Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bovine Vampires

I was doing some research into Howard the Duck (don’t ask) when I discovered that during his tenure in the Marvel Universe he fought against Hellcow – also known as Bessie (he also encountered Dracula but that’s a whole different story). Now, it might be rare but cows do sometimes become vampires and so let’s have a look at some of them.

Starting with the aforementioned Hellcow; in the Marvel Universe the cow Bessie was attacked by a thirsty Dracula some 300 years before the contemporary comics. She was buried and rose three days later as a vampire cow… Hellcow. As a character she first appeared in Giant-Size Man Thing#5/2 in August 1975 and carried a grudge against her sire.

Deadpool and Hellcow
Although staked by Howard the duck in their encounter, her most recent comic book appearance, that I could trace, was in April 2011 in Deadpool Team-Up Vol 1 885. That just goes to show that you can’t keep a vampire down… even when it’s a cow.

Of course the most obvious bovine vampires appear in the year 2000 film the Little Vampire, when the herd that the little vampire is feeding on all catch vampirism and, subsequently, dive bomb the hunter’s truck with cow pats.

vampire bulls
However one of the earliest examples of bovine vampires that I could find came from the August 1953 issue of Strange Tales (#21) in the comic strip entitled “The Man Who Cried Vampire!” In this we see a herd of bat winged vampire bulls. You can read the full strip over at the excellent the Horrors of It All.

Going back into vampire folklore and, more specifically, the 18th Century vampire panics we see that these comics and films are not as far out as they might at first seem. In 1732 the report Visum et Repertum was published, the report into the vampirism that surrounded Arnont Paole. He had died in the Serb village of Medvegya in 1727 from a fall and had returned, it was believed, as a vampire. However Medvegya was plagued more than once by vampires, it seems, and the first (1727) outbreak and the 1731 outbreak were both covered in the report. The source of the second outbreak was actually put down to one of those accused of vampirism having eaten contaminated sheep whilst alive, but the report does suggest that, as a vampire, Paole had sucked the blood of cattle and contaminated the meat so that anyone who subsequently ate the flesh ran the risk of becoming a vampire.

Not as cool as Bessie, perhaps, but still a salient warning – don’t eat the flesh of a cow that a vampire has fed on.


Alex. G said...

And here is the Dracula and Howard the duck crossover for those who are interested:

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Alex, brilliant, many thanks

Alex. G said...

You're welcome welcome old chum. Combining vampires and ducks also seems to be popular. In addition to this comic there's also Ducktales and two different versions of Duckula. Maybe you ought to do a post about that to.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

i will certainly consider a round up of them at some time (or poultry based ones, given the cockerel posted yesterday and the turkey vampire already looked at :) ).

I have reviewed the duckula series - though I need to get hold of the 4 dangermouse appearances and need to dig up the vampire/ducktales episode(s)

Alex. G said...

The Ducktales episode in question is "Ducky Horror Picture Show" and the vampire duck also appeared in the Ducktales video game and comics if I recall right.