Monday, December 3, 2012

Erzebet Bathori Timeline



Circa 1180 – Wampyri Faethor Ferenczy impregnates Ezebet Bathori’s great great great grandmother Elspa Bathori.  (Necroscope: Deadspeak by Brian Lumley)

1560Erzebet Bathori born.  She is also indirectly related to Voivode Vlad III “the Impaler” of Wallachia.

1575 – She is formally wed to Count Ferenc Nadasdy, whom she doesn’t realize at the time is her own great great great grandfather the Wamphyri Faethor Ferenczy. (Necroscope: Deadspeak by Brian Lumley)  This would seem to have triggered something in her, because during this marriage her behavior began to transcend that of a typically cruel aristocrat of her times.
1600s – Erzebet makes a deal with a Dracula soul-clone and becomes his bride.  Precisely which soul-clone remains a matter of speculation, the two top candidates being Dracula-Matthias and Dracula-Lykos.  At this point, due to her Wamphyri heritage, she demonstrates many vampire characteristics although not yet dead and still able to walk in sunlight.  However, she still needs blood to keep from aging.  (Blood Scarab)  About this time she also had a negative encounter with Dracula-Prime (Dracula Lives #4).  So it would seem from this time onward she herself was aware of the existence of Dracula’s doppelgangers.
 
1611 – Erzebet masquerades for a time as her own daughter Ilona, but eventually the truth comes out when she seeks to marry a young nobleman.  (Countess Dracula film) Captured by the Inquisition, Erzebet’s servants are executed, including the polish werewolf Waldemar Daninsky.  She herself is to be buried alive, but not before swearing vengeance.  (Night of the Werewolf 1972)  In fact she was sealed in a room in her castle, with a young woman of lower nobility named Jeanette to look after her needs.  Jeanette, who had been Erzebet’s favorite and forced to watch many murders, fed the Countess ground glass in her food to kill her (Secret Six from DC Comics)  In the wake of her trial, authorities began hunting vampires in Europe with far greater efficiency, eventually forcing many of them to see the New World (Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter)

1614 – Her body is found dead. 

1614-circa 1875 – Erzebet seems to be in the equivalent of torpor, requiring outside intervention to be reborn.  Like many a vampire witch before her, she manages it eventually though.

Circa 1875-1900 – Student of the occult Erika contacts the spirit of Erzebet Bathori, steals a medallion and brings the Countess back to life as a full vampire. (Night of the Werewolf 1972)  Erika becomes Erzebet’s first victim and ‘bride.’  The also-reborn Waldemar Daninsky (brought back via removal of a silver dagger from his heart) manages to kill her, but then she takes possession of Erika’s friend Karen, whom she’d earlier bitten.  As far as anyone knows, this marks the first time she fled her body into another at the point of death

Circa 1887 - In London, Erzebet vampirizes and enslaves a English serial killer of women to serve as a procurer.  This individual rightly or wrongly (mostly wrongly) has been identified as Jack the Ripper (Dark Shadows/Vampirella) .  Most likely, she was still recovering from her original body's second death at the claws and fangs of a werewolf.

Circa 1910 – Erzebet, having been defeated by someone (that adventure remains unchronicled or at least unidentified at this time) is resurrected by a witch named Drolta Tzuentes.  In alliance with Dracula-Matthias (whom she called "uncle") she possessed the body of a Gorgon and fights a member of the Belmont family, John Morris. (Castlevania Bloodlines)  Evidently, from subsequent events this defeat proved very traumatic and she had difficulty rebuilding her strength.,

Prior to 1970 – Erzebet in the body of an elegant blond older woman seduces a young newlywed.  This is a time when she seems adrift, spending literally decades wandering Europe.  She is killed in a car accident but then possesses the newlywed, who is not yet a full vampire.  (Daughters of Darkness)

Prior to 2005 – Erzebet maintains a cult in Montreal. (Eternal 2005)  At this point Erzebet would seem to have become re-invigorated in some way, having regained her ambition.  No longer a loner, she surrounds herself with servants and uses her cult to become increasingly powerful “behind the scenes.”

Prior to 2007 – Erzebet’s death cult includes branches in Slovakia (HostelPart II 2007).  At this point a model in Eastern Europe is tortured and bled to death so a “Mrs. Bathory” could bathe in her blood.

Prior to 2008 – Seeking a way to have all the advantages of undeath but not wishing to fear sunlight, Erzebet seeks a mystical solution in Los Angeles, soon after the death of her ‘husband’ Dracula-Lykos.  Her body is destroyed by an Egyptian “goddess” possessing a mummy and she has to possess a new host.  (BloodScarab 2008)  It seems possible her essence fled into a video game for a time.  (Stay Alive 2006)

Circa 2011/2012 -  Erzebet goes to New York City to seek revenge upon old enemies, running afoul of Vampirealla and (most likely) either Jonathan Collins.  He and his werewolf cousin Quentin David allied themselves with Vampy and her friend Pantha at this time. (DArk Shadows/Vampirealla)

2013 - By now Erzebet's cult has spread and given her a firm grasp of actual power in Europe especially.  She begins to gather a full "court" around her, echoing that of old including a witch and even a werewolf.  Taking over the mysterious Chateau des Ombres not from from Vyones, France, she begins to gather a large group of undead under her leadership.

