In fiction, there are a lot of things the attract the supernatural: a cursed object, a summoning, owning a Soul Jar
or some Sealed Evil in a Can
, the list is practically endless. So, naturally, if there are so many ways to attract to the supernatural, there has to be at least a few ways to repel
Enter the supernatural repellent. In fiction, there are a number of ways to send supernatural spirits sprinting
away, from common house-hold items, like salt, to actual houses or other places where evil can not follow you.
Speaking of salt, salt is a very common way to allegedly repel spirits, usually witches. This is supposedly because salt represents life, and thus repels the dead.
Compare Protective Charm
, which is an artifact that protects you from other things, in addition the the supernatural. Contrast Summoning Artifact
, an object which mainly attracts evil.
- Hocus Pocus has this in both the object and the place variety. Apparently, witches can not cross a ring of salt, nor can they set foot on a graveyard. they can fly over the graveyard, though.
Live Action TV
- In The Dresden Files, a circle can keep out the bad, as well as the mundane. This becomes a plot point in Fool Moon, where a specialized three-circle is used to repel both the bad and the mundane, as well as trap the creature inside.
- Parodied in the Discworld novels, especially in Carpe Jugulum, where much mirth is raised by recounting, in a Discworld context, all the things which Earth legends say are fatal to vampires. This ranges from the normal- garlic, and whatnot- to the more unorthodox- lemons, poppyseed, and carrots.
Mythology & Religion
- And, of course, for a real supernatural repellent, Supernatural shows that a ring of salt will protect you.
- Another way to get rid of ghosts, in the Supernatural-verse is iron, although it's also used to just kill or weaken them normally.
- In a Dracula sketch on The Benny Hill Show, Drac is repelled by a picture of Nicholas Parsons, who was a Benny Hill show regular.
- You could add that Nicholas Parsons is the sort of clean-living, squeaky-clean TV and radio personality who a young damsel could trust with their virginity, her wealth, or her aging parents, knowing they're in safe hands. Comedians make much mirth from the sort of personality this implies - either oleaginously greasy, or else utterly boring. But he is regarded as a National Living Treasure and by all accounts is a totally decent and likeable guy. Dracula would be repelled.
- As it's been mentioned before, a lot of superstitions mention that salt is a very good way to get rid of demons.
- Other repellents for the supernatural include garlic and crosses for vampires.
- In Shinto, plates of salt placed by the door are said to repel evil spirits.
- The Wiccans share the same idea, with salt supposedly cleansing an area of negative/evil energy, and it's not uncommon to see a plate of salt on the altar.
- Inverted by the Aztec goddess of fertility, Huixtocihuatl, who resides over salt and salt water.
- In The Bible, iron was good for keeping fairies from steeling your baby and replacing it with a changeling. Coincidentally enough, it also says the Bible itself repels fairies just as well as iron
- Crossing over with Protective Charm, Dungeons & Dragons has the Brooch of Shielding.
- A slightly better example would be mirrors and other holy relics to vampires.
- Also, Clerics can turn the undead, which has a general negative effect on the other undead, including repellent
- Additionally, in the Dungeons & Dragons supplement Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia, it mentions that objects covered in dung reputedly are unable to be touched by the undead.
- In Age of Aquarius, radiation repels and hurts spirits. Those spirits who cannot simply leave the presence of the radiation isotopes (like earth spirits, bound to their land,) were subjected to a Fate Worse Than Death.
- In the West End/Broadway version of Dracula, Van Helsing uses The Host as this.