The weapon is a crossbow that has a "black walnut stock, forged with evil limbs" with specialized bolts. Said bolts are made from "solid iron, druidic runes along the shaft, and a reservoir tip filled with greek fire and basilisk venom" according to Hawley. Though the magic in the weapon was not enough to stop Mary Wells when she was risen by Jeremy Crane, it is apparently enough to stop members of Moloch's demon army and to temporarily stop Death, at least in a dream. The weapon was possibly forged in the late 15th century.
Ichabod first used this weapon in a dream sequence created by his son, Jeremy Crane, where he used it to temporarily stop Abraham Van Brunt from attacking him and Abigail Mills. Here, it was known to the both of them to be a far more effective weapon against the Horseman of Death than bullets.
In reality, Ichabod received this weapon, and the specifications as to what it could do, from Nicholas Hawley, who wanted it to be used on Mary Wells to see if it lived up to its legend. Unfortunately, it did not stop her except for momentarily, though the reservoir on the tip did detonate with a flame.
Apparently, it did in fact have some magic to it, just weak. Katrina Crane re-energized the magic within the weapon before she joined Ichabod, Abigail, Jenny Mills, and Frank Irving on their assault to try to kill Moloch with the Sword of Methuselah and therefore prevent him from fully merging Purgatory and Earth to unleash the Apocalypse.
When coming to Henry Knox's vault located in his manor that was owned by his descendent Theodore "Teddy" Knox, Ichabod brought the crossbow as his "invitation", seeing as Theodore was more interested in the artifacts his guests had for sale than the people themselves. he attempted to use it to kill the vitala Carmilla Pines, but her regeneration qualities prevented it from killing her until its bolts were set aflame, utilizing the dual weaknesses to iron and fire in killing her newly created vitalas, but she escaped before it could be used to kill her.
- Abraham van Helsing is a vampire hunter famous for slaying Dracula in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.