Note:  Unlike most vampires of her type, Erzebet is not a shapeshifter, unless she happens to possess someone with that ability.  Her ability to possess others, however, is very nearly a power uniquely hers.  This, and her inherent strength as a powerful undead, makes her one of the most infamous and long-lasting vampire in many, many years.

Many thanks to the scholars of MONSTAAH for their help in putting together this timeline.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Story of Collinsgreen

(part three of three)

Of all the Collins family branches in the New World, none exceeds those of upstate New York in terms of obscurity.  Like the family of Cabot Cove, they were conflated by chroniclers with members of the family in Massachusetts.  More, their history was depicted as taking place in Maine.

But the Gold Key Comics, Marilyn Ross novels, the two motion pictures from the 1970s as well as the unfinished pilot for the WB in 2004 all give clues as to this branch of a most cursed family.

We know the estate of Collinwood stands in Collinsport, Massachusetts.  Collins House can still be seen in Cabot Cove, Maine.  The town where the Collins family of upstate New York made their home has yet to be identified, although it certain lies near a large lake.  The estate, however, we know was named Collinsgreen (Gold Key #14).

This branch seems to have been founded approximately the same time as that of Collinsport, almost certainly by one Eban Collins who was born in 1642 (Gold Key Comic Strip Storyline #1) and sentenced the witch Mathilda Primrose Bell to death as a witch in 1671.  Interestingly she made sure her son Lucas embarked on a campaign to wipe out the entire Collins family.  The lad, becoming a warlock, eventually did kill many Collines over the years--using as his source of power a cane with an animal head!  Given the garbled nature of this story, we cannot be sure of its full significance.  But such a staff or staffs seem to be entwined with this clan for centuries (as discussed in part two).

At any rate, the true patriarch of the New York Collins family was Thomas Collins I who lived from 1748-1801 (Gold Key #3) and who had quite a few sons, none of whom ended up happy.  Jebediah cheated some of the local tribes--a crime for which Thomas locked the lad into a shed until he died!  His sons Seth and Jeremiah I (not be confused with Jeremiah II, brother to Joshua of Collinsport) became merchants with very shady reputations, locating their own families to the town of Cabot Cove.  The fraternal twins Jacob and Esau later died the same night in a fire at Collinsgreen, an event that also cost Jacob his wife but not (fortunately) his son Thomas II.

Thomas had a brother, Benjamin, who died relatively young and left his three sons to be raised by Thomas I--George, Theodore I and Alexander.

The New York Branch

Theodore Collins I preferred to live in Manhattan, where he came into possession of the fabled Collins Pearl ("The Blood Pearl" Big Finish) as well as  having two children--Millicent and Daniel.  After Theodore's sudden death, these two went to live in Collinsport.  Millicent suffered a series of tragedies and went mad, but her much-younger brother ended up adopted by Joshua Collins, inheriting Collinwood.  The entire Massachusetts branch are therefore his descendants ("Dark Shadows" daytime series, 1795 storyline).

George Collins on the other hand married a woman named Martha and ultimately became master of Collinsgreen (the fate of Thomas II remains a mystery at this time).  They had two sons at least.:  Charles Collins I and Gabriel Collins I.

Charles married twice, both times unhappily.  His first bride Laura (almost certainly a phoenix) he seems to have murdered by drowning in the wake of his affair with Gabriel's wife, Antoinette ("Night of Dark Shadows" motion picture).  Antoinette was evidently a witch of considerable power, which ultimately led to a small lynch mob helped by Gabriel to hang her in the Collinsgreen grounds.  Charles was enraged, but eventually married again to a woman named Flora ("Dark Shadows" daytime series, 1840s storyline) and by her had two children--Desmond and Peter Collins.  Peter went to live in Cabot Cove, where he built a mansion called Stormcliff.  When his wife died he sold everything and vanished.  His uncle Gabriel went to live in Stormcliff until his own death.

Thomas II had two children, a son named Asa and a daughter named Polly.  Asa's son Giles proved to be a very dangerous man, in effect a mad scientist who encountered a time-traveling Constance Collins of Maine (The Phantom and Barnabas Collins).

Desmond on the other hand eventually married a young woman named Letitia Faye ("Dark Shadows" daytime series 1840s storyline) and they had three sons:  Michael, Stephan and Charles II.

Michael was master of Collinsgreen, married to a woman named Sally and close to his niece Paula.  Stephan, Paula's father was something of a ne'r do well, becoming seriously estranged from the family.  Paula married an equally dangerous man, a werewolf named Christopher, but in the end was saved by Jonathan Collins (The Foe of Barnabas Collins).

Paula's brother Paul on the other hand went into the U.S. Navy, died in China while captain of the USS San Paulo ("The Sand Pebbles" motion picture).  He did however have two children--Justin and Ann.

Charles II married a woman named Rebecca and they had a daughter named Emily and a son named Frank as well as an adopted daughter named Ada (Barnabas, Quentin and Dr. Jeckyl's Son) all of whom encountered the vampire Jonathan Collins.  It is from Frank that the so-called Manhattan branch of the family came.

