Just as humans are a diverse lot so too are vampires. In this introductory field guide we will begin with a discussion of the worst vampires of all. Do not misunderstand. All vampires are dangerous. Do not read this guide and attempt to face one. Even after completion of the standard three years of study one should not even consider single handed slaying without at least a year of hands on apprenticeship.
The worst of all vampires to deal with are the Ancients. A vampire who has been undead for 1000 years or more is considered an Ancient. They are known for their startlingly unpleasant appearance and distinct behavior. Ancients are perfectly capable of glamour to keep victims quiet and submissive in situations where help might be summoned but they prefer a direct attack.
You will never encounter an Ancient at a party or lock eyes with one while standing in a crowded casino. There’s a scene in one of the Bela Lugosi Dracula movies which you will study later, where the Count pays a social visit and uses glamour to command Dr. Van Helsing to come crawling to him. Van Helsing is affected but snaps out of it. Christopher Lee has similar scenes in his movies. This is not typical Ancient behavior. These creatures are not sociable and unlike younger vampires, they do not toy with their food. It is speculated that they just don’t feel like bothering with seduction at this point in their un-life and just want to get straight to feeding. Unfortunately since there’s no credible instance of anyone having a conversation with an Ancient and living to write about it we don’t know for sure.
One thing that is known is that Ancients rarely use glamour when it comes to their appearance. Instead of being unearthly beauties, Ancients are ghastly to behold. This is one of the few times when the movies get it exactly right. Ancients look like Graf Orlock in Nosferatu. Why this should be has been the subject of much debate for centuries. One theory that I personally hold to, is that while vampires do not age past the time of their deaths and due to their glamour ability are more beautiful undead than they were in life they do age in spirit. Like Dorian Gray’s painting becoming monstrous looking because it showed the state of his soul, Ancients look the way they do because they are more Hell beast than human and are satisfied to appear so.
Ancients are largely found in out of the way places and seem to prefer a lone victim who is cutting down a dark alley or sneaking into what they think is an abandoned house. Ancients are particularly fond of forests near small Eastern European villages. Possibly this is because of their favored hunting methods.
Regular attacks on locals might attract unwanted attention but a random Western tourist going missing attracts very little notice especially if the tourist behaved in an arrogant know-it-all manner towards the villagers who warned against going backpacking at night. Ancient vampires do not need to feed as often as younger vampires and can go for some time on a diet of fools who wandered by.
Since Ancients rarely speak to anyone at one time it was widely believed that they couldn’t talk anymore but slayer reports and researcher’s texts from the 1720s onward have shown that Ancients are perfectly capable of speaking. They simply choose for whatever reason, not to.
Since the Ancient nosferatus behave so differently from what we usually think of as vampire behavior there have been cases where brave but unprepared would-be slayers have actually thought that dealing with them would be easier. The results have always been tragic. Ancient vampires are more ruthless, dangerous and twice as fast moving as younger vampires. They are more likely to transform into mist, wolves, or bat-like bi-pedal abominations than younger vampires and when they attack it is almost impossible to escape unaided.
Indeed, we know that the only people who cross paths with Ancients and live do so because the vampire was so focused on feeding on a victim that it didn’t notice the witness, the witness was armed with sacramentals, or it was simply a matter of timing. Younger and brand new vampires may continue a pursuit right up until dawn but Ancients are wiser and will pass up a potential victim or witness in order to return home well before daylight.
My own first encounter with an Ancient was almost my last. I was in my apprenticeship year with Fr. Hans Zieglect and despite all my classroom study I was so undone by the Ancient’s tactics that I was not able to contribute to the operation. Fr. Zieglect dispatched the creature but I was sent home with the recommendation that I was not ready for field work that involved Ancients. While this hurt at the time, I realize now that my teacher was correct. Fr. Zieglect was not only one of the greatest slayers of his generation but many slayers, observers and fans still consider him to be one of the top fifty slayers of all time. He advised me towards research and an academic career in Vampire Studies. I mention this to encourage anyone who finds that field slaying is not for them. Your studies in this area can lead you to a satisfying career in the field, the classroom or a combination of both.
Description : Usually bald with almost skeletal gauntness, pale with bat-like ears, long fingernails that can be used as claws, piercing eyes of various colors and large retractable rat-like fangs
Status : Unknown
Relationships : Ancient vampires are seldom seen by younger vampires and are largely regarded with awe by their own kind. Human servants display unnatural strength, longevity and an intense devotion that makes them formidable opponents. Human servants will be the subject of a course you will be studying later on.
Sleeping Arrangements: Ancients have been found sleeping in all manner of dark, sunless places. All that is required is a handful of earth from their particular native land.
