Vampires Beware: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Owns the World’s Largest Collection of Authentic Vampire Killing Kits
ORLANDO, Fla. – (Dec. 4, 2009) – Vampires are making a killing off people these days – from New Moon to Twilight to The Vampire Diaries to True Blood. But it wasn’t long ago that people were out to kill vampires – and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has the world’s largest collection of authentic vampire killing kits.
The kits were acquired by people in preparation of possibly meeting a vampire during their international travels to Eastern Europe and their usage dates back to the mid-1800s. Most were created in the Boston area and were available by mail order. They contain a variety of items designed to bring a vampire to its knees. Most contain a wooden stake, Bible, crucifix, pistol with lead bullets, gunpowder, garlic and glass vials that held various concoctions.
The kits were purchased by wealthy Americans headed to Eastern Europe – Transylvania then, Romania now. Travelers brought back terrifying tales of vampires with them from the region – well before Dracula was brought to life by Bram Stoker.
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Each kit in the Ripley’s collection was acquired by Edward Meyer, VP of Exhibits and Archives for the company. He recently acquired two more vampire killing kits, raising the number in the collection to 30. According to Meyer, the kits owned by Ripley are the only ones on public display in the country – the rest are in private collections.
“Vampire kits are very rare,” said Meyer. “There are maybe a handful of them outside of Ripley’s and we’d like to acquire those as well.” Meyer keeps an eye out for them at auction, on eBay and at antique shops in the South.
“They are very popular exhibits at our museums, especially now that there is so much interest in vampires in the media,” said Meyer.
Currently, there are 26 Vampire Killing kits in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museums in eight countries:
USA: Williamsburg, Va.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; New York City; San Francisco, Calif.; Branson, Mo.; San Antonio, Texas; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Ocean City, Md.; Gatlinburg, Tenn.; Grand Prairie, Texas; Atlantic City, NJ; Wisconsin Dells, Wisc. St. Augustine, Fla.; Key West, Fla.; Panama City Beach, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.
Canada: Cavendish, Prince Edward Island; Niagara Falls, Ont.
Asia: Malaysia; Bangalore, India; Kuwait
Europe: London; Copenhagen
Mexico: Guadajara; Mexico City
Media interested in scheduling an interview, photo or video shoot of a Ripley’s vampire killing kit in their market should contact:
Ripley Entertainment Inc.
Office – 615-646-7465
Cell – 615-496-5949
About Ripley Entertainment Inc.
Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com), keepers of the venerable Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is a global leader in location-based entertainment, entertaining more than 13 million annually at its 70-plus attractions in 13 countries. In addition to its 30 Believe It or Not! museums, the Orlando, Florida-based company has publishing, licensing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, that still runs daily in 42 countries. Ripley Entertainment is a Jim Pattison Company, the third-largest privately held company in Canada.