However, Paul's daughter Ann ran away and became a Broadway showgirl ("Gold Diggers of Broadway" motion picture).  Her brother Justin on the other hand became master of Collinsgreen and had a son named Louis and a daughter named Geraldine.  Louis married Michelle Collins of Cabot Cove, but the marriage did not last.  They separated, with their daughter Constance coming to live with her mother and their son Martin staying at Collinsgreen.  Geraldine married a man named Walter Curtis and had a daughter, Nancy.

Frank Collins had a son, an Egyptologist named Anthony (Barnabas Quentin and the Mummy's Curse) who visited Collins House in Maine about the time he discovered the tomb of Pharoah Rehotep.  Anthony in turn had two sons--Ernest, a musician whose wife Elaine died and then who himself died before he could marry Constance Collins, and Quentin Collins IV who married a young woman named Tracy.

This Quentin seems to have been a reincarnation of Charles I, and when he inherited Collinsgreen the spirit of his ancestor took control with the help of the ghost of Antoinette.  Tracy in this process died, tragically.


Alexander the Vampire

Now we come to the most important member of this branch, at least as far as this blog is concerned.  Alexander Collins was the son of Benjamin, nephew of Thomas I.  His story has ended up garbled but barely discernable.  He was (as far as we know) the first Collins in the New World to become a vampire.  Available evidence suggests this was the result of a curse put upon him, possibly by witches but maybe as revenge by someone enraged at the Collins family.  We're not sure.  However, what happened next seems relatively clear.  His uncle, who raised him, did not choose to destroy Alexander.  Instead, he had the young man sealed in a coffin and wrapped with chains.  Then buried that coffin deep in the earth.  Most likely Thomas I told this tale to Joshua Collins, who sought to emulate his older cousin in regards to Barnabas.

Sometime around 1970, construction workers found this coffin and broke the chains, paying for that piece of bad luck with their lives ("Dark Shadows" 2012 motion picture).  They were not the first.  Alexander soon presented himself as a long-lost cousin--hardly unusual in the Collins family history--but became increasingly unstable emotionally.  Quite simply, he had been driven insane by what happened to him, not least by the fact he had been engaged to marry when turned into one of the undead.  He victimized young Nancy Collins, ultimately transforming her into a vampire ("House of Dark Shadows" motion picture).  This might have gotten even worse save for the fact that two members of the Van Helsing family were nearby--Conrad and his son Adam (Vampirella).  In the 1970 motion picture, Conrad became Professor Stokes, just as Adam became Jeff Clark.  The film twisted many events but the essence was that Alexander was shot with a crossbow bolt in an abandoned monastery on nearby St. Eustace Island.  Exactly who "Maggie Evans" in this film was in real life remains unknown.  One possibility is that this was Michelle Collins, Louis' estranged wife.

Meanwhile, Louis Collins also died, victim of the vampire Alexander.  His son Martin, already a little unstable, went to Collins House in Maine to live with his mother Michelle--who in turn may have had an affair with Adam Van Helsing (if she is the person conflated into Maggie Evans for that film, this could be viewed as further evidence of same).  Certainly as he grew up, Martin tended to called Adam "Uncle."  When Geraldine Collins Curtis died, within the year, Quentin IV inherited the estate ushering in a time of horror ("Night of Dark Shadow" motion picture).  Many years later, Martin  and his Uncle came together again when the former's wife was bitten by a vampire, i.e. Irina Karnstein ("Nadja" motion picture) in New York City.  After dispatching her (or so they thought) the three of them joined forces with Martin's sister Constance (who by then manifested her latent lycanthropy, most likely inherited from her mother) to go and rid Collinsgreen of the evil spirit of Antoinette.  They succeeded, but at some horrible cost to Martin's wife.  They had a son, whom Martin strangely enough named Alexander (evidence he'd blocked out much of what happened in his childhood), just as Constance had a daughter, Jessica.  The latter's father remains unknown at this time.

Here the story takes a new turn.  Fortune hunters (or perhaps just vagrants) at St. Eustace Island accidentally revived the vampire Alexander Collins ("Dark Shadows" WB pilot).  Professor Norse of MONSTAAH theorizes (persuasively in my opinion) that the non-physical remnant of a vampire put nto torpor but not destroyed seeks to attract humans to it and make them spill blood.  This happened circa 2004, and Alexander found the passing of over three decades enough to try again to re-integrate into the world via his descendants. 

Yet something more interesting happened than one might expect.  First, the new governess to young Alexander Collins II (a traumatized child) seemed to remember this earlier man--indeed she would seem to have been the reincarnation of his long-dead fiancee.  More, this all coincided with the return of the ghost-witch Antoinette, freed by young Alexander.  She and the elder Alexander soon became (im)mortal enemies.  One reason for this was Alexander's feeling more human.  Perhaps it was seeing a child with his name.  Maybe finding his one true love again after all those years of despair.  Whatever the cause, he became instrumental in destroying this creature's spirit even though the manor of Collinsgreen itself was destroyed in a fire ("Dark Shadow" 2012 motion picture).  And the governess in question, tricked to her death by the vengeful spirit on Antoinette, was saved by becoming undead at Alexander's fangs.

At this point, this is all we know.  Precisely what became of sibling Martin and Constance Collins has yet to be revealed.  Jessica's parentage also remains unclear.

