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StephanieFox
10-30-2010, 01:31 AM
A friend on another line posted this and I figured one you would know. Her question:

Wouldn't it be difficult for a person of average strength to drive a stake into the heart of a vampire? Wouldn't the breast bone obstruct it? Now, I'm talking about your average-made-on-the-run wooden stake, not something like a diamond drill-bit pointy steel-tipped stake.

Halloween minds want to know. Just in case a real blood sucker shows up this weekend.

Thanks!

veinglory
10-30-2010, 01:35 AM
Generally a stake is driven by a mallet (hammer) not by hand.

Drachen Jager
10-30-2010, 01:44 AM
Yeah, you'd have to be incredibly strong to do it by hand. Unless the "stake" was more like a spear I suppose.

Cyia
10-30-2010, 01:51 AM
You're assuming a direct strike from the front. There are other angles possible, and while the ribcage would restrict access, it's not impossible.

A long, thin, and tempered wooden shaft (like that of an arrow) could easily pierce the heart if driven with force and accuracy - something like a bow or crossbow would make it easier.

I remember a movie I watched as a kid where the "pro" hunters were running about with their clunky stakes, hammering away (rather clumsy since they couldn't restrain the vamps easily), and a kid picked up a desktop pencil cup and stabbed the nearest one with "a 100 % wood #2" (<-- pretty sure that was the line when one of the pros looked at him funny) The pencil was sharp and thin enough to slip between the ribs

veinglory
10-30-2010, 01:52 AM
It was also traditional to stake vamps during the day in their grave when they are dormant. Buffy has been messing with our archetypes.

Lhun
10-30-2010, 02:00 AM
Iirc it was in Dusk till Dawn where someone explained how vampire chests are really soft compared to humans, which is why even the girl could stake them.
So, why not, decomposition makes bodies softer, and they're corpses after all.

Summonere
10-30-2010, 10:08 PM
Yeah, they were squishy, like cheese, according to one character.

Cyia
10-30-2010, 10:16 PM
Iirc it was in Dusk till Dawn where someone explained how vampire chests are really soft compared to humans, which is why even the girl could stake them.
So, why not, decomposition makes bodies softer, and they're corpses after all.


If it softened their bones, then how did they walk?

Rowan
10-30-2010, 10:54 PM
Okay, going way back to college anatomy with the cadavers so bear with me. ;)

The "breast bone" (sternum) is a straight, flat bone running along front of the chest (central). The heart, while beneath the sternum, is actually 'offset' to the left. So, you could essentially drive the stake through spaces in the ribcage and destroy the heart, or you could drive the stake in at an angle*. This would still take considerable force, but you don't have to drive a stake through the sternum and into the heart. Make sense?

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/PublishingImages/heart/heartinsidechest.JPG
The heart is located under the rib cage, to the left of the breastbone (sternum) and between the lungs.

Here's a couple more decent diagram to illustrate the structures involved:
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/PublishingImages/heart/heartinsidechest.JPG

http://householdphysician.com/images/BOT_image1.jpg

http://www.health.com/health/static/hw/media/medical/hw/h9991261_002.jpg

http://catalog.nucleusinc.com/imagescooked/26705W.jpg

So, fear not, Stephenie. If any vampires attack you tomorrow, I think you'll be a-okay! Throw a little magic at them... Vamps seem to hate witches (ala "The Vampire Diaries"). :D

I LOVE BUFFY:TVS!!!!

*Considering vamps are super strong and have super speed (not to mention superior senses all around), I'd say trying this would be foolish. :D Unless, like VG said...you do it during the day and hope the vamps don't have magic rings that allow them to walk in daylight. Yeah, I watch way too many vampire movies/shows. ;) (And I'm just having fun here)


A friend on another line posted this and I figured one you would know. Her question:

Wouldn't it be difficult for a person of average strength to drive a stake into the heart of a vampire? Wouldn't the breast bone obstruct it? Now, I'm talking about your average-made-on-the-run wooden stake, not something like a diamond drill-bit pointy steel-tipped stake.

Halloween minds want to know. Just in case a real blood sucker shows up this weekend.

Thanks!

Phil_Hall
04-21-2011, 08:21 PM
You'd be right that the breastbone would obstruct, but if the tip were to penetrate through the intercostal space (between ribs), you can get pretty clear access to the left side of the vampire's heart, which would be good enough to "stake 'em dead."

Cyia
04-21-2011, 09:46 PM
Why are you resurrecting old threads with no new posts from the OP?