Vaney the Vampyre – Part 2

June 3, 2009 at 1:10 am (Classical Vampire Literature, Vampires around the World) (, )

Synopsis: Flora Bannersworth is attacked in her own room in the middle of the night, and although her attacker is seemingly shot dead, the body is nowhere to be found. The discovery of two small bite marks on Flora’s neck leads Mr Marchdale, an old friend of the family, to the conclusion that she was bitten by a vampire. While Flora recovers, her brother Henry and Mr Marchdale begin their hunt for the vampire. Their suspicions soon fall on the mysterious Sir Francis Varney, who has just bought an old abbey near Bannersworth Hall, and who bears an uncanny resemblance to Marmaduke Bannersworth, a long-dead ancestor of the family. (Summary by Annika Feilbach)

Here is how the story begins:

Varney Chapter 1

Varney Chapter 1



A Romance.


—-“How graves give up their dead, And how the night air hideous grows With shrieks!”


The solemn tones of an old cathedral clock have announced midnight — the air is thick and heavy — a strange, death like stillness pervades all nature. Like the ominous calm which precedes some more than usually terrific outbreak of the elements, they seem to have paused even in their ordinary fluctuations, to gather a terrific strength for the great effort. A faint peal of thunder now comes from far off. Like a signal gun for the battle of the winds to begin, it appeared to awaken them from their lethargy, and one awful, warring hurricane swept over a whole city, producing more devastation in the four or five minutes it lasted, than would a half century of ordinary phenomena.

It was as if some giant had blown upon some toy town, and scattered many of the buildings before the hot blast of his terrific breath; for as suddenly as that blast of wind had come did it cease, and all was as still and calm as before.

To read the complete text there are several places including Humphrey Lui loving tribute to Varney, which includes the complete text and graphics.

The University of Virginia Library

If you would like to hear what it is like read aloud check out Librivox

Leslie Ormandy has prepared an abridged version, bringing the story up-to-date with more modern language as well as a study guide.

%d bloggers like this: