The Chemistry Of Vampire Slaying

2 Conversations

The process of slaying a vampire has been documented in many books/TV series and films but relatively few have looked at the actual chemistry behind the process. While the results of slaying a vampire vary there is a general consensus that when a vampire is slain the body is turned in the grey or brown substance frequently called dust.

There are many ways of slaying vampires but for now let us fix on the method of getting a vampire in contact with “Holy water.” since holy water doesn’t react with vampire dust this can be assumed to be un reactive. However when a vampire is exposed to holy water it catches fire. So this is reaction gives a lot of energy and can be called and highly exothermic reaction (the inverse of this types of reaction I.e. one requiring energy is called and endothermic reaction). So the chemicals involved can be called as follows vampire ions:-

Vmp- (solid)
H+ (aqueous solution)
Dst (s)

Using these symbols we can construct a formula:-

2Vmp- (s) + H+ (aq) = Dst (s) + a great quantity of energy

This is a very simple process although notice the 2Vmp- ions required. This is because as have been observed that when a large quantity of holy water is used not all the holy water is used up, also it has been observed that it only takes a vial or similar vessel to consume a vampire. The holy water cannot be treated a catalyst as a) some is clearly used up in the process and b) a catalyst speeds a reaction by lower activation energy which would mean that some of the vampire would be turning into dust even at the microscopic level all the time, and since vampire live for millennia at a time this can clearly not be the case as the older vampires would have turned into dust.

Although having said point b) it has also been seen that fire I.e. a source of energy can also set the reaction going so it is possible that the reaction is merely a decomposition which takes and EXTREAMLY long time. In any case this require further experimentation.

So if water can contain holy ions (H+) it can assumed that people do as well. So certain people who are endowed with holiness, such as the Archbishop of Canterbury , also contain the ability to kill vampires (other people who contain holiness can be treated as similar constituents for this experiment e.g. Dali Lama (Dm+) or The Pope (Pp+).

Since these constituents are a channelling of power, they will have undergone some dilution in the process so more a require for a successful reaction. Experiments have shown that 25 is a rough figure to use. So 25 Archbishops of Canterbury (Abc+) are require to turn one vampire into dust.

Vmp- (s) + 25Abc+ (s) = Dst (s) No visible energy release

So lets now add a catalyst in to this experiment lets use the classic catalyst the stake. This can be any piece of wood and has to be applied the heart of a vampire. This is similar to the “lock and key” method of enzymes which are catalyst found in many important reactions in the world. The method is described as a a “lock and key” because its very similar to a key being used to unlock a door. The stake will need to be applied to a specific place on the vampire to activate the reaction.

A catalyst will lower the activation energy of the reaction, or in simpler terms increase the chance of a successful collision of Archbishop of Canterbury and vampire.

So a new formula can be derived:-

Vmp- (s) + 20Abc+ (s) = Dst (s)

As you can see there is little reaction in the number of Archbishops of Canterbury required. This is because although a stake is a catalyst it is not very good one, for better results other catalysts such a holy water gun or flame thrower should be used.

Although there has been little experimentation due to the rare nature as a pure vampire sample this research has managed to explain some of the chemistry behind the destruction vampires and hopefully it will provide aid for people in the future should they need it.

Bookmark on your Personal Space



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Written and Edited by


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more