Famous Cases | Historical Tales | Vampires | Zombies
The 19th century wooden box contains a crucifix, wooden stake (possibly set with human bone), a silver pistol and four bullets, each engraved with a cross. There is also an empty vial thought to have once contained holy water, and a place for the all-important vampire repellent: garlic.
The stake is engraved with the Latin phrase "Deus Vult", which means "God wills it."
The kit, believed to have been made in the early 1800s, was found by Broadmeadows police during a drug raid at the home of a Romanian man in Pascoe Vale South in August. The kits were popular in Eastern Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, with interest renewed in the early 20th century after the publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1897.
|A look at the vampire-killing kit |
found in Australia
Senior-Sergeant Craig Rhodes said the kit was found under a stove.
"I've been a cop for 28 years and I've never seen anything like this," Sen-Sgt Rhodes said.
"I don't believe in vampires, but this makes you think twice about whether there were vampires at the time."
Police contacted experts at Museum Victoria to help solve the mystery.
The assistant curator of arms at the museum, Ben Thomas, said he was "ecstatic" when told of the find.
"I read about them, but to have one in Australia and see it in this good condition is very exciting," Mr. Thomas said.
"They're pretty rare. I'd love to put it on display."
Mr Thomas is investigating the kit's origins, but he said the phrase "Deus Vult" had been used by Pope Urban II to launch the First Crusade in 1095.
Greco-Roman words on the kit's lid can be dated to 5 B.C. and were believed to offer protection from vampires. The gun had been made in Ireland, Mr Thomas said.
The kit is being kept in police custody.