In Oxford with a Vampire Slaying Kit

Wonderful things are happening behind the scenes at OGOM. I am compelled to write about the vampire slaying kit I collected in Oxford. It dates back to around the time of British vampirologist Montague Summers (1880-1948) and has been in circulation since the 1920s. Here it is in my hotel room (imagine the chamber maid’s face!)

Unusual item in my luggage on my trip to Oxford. Vampire Slaying Kit (circa 1920).

Unusual item in my luggage on my trip to Oxford. Vampire Slaying Kit (circa 1920).

These kits were sold to capitalise on the popularity of Dracula as a form of entertainment but the contents point to darker, more unsettling undead issues. The box contains a crucifix, Bible, holy water, wooden stakes and a mallet together with the book of common prayer (1851 edition). Inside there is an unnerving handwritten passage from Luke 19.27 which reads: ‘but those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them before me’. I’ll leave you with that thought!! Hope to bring this along to some of our events for you to see in person (we have a Gothic Writing Evening in St Albans on 7th November). It really is deeply curious, troubling and entertaining. Like to know your thoughts..

About Lucy Northenra

Senior Lecturer in Literature, University of Hertfordshire
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  1. Pingback: ‘Reading the Vampire’ our first workshop | Open Graves, Open Minds

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