Ultraviolet, the Vampire Slayer

Stephen R. Wilk

OPN’s “Light Touch” columnist offers a Halloween treat: a brief cultural history of UV light’s deadly effect on vampires.

figureWesley Snipes in a scene from the film “Blade,” 1998. [Photo by Amen Ra Films/Getty Image]

That, biscuit boy, is a UV lamp,” threatens Wesley Snipes as the vampire-hunting hero in the 1998 movie “Blade.” “We’re gonna play a game of 20 questions. Depending on how you answer, you may walk out of here with a tan.” Blade, dressed confidently and cooly all in black, is armed to the teeth in this scene, including a gun hanging from his hip and a sword strapped to his back. Yet he threatens the vampire with ultraviolet (UV) light.

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