Vampire hunters in fiction
The slayer is usually a heroic figure, a lonesome avenger, or sometimes, although not usually, a bounty hunter-style character, hunting Vampires for profit. Vampire hunters have also popularly been depicted as hunting various creatures such as werewolves, demons, and other forms of undead as well.
While predominantly depicted as human, examples of other types of vampire hunters also exist. Dhampiric figures, having a mix of human and vampire blood, are a popular form (such as Alucard from the Castlevania series; D of Vampire Hunter D and Blade of the Blade series of comic books, movies, and television episodes). Even rarer are vampire hunters that are vampires themselves. Two examples of this type can be found in Morbius from Ultimate Spider-Man, and Zero Kiryuu in the manga and anime series Vampire Knight.
The most widely known example of a vampire hunter is Abraham Van Helsing of the novel Dracula and in other works of fiction adapting or modifying that work.
As far as movies are concerned, Peter Cushing has been the most convincing actor for the role and the prototype for all successful vampire slayers that followed him. The Horror of Dracula (1958), The Brides of Dracula (1959), Dracula AD 1972 (1972), Satanic Rites of Dracula (aka Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride, 1973), and The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires (1974), were all produced by Hammer.
In John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998), adapted from the novel by John Steakley, Jack Crow (played by James Woods) is the leader of a Catholic Church-sanctioned team of vampire hunters. The plot is centered on Crow’s efforts to prevent a centuries-old cross from falling into the hands of Valek, a Regent. Valek was once a priest who was thought to have been possessed by demons. The Bérziers Cross was used in an exorcism that was cut short but the result was that Valek was forever changed into the first vampire.
Other more recent figures include Buffy “the Vampire Slayer” Summers from the television show and film of the same name. Buffy’s spin-off series Angel is also focused on a vampire hunter, the titular star, Angel “the World’s Champion,” a vampire himself, is often portrayed battling vampires. Vampire hunters have also appeared in video games, such as BloodRayne.
The organizational strength of depicted vampire hunters can vary wildly. Most hunter characters are in small groups working alone and in secret. Sometimes the hunting is a family tradition handed down to future generations of a bloodline.
On the other hand, the Hellsing Organization in the anime television series, Hellsing is a British government paramilitary strike force with access to troops, heavy combat vehicles and weapons and even allied vampires.
Other notorious fictional vampire slayers
- Abraham Van Helsing from Dracula and its various spin-off’s and reproductions.
- Father Sandor (Andrew Kier) and Seth Gecko (George Clooney) in the From Dusk till Dawn movie
- Quincy Morris, Jonathan Harker, Dr. John Seward, and Arthur Holmwood assist Van Helsing in Dracula.
- Dr. Hesselius from J. Sheridan Le Fanus vampire story Carmilla.
- Buffy Summers, Slayers and other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film and TV series.
- Father Callahan from Stephen Kings novel ‘Salem’s Lot and the Dark Tower series.
- Solomon Kane, a character appearing in many works by Robert E. Howard.
- The Belmont Clan and Adrian Farenheits Tepes a.k.a Alucard from the Castlevania series of video games. Almost all the main characters of Castlevania could be called vampire hunters.
- Blade, a vampire hunter featured by Marvel Comics and a trilogy of films of the same name. Blade is a Dhampir, a half-vampire.
- D, of the Japanese animation Vampire Hunter D, also a Dhampir.
- Donovan Baine, of the Darkstalkers series of video games, also a Dhampir
- Rayne from the video game series BloodRayne is a vampire hunter and also a dhampir
- Jack Crow, and his Team Crow from the book Vampires by John Steakly, later adapted by John Carpenter for his movie Vampires.
- Alucard (Dracula backwards) is a vampire from the Hellsing Organization, who, along with his servant, Seras Victoria, and (retired) old friend, Walter C. Dornes, hunt other vampires.
- Derek Bliss, from the movie Vampires: Los Muertos, also presented by John Carpenter as a pseudo sequel to the first movie.
- Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowell) from the Dracula: Prince of Darkness movie
- Anita Blake from the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, the Laurell K. Hamilton novel series.
- Gabriel Van Helsing from the movie Van Helsing. Van Helsing is a member of a large organization called the Knights of the Holy Order who protect mankind from an evil they ‘have no idea even exists’.
- Alexander Anderson works for the Vatican’s secret Iscariot Organization (AKA Section XIII), who act like the Hellsing Organization, but are more fundamental, and serve to fight for Chrisitanity, as opposed to Hellsing protecting the Commonwealth. Iscariot is more radical and fundamental exterminating any humans who ally themselves with the undead. Other members include their leader, Bishop (later Archibishop) Enrico Maxwell and other assassins, Heinkel Wolfe and Yumie Takagi.
- Edgar Frog, Alan Frog, and Sam Emerson from The Lost Boys movie.
- Geralt from Polish Hexer series. He hunts vampires and all other kinds of supernatural creatures.
- Robert Neville (Charleton Heston) from The Omega Man movie.
- Harry Keogh and others with E-Branch in Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series
- Sam and Dean Winchester from the television series Supernatural
- Victoria Gardella from the Gardella Vampire Chronicles series of historical novels beginning with The Rest Falls Away.
- Sound-Man, the Green Knight, and numerous other superheroes in the SUPERFLUOUS comic book series by Bon Comics
- Abraham Whistler, Abigale Whistler and Hannibal King from the third film of the Blade Series, Blade: Trinity. Hannibal takes the form of an ex-vampire who was subsequently cured of his affliction and took up hunting out of a desire for revenge.
- Steve “Leopard” Leonard, from the Cirque Du Freak books. (By Darren Shan)