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Regarding Ernst Blomberg

Purveyor of fine Vampire Killing Kits

Please be advised that this is a work in progress.... Updated 2/2013 - comments to spookyland(at)

Spookyland's Gallery of Vampire Killing Kits
The Contents of Vampire Killing Kits in Detail
How to Properly Use Your Vampire Killing Kit
Mostly Unrelated - the Blomberg Ghost

  • Kits Containing Blomberg Elements
    Blomberg Labels and their Variants
    Survey of Blomberg Kits
  • Non-Blomberg Kits

  • In Support of Vintage Vampire Kits
    Accounts of Kits Before 1972
    Crucifix Pistols

  • The Historic Ernst Blomberg
    Did Ernst Blomberg Exist?
    Disproved - Hydrocephaly Paper
    Disproved - Principles Paper
    Evidence - Animal Transfomation Paper
    Blomberg Associates
    Evidence - News from Lübeck!

  • The Historic Nicholas Plomdeur
    Evidence - Historic References
    Evidence - Existant Artifacts
  • In Support of Modern Forgery Vampire Kits
    DeWinter's Claim of Fake Kits
    Obvious Blomberg Fakery
    Fakery Proved Through Analysis
  • Inferences Towards Conclusions

  • It is clear that a lot of the old vampire killing kits on the market are attributed to a Professor Ernst Blomberg (with firearms assistance by Nicholas Plomdeur), apparently in the early-to-mid 19th century. By most assessments, these are regarded as tourist vampire killing kits - that is, kits produced for tourist purposes before 1900.

    What is becoming increasingly unclear is whether these kits, often commanding tens of thousands of dollars at auction, are instances of actual antiques, or modern assemblies of old parts and fill-ins, intended to deceive the buyer.

    Certainly, old vampire killing kits were reportedly produced in the 19th century - examples exist at numerous Ripley museums (Wisconsin Dells, etc.) and other public collections of oddities. Institutions like these have either held these kits for some time, or have occasionally attested to their rough age through their documented provenance (although the Mercer Museum has recently declared their kit to be a modern assembly of mostly vintage parts).

    Adding to the confusion are 'creative people' putting together new Blomberg kits for sale, often on eBay. Although some make no real effort to mislead (empty bottles, ball bearings for silver shot, and a cap gun from a Utah seller, 2/2008), they makes a nice attempt to include all items on the Blomberg menu and include the Blomberg text as well. Another person (from Washington state, same timeframe) was making better prop kits, with some vintage elements, and the Blomberg text as well. Fully presented as authentic, this kit is clearly a fake. Any of these kits could, under the right circumstances, be misinterpreted as genuine antiques.

    The following is an attempt to document the full range of observed vampire killing kits, unravel the enigma of Ernst Blomberg, and to provide some context for seperating the new forgeries from the old forgeries from the genuine antiques.

    Part I - Kits Containing Blomberg Elements

    Part 1a - Blomberg Labels and their Variants

    The following is a comparison of the labels from several Blomberg Vampire Killing Kits, and an assessment of how accurately they describe the contents of those kits (text differences in italics):

    The Label
    The Text
    Comments on Accuracy
    From this eBay 2006 kit:

    Single-column shorttext Blomberg, fancy border - No mention of Plomdeur, since no pistol is included
    Vampire Killing Kit

    This box contains the items considered neccessary, for the protection of persons who travel into certain little known countries in Eastern Europe, where the populace are plagued with a particular manifestation of evil known as Vampires. Professor Ernst Blomberg respectfully requests that the purchaser of this kit, carefully studies his book in order, should evil manifestations become apparent, he is equipped to deal with them efficiently.

    The items enclosed are as follows,
    (1) An efficient crossbow,
    (2) Silver tipped arrows,
    (3) Crucifix
    (4) Powdered flower of garlic,
    (5) A wooden stake,
    (6) Professor Blomberg's new serum,
    (7) Tinctures of known cures
    against vampires bites,
    (8) Holy water

    Actual contents, fairly accurate:
    (1) Crossbow and bowstring
    (2) Four wooden bolts with silver-colored tips
    (3) Portable two-part crucifix
    (4) Tin labelled flour of garlic
    (5) A wooden stake
    (6,7,8) Several vials including "Holy Water" "vampirism"

    From this 2003 kit:

    Single-column longtext Blomberg - image borrowed from this kit since no image is available
    Vampire Killing Kit

    This box contains the items considered neccessary for the protection of persons who travel into certain little known countries in Eastern Europe where the populace are plagued with a particular 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 equipped to deal with them efficiently. Professor Blomberg wishes to announce his grateful thanks to that well known gunmaker of Liege, Nicholas Plombeur, whose help in compiling of the special items, the silver bullets, etc., has been most efficient.

    The items enclosed are as follows...
    (1) An efficient pistol with its usual accoutrements
    (2) A quantity of bullets of the finest silver
    (3) Powdered flower of garlic (one phial)
    (4) Flour of Brimstone (one phial)
    (5) Wooden stake (Oak)
    (6) Ivory crucifix
    (7) Holy water (one phial)
    (8) Professor Blomberg's New Serum

    Actual contents are somewhat mismatched, english bullets:
    (1) Revolver uncommon in kits
    (2) Two boxes of bullets "eley kynoch"
    (3) Tin labelled "powdered flour of garlic"
    (4) Unlabelled compartments - no Flour of Brimstone observed
    (5) Metal bayonette, not a wooden stake
    (6) Rosary beads with small metal crucifix
    (7) Unlabelled jar, possibly holy water
    (8) Jar labelled 'Wax tapers'

    From the Mercer Museum kit:

    Single-column longtext Blomberg, no border
    Vampire Killing Kit

    This box contains the items considered neccessary, for the protection of persons who travel into certain little-known countries of Eastern Europe, where the population is plagued with a particular manifestation of evil known as Vampires. Professor Ernst Blomberg respectfully requests that the purchaser of this kit, carefully studies his book in order, should evil manifestations become apparent, he is 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 compiling of the special items, the silver bullets, etc., has been most efficient.

    The items enclosed are as follows...
    (1) An efficient pistol with its usual accoutrements
    (2) Silver bullets
    (3) An ivory crucifix
    (4) Powdered flowers of garlic
    (5) Wooden stake
    (6) Professor Blomberg's New Serum

    Actual contents, fairly mismatched:

    (1) Percussion cap Pistol
    (2) Pewter bullets and bullet mold
    (3) Combination ivory crucifix and stake
    (4) Flour of garlic
    (5) No wooden stake
    (6) Glass bottles with modern labels
    (7) Glass syringe
    (8) Magnifying glass

    From this Stevens Auction kit:

    Multicolor two-column longtext Blomberg, line border
    Vampire Killing Kit
    The accoutrements for the destruction of the Vampire

    This box contains the items considered neccessary for the protection of persons who travel into certain little known countries of Eastern Europe where the populace are plagued with a particular 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 equipped to deal with them efficiently... Professor Blomberg wishes to announce his grateful thanks to that well known gunmaker of Liege, Nicholas Plombeur, whose help in compiling of the special items, the silver bullets, etc., has been most efficient.