A final note--the vampires Barnabas and Jonathan were both apparently Varneans (indeed independent research indicates the former to be have been indirectly sired by Dracula Prime himself!).  It remains a little unclear what kind of vampire Alexander was and (presumably) still is.  Accounts indicate he was more tolerant of sunlight than one might expect and there is no evidence he ever transformed into a bat or other animal.  Given his great hunger--his victims lost an enormous amount of blood with each feeding--this might well indicate he was Dacian.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Maine Branch

(part two of three)

As stated in Part One, I believe evidence abounds which points to three branches of the Collins family in New England.  Initially, the creators of the television series Dark Shadows attempted to fuse details from all three into one narrative but this failed.  Ultimately, they focused almost exclusively upon the Massachusetts branch whose magnificent mansions of the Old House and Collinwood were built on or near Plum Island.

The Gold Key Comics as well as the Marilyn Ross novels however took a much more haphazard approach, pulling what stories they wished from all three.  This section deals primarily with the one in what is today the state of Maine.  As inadvertently revealed in the novels, the name of the estate here was simply Collins House rather than Collinwood.  Evidence suggests the mansion, while impressive and clearly a sign of wealth, didn't really approach in size the Massachusetts or New York homes.

Origins
The full history of the Collins family in England remains as yet untold.  However, we can state with some certainty their relations included the Bennets of (appropriately enough) Netherfield Park.  More disturbingly, it would appear the name "Collins" came to be seen as accursed as far back as the Middle Ages.  At least sometime in the 1300s a man named Mordecei Collins (Gold Key #11) decided to make it his quest to wipe out the evil of his house, even to the point of arranging his ashes to be mixed with clay after death by an alchemist.  This clay then became the material from which a Golem was made, to become active once each century and attack the evil of the Collins family.

His efforts over the ensuing centuries remain mixed, or so it might seem given what happened to others of the Collins name.  On the other hand, perhaps that indicates how terrible the horrors he did prevent!  That all we know of consists of the lesser evils of the clan!

Circumstantial evidence does suggest at least one source of the so-called Collins Curse.  As those who've studied the infamous history of the mighty vampire Dracula Prime know, a powerful demon or magic user pretending to be a demon (even Satan) gave to the then-newly undead Impaler several mystical items.  One of these was a cane with a silver wolf's head.  One unanswered question in all this would be--who made that cane?  Given that at least one other such cane seems to have followed the Collins family through its history I would posit a medieval Collins was the craftsman.  He may well have created a prototype and kept it, with ignorant descendants taking it as a mere heirloom.  More, evidence exists of exactly such a cane in the hand of an-as-yet unidentified female vampire in the late 17th or early 18th century.

The New World

In many ways the Maine Collins branch is an offshoot of the New York.  Like many families then (and now) certain names popped up again and again.  Some confusion may have arisen among chroniclers because of this.

Cabot Cove is a town in Maine, founded unofficially sometime around the American Revolutionary War but became incorporated somewhat later due to the auspices of brothers Seth Collins and Jeremiah Collins I (Jeremiah II was brother to Joshua of the Massachusetts branch).  Both men had made their fortunes in trade but not always in ways their father Thomas I approved.  Indeed Henry Collins (Strangers at Collins House #3) speculated that Jeremiah's treatment of African Slaves had something to do with subsequent events.

But Collins House itself was built by Jeremiah, who married twice.  However only his first marriage produced children.  We know little or nothing about his first wife but his second, a much younger woman named Rosette de Freniere, had an affair or simply fell in love with Seth's son Jonathan.  This Jonathan Collins would prove one of the most important figures in the family.  He had a brother, James, who married a woman named Maria.  Collins House itself went to Jeremiah's sons--William and Tobias.  There was also a daughter named Erica.  Jonathan himself proved a brooding but brilliant figure, but who fell afoul of a mad scientist and a vampire circa 1830 (Barnabas, Quentin and The Grave Robbers).  Only 25 years old at the time, Jonathan had fallen for a young lady named Paula Sullivan.  In 1849 Jonathan Collins "died."  In fact, he rose from the dead as a vampire.  The exact circumstances remain a little unclear, but at least he was spared his cousins' fates of becoming sealed for centuries in hunger and darkness.  (Note:  Keep in mind that many of Jonathan's exploits were conflated with those of Barnabas Collins of Massachusetts.)

William, son of Jeremiah, suffered a terrible fate.  Disapproving furiously of the friendship between Jonathan and his son Jonas Quentin--no doubt due to the former's relationship with Rosette--he sent Jonas Quentin on a trading mission abroad in the 1830s.  When Jonas Quentin returned, he brought with him one Count Villalobos--a werewolf who'd made the young man one as well.  Upon learning this, William sought to kill the Count and succeeded but ended up bitten.  Blaming Jonathan and the entire Collins family he killed 15-year-old Daphne, his own niece.  Eventually Jonathan was able to trap William on an island.  [Gold Key #5] But Jonas Quentin eventually went insane at least partially out of guilt but also because, like Lawrence Talbot, his curse rendered him immortal (Barnabas, Quentin and the Witch's Curse).