Chance of surviving an attack: Extremely low
References: See Walker’s Hornbook on the Undead, VanClausewitz on Antiquarian Nosferatu and Purcell’s Creatures of the Night, Student’s Edition, Vol. IV
Child vampires are mercifully rare. Middle aged to very old vampires who take part in known vampire society will attack children, especially if it’s been a long time since they last fed but turning a child into a vampire is frowned upon. There appears to be a genuine taboo against it. Some experts have theorized that this is because the loss of a child in such a manner is enough to whip even timid people into an outraged mob who could hunt down the vampire that caused this particular horror. While Ancients have no qualms about attacking any human that comes their way, even they avoid creating child vampires.
Children who are so afflicted prey almost immediately on family members and kind hearted people who are shocked to see a minor out in the dark. The grieving family members or the kindly stranger usually invite the child vampire into the home or car. The next most common victim of this type of vampire is other children, often former playmates or a child that may be walking home alone on a Winter evening. It is usually quick thinking surviving relatives who either end the child vampire’s undead existence themselves or who call a slayer.
A child vampire who has killed all its family members and has lived long enough to cause enough destruction and misery to attract the attention of a trained slayer has probably matured mentally and is just as cunning and dangerous as one that was an adult when turned. Do not assume that you can ever out think one.
From 1856 to 1857, there were a spate of disappearances and deaths in the town of Hollowell, Tennessee. By the time Edwin Pace and his assistants tracked down and staked her, Elsie Mayer had become something of a local legend. Parents disregarded the stories of sightings of a beautiful girl who floated on top of the snow and asked children taking short cuts through Carthage Park to come play with her. It was not until the death of of the mayor’s only child when the stories were taken seriously and Pace was called in. Elise Mayer officially has a count of 14 victims and may be the most prolific child vampire in US history.
It should also be noted that long lasting deep trauma to surviving family members is almost inevitable. Apprentice slayers, despite three years of classroom study are more likely to quit after their first encounter with a Child vampire than any other kind.
Status : Rare, particularly rare in Europe and Latin America.
Relationships : Adult vampires have been seen displaying aversion to child vampires. They are usually alone and take no part in vampire society. They may be protected by a human servant, usually a parent.
Sleeping Arrangements: Typically their original coffin, their old homes or in the homes of unrelated victims.
Chance of surviving an attack: Poor, particularly for family members.
References: See Walker’s Hornbook on the Undead, Purcell’s Creatures of the Night, Student’s Edition, Vol. 2, and Barta’s Vampire Variants of North America.
The New Vampire
Is there an easy-to-kill vampire? No, certainly not. It is true that untrained amateur slayers who successfully destroy a vampire most likely do so after finding one that is asleep during the day and that amateurs are almost always drawn into this experience because of the presence of a new vampire. However, those cases are heavily reliant on luck. Amateurs who go up against the New normally get killed.
The new vampire is properly defined as one who has been undead for a month or less. New vampires who do not have the guidance of an older vampire are more likely to make mistakes such as staying out too late and having to make a desperate run for shelter at dawn. A new vampire is completely capable of using their glamour on a victim or would-be untrained slayer but they are unlikely to display the full range of vampire behaviors such as wall climbing or commanding animals to attack you.
New vampires have shown initial confusion when confronted with slayers. Meeting a human who is unafraid and unaffected by their glamor seems to be shocking to them and this will give you a short window of opportunity to attack before they regain their confidence.
The New use love as a formidable weapon. Family victims normally are so overwhelmed with joy at seeing their loved one that they rush to embrace the New and of course bring them inside. The New England vampires of the 1880s were exceptionally adept at this.
During your apprentice year with an established slayer you will begin with the New and as your mentor sees fit you will move on to older vampires.
Status : Common
Relationships: If they do not annihilate their entire immediate family they usually have one family member servant who will fight you to the death to defend them. New vampires who were created to be companions to an older vampire will be part of the established vampire’s support system.
Sleeping Arrangements: Like child vampires the New are most likely to be found in their original coffins, or in dark hiding spots near their homes or in the homes of victims. If a companion to an older vampire they will be included in a “nest” of vampires.
Chance of surviving an attack: Varies. Family members who are attacked immediately after the death of the New have a low chance of survival unless the family member immediately recognizes that this is a case of vampirism. Trained slayers and students in the apprentice year have a good to excellent chance. Amateur slayers are usually killed, particularly if they enter a nest at night or a hiding place that provides complete darkness during the day.
References: See Walker’s Hornbook on the Undead, and Purcell’s Creatures of the Night, Student’s Edition, Vol. I, Carter’s The Vampires of New England and Portifoy’s 14 volume Vampire Subsets
Day Walkers are a largely unknown subset of vampire existence and obviously, the term is a misnomer which was originally used by other vampires. They are nick-named Day Walkers because they live public lives among humans and although they are never seen during the day they conduct business and employees and acquaintances have no suspicion that they are dealing with the undead.
Day Walkers are typically wealthy enough and command such large business and philanthropic concerns that their “eccentricities” go unremarked upon or are completely excused. “Ms. X is the biggest employer in this state. They say she sleeps all day but works all night. It’s her business. Who cares how she does it? She paid for the high school, the library, etc...”