    The items enclosed are as follows...
    (1) An efficient pistol with its usual accoutrements(5) Wooden stake (Oak)
    (2) A quantity of bullets of the finest silver(6) Ivory crucifix
    (3) Powdered flower of garlic (one phial)(7) Holy Water (one phial)
    (4) Flour of Brimstone (one phial)(8) Prof Blomberg's New Serum

    Actual contents with Plombeur misspellng:

    (1) Percussion cap pistol, powder horn, bullet mold
    (2) Tin, possibly of bullets
    (3) jars, possibly incl. "powdered flour of garlic"
    (4) jars, possibly incl. "powdered flour of Brimstone"
    (5) Wooden stake
    (6) Wooden/metal crucifix with some ivory overlay
    (7) Large phial labelled "holy water"
    (8) jars, possibly incl. "Blomberg's Serum"
    (9) Rosary

    From the Ripley's Wisconsin kit:

    Single-column shorttext Blomberg, lined border, extra headings
    Professor Blomberg's
    New Improved Accountrements
    for the protection and eradication of
    Vampires and other Metamorphoses

    This box contains the items considered neccessary for the protection of persons who travel into certain little unknown countries of Eastern Europe, Where the populace are plagued with a particular manifestation of evil known as Vampires. Professor Ernst Blomberg respectfully requests that the purchaser of this Kit, carefully studies his book in order, should evil become apparent, he is equipped to deal with them efficiently.

    The items enclosed are as follows
    (1) An efficient pistol with its usual accoutrements,
    (2) Silver bullets,
    (3) Crucifix
    (4) Wooden stake,
    (5) Professor Blomberg's new serum,
    (6) Flour of garlic and other concoctions.

    Actual contents, fairly accurate:

    (1) Percussion cap pistol, powder horn
    (2) Bullets, possibly silver
    (3) Ivory laminated crucifix
    (4) Wooden Stake
    (5) Vial labelled "Professor Blomberg's new serum"
    (6) Cannister labelled "Flour of Garlic" and other vials.

    The "Other concoctions" are labelled Vampirism, Emetic Tartar for Putric Fever, Verde-Gris, Agrimony, Elixir of Vitriol, and Daffy's Elixir for Purging.
    From the Sotheby's 2007 kit:

    Single-column shorttext Blomberg, no border
    Vampire Killing Kit

    This box contains the items considered neccessary, for the protection of persons who travel into certain little known countries of Eastern Europe, where the populace are plagued with a particular manifestation of evil known as Vampires. Professor Ernst Blomberg respectfully requests that the purchaser of this kit, carefully studies his book in order, should evil manifestations become apparent, he is 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 compiling of the special items, the silver bullets, etc., has been most efficient.

    The items enclosed are as follows,
    (1) An efficient pistol with its usual accoutrements,
    (2) Silver bullets,
    (3) An ivory crucifix,
    (4) Powdered flowers of garlic,
    (5) A wooden stake,
    (6) Professor Blomberg's new serum,
    (The rest of this list is not visible)
    Actual contents, fairly accurate:

    (1) Crucifix-pistol and powderhorn
    (2) Possible bullets in compartment
    (3) No standard crucifix
    (4) Small jar, possibly "flowers of garlic"
    (5) A short wooden stake
    (6) Small jar, possibly "Bloomberg's new serum"

    Despite the common core content, there are variations in word choice, punctuation (commas, elipses) and spelling (Plombeur or Plomduer) across this sampling of Blomberg labels. It is possible that the kit production changed over time; the list of contents should be different where the kit contents differ (i.e. pistols vs. crossbows). Some of the kit descriptions are very accurate, and some are only marginally accurate, which might suggest that the innaccurate kits are sloppier (or modern) copies of presumed vintage Blomberg kits.

    Part 1b - Survey of Blomberg Kits

    The following vampire killing kits contain printed labels that appear to be consistent with Ernst Blomberg kits. Here is a sampling of their wide variety of designs and components:
    The Kit
    The Label
    Fairly fancy border Pistol, Powder Horn, Bullets Crucifix, Rosary, Prayer Book Powdered Garlic, Serum, Mallet, Stake
    No border, charred (artificially) Crucifix-Pistol, Bullet Mold, Silver Bullets, Powder Crucifix pistol Powdered Garlic, Serum, Stake
    Very fancy border, single column list - see above
    No pistol or Plomdeur ref.
    Crossbow, Bolts Portable Crucifix, Holy Water Flour of Garlic, Serum, Syringe, Stake
    Abbreviated label with partial text Pistol, Powder Horn Crucifix Vials, Stake, Forceps, Pliers, Medical Scissors, Razor
    Full text label - see above Pistol, Bullets Crucifix, Rosary, Holy Water Garlic Flower, Brimstone, Serum, Stake, Candle
    Water damaged Label - see above Pistol, Bullets Crucifix Stake, Garlic, Magnifying Glass
    Simple border, water damage - see above Pistol, Bullets Crucifix Garlic Flower, Brimstone, Serum, Stake, Hardwrare

    There is quite a wide variety of cases, contents and condition. In some instances, the contents are a poor match for the attached Blomberg label (see
    section 1A, above). The only consistency is the common core Blomberg text (with minor alterations), although the label printing, font, borders and manifest vary widely.

    It seems unlikely that such a wide variety of cases and kits could be attributed to one person. Furthermore, a kit containing a crossbow (but no gun, as seen in this non-Blomberg kit) is out of keeping with a 19th Century gunsmith. One of the kits especially appears to be little more than a mishmash of vintage tools from a flea market.

    Part II - Non-Blomberg Kits

    The following vampire killing kits lack any obvious association with Ernst Blomberg. Here is a sampling of these less common artifacts:
    The Kit
    The Label
    No label Wooden crossbow and silver-tipped bolts, stakes, silver knife Crucifix, Rosary, Holy Water Stake, Serums and Powders
    No label Pistol, cleaver Crucifix, Prayer Book, Holy Materials Stake, candles, Serums
    Latin Inscriptions Knife Crucifix, Romanian Prayer Book, Holy Materials Mallet, Stakes, Garlic, Serum, Syringe, Pliers
    Deus Vult (God wills it) Pistol (Irish), Bullets (Crossed) Crucifix, Holy Water Stake, Garlic

    These kits sometimes include elements of older, more exotic languages - Latin inscriptions, Romanian prayer books, Latin vial ingredients. They also make extensive use of holy symbols - crucifixes on the mallet and stakes, crosses on the bullets. Their apparent antiquity seems genuine.

    On the other hand, the bottles/jars of some kit appear to be more modern 'screw-tops,' which became common in the early 1850s (patented in 1852, inner cork-liner added by 1856). However, earlier screw top technology dates back to the 1730s (or earlier), as evidenced by a reference (Acts, 1739) to "Screws or Stoppers to Stone or Glass Bottles or Phials." Bottles, then, should be dated based on the bottle, the stopper, and the method of manufacture. This is difficult at best for a non-expert with a bunch of photos.

    Part III - In Support of Vintage Vampire Kits

    Point 1 - Accounts of Kits Before 1972

    Accounts of vampire killing kits (especially Blomberg kits) existing before 1972 (a critical date in DeWinter's claims, below) would be general evidence of vintage vampire killing kits created in the mid- to late-1800s, presumably for European tourists.

    The SurvivalArts website held extensive debate on the subject, and no shortage of people asserting that these kits were available prior to 1972. In August 2004, "Steve" posted the following:
    As German translators listed at our local Roseburg, Oregon library, my wife and I were contacted several years ago by a gunsmith who specialized in black powder arms, to translate a couple of articles. The articles turned out to be a list of instructions as to how to use Professor Ernst Blomberg's "Vampire Killing Kit", a thank you note to a Belgian gunsmith and the recipe for his "New Potion" from what I recall of the info (I didn't copy them), there were instructions on how to utilize the potion, which consisted of Holy Water, garlic extract, honey, and salt, each having scientific reasons for their being in the potion. The instructions were very detailed, they told of how to safely load the gun using the powder measure, how to appy the wadding and the silver bullet. (It even included an alternative method for placing linen in after the bullet to assist in "shooting at a downward angle"). It stated the cross was made of ivory and had a brass thread at the base which could be used to "screw into the wooden stake and provide additional stabilization when pressing through the chest into the heart". The instructions included the packing detail for the boxes contents.

