Sunday, November 02, 2003

NEW YORK - Just in time for Halloween, a vampire-killing kit complete with a wooden stake and 10 silver bullets sold for $12,000 at auction Thursday.

The kit, a walnut box that also contained a crucifix, a pistol, a rosary and vessels for garlic powder and various serums, was bought by an anonymous phone bidder.

According to Sotheby's, some experts believe that such kits were commonly available to travelers in Eastern Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, while others think the kits were made in the early 20th century, possibly to cash in on interest in vampires sparked by the 1897 publication of Bram Stoker's "Dracula."

A label on the kit says: "This box contains the items considered necessary for persons who travel into certain little known countries of Eastern Europe where the populace are plagued with a particular manifestation of evil known as Vampires."


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