing a creature who supposedly doesn’t have a working beating heart. In my opinion that’s a strange. If there is a situation that is kill or be killed, you are in pretty deep.

  6. old.frt says:

    You mean beats per minute–not beats per second, I hope.

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