    This is a noteworthy statement, as I have only seen one other reference to the Blomberg text/instructions appearing in German (by the Surnateum) - the Blomberg labels and pamphlet are typically found in English. While German language publications by a Blomberg exist, they are not directly related to these kits or their use. It also includes details that I have not seen elsewhere, such as the technique for 'shooting at a downward angle.' No date is given, but apparently the gunsmith requesting the translation was also producing contemporary forgery vampire killing kits, as the entry goes on to say:
    After we had provided this gunsmith with the translation, he brought a prototype of the kit as had made it. He'd antiqued the gun and even the purplish colored cloth the kit was lined with. His plan was to sell the kits to the "people in Hollywood and other places who buy anything just to have it."

    Stated, then, is (1) a German version of the Blomberg text/instructions with much more detail given than the standard Blomberg label, (2) a letter to Plomdeur, (3) The recipe of Blomberg's serum, and (4) detailed instructions on unorthodox use of firearms ('firing downward,' which probably does not require additional wadding). Furthermore, I have not heard of another source that describes the components of Blomberg's "new potion."

    Interestingly, the most vocal cynic of real vampire killing kits, Michael de Winter (see below) has no idea where this pamphlet came from, and explicitly stated that he did not produce it (December 2005). A German text by Blomberg including details unavailable elsewhere would be a key piece of evidence in favor of vintage vampire kits.

    Most recently, SurvivalArts poster Meridith came across with a very assertive claim (March/August 2008) that lays foundation for vintage kits:
    Being a psychologist and having studied Renfield-Syndrome (and Lycanthropy) on a professional basis for 12 years, it was only two years ago that I learned of the existance of Vampire Killing Kits. Literature on the subject of vampirism is abundant, but the hype started early 19th century with the publication of "The Vampyre" by Dr. John Poledori. He was the first to set the originally brutal but bestial vampire in an aristocratic surrounding, thus influencing all future iconography.

    We also know that there are many thousands of amulets, ranging from all continents, going back 2000 years in time, spellbooks et al that deal about or provide protection against vampires.

    To finalise a study that was started between 4 European universities, I visited 23 museums where such items were kept: none were fakes. I have also visited the Surnateum in Brussels, Belgium. They keep one of these kits. My colleague from the Londerzeelse Archeologen Vereniging verified its authenticity on a rational basis: all objects within the box were from the epoch they claimed to be. Professor Siegfried Bracke from the Köllner Waffen Verein also confirmed that the gun was indeed from a rather well known gunsmith from Liège named Nicolas Plomdeur. No fiction here either. The religious markings I examined were neither constructed nor added: again, all was what it seemed to be.

    The Ripley's Believe It or Not! museum chain claims to have the world's largest collection of vintage vampire hunting kits, some reportedly collected by Robert Ripley prior to World War II. In a press release dated December 4, 2008, Ripleys maintains that their collection of kits now numbers 30 (26 on display). Most of the kits were acquired by Edward Meyer, their Vice President of Exhibits and Archives. Ripley's goes on to assert:
    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.

    While they openly state that most of the kits were made near Boston, they also stand by their statement that the kits date from the mid-1800s, which lends support to the notion of truly vintage (pre-Stoker) kits. To be fair, I have seen a contemporary kit maker who (eBay, 10/2010) who claims to have sold one of his kits to a Ripley museum, but this does no affect the provenance of their entire collection. There have also been more recent statements from Ripleys that undermine the extent to which their kits are researched - one must remember that Ripley is more an entertainment venue than a scholarly institution.

    Point 2 - Crucifix Pistols

    Over the years, a very small number of kits have come to light which include a percussion pistol (and occasionally an optional dagger attachment) in the form of a crucifix. Other than killing vampires, one cannot imagine a reason for such an artifact to exist.

    The existence of these specialized weapons raises a few points:
    1 Most of these weapons appear to be actual antiques, whether they appear in Blomberg or non-Blomberg kits. If they were manufactured for tourists in the late 1800's, they still qualify as antique.
    2 Forgers assembling bogus kits from old parts or leftover cheap vintage firearms would not likely have access to many such weapons.
    3 There are scattered (but rare) reports of these weapons at gun collector websites, suggesting that the weapons were recovered from old (perhaps discarded) vampire killing kits.
    4 What other explanation can be imagined for the existence of such weapons?

    There is, however, a historical precedent for this type of weapon that has nothing to do with vampires. According to legend, 16th century Dominican Friar, Saint Louis Bertrand (1526 - 1581, most often associated with Spain and Peru) enraged a nobleman with his words - the nobleman raised a pistol against Bertrand, who made the sign of the cross, resulting in the weapon being transformed into a crucifix. His iconography includes a pistol that terminates in a crucifix instead of a gun-barrel. This, in some ways, adds a saintly power to similarly constructed weapons.

    Blombergian or not, these crucifix pistols appear to anchor some vampire killing kits to the late 1800's, which contradicts subsequent claims of these kits being invented in the 1970's. Whether for tourists or actual vampires, some of these kits are authentic antiques. Construction of these weapons also varies, including wood or ivory stock material.

    PART IV - The Historic Ernst Blomberg

    Reliable evidence of a historic Ernst Blomberg would be a key factor in the support that some of these kits are vintage antiques. Unfortunately, not everything printed on the internet is 'reliable evidence.'

    Evidence - Historical References

    Around July 2004, "Daniel" began posting information (at SurvivalArts) in support of the very existence of Ernst Blomberg:
    Here's a couple more 1800s Blombergs from searches:
    CHristening- 23 DEC 1827
    Evangelisch,Heiden, , Lippe, Germany

    Christening- 22 JUL 1814
    Evangelisch, Hausberge, Westfalen, Preussen

    Since Freiherr represents a title, these might be close matches - unless one considers that recent documentation asserts that Blomberg was born in 1821.

    SurvivalArts poster Meridith offers additional information about Blomberg (March/August 2008):
    In the library of the Universität zu Lübeck, there are several courses from one Professor Ernest Freiherr von Blomberg, who was a Professor of Zoology from 1856 until 1903, the year he died. The man seems to have had an obsession with shapeshifters and other creatures alike, for he wrote a rather unreadable book on it, "Die Verwandlung im Prinzipus: Tiere une Maenschen und Ihre Gottlose Vereinen", ed. 1869. This book is real, the man is real and his decendents are also real. They however chose not to collaborate with us.

    In conclusion, and as far as this claim goes, the Vampire Killing Kit at the Surnateum is not a forgery; is not a contrefact from 1972; does not contain fake ustensils; does not contain names and personae who are not traceable. It seems that some people would like to get credit (and a lot of attention) for something they didn't achieve. And that's the truth.

    This posting gives more new information (including the full name and scholarly position of Blomberg) than has been produced in a while - and he does so directly in opposition of DeWinter's claims.

    By December 2008, evidence of an historic Ernst Blomberg continued to mount, most notably with a Wikipedia posting, reportedly submitted by a Surnateum researcher named Van Helmont who apparently unearthed a photograph of Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg:

    The face of Ernst Blomberg, vampire hunter?

