For all Twilight fans of vampires and Dracula, this eBay auction should pique your interest. It is too late for you to bid on it as the auction closed on December 13.
The auction was for the mummified heart of the vampire Auguste Delagrange. Before his destruction in 1912, Delagrange was responsible for the deaths of over forty people during one of the worst outbreaks of vampirism in the United States. He was eventually identified and hunted down by a Roman Catholic priest and a Voodoo Hougan. The pair began systematically destroying nests and minions, forcing Delagrange to take refuge in an abandoned farmhouse on the outskirts of a small town in Louisiana. It was there that a stake was driven through his heart and his body destroyed. All that remains is the heart you see before you.
The vampire’s desiccated heart and the stake that destroyed him are stored in an oak box that measures approximately 5″ high, 8″ wide, and 11″ long. The plaque on top of the box notes the day Delagrange was destroyed and appears to be hand lettered, consistent with the time period.
This realistic prop was constructed with the traditional techniques used for sideshow gaffs and goes quite a bit beyond what’s commonly available.
The “flesh” of the heart is very firm, but slightly yielding, consistent with a human heart that’s been mummified and preserved using early 20th century technology. It feels like the texture of very dry beef jerky with a protective coating of wax. The large hole in the left auricle is where the oak stake that decimated this particular vampire entered the heart. Along the top of the heart can be seen the stubs of the major vessels (pulmonary artery, aorta, superior and inferior vena cava) from when the heart was cut from the creature’s chest.
The stake is turned oak and measures approximately 8.5″ in length. It has a sharp point and slender shaft so it can slip between the ribs of the chest cavity like a dagger with just one or two blows from a small hammer. The packing material is genuine excelsior made from wood shavings, appropriate for the period.
The typewritten back story provided with the heart is based on actual events involving an alleged cult and a series of gruesome mass murders.
Just to satisfy your curiosity, the mummified vampire heart was sold for $320.10.