SO.  People are kicking the bucket left and right. A mysterious blight on your community is wiping out entire families, smothering them in the night, when no human could be doing so.  You and your fellow villagers have your suspicions that you’re dealing with a vampire–but what do you do now that you know?  It’s not as easy as waiting for him to rise from the grave and staking him through the heart, particularly if this is not something you’ve done before.  Here are some tips and tricks for helping you hunt down these foul creatures.

TIP #1 Trying to track an anonymous vampire plaguing your village, but can’t seem to figure out who it is?  Try walking a pure white horse over the graves of the recently-deceased members of your village, particularly those who have died before their time (either as a result of pestilence, tragic accident, or particularly drowning and suicide).  Extremely sensitive to these agents of Satan, your horse should be able to locate any vampire in a snap!  Not sure that you’ve got the right guy?  Once disinterred, signs of vampirism should be evident: a swollen, surprisingly well-preserved corpse that often bleeds excessively when punctured and nails and hair that have continued to grow past death.  Vampirism often runs in the family, so for extra safety, be sure to check out the graves of other deceased relatives–and almost certainly if they’ve died by the hand of the vampires in question.

TIP #2 Vampires cannot enter a clean house; it therefore stands to reason that, in order to keep them out, keep your digs in order.  On the other hand, this can be a convenient vampire trap: allow your home to fall into disrepair and just wait for the full moon.  You just might catch him red-handed (and fanged)!  As a bonus, vampires have a compulsive need to organize things, so, wait a few minutes after the vampire has entered your home to take any action, and you may well end up with a clean house in addition to a slain creature of the underworld.

TIP #3 While on the hunt, carry around a light but messy snack, like sunflower seeds, trail mix, or even M&M’s (an interesting futuristic chocolate candy that melts in your mouth, not in your hand).  Much like they compulsively organize, vampires are afflicted with arithmomania and love to count things, so you can scatter your snack to distract your arithmomaniac nemesis and run in a pinch–and if you don’t end up needing it, at least you’ll be left with a delicious snack!

TIP #4 Speaking of delicious snacks, is famine wreaking havoc upon your village?  No problem!  The best way to truly be rid of a vampire is to cut its head off, remove its heart, and burn it (and the human heart is notoriously difficult to burn).  But here’s the convenient part–the most surefire way to be done with it is to feed the leftover heart to the vampire’s living victims and relatives.  Empty stomachs won’t be a problem anymore!  Talk about your heart healthy recipes.

TIP #5 Being tracked by a particularly nasty vampire you just can’t seem to shake?  If the situation has become particularly foul, you can ward him (or her) off by smearing yourself with his blood.  Just keep in mind that this is only for the most extreme situations, as this action may well make you susceptible to becoming a vampire yourself.

REMEMBER: No matter your certainty that you’re dealing with an actual vampire epidemic that had to be quelled before it got out of hand, the church does not officially recognize the existence of vampires and will not look fondly upon your nighttime exploits–so, if they start poking around, lie (unless you like serving time).  Don’t believe me?  Just ask our friends from Lastovo Island.  Even if your local clergyman is behind you, do not mistake his support for that of the church at large.  Be extra careful–it only takes one person to squeal and everyone involved will be excommunicated if not much worse.  Still, it’s a small price to pay for ridding your home of the scourge of evil.