    The photograph was described as 'autographed,' although no indication of a signature is apparent on the front of the picture. If it refers to a hand-written name on the back of the photograph (naming Blomberg), it actually strengthens the claim of authenticity, as such photographs were commonly labelled on the reverse side (often by family members), typically in the flowing cursive script common in those days. Today, this would indeed look like an 'autograph.' Subsequent evidence has largely confirmed that this photograph does indeed represent our Ernst Blomberg.

    Alternately, they may be referring to the following picture (with 'autograph'), which is apparently the cover of a Swedish magazine Hvar 8 dag from April 9, 1911, featuring the recently deceased Ernst Blomberg (1863-1911), who, rather than hunting vampires, was to be a member of the Swedish parliment:

    Definitely not our Ernst Blomberg

    From the 2010-vintage Wikipedia Article (and an online encyclopedia of Human Biology, apparently originally published in on a Russian Academic site), reproduced here for control:

    Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg (°1821 - +1903)

    Born in Hamburg, son of Wilhelm Freiherr von Blomberg. He attended the Academisches Gymnasium where he studied Evangelic Theology and subsequently enrolled the University to study Biology. We lose his track due to the moving of the family; he resurfaces in 1856 when he is appointed Lektor at the University (then Fachschule) of Lübeck. He holds the chair of Zoology and, fully within his iron Prussian upbringing, sports a fascination for all things theological. In 1869 he publishes a work called “Die Verwandlung im Prinzipus: Thiere, Maenschen und Ihren Gottlosen Vereinen”. Covering topics such as clinical lycanthropy and clinical vampirism, it is considered the first attempt in describing anthrozoology. Later, and unintentionally, he is the first to coin the term Human biology. Today, this term is used on an entirely different basis, but his use had the same roots of research, albeit distorted by religious motives. As Sanitätsrat (an honorary title given to physicians), Freiherr von Blomberg equally held a private medical practice in his estate in Lauenburg from 1889 until 1894. He retired from university two years later. He died in Lübeck in 1903.

    In 1914, Springer Berlin/Heidelberg posthumously published his “Ein seltener fall von Hydrocephalus” (A Rare Case of Hydrocephalus) in the ‘Zeitschrift für die gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie’. It was his last study to scientifically prove that a physical deformation (in casu Hydrocephalus) was a possible cause of lycanthropy and vampirism.

    In January 2011, a website discussing the history of biology included the following:
    The first man to ever use the term human biology was Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg (°1821 - +1903). Born in Hamburg, he attended the Academisches Gymnasium where he studied Evangelic Theology and the University to study Biology. At the Fachschule of Lübeck he held the chair of Zoology from 1856 until his retirement in 1896. His writings, though obscured by theological prejudice, have some interest: in 1869 he publishes a work called “Die Verwandlung im Prinzipus: Thiere, Maenschen und Ihren Gottlosen Vereinen”. It is considered to be the first book on anthrozoology. In his course of 1891 "Beiträge zur Studien der Thierverwandlungen", he unintentionally coined the term Humanbiologie. Today, this term is used on an entirely different basis, but his use had the same roots of research, albeit distorted by religious motives.

    He died in Lübeck in 1903.

    Another possible route towards verifying Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg comes from the German Wikipedia site (1/2011), in an article listing the 'Members of the Prussian House of Lords:'
    In 1855 the so-called Prussian manor house was the First Chamber of the Prussian State Parliament after the constitutional charter for the Prussian state, 31 January 1850, as amended by regulation for formation of the First Chamber of 18 October 1854. The latter was to the end of the German empire proper. The members (MPs) of the Prussian Upper House (HH) were "Pairs," and had their right to sit and vote solely on the basis of hereditary rights or presentation. All other information can be found in the article "Prussian manor house".

    Included among the hundreds of members listed:
    Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg, 1821-1903, Medical Council from 1887, Fachhochschule Lübeck

    The above accounts would seem to offer a fairly consistent assertion in favor of Blomberg's association with studies in vampirism and lycanthropy, which would tend to reinforce an association with the production of vintage vampire killing kits.

    Evidence Disproved - The Hydrocephaly Paper - Not Quite Our Blomberg

    This Blomberg scientific article, reportedly published posthumously, has been cited as an examination of possible connection between hydrocephaly and lycanthropy/vampirism. It is referenced as such in numerous online sources. More concretely, it is cited in the "Review of Neurology and Psychology" (volume 12, published by Otto Schulze & Company, Edinburgh 1914):

    This paper, which is still available today, is fully referenced as:
    Ein seltener fall von Hydrocephalus; Zeitschrift für die gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie. Publisher: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. ISSN 0303-4194 - Issue Volume 24, Number 1 / December, 1914 - Pages 200-216.

    (roughly, A Rare Case of Hydrocephalus; Magazine for the Field of Neurology and Psychiatry. Publisher: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. ISSN 0303-4194 - Issue Volume 24, Number 1 / December, 1914 - Pages 200-216.)
    In January, 2011, independent researcher Michael S. provided access to this publication, the first page of which is shown here:

    Based on a full (albeit rough) translation, the paper describes the case of patient "C.K.," born hydrocephalic and partially blind. Patterns of alchoholism in his ancestors and father are documented, as are the facts surrounding his birth, mental, emotional and physical development (intelligent, content, but somewhat physically impaired), and circumstances of blindness and his misshapen head. Most of the brief paper describes the measurements and observations made during autopsy. It is a terse, observation-driven paper, and includes no discernable attempt to link this case to beliefs in vampirism or werewolves, as has been asserted by the Wikipedia entry, above. Clearly, this is a case of unvetted Wikipedia content being used to advance the new folklore surrounding Blomberg.

    Upon inspection, any attempt to link this paper to vampire hunter Ernst Blomberg encounters the following problems:

    1. This paper is authored by Dr. Freiherr v. Blomberg, and does not specifically cite our Ernst.
    2. The mention of the University of Lübeck is made - unusual if the author was attached to that institution.
    3. The numerous photographs included in the paper resemble WWI-era photographs more than late 19th century images
    4. No mention of vampires or the occult are included in this terse medical paper.
    5. Published in 1914, the paper includes anecdotal dates regarding the development of patient C.K. well into 1913:

    It is impossible for these observations to have been made by a vampire killer who reportedly died in 1903.

    This combination of evidence precludes the possibility that this paper was written by the Ernst Blomberg associated with so many vampire killing kits.

    Posting on the internet does not make something a fact - especially since the three appearances of the Wikipedia biograpy (that I have found) on the internet are all cut-and-paste instances of the very same text. Someone attempting to create a ficticious person out of thin air might post such data to multiple websites to create a 'depth of sources.' The fact that this paper was written by another professor named Blomberg, living and working in the appropriate location, often within the appropriate scholarly circles (but a generation too late) suggests that serious efforts have been made to artificially add to the legend of Ernst Blomberg, vampire hunter.

    In September of 2011, independent researcher Kris d'R related the explanation that, as related by reliable sources familiar with the history of the history of Lübeck, Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg had a son named Ernst-Johannes. Ernst-Johannes Bloomberg studied medicine at Lübeck and went on to publish the Hydrocephaly Paper. This explanation lines up with the current body of evidence - I look forward to uncovering additional documentation to strengthen this explanation.

    In 2011, Spookyland updated the Wikipedia article to reflect this rediscovered information, somewhat weakening the case for our vampire hunter named Blomberg.

    It is also interesting to speculate that this paper may have contributed to the institutional support of an aggressive eugenics agenda, pushed by Hitler, in Germany beginning in 1939. The overseeing committee (Reichsausschuss zur wissenschaftlichen Erfassung erb- und anlagebedingter schwerer Leiden - 'Reich Committee for the Scientific Registering of Serious Hereditary and Congenital Illnesses) included hydrocephaly in their list of target afflictions. In the end, over 200,000 people were killed as a result of the program. One need look no further for such real horrors.

