A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals
A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals
We finally have a blog post that is taking on the real issues. The things you care about. The safety and security that matters. Why bother with locks and security when the intruder is a mythical beast or a magic wielding maniac? How do you stay protected when you are surrounded by a horde of the living dead, and you have tried destroying their brains? This is the blog that I am sure will save your life time, and time again. All I request is that you commit every word, of every sentence, to memory. (I don’t think that is too much to ask). Below are the ten most frightening and monstrous imaginings of pop culture, and the tools to defeat them. If you can protect yourself from the overpowered monsters that filled your nightmares as a child, then some guy with a crowbar should not scare you. Be safe as you fight your monsters.
These animals have a very complicated mythology. In order to be the safest you can be, you will need to do a little research. Most often silver will kill them. Some people think silver bullets are the best option. It is definitely an option, but bullet casting can get pretty complex. It all depends on what type of firearm you have and the time you have to make ammunition. If the werewolves are just picking off members of a hunting party, city, neighborhood, etc. over the course of weeks or days, this should give you some time to prepare. With bullets, things can get a little complicated. And a shotgun blast of silver requires a bit of luck and too much proximity to the lycanthropic beast. See if you can get your hands on a crossbow. Dip some tips in liquid silver, and you can sharpen them from there. A bow and arrow will also be much faster to fashion in the wild, but you will still need silver for the arrow tip. Depending on the allergy to silver, building yourself some sort of silver cage might also work, but it would be a shame to spend the time and money just to be eaten in a gilded cage.
If you fear that your particular brand of lycanthropes are silver resistant, or you just can’t get your hands on any silver, decapitation is your best bet. Most things can be dispatched with good old fashion head removal. If you are trying to do any of this while the werewolf is in human form, be cautious. Some werewolves can turn at will without the full moon. If they can turn at any time, a new moon might be their weakest point. Do some reconnaissance and see when they slip out of the public eye. If this is your friend, you may not want to kill them. This is a good mindset if you want to be eaten by your friend. But in any case, sometimes the curse can be reversed by killing the werewolf that sired them. This is not always effective, and may result in the need to kill two werewolves. Make sure that your friend has not done this to him or herself, and that they are still loyal to the human race. Be careful when battling, as even a scratch might curse you as well. Also, be aware that you will look like a murderer. Werewolves almost exclusively morph back into humans when you kill them.
These monsters have more mythos than even the werewolf. For every rule, power, and weakness the vampire has, it also might not have that. The thing most often rejected is that they can actually transform into bats. Besides therianthropy, every other aspect of the vampire seems to come and go in modern tellings. The best thing to do is be prepared. Most often crosses, garlic, and holy water are not useful. These items are still easy to find, and you can make crosses and holy water quickly enough. These items use religious symbols and iconography because of the vampire’s demonic nature. If your vampires are more mutants, infection based, or something else that does not spawn from hell, then it is very unlikely that any of this will work. Sometimes silver is effective against these monsters (see 1), and other times a well-placed piece of wood will do the trick.
Safety cannot always be found in the sun’s UV rays either. Some vampires are not affected by the sun, and others use familiars to do their bidding. A familiar is a human that wants to be a vampire so they act as a vampire’s lacky (Blade famously hates them). A human working for a vampire might also be hypnotized, which sometimes vampires can do. Don’t invite anyone into your home during a string of vampiric attacks. Simply allow them entrance. If they ask permission, question them. Regardless of their answers do not motion them in or invite them. If they don’t need permission invest in some good unpickable locks. Some vampires have super strength, others don’t. Research and reconnaissance are going to be your biggest allies. Be aware of their siring rituals. It can be as simple as a bite, or as complex as cloaked figures around an alter. If you know how they change, you can anticipate their conversion rates and numbers. Killing a vampire’s sire might also turn them human again. Be wary of tight leather, capes, flowing dresses, pale skin, and gaudy medallions. And when all else fails, decapitation is a safe bet.
Zombies are not as clear-cut as many people think. There are two major kinds of reanimated corpses: brain eaters and the magically resurrected. The brain eaters are the current fad. They don’t all necessarily eat brains, but you can kill them by destroying the brain and they eat people. Magically resurrected zombies are more like (SPOILERS!) what you will find in Game of Thrones. Necromancers are often the mind behind the hordes, and use the undead to carry out their will (also see 5). A magical zombie will not necessarily be defeated by a debraining. Often these monsters can exist as a skeleton. They can also wield weapons and fight as though they were human. For the mystically reanimated, you need to damage them severely enough to break the magic. Depending on the curse, a bite may convert you, but more often than not, the zombie will try to kill you so that you can be resurrected.
