A man hurriedly exits a door and slams it behind him. He then throws his body against it to hold it closed. Breathing heavily he surveyed the moonlit rooftop for an escape. His search, however, was interrupted by the sudden assault on the metal door behind him. Hungry growls called to him from the other side. What was he going to do? The key to surviving the undead is knowing what kind of undead is being dealt with. There are two major types of undead and knowing the difference could mean life or death. The two types are vampires and zombies. While both prey on the living for food and lack a pulse their differences are very real!
Zombies are typically slow shambling creatures often times in various stages of decomposition. With yellowing skin and blackened teeth gnashing at their victims. While vampires could be considered attractive, charming even. Their pale complexions match the full moon’s glow. Vampires are primarily creatures of the night. That’s when they leave their lairs, a crypt or graveyard to feed. Zombies, however, are active at all hours, making them a constant threat.
Now that feeding times have been established lets discuss the menu. For vampires it’s blood. They are often portrayed as using their fangs to bite humans on the neck. From there they drain their meal dry, whereas zombies aren’t picky about what they eat just as long as it’s flesh. They grab their victims with rotted hands and sink their teeth into any exposed meat.
Defense is the next step. Zombies can be slow, making evasion seem easy, but their relentless nature makes them dangerous. In a one on one encounter defeating these creatures can be easy. Destroy the brain and the ghoul dies. By severing the brain’s connection it renders the body inert. Vampires have a laundry list of weaknesses. First and foremost is sunlight. The rays the sun emits are the bane of their existence. Other weaknesses include allergies to garlic and holy water. It was also said that they couldn’t cross running water. An important thing to know is that a stake to the heart can make short work of these beings.
Armed with this knowledge if one were presented with an undead threat, they could both distinguish which kind and successfully defend themselves. Whether it’s holding up until dawn or going on the offensive with a crowbar, one could easily survive. This being said, only two potential threats are mentioned. What other creatures of the night could be lurking about? Werewolves? Banshees? Succubae? Dealing with them is an entirely different fight.
Mikhail Lerma was raised in the rural town of Holdrege Nebraska. His strong interest in horror and science fiction began at a young age, starting with late night zombie movies and Star Trek. He finished his high school years by joining the army when he was only 17. He is a 10 year U.S. Army veteran. While deployed to Iraq in 2007 he spent missions in a turret as gunner, and began writing in his free time. Storytelling has become a passion of his, and he looks forward to writing more science fiction in the future. He currently lives in Iowa with his wife and three daughters. Balancing his roles between husband, father, writer, and full time steel mill worker.