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November 13 2008

Which Watcher Lost His Vampire Slaying Kit? A genuine vampire slaying kit was auctioned off recently in Natchez, Mississippi.

It's circa 1800. Stakes with crosses, a crucifix, holy water, and a gun with silver bullets were included in the specially designed kit. One stake is especially nice, with an apparent silver tip. A kit this organized and well-made must have been prepared by the Watchers' Council.

(Thanks to Neatorama for the link.)

I'm trying to imagine what 200 yr old garlic tastes like and I'm failing miserably. It's a very pretty collection. Was there much popular vampire fiction around at that time?
I'm trying to imagine what 200 yr old garlic tastes like

Man, that is discouting.

[ edited by Brasilian Chaos Man on 2008-11-13 20:01 ]
Simon, I don't think they thought it was fiction back then... =)
Vampires are fictional? Buffy wasn't a really well made reality series? Go figure!
Oh they're real now, it's just in the past that they were fictional. Like laptops.
Laptops are real?

;)
Did you know that it was Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (18th century--she was the mother of Emperor Joseph II and Marie-Antoinette) that pronounced that vampires were fictional? She actually had a study look into it because the superstitions were so rampant at the time.

In Romania, many of the old graves have beheaded bodies in them. They would put garlic in the corpse's mouth, drive a wooden stake into them and then behead the corpse.

The reason for the superstition is likely because that during the first stage of the decomposition process, the body bloats up with gases and a reddish liquid comes out of the nose/mouth. To people who didn't understand the science behind the process, it looked like the bodies had just recently fed on blood.

There was also a habit of burying people alive, which led to many coffins having scratch marks on the lids. They would actually put a string around their fingers and hooked up to a bell to let people know that they buried someone alive. And sometimes they'd escape and end up getting killed because they were thought to be the living dead.
"Did you know that it was Empress Maria Theresa of Austria... that pronounced that vampires were fictional?"

That's all well and good but I'm more concerned with who it was that pronounced laptops were real.

Crazy talk!
I'm so glad I live in the now and not that then. *shudders at thought of being buried alive* Blegh.
How awesome is that! Do want. :o


[ edited by . on 2009-01-15 04:29 ]
Bell, book and candle are the traditional implements for an exorcism, which probably explains the candle.

Vampire fiction as we know it began just a little later than the date given for this box - Byron's physician, Dr Polidori published a story The Vampyr in the early 1820s - written that same summer in the Villa Diodati when Mary Shelley put Frankenstein together. I've always wondered if Angelus and Darla were in the vicinity...
I think they still believe in vampires in Romania.
What, we don't believe in vampires here?
That is way cool. I can't wait to be rich and eccentric and own stuff like that.
The Ripley's museum has a similar set. And someone actually put together and marketed a modern limited-edition set similar to this just a few years ago.
This is really cool! I wish I could examine it, I think I would be a great Watcher...antiquities fascinate me so!
I think the garlic may be a recent restock- it looks kind of fresh for almost 200 years stored in a box. I wish the article had some information about the, uh, "provenance", as they say on the A. Roadshow. I'd love to know something about who put it together and where it's been. Rowan, did the Ripley exhibit say more about where that one came from?

[ edited by toast on 2008-11-14 19:01 ]
After my first daughter was born (about the time of Buffy's last season), some friends of mine put together a "Baby's First Slayer's Kit", as a baby present.

It had a picture of my daughter in her carrier with the Buffy Intro words (Into each generation, etc.), a tiny stake, a mirror, and two vials of "holy water."

I still have it.
Best baby gift ever, Sokol.
toast, not that I recall. It's been four or five years since went to the Ripley museum in St. Augustine. I know they also have one of the kits in each of several other museums, though, so I have to wonder if some of them weren't assembled posthumously, so to speak...

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