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Modern Mysteries

Mystery surrounds 19th-Century 'vampire hunting kit'

By T.K. Randall
July 1, 2022 · Comment icon 14 comments

Vampires were once taken very seriously. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Musicalvienna
A wooden box containing everything a person would need to combat vampires has sold for over $15,000.
The kit, which was once owned by British peer Lord Hailey, looks like something that might have been carried by Van Helsing - the fictional vampire expert often portrayed as the nemesis of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Finely crafted, the wooden box contains a wealth of tools and weapons including two pistols, a wooden stake, a bottle of holy water, a crucifix, a brass powder flask, a Bible and some beads.

It's not clear, however, how seriously Lord Hailey actually took the threat of vampires.

"Vampires have been part of popular culture for more than 200 years," said auctioneer Charles Hanson. "They are enshrined in European folklore."
"The publication of John Polidori's The Vampyre in 1819 had a major impact and that was followed by Bram Stoker's 1897 classic Dracula."

"However, a belief in vampires and strange superstitions go back even further and persist to this day. The task of killing a vampire was extremely serious and historical accounts suggested the need for particular methods and tools."

The kit ended up selling for over $15,000 - which was five times its initial guide price.

Source: BBC News | Comments (14)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Gilbert Syndrome 2 years ago
I'm struggling to fathom what this "mystery" is that supposedly surrounds the kit.  Many of the items in the box, and in any of these kits (there are many out there) are generally based on ideas straight out of fictional stories.  Actual vampire lore differs from the work of Stoker, etc. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by Nnicolette 2 years ago
I feel bad for whoever got accused of being a vampire...
Comment icon #7 Posted by Tatetopa 2 years ago
Brilliant.  I'm done making planters, benches, and Adirondack chairs in my woodshop. to sell for a few hundred bucks.  Now all I need is an Internet site to sell my Apocalypse Ready Vampire Hunting Kit for the low low price of $3,999.  Maybe I could also offer a line of hand turned zombie destroying baseball bats. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Hyperionxvii 2 years ago
People will literally buy anything. And sometimes the crazier it is, the more thy will pay for it.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Piney 2 years ago
The misses has quite a few vintage gear driven Homelites that we don't use. Maybe a partnership is in order. 
Comment icon #10 Posted by Tatetopa 2 years ago
I have not seen one of those in a lot of years.   All we need to do is convince Boston Dynamics to fit a couple of those on a Big Dog and we would have a Zombie fighting heroic robot, last bulwark fending off an alien invasion, or a serial killer evil robot.  Movie possibilities are endless.  Or more of a practical use, a robot for rough out carving.  
Comment icon #11 Posted by Tatetopa 2 years ago
My brother in law has been a chain saw carver for 30 or so years.  Now his best friend has bought a huge Chinese CNC router that can rough out a 6' bear or other stature that he can spend a couple of hours furring up and burning some details into and then put a price tag on it.   Yeah, some sadness to it.  We have our memories, skills, and experiences, the things that shaped our lives.   You can tell you kids or grandkids  about making a usable tool out of an old truck axle in a forge,  and they wonder why you bothered or suggest that a CNC lathe could have done it better.  My kid can... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Piney 2 years ago
Home Depot was selling fake chainsaw carved bears made out of polyvinyl.  Back to the subject of vampire hunting. My uncle had a Homelite 66 with a bow bar which was borrowed by a friend who tried to cut a overhead branch with. The saw fell backward and lopped his arm off at the shoulder. But it'd make a good beheading saw.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Tatetopa 2 years ago
I suspect it would. Never used one.  All I know about bow bars is that people have told me they are good for brush and small trees but tend to kick back.   I don't think they are in real common use out here.  Do they use them in the south or on the East Coast?
Comment icon #14 Posted by Piney 2 years ago
They did in both. But only as cut off and firewood saws. They can only cut straight down. That's why they have the dirt foot. I have a couple of Homelite XL powerheads. The Ash Williams Evil Dead saw. The world's first zombie killer model. One has a melted piston so I want to gut it, make a dummy plastic bar and the wrist cuff so it fits over my hand.   

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