Up Close & Peculiar

More than 100 years ago, the globetrotting Robert Ripley began collecting artifacts from his journeys around the world, which today form the heart of the greatest collection of oddities ever assembled. Up Close & Peculiar brings the curious history of these pieces to a personal level as our very own, Allyson Iovino, explores the strange relics that lie within our Warehouse walls! Become a part of the story as we share pieces for every history buff, pop culture junkie, and oddities collector alike.

Today: Vampire Defense Kit  

Sharpen your wooden stakes, because it’s time to hunt down some vampires!

What’s Inside?

Hello everyone, I am here today with a very spooky, very scary vampire defense kit! This particular kit contains everything you would need to fight against a vampire. Starting with a cross and holy water to counteract their supposed cursed origins. Followed by a wooden stake and even a gun and equipment for making silver bullets! 

Vampire-like creatures have been described in myths, legends, and tales for millennia, but the vampire craze of the 17th-century is still apparent today. People in the eastern reaches of Europe were scared of vampires. They even took precautions that last to this day. For example, graveyards in Poland were discovered to have people shackled at the neck, as to make sure nobody would have a chance to rise from the dead. 

We also have these kind of suspicious looking vials here, marked as “Professor Bloomberg’s New Serum,” “Elixir of Vitriol,” and this one simply marked “Vampirism.” I have to wonder when the person who put this together thought they would have time to feed the vampire one of these potions to cure them? Maybe some time after stabbing them in the heart? 

Behind The Defense Kit

For roughly the last fifty years, these kits have served as a reminder of the dangers of traveling to Eastern Europe at the end of the 19th century. These kits were often sold to wealthy travelers to protect them against these creatures of the night… or so we were told!

Believe it or not, these kits were actually assembled in the 1970’s by Professor Ernest Bloomberg! These are total gafts and are now regarded as modern art pieces more than anything anyone could actually use. 

Would you carry around a vampire defense kit? Let us know in the comments and I’ll see you next time.  


Discover hundreds of strange and unusual artifacts and get hands-on with unbelievable interactives when you visit a Ripley’s Odditorium!