A Vampire vs. a Zombie (Bite infection possibilities, more than fighting)

OK, with “Batman vs…” dead, and the movie Underworld coming out on Friday, I’ve got this question…

What happens if a zombie bites a vampire, or the other way around?

Granted, it’d seem to be a far stretch for a zombie to become a vampire…but couldn’t the vampire be at least become infected with zombiism by consuming the zombie’s blood?

I’ve decided to leave werewolves out of the discussion for the time being. (No need for this question to turn ridiculous, you know. Mummies, on the other hand, are OK)

Tough one.

I assume we’re talking about Romeric Zombie Syndrome, in which once one is bitten by a zombie, one contracts the disease, croaks off within 72 hours, and becomes a flesh-eating zombie, right?

The question of precisely what CAUSES this, however, has never been addressed. Still a mystery.

So a vampire biting a zombie wouldn’t have much effect, since vampirism is a mystic effect… and, after all, the zombie’s already dead.

But a zombie biting a vampire… is this, too, a mystic effect? If so, we’re going to have one seriously screwed-up vampire in a couple days. Either that, or the effect is scientific in nature (that ever-popular returning space probe from Venus, or perhaps a microbe of some sort)…

…in which case the vampire has nothing to worry about.

Vampire Zombies seem pretty straightforward; take a vampire and remove any intellect, and with that an awareness of any powers.

Vampire Zombies wouldn’t work, cause the Zombies, being already dead, are immune to Vampirism.

All IMO, of course. Now, Vampire Zombie Werewolves that have been mummified…

…but vampires are immune to bullets. Takes a stake through the heart. Or decapitation, of course.

Zombies require a bullet to the head, or massive brain injury, to put down.

So a vampire zombie couldn’t be stopped by a shot to the head. It’d take massive head trauma – possibly decapitation – to STOP the friggin’ thing…

No, no, scratch that.

A zombie vampire would stumble, unstoppable, through the night, staggering after its human prey. Gunfire would riddle it, but not stop it, no matter where you hit it.

Decapitation would work, but once you got close enough, vampiric strength would take you apart like a fried chicken.

The Vampire Zombie would be effectively unstoppable…

…until the first rays of sun caused the idiot thing to crumble to dust without ever realizing what was happening to it…

Well, once again, we’re facing the whole “Depends on which myth you use.” Wooden stakes don’t kill most vampires, just paralyze them. Once the stake is removed, the vampire’s free to move around. And in some cases, shooting a vampire in the face with a shotgun will put the thing down permanently. Either way, decapitation works for either of them.

Again, the big problem with zombie infection is that there’s no real known cause. Radiation or virus tends to be the main ideal, but these in turn cause mutation, which is the big problem. If a vampire is subject to mutation, then there’s no real reason why it wouldn’t become a zombie. But I highly doubt that intelligence would deteriorate…just that the vampire would start to rot and his cravings would be even more previlant. Of course, the more he fed, the less he’d rot. So, you’d probably end up with a vampire who needed to feed almost constantly in order to stay fresh, but that’s about it. If a vampire’s healing capabilities are so good that even a century surrounded by radioactive waste wouldn’t cause a single hair to fall out, I’m pretty sure they’d be immune to whatever mutations may result. Although, they’d still contain the virus, so any victim that wasn’t turned into a vampire would most likely become a zombie.

As for a zombie becoming vampiric…that’s kinda tricky. It often takes more than a bite, and a substantial amount of vampire blood to turn one into a vampire, but because the victim of such treatment dies before reawaking as a vampire, it’s quite possible that a zombie embued with enough vampiric blood will be ressurrected to another form of undead life, thus possibly regaining his conciousness, and becoming a full fledged vampire as well. It all depends on the state of the mutation that they underwent as a zombie, I guess.


The “remove a stake from a vampire’s heart to revive him” bit was invented by Hollywood, in order to enable them to do a sequel after the main character got wasted – despite their attempts to make the vampire hunter the hero, the audience always knew who the REAL main character was!.

Here’s the lowdown (mostly drawn from Horror! by Drake Douglas):

To kill a vampire, you must first locate his coffin, which is a chore in its own right. The vampire has plenty of practice, not to mention motivation, to keep it well concealed. He may also have decoys or spares scattered about.

