Genuine Soil from Dracula’s Castle – novelty item

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Soil from Dracula’s Castle was a novelty sold by Warren Publishing, through ads in their magazines such as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella.

Launched to coincide with the ‘year of Dracula’ in 1979, this was a coffin shaped pendant on a chain that featured ‘authentic’ soil from Dracula’s castle. Except of course, the Dracula in question is a fictional character. It’s actually a bit of dirt taken from the castle of Vlad Tepes, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s character. Each pendant contained a gram of soil, and was probably a sure fire way of getting beaten up at school.

The ads state that “no mystic powers are claimed for this amulet” – quite the disclaimer – though it does suggest that it will make you the envy of fellow vampirians (a word that is not used enough).

Sold at $9.95 – no small price in 1979 – the piece was supposedly limited to 5000 editions, and came with a certificate of authenticity (who authenticated it, and as what, is unknown). The fact that it was still on sale two years later suggests that they weren’t exactly flying out. It is, of course, now a collectable item.

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3 Comments on “Genuine Soil from Dracula’s Castle – novelty item”

  1. And the crazy thing? The soil was legit and nearly got Warren in trouble! From the mycitypaper.com article entitled “Jim Warren meets Vampirella,”-“Meanwhile, life at Warren Publishing was never dull. One day, Warren was sitting in his Manhattan office when his phone rang. “The FBI is here to see you,” his secretary said.

    OK, Warren thought, Which wiseass artist is trying to pull a fast one? “Sure, show them in,” he replied, then reclined back in his chair, awaiting the punch line.

    But there was no punch line. There were two FBI agents out there, and they were not happy. Seems they caught one of Warren’s employees trying to smuggle in something from a foreign country. “It was dirt from Dracula’s castle,” Warren explains. “I had sent an airline stewardess friend over to Transylvania to dig up and crate a couple pounds of dirt from the estate of Vlad the Impaler.” A small scoop of the dirt was placed in tiny metal coffins which were hooked to necklaces — another genius Captain Company item. “Wear Dirt from Dracula’s Castle — Around Your Neck!” Says Warren, “After some careful explanation, the G-men decided to let me go with a warning.”

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