    Evidence Disproved - The Principles of Transformation Paper

    The paper “Ueber Die Verwandlung im Prinzipus: Thiere, Maenschen und Ihren Gottlosen Vereinen” (roughly On The Principals of Transformation: Animals, Men and Wicked Groups), has been attributed to Ernst Blomberg, published through "Der Fachhochschule zu Luebeck, Druck und Verlag von G. Reimer, Hamburg 1869" (The University of Luebeck. Printed and published by G. Reimer, Hamburg 1869.).

    In January 2011, independent researcher Michael S. was kind enough to cross-check WorldCat, a multi-lingual catalog of all printed materials available. Unfortunately, it has no listings for Die Verwandlung im Prinzipus, despite a strong inclusion of German publications. It contains other works published by authors sharing the surname "Freiherr von Blomberg," but nothing explicitly for Ernst. However, based on scanned images of the publication (posted on 'Magic Cafe Forums' by 'stoneunhinged' on August 23, 2009) the document appears to exist, possibly as a pamphlet (not a book). A copy is owned by the Surnateum - an image of which is accompanied here by my rough translation:

    Title page

    Transformation in Principle: Animals, Men and Your wicked cults.

    A Contribution to the study of psychology


    Prof. Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg.
    Docent of Zoology The University of Luebeck.

    Printed and Published by G. Reimer




    The preoccupation with lycanthropy some time ago led me to the work of Calmeil (of madness etc.), a treatment of it was published two years ago. (Madness in the Last Four Centuries. Hall 1848). The following lines lie immediately after those great original works, standing likewise on the same land. Now, as a monographic trial which had earlier been the case reported here, because of completeness one must insert, only two accounts are from secondary sources, the description of the sorcerers Boguet's Speeches and account of Garnier I owe Calmeil; all other respects are directly attributed to the sources themselves.

    May you find this work as a small contribution to the history of psychology. While it is a smashing time to which I gaze

    Page 1

    1. The werewolf Addiction (lycanthropy)

    Historical information

    The delusion, that people were able to transform into animals (insania zoanthropica), which sometimes appears even in our modern lunatic asylum cases, follows back into antiquity. Because the Transformation was reportedly be done most often into Wolves and dogs, the disease was given the names Lycanthropy and Cynanthropy. A fragment by Marcellus Sidetes describes the nature of this madness, especially in the approximation of spring, in February, the motivation felt within oneself, the Wolf and dog to do the same, and at night stop over in lonely burial place.

    The oldest animal transformation, via the main tales in Antiquity may mention is that of a king of Arcadia Lycaon, by Jupiter for his crimes (he wanted a banquet of human flesh to be set before the gods, to test them to see if the host is really a God) and was transformed into a wolf (1)). The Lycanthropy beats in antiquity

    (1) in the oldest traces of wolves in Greek. Mythology of Boettiger in Sprengel, Days of History of medicine vol 1 2 1795

    While attempting to take a scientific approach to supernatural transformations, this paper not only cites 'Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg' as the author (associated with Lübeck in the correct timeframe), but it also appears to exist (we have also seen artificially aged fakes). 'Calmeil' referrs to Louis-Florentin Calmeil, whose psychiatric publications regarding madness and delusion (with an emphasis on vampirism, lycanthropy and demonology) were translated into German around 1848 by Rudolf Leubuscher of Breslau (verified as a historical proponent of the advancement of social medicine, 1822-1861), who was reportedly a colleague of Blomberg. While this is a work of supernatural content written in German, it is still unlikely to be the 'vampire kit instruction pamphlet' referenced by Steve, above. By virtue of content, style, and condition, it does appear to be a genuine period publication - but not by Blomberg.

    In August 2011, Spookyland made an interesting discovery. Please consider the following book, Ueber die Wehrwolfe under Thierverwandlungen im Mittelalter - Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Psychologie, coincidentally written by (reputed Blomberg friend) Rudolf Leubusher in 1850:

    Title page

    On the
    Wolf and Were-beast transformations
    in the
    Middle Ages.

    Contribution to the history of psychology
    Dr. Rud. Leubusher,
    Private docents and medical practice in Berlin.

    Printed by G. Reimer Verlag

    A glance at the content confirms that this is the very same book, the title page modified to reference Blomberg, with a new title and date and city (although they kept the publisher). However, this is an actual published book, written by an actual person. Date-tampering is confirmed in the very first sentence:
    ...led me to the work of Calmeil (of madness etc.), a treatment of it was published two years ago. (Madness in the Last Four Centuries. Hall 1848).
    This is consistent with the actual publication in 1850, rather than the tampered publication date of 1869 (perhaps to line up with the Ernst Blomberg timeline).

    Again we are met with an ambitious effort to fabricate artifacts in support of the legendary vampire hunter Professor Ernst Blomberg. Furthermore, this casts doubt on anything presented by the Surnateum as fact (including the provenance of their own vampire killing kit).

    Evidence - The Animal Transformation Paper

    While teaching at Lübeck in 1891, Blomberg reportedly published the paper "Beiträge zur Studien der Thierverwandlungen" ("Contributions to the Study of Animal Transformations"), which is noted for coining the term 'human biology.' References to Blomberg's use of this term abound, although his use was reportedly in a different context than the phrase's use use today.

    Efforts to substantiate the existence of this paper are ongoing. Unfortunately, this title sounds suspiciously like the original title of the Leubusher book (above), borrowing several of the words from the original title (Beiträge and Thierverwandlungen - a grammar check would be helpful).

    Associates of Blomberg

    Among the documentation observed, a small cadre of professional associates of our Blomberg is emerging. These are actual historical persons, and their scholarly pursuits are good matches for the reported interests of Ernst Blomberg.

    Ernst von Bergmann (1836 - 1907 - Latvia, later Germany)

    Reportedly part of 'Der Triumverat,' a group of colleagues with reported interest in the occult, between 1856 and 1861 at Lübeck.
    Remembered as an early contributor to aseptic surgery, specifically heat sterilization of instruments.
    Surgeon in Austro-Prussian War (1866) and Franco-Prussian War (1870-71).
    Professor at University of Dorpat (1871-1878, Tartu , Estonia), then University of Berlin (1882 - retirement) - no mention of Lübeck.
    Published on cranial surgery in 'Die Chirurgische Behandlung der Hirnkrankheiten'.

    Alfred Brehm - (tbd - research pending)

    Reportedly collaborated with Blomberg on a work entitled Tierleben ('Animal Life'), specifically on the subject of bees.
    Independent researcher Kris d'R notes that Brehm reportedly thanked Blomberg by presenting him with a signed print of a vampire bat.

    Georges Hayem - (1841 - 1933, Paris)

    Physician and hematologist, Practiced at Hopital Tenon (1878-1911), later Hopital St. Antoine.
    Independent researcher Kris d'R has seen a letter from Ernst Blomberg to Hayem in the collection of the Musee de la Medicine, Paris - apparently they met during a congress in Brussels or Amsterdam in 1879.

    Rudolf Leubuscher (Breslau, Germany - 1822-1861)

    Reportedly part of 'Der Triumverat' between 1856 and 1861 at Lübeck - Blomberg correspondence is noted in Wikipedia article.
    Assistant to Damerow in Halle (1844), habilitated at Humboldt University (Berlin, 1948), director of clinic (Jena, 1855).
    After 1855, he returned to Berlin as a physician and associate professor 'at the university.'
    Published 'Ueber die Wehrwolfe under Thierverwandlungen im Mittelalter - Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Psychologie' 1850 ('On the Wolf and Were-beast transformations in the Middle Ages. A Contribution to the history of psychology'), which has subsequently been fraudulently presented as a work by Blomberg.