Brain eaters are much easier. Make sure that you begin leaving the cities before the mass panic begins. Do not go to the safe spaces or trust the military to protect you. Simply destroy the brains of any zombie until you can make it to a coastline. Find a boat and stick to the coast. As you move toward the Hawaiian, Galapagos, or other lowly populated islands you can dock to collect supplies. Find a piece of land that can sustain the cultivation of animals and agriculture. On the Galapagos islands, most are uninhabited. Some will have a park ranger, and at the most, several tourists. After you have cleared out the island of the infected, you will be free from the threat of the undead. Things that you will need for the island are Alvara plants for sunburns, and animals to breed. You should be able to live comfortably in paradise for the rest of your life, perfectly safe from zombie marauders. Obviously anyone that is bitten or scratched will turn…so use your own moral code to deal with that. And never forget to double tap!
They are by no means easy to protect yourself from or destroy. If you cannot use magic yourself, then you are going to have to use wit, cleverness, and luck. Now not all witches are super powerful. Magic can be very difficult or very easy to use. The other thing is that there are covens. Safety from one witch means at least one vendetta from another. Sometimes they can be identified by their behaviors or found out if you have any connections to the underworld. More often than not, you will not be able to pick them out of a crowd, and once you do, you have a responsibility to send them on their way. Witches are naturally suspicious and quick to act. A long history of persecution has made them a bit jumpy. For that reason (among others), they can be quite dangerous. Do not let them get your name. If a witch has your real name the magical implications can be horrendous.
Try never to meet a witch on her home turf. The best thing that you can do is lure them into traps. Silence them if possible, but be cautious of nonverbal incantations. Although your best hope is ingenuity and intelligence, the witch may try to play head games. They may claim to have powers that they do not, or summon the spirits of your loved ones. If you know what they can do before hand, then you can be prepared for this. The hardest part about witches is the research. Each witch is different, and spells can pretty much do anything. Fire is the best bet is vanquishing this type of monster. Certain religious recitations may also work if the witch gets her power from the devil. Avoid making pacts or deals with them as they often are a “monkey paw” type situation. It is going to seem like a good deal, but it will end with you as an eternal slave doomed to live out immortality regretting that decision. Witches are bad news. The safest thing to do is move far away. Just pack up your things and leave before they notice you.
Ghost rules are a little more regional. The most important thing in your research is to find information about the deceased and the local lore. A good rule to follow is to recognize ghost activity and take immediate action. If children are in the house, make sure that they aren’t talking to themselves, drawing pictures that depict ghost-like figures or acting all possessed. Talking to a ghost is never a good thing unless you are trying to banish it. Never invite ghosts, because they do come when called. This accountable arrival can be used to trap them if you have some magic or scientific way of capturing them. Professionals must inevitably be called, so do some research before things get out of hand. As humans, we often put off asking for help until we are overwhelmed. I always admire a DIY attitude, but you should not fool around with ghosts. Check your local listings to see if there is anyone you can call in the event that there is something strange in your neighborhood. Check local colleges for occult experts, and look for religious leaders with any history of ethereal conflict.
As far as prevention goes, it is hard to turn down a cheap house just because some people died in it. In this economy, you need to take some risks. Youth culture is also excited when they find vintage or antique items because there is some market value for old junk. Yes, murder houses and old items might have ghosts attached to them, but they mostly don’t. I think that these are perfectly fair risks to take, but if the item’s possessors or house’s owners have all gone on to die in horrible ways, use some common sense. Keep the house well lit and if the ghost starts messing with the lights, get out of the house as fast as possible. Once you have incurred the wrath of the ghost you need to see it through to the end. Consult the professionals and do what you can, but these conflicts are as uphill as a battle can get. Ghosts are hard to escape. By and large, they are confined to a specific location, but if angered they may be able to travel with their aggravator.
Mummies usually have a purpose. It might be to recover some artifact that was separated from them, or just your standard prophecy fulfillment, but that purpose can help you stay safe. The mummy, or mummies, are not going to discriminate against the people that wronged them and people just hanging out. The best thing to do is educate yourself about your particular mummy. If there is more than one, you are looking for the one that seems to be leading them (see 8). The leader should look distinct. If the leader has a hat or an amulet, try separating him from those items, as they may be the source of his power. If there was a spell that brought the mummy back to life, then there is a decent chance of finding a spell that will lay them to rest. If it can be prevented, keep people from trying to phonetically read books aloud. Have them read it silently or not at all. Keep known thieves away from ancient crypts or museum displays.