Tobias had four known sons:
  1. Gerald who had two children, Derek and Irma.(Barnabas, Quentin and the Serpent as well as  The Curse of Collinwood).
  2. Enoch, who married Sophronia and had a ward named Sabina (Barnabas, Quentin and the Unknown Assassin).
  3. Daphne, murdered by William.
  4. Nathaniel, a ship captain.  His ship was the Arrow and he was murdered by the warlock Lucas Prinrose Bell in Egypt.  (Gold Key #6)  His daughter died at sea while young.
  5. Theodore (Barnabas Collins and the Gypsy Witch)
Theodore in turn had three sons:
  1. Quentin David, a melancholy young man who somehow became a werewolf.  Please note--the novels often conflate different Quentins in the Collins family as the same person whereas it was a very common name in this clan.
  2. Conrad, who had a club foot and more importantly would seem to be what we in modern times would call a psychopath.  (Barnabas Collins and Quentin's Demon)
  3. Jonas, who married Margaret (Barnabas Collins).  It was Margaret who circa 1900 realized that "cousin Jonathan" was in fact his namesake and a vampire.
Jonas and Margaret had four children:
  1. Michael James.
  2. Henry, who had quite an exciting but strange life.
  3.  Greta, who was crippled but evidently bore a startling resemblance to the long-dead Rosette.
  4. Judith, an adopted daughter.
 As yet we do not know who was Michael James' wife but he had three known children:

  1. Mark, a rather disreputable archeologist with a daughter named Linda.  (The Mystery of Collinwood)
  2. Michelle.  In the Ross novels she is most often conflated with Liz Stoddard.  In fact she was much younger and rather more of a rebel.  She spent some time in New York City, during which she became a werewolf (Wolf).  However, she generally was able to control this aspect of herself.  She married a cousin eventually--Louis Collins of New York.  It did not last.  Upon their separation, their elder daughter Constance went with her mother to live in Collins House.  Their younger son, Martin, went with his father.  Michelle at one point also seems to have had an affair with Adam Van Helsing (of Vampirella fame) leading young Martin to call him "Uncle."
  3. Edmund (conflated with Roger Collins in the novels), who was in some ways the very oddest member of the family but in a totally normal (as in non-para) and natural (as in non-super) way.  The man traveled extensively as part of his business, during which he married rather a lot of women.  He never divorced even one.  Not until his death did any of this come out.  His known children include:

The legal wrangles about all of Edmund's many children were almost certainly the major reason the Collins family was no longer living in Cabot Cove by the 1990s.

Please note that in nearly all the Ross novels the characters of Victoria Winters, Maggie Evans and Carolyn Stoddard are in fact conflated with Constance Collins, daughter of Michelle.  It seems very likely that she inherited the strain of lycanthropy from her mother.  Her story and that of Martin pertain somewhat more to the New York branch.

Please note that much of the personality of Michelle (Liz), Edmond (Roger) and Constance (Carolyn) would appear to inform the chronicler of the 2012 motion picture Dark Shadows.

   

TO BE CONTINUED


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Shadows Dark, Darker, Darkest

(part one of three)

The Collins family, with their infamously paranormal history, presents quite the challenge to any historian.  Consider the following--what sources exist to give details regarding not only the vampires associated with this clan but also the ghosts, werewolves, witches and the like?
  • The original television series
  • The Gold Key comics
  • The Marilyn Ross novels released approximately the same time
  • The two feature motion pictures released in 1970 and 1971
  • The revival television nighttime drama in 1991
  • The Innovation Comics based upon the 1991 revival
  • The 2004 unfinished pilot for the WB (available only at certain Dark Shadows Festivals)
  • The various Big Finish Audio Dramas
  • The Dynamite Comics picking up where the story left off in 1971
  • The Tim Burton/Johnny Depp motion picture of 2012
What makes the above so very confusing is the blatant self-contradictions  in each and every version.  For example, when we first encounter the governess Victoria Winters as she arrived at the great house of Collinwood, the house itself is identified again and again as being somewhere around 150 years old.  Yet the flashback story revealed it to have been built more than twenty years earlier!  More, its builder was said to be Jeremiah Collins when it turned out to be his older brother Joshua.  And so on.

Trying to make the rest of the history fit into one coherent narrative makes for a knot of gordian purportions.  At least until one premise rears its head that makes all things much clearer...

There are not one, but three branches of the Collins family in New England.  Accept that, and it all begins to make a lot more sense.  Dan Curtis, Sam Hall and others who created the original daytime soap opera had access to quite a bit of material about this family.  At first, they picked out what they thought might make the best overall story.  Over time, this grew far too complicated and they settled more-or-less upon one.  Something very similar happened with other chroniclers, and continues to this day.

Here are the three branches...

The Collins of Collinsport, Massachusetts
When we see the original television show, the new Dynamite comics, or listen to the Big Finish audio dramas we learn of this branch.  Although initially identified as taking place in Maine, this family's history makes little or no sense if that were true.  During the 1790s Maine was a remote wilderness.  It beggars the imagination to believe anyone would build such a grand mansion as the Collinwood we see in such a remote spot.  It would be as if someone built a Disneyland in the middle of Siberia!  More, the history doesn't match.  There were no witch trials in Maine!  Nor was there any kind of easy transportation between Maine and Salem, such as would be needed for what we know of the history of the Collins family in the late 1600s.

