Thresholds are defined by Merriam-Webster as “the point or place of entering or beginning” and is generally applied to the entrances of homes. Thresholds and their impact on supernatural beings are found sprinkled throughout many different kinds of folklore. In much folklore demons, vampires and other supernatural beings cannot cross thresholds without the express permission of the inhabitants of the building. In the popular book series about a modern day wizard, The Dresden Files, author Jim Butcher explains that the human inhabitants of a home cause a shield of energy to build up in the home, repelling supernatural beings. The longer people have inhabited a home and built memories there, the stronger the threshold will be. Even in the real world one can often feel thresholds without realizing it; it manifests in the awkward feeling one has about opening the gate to knock on the door of a house that one has not been invited to. It is difficult to cross a threshold without invitation and while it only makes humans uncomfortable, it generally causes evil beings to lose their powers, becoming severely weakened. This kind of threshold idea is also seen in the Swedish movie Let the Right One In where the vampire character Eli crosses the threshold and begins to bleed from the skin. Blood is a precious commodity in this movie and her bleeding had to have weakened her to some degree. In some folklore it is not the threshold itself but what is above it that prevents a vampire or other demon from entering. In the classic folktale Bucket of Blood, the vampire character is able to open a locked gate because there was no cross above it and in Bram Stoker’s Dracula the infamous villain is not able to enter Lucy’s room after strings of garlic are placed over the window sills.

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