Vampire Slayer

We were driving along the highway lickity split when all of a sudden Len and I turn and look at each other, grinning like fools.

Both of us are fans of garlic. Lots and lots of garlic. So when we found ourselves behind a TRUCKLOAD OF GARLIC—our vehicle enveloped in a wake of the heady aroma—we we’re tickled!

It’s been said that garlic wards off vampires and ne’er-do-wells from the darker side of the spirit world. But why? A bit of internet research went a long way toward learning about the origin of this superstition:

“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.”

What’s the best Halloween costume that you’ve ever worn?



53 thoughts on “Vampire Slayer

  1. Thanks for the history of garlic and vampires. I always wondered about that. I love garlic as well but besides warding off vampires, it does tend to keep your friends at a distance! Hubby and I had Henry VIII and Anne Boylen costumes made. They were so cool. I love my Jane Austen costume too and have worn it many times.

  2. Once, while working up here as a waitress at the Shamrock Bar & Restaurant (where uniforms were casual slacks with Kelly green T shirts), I dressed for Halloween in my Big Boy waitress uniform (burnt orange polyester dress with a yellow and orange striped neckerchief, and several pins advertising their specials). I thought it was a brilliant costume…but I was perhaps the only one.

  3. According to an article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, people with porphyria (who have to avoid the sun and who may also sometimes have red-stained teeth), are also advised to avoid garlic because the sulfites may make the condition worse. I’m not good at costumes, but I remember my younger daughter dressing as Amelia Bedelia when she was in elementary school. It was a great costume.

  4. I also love garlic, although in my case it does not seem to keep the mosquitoes away (I must pretty tasty blood!). Halloween has never been a big thing in Spain and I’ve never been one for fancy-dress parties either… Happy Halloween, Laurie!

  5. I can’t say that any Halloween costume I’ve worn is worthy of remembering. Lots of ghosts and cowgirls. My kids were kitties, thanks to a great handmade costume that we stretched out for as many years as possible. Tonight we’ll paint something on our faces and sit on the porch ready to greet the neighborhood kids with candy and admiration.

  6. My children loved to dress up. I was relieved when they became able to make their own costumes. Librarian girl has dress up as your favorite book character day at her school She is Ella Enchanted this year. My husband made two spectacular costumes along the way. He made our oldest daughter a biplane 3D airplane one year and the next year he made her a mailbox with a picket fence.
    We also eat a lot of garlic and since I can’t take antibiotics I use capsules of garlic oil to ward off infection. Fun post. Have a Bootiful day!

  7. When I was teaching, I chaperoned a Halloween dance wearing a polyester white, yellow, and green softball uniform while disguised as a hunchback wearing some sort of mask. Yeah, I know. 😦

    Laurie, you made my day! I haven’t heard the phrase lickety-split since my grandmothers were alive (30+ year ago.) 🙂


    • Chris — The description of your Halloween costume made me laugh. So did learning that you haven’t heard “lickety-split” for several decades!

      Now I’m going to make like a bread truck and move my buns. Or perhaps I’ll make like a shepherd and get the flock out of here. Oh dear, I shouldn’t have gotten started… 😲

  8. You need to visit Gilmore, California – a kingdom of garlic!
    I think my favorite costume was one I created for Halloween at work, when I worked where it was expected we would dress up. I went as seaweed – brown tights, a shredded sheet for the body, and a shredded pillowcase over my head – both died the most obnoxious green I could find. I loved it, others couldn’t figure out what I was. Oh well.

  9. Love it! Who knew they transported garlic by the truckload?
    One Hallowe’en costume taught me the power of suggestion. I went as an accident victim one year with a cast and bruises painted all over me. All night people kept telling me I looked like I was in pain and must feel awful. By the end of the night I did! I learned to always wear costumes that made me feel happy.

  10. Well, I too love garlic, but that doesn’t prevent mosquitoes and other nasty insects from sucking my blood and leaving irritating itches behind. Shame, as I love to sit with Peter by the river when he fishes, but the mosquitoes seem to gather there in huge crowds (just waiting for me, I think), especially in the evening, when fishing is so beautiful! Last time I reacted so badly after so many bites, I developed a temperature and spent the following morning in bed.
    Many years ago, I dressed as Morticia from the Addams Family and won a prize at the local pub I used to frequent then. Happy Halloween!

  11. The “Best Costume” I remember was my mother’s beautiful brown beaded dress that she altered for me to wear when I was 10 years of age. I also wore her matching beaded bag, an ostrich feather hat, and handmade shawl. I have the framed faded photo I gave my mother for her birthday, which always fell near Mother’s Day. I am so glad I wrote an inscription on the back of the picture frame. Now, I need to find someone to restore my little treasure. Happy Halloween. Thanks for the memories! ❤ 🙂

  12. Laurie, Loved the garlic story as to why Vampires may avoid garlic but I have to shake my head as to the reasoning. Bram Stoker may not have been a true resident of Transylvania but I have my doubts about the number of malaria cases there during the 19th century. As much as I love garlic myself, I really try to keep some distance between myself and those who indulge heavily. Garlic bulbs have a permanent place on my kitchen window sill where they are easily found. Now I have garlic bread on the mind…..

  13. I loved the history behind garlic , I love it too. Whenever I have a glut of cherry tomatoes I roast them with garlic , olive oil, basil for about an hour on 160 o …then tip them into a pan with a tin of tomatoes for 15mins with extra olive oil salt and pepper …lots of crusty bread mmmmmm.
    I was a vampire punk dressed in a bin liner with BIG hair, it was allowed in the 80s 🎃👻🎃

  14. I don’t elieve I have ever seen a truck load of garlic Laurie! Wow! My favourite Halloween costume hasn’t changed in years. I am witch! Sometimes I even blacken out a few teeth and really scare people 😉

  15. I love garlic, use it all the time.
    For a gay man one would think I had my favorite Halloween costume or had done this many times, Ha, I have not. Yet the most memorable costume was Mae West!

  16. Quite late on this post, but that won’t stop me from saying it is a fabulous, thematically creative Halloween offering, one enormously entertaining. Garlic is indeed known to “ward off vampires” and is a major health food. You and Len had to be delighted with that development!

    A particular frightening wolfman mask was the last Halloween garb I remember wearing. 🙂

    • Sam — As a child I only had one fear of the dark. I was absolutly certain that the lampshade in my parents bedroom (which I could see through my doorway into theirs) turned into the head of a wolfman. The thought still gives me goosebumps!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.