    Leubusher is uniquely positioned in Blomberg history - an actual person with interest in psychology and the occult (lycanthropy), a blend that is often attributed to Blomberg. Perhaps that is why his paper has been adapted for use by Blomberg hoaxters.

    Nicholas Plomdeur (Liege, Belgium - worked 1836-1863)

    His pistols were included in London's Great Exhibition in 1851 (see below).
    Patented a revolver design in 1861

    News from Lübeck!

    In September of 2011, independent researcher Kris d'R, who resides not far from Lübeck, provided some insight and access to a local expert on the history of the University at Lübeck. Kris and this local expert were able to provide the following information.

    1. Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg did indeed exist, and served as a Professor of Zoology at the Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences) at Lübeck. The faded yellow picture presented here has also been confirmed as a picture of the historical Professor Blomberg, although it is not clear where the original photo resides.

    2. In 1869, Blomberg, an amateur beekeeper, was completing a book on bees with the intent to publish. Due to a printing problem at the publisher, a number of pages (including the title-page) were accidentally printed on leftover backsides of the Leubuscher book on animal transformations and lycanthropy (presumably misplaced/mistaken for blank pages at the printer). Kris d'R reports that a Hamburg antique bookdealer had previously told him that the book existed, but was taken off the market shortly after publication due to these numerous misprints, which include both Blomberg and Leubuscher on the title page (I admit this explanation sounds a bit complex). The problem could not be resolved, and Blomberg ultimately abandoned the Bee Book project.

    3. In 1891 at Blomberg's retirement (in dispute with citations of 1893), his graduating students presented retirement gifts according to tradition. Often these gifts might be snuff-boxes, canes, or celebratory poems. Blomberg, regarded with some affection by his 12 students, was presented with a series of fabricated fake Blomberg publications in honor/parody of the disasterous Leubuscher printing. According to the Kris d'R's source, these included books entitled "Blomberg on Marble Monuments of Rome", and "Blomberg's Selected Girls Poetry." Also included was a book regarding werewolves, which is possibly has been taken for the elusive Blomberg "Animal Transformations Paper." While the historian had never heard of that particuar book, the retirement gifts provide a possible explanation.

    This information represents a possible breakthrough in the search for the historical Ernst Blomberg. Although it will be difficult to corroborate the entire account, it does largely line up with the evidence observed elsewhere, and makes no attempt to link Blomberg to vampire hunting kits, or even to vampires in general. Additional efforts will be made to support the tale of a genial beekeeping zoologist who has been since appropriated as the patron saint of vampire killing.

    Spookyland wishes to express deep gratitude for the interest and efforts of independent researchers like Michael S, Kris d'R and the Historian of Lübeck. Their contributions have propelled this project further than could the efforts of any single individual, providing solid leads when other trails had grown cold.

    PART V - The Historic Nicholas Plomdeur

    Evidence of a historic gunmaker named Nicholas/Nicolas Plomdeur would also support the existence of vintage vampire killing kits. Actual antique firearms attribued to Plomdeur provide tangible evidence. Although inclusion of firearms in vampire killing kits may seem inconsistent with modern vampire lore, in 1888 Emily Gerard provided an account of how firing a pistol-shot into the coffin of a suspected vampire can sometimes be an effective method of putting the lesser revenant to rest.

    Evidence - Historical References

    In December 2004, SurvivalArts poster "Christian" provided some initial details:
    I'm very interested by any informations about vampire killing kits. Especially the instructions... There are a lot of fakes around, but some are uthenticals. Nicolas Plomdeur was a gunsmith from Liege (Belgium) but started to works in Paris around the 1850's.

    Some vampire killing kits were produced in what was Germany, Austria and Hungaria during the nineteenth century. The Surnateum
    (see below) possess a antique one in his collections for more than a century now. Fakes are very easy to detect.

    Well, there's a Belgian gunsmith by the name of Nicolas Plomdeur; some of his works are in Liege's museum of Weapons.

    Of material interest is this post (to SurvivalArts) by "Clement C" in December 2005:
    My brother has a beautiful pair of handguns from the mid 1800s produced by a gunsmith called Plomdeur in Paris. The name Plomdeur appears on the box, on the guns and on the gunpowder flask... All this make it hard to believe that the Gunsmith Plomdeur never existed.

    Further citation is posted by "Gil" in February 2006:
    Plomdeur was a gunsmith from Liege, he moved to Paris (France) in the early nineteenth. A reference about him in "les armuriers liégeois" (the gunsmith from Liege) p 130. I'm also curious about the vkk in Ripley's museum.

    There is actually a fair amount of evidence supporting a historic gunmaker named Plomdeur. Nicolas (Vivarro/Vivario) Plomdeur was a gunsmith from Liege (Belgium) between 1836 and 1863, but started to works in Paris around the 1850's. He also participated in London's Great Exhibition of 1851 (lot 146, pair of pistols with ebony stocks), documented in the official catalog of the event (Volume 4, page 1156), by Great Exhibition, Robert Ellis, Great Britain, 1851:

    Some of his works are in Liege's museum of Weapons; most are blackpowder pistols. He is also credited with the patent of a hinged-barrel cartridge revolver, filed April 6, 1861 (Samuel Colt: Arms, Art, and Invention, by Herbert G. Houze et al, Yale Press, 2006). At least one example of a kit containing a revolver has been observed, also attributed to Plomdeur. By one account, he was court gunsmith to the Belgian King.

    I have seen references to Plomdeur percussion pistols being auctioned to collectors with no connection to vampire hunting. His pieces bear the engraved maker's mark "Nlas. Vivarro-Plomdeur Agqr. du Roi à Liège" and ELG proof marks.

    Evidence - Existant Artifacts

    Ever helpful, SurvivalArts poster Meridith (March/August 2008) also has evidence in support of Plomdeur:

    I have also visited the Surnateum in Brussels, Belgium. They keep one of these kits. My colleague from the Londerzeelse Archeologen Vereniging verified its authenticity on a rational basis: all objects within the box were from the epoch they claimed to be. Professor Siegfried Bracke from the Köllner Waffen Verein also confirmed that the gun was indeed from a rather well known gunsmith from Liège named Nicolas Plomdeur. No fiction here either. The religious markings I examined were neither constructed nor added: again, all was what it seemed to be.

    From a German auctioneer (Hessink) in December 2009, we find several Plomdeur pistols, which include his impressive product label:

    Here at last we see the actual work of Nicholas Plomdeur, renowned gunmaker of Liège. These particular specimines are described as:
    A Pistol Case with Two Percussion Pistols
    Liège, circa 1850
    Octagonal barrels with twelve-groove rifled bores in 13 mm calibre. Each is inscribed on the chamber 'N.Vivario Plomdeur Coin du Passage 55 rue Vinave d'ile A LIEGE'. The action lockplates with bear lavish floral engraving. Walnut half stocks with checkered grips. 'En suite' engraved iron furniture, trigger guards and grip caps. Length 43,5 cm. In a wooden case with green velvet lined lid and bottom and with many accessories.
    Catalog listed price was 2500/2500 Euros.

    And finally, the elusive maker's mark on the weapon itself:

    Gunmaker Nicholas Plomdeur, by merit of surviving firearms and extensive documentation, is the most widely authenticated element in these vampire killing kits.

