Professor Blomberg Vampire Killing Kit, 19th C and Later


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There is much mystery and uncertainty about the various vampire killing kits in existence
today. While some have clearly been assembled in the last 50 years as novelties, others
were made during a period in the 19th Century when there was a certain “vampire hysteria”,
largely as a result of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, but existing to some extent long before then.
While today most people might think of vampires as something from imagination, folklore,
and Hollywood, with no basis in fact, this was not the case in 19th Century Europe.
Whether they were ever used or not, vampire killing kits were actually assembled in the
19th C and were not intended merely as a curiosity. When Bram Stoker first wrote his
famous novel “Dracula” (released on May 26, 1897), it was not originally intended as a
work of fiction. His research began in the summer of 1890 and he was collecting
information on actual occurrences. In the original preface, which was published in “Makt
Myrkanna”, the Icelandic version of the story, Stoker included this passage: “I am quite
convinced that there is no doubt whatever that the events here described really took place,
however unbelievable and incomprehensible they might appear at first sight. And I am
further convinced that they must always remain to some extent incomprehensible.” He
also claimed that many of the characters in the novel were real people, some of whom
actually became his friends, whose testimonies he never doubted. However, when he
presented the original manuscript to his editor, Otto Kyllman, of Archibald Constable &
Company, it was returned with the single word “no”. Kyllman believed that with the recent
unsolved Whitechapel murders (of Jack the Ripper fame) its publication might lead to mass
hysteria. In order for the work to be published, many of the events would have to be
omitted and it would need to be rewritten and presented as a work of fiction. In the final
version the first 101 pages had been cut, many alterations had been made, and the
epilogue had been shortened, changing Dracula’s ultimate fate and that of his castle. For
more information see:

This kit, in a fitted velvet-lined walnut case, features an unmarked single-shot percussion
pistol with flask, bullets, percussion caps, and patches, all in their own separate tins. Also
included is a wooden mallet with two wooden stakes, silver-handled dagger with skull and
cross stamped on the blade, wooden crucifix, bottles labeled “Holy Oil”, “Consecrated
Ground”, “Holy Water”, and “Professor Blomberg’s New Serum”, and a silver tin with cross
and rosary beads. The inside of the lid features a large label with “Professor Blomberg’s
Vampire Killing Kit” and a list of the kit’s contents. Case dimensions 15″ long by 10 1/4″
wide, by 2 3/4″ high.

In 2004, Sotheby’s sold a Blomberg kit for $26,400, although the catalog cautioned that
“Neither the existence of Professor Blomberg nor that of the gunmaker Plomdeur can be
confirmed. Also open to question is whether these kits were ever employed successfully in
the killing of vampires.” In 2011, an unsigned vampire-killing kit, with 32 components
including a map of Transylvania and no less than two crucifixes, brought $25,000 at
Sotheby’s. For a Blomberg kit that came up at Sotheby’s in 2012 and sold for $13,750, the
catalog described it as “Continental, circa 1900 and later” and had no comment on whether
the makers were fictional. The Royal Armouries in Leeds (UK) has a Blomberg kit in its
collection. Whether such kits were actually assembled for their stated purpose or merely
curiosities, the fact is that many have sold for very large sums of money and they make
their own history even as I write this description. The person we acquired this kit from
initially offered us a much larger kit obtained from his father-in-law who had been a “picker”
back in the 70’s and 80’s. We were unable to come to terms on price, but he eventually
sold that kit for $13,500 to a group of self-described “vampires” who said they were trying
to rid the world of such kits. He said he did not wish to offer them this kit because they
“creeped him out”