The executioner
Rhesus 3
Vampire Killing Kit, second half of the 19th century
The pistol dates from the 18th century and was brought back from the expedition.
Brought back from an expedition to Russia and Mongolia in September 2001


The Vampire Killing Kit was sold by Professor Ernst Blomberg in the second half of the 19th century. The kit was made by Nicolas Plomdeur, a well-known gunmaker from Liège.
This particular box, which has been in the Surnateum's collection since the late 19th century, has recently been reunited with the accompanying pistol (made in Spain in the late 18th century, originally a flintlock but later converted to a percussion cap in the first half of the 19th century); the gun was lost under circumstances described below. Manufactured in two separate stages, it contains all of the accessories used to maintain the pistol, as well as a large bottle of holy water, small bottles which once contained Professor Blomberg's anti-vampire serum and garlic juice to impregnate the silver bullets, a small bottle of sulphur powder, whose odour could drive off vampires. A crucifix made of wood and copper, various blessed medals, a small bottle of salts, a copy of the 1819 book entitled Histoire des Fantômes et des Démons by Gabrielle de P. (see the Library).
A user's guide (in English) glued to the inside cover of the kit reads as follows:
Vampire Killing Kit

The accoutrement for the destruction of the Vampire

This box contains the items considered necessary for the protection of persons who travel into certain little known countries of Eastern Europe where the populace are plagued with a peculiar manifestation of evil, known as Vampires...
Professor Ernst Blomberg respectfully requests that the purchaser of this kit carefully studies his book. Should evil manifestations become apparent, he is then equipped to deal with them efficiently... Professor Blomberg wishes to announce his grateful thanks to that well known gunmaker of Liege, Nicholas Plomdeur, whose help in the compiling of the special items, the silver bullets, etc., has been most efficient.
The items enclosed are as follows...

1. The efficient pistol with its usual accouterments
5. A Syringe
2. A quantity of bullets of the finest silver
6. A wooden Crucifix
3. Powdered flowers of garlic (one phial)
7. Holy Water
4. Flour of Brimstone
8. Prof Blomberg's New Serum

Although extremely rare, these Vampire Killing Kits are sometimes found in private collections. Our friends in the group Fear No Evil have two, one in German and one in English. The Ripley's Believe It or Not museums also have one.

