Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Vampire Hunting Kits Debunked - Props, Fantasies, Hoaxes, and Fakes

Vampire hunting kits get staked and it’s about time.

I’m sick and tired of these absurd “vampyre hunting killing kits” that have now become so prevalent and going for a fortune to the credulous.  They are fake, fake, fake and if you buy one believing they are real, you are a in good company because recently a British museum purchased one for a lot of money.  For fun Google that.  The museum has now backtrack and say they knew what they were doing.  In light of the explanation, I am reminded of the kid who tried a stupid trick on his bicycle and crashed:  his explanation was, “I meant to do that”.  Yeah.

I have been a follower of the excellent prop making site Propnomicon and a consistent commenter on some of the enjoyable works that Propnomicon showcases on his blog every day.  His efforts to tear away the mask of prop making and share helpful how-tos and tutorials is a real help to prop makers everywhere.  Over the years he featured a number of “vampire hunting kits” some of which have a fair amount of work in them and others are examples to avoid.  I heartily suggest if you like props, the works of H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, you really need to visit Propnomicon’s web site.  

After a few years of seeing these kits showing up on Propnomicon (and in many, many other places too, such as eBay and auction catalogs), I finally decided to quit grousing about the generally miserable assemblages and do a post on my own about the subject.  Interestingly enough, I found that others had already beat me to the punch several years before and had done so quite well.  My hat is off to these conscientious researchers.  So rather than rehash a lot of text, see the below links to get the truth about when, why, where and what vampire hunting kits are truly. 

Most interestingly is the last link, but save it for last, as the first links really set things up quite nicely.  You need only Google CoastConFan to find my comments on vampire kits, mostly on Propnomicon, so I won’t bore you with a rehash.  But frankly, you really only need to follow the below links to get at the truth quickly and easily.

So my research began in earnest and I hit gold in researching the who-what-where-whens and whys on these kits when I ran across a blog called  Diary of an Amateur Varmpirologist and he had a excellent entry about vampire hunting kits.  Click the link:

His blog entry gave me a good overview and leads to these three important blog entries, which appear to lead the source of vampire hunting kits:

Three Spooky Land posts, which are well worth reading on the subject of vampire kits.
Finally the core of the mystery is revealed by a reposting of the explanation of the original prop and mythmaker himself on lesvampires.org with the pay dirt blog entry.  The mystery is revealed when you click on the below link.   

The Professor Blomberg Vampire Killing Kit
Author - Michael de Winter
Originally posted to SurvivalArts.com April 2005

So the truth is out and it has been out there since 2005 on the web, just not exactly in the place I would have expected.  So to get to the punch line:  All-these-kits-are-fake.  Can I make it any plainer?   None of these are real and none of these are really very old and few of them are worth much more than the combined value of the components.  If sold as modern prop assemblages of a fantasy vampire kit, then there is no foul.  But if sold as “real” then watch out.

By the way, as long as we are detoxing clich├ęs, the whole silver bullet kills lycanthrope trope proves to be a 1930s creation of the book and movie industry, but that’s another irritating story.  See my blog entry The Werewolf Paradigm – Fun vs. Rationality, March 27, 2011

UPDATE 22 Jun 2014:  in the comments section, Graham1973 gives an excellent link to a discussion about silver in reference to lycanthrophy in folklore.  Clearly there are indeed pre 1930 references to killing werewolves with silver.  The upshot of the article is that silver as an evil magic dissipator as used in these folklore stories that date back some 300 years.  The main theme is that the silver item is a common thing like a silver button or coin most often and it is fired at or above the evil being.

Oddly, there is not a great lot of literature cited about using non-projectile silver weapons such as maces, daggers or swords against such creatures.  The additional interesting link is that generally the silver object in question is a personal object and a sort of ad hoc lightening rod against evil.  The other thing is that the silver projectile is not grounded, in the sense of being connecting a kind of grounding circuit, which would be the case with a wielded silver mace or other silver appliance.
The other reference is about an assassination attempt against a non lycanthrope in the hope that the would given by a silver bullet would not heal.   In this case it would convey a sort of curse of non-healing. 

 I’d like to thank Graham1973 for this excellent listing about the general of silver in dissipating evil.  I was unaware of the link and feel it is important enough to put into the body of the post so it won’t be overlooked. 

I’ll also post this on a previous blog entry, where it actually belongs, The Werewolf Paradigm.

A few other links of mine in the same vein:

The Logical Vampire – A brief overview on removing these pests, Feb 9, 3013

Hourglass Vampire Hunting Kit, Jan 12 2013, a rather clever take by one prop maker on the vampire kit  http://coastconfan.blogspot.com/2013_01_01_archive.html

A Youtube video I made a couple of years ago:  Starless Nosferatu, combining King Crimson’s song Starless and clips from the silent film Nosferatu (1922) the video.  Click the link to view.