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Improvised Weapons

By Hugo Pecos

You never know when you might be attacked by vampires or zombies. A solitary vampire, driven mad by bloodlust, could burst into your house one night while you're watching TV. A lone zombie or a small stagger could shatter a peaceful afternoon by wandering into your yard.

In these situations, you may have to rely on whatever makeshift weapon you can get your hands on. Here are a few to keep in mind:

Shovel: The business end of a shovel is ideal for crushing zombie heads. If possible, bring the shovel straight down on the head, as they're much less likely to block it from that angle. If a zombie does manage to grab hold of the shovel, just let it go. You won't win a tug of war. Spade-type shovels are preferable to snow shovels.

Crowbar: One of the best improvised weapons, although it might be difficult to get to if you keep it in the trunk of your car.

Broom: Don't laugh; a broom handle can be a useful weapon. Simply get in a strong, athletic stance and deliver quick, powerful thrusts. Aim for the eyes, nose, mouth and throat. Just be aware that zombies often have "soft spots" where advanced decomposition has set in, so the broom handle may become stuck.

Hammer: While fighting with a hammer will bring you closer to your adversary than a shovel will, it is considerably easier to handle. A vampire who's about to clamp down on your throat might never see it coming.

Pots & Pans: A cast iron pan can do serious damage to a zombie's cranium. Vampires, however, are too quick and athletic to fall victim to your Farberware.

Kitchen Knives: In my experience, vampires are somewhat unnerved by knives; zombies, not so much. Just grab the biggest knife you can find and wield it with ferocity, and try to use the knife in conjunction with kicks and strikes from your free hand.

Baseball/Cricket Bat & Golf Clubs: They're built to be swung, so take advantage. Knock a zombie's hands away, and then kick it in the chest. Remember: you're just trying to buy time. As for golf clubs, leave the putter in the bag and swing the driver.

Preparation is key. From time to time, when you're sitting in a particular room in your home, take a moment to look around and ask yourself, "What would I do if a zombie shambled in?" Keep a mental inventory of the potential weapons lying about. Get up and walk through some scenarios, so that when the real thing happens, you'll know what to do. A lamp, a letter opener, a bottle of wine—in an emergency, all could be effective weapons. The undead don't play fair; and neither should you.

Overall Effectiveness:

Vampires:

Zombies:

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