Explanation by the Curator

When I arrived at the Surnateum's Secret Department, the entire team was already there. I greeted the librarian, the Curator's wife and Miss Fay with a friendly gesture, then a familiar voice addressed me.
"Did you have a problem with the access codes?" the Curator asked me, his lips curling in a sardonic smile.
"I couldn't find the key in the Glossary!" I replied, a bit out of breath. "But I suppose your talent for predicting the future meant that you predicted I would be late tonight... "
I glanced around; it smelled like wet paint. I rarely visited this department, but I was certainly not immune to the contents of the hidden part of the museum. It explains the true nature of the Institute and of sensitives, but it is only accessible to a tiny elite capable of perceiving the other side of reality and passing the testes allowing access to this place.
That was when the Curator started speaking.
"Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
This has been a year of discovery for the Museum. As you can see, the Secret Department has been entirely overhauled and new acquisitions have recently been released from the Quarantine Section to join the collections. They will soon be on display. The Department of Haunted Antiques has found a full Ghost Hunter's Kit dating from the period between the wars; the Library has acquired the rare 1714 edition of the
Dictionnaire des Drogues Simples, along with a number of sought-after grimoires. I would especially like to congratulate our expedition leader, whose trip to Mongolia and Russia yielded the treasures you see here. This full shaman's kit was purchased at a market in Ulaanbaatar, and an analysis of its contents may allow us to find traces of the existence of the allghoi khorkhoi, the mythical Mongolian death worm. I saw the director of the Department of Cryptozoology rub his hands. The khanne will be carefully studied before joining the other Hauntiques; but something that I am especially pleased with, and something that was one of the main reasons behind the expedition to Mongolia, was the return of the missing piece of the 'Rhesus' puzzle."
Opening a chamois leather pouch, the Curator removed an ancient pistol measuring about 25 cm in length and clearly of an impressive calibre. Probably a .50, a very rare, perhaps even unique, model.
"I would like to thank Christian Bréard at the Department of Fine Restoration Work for his excellent work on this firearm and for returning it to perfect working order. But let me tell you about the background of this extraordinary item and then you will understand why the Collector and I are so pleased."
"In publishing the
Traité sur les apparitions des Esprits, et sur les vampires ou les revenans de Hongrie, de Moravie, &c. by Dom Augustin Calmet in 1746, the Church officially acknowledged the existence of vampires and other creatures of the night. Yes, yes, I know - only the 1751 edition of the book is considered to be authoritative. But that doesn't matter! The book was published in the wake of and in response to the great vampire scare in the first half of the 18th century, prompted in part by the cases of Arnold Paole and Peter Plogojowitz. However, it was not until 1789 that the Church decided to arm a small team of monster-hunters to fight these creatures. The team comprised a French priest specialising in exorcism and invocation and - assuming I'm not confusing nationalities - a German tracker and a Spanish executioner. A firearm was designed and ritualised by three bishops so that the Spaniard could carry out his work efficiently. On the stock of the barrel were encrusted three silver crucifixes representing Golgotha and the weapon was consecrated during an extremely rare planetary conjunction (which must include a syzygy, an alignment of the sun, moon and earth). The pistol was originally a flintlock, but was later converted to a percussion cap system around 1820. The silver bullets were soaked in a mixture of garlic juice and holy water, and were in any case large enough to ensure that there was little chance of failure - especially if the target was hit in the head. Ideally, a wooden rosary was to be worn by the killer in order to weaken his prey. The executioner prepared the weapon for rapid use by lightly filing the lower part of the ramrod so that it would not get stuck in his clothes, thus allowing him to draw quickly in case of a surprise attack.
The gun has occasionally come in handy over the last few centuries - and not just for vampires and werewolves.
Having fallen into disuse in the second half of the 19th century, the weapon was acquired by the first Collector in 1877.
It was around that time that he had a certain Professor Blomberg put together the case.
It is said that he first used the pistol in 1888 against a creature dubbed
Jack the Ripper by the British press of the day. The Ripper was a bloodthirsty entity whose remains have been lying at the bottom of the Thames for more than a century. The Collector has always been very reserved on this topic, but I believe that it was an officer in the Indian Army who had been infected by local magic and whose transformation was amplified during a Golden Dawn ritual. The Golden Dawn was an esoteric sect founded early that year. The case was covered up because it implicated a number of  very high-level figures in London.
Nevertheless, the pistol was still housed at the Surnateum when, in 1943, an emissary from the Archbishop of Ghent found the Collector and told him a very strange story indeed. The priest had heard, during a confession, the story of an old dying bishop by the name of Eugenius van Rechem. The very same one linked to the 'Schlemihl' affair. He had not understood everything because the dying man spoke with such a feeble voice and was unable to finish his story, but had demanded help. He had talked of inaccessible sacred relics (without giving further information), a doctor, experiments with blood, vampires and Adolf Hitler. The Collector, who was aware of the magical and apocalyptic experiments carried out by the Thule Gesellschaft at the end of the First World War, had taken the story very seriously indeed. He also remembered that another sensitive, F.W. Murnau, had made a prophetic film announcing the coming of the vampire. He understood why all of the attempts at eliminating the monster had automatically failed, each time multiplying Hitler's demented rage tenfold.
With each failed attempt, the Führer's protection grew stronger. It became necessary to train an executioner and to place him close to Hitler. There was no question of creating a new weapon, since the conditions in which the consecration ritual were possible only materialised once every 430 years. The pistol was therefore removed from its hiding place, carefully cleaned and prepared, and new silver bullets were cast and treated. The pistol was then secretly brought to Berlin, where it was handed over to the killer. The executioner had to be a German and someone close enough to Hitler to be able to approach him and eliminate him. After looking at several options, the Collector opted for a young major, an SS Sturmbannführer in the Waffen SS by the name of Otto G., with whom a meeting was organised. Also present at the meeting were a senior official from the Ahnenerbe, still secretly linked to the Thule Gesellschaft, and a high officer from the Waffen SS with a predatory face. At first appalled by the proposition put to him, the major hurled abuse at the 'traitors' and 'conspirators', threatening to report them immediately. He then calmed down and ended up letting himself be persuaded by the arguments presented to him. The light of doubt began to make its way through his unquestioning certainty. The Collector persuaded him to observe Hitler closely and to find clear evidence of the reality of the situation, in which case his SS honour would oblige him to take action - for the good of Germany and for the good of humanity. The dignitary from the Thule Gesellschaft then spoke to him at length about an ancient bottle, a ritual activated in 1919 by people who were unaware of what they were doing and its consequences, including the six million deaths that the war had already caused. He was promised that no matter what happened to him, his young child would be protected from the vengeance of the Nazis and from the Russians who would invade Berlin before the American and British Allies arrived. And if he were captured by the Allies then everything would be done to have him released or to have his sentence minimised.
The right moment presented itself during the afternoon of Monday, 30 April 1945. Shortly after marrying Eva Braun, a depressed Hitler announced that he was going to commit suicide; the excuse was perfect. Otto joined Hitler and his wife in the apartment's anteroom. Eva had just taken poison and the Führer was staggering about. The cyanide he had just taken was not having an effect on him; nothing could kill him. At that moment, understanding that everything he had been told was true, the Waffen SS officer drew the pistol, stuck the barrel in Hitler's mouth and fired the silver bullet at point-blank range. He then ordered the body to be burned. He threw a different pistol (an automatic model missing a round) onto the floor to make it look like suicide. The monster's body then had to be incinerated. This was a dangerous task given the Russian bombardment, but it was a task that had to be done and required nearly 200 litres of petrol. Unfortunately, in the confusion following the flight from the bunker and the major's arrest by the Russians, the Surnateum's pistol was lost. It was later found and kept as a 'souvenir' by a Russian soldier, who probably ended up trading it for cigarettes and vodka.
No connection was ever made between the pistol and Hitler's burned body.
We only had a vague name, nothing more, of a Russian soldier who was involved in the interrogation of Otto G. The German major served just part of his sentence and was reunited with his child after leaving prison some 10 years later. The Collector always keeps his word.
It took just 46 years of searching and delicate contacts with people in Moscow to find the pistol and bring it back.
Of course, this is not the only 'magic' weapon in the Museum's possession, but we always very much regretted losing it. It was returned to its case in the Vampire Section of the Department of Cryptozoology.
I raise my glass of absinth and offer a toast to the health of the Surnateum's exploration and restoration teams.
To your good health and a Happy New Year to you all!

The clothes worn by Adolf Hitler during the attack on 20 June 1944 were incinerated in secret on 27 August 1947 by an Allied team, with the blessing of Winston Churchill.
The Collector was on hand to ensure that every last drop of Hitler's blood was obliterated from the face of the earth.
The 'unofficial' reason given was that the authorities wanted to make sure that his clothing did not achieve 'relic' status.
An original copy of this extraordinary document (photographed by International News
Photos) can be found in the secret archives of the Surnateum.

This exceedingly rare document discreetly confirms and concludes the series of events code-named 'Rhesus'.

Return to top of page