So the Collinsport referred to herein almost can be found somewhere along Plum Island on the Massachusetts coast, effectively just off center from the very heart of the old Massachusetts Bay Colony.  This accounts quite neatly for Amadeus Collins in particular being a prominent judge who oversaw the trial of notorious Satanist Judah Zachary!

An excellent article exploring the surprising connections between the Collins family of Massachusetts and other supernatural aspects of the Wold Newton Universe can be found in The Great Old Ones And The Collins Family by Frank Schildiner.  The only point major addition I would make to his accounting would be the possible identification of "Barretstown" in one of the Innovation Dark Shadows comics with Innsmouth of terrible memory.  Note that this presumes the 1991 Revival and the comic books derived from it are a hodge-podge of details from the Massachusetts branch.

The Collins of Cabot Cove, Maine
Physically the most isolated of the all Collins family branches in New England, tales of this group of relatives make up the bulk of tales from the Ross novels and some of the Gold Key Comics.

We need to understand how chroniclers (rather like those of Dracula's soul-clones) changed names to somehow match the family introduced in the original television series.  Thus although each branch of the family included in its members a male vampire who used the (not unusual) expedient of pretending to be his own descendant, in fact these three undead were different people with different personalities and histories.  In Maine, this vampire was named Jonathan Collins and he became a vampire in the 1840s.  Of the three he would seem to have been the most scientifically bent, the most overtly womanizing in habit, and the most ruthless in his habit.  For all that, he wasn't truly evil, and more than once managed via medical means to (at least temporarily) alleviate his vampiric state.  By 1993 it seems this family no longer resided in the town, their mansion (the smallest of the three great estates) Collins House put up for sale when under an alias Jonathan purchased it.  Ironically enough, at this point when he'd diluted nearly all undead taints from his body, he was murdered--by having a stake driven through his heart (as seen in "The Legacy of Borbey House" on Murder She Wrote).


The Collins of Collinsgreen, New York
Although some details of this branch emerge in the Ross novels and Gold Key comics, the major source for details--garbled as they are--are all three motion pictures as well as the unfinished pilot for the WB network.

Central to our subject is Alexander Collins, the first known Collins vampire in the New World.  Much scholarship involving this man remains difficult because of efforts to conflate him with his cousin Barnabas Collins of Massachusetts.  But we do know he was changed into a vampire not as a result of thwarted love but as part of a curse placed upon the Collins family itself, almost certainly by some kind of Satanic coven.  Rather than destroy him, his immediate family chained up his coffin and buried it deep underground, no doubt hoping this would seal him away forever.  Alas, this was not to be.  When accidentally discovered and released in 1970 by a road crew, the now-insane young man whose bloodlust had grown quite out of control, slew several family members before being tracked down and staked in an abandoned monastery on a lake.  So he remained, immobile, for thirty years.  Then, would-be fortune hunters came across his skeleton and removed the stake.  More, one of them cut her hand and that blood revived the vampire.

He came to Collinsgreen in 2004 to find the little boy whose sister he'd turned into a vampire was now grown up, a wealthy and powerful figure with his own dark secrets--not least still struggling with a powerful witch whose spirit longed to take over the estate from the Collins family into which she'd married.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Children of a Lesser Hell-God

Contrary to what many assume, vampires come in a variety of different types and bloodlines.  More, creatures exist that blur the line between Living and Undead.  Most famous of these is the dhampir--offspring of a human being and a vampire.

Stranger still is a someone who, although bitten, does not transform into a full vampire.  Exactly why remains unclear. There seem to be some people who (for some reason) resist the complete change.  Certain very powerful vampires seem capable of deliberately creating this bizarre hybrids.  One expert, whose exploits regarding such ended up as a film titled Zoltan, Hound of Dracula, coined an accurate term for them.  Pseudo-nosferatu.  Others call them ghouls.  Another source refers to them as carouche.  Yet they may perhaps be best known via the most famous such entity.

Renfield.

The name conjures up a specific image.  A madman in padded cell.  Bound in a straightjacket.  Hoarding flies, then spiders--intending to eat them.  Not entirely accurate, however.  When one looks for similar beings in the history of vampires, one needn't go far to find them.  Keep in mind also that it remains unlikely all the individuals identified with the name actually bore it.  Accounts of Dracula's soul-clones often end up tweaked to resemble Stoker's novel.  The motion picture Nosferatu included a person who ran a business, was in fact a respected man of property.  Yet who went mad, obsessed with devouring tiny lives, and utterly devoted to serving one of the living dead.

In the motion pictures Fright Night and its sequel, Jerry Dandridge and his sister each had a servant--formidable men in their own right.  They each ate bugs.  When killed, they dissolved into a mass of the creatures, leaving a putrid skeleton behind!

From these and other clues we may well deduce facts about this odd supernatural creature, neither one thing nor the other.  Consider also how the Count of Saint Germain has such a servant, well-treated, even a friend.  Yet dependent upon the vampire.

