4different kinds, Albanian Red, Music, Montana Zemo, and about a dozen I bought at the local Health food store because I couldn't remember if I had ordered from Fillarie Garlic Farm.
I'm in my seventh decade on Earth. I know things.
Quote: Why Does Garlic Repel Vampires?
The most famous of all garlic folklore is its association with vampires. This was popularised in the West by Bram Stoker in the classic gothic novel Dracula.
In Dracula, van Helsing uses garlic to protect Lucy from the vampire Count by placing it in her room and around her neck:
So, should we all be mixing heads of garlic with our Halloween pumpkin stew? Can it ward off the undead vampire princes of the night?
The reputation of garlic as a vampire repellent goes back long before Stoker's relatively recent gothic creation. Why should this be? It's true that garlic has long been associated with health and life in general, however why should it ward off vampires specifically rather than all undead monsters?
There are many competing theories as to the origin of the vampire story. Many have to do with disease.
A recent theory tries to associate vampirism with rabies. This works well in general however it fails to explain convincingly the position of garlic in vampire lore. Instead it relies on the idea of rabies sufferers becoming fixated on its smell - an idea that could just as likely apply to the smell of coffee, not a known anti-vampire tool!
Another theory is that vampirism can be seen as symbolic of mosquito bites - and garlic is known in folklore as a natural mosquito repellent.
Mosquitoes suck blood and in doing so spread disease. So do vampires. Some of the symptoms of malaria - exhaustion, fever, anemia - are reminiscent of the reputed effects of being bitten by a vampire without being totally drained or turned. Garlic is a known insect repellent which reportedly works well against mosquitoes, perhaps people saw the similarity with vampires, especially when in their bat form.
This would fit well with the vampire folklore and gothic fiction and is my personal favourite theory.
Quote: Garlic originally got its good reputation from ancient Egypt. Back then it was believed that garlic held incredible healing powers. From Egypt it spread and developed more uses and powers. It was known not only for healing but also protection against the plague and supernatural evils. In southern Slavic regions in was used to protect oneself from demonic forces, witches and sorcerers. The Christian St. Andrew was said to be the donor of garlic to humanity.
Garlic used against vampire was big in southern Slavic countries and Romania as well. It was used to find vampires and to prevent vampires. A vampire in hiding could be spotted by not being willing to eat garlic. In the 1970s , a Romanian church distributed garlic during service, observing those who refused to eat it and figuring out if the person was a vampire. Crazy that this happened only 30 or so years ago right?
To prevent someone from being turned into a vampire it was common to stuff cloves of garlic in the corpse's nose, mouth and ears to keep out all evil. It was also smeared over the eyes. Also, once they killed a vampire and cut off its head they would then fill its mouth with garlic to keep it from returning.
It wasn't just the Slavic areas that used garlic. In China and Malaysia it was rubbed on childrens foreheads to prevent vampire attack. In the Philippines it was rubbed under the armpits. Damn, can you imagine how badly they smelled? And of course many countries simply hung garlic from their doors to ward off vamps.
When it comes to vampires and garlic now, most authors choose to have their vampire characters unaffected by garlic. But in some books/movies vampires don't like garlic, but it is simply because they have a heightened sense of smell and the stuff reeks. One author that did use garlic as protection was the famous Bram Stoker in Dracula. That there is how vampires and garlic became so popular and well known.
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