After watching the CW’s Supernatural and realizing how much of that is used in horror movies, I thought it might be useful to put together an everyman’s version of the Winchesters’ trunk- a survival guide against the most popular, and common, movie monsters. Specifically: Vampires, werewolves, ghosts and demons.
- Silver weapons (bullets, knives, arrows
Werewolves and skinwalkers are both variations of a motif found throughout myth- the idea of a man turning into an animal. Because of this, they are categorized as demonic and Pagan, thus can be weakened by the most accessible of holy materials. This is one of the few constants of werewolves, from 1941’s “The Wolfman” to the “Underworld” series. Vampires are typically seen as people who sinned enough to bear this curse, and thus are sometimes perceptible to these items. This is the case in some of the Dracula series’ and the Blade series. It’s difficult to find silver bullets, you tend to have to order them online, but smelting them shouldn’t be a problem. You can find the molds very easily, and the smelting process is extremely easy. Silver knives and arrow-tips can be found in any hunting store.
- Salt (rock, iodized, sea, anything)
Salt, because of its solid whiteness, is typically seen as a symbol of spiritual purity. Demons, by definition, are creatures of spiritual corruption and poltergeists, by their malignant nature, are seen as a subcategory of demon. Salt has also been known to have acidic qualities, and this works on bacteria-based aliens. Vampires, again, are associated with demons oftentimes, although this one is usually avoided because of its ridiculousness. However, it was used in a couple episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is probably the easiest on the list to acquire.
- Wooden Stakes (efficiency depends on the tree and the monster)
Many cultures tend to give nature a certain Magical quality, and this remained in the Evangelizing of Europe. Thus, anything Natural has holy qualities, thus working against certain Demonic beings (because there’s nothing natural about sin), and church tradition associates anything non-Christian with Devil Worship. This is probably the most commonly used in cinema, from the Universal “Dracula” with Bela Lugosi, to Buffy, to “The Last Man on Earth”, even to “Daybreakers”. Typically, for Oak is more accessible. Some Pagan deities are said to be killable with these things, although that depends on the kind of wood. Usually, those kinds are hard to get a hold of. If there’s a Pagan God that wants your head, my advice is to run, tuck your head between your legs, and kiss your ass goodbye. But, if you’re like me, and would prefer to die kicking and screaming, try to run to your nearest library and find what kind of wood would make the best stakes for that deity.
- Holy Water
Water is the most important chemical to life, and is the most magical as a result. If it’s been blessed, or goes through Hallowed Ground, then it becomes that much holier. This is just as common as stakes, and only slightly more difficult than salt. Stockpile this stuff, and people might look at you sideways, but it’ll come in handy if a vampire decides to make you into a snack. You see this in almost every vampire movie- “Lost Boys” even used it in Super Soakers.
- Molotov ingredients
The most destructive thing in nature is fire. For millennia we’ve used it in our weapons, and monsters are far from exempt from this. The Molotov cocktail is probably the most easily made form of incendiary IED. You can get the ingredients at your local supermarket. All you really need is a highly-flammable alcohol (Everclear, Vodka, and Whiskey work the best), any cloth (one Bandanna can be used for at least 4), and a lighter or box of matches. I wouldn’t suggest storing it in your kit ready to use, as they’re most effective with the lids removed and cloth only absorbs so much. This is something I wouldn’t suggest buying the part at one time, or at least in the same place. Store Manager might think you were a terrorist and call the police.
This is just a general list, you could always expand it, but I’d keep it limited to this and keep at least 3 of the single-use items. I hope you enjoyed.