1.  All pseudo-nosferatu are created by vampires.  Exactly how remains a mystery, but it needn't be permanent.  Xander Harris began the process but returned to normalcy.  The Renfield of the novel even rebelled against his Master (I myself believe the soul-clone Dracula-Mordante was in England before Dracula Prime, and it was he who transformed the man known as Renfield).
2.  Pseudo-nosferatu evidently need to remain in the proximity of at least one vampire.  One almost never hears of one by themselves--and when they are, their efforts to bring a vampire near them are ceaseless.
3.  The pseudo-nosferatu has a will that has been enthralled to that of another.  Indeed, they behave much as a drug addict would if their opiate-of-choice could walk around, think, act on its own agenda.
4.  One of the distinguishing characteristics of the pseudo-nosferatu is that they feed on "lesser" lives.  Animals or insects usually.
5.  Lacking nearly all the weaknesses of a true vampire, a pseudo-nosferatu possesses but one power in common with the true undead.  They are stronger than a normal human being.  They may or may not gain extended youth and vigor.  But they remain harder to physically subdue and kill than is usual.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The House of Van Helsing


VAN HELSING
Almost certainly related by blood to both the Spielsdorf and Karnstein families.  Their award of arms is as follows:  Quarterly, sable and gules, per sinister base a tower or. Who awarded the arms remains a mystery but one likely contender would be the Holy Roman Empire.  Continuing research into this family of vampire hunters continues.  Here are those members of the house which have (so far) been identified.  A family tree showing relationships (as far as they are known) can be found below:

Adelia Van Helsing, Raphael Van Helsing, Otto Van Helsing and Abelard Van Helsing all left notes behind regarding the hunting of demons, vampires, dragons and the like.

Gabriel Van Helsing is a very mysterious figure, whose history remains unknown (quite possibly to himself).

Sir Andreas Van Helsing (   -1789) is mentioned in the series Young Dracula.  His painting is on the wall, albeit with the name “Sir Manly” which indicates the tone of the show.  “Andreas” on the other hand does mean exactly that.  Death coincided with the French Revolution.

Dr. Jan Van Helsing (Before 1791 - ?) would seem to have a scientist of some kind and a refugee from the French Revolution.  His inclusion must be viewed as somewhat speculative since the only reference to him is in a description of Van Helsing ancestors in the novel Covenant With the Vampire, whose plot is generally un-Woldable.  It remains possible this name filtered into the story due to author’s research.  Jan would be father of four known sons:  Boris, Abraham, Cornelius and Henrik.

Unknown Van Helsing #1 (Before 1791 - ?) about whom all we know is that he had two sons:  Fritz and David.

Boris Van Helsing (r)
Boris Van Helsing ( -1909) An interesting and brilliant man, Boris actually invented a vampire cure, which he subsequently destroyed when Dracula-Mordante and Vampirella traveled back in time to steal it (or so he believed).  Precise records of the Van Helsings begin with his generation.  Boris was murdered by Dracula-Balderston.  He had three children:  Sons Arnold and Norris and daughter Miley. (see Vampirella comics as well as 1979 film)

Abraham Van Helsing ( - ) Arguably the most famous member of the clan, whose life saw the start of the Dracula-Van Helsing feud/war.  He had a son, Lawrence, and a daughter, Maria.

Cornelius Van Helsing (?)  Relatively little is known about this man, save that he left a written account of his adventures hunting vampires.  He and a companion followed up on his brother Abraham’s exploits in Transylvania, while Cornelius himself ended up in prison.

Henrik Van Helsing (?)

Fritz Van Helsing (?)  Defeated the soul-clone Dracula-Saville in 1909.  Was evidently fond of or deeply respected his cousin, since he named his some Abraham II after him.

David Van Helsing
David Van Helsing (?)  Initially skeptical of all things supernatural, this scholar learned otherwise when held captive by sect known as The Brotherhood.  As a result, he played a pivotal role in defeating (but alas, not destroying) Dracula-Pan in 1909.  According to Gustav, his great-grandson as told in Dracula: The Series, David at one point made a detailed map that the creature known as Alexander Lucard would use as a base.  He had at least one son to carry on the family name, Peter.

Arnold Van Helsing (?) What we know about Arnold is that he seems to have become completely Anglicized, lacking any trace of his father’s accent.  In 1909 he personally destroyed the soul clone Dracula-Matheson.  He had at least two sons, Jeremiah and another who seemed to have changed the family name to “Hellsing.”

Norris Van Helsing (?) For many years it was presumed Norris to have disappeared fighting the soul clone Dracula-Rominoff, presumably killed.  In the 1980s the much-stranger truth came out.  He had been trapped in another reality dubbed “limbo” since 1897.  His name is mentioned in Young Dracula while what little we know of his story is chronicled in the film The Monster Squad.  He has no known children.

Miley Van Helsing
Miley Van Helsing (? – 1909) was victimized by Dracula-Matheson, who transformed her into a vampire, forcing her father to stake her.

Lawrence Van Helsing (1850-1910) fought many vampires, including Baron Meinster, Dracula Kah and (especially) Dracula-Denrom.  Like his cousin Arnold, he seems to have become completely anglicized.  He had two sons, Leyland and Valdemar.

Abraham Van Helsing II (?-?) evidently emigrated to America and married a woman named Rosenberg.  Since it seems likely at least two of their children followed the Hebrew faith, he may have converted.  Murdered by an as-yet-unidentified bride (or daughter) of Dracula (or one of his soul-clones) he eventually haunted his granddaughter and helped her avenge his death.  He had three known sons:  Ira, Jeffrey and Victor.