    Part VI - In Support of Modern Forgery Vampire Kits

    There is no question that people are putting together modern forgery vampire killing kits (and often selling them for thousands), but there are also specific assertions that there were never any authentic antique vampire killing kits.

    Point 1 - DeWinter's Claim of Fake Kits

    The SurvivalArts website published an extended discussion on the topic beginning in 2005, which continues still. In it, all responsibility for the creation of Ernst Blomberg is claimed by Michael de Winter of Torquay, United Kingdom (December 2004) as a scheme hatched in 1972 to sell a substandard vintage pistol.

    Hi there! You should know that all the quotes on your site are a load of codswallop. The reason is this: The whole VAMPIRE KILLING KIT myth is purely the result of my very fertile imagination and I produced "The Original" in 1972. Nicolas Plomdeur the Gunsmith in Liege and Professor Ernst Blomberg are not and have never been real people. I still have an original copy of the label from the box and am astounded to learn how my joke has caused so much interest and "FAKERY"

    Here are the salient points from de Winter's account:

    "My story starts in or around 1970 when I was employed in the printing industry. My hobby was buying, selling and refurbishing antique guns. I sold mainly at the famous Portobello Market in London. My usual stock of guns for sale was only 10-20 at any one time and these tended to be of superior quality. I had a number of regular clients who arrived every week to see if I had any new stock. One of my regulars wanted a fine flintlock pistol and asked me to take in part exchange a Belgian percussion pocket pistol. I grudgingly agreed and allowed him £15.00 off the price of the flintlock.

    So, here it is, a poor quality pocket pistol in mediocre condition! What to do with it? That was my question. Having an extremely fertile imagination and being an avid reader, I was inspired. It occurred to me that I could produce something unique that would be a great advertising gimmick and would attract people to my stall. The Vampire Killing Kit was on its way.

    I had recently been reading a nineteenth century book on the manufacturing of various types of guns, specifically percussion and the language of the book helped me in my setting up of the label for the kit. I was very careful to produce an item, which as it was unique was also as perfect as I could make it. The type used for the heading of the label was very old and whilst not Victorian, nevertheless was acceptable to that period. I hand set the label myself and the copy I used was printed on a hand operated press using the fly leaf of a book printed in 1850.

    Regarding Professor Ernst Blomberg and the Gunmaker of Liege, Nicholas Plomdeur, both these gentlemen were figments of my imagination and I was amazed to find mention on a Website of Nicholas Plomdeur’s early career in Paris.


    A breakdown of the kit follows

    (1) Good quality Victorian Walnut Box
    (2) Unnamed box lock pocket pistol with Liege proof marks
    (3) Silver Bullets. These were difficult to produce due to the higher melting point of silver when compared to lead
    (4) Powdered flowers of garlic in an original Victorian medicine bottle
    (5) A wooden stake with a silver point
    (6) Professor Blomberg’s Serum: produced in Harley Street, London, made from mainly fluorescing salts. In an original Victorian medicine bottle
    (7) An original ivory crucifix
    (8) The pistol accessories, including a solid silver gunpowder flask, an original bullet mould, box of percussion caps, etc.

    As can be seen from the above, no expense was spared, enabling me to produce a totally unique item. Can’t possibly be a fake can it! This was not a copy of anything that existed. To encourage interest, I priced the kit at £1000, believing that it would cause some interest, but certainly put anyone off buying it. On the first day at Portobello Road, I loaned the kit to a friend who specialised in the weird and wonderful. A well known Hollywood Star, who was best known for his ‘hammy’ horror roles expressed a lot of interest in it, but said he couldn’t afford it. Well, it soon did sell and it occurred to me that I had really got my horror stories mixed up: wooden stakes and garlic are ok to combat vampires, but silver bullets are for werewolves; aren’t they?

    So, that’s how it all started, I seem to have spawned a lovely silly myth and I wonder how many of “Professor Blomberg’s Vampire Killing Kits” are around. It is interesting to note that the majority of kits produced use both of my invented persons, ie Professor Blomberg and Nicholas Plomdeur. Additionally they seem to like my phraseology, ie, use of words such as populace and manifestations of evil. What this shows of course, is that they are all copies of my original and that includes the kit which fetched $12,000 at Sothebys and the kit which fetched $21,000 in the States."

    It should be noted that de Winter's long standing claims are partially discredited by the confirmation of an historic vampirist Ernst Blomberg and gunmaker Plomdeur, despite his assertion that "both these gentlemen were figments of my imagination." However, his stated involvement in both printing and antique firearms would make him uniquely qualified to produce a credible fake Blomberg vampire killing kit.

    Point 2 - Obvious Blomberg Fakery

    While initially interesting references to a full vintage Blomberg pamphlet (posted by "Sjyanc" in SurvivalArts, November 2005) unravel under scrutiny:
    Can you tell me if you know anything about the pamphlet (apparently written by Professor Ernst Blomberg) called The Vampire, that was included with some of these kits? It seems to have been printed in London by John E. Taylor, Little Green Street.

    The Little Green Street area is over 250 years old and is close to the famous Highgate Cemetery. The pamphlet described is almost certainly a reference to this document, which is reportedly the only known copy of the 19 page document, currently in the collection of one Thomas S.:

    This would be good news for believers indeed. Here is proof of the documents existence, and it appears to have been sold in some sort of used bookstore for $9.99 (presumably US dollars). Title, author and printer all match.

    Also posted, here is the beginning of the first page text:

    Please note the 'similarity' to this text, which is an essay on vampires published by Henry S. Olcott in 1891. It appears that the title page has been changed, and the rest of the content plagarized. It is not clear how old this pamphlet is, or whether its appearance has been artificially aged. Based on this, any reference to the English printing of a "Blomberg pamplet" will not support proof of vintage vampire killing kits. It may also cause a critical thinker to remain suspicious of any printed Blomberg ephemera, especially in English.

    This post (Luis D Carbia, April 2007) initally looked like possible proof of Blomberg, except for two things: It is a modern book, and it is the wrong Blomberg:
    I have in my hands a treatise by Prof. Charles Blomberg, "The Creature Vampyre" and there is described the use of all this parafernalia; however, both book and professor are fictitious creations, edited by Fear No Evil (Wallace, Idaho). I fear that the entire box is a well-done, beautiful and detailed fake.
    This book, authored by "Charles Blomberg" instead of our dear Ernst, is currently available for purchase, indicating that it is a recent creation (probably published in 1998), perhaps inspired by the plagarized Ernst Blomberg pamphlet. No claims to authenticity are made, as it appears to be an original work with original illustrations.

    These details, posted by "richard" in April 2007 may be helpful in identifying forgery kits:
    Fake! If the kits are for travellers venturing to eastern europe, why are the labels in english rather than german or french (and obviously modern typeface)? Why are the cartridge boxes marked "eley kynoch" (an english brand of cartridge) rather than with the name of one of the german cartridge manufacturers who had a near monopoly on the continent? The revolver looks like a cheap belgian "suicide special" with strong resemblance to the smith and wesson #2 of the 1870's. To box up a revolver worth a few hundred dollars with a bunch of spurious accessories and sell it for $12,000 reeks of a swindle
    Realize that the SurvivalArts website has a strong following of firearms enthusiasts.

    The Surnateum museum professes to own a genuine vampire killing kit attributed to Blomberg, but there is a glaring problem - much of their supporting provenance for the kit is farsical at best. From their website, the kit is given the following history:
    The firearm was obtained and blessed sometime after 1789, when the Church authorized vampire hunting, and established a force to do so. In 1820, this pistol was converted from flintlock to percussion-cap. Falling into subsequent disuse, the pistol came to a collector in 1877, at which time Professor Blomberg was assembling these vampire killing kits. The kit came into the collection of the Surnateum after 1888....

