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|
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.
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.