So you want to know how to kill a vampire? Hopefully this is you being pro-active just in case you run into a vampire one day that needs killing. Otherwise this likely means that there is a vampire outside of your door and this is your last ditch attempt to survive and/or keep your soul. If this is the case, you're probably screwed, but I'll try to help you out anyway.
There are only five known ways to kill a vampire and all of those methods are listed below.
How to Kill a Vampire with Sunlight
By far the easiest way to kill a vampire is via direct sunlight. Even before the first vampire became a vampire, he was cursed to forever have to hide from the sun. Any skin of a vampire that comes in contact with direct sunlight will be severely burned.
There is a certain vampire book series popular with today's youth that insists that vampires can, in fact, be in direct sunlight. Rather than burn, their skin supposedly sparkles. While I don't want to burst anyone's dreamy fantasies, this is simply not true. Vampires burn in sunlight. Always have, always will.
I say that sunlight is the easiest way to kill a vampire because all you have to do is get them in direct sunlight for about 10 seconds or so. Actually getting one into direct sunlight is not so easy. This is where being smart helps. If you can somehow trick or trap a vampire in a place where they will eventually be exposed to direct sunlight, you're golden. The problem with this plan is that vampires are very fast, very strong, and generally very smart. They aren't going to simply let you stick them in a place where they don't want to be and stay there.
The nice part about sunlight is that it shows up daily. If you can survive through the night and make it somewhere where you can see the sun, you're probably safe. The problem is this usually means you have to be outside prior to the sun rising, which pretty much just makes you a prime target for a hungry vampire. Still, if you can wait out the night until morning, find the brightest path to safety and move quickly.
How to Kill a Vampire with a Wooden Stake
Still a classic, the wooden stake remains one of the best tools to use for vampire killing. Really, all a wooden stake is is a piece of wood with one edge sharp enough to pierce human flesh. Or inhuman flesh in this case.
If you think of monsters in terms of sports, vampires are those great offensive players who can always score, but are pretty crappy defenders. Sure, their speed and strength give them a big advantage, but the truth about vampires is they are too used to overpowering their opponent with their offensive capabilities that very few have spent much time learning to defend themselves.
Knowing this, the key to killing a vampire using a wooden stake is to strike first. Yes, that means playing offense against the offensive powerhouse, but in this game of life and death, you only need to score once.
Okay, enough with the sports analogy, but the lesson remains the same: a vampire will let its guard down fairly easily. You should attack quickly and without hesitation. A vampire can heal from most injuries, but a wooden stake through the heart is not one of them. Though they heal quickly, their skin and bones are just as fragile as any humans, so the key to killing them is to make it so they can't heal. Which brings us to...
How to Kill a Vampire with Silver
Again, the curse of silver begins before the first vampire became a vampire, when the goddess Artemis (Greek mythology) cursed the first vampire so that his skin burned when it touched silver.
Using silver is a bit like a blend between sunlight and a wooden stake. It doesn't work as well as either of those two options, but it has advantages of its own. First of all, unlike sunlight, silver is highly portable. You can carry an item of solid silver (make sure it's real, solid silver please) with you easily. Secondly, it won't kill a vampire to stab it in the heart with silver (as it would using a wooden stake), but it will slow down the healing process, which can be very helpful.
In order to actually kill a vampire using silver, you'd probably need a lot of it. Silver is more helpful as a slowing or trapping agent. Vampires, despite their strength, cannot break a chain of silver, even if they tried. If you could somehow manage to handcuff a vampire to a tree, say, using silver handcuffs, all you would have to do is wait until the sun rose the next day and you would have yourself a fried vampire. Of course, how you would actually manage to accomplish this task is another story.
How to Kill a Vampire with Fire
At first, fire seems like an easy fix to your vampire problems, but there is a problem. Yes, it will burn vampires, just like it burns humans, but unlike sunlight and silver, it's only through natural means that a vampire will burn by fire. What I mean is, the reason sunlight and silver burn a vampire and cause its healing process to slow dramatically is because vampires are inherently cursed by these two elements. While fire can burn just as well as sunlight or silver, it does nothing to slow the healing process of the vampire, because vampires are not cursed with a weakness to fire.
If you're going to use fire to kill a vampire, you're going to need to have a big fire and have the vampire stuck in it for a long time. Probably, say, an hour to be safe, though about a half hour will usually do the trick. This is because the vampire heals as it burns. The hotter the fire, the faster it burns, but you're still basically trying to beat the speed of the vampire's healing process. Should the vampire be mostly burnt but then escape the fire, it can still survive.
This is another situation where tying a vampire down with silver to immobilize it would be very handy, if you could manage it.
How to Kill a Vampire by Tearing Its Head Off
If you're like me, you've probably never tried to literally tear anyone's head off, except perhaps in some sort of video game. And that doesn't count. Tearing a vampire's head off is not as easy as it might sound. Though their bones and flesh is as fragile as ours, they have strong neck muscles which make it a difficult task to achieve.
If you're really intent on removing a vampire's head, there are two good ways to do it. The first option is to use a silver knife and cut off the head. This will still likely be a bit of a chore, but the silver will stop the healing process and slowly wear down the muscles strength, so with enough patience and time, this will work. The second option is to have another vampire tear the head off of your vampire of choice. Vampires are built strong enough to tear each others' heads off fairly easily, though it's highly looked down upon for a vampire to kill another vampire, so convincing one to do this for you is not going to be easy.
In most cases, you would still want to burn the head and the body separately to prevent the vampire from healing.
How to Kill a Vampire using Vampire Disease
The final method on our list of how to kill a vampire might be a bit of a misnomer. This perhaps would fit better in a section called "How Vampires Can Die" rather than "How To Kill A Vampire", but I'm including it in this section anyway.
The term "Vampire Disease" is tricky because it can refer to two different conditions.
Most of the time, when someone talks about "Vampire Disease", they are referring to Porphyric Hemophilia, which is the disease that, when introduced to the human bloodstream, will eventually turn that human into a vampire. Porphyric Hemophilia is caused by a bacteria carried in all vampires, which can be transferred to a human via blood or saliva.
The other "Vampire Disease" refers to the condition known as "Sangue Debolezza", which translates to "blood weakness" in Italian. No one really knows what it is or how it is spread, but it's the only known disease that can kill a vampire. Sangue Debolezza is extremely rare and its origin is unknown, so the chances of somehow being able to inflict this disease on a vampire would be extremely difficult. However, seeing as there are only a handful of ways a vampire can die, I figured I would include it.