Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Of vampires and garlic.


"Vampires are feared everywhere, but the Balkan region has been especially haunted. Garlic has been regarded as an effective prophylactic against vampires.

We wanted to explore this alleged effect experimentally.

Owing to the lack of vampires, we used leeches instead. In strictly standardized research surroundings, the leeches were to attach themselves to either a hand smeared with garlic or to a clean hand. The garlic-smeared hand was preferred in two out of three cases (95% confidence interval 50.4% to 80.4%). When they preferred the garlic the leeches used only 14.9 seconds to attach themselves, compared with 44.9 seconds when going to the non-garlic hand (p < 0.05).

The traditional belief that garlic has prophylactic properties is probably wrong. The reverse may in fact be true.

This study indicates that garlic possibly attracts vampires."

Tidsskr Nor Largeforen. 1994 Dec 10;114(30):3583-6.

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