Once found, you have to drive a wooden stake through his heart. Some legends say that the stake must be made of poplar wood, being the same wood as used in the cross on which Crist was crucified (which is why the terrified poplar leaves tremble, by the way), but I tend to doubt this as poplar wood is fairly soft.

You don’t use a wooden mallet to drive the stake, by the way. Instead, you drive it in using the back of a shovel – specifically, a sexton’s spade (that is, a spade used to dig graves). Make sure that you have ground the edge of the spade to a razor edge – we’ll get to why in a moment.

The key thing about driving the stake is that you must drive it in with one blow. If you hit it a second time, you will restore the vampire to full strength and you will probably die. Think about how awkward this is: you are driving the stake with the back of a shovel, and you only get one shot.

Once the stake is in place, you use the razor edge of the spade to strike off the vampire’s head. Again, you only get one blow to do this.

You then stuff the vampire’s mouth full of garlic.

If you have done everything correctly, the vampire will now crumble into dust, thus making it impossible to revive him by removing the stake.

It is also possible to destroy a vampire by exposing him to sunlight, or by burning his body in his coffin. However, the latter method is chancy, because the vampire may escape the pyre in the form of an insect.

Some have held that a silver bullet (usually used to dispatch werewolves) can also kill a vampire, but that exposure to the rays of the moon will bring him back to life (or perhaps “back to undeath” would be the correct phrase). The “unstaking” concept may be a corruption of this concept.

By the time you have gotten through all of this, the sun has probably gone down and the vampire’s buddies (or girlfriend) is probably standing right behind you and is pretty pissed off…

BrotherCadfael—I’d heard about the “stake with one blow” rule (in fact, one story I’d read claimed that a vampire thanked the person who’d staked him with multiple blows…for providing him with a stick to keep dogs away!), but I’d heard that you were supposed to use wood from an ash tree for the stake, for some reason.

Rachoth - As I said, I am dubious about the claimed need for poplar wood. Ash is a good, hard wood, and would probably work better.

I did run across one story where the vampire hunter (I think it was Sherlock Holmes, come to think of it) put wooden bullets in his revolver, which struck me as a pretty good idea, although I think the ballistics would be pretty lousy.

You might do better putting a wooden arrow in a shotgun barrel (an illegal trick used to take deer during bow and arrow season in our part of the world).

OK Foax, hang on cuz I’m gonna give you the STRAIGHT dope, not just some WAG from ‘questionable’ sources.

Stakes, spades, bullets (silver or otherwise), crosses, garlic–none of these things are effective to dispatch a vampire. They are cumbersome for a reason: the vampires themselves have created the myths so as to lure victims and would be slayers to their deaths. Think about it for a minute and you’ll know I’m not jiving you. Driving a stake (made of soft wood) into the heart of a humanoid lying in a coffin, in his most powerful location at his most powerful time (many myths say to do it ad midnight) with the back of a spade, in one blow? This is an impossible task and the attacker will be very off balance when the vampire reaches up for his midnight snack.

Vampirism is nothing less than the displacement of a person’s natural soul by a specific type of demon. Away from its normal plane of existence the demon can not feed as normal and must resort to consuming the energy of fear. To do so it kills in a most agonizing and terrifying fashion. Blood is incidental to the true feast of pure panic, agony and despair served up by the victim. Also, there is no way to create a vampire (by bites, blood drinking, etc.) as is popularly believed. Any such creatures are more properly considered ghouls: living humans living in a state of cannibalistic madness and in servitude of the vampire.

A zombie is merely a corpse possessed/animated by a lesser spirit. The spirit may occupy the body for reasons of its own or because it is compelled to do so by another entity. Zombies appear mindless and clumsy because the body’s mechanics do not function normally in a state of decay. Also, the occupying spirit may not be familiar with the senses available to it with the body.

If a zombie bites a vampire, the vampire will probably just tear the body to bits, forcing the spirit to go home or occupy another body.

If a vampire bites a zombie it would only be in pursuit of destroying it. An animated corpse emits no nourishment, and the occupying spirit likewise knows no usable fear.

I would say that you’d likely have no vampire zombies or zombie vampires because both are supposed to be undead.

