For those in need of a vampire-slaying kit, it’ll run about $300 at the Comanche Moon Curios near McIntosh, Florida.
The antique shop owner, Jason Miller, said he determined the price based on the quality and value of the items inside. For example, kits with only a mallet and a spike inside cost about $50. Miller’s kit has a hammer, spike, communion kit, goggles, bible, candles, and coffin nails.
“All good vampire kits have coffin nails,” he said.
He found all the items himself and assembled the kit. Everything in it, save for the Bible and candles, are from the late 1800s and the turn of the 20th century.
He likes things from that era, he said. His store, located at 17990 NW 77th Ave., right off of Interstate 75, is a representation of that interest. Like the vampire kit, he has put together “exhibits” of related items throughout his store.
Miller, 59, is a retired paramedic and firefighter from Sarasota. He said he’s always had an interest in theater, arts, history, weapons and the early 20th century. When he retired, he decided to turn his love of the period into his new career.
Comanche Moon has been open a little more than a year, and Miller has lived in McIntosh for about six years.
Miller started by hunting for specific items for people, including vintage Coca-Cola paraphernalia, firearms, antiques and vintage advertising.
It became fun doing the research, being historically accurate, fitting needs and finding the right things, and that is how his collection and his antique business got started. He said he finds things everywhere — at yard sales, thrift shops and through internet research. He started collecting old military items, Victorian-period exorcism kits, embalming kits and blacksmith materials.
“It’s a museum where you can take it home,” Miller said.
Miller’s love of all things from the late 1800s to the 1920s comes from his belief that things were “made to last” in that time. There is a real, functioning blacksmith’s forge in his shop, as well as metal hooks and anvils, some of which Miller made.
He said the most popular items he sells are the vintage signs. His favorite reads, “Local Escort Service, $39.95.”
Some of his signs are authentic finds, and some are hand-painted by Miller’s wife, Jennifer. He calls her “Xerox” because she can paint any logo.
Jennifer works a full-time job in Ocala, but she helps her husband on weekends by painting, repairing and restoring damaged and broken things.
She spends a lot of her free time at the store, and although she knows better not to let her husband in a thrift shop if they’re in a hurry, supports her husband and his philosophy behind his business.
“If you’re looking for dishes and vases, we aren’t it,” she said.
[A version of this story ran on page 8 on 5/13/2014 under the headline "Antique store offers unusual wares, like vampire slaying kit"]
A vampire-slaying kit sits among similarly weird items at Comanche Moon Curios, a store for eclectic items near McIntosh, Fla.