Would a blessed animal have an effect on a vampire?

I know there’s a blessing for animals. Would it make their teeth, say, more painful to an undead creature?

Yeah, I know it’s fictional. So?

No. Animals can be blessed, but they don’t have a soul.

There’s no consistent vampire mythos, so it really depends on the individual author.

So you should know better than to put this in GQ.

Neither do humans. Or they do, in which case, so do animals. Depends on what your definition of a “soul” is, really.

This is true, however, there are some things that tend to pop up commonly, including the very general and vague ‘holy things aren’t so great for vampires’. I’m sure that there are some mythological systems in which that’s not true, but it’s historically common. That makes sense, when you consider the vampire as an archetype for scary, unholy things. So it seems logical to assume that, if one could bless an animal (which is a whole other debate), then the bite of a blessed animal could be more harmful to the vampire.

If we’re going by the way vampires are portrayed in Dracula (as reasonable a standard as any), I don’t think just blessing an animal would be effective. Although as ultrafiler says, an author could make up anything s/he wants.

But getting back to Bram Stoker, he mentioned the cross, communion wafers, and I believe holy water as being harmful/repulsive to vampires. The cross is the very symbol of Christianity and Christ’s redeeming sacrifice, and wafers and holy water are used in what are probably the two most important Christian sacraments, communion and baptism. These objects have a much, much higher level of religious significance than something that’s simply been blessed by a priest, so I don’t see any reason to expect that the latter would have the same power against a vampire. If it did, vampire hunters could simply arrange to have themselves blessed by a priest and forget about toting around religious items altogether.

Alternately, Sheridan le Fanu’s Carmilla describes the eponymous vampire as being very annoyed and possibly pained by the singing of hymns, so there is precedent for a vampire being upset by lesser Christian symbols.

Not if it’s an atheist vampire. Well, if you go by Richard Matheson.

But there’s a significant variance in what counts as a holy thing, and what exactly it does to the vampire, to the point where you really can’t say anything in general.

Going by the premise that you can make water bad for vampires by blessing it, it seems reasonable that a blessed puppy could do massive damage to a vampire. To extend on this, if a crucifix is bad for vampires, what if the blessed dog was a cross-breed?

In the otherwise forgettable Fright Night, it was stated that the religious symbol is not effective unless the person wielding it believes in it. Thus, it doesn’t matter if you hold up a cross, a Star of David, a crescent, or a copy of the CRC Mathematical Tables. If you don’t believe in the sacredness of the object, it will have no effect on vampires, and if you do, it will.

This seems plausible.

But water, on the other hand, obviously has a soul. :smiley: :wink: That’s why holy water hurts vampires.

Jumps out of the thread again.

I’ve always wondered about the implications of this. If I know that holding up an object that I believe will protect me from vampires will protect me from vampires, does that mean I can use whatever’s close by to protect me from vampires? If belief is sufficient, that should work (but you try it first).

I think it would be rather more interesting if the opposite was inferred and vampires were unable to harm you unless you believe in vampires.

You sir, deserve a stake through the heart for that pun.

I believe you ordered a wet trout? slapslapslap

While I don’t think the Christian blessings on animals make them holy (they’re more likely to be prayers for protection, no?) there are religions in which animals are blessed to hold holy energy, or are themselves sacred. Hindu cows being the obvious, but also some animals sacrificed in Santeria, Ifa, Vodoun and classical Egyptian and Celtic rites (although most reconstructionists leave those bits out).

Are vampires susceptible to other religions’ holy items, or just Christian ones?

Depends on who’s writing the story.

I apologize for being an ignorant heathen, but…I kind of understand the distinction with the cross, but aren’t communion wafers and holy water just wafers and water that have been blessed by a priest? (My only ‘hands-on’ experience with this stuff is the Jewish approach, which is pretty sparse on the blessing of objects and declaring things holy.)

Also, FWIW, I recall an episode of Buffy where some vampires were in some way pained or weakened by walking on recently-blessed ground, but I don’t remember the particulars right off - for all I know it had been blessed by sprinkling holy water on it.

Tolkein geeks: did Huan kill Thuringwethil? If so, there ya go.

The Franciscan Blessing of the Animals asks God to “enable them to live according to Your plan.” Presumably, if that plan involves the animal killing a vampire, then the blessing should afford some protection. However, by that line of argument, God’s plan also gave man stewardship over the earth; so it’s really not the animals’ job to save us from vampires, but the other way around. A good shepherd doesn’t expect his sheep to protect him.

It’s also not clear whether an vampire can be driven off by physical injury. They can certainly be warded off by various apotropaic symbols; but if they are able to attack, it may be too late. Summers, in his survey The Vampire: His Kith And Kin, advances the theory that the vampire never physically leaves its grave, but instead attacks in the form of an ectoplasmic projection akin to that of a spirit medium. This neatly accounts for the fact that vampire graves traditionally appear undisturbed-- Summers cites some evidence that telltale wormholes in the surrounding earth provide the means by which the ectoplasmic manifestation escapes. This is also why the vampire must be dug up and staked in order to destroy it; there are few if any accounts of vampires being destroyed in the act of preying on a victim.

So an attacking vampire would likely be no more vulnerable to a the bite of a blessed dog than that of a normal dog. The blessing might prevent the vampire from attacking the dog in the first place, but that’s about it.