So, You’ve Been Waylaid by the Supernatural [A Survival Guide]
So, this is it. You’ve finally done it, you’ve managed to find yourself facing down a gauntlet of supernatural beings. There were things you could have done to prevent this, but clearly you didn’t follow my advice a few posts ago. I know I didn’t cover everything (exempli gratia, I know I didn’t tell you what to do if you find yourself in possession of a mysterious puzzle box covered in gold leaf – but assuming you haven’t already begun to try and figure it out, you shouldn’t try to do it) that could possibly kill you horribly, but I like to think that the majority of people would be able to extrapolate from what I did provide you with that it’s probably not a good idea to mess with whatever oddity you’ve come across. Unfortunately, if you’re at the point where you’re putting your Google-fu to the test because you’re desperately looking for a way to escape the shambling ghost girl who is trying to kill you to death, then you clearly have no idea how to make educated guesses that messing with freaky shit will get you killed in awful, awful ways.
Because I care about the general well being of anyone who takes the time to read anything from Art of Fail, I have put together this handy survival guide to help keep you alive through your ordeal. I’m still side eyeing your dumb ass for getting yourself involved in this astronomical level of fuckery, but that’s neither here nor there. No matter what’s going on, or how hard I’m judging you, your first step should always be…
1. Check to see if this happened in an episode of Supernatural and see how they dealt with it, if it was.
Supernatural is basically a pretty handy guide for surviving anything from backwoods mass murderers to how to avoid the apocalypse. It can even teach you what to do (or, at least, what not to do) in the event that your resident angelic best friend opens a portal to Purgatory and eats all the things as if he were a tupperware container for dead supernatural little shits and begins thinking that they are now an all powerful god.
There are literally hundreds of websites dedicated to cataloging every monster/supernatural thing that the Brothers Winchester have come across and, subsequently, gotten their asses kicked by until they killed it dead. These websites (wikis, actually) even tell you how to kill the damn things. Supernatural Wiki is one of these sites (also the one I use when I need to make sure my Destiel smut fic is at least somewhat canon compliant and that nephilim!verse hasn’t completely derailed the entire series). So you should probably check that website out. Type whatever the fuck is trying to kill you into the search box and let Team Free Will tell you how to get shit done. Or at least, you know, survive the ass kicking you are about to receive. Or, you know, if you don’t want to look up to see what the Winchesters did because you want to be an original supernatural being ass kicking force of good, then at least do some research.
2. Stock up on salt. Lots and lots of salt.
Salt is used in a lot of lore to protect the protagonist from being ultimately killed by whatever horrible nightmare creature is lurking in the crevice of space between their sheet and mattress. It can be used to ward off demons, general evil, ghosts, witchcraft, imps, vampires, voodoo, etc. They say that these things can’t cross a line of salt.
If you can manage to get real creative and feel the need to take aggressive measures to ensure your continued existence on this plane, you can even use rock-salt shells in a shotgun. Throw some salt over your shoulder, lay salt lines around entrances, make a circle around a safe spot and hole up there in hopes that the evil will pass. There’s all kinds of shit you can do. Salt is your first line of defense. You should stock up on so much salt that everyone thinks you have a margarita addiction, you feel me?
3. Memorize the rite of exorcism and/or record yourself saying it on your phone.
The rite of exorcism is handy not only if you have a friend who has been possessed by a demon, but also on ghosts and whatnot. You say the rite and, so long as everything goes off without a hitch and you survive your encounter, all the bad shit is gone. If you need to find out if you’re dealing with a demon or a ghost first, then try just saying Christo loudly at the person you believe is possessed. Or try saying it to the house in general and let me know what happens, because I actually have no clue how that would work out. If it’s a demon then it will reveal itself. You can’t cheap out and say Christ or Jesus, either. You gotta say it in Latin.
Because, for some reason, Latin has power while English does not. Here’s a short version of the exorcism:
Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus,
omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii,
omnis congregatio et secta diabolica.
Ergo, draco maledicte.
Ecclesiam tuam securi tibi facias libertate servire,
te rogamus, audi nos.
Now, the reason I say record it on your phone is because you never know when some supernatural entity will make it damn near impossible for you to actually finish reciting it by crushing your damn larynx, so record it ahead of time and maybe hide your phone and press play while running around the room trying to avoid certain death.
