I ran across a fun post concerning the history of vampires and early 'kits' to kill them. Vampires are already dead, as everyone knows - which makes them the living dead. I suppose a soul in mortal sin could be sort of a vampire - maybe not - although there really is a whole subculture of people who think they are vampires. There are therians too - people who think they are animals - these are not the same as werewolves however. I worked with a woman who believes she is a dragon - seriously. When I say I have worked with witches, I'm not referring to a personality defect.
The kits (like the one shown) were contained in fine wooden cases with compartments for all the necessary elements needed to eliminate the vampire, somewhat similar to the sick call set used by a priest. The kit usually consisted of a crucifix which sometimes doubled as a stake to plunge through the heart, otherwise a wooden stake was also provided, a ritual or prayer book/bible, silver bullets and a pistol, containers for holy water, garlic and other repellents, even a rosary. The impalement was most likely performed by a layman. I find it curious that such kits even existed in Catholic lands, since an authorized exorcism would have sent the demon running. If indeed real vampires ever existed - the animator of the dead person would surely have been a demon, or a soul of the damned - hence the efficiency of ritual exorcism. I suspect the makers of such kits were probably the precursors of the snake oil salesmen who traveled the American prairie.
Anyway - those fun Vampire Killing Kits go for a lot of money at antique auctions, for more on their history and some fun vampire facts, click here.