Short Story Review: The Vampire by Sydney Horler

There were strange stories told about the newcomer to the district and his fellow creatures shunned him.  One man was his confidante, and knew his terrible secret.

The story begins with the narrator saying that he used to visit a trusted friend, a Roman Catholic Priest by profession, once a week.  During one of their conversations, the narrator began discussing a novel he was writing about vampires, when he is taken aback to hear that not only does the Priest believe in vampires, but that he had also met one.  And so the Priest goes on to recount the strange experience he had had, many years previously…

Joseph Farington had moved to the area, buying the biggest house in the best location, and spent a fortune furnishing it, sparing no expense.  From the way the man spoke, he sound as if he should be at least sixty years of age, and yet he was almost youthful in appearance and had jet black hair.

Rumours abounded that there was something strange about him.  Even the local doctor is frightened to be in his presence.  Although the man had tried to get along with the locals, they kept away, and he made no friends.

Two months later, a local beauty is found dead in a field.  She had been murdered…’there was a great hole in her throat, as though a beast of the jungle had attacked…’ Suspicion immediately falls on Farington.

Is he a vampire?  Did he murder the poor girl?  And what becomes of him?

A great short story, bringing together superstition and the paranormal.  To some it might read as a little dated, but it’s certainly worth a read.

This short story was found in Great Crime Stories by Chancellor Press.