This eBay auction for a 19th century vampire extermination kit has already closed, but it's still worth a peek for the pictures and descriptive copy:
The knife is 13.1 inches long with a metal handle. It's made of heavy metal and can be easily thrown – it will always hit the target with the sharp tip. Has a gothic theme and detailing of fangs.
The metal box contains one syringe and it can be used to inject liquid garlic or secret serums into vampires. It has a small cross on it made of silver . The syringe can sustain temperatures up to 200 Celsius degrees. The cross is very old, with one beautiful black stone and is on a very old metal chain .
The metal teeth plier ( 7.5 inches ) was used in the past to remove the vampire's teeth. There is also a special tool called Dentol ( 5.5 inches ) used in the past to remove the vampire's teeth.
And just how does one spot a vampire?
A corpse that had not decomposed or whose eyes were open was often deemed to be a vampire. Other telltale signs included a ruddy complexion with the mouth and nails clotted with blood, or the corpse floating on a reservoir of blood. If the flesh was punctured with a pin, blood would gush from the body.
Good to know. Link (Thanks, Peter Kelly!)
Reader comment: Brett Burton says,
At the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, PA, they have a vampire killing kit similar to the one you posted on Boing Boing. I know, because I bought an awesome postcard of it once. According to the museum, the kit is actually a hoax manufactured in the 1920's. It's possible that that the kit on ebay is also a hoax. Here's a link to a tour guide description of the mercer museum. It mentions the vampire kit.
Reader comment: Aaron Newton of CNET says,
I was reading your post on the vampire kit and saw this in the ebay description: "The knife is 13.1 inches long with a metal handle. It's made of heavy metal and can be easily thrown – it will always hit the target with the sharp tip." Now, that can't be possible, right? So a little work at wikipedia brought me to knifethrowing.info which is a nice how-to-throw-a-knife tutorial of sorts. What's even cooler is the physics page and here's the spiffy Russian "wave throw." All in all, it seems that throwing a knife with zero spin is really, really hard and the notion that a knife could be produced so that, when thrown, it will always strike tip first isn't possible (well, according to this site, anyway – I'm certainly no expert).