Living October 30, 2013

Tips for Dealing with the Undead

Spooky critters aren’t the only things that go bump in the night. Other possible causes? Try a zombie apocalypse, ghosts, or even vampires. Here are some tips on how to deal with whatever might be haunting your home:


Zombies are classified as “living dead”. The theory on how zombies become, well, zombies, has been narrowed down to three possible causes:

  1. Zombies are reanimated corpses, conjured up by witches or sorcerers to serve at their will
  2. Zombieism is an infectious disease that is contractible through bodily fluids
  3. Extraterrestrial radiation causes a mutation in humans, developing into zombieism

Regardless of the origin, zombies are dangerous; they feast on human flesh and brains, and are thought to have the ability to convert the entire human population into the walking dead through unknown means.

The United States Center for Disease Control has published a set of guidelines to help you and your family prepare for a zombie apocalypse:

It appears the only way to keep yourself safe from a zombie is to destroy their head. Use extreme caution. If zombieism is in fact contractible by bodily fluid, use appropriate precautions. For a more detailed guide on the nuances of a zombie apocalypse and how to protect your family, here’s a book we recommend.   


Ghosts and spirits can be difficult to detect because we generally cannot see them; instead, we become aware of their presence through a feeling, unexplained activity, or the mysterious movements of objects around the house.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to prevent ghosts from taking up residence in your home because they may have been there long before you. If you’re suspicious of the paranormal, you can have your home tested before you move in by performing a ghost inspection. You might also consider hiring professional ghost hunters. Further investigation may include asking around your neighborhood to see if there is any strange activity or known history, or talking to the real estate agent (but keep in mind, most states don’t legally require disclosures on ghosts). You can also conduct your own research to see if someone died in the house with this website.   

To keep the paranormal at bay, here are some basic rituals you can do yourself: 

  • Ask the spirit to leave. Who knows? Sometimes it works!
  • Burn herbs such as sage, thyme, lavender, and cedar wood to ward off spirits like you would mosquitos.
  • Sprinkle blessed water in your home and use oil to draw religious symbols.
  • Throw blessed salt around your rooms.
  • Decorate with religious symbols that you associate with.
  • Hang a horseshoe above your door (this does double-duty, protecting against witches too).
  • Get help from a professional:
    • Psychic medium
    • Psychologist
    • Ghost hunter
    • Clergy member


Vampires are nocturnal predators that may or may not disguise themselves as bats. You may want to start ridding yourself of the animal variety first. Vampires, like zombies, are classified as the undead, and it is unclear if they are immortal or if vampirism is contagious.

You can identify a vampire by their elongated and pointed canine teeth. Other characteristics of vampires include, but are not limited to sporting a fashionable cape, displaying a widow’s peak hairstyle, drops of blood on their face, or even the magical ability to sparkle in the sunlight.

Here are some tips to ward off and destroy vampires:

  • Don’t invite a vampire in your home. Rumor has it they can only enter your home with your permission!
  • Get rid of any bats in and around your house.
  • Decorate your home with garlic. Vampires have a heightened sense of smell so the reek of garlic really turns them off.
  • Display sacred and religious symbols prominently in every room.
  • Carry a wooden steak with you everywhere. If you encounter a vampire, aim for the heart.
  • Decapitation is also an option.

Please remember that smaller versions of these scary visitors are harmless. Especially on Halloween. On October 31, you might see a variety of zombies, ghosts, and vampires wandering the streets, some may even come to your door. The best method of protection is to arm yourself with ample candy, distribute, and then lock the door. When done right, this should keep the little monsters at bay until next year.

Happy Halloween!