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Vampire hunter's kit goes up for auction
8:00am Saturday 9th June 2012 in News
THE stakes will be high for gothic horror fans at the auction of a 19th Century vampire- slaying kit.
The Victorian casket contains everything any selfrespecting vampire-slayer could wish for – a mallet and four stakes, a pistol, rosary beads, a prayer book, glass bottles of holy water, holy earth, garlic paste and a crucifix.
The items are carefully housed in a mahogany box, which features a silver crucifix lock. The kit will be auctioned at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, this month.
The casket’s origins are as mysterious as its purpose; it was found in the cellar of the seller’s uncle after his death, along with two other vampireslaying kits.
Auctioneer Oonagh Dragbe said she thinks someone collected the items separately, then made the box to store them in.
However, mystery still surrounds why and who created it.
She said: “The people who own it were left the casket by an eccentric uncle who lived in Leeds. When they came to clear his house, there were three of these.
“They kept the one that did not have a gun in it and sold one by private treaty for about £5,000. This is still the best one.
“I think that this dates towards the end of the 19th Century, perhaps after Bram Stoker wrote Dracula.”
Mrs Dragbe said the kit does not appear to ever have been used, and they can only guess at its past use.
She said she knew of a few similar vampire-slaying caskets that had been sold in the US in the past.
She said: “I do not know if it was created to play on people’s superstitions or even if it was carried around by a priest.”
There has already been a huge amount of interest in the kit, with the auction house receiving queries from around the world.
It is estimated to sell for between £1,500 and £2,000, but auctioneers say it could fetch much more with live internet bidding.
The casket will go under the hammer on Friday, June 22.