What Could Be in a 19th Century Vampire-Slaying Kit?

‘Vampire-slaying kit’ bought by Royal Armouries museum

Vampire slaying boxThe box contains a prayer book and “vampire-slaying equipment”

In 2012, the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds sold a “vampire-slaying kit.” The 19th Century box, contained a crucifix, pistols, wooden stakes and a mallet,  and was sold for £7,500 at an auction in North Yorkshire. It had been left to a Yorkshire woman in her uncle’s will. The Royal Armouries expected the box would prove a major attraction when it went on display at the Clarence Dock museum. The box and its contents all date from the 19th Century but are likely to have been put together in the 20th Century. It is thought it was produced to capitalise on the popularity of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula and the Hammer Horror Movies. As well as the weaponry, the box contains a copy of the Book of Common Prayer from 1851 and a handwritten extract from the Bible which quotes Luke 19:27. (But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.)

This article comes to us from the BBC: Leeds and North Yorkshire. To read the complete article, please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-18583374

I found this article very interesting the first time I featured it, and it was nice to revisit it. My vampiric tale of Pride and Prejudice used a variety of means to defeat the vampire, George Wickham. Darcy, Elizabeth, and Colonel Fitzwilliam used silver, a crucifix, ash staves, millet, salt, coins in the mouth, scatterings of the ashes of the vampire’s grave, stakes, etc. 

MDP Book Cover

Book Blurb: Vampire Darcy’s Desire presents Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as a heart-pounding vampire romance filled with passion and danger.

Tormented by a 200-year-old curse and his fate as a half human/half vampire dhampir, Fitzwilliam Darcy vows to live a solitary life rather than inflict the horrors of his life upon an innocent wife and his first born son. However, when he encounters the captivating Elizabeth Bennet, his will is sorely tested.

As a man, Darcy yearns for Elizabeth, but as a vampire, he is also driven to possess her. Uncontrollably drawn to each other, they are forced to confront a different kind of “pride” and his enemy’s “prejudice,” while wrestling with the seductive power of forbidden love. Evil forces, led by George Wickham, the purveyor of the curse, attack from all sides, and Darcy learns his only hope to survive is to align himself with Elizabeth, who is uncannily astute is how to defeat Wickham, a demon determined to destroy each generation of Darcys.

Vampire Darcy’s Desire retells Austen’s greatest love story in a hauntingly compelling tale. Can love be the only thing that can change him?


“Someone looks for you, Darcy.” Wickham paced the cell in agitation.

Darcy refused to react. He forced his breathing to remain even, but the joy of knowing another knew of his capture played havoc with his composure. He kept his eyes closed, fearing Wickham could read his countenance.

Wickham leaned down, his face only inches from Darcy’s. “Do you want to know who it was?”

Darcy opened his eyes slowly and smiled. “As you appear intent on telling me, I see no reason to guess.”

Wickham walked away casually. “It was your beautiful wife, Mrs. Darcy.” Wickham straddled a straight-backed chair, turning it to where he could watch Darcy’s reaction.

For a split second, Darcy’s heart skipped a beat. He did not want Elizabeth to put herself in danger for him, but then the truth flashed in Wickham’s eyes. “You are quite amusing, Wickham, but the thought of my wife being here is ludicrous. I told you from the beginning that Elizabeth left me after your seduction of Miss Lydia. However, if what you purport were true, and my wife were here, you have not enough ghouls in your congregation to hold me in these chains, for she would not stop until I was free. Trust me, Wickham, there is no way you could defeat her. She is more than either of us can handle.”

Wickham sat in complete silence; Darcy chose to ignore him and closed his eyes again. Finally, Wickham barked out a forced laugh. “You have me there, Darcy. Your rescuer was a man. Mayhap you would have been better off with your wife. At least, she would not have abandoned you.” He stood with that statement. “The man favored you in some ways, Darcy–not quite as tall, however. Should I send for reinforcements?”

“Likely a stranger enticed by tales of the unknown.” Darcy hoped to convince his enemy to ignore the incursion.

“I can smell human blood.” Wickham looked off, as if no longer seeing Darcy. “Did you know that? I smell it as easily as I once smelled a rose. It is metallic and bittersweet. Have you ever tasted it, Darcy? It is addictive.”

At first the words were offensive, but then Darcy’s pity replaced his anger. Despite his personal loathing of Wickham’s baseness, Darcy felt empathy for what once must have been a proud and handsome man–a man who loved a woman too well and lost everything because of it. “I have not tasted it,” Darcy spoke softly, not wishing to break the understanding between them.

Wickham laughed lightly at his own show of weakness. “That was a foolish question, was it not? Naturally, you never succumbed to the noxious hunger that consumes me. You are too honorable to permit the poison to cross your lips.”

Darcy shook his head, a deep sadness overcoming him. “I simply want it to end, Wickham. It is not honor which drives me. It is the fear that my child–my son–could know such despondency–could live an inconsolable life. I would not term that honorable. It is pure cowardice.”

Wickham watched as Darcy once more took up his resigned vigil against the wall. An understanding passed between them. Darcy imagined that in another lifetime, he and Wickham might even be friends, but circumstances prevented that idea ever becoming a reality. Darcy respected Wickham as much as he abhorred him.

“Never fear, Darcy,” Wickham said as a way of parting. “I may yet do the honorable thing and fight you to the death, so to speak.”

Darcy attempted to relax the pain in his shoulders and arms. Wickham imprisoned him twenty-four hours prior, and other than the occasional break Darcy negotiated to meet his personal needs, he remained restrained by the shackles. Wickham, as he suspected, brought him no food or drink. He was to die of starvation, and Darcy accepted it. “You will bring me notice of when we meet on the battlefield,” he mumbled, closing his eyes to welcome sleep. He heard the door close and knew when the bolt slid into the latch, but Darcy remained in repose. Images of Elizabeth filled his mind. Their time together was all that brought him peace.

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About Regina Jeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
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