It's a high pitch frequency that humans can't hear. Any vampires in a five block radius will be incapacitated, exposing them.
John Gilbert on the device in Founder's Day

The Gilbert Device was one of the three Gilbert inventions created and used by Johnathan Gilbert, back in 1864 along with the Gilbert rings and Gilbert compass. Although it resembled an ordinary automated music box, it was in fact, an enchanted object spelled to produce a supernatural frequency lasting five minutes that incapacitates anyone with supernatural hearing within a five block radius. Secretly, unknown to Johnathan, it was enchanted by Emily Bennett to make it work, although most people believe that he was solely responsible for inventing it.

The device came with a winding key that was kept separately in a pocket watch-like container. Johnathan Gilbert also wrote information on the device in his journals.


The device was intended to be used as a weapon against vampires that would only work once. When activated, the device emits a high pitch frequency above the hearing of humans but would cause extreme pain to vampires and werewolves including those that have yet to trigger their gene.


A page in the Grimoire of Emily Bennett, as seen in Isobel, indicates that the Gilbert device was created by Emily as another of the enchanted tools she gave to Johnathan Gilbert to combat against Mystic Falls' vampires.

Bonnie Bennett, a descendant of Emily Bennett, had promised Elena that she would counter the spell of her ancestor and render it harmless which she pretended to do by levitating it and alter the lights as well as the fire. However she lied and didn't, believing that it would be good for the town and her personal vengeance to destroy vampires, even if it meant Stefan and Damon being killed in the process.

In Founder's Day, The Founder's Council used it. John Gilbert activated it. When it's activated, the device makes a high frequency noise that only vampires can hear. Werewolves can also hear it, as Mayor Richard Lockwood and his son Tyler were also incapacitated by it despite the fact that their werewolf genes were still inactive. It was mentioned by John Gilbert that it would work only once, and for only about five minutes. The noise it emanated was described by Stefan Salvatore as like needles being injected into his skull.


The device in Emily Bennett's grimoire.

During the Founders' Day Celebration, when the fireworks started, the device was activated, causing all vampires within range to fall to the ground in pain. Police force injected all the exposed vampires with vervain and then dragged them into the basement of Grayson Gilbert's old building.

John Gilbert set the building on fire, killing all the vampires who wanted revenge on the town, along with Anna, daughter of Pearl, and Damon Salvatore. The mayor was also mistaken for a vampire and was put inside the basement to be burned to death. However, he was killed before that, when his neck was snapped by one of the vampires trapped in the basement. Damon fortunately escaped the building by the help of his younger brother (Stefan) and Bonnie Bennett.

It is supposed that Katherine returned right after the device was put into use, or she was not in the radius of action, since she was not affected by it. However, there is a possibility that she may not have been much affected by it, as she easily resisted Bonnie's pain infliction in The Return.


  • The device can only be activated once, for a period of 5 minutes.
  • The device requires the middle of Johnathan Gilbert's compass to be operated.
  • Many believed that the device was solely made by Johnathan Gilbert, however, unknown to others, it was secretly enchanted by Emily Bennett.
  • Since both vampires and werewolves were affected by it, it is possible is could also harm hybrids.


See also

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