Peter Van Helsing (?-?) somewhat surprisingly is the only known member of the family to have joined the Watcher’s Council, that body which oversees the mystic bloodline of the Slayers.  He evidently had at least one son to carry on the family name.

Jeremiah Van Helsing (?-?) was the son of Arnold and evidently was quite the scholar of occult lore.  He learned of a unique ritual that Dracula-Prime intended to enact decades in the future, preparing his son August to thwart the Impaler’s plans.  He has no other known children.

Hellsing #1 (?-?) for some reason changed his name.  Given the timing, one likely explanation is the anti-German hysteria of WWI that might have seen “Van Helsing” as too German. 

Leyland Van Helsing
Leyland Van Helsing (1877- ) accompanied his father Lawrence to China in order to combat the Seven Golden Vampires, then under the sway of Dracula-Kah.  During this adventure, Leyland met and married a martial artist named Mei Kwei.  Many years later, Leyland helped thwart the efforts of Dracula-Lejos.  He and Mei Kwei had two sons, Lorimar and H.R. (what these initial stand for remains to be learned) and a daughter named Jessica.

Valdemar Van Helsing (?-?) remains one of the family about whom little has been learned.  He did however function as a freelance vampire/monster hunter in the 1970s, when he crossed paths with Dr. Adam Spektor.

Jeffrey Van Helsing (1938- ?) took his mother’s maiden name “Rosenberg” and established a therapeutic practice in New York City.  He had a relationship with a model named Cindy Sondheim, and when she became the target of a vampire’s attentions, Jeffrey reclaimed his heritage, albeit not before losing Cindy.  Eventually he had two children, a son named Stan and a daughter named Willamena.

Ira Van Helsing (?-?) was apparently Jeffrey’s younger brother and like him took the Rosenberg name.  Both evidently were raised Jewish.  Ira moved to California, where he married a woman named Sheila and had a daughter, Willow.

Victor Van Helsing (1948-1989) retained the family name but in the end became the victim of a vampire while investigating a nest of the creatures (as noted in the film Transylvania Twist).

Unknown Van Helsing #2 (?-?) was the son of Peter, but very little is as yet known about him, save that he produced a daughter and two sons—Gustav and Abraham III (who may well have been twins).

Lorimar Van Helsing
August Van Helsing (?-?) was evidently a dedicated expert on vampires who continued researches began by his father.  He adopted a son named Noah, but also had two other sons by his wife Martina Bradshaw of Boston.  Interestingly, Martina was a twin.  She and her brother were the illegitimate offspring of one Matthew Caine, a sometimes Shaolin Priest who was the grandson of the man who became Dracula-Latos.  Evidently a deeply religious man, August named his sons from biblical figures, include Isaac and Malachi.

Sir Arthur Hellsing (?-1989) became the head of a paramilitary organization dedicated to destroying monsters and demons.  Evidence suggested he wed a woman from India.  The precise circumstances of his knighthood remain unknown.  He intended his daughter Integra to take his place.

Richard Hellsing (?-?) sought to usurp his niece’s position, and in the process accidentally freed a vampire who considered himself honor-bound to serve the family for the rest of time.

Lorimar Van Helsing (1909-?) strongly resembled his grandfather and followed in his footsteps.  He is known to have had three sons:  Matthew, Conrad and Kurt.

Jessica Van Helsing I (?-?) was a vampire hunter active in the 1940s.

H.R. Van Helsing (?-?) became heavily involved in an American paramilitary organization dedicated to fighting vampires and the like, dubbed the Polidorium.  One of the most fecund of all members of the family, he had at least five children:  Judith, Alex, Veronica (aka “Ronnie”), Francesca (aka “Frankie) and Robert (aka “Bobbie”).

Willow Rosenberg
Willow Rosenberg (1982- ?) might yet be unaware she is entitled to call herself a Van Helsing.  She became a highly skilled magic-user and the best friend/companion of the Slayer Buffy Anne Summers.

Stan Van Helsing (circa 1980-?) seems to be an example of how destiny can act independently of talent.  He quite accidentally helped end a supernatural threat as chronicled in a motion picture that bears his name.

Willamena Van Helsing (circa 1982-?) eventually found herself haunted by the ghost of her grandfather Abraham II and at his urging managed to destroy a powerful female vampire while attending college.  A very bowdlerized version of this story became the motion picture The Sexy Adventures of Van Helsing.

Unnamed Van Helsing #3 (?-?) ended up married to a man named Townsend.  They had a son named Richard.

Gustav Van Helsing (1925-?) was a considerable scholar of history and the occult, but seems to have left the vampire-hunting to his brother (and probably twin) Abraham III.  When he did start to fight vampires, he in particular went after the creature known as Alexander Lucard.  He had at his disposal a powerful talisman known as the Cross of the Magyars.  Gustav and his wife Margaret had at least one son, Klaus.


Abraham Van Helsing III (1925-1965) evidently was an active vampire slayer, as well as the grandfather of Eric Van Helsing who refers to him in Dracula: The Series.  He had an unnamed son and a daughter, Lena.

Noah Van Helsing (?-?) as the adopted son of August, and turned out to be an ally of the dhampir Blade.

Isaac Van Helsing (?-?) was a vampire hunter, as recorded in the film The Last Sect.  He bears a startling resemblance to his great-great-grandfather, Thomas Caine aka Dracula-Latos.