A vampire-slaying kit sparked an international bidding war before selling for six times its estimated price at an auction in the United Kingdom.
According to Hansons Auctioneers, the late 19th-century box kit containing objects reputed to ward off vampires was sold on Thursday, 30 June, for $15,736.49. It belonged to Lord William Malcolm Hailey, a British peer and former administrator of British India.
“Whether through fear or fascination, it’s interesting to know a member of the highest aristocratic social order, a man with a place in the House of Lords, acquired this item. It reminds us that the vampire myth affects people from all walks of life,” said Charles Hanson, owner of the auction house, as per a press release.
Hanson Auctioneers informed the items in the box included crucifixes, holy water, a wooden stake and mallet, rosary beads, a Gothic Bible, brass candlesticks, matching pistols and a brass powder flash.
Mr Hanson said that the task of killing a vampire was extremely serious and historical accounts suggested the need for particular methods and tools. He added that items of religious significance, such as crucifixes and bibles, were said to repel these “monsters”.
As per the press note, the eerie item attracted bidders from across the globe, including Frace, the US and Canada. But in the end, an anonymous bidder from the UK won.
It is still unclear whether the buyer will put the kit to use. However, Hanson Auctioneers has said that belief in vampires, undead creatures said to need human blood to survive, goes back hundreds of years and persists in some parts of the world even today.