Vampire slaying kit sold at auction for five times its guide price

Curator Jonathan Ferguson with the vampire slaying kit
Curator Jonathan Ferguson with the vampire slaying kit

A rare and unusual vampire slaying kit, displayed at Tennants in Harrogate, has been sold at auction for five times its guide price.

The 19th century slaying kit, complete with percussion cap pistol, a crucifix and silver bullets, has been bought by a Leeds museum for £7,500.

It will be on display at the Royal Armouries, the museum hopes, by Halloween.

Valuer Oonagh Drage, of Tennants Auctioneers, said the sale in Leyburn attracted international media attention.

“We had a lot of interest in the set,” she said. “NBC was filming for two days and the BBC were reporting on it from Newcastle to Coventry.

“A lot of people wanted to know where it had come from. A woman was left it by her 94-year-old uncle when he died.

“When they were cleaning the house they found these kits, alongside a number of mysterious items, in a trunk in the cellar. They couldn’t believe it when they found it.”

The vampire slaying kit, a solid mahogany casket lined in deep blue velvet, holds rosary beads, glass vials of holy water, a mallet and stakes.

There is Holy Earth, and A Book of Common Prayer dated 1857 and a handwritten extract from the Bible, quoting Luke 19:27, which reads, “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”

Expert Mrs Drage believes it was probably commissioned by someone in the late 19th century, playing on superstitions following the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in the 1890s.