One Staked Every Minute

Whenever I think to write on another subject, another one of these flaming VKKs crops up. This time, it’s pretty poor. The ones I looked at last time are at least superficially convincing. The thing featured in this video for the US TV show ‘Auction Kings’ is really not the best I’ve seen:

http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/auction-kings-vampire-killing-kit.html

Anyway, I was amused by the seller’s assessment, which is as follows, with my comments;

The kit was ‘Made during 1800’s when some people believed vampires were real’.

All evidence points to c1900 at the absolute earliest, more likely 1970 or later. Particularly this motley collection of bits and bobs in a dodgy case.

The knife has a blade made of silver.

Edwin the Seller apparently collects antique weapons, so far be it from me to contradict him. However that blade looks like ferrous metal to me – you can even see the faint active red rust at the forte of the blade at 0:51 in the video. I have never seen a knife blade made of silver – it really doesn’t lend itself to the job. Not only does it lack strength, it can’t hold an edge.

If silver pierces the vampire’s skin, it incapacitates them.

Edwin also has an interest in vampire lore. I’m not sure how deep this goes, however – I’m sure he’s a busy businessman with lots of interests. In any case, that idea dates to circa 1998 and the movie ‘Blade’ – or possibly earlier pop culture that I can’t currently recall. Suffice to say that silver bullets for vampires first appear in 1928 as we’ve seen, and blades or silver stakes are a very recent thing.

“Is that actual holy water…? …I would think so…”

I would love to know on what basis he makes that assertion. If only water could be tested for holiness.

“The vampire craze took off in 1897 with the release of Bram Stoker’s Dracula”.

No, it didn’t.

“Vampires are hot right now…”

This is one of the only accurate statements in the whole video (and is of course why so many of these things are coming out of the woodwork) – the other being the claim that VKKs with crossbows are very rare. I’ve seen only two others (both on Spookyland’s site), the first of which amusingly has the reference to a pistol on the Blomberg label obliterated. They obviously wanted the cache of the label but couldn’t be bothered to draft their own fake label. But I digress. That example doesn’t really resemble this new kit aside from the bow. Applying the same folklore/fiction approach as I have in the past, I struggled to find a single reference for the crossbow as anti-vampire weapon pre-‘Tomb of Dracula’. This Hammer movie from 1972 may be the earliest – if so these crossbow kits are in serious peril ‘authenticity’ wise.

Based on the clip, the owner of the auction house himself has reservations, but seems to agree to accept the consignment regardless. A quick look at their current inventory suggests that this place is more of a bric-a-brac shop than an antiques dealership or auction house. If I ever get to see the actual episode of the show (showing Oct 26 in the US), I’ll be intrigued to find out what this chap’s dad, who apparently has sold “two or three” such kits in the past, makes of this one. No doubt it will turn out to be just as “legit” as the others.

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