    The account goes on to enumerate a few fantastic plot twists involving Jack the Ripper and Adolph Hitler. While this is not sufficient to discredit the kit itself, it does cast some doubts on their published account of the causal history of this object.

    Perhaps the most interesting detail in the Surnateum's description is a reference to copies of Blomberg's pamphlet in both English and German, as this is supports the rare 'German pamphlet' reference. While the wild description undermines any claims of the antiquity of the kit, the kit itself and accompanying vintage documentation should be considered on their own merits.

    Recently, some patterns of misspelling are discrediting certain vampire killing kits. Specifically difficult to spell is "Plomdeur," which has been obsered with multiple mis-spellings.

    This vampire killing kit cites a Nicholas Plombeur in an apparent spelling error on the label itslef. This can clearly be seen here:

    Either it's a typo or a very sloppy fraud. So far, no evidence supporting a period gunmaker named 'Plombeur' has been found.

    A very well thought out posting by 'The BS Historian' in January 2011 brings to light another ambitious Plomdeur mis-spelling in an eBay auction kit from that same month. The auction text, label, and photographs reference 'Nicolas Plomduer' as the maker of the pistol, which was sold at a seperate auction at The engraving on the pistol itself matches this mis-spelling, which indicates a very ambitious (but poorly read) fraudster. The auction reserve price of $2,650 was not met.

    Point 3 - Fakery Proved Through Analysis

    Perhaps the best example of evidence against a Blomberg Kit comes from the Mercer Museum, which has actually had an analysis of their Blomberg Kit, with the following results:

    Is This Kit "Real?"
    When it was first given to the museum we thought it might be real. Although vampires don't really exist, we knew that some people in the past thought they did. And the objects in the case - a bullet mold, pistol, glass syringe, and others - seemed authentic. Most were typical of the mid-1800s.

    In recent years, however, we've seen may similar kits. All have the label of "Professor Blomberg," but all are a little different. They are in assorted cases, and their contents vary. Some contain objects that have been altered to appear old. The number of these kits appearing suddenly on the antiques market, along with their questionable contents, made us suspicious.

    We now believe this kit was assembled in the 20th century, and passed off as "real." Its contents have been gathered and placed in an old case modified to receive them. The paper labels have been artificially "aged." Traditionally, vampire lore has been part of many cultures around the world. But the contents of this case better reflect the fiction of modern books and films than the folk beliefs of earlier Americans and Europeans.

    Report on Scientific Testing of the Vampire Kit...
    Testing completed recently by the Winterthur Museum Analytical Laboratory (Winterthur, Delaware) has confirmed many of our suspicions abou the date and origins of this kit. While most of the items contained in it are consistent with the mid-1800s, the paper labels and other additions are more recent

    The paper used in the labels contains "flourescent optical brightening agents," introduced into paper manufacture about 1945. Similarly, the glass in the magnifier is modern, as is the adhesive used to secure the mother-of-pearl facing to the cross. The so-called "silver bullets" are actually made of pewter.

    The kit is a product of someone's late twentieth-century imagination, though composed mostly of nineteenth-century pieces. Unfortunately, we still do not know specifically to whose imagination we should attribute it. Still, as Winterthur scientists concluded, "the kit remains a delightful tongue-in-cheek tribute to the popularity of vampire literature."

    Part VII - Inferences Towards Conclusions

    Even without actually inspecting some of these kits, some reasonable inferences can be made:

    Most Blomberg Kits are Assembled Fakes

    1 The wide variance of Blomberg kits, contents and labels strongly suggests that many of the Blomberg kits were assembled from vintage parts - old gun boxes, silverware boxes, or even shoe-shine boxes. Suspicion of forgery is increased when the contents of the kit do not quite match the contents listed on the label, or names are mis-spelled.
    2 De Winter makes a compelling case that some forgeries exist, and he has been vigorous in making it a public matter. If a vintage firearms dealer was seeking to sell degraded weapons, he would presumably have access to a collection of odd and mismatched boxes from incomplete sets.
    3 An increasing bulk of evidence shows much fabrication of evidence in the name of Blomberg. Most of his kits are modern assemblies of parts in a forged context. The Blomberg pamphlet (plagarized from Olcott ), as well as the two publications falsely attributed to Ernst Blomberg, provides direct evidence of ambitious fakery in the name of Blomberg.
    4 The Mercer Museum has scientifically debunked a Blomberg kit - it may not be from 1972, but it is certainly not from 1900.
    5 If Blomberg was German, why was he printing his labels only in English?
    6 Since gunmaker Nicholas Plomdeur was a historic figure, kits that reference Nicolas Plombeur or Plomduer are immediately suspect.
    7 As evidence continues to accumulate in support of the historic Ernst Blomberg, none of it is related to vampires. Blomberg, then, has apparently been usurped and employed as the 'patron saint of vampire killing kits.' Any kit bearing his name/label is now immediately suspect.

    Indeed, in June 2010, a kit presented by Christie's Interiors at auction included an explicit disclaimer that indicates how 'assembled fakes' are to be expected in the market: "To clarify the contents of the box were assembled in the second half of the 20th century." With the appearance of each high-end kit it becomes more difficult to prove the authenticity of a complete, genuine antique. Apparently, the public is also becoming more educated regarding the obvious fakes. Still, these kits command high prices at auction.

    Some Vampire Killing Kits May Be Antique

    1 Statements of pre-existant kits in museums suggests that there are some kits that have remained in complete assembly prior to de Winter's claim (now partially discredited) of beginning production of forged kits around 1970. If these statements are true (difficult to prove), then some kits are indeed vintage, probably 'tourist kits.' Ripley's Museums asserts that their 30 kits date back to the mid-1800s, although there has recently been some questions raised regarding the actual pre-1990 provenance of this collection.
    2 The detailed account of an extensively detailed German text (and letter to Plomdeur) by Blomberg falls outside the pattern of apparent fakes. This reported German text includes the Serum recipe and unorthodox firearms techniques ('shooting down'). No corresponding text (or German text) has been seen in any of the Blomberg Kits. Actual Blomberg letters have been reported, but none associated with vampires. An examination of such a document, if it actually exists, would shed light on whether there is a kernel of truth to the Blomberg legend.
    3 Non-Blomberg kits suddenly seem more credible by merit of their disassociation with Blomberg. As recently as this October 2010 auction, a non-Blomberg kit was inspected and dated to the late 1800s.
    4 DeWinter's core claims as the 'original faker' weaken with the continued proof of the historic Blomberg and Plomdeur.
    5 If someone has a better explanation for the existence of antique crucifix-form percussion pistols, I'd like to hear it.

    I admittedly hold out hope that some actual vintage kits, perhaps from the Bram Stoker era, are identified and authenticated. However, if such kits exist, they are lost in a sea of fakes. Most kits are apparently assemblies of antique parts, cobbled together by creative individuals out to make a buck. Yet there remains precious evidence of actual vintage kits - at least those assembled in the late 1800s for tourists in Europe or Boston.

    Oddly, this very page, since about 2010, seems to have been informing the topic more directly - Blomberg kits at auction have become more uncommon (again), and readers have contacted me regarding their own kit purchases. Perhaps the buyers are well served by the additional information, and the charlatan sellers are retreating to the shadows while seeking easier targets of opportunity.

    Much has already been revealed, but until some striking evidence becomes available, I am still holding out hope on some confirmation of a genuine old world vampire killing kit, intended for the earnest dispatching of revenants - or even amusing Victorian tourists abroad.

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