This sounds plausible…

Not true. The purpose of the stake (I’ve often heard made of Ash as well, although sometimes Oak works just as well) is to pin the vampire to the ground and paralyze it. That’s why stakes were initially about two to three feet in length. The point is to drive the stake threw the corpse into the ground, thus preventing the vampire from getting up. And from your own description of extermination, you will come to see that it is the actual act of decapitation that kills the vampire, not the staking. By your rules, what happens if one successfully stakes a vampire, but fails to sever the head?

But again, it all depends on which mythos you’re following. Some forms of vampires have the ability to turn into swarms of insects, and the only way to destroy them is to destroy every last flea, mosquito, centipede, gnat, whatever. Matchka’s explaination of vampires is more in tune with the majority of vampire myths “from the old country”, but I think for the sake of this thread, we’re looking at the more modernized, blood sucking, Hollywood/Anne Rice/Masquerade type of vampires, which even then, leads a LOT of variation.

Still on the fence about a hybrid, though.

I have also heard that the skull should be nailed to the bottom of the coffin, for the same reason. The most charming variation is to bury a dead person who you are afraid might become a vampire with a rose wraped in his shroud. The shroud will become tangled in the thorns, so that the vampire will be unable to move and escape the grave.

Another tactic used to defend against the attack of a vampire is to scatter mustard seeds at the entrance to your home. For some reason, a vampire must stop to count them, which may well keep him occupied until sunrise. This belief played into a charming episode of the X-files, but I have seen older references to it as well.

Vampire and zombie strength. Zombies are already quite powerful.

And we all know that the BEST zombies (troll zombies!) are completely indestructible.

What you want, nay, what you need is a mummified zombie vampire troll… With a butler named Alfred.

Actually, zombies aren’t all that particularly strong. I mean, a zombified person would seem stronger than his previous self, but that’s only because, once a zombie, they no longer pay any attention to pain, thus they will push their bodies beyond the point of ligament tears, muscle rips, and broken bones, whereas their now living persona would quit long before the got to that point.

Well, they’re stronger ONCE, cause once that ligament or muscle tears, it is kinda useless. We are assuming, of course, that the undead actually need the muscles to function.

I think we’re forgetting one important point of zombification (going off of the classic Romero and Resident Evil type zombies): the victim has to die first and allow the virus/mutation to take over the brain. You’ve seen zombies feasting on dead (formerly living) human bodies and they don’t reanimate. A vampire would simply be immune to the effects of the virus transmitted via the bite since it is already dead.

Zombies would appear to be immune to vampire bites as well. Most zombies I’ve seen depicted seem to get along quite well with little or no blood coursing through their decomposed veins. It looks like all that’s required for a zombie to shamble around is a mostly intact nervous system.

So if a zombie and a vampire decided to rumble, most likely both would come away with chunks missing from their necks or somesuch, but would remain essentially unaltered. The vampire would heal from the zombie bite, but zombies like to openly sport their massive wounds so other zombies can ooh and aah at them.

Re: the wooden stake to immobilize vampires. I read somewhere long ago that only freshly carved wooden stakes would work. The reason had something to do with the fact that the wood is still alive in a sense and since it is a thing of nature it is the perfect weapon to use against an unnatural creature.

My family is originally from eastern Europe. According to great-grandma, the proper way to dispose of a vampire is by driving an iron stake or cross-hilted sword through the vampire, You can even do it right through the soil without bothering to dig the coffin up. What you are doing is nailing it to its grave to keep it from wandering. Some folks from the same area recommend cutting the heart out and burning it. Some recommend decapitation and putting the head back face-down. Grandma said all that movie and TV and novel stuff is hooey.
So to answerr the original question, if we stipulate that both the vampire and the zombie are undead, not much will happen though they bite each other many times. You can’t be more undead or less undead. It is an all-or-nothing condition.

I’m a little confused by what you’re saying here…at one point, you say that the victim has to be dead in order to be infected/mutated, yet you say that a vampire would be immune because it’s already dead…I don’t follow?

The dead bodies the zombie are seen feasing on are those incredibly recently dead (i.e. those who haven’t had the opportunity to transform into zombies). These ones don’t reanimate because, after a zombie finishes feasing on them, there’s pretty much nothing left! A bunch of scattered bones and small chunks don’t make much of an efficient killing machine. Even those bitten by zombies are still game until they turn. Once they become zombies, other zombies recognize them as such and leave them alone, but until that final transfermation takes place, they’re still a walking buffet.