1842 Vampire Hunting Kit

A reader spotted an auction at Gunbroker.com for a vampire hunting kit produced in 1842. The kit contains a crude percussion lock pistol, four silver bullets (engraved with crosses) and a powerhorn along with numerous other quintessential anti-vampire accessories such as wooden stakes, a bible, a mirror and a crucifix.

I think the gun industry of the 1800s missed an excellent marketing opportunity. As far as I know there were no Winchester Model 1894 carbines engraved with vampires or shipped from the factory with silver bullets. Just think how much money Mr. John Moses Browning could have made if he had jumped on the vampire craze.

I imagine that 150 years from now people are going to marvel at the piles of anti-zombie gear found in old attics and conclude we all lived in fear of a zombie uprising.

[ Many thanks to ColonelColt for the tip. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • strongarm

    God had saved the wampires.

  • Reverend Clint

    i think they had something like this on pawn stars… ended up being fake

  • bbmg

    It’s a bit rich to expect there will be future generations following the zombie uprising, after seeing how a major city reacted to a bit of water there would appear to be little hope for humanity.

    • Bob Z Moose

      Too soon, man.

      • Beefalo

        Not if he’s referring to New Orleans…

      • Bob Z Moose

        @beefalo Very true.

        Damn you, news media!

  • Kit

    Wow, I saw this and immediately thought of Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International books. Although MHI wasn’t founded until 1895 (as Bubba Shackleford’s Professional Monster Killers) I can totally see this being used by one of his predecessors.

  • tudza

    Most if not all of these are fake. The action site says “authentic” but doesn’t seem to say how it was authenticated.

    As with any antique item, provenience is all.

  • Sian

    Good aging, but this looks awful fake and crude to me. I mean why did they not even bother to finish the grips to the pistol? Also missed opportunity to engrave several more crosses, and a wooden bayonet.

  • Sian

    amended: after actually looking at the gunbroker auction, vs the one that sold at auction for 14,850 and was gorgeous…

    EXTREMELY crude. Almost certainly fake, though probably not contemporary.

  • Bob Z Moose

    “Lived in fear” of a zombie outbreak? More like “was ready for”.

  • So?

    You tell me this guy doesn’t look like a vampire hunter.


    • Werd

      Today I learned that John Browning was a Mormon.

      • Anonymoose

        You didn’t know that?

      • Máté

        Didn’t he have Moses in his name? I think that’s a giveaway.

  • JonathanF

    I wrote an article on these for Fortean Times (issue 288) – the first ever appearance in print is 1986, in a ‘House of Swords & Militaria’ catalogue. Collectors will recognise that name. Beyond that, the various components in the kits don’t appear in fiction or folklore with any frequency until the 1970s. The Mercer tool museum in the US has analysed theirs, dating it to, yep, the 1970s. A guy claims to have made the first one in London in 1972.

    Having said this, I treat them as pieces of material culture and modern art, and argue they’re still interesting on that basis.

  • claymore

    A set that LOOKS like this one was in an episode of “Pawn Stars” shown last week and their “expert” determined that is not correct for the period.

    The firearm in the set was made after the alleged age of the set presented.

    It sure looks to me to be the same set.

    BTW “pawn stars” passed on buying it.

  • Ian

    Just an editorial suggestion:
    “I imagine that 150 years from now people are going to marvel at the piles of anti-zombie gear found in old attics and conclude we all were idiots.”

    • Anonymoose


      however, that’s also assuming people actually buy any of that anti-zombie crap. I know none of my friends do.

      • David/Sharpie

        People do, that’s why more keeps coming out.

        My friend’s girlfriend just bought her friend a Ka-Bar zombie themed folding knife for his birthday.

    • David/Sharpie

      Over 150 years ago there was this?

      Are we so close minded to think that of the people back then?

  • Mike Knox

    Quack stuff never fail to amuse..

  • gunslinger

    insert twilight joke here

  • Karina

    Truly, this kit is worthy of a vampire killer…. No doubt the elusive vampires would’ve shed bloody tears if one had slain them with this.

  • JonathanF

    Further to my comment below, this kit was previously advertised on Gunbroker as item 292799162, listed for the 28th June this year. Someone’s having trouble shifting it.

  • Lance

    Thought silver bullets were for werewolves not vampires??? Hard to tyell see alot of hot blonds in the 1840 giving killer hickies LOL just joking.

    • Karina

      Technically speaking, and according to legends, silver isn’t hated only by were-creatures, but also vampires and certain other demons. But of course it’s all just legends.

      • JonathanF

        First recorded reference to silver bullets against vampires is 1928, apparently based upon a passage in ‘Dracula’ referring to a ‘sacred’ bullet, in turn based upon actual folklore that just refers to standard bullets. The silver bullet as a vampire slaying tool as we know it comes from fiction – the Hammer movies 1959 onwards.

    • Lance

      Well buy it kill Dracula and take his hot babes with you LOL!!!!

  • schizuki

    Cobble together some low-value antiques, scratch some markings on them, find a sucker.

    • dan citizen

      I think many or these items only became “vampire remedies” in recent times. Aren’t silver bullets for werewolves?

  • Zee

    Antique? Or Taurus’s attempt to capitalize on the anti vamp craze before everyone else?

  • First time I went to the big Tulsa arms show, there was a dealer there who also dealt in antiques, and he had a similar kit. However, everything in it, except for the marks of age, was finely finished; these things weren’t cheap, people paid for quality work and parts.

    He said he knew some dealers/finders who would come up with one of these once or twice a year, usually in LA around the New Orleans area; someone would find it hidden in the attic or somewhere when cleaning out the estate.

  • Anonymoose

    This could be the next big thing: WASRs, PSLs, and Yugo SKSes and CZ/EZs with cross motifs etched into the furniture, slides, receivers, etc, and silver-jacketed ammo (of course that would be ridiculously expensive ammo…).

  • Boe Jiden

    I’ve seen them around in various forms. Totally faked up. The nicest was a wooden shooting crucifix.

  • HK93

    Listed as “Used” … any trophy items to accompany ? Fangs ? capes ?

  • Travis

    I don’t know about you, but I AM living in fear of a zombie uprising!

    • David/Sharpie

      Totally man, gotta stock up on .22 LR ammo!!!!

  • PanFriedPipeBomb

    SHHHH! Mossberg is listening!

  • Zermoid

    “and a powerhorn along with numerous other”

    powerhorn? Is that like a bullhorn?
    I think it should be powderhorn……..

    Just busting your chops man……