Without a history-spanning treasure trove of artifacts to line its musty, dusty shelves, Warehouse 13 (streaming all month long on Fridays as part of July’s nostalgia-bound SYFY Rewind) would feel like a pretty barren and boring place. It’s the artifacts, after all, that give the magic-sleuthing series its raison d’être; the stuff that makes an unassuming giant metal shed in windswept South Dakota far, far more than the sum of its rusted, rickety parts.
We’re not gonna lie: There’s really no way to rank the relative greatness of all the (sometimes literally) killer artifacts that crossed our fearless agents’ paths over the course of five seasons and 64 insanely imaginative episodes. Artifacts are the show’s sci-fi lifeblood, and nearly every Warehouse 13 episode comes packed to the gills with magical relics both important and insignificant. Some of them — like Ferdinand Magellan’s Astrolabe — are seriously high profile, serving as season-spanning plot devices; while others appear only in fleeting moments as comic-relief afterthoughts…usually just to mess up the workflow for Artie (Saul Rubinek) and the gang, who have a bad habit of casually leaving them lying around.
But in a show that’s all about whipping the unexplained into safe, securely-stored shape, a handful of artifacts still stands out in our memories — even nearly a decade on from Warehouse 13‘s 2014 series sign-off. Here’s how we rate our favorites, with a friendly reminder from Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) about how to listen to your vibes whenever something in the immediate vicinity feels just a little bit off: “When something has no explanation, then the explanation is there’s an artifact involved!”
7: Harriet Tubman’s Thimble
In series lore, Harriet Tubman’s thimble once belonged to the famous Civl War-era activist, imbued from the start with the power to infuse light-bending qualities into the garments she sewed for escaped slaves fleeing oppression via the Underground Railroad. But a pinky-sized device that can fool people into thinking you’re someone else can come in pretty handy in the present day, too — especially if you’re up to no good. Helena G. Wells (Jaime Murray) had exactly that in mind when she debuted the magic-infused thimble early in Season 2, though it would go on to pop up in later episodes, after HG was on friendlier terms with the gang, as a useful good-guy tool.
6: The Tesla
Photo: Steve Wilkie/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
Our heroes wouldn’t get very far without wearing a standard-issue enemy neutralizer at their hip, and when you’re up against specters, spirits, and mad scientists from the restless past, no ordinary weapon will do. Carrying the prestige of a Nikola Tesla pedigree, the Tesla serves as one part stun gun and one part Men In Black-style memory eraser, wiping the minds of hapless