And make sure you use an actual exorcism, okay? Because you don’t want to learn something and have it not do anything because all it does is translate into, “You breed with the mouth of a goat.” It might be funnier in Enochian, but it isn’t going to save your ass from certain doom.
4. Obtain mountain ash (a branch and even some actual ash – also, this tree is also called a rowan tree), wolfsbane, mistletoe, silver bullets, and a stun rod/gun and keep it on you at all times. Pray for a lunar eclipse.
These are your go-to weapons for werewolves. There’s a lot of lore available on werewolves, and each of these things have been said to be effective against them. You don’t want to go against a creature who can rip your throat out with their teeth unprepared, so make sure you have a bunch of this handy if you even think that your best friend was bitten during the last full moon. The actual ash of mountain ash can be used to make a protective barrier that the werewolf cannot cross. Trust me, I watch Teen Wolf, I’m an expert on this kind of thing.
Also, make sure you have this stuff handy if you ever visit England. I’m not saying the Queen is actually a werewolf, but the Queen is actually a werewolf. I learned that from watching Doctor Who.
And you’re really gonna wanna pray for that lunar eclipse, because according to Teen Wolf werewolves lose all their super powers and can’t go all wolfy on you. So, basically, they’re just people. So if you’re lucky and a lunar eclipse happens while you’re trying to survive a werewolf trying to kill you, then you can just stab them in the eye and you’re done.
Also, silver is supposed to burn the skin of a whole metric ton of supernatural beasties, so you can use it as a detection device.
5. You should probably stock up on some dead man’s blood and high quality UV lamps.
For vampires. The dead man’s blood won’t kill the vampire, but it’ll make them sick as fuck and give you the chance to lop their head off with a really sharp machete (so look into buying a machete). The UV lamps will come in handy for simulating actual sunlight to help you with your pesky vampire problem. Bitches don’t like sunlight, according to a lot of lore. But don’t rely on the UV lamp so much, because there’s also a bunch of lore that says that sunlight doesn’t actually do anything to a vampire.
It really depends on which country you’re in when you’re attacked by a vampire, I guess, because there are so many different types and stories out there that it isn’t funny. But really, stock up on dead man’s blood. I don’t see vampires doing well with it.
Also vampirism could be passed by something else, if we’re talking about the kind of vampires you find in The Strain. Blood parasites that are basically long, thin worms. Even if you kill the vampire you can still be infected by the worms. So, you know, UV the shit out of vampire blood and for the love of all things, don’t get the blood on you or in you.
6. Salt and Burn, baby. Salt and Burn.
So the dead have come back in specter form and are terrorizing you and the rest of your town. No big deal, dude. What you need to find out is who the dead person is. It can’t be that hard, just find out where it’s happening, how people are being killed, do a little research (you have to say, “so get this,” every time you find something and are sharing your new knowledge with someone else) and bam, you’ve figured out who has come back as a ghost to murder everyone.
After that, you need to find out where they’re buried. This is where it gets dirty.
You gotta dig up their grave, right? They’ll probably try and stop you, but you’re going to have salt with you for this grave digging. So just sling a bit of that shit in the general direction of the ghost and keep on digging. When you finally get the dead body, climb out of the now open grave and stare down at the decaying corpse (or bones) below.
Now, you’re gonna need an accelerant. So, like, maybe a can of gasoline? Okay, so, put a little accelerant down there, throw a shit ton of salt all over that dead body, and then turn that son of a bitch into a bonfire.
Congratulations, you’ve just completed your first salt and burn! Your pesky ghost should now be gone. If it’s not, well, that means that there’s some possession of theirs in the world that they’re attached to, or not all of their body was in that damn grave and you gotta figure THAT out. But once you do (remember, RESEARCH!) you just salt and burn THAT and you should be good to go.
7. Holy water, holy oil, and some archaic sigils.
I’m putting this all together into one because, well, angels and demons.
Alright, look, I’m not saying you should go banishing angels every time they mojo themselves into your room, but if we’re to believe what Legion, The Prophecy, and Supernatural have led us to believe about angels, they’re kind of dicks. And you don’t want one just prancing around, asking to use your body. But, come on, they might.
