Are you worried about meeting a vampire? Do you already have one that’s been bothering you? Rather than changing your lifestyle, why not change the vampire’s by getting your very own vampire-slaying kit. Will it work? Does it come with a money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied? Will they pay the money to your heirs?
“I know very little of its history. I have had it in my own collection for three years now. I bought it from a large antiques fair in Newark. I loved the look of the Gothic box and, when I opened it, I just had to have it. I thought it was so interesting - a great conversation piece.”
The vampire slaying kit is being auctioned by Hansons Auctioneers in England at its July 16-21 Antiques and Collectors Auction. With the coronavirus lockdown, all most people are doing these days is having conversations and that’s about all you can do with this vampire-slaying kit because the anonymous owner knows nothing about its history.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to talk about. The proud new owner of this lockable, velvet-covered, crimson silk-lined box (photos here) will find a carved ivory wolf in robes carrying rosary beads; a percussion cap pocket pistol; cobalt blue glass phial with white metal lid (contents unknown); rosary beads; three crucifixes; two sets of pliers; a pocket knife with a mother-of-pearl handle and silver blade; a bottle of shark's teeth; an 1842 copy of The New Testament; and an enamel painting of the resurrection of Jesus. With no instructions, it’s left to your imagination how – and how well – this kit would work against a vampire.
Let’s start with the known (assuming their existence) best ways to slay a vampire. There’s sunlight, a wooden stake, a silver bullet, fire and tearing off its head. Looking at the inventory of the box, the small gun and the silver blade knife seem like the only killing tools, and the gun is a small single-shot pistol with no indication it comes with a silver bullet. All of the other implements in the box are more like vampire repellents. It’s possible the bottle contains holy water, but you can’t really find out until you squirt it at a vampire. The shark teeth may be there to make a quick disguise to fool the vampire, but the kit doesn’t have much to help if it just makes him angrier.
“It is due to go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on July 16 with an estimate of £2,000-£3,000.”
Would you pay $2,500-$3,750 or possibly more for this vampire-slaying kit? It might be worth it if it had something validating its age (other than the bible) or a newspaper clipping describing a vampire killing with a photo (that always bumps up the price on Antiques Roadshow). Unfortunately, all this one has is the word of the auction house.
“The task of killing a vampire was extremely serious and historical accounts suggested the need for particular methods and tools.”
That’s not much to go on, which is why snopes.com is skeptical of ALL vampire slaying kits. An inspection of a “19th century” kit last year quickly found that it was made in 2013 and an investigation found that many of the other kits in museums and collections or on the market were made in the 1970s when the soap opera “Dark Shadows” and Stephen King’s “’Salem’s Lot” made vampires popular. Having been called out, reputable collectors like Royal Armouries admitted that their kits were “novelty items.”
Is a novelty vampire slaying kit it worth $2500 or more? If you’ve been under coronavirus lockdown for a few months and have run out of conversation starters, your answer may be “yes.”
If you conversation is expected to include a vampire, you may want to add a flamethrower or install a skylight. Or both.