Vampire Slaying Kit: A Curious Oddity for True Believers
Have you ever seen a genuine vampire slaying kit? If not, you are not alone. The kits are a curious oddity among true believers in the vampire legend. There aren't a lot of them around these days. However, they were apparently quite popular in the mid to late 19th century.
One such kit was sold by Hanson’s Auctioneers back in July. The Derbyshire, England auction house was anticipating a sale price ranging from $2,500 to $3,770. Whether or not they got that much is unclear. What is clear is that the individual pieces of the kit are pretty old.
More Than Just a T-Shirt
For vampire fans and true believers alike, a vampire slaying kit is so much more than a T-shirt you could buy on the Five Dollar T-Shirts website. T-shirts are great, but a kit like this says your interest in vampires goes beyond casual. It says you are at least fascinated with the legend. You might even be among those who truly believe in the existence of the undead.
So what does a vampire slaying kit contain? Individual pieces vary from one kit to the next, but a typical kit contains both religious items and physical means of exacting a vampire's demise. The kit auctioned by Hanson’s contained two crucifixes, a Bible, a carved wolf, several glass vials, a pocketknife, and a derringer. There was even a small, enamel painting of the resurrection of Christ attached to the lid.
The silk-lined box is believed to date back to the late 1700s. All of the other items are from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. Each piece would not necessarily be collectible on its own but in a kit like this they may have more value.
It Might Not Work
Perhaps you are lucky enough to own your very own vampire slaying kit. If so, consider this chilling reality: it might not work. The problem is that there are lots of different opinions about how to kill a vampire. Yet no one really addresses the concept of killing something that is already undead.
Some legends say that the only way to kill a vampire is to drive a wooden stake through its heart. Others say you have to burn a vampire's body using a specific kind of wood. Almost none of the legends acquiesce to the concept of killing a vampire with a derringer.
Then there is the obvious strategy of exposing a vampire to direct sunlight. Vampires allegedly can't handle it, yet there has been no shortage of Hollywood vampires that have led double lives like Superman and Batman. They seem to have no trouble with sunlight when living undercover.
A Nice Conversation Starter
The good folks at Hanson’s Auctioneers say the vampire slaying kit is a nice conversation starter more than anything else. People fascinated with the vampire legend would place such a kit on a mantle or coffee table and use it as a way to open an interesting conversation with family members and friends.
Looked at from that angle, it is really no different than vampire T-shirts. All it takes is one look to start a conversation. Even people who do not give the legend of the vampire the time of day seem to be interested in talking about it. They are more than willing to express their opinions about the alleged realities of bloodsucking undead people.
And perhaps, somewhere, is a real-life vampire hoping to never run into somebody in possession of a vampire slaying kit. After all, crucifixes and derringers could lead to an untimely demise.