Mummified Vampire Heart
We bring you 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, consigning his soul to it's inevitable end. All that remains is the heart you see before you.
The vampire's dessicated heart and the stake that destroyed him are stored in a box of finger jointed oak 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. I've provided views from a variety of angles and lighting conditions so you can appreciate just how detailed it is. This isn't something that just looks impressive on a shelf or behind glass, but a unique item that will withstand extremely close scrutiny. When your guests inevitably ask "Can I touch it?" just imagine the look on their face when you say "Yes." When they pick it up they'll swear it's real.
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 exactly like you imagine a preserved vampire heart from 1912 would- 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 de-animated this particular vampire entered the heart. Along the top you can see 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.
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