Day Walkers who have been discovered and destroyed were usually middle aged to very old vampires of hundreds of years of age. Their ability to fool the general population shows unusual cunning, even for a vampire. Why they choose to exist in this manner is unknown. It has been theorized that the business and any philanthropic endeavors are an excellent cover to bring a constant flow of victims to them.
In 1972, Hugo Patten of West Virginia was an “agoraphobic”, “photophobic” and “insomniac” multi-millionaire who owned multiple coal mines and gave generously to children’s charities including shelters for teenaged runaways. He hadn’t been seen in public in decades and conducted business by phone and through his trusted staff who only saw him at night in his compound. His true nature was only discovered by a curious secretary who was positive that he saw the chauffer’s son, whose funeral the secretary had attended only two days earlier, apparently alive and walking the grounds at night. The secretary, John Prince was killed probably by Patten but he left a diary detailing his suspicions. When his writings were mailed by an unknown person to Leopold Shenk an investigation began which ended with Shenk destroying Hugo Patten.
Hugo Patten was the last documented Day Walker.
Status : Unknown
Relationships: It is unknown how many Day Walker confidants are normal unaware humans and how many are devoted servants with enhanced abilities to serve and protect the vampire. It is unknown how Day Walkers interact with vampire society.
Sleeping Arrangements: All known Day Walkers maintained resting places in their well appointed homes.
Chance of surviving an attack: Poor
References: See Walker’s Hornbook on the Undead, and Purcell’s Creatures of the Night, Student’s Edition, Portifoy’s 14 volume Vampire Subsets and Shenk’s The Hunt for Hugo Patten.
Thanks to oral legend, literature, movies and television most people have an idea of what a vampire is. This can be both a help and a hindrance to the mindset of a new slayer. Classic vampires display viciousness, elaborate cruelty and often times a bewildering sardonic humor. Classics can be found dazzling prey in all most countries and continents. Many seem to be highly social among themselves maintaining an agreed upon code of behavior designed to avoid slayer attention and maintain order. Others are loners. All regularly use glamour to subdue prey.
They can be found anywhere but particularly enjoy hunting in nightclubs, hotels, casinos, resorts that are not near bodies of water and in bars. Surving victims and witnesses will swear that they did see the Classic eat or drink before the attack but this is the glamour affecting their senses. People jogging or walking at night have encountered Classics as have people who travel a good deal. Once a Classic focuses on a victim it is almost impossible to distract them and victims in their thrall have been known to make desperate efforts to be in the vampire’s presence if they are called.
Classics living in a nest of two or more companions exhibit great loyalty to one another and are terrifying opponents. Fighting off one vampire is too much for most people but stumbling upon a nest is almost always a death sentence for a lone would-be slayer.
In the pre-Internet age Classics were known to occasionally infest small towns and it took teams of experienced slayers to end the devastation. Thankfully, there has not been one documented infestation in the United States or Europe in over 40 years. There have been outbreaks in Latin America and Australia but they were contained before any large scale spread to surrounding villages or towns.
Classics dwelling in villages and other rural communities have been known to establish truces with humans. In exchange for an absence of crime, financial reward, or other inducements the vampire exists in peace in the area and the deaths or attacks on travelers or unpopular individuals are covered up by the leading citizens.
Some of the town citizens who take part in these truces are under the effect of the vampire’s glamour but in most cases the humans ignoring and protecting the Classic do so of their own free will and are willing to kill to protect their rewards. This is a particularly troubling and dangerous situation for both slayers and any unwitting person who is passing through the area. Stamping out arrangements such as this requires a two pronged attack of slayers going after the vampire and outside authorities to deal with the humans.
Unfortunately, in recent decades due to sympathetic and romantic portrayals of vampires in the media there has been an increase of victims, usually teenagers and college students who do not even need to be dazzled by the Classic’s glamour but willingly pursue and offer themselves to vampires as victims. They are considered by Classics to be too stupid to make good servants or companions and are not turned but only used for nourishment. Regrettably, there have even been slayers who refused to come to the aid of these vampire chasers.
Classics, depending on their age have been observed wall crawling, floating, turning into mist, and controlling wolves, coyotes, rats and occasionally feral dogs.
Surviving victims and witnesses have been known to experience depression and suicidal thoughts and mental breakdown after an encounter with a Classic. The effects of the vampire’s glamour have been known the linger on long after the creature is dead.
In your career you will typically face Classics.
Description: Varies. Usually described as incredibly beautiful.
Status : Numerous
Relationships: Social Classics maintain complex, intense relations between their own kind. Human servants are common to all Classics except loners. Human servants are extremely dangerous.
Sleeping Arrangements: Varies. Classics have been found just about anywhere that is dark and private.
Chance of surviving an attack: Poor
References: See Walker’s Hornbook on the Undead, and Purcell’s Creatures of the Night, Student’s Edition, and Stoker’s Dracula.