Carry pungent garlic to ward off vampires, wear amulets to ward off witches and, if prone to walking late at night, avoid the full moon to ensure against werewolf attack.
Talismans to guard against the otherworldly are steeped in lore and legend, but are such charms really up to the task of protecting against a modern collection of monsters? For those who think not, rest assured individuals and companies are adapting their survival strategies:
1. Stock pile arsenal against the undead
A drop in the bucket that is the national gun legislation debate, a man in Memphis was jailed this January for an over zealous collection of firearms. Police originally obtained a search warrant for alleged drug charges — they found the drugs — over a dozen marijuana plants — they also found a corresponding collection of guns, including many high power assault rifles. But unlike the crowds of gun collectors barraging the capital with furious arguments that the constitution guarantees them the right to horde high capacity magazines and assault weapons, this man's justification was quite simple: he’s guarding against zombies, and of course the end of the world.
2. Ministry missives to warn against vampires
Last winter, a Serbian village near the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued a health warning for its constituents, notifying them that their local vampire might be out and about. This particular vampire, known locally as Sava Savanoic for years lived in an abandoned mill and drank the blood of hapless peasants. The mayor issued the warning after the historic mill collapsed leaving a pile of rotting timber…and a homeless (and possibly hungry) vampire. He may not be the most fear inspiring — apparently this particular vampire is thought to turn into a butterfly rather than a snarling wolf or bloodthirsty bat — but that has not stopped this small village near the banks of the Rogacica River from stocking up on stakes, crosses, and garlands of garlic. At the very least they should be commended for heeding the warnings of their municipality.
3. Altering the endangered animal list
While most people seem bent on warding off the warlocks, witches and hobgoblins, at least one individual has done their best interests on his mind. Late last year a New York resident attempted to convince the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation that Sasquatches (aka Bigfoots) were in dire need of protection.
Hunting laws protect the killing of baby deer and endangered bears, and without these laws, he argued, the Sasquatch would become extinct (making it the first non-existent species to suffer extinction). Suffice to say the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation did not alter their hunting laws.
4. But of course there is only one sure way to protect life, limb, and property in the modern era — take out insurance
In the last two weeks, the Jacobite Scottish Cruise Line has decided to take out insurance to protect against possible attack from Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Supposedly first sighted in the 6th century when a local of the northern loch was killed by a “water-beast,” the elusive cryptid has supposedly been enjoying the waters of Loch Ness for centuries. Unable to positively confirm or deny its existence the cruise line thinks insurance is a prudent precaution.
And least you think insurance companies will only provide coverage for aquatic monsters — a number of other companies (many of them British) have got your back when it comes to the entire panoply of supernatural haunts.
British Insurance and the established Lloyd’s of London sell insurance coverage for the threat of alien abduction. Not wanting to discriminate, Lloyd also protects against vampire bites, werewolf bites, and of course your occasional run-in with a ghost. One particularly cautious Everest hiker once thought it advisable to plan for everything — extreme cold, exhaustion, avalanches and of course, Yeti attacks. (He did not however disclose the insurance company he employed.
Perhaps it’s time to think carefully about just how proactive you are being when considering your safety. Is garlic breath sufficient to ward off the undead? Or perhaps when you renew your car insurance, it might be wise to look into what other coverage packages your company provides.