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Silver bullets are for werewolves, not vampires! Anne Rice confirms

Tom Cruise playing one of Anne Rice's vampires in the movie "Interview with a Vampire."

This final note today, a correction of sorts. Friday we were talking about how silver bullets can kill vampires. One of you tweeted us to say we got it wrong -- it's silver bullets for werewolves, not vampires.

So we called somebody who knows way more about these kinds of things than we do, author Anne Rice:

Anne Rice: We'll he's absolutely right. Traditionally a silver bullet is supposed to kill a werewolf. Vampires are not particularly affected by silver bullets. Traditionally what kills vampires is a wooden steak through the heart. Now that doesn't affect my vampires, but that's what kills the run-of-the-mill, all-world vampires.
That's Anne Rice on vampires (and world suffering). She's into werewolves now, too. Her new book is called "The Wolf Gift." Here's her advice on getting rid of those.
Rice: A silver bullet right through the heart usually kills a werewolf... I think with all supernatural creatures, if you can decapitate them you can pretty much do away with them.
And while we had Rice on the phone, we asked her this: What is it in the real world that scares you today?
Rice: What scares me today? I think we read on the news of all kinds of scary things. One of the reasons we love horror fiction so much is we can get away from what's really scary: poverty, starvation, genocide, war, nuclear annihilation. We live in a world where we're confronted with the suffering of people all over the planet every day who aren't as blessed as we are, who aren't as fortunate as we are, and they're in situations where they're facing terrorism and genocidal armies and governments that don't care how many people they kill to enforce a dictatorship. That's what's really scary. I think we love to go to graphic novels and TV and watch a wonderful fantasy like "True Blood" on HBO because we get away from all that, and we can experience a little fear and pity and catharsis and get over it. It's comforting.

We'll, there's no silver bullet for that. Click play above to hear the complete phone interview.


CORRECTION: The text transcript of this story has been corrected.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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I also think you mean to have Anne Rice saying a STAKE through the heart.... unless a good way to kill vampires is through high cholesterol.

I thought Bram Stoker was the ultimate authority. Warning, spoilers below:

"...I saw the Count lying within the box upon the earth, some of
which the rude falling from the cart had scattered over him. He was
deathly pale, just like a waxen image, and the red eyes glared with
the horrible vindictive look which I knew so well.

As I looked, the eyes saw the sinking sun, and the look of hate in
them turned to triumph.

But, on the instant, came the sweep and flash of Jonathan's great
knife. I shrieked as I saw it shear through the throat. Whilst at
the same moment Mr. Morris's bowie knife plunged into the heart.

It was like a miracle, but before our very eyes, and almost in the
drawing of a breath, the whole body crumbled into dust and passed from
our sight."

So vampires can be killed by hacking off their heads with a Bowie Knife. Kind of like zombies, only not as sexy.

Fun piece! Think she probably meant "nuclear annihilation" though ...

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