York & North Yorkshire

Victorian vampire-slaying kit sells for £7,500 at auction

Vampire slaying box
Image caption The box contains a prayer book and vampire-slaying equipment

A Victorian vampire-slaying kit has sold for £7,500 to an unknown buyer at an auction in North Yorkshire.

The 19th Century box contains a crucifix, pistol, wooden stakes and mallet, as well as glass bottles containing holy water, holy earth and garlic paste.

The box was left to a Yorkshire woman in her uncle's will.

Nigel Smith, from Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, said it had received "a lot of interest".

"We had been expecting something between £1,500 and £2,000 and it went for £7,500. We had six telephones on it and there was a lot of bidding.

"It's an extremely interesting thing," said Mr Smith.

Valuer Oonagh Drage said the kit was probably made in the late 1800s and was possibly inspired by the popularity of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.

Ms Drage said she had not seen anything like it before.

"It's probably a novelty thing. It's playing to people's superstitions."

As well as the weaponry, the box holds a copy of the Book of Common Prayer from 1851 and a handwritten extract from the Bible which quotes Luke 19:27.

It reads: "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."

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