Someone Just Paid $16K for This 'Vampire-Slaying Kit'

Wooden box from late 1800s contained all kinds of repellents against the blood-sucking undead
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2022 4:40 PM CDT
Someone Just Paid $16K for This 'Vampire-Slaying Kit'
Someone paid nearly $16,000 for the kit after a "fierce bidding competition."   (Hansons )

Someone apparently didn't think the crucifixes and holy water they had lying around were enough to contend with the undead—and so last week they paid nearly $16,000 for a late-1800s "vampire-slaying kit" up for sale at a UK auction house, reports Live Science. The sturdy wooden box filled with the equivalent of Nosferatu nukes went on the block at Hansons Auctioneers on June 30, selling for six times its estimated price after a "fierce bidding competition" from potential buyers worldwide, per the Hansons site. Included in the kit were such items as a matching pair of pistols, a Bible, rosary beads, a wooden stake and mallet, brass candlesticks, and yes, holy water and crucifixes, the latter of which decorate the outside of the box.

A 1915 document from the London-area Metropolitan Police was also contained within the kit, showing that an "alien enemy" had been registered. "The task of killing a vampire was extremely serious, and historical accounts suggested the need for particular methods and tools," Hansons owner Charles Hanson says, adding that "items of religious significance," like the crucifixes and Bible, were especially said to be of benefit in repelling vampires. "Objects like this fascinate both collectors and people in general—and this vampire kit had particularly interesting provenance."

Hanson goes on to explain that backstory, detailing how the kit used to belong to a certain Lord William Malcolm Hailey, an aristocrat who lived from 1872 to 1969 and once served as the administrator of British India. "Whether through fear or fascination, it's interesting to know a member of the highest aristocratic social order, a man with a place in the House of Lords, acquired this item," Hanson says. "It reminds us that the vampire myth affects people from all walks of life." The vampire-slayer kit was sold to a buyer from Derbyshire, who wished to remain anonymous. "It's a fascinating item, a conversation piece," they said after the sale. "I liked it for its novelty and historical value." (More vampires stories.)

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