So, to banish an angel, you’re gonna wanna learn this sigil:
Alright, memorize it. Then you’re going to have to, you know, cut yourself and draw it in your blood. THEN you’re going to slam your bloody hand against the sigil. Bam, all angels are gone. You’re free to run, because they’ll be back. They’ll come looking. It’s only a matter of time. So this is where the holy oil comes in. See, you can trap an angel in a circle of holy oil. All you have to do is get them in the circle and then set it on fire. Whoosh, instant angel trap. The angel just has to, you know, be IN the circle of fire.
Demons are a bit different. You can send them back to whence they came using an exorcism, but there isn’t any handy sigil you can draw with your blood to banish them. There is a handy sigil you can draw that’ll trap the tricky little mother fuckers though, and that son of a bitch looks like this:
Basically if they walk under one of these, or into one of these, then they’re stuck. You can draw it using anything, no blood needed (why are angels so much messier than demons?) and the only way they can get out is if the drawing is broken somehow (say, someone erases part of it). But don’t fret, they can’t break the sigil themselves. And you can sure as Hell throw some holy water on them, or find a way to pour it down their throats, but that’s more of a torture tactic than a killing and saving yourself tactic.
Try, I don’t know, baptizing someone in a vat of holy water. That might do the trick (I make no promises and am not responsible if you die horribly attempting this).
8. Iron, man. Iron.
Not Iron Man, actual iron. Iron has a rich history in folklore. It’s closely associated with human blood (because of the smell and taste) and has been long considered the life-blood of the Earth. Iron is said to ward off ghosts, fairies, witches, and other malevolent supernatural beings looking to wreck your life. They say cold iron a lot when they want to get fancy these days, but really cold iron was just a poetic way of saying iron so don’t feel like you need to have something forged on a cold anvil.
A horseshoe on the door is supposed to ward your home from these things, surrounding cemeteries with an iron fence is supposed to keep the souls there, and burying an iron knife under the entrance to your home is supposed to keep witches out.
So, if you really needed to, you could ward your home with iron. Then lay down some salt. Then some devil traps (just in case).
9. When in doubt, try setting it on fire and sending it to Hell.
Cleansing and purification by fire has been a time honored tradition for a very, very long time. There’s a reason for that. Fire is pretty effective when it comes to destroying things, and fire is supposed to cleanse things of evil. Now, every now and then you’ll come across something that just won’t burn
but that doesn’t mean that whatever you’re trying to get rid of that’s trying to kill you won’t die by flame. It means you’ll just have to try harder and be more creative. The book summons up evil forces? Don’t burn the book, burn the evil forces. The possessed girl keeps making the lighters and matches go out? Go outside and Molotov Cocktail the fucking house from a distance. Let’s see that possessed bitch put out a 5 alarm fire. Witches just won’t leave you alone? Trick them into a giant kiln the size of a room like they did in Hocus Pocus.
Trust me on this. If your little fire doesn’t work then you’re either trying to burn the wrong thing or your fire just needs to be bigger and hotter. Try harder.
This is one of the five stages of loss and grief, but it’s also a great way to not die. If something is coming after you and you’ve exhausted every other means listed, then try bargaining with the entity. Let’s say that there was this puzzle box and your douche of a sleezy uncle opened it and got S&M’d to death by a group who took body modding to whole new levels, right? But he found a way back to the land of the living – say, by people bleeding all over his death site and then him killing and devouring more people.
And then that puzzle box has been opened again and you suddenly find yourself about to meet the same fate as your uncle who is sleeping with your mother-in-law and consequently also traipsing around wearing your dad’s skin like a man-suit.
What are you going to do? You’re going to bargain with the Cenobites is what you’re going to do.
In exchange for leaving you alone, you’re going to give them your uncle’s runaway soul. Yes, I did just basically tell the story of Hellraiser in a few sentences. But, in the event that you aren’t actually living Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, just start bargaining off friends and relatives you’re not too fond of. Eventually you’ll either throw enough people under the bus that the bus flips or you’ll finally hit that one person that makes the thing trying to kill you go, “Ah, I was waiting for that offer.”
11. Last but not least, heed the Doctor’s advice and RUN!
Look, this is your absolute last resort. And it isn’t going to save you. It’s going to buy you time. Run. Run as fast and far away as you can and find someone who knows what they’re doing. Don’t come running to me, though, because I’m just going to tie you to a chair and wait for your pursuer to come and collect you as if I were some sort of Victims of the Supernatural bounty hunter.