If the mummy resurrection cannot be prevented, try to find out what its motivations may be. Now you may be tempted to offer the mummy help in return for not being murdered. Suppress this urge. This mummy will have no allegiance to you. There is a good chance that you will be pushed into a pit or sacrificed at an altar to fulfill the plan. The lead mummy may also have magic that they can use. This may summon non-mummy henchmen. When dealing with the underlings always use modern weapons and techniques of fighting. If they are said to be invincible, that passage was still written before the invention of the rocket launcher. Be wary of people in your group as they may be mummy sympathizers, the mummy in disguise, or simply mind controlled. Destroy the temple the monster is trying to return to, or the object of power they are looking to obtain. When it comes to mummies, never let them have their rituals, give them their stuff back (if it will lay them to rest), and remember your ABD’s. Always Be Destroying. If the mummy wants a spell book, try and find a spell in it that will defeat it. If such a spell does not exist, destroy the book. If it can’t defeat the mummy, destroy it.
Of course, the simplest solution is to never go near a large body of water, but that is prevention, and it does little to help you when you are in the clutches of a killer ocean dwelling monster. The first thing that is going to happen is that someone in your group is going to disappear. Try and find that person, or their corpse, before you take your next skinny dip. The fewer people that are around you when you go into the water the higher likelihood that it will be you getting eaten. So travel in numbers (if you don’t have friends to safely swim with, trying using the comments section below to find some) and check to see if there are any old books or old people that have more information about the creature(s). When talking to people that seem to know about the monsters be cautious, as they might be the creature’s caretaker. Do not assume that there is only one monster either. Things in the ocean can have schools. If this is the second time this exact thing has happened there are usually at least II of the monster.
Remember that there is some intelligence to these creatures, so they can hunt you and trap you. They are, however, unsympathetic to your cries for mercy and demands for answers. Also, any knowledge you have about the real world equivalents of these creatures may be conveniently ignored or highly important. Try to gather as much info as you can, and that will probably mean that you will need to read actual books because there is no chance that your phone is going to have a strong enough signal to read a Wikipedia entry if it already can’t dial out to 911. If your phone does have a signal, call 911. It is the police’s responsibility to assist in emergency situations like this. However, if the police do arrive, make sure that they are not dismissive of the danger because that is worse than having no cops at all.
One of the key things to remember is that these things will most often consume you if not bite you. Metal plating is going to slow you down when you end up falling into the water, so the best protection is going to be a long stick or spear gun if you have it. Something that will keep it from biting you. Ideally something that can keep the jaws pried open long enough for an explosive to be forced down the beast’s throat. Account for the strength of the rod based on the creature type (assume at least 100 times stronger than the real world equivalent animal). Explosives work the best because it is just too difficult to use a weapon underwater. Remember that regardless of your swimming ability, it is never going to give you the edge in a deep sea battle. Explosions are your best friend.
Aliens are hard to protect yourself against, but an alien is not necessarily an alien invasion. A hyper-intelligent single lone alien or a small outpost of them is a similar to witches (see 7). Aliens bent on taking over the Earth or adding us to a cosmic zoo, often will have scientific equipment that makes them as good as magic. The plus side is that you should be able to use these devices as well. If you cannot, then you are back to the drawing board. The extraterrestrials might have a weakness as simple as getting wet or getting the flu.
Safety will come from not being alone, in the company of a loved one, an enemy, or crazy old man. If anything goes down in the presence of these people no one is going to believe the story about aliens (especially if one of you goes missing as a result). Groups are preferred, if you can keep track of all of the members. Keeping a line of site with your party is especially important if the aliens can disguise themselves as humans. If there are any lights or sounds try and stay indoors. Abductions are most commonly done outside so there is less of a sign of struggle. Use the monster’s desire to stay covert to your advantage.
There might also be beastly aliens that are just brutish incomprehensible animals. These kinds of monstrous star travelers are the worst case scenario. If they want anything, it is just to destroy. They may be a warrior race that hunt other species for sport, or genetically altered alien weapons. The point is that these creatures are not concerned with discovery or domination. With the singular purpose of animalistic survival, the goal is much smaller. With a smaller scope in focus, they are much harder to distract or escape from. The only option seems to be to find an armory.
You will need military weaponry and the knowledge of how to use it. That means that unless you know how to drive a tank, leave the tank where you found it. The rule does seem to be that if there is more than one alien they are easier to kill, so be wary of single aliens. If a beastly alien is on its own, then it will be almost impossible to kill. Running away will inevitably end with you finding an alien stowaway. After it is dead, dismember it and burn the parts. It might have evolved so that this does not even finish it, but it is your best option.
Most people don’t have a giant robot suit, but if you do, I would suggest using that. Other than going toe to toe with a colossal killer, going underground is the safest bet. Buildings are going to fall, and small homes are going to get crushed. Avoid houses and other structures could also be made unsafe by tremors caused by the creature’s stomping. Some type of fallout shelter is preferable. The fewer people the better. The scale of the monster can be used to your advantage. We have all seen the eye that dilates right by the human being, and the eye is the same size as the person. What that means is that if there are less of you scurrying away then you are much harder to see. It is possible that these oversized monsters will have smaller sized creatures that they can dispatch for the smaller groups of people. This is the worst case scenario.
Large monster and small monsters add up to a whole lot of running. And at the end of the day, do what you can. Leave it to the military and that one crackpot scientist that saw this whole thing coming and lost their job because of it. What you need to do is survive. Try to avoid flying, because if the plane gets knocked out of the sky it is bad news, even if you have a parachute. The ocean might be safe, but most of the time these things seem to come from there. If you think it could go in the water, don’t bother. Stay on dry land and get in a car that is built to off road. The most important thing is that you get as far away as possible from the monster by the time the military tries to drop all the bombs they can on it (another reason to look for a fallout shelter).
This is going to be a test of your home security, assuming that you are indeed at home. If you are at a camp, camping, checking out an abandoned building, just moving in, or anything else where you have had no time to work on your security layers, you will need to adapt your strategy. The best thing that you can do is go on the offensive. Running does not work for this class of killer, and hiding just ends with you being startled before your inevitable death. Hunker down in the closest thing you can find to a panic room. Now it doesn’t matter what you do, this thing is going to get into the room. Try to control that moment so that you can get the jump on him. If they really can’t get into the room the next move will be to lure you out. This can be done by taking a hostage, the police finally showing up, a friend showing up, or something else that mixes hope with dread. Stay put. If they try to smoke you out don’t give up on the plan. When you leave the room, find another room and do the same thing. Whenever you are traveling remember to check behind doors, and keep your back against a wall while continuously looking over both shoulders.
As far as weapons go, anything will work. Try to get something with some range if possible, and think about the killer’s weapon(s) of choice. Do not drop this weapon at any point. If you find a body or see a loved one, you can embrace them or check for a pulse with one hand. If you can best this killer there is no way of know what stage of invincibility they have, so decapitation is the safest bet. If you are is some sort of alternate plane of reality or existence, the rules are going to vary. In any case defeating this brand of monster person ultimately means nothing. Lightning might reanimate them, their souls might possess people, it may be an imposter. And if they just have to go to prison they will find a way to bypass prison locks and escape. Anything could happen to make sure that this is not over.
If you happen to beat one of these characters it won’t last long. The best bet seems to be to get out of the country. Jason has yet to go to Paris, and it is hard to picture Michael Myers getting on a plane to South Africa. This brand of the killer can get to the city (as we all saw in Jason Takes Manhattan) but a foreign shore would be way less probable (off continent preferably). Interplanetary travel is becoming a possibility, but I would not recommend that. These guys love going into space. If you don’t mind living as far as possible away from the most traumatic experience of your life, it should keep you safe (unless the killer can move on some alternate plane of existence). I can not stress this part enough: Do not go back home! If you want a reunion, to visit your roots, or your therapist recommends it, just don’t do it. The people that live are the ones that don’t come back for the sequels. Definitely not full proof, but it is going to give you the best shot.
“Never hesitate, always decapitate.” Words to live by (if you are in the business of monster slaying). Keep up to date on your research, and never be afraid to ask for help. Some people believe that human connection slows you down when you are trying to survive a supernatural life or death situation, but I would disagree. Allies are our strongest line of defense against the bloodsuckers, sea beasts, and magic users. Humanity survives because of its ability to form complex social structures. The one thing that we have over the monsters is our humanity. Gather your friends, your torches, and your pitchforks. There is safety in the mob (exception: see 2). Seriously, though, it is much easier to protect yourself from criminals and burglars, then it is impossible creatures. Take some time to upgrade your physical security. Stay safe from the mystical and the mundane this month. And have a very Happy Halloween!