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The Vampire at Greyfriars

From the Peter Haining papers, this typed manuscript outline of a Billy Bunter vampire story by the great researcher and expert on British comics and periodicals W.O.G. Lofts (1923-1997). He wrote a book on the Bunter author Frank Richards and another on Charteris's The Saint. This story project appears not to have been taken up by The Magnet.…Count von Alucard sounds familiar…

To: The Editor (C. M. Down Esq)
The Magnet
Fleetway House
Farringdon Street

The Vampire at Greyfriars. - Rough Sypnosis.

A new boy arrives in the Remove from a titled family in Eastern Europe. He is strange looking with jet black hair in a windows peak, orange eyes, with large incisor teeth that gives him a wolfish look. Dressed in a long black cloak over his school uniform Count Von Alucard is indeed a very lone wolf. When Bunter tries to tap the new boy for a loan he gives him such an evil look that the Fat Owl of the Remove makes a hasty retreat. With his white drained face Alucard is a very strange fellow indeed to be sharing a study with Herbert Vernon-Smith and Redwing.

The Bounder is breaking bounds when he is astonished to see that likewise the new boy's bed is empty, and wonders whether he will see him at the Cross Keys - but there is no sign of him there - except that in returning to Greyfriars early in the morning there seems a sinister atmosphere around the place - he notices that Alucard's bed is still unoccupied. In the morning however the young Count had obviously returned, looking much fatter and more contented than his usual self. Sydney Snoop of the Remove tells the rest of the boys that he saw a large bat flying around the dormitory when he was awake as sun-rise, but Harry Wharton and Co. especially suggest that he was either dreaming, or else is getting bats in the belfry!

Cedric Price of the Fifth receives a letter from his American Uncle Vincent Price the horror movie star. This is to the effect that he was recently reading up for a new film the history of Greyfriars in the middle ages. He saw mentioned that once the old monks had burned a vampire after putting a wooden stake through its heart. According to legend, the Vampire had vowed to return to Greyfriars in hundreds of years time to bring death and horror to all those living at that time near the cursed Greyfriars! Uncle Vincent had wondered if anything had mysteriously had happened in recent times.

Price discusses this with his chums Hilton and Loder, and says he is not keen 'on a bite'. Bunter who happens to be passing by catches the last piece of silage, and presumes it i a feast they are going to have. Sneaking up to Price's study he is alarmed when he hears footsteps of the Sixth Former returning. Hiding behind the traditional arm-chair, he is amazed to see him putting strings of garlic up at the window, and several additional mirrors round the fire-place. Price then leaves. Bunter is disappointed in not finding any tuck, but is full of the tittle tattle news to the Remove that Price had gone balmy.

The next morning Snoop wakes up feeling drained and white-faced and Wharton notices two small (punctures) punters at the side of his neck. It is suggested that he was probably bitten by some large insect and there the matter rested. Smithy however, with his keen and intellect brain suspects that there is more than this to the whole affair and detects something very mysterious about the new fellow sharing his study. He decides to look up the History of the Greyfriars, the early records kept in the library vaults. Mr Quelch is delighted that his wayward pupil is showing such an interest in his pet subject, and leaves the Bounder to study the dusty tombs. Smithy discovers the old account of the Vampire whose name was Dracula. With a start he realises that this is actually Alucard spelt backwards. No doubt that he is the Vampire returned in the guise of a schoolboy, he decides to kill him the very next morning. Alucard returns after his nightly feast of blood in the shape of a bat. Flies round the dormitory once then settles into human form on his bed. Smithy with a cricket stump and mallet rams the pointed rear end through his heart. Wild screams of terror and anguish ring through the boys sleeping room waking up the juniors - whilst the Bouncer is amazed to see that now left on the bed is just a tiny amount of ash. Wharton seeing Vernon-Smith with the cricket stump in his hand thinks he has simply been thumping the new junior for something and that he has run off in fright. No trace of the boy was ever seen again. Called to the Heads study, Smithy finds Quelch there who has put Dr. Locke in the picture knowing the whole history of the curse. The Head is grateful for him not informing the other boys the true story as some could be easily frightened. Snoop is sent to a specialist and had his whole blood changed never knowing the real reason for this - which saves him from becoming a vampire.

Price after a time takes down the garlic and writes to his Uncle that, 'it is all tommy rot'.

When Bunter later on tries to tap Smithy for a loan till his postal order arrives because he has not had a 'bite' for ages - Bunter is amazed when he gives him half a crown and with a wry smile says, 'you really don't know how lucky you are'.

End of rough hypnosis (20000 word).

W. O. G. Lofts
56, Sheringham House,
London, NW1

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4 thoughts on “The Vampire at Greyfriars

  1. Anonymous

    Surely:

    "punters at the side of his neck."

    would be indicative of rather a differing sort of fiction ..

    -al

    Reply
  2. admin Post author

    Mark – the address that Lofts sent it to was definitely The Magnet, possibly he never sent it realising that it had folded…

    Reply

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