real vampires, vampire games and tv shows, movies or films, and vampire books

Who Was The First Vampire To Get Fangs?

This discussion occurred recently on the social media and I naturally joined in. I stated that the penny dreadful VARNEY THE VAMPIRE OR THE FEAST OF BLOOD by either James Malcolm Rymer or Thomas Peckett Prest (or maybe both, or maybe some other writer altogether, or maybe a whole bunch of different writers, possibly including the two aforementioned, or only one of them, or neither) featured the first depiction of a vampire with fangs. My online buddy Andy Boylan, however, suggested that there might be an earlier example.

J. Sheridan Le Fanu, most remembered as the author of CARMILLA, wrote a short story in 1839 entitled “Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter” that predates VARNEY by some few years and does in fact feature a vampiric wraith with some prominent pointed teeth. A little Internet digging uncovered the fact that the BBC had done a film adaptation of the story, with the truncated title of SCHALCKEN THE PAINTER (note the spelling here, as they added an extra “c”; in fact the painter Godfried Schalcken, who served as the inspiration for the story, did spell his name this way), which aired in December 1979 as a Christmas special. Peter Cushing was offered a role in the production but turned them down, whereas they had the chance to get Vincent Price but for some bizarre reason didn’t cast him.

TheCheezman • August 27, 2019


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