I’ve never personally staked a vampire—but if I ever have an inclination to, this looks like it might just make it a treat to do the trick and get to the heart of the matter.

19th Century European Vampire Slayer Stake. With the carved
face of a lion and a small inset crucifix.

I received an email from my friends at Material Culture this morning. It caught my attention. I headed to their website as soon as I read “…intrigue & strangeness.”

Growing up in small-town Kansas in the 50s and 60s, the only thing I enjoyed about Halloween was going to neighbors’ and relatives’ houses with my sister to get our shopping bags filled with free candy. (Lord, there was a lot of candy handed out back then.)

As a kid, I wasn’t a fan of scare or horror. My Halloween costumes tended to present me—on the porches of the candy-giving folks—more along the lines of a wee white rabbit, a diminutive doctor, a small sailor, a child chef—or Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Do you see a theme there?

Our mom often made our costumes, and back in the day, white sheets were cheap. And our family’s old white sheets had been fully amortized, giving her the opportunity to use them for our outfits and then buy new bed linens.

As I’ve aged a bit, I’ve learned more about international folklore, the history of fear and superstitions, and the guarded beliefs in the undead. These days, I tend to accept that there’s a lot that I don’t know. I’ll register for the auction—just to hedge my bets.

To get you in the mood for the auction and Halloween, here’s the full Kiss of the Vampire movie from Hammer Films.

Kiss of the Vampire

Timing is everything in the art and artifacts auction space, and Material Culture in Philadelphia has— excuse the pun—nailed it with their Dark Shadows | Objects of Intrigue & Strangeness auction. The live showroom auction features a “rare collection of fresh-to-market vampire-killing artifacts.” The sale takes place on Monday (Halloween), October 31, 2022, at 11 AM, with a public Exhibition on October 28-29-30, 11 AM – 4 PM.