Crash Course in Protection from the undead - Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The folklore and fiction behind the mysterious world of vampires goes under the spotlight at the Royal Armouries museum, Leeds, on Tuesday (October 30).

Jonathan Ferguson, Curator of Firearms, will give a crash course in protection from the “undead” in a fascinating lecture – plus the chance to get up close to Royal Armouries’ recently purchased vampire slaying kit.

Royal Armouries is Britain’s only public museum to own one of these mysterious kits, following its successful purchase at auction earlier this year. It now takes pride of place in the Hunting Gallery, in time for Halloween.

The mahogany casket contains everything a vampire hunter might need – including a pistol, crucifix, rosary beads, a bottle labelled Holy Water and even a mallet, plus four wooden stakes.

Jonathan has a particular interest in the folklore and mythology of arms and armour – as well as popular culture and the supernatural. His talk debunks the myths about vampires and looks at the research which led to the kit’s purchase.

He said, “Here at the Royal Armouries, we have a Self Defence gallery, detailing the ways in which civilians have protected themselves, and been protected, by arms and armour. This Halloween we are going to tackle a new area of self defence against a threat that most of us no longer believe in but a lot of us remain fascinated by – vampires!”

He said “The more I looked, the more I realised that while the truth remains fixed, “real” can be a flexible term. Some kits appeared old, but how old? Could some have been made for people that really believed, or still believe, in the supernatural?

“I believe I now have the answers to these questions, and many more, and look forward to sharing them in the talk.”

For more information about this and other Halloween events, visit

Tickets are available, priced £5, either in advance, or at the door. Content is not considered suitable for the Under 13s – parental guidance required. Doors open at 6.30pm.

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Notes to editors

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