2020 has been everything the year 2012 was supposed to be: it's had apocalyptic bushfires in Australia, locusts swarming East Africa, the invasion of “murder hornets,” geopolitical tensions reaching boiling point, record hot temperatures in the Arctic, and, of course, the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic.
All bets are off. So, with five months left of the year ahead, now might be a good time to stock up on vampire-slaying kits, you know, just in case.
An antique-looking vampire-killing kit – equipped with three crucifixes, a bottle containing shark's teeth, and a copy of The New Testament – is going up for auction in the UK at Hansons Auctioneers on July 16. The set has a starting bid of £1,200 (approximately $1,500), but it’s hoped to sell for somewhere between £2,000 and £3,000 (approximately $2,500 and $3,760).
Encased in an ornate wooden box with a crimson silk lining, the box also contains a number of other objects once believed to rid undead folklore monsters, including a silver-bladed pocket knife, a painting depicting the resurrection of Christ, a carved ivory wolf in robes carrying rosary beads, an ornamental cap pistol, a blue glass vial with unknown contents, and two sets of pliers. Fresh garlic not included.
“Items of religious significance, such as crucifixes and Bibles, were said to repel these monsters, hence their strong presence in the kit we have found," Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said in a statement.
“People are fascinated by stories of vampires, hence their continued appearance in films and on TV today. They have been part of popular culture for more than 200 years. 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."
The origins of the anti-vampire kit is as mysterious and unknown as you might expect. Although the copy of the New Testament was published in 1842, the auction house says the box also bears “contemporary owner inscriptions”. The current owner of the box, who wished to remain anonymous, is also uncertain about its provenance.
“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 antique fair in Newark [the English town]. 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,” said the owner.