Antique vampire-slaying kit containing crucifixes and holy water sells at auction for £13,000

A vampire-slaying kit worthy of Buffy Summers herself which once belonged to a British lord sold at auction for more than £13,000 – with not a clove of garlic in sight.

The lockable box dating from the 19th century included tools and holy items used to ward off any bloodsuckers, including two brass crucifixes on the lid.

Inside are more crucifixes, as well as pistols, holy water, rosary beads and a bible.

It also has the most crucial of all items used to destroy the undead – a wooden mallet and stake to drive into their heart.

The box, which once belonged to former administrator of India Lord William Hailey, had an estimate of £2,000 – £3,000 but finally sold for £13,000 as interest soared.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “Interest in this item ahead of auction was intense and it attracted strong advance bids. Nevertheless, the result exceeded all expectations.

“Bids came in from all over the world including France, America and Canada. Objects like this fascinate collectors and this one had particularly interesting provenance.

“It originally belonged to Lord 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 the vampire myth affects people from all walks of life.”

“William Malcolm Hailey, 1st Baron Hailey (1872-1969) was recognised for his intellect. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was Governor of the Punjab from 1924 to 1928 and Governor of the United Provinces from 1928 to 1934.

“Yet, amid his illustrious career, he was drawn to this vampire-slaying kit. That’s understandable. These objects are both curious and intriguing.

“The task of killing a vampire was extremely serious and historical accounts suggested the need for particular methods and tools.

“Items of religious significance, such as crucifixes and Bibles, were said to repel these monsters, hence their presence in the kit.”

Myths of the bloodsuckers originate from eastern Europe from the 17th and 18th centuries and were popularised in John Polidori’s The Vampyre in 1819 and Bram Stoker’s 1897 classic Dracula.

The new owner of the vampire slaying kit, who did not wish to be named, said: “I was stunned and delighted by the result. It’s a fascinating item, a conversation piece.

“I came across it in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, fairly recently. I liked it for its novelty and historical value.

“Interestingly, Lord Hailey has a memorial tablet in London’s Westminster Abbey which pays warm tribute to him.”