They are exhibited in some Museums in England and US and they are referred as “Vampire-Killing Kits”, supposedly dating back to 1850 and the following decades. Despite the vintage appearance though, they are all fake, created on purpose between 1970 and 1980 to attract groups of curious people within the rooms of suburban museums, very often entirely empty of visitors .

One of these kits is kept at Leeds Museum and it includes: a gun, wooden stakes, crucifix, bible and rosaries, garlic powder, holy water and several potions. Even though it is declared as a fake, the object still keeps on drawing towards itself several people from all over the world.

The kits were created between the 70’s and 80’s of 1900 with extreme care, perfect imitations of what had been seen on the many horror films such as Dracula and other vampiric stories.

The fake kits did not only spread throughout suburban areas but they got purchased by unknown collectors for incredible sums of money. It is not really clear though whether such buyers were aware of the forgery they were about to buy.

All the kits include one or more guns, crucifixes, wooden hammers, stakes, potions, a bible and other objects. There are examples in which a map of Transylvania would complete the “authenticity” of the product too.

Even though these kits were fake, there are numerous people ready to believe that there was a period in which a siege of the vampire race occurred, in which boxes of such a kind were commercialised. Very interesting the words of two people directly involved in the selling and exhibition of the fake relics.

David Walker, supervisor of the heritage of the 19th century in Sotheby‚Äôs, New York, described as “highly spectacular” the proposed material, but he added that, every time he sells a similar object, the media give to those much attention. Cory Amsler, vice president of the Mercer Museum explains how the kits increased the number of entrances for decades, as well as they could be used as tools for better understanding the mystification of the various historical periods.

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Matteo Rubboli

I am a publisher specialised in the digital distribution of culture and founder of the portal Vanilla Magazine. I don't wear a tie or branded clothes, I keep my hair short so I don't have to comb it. That's not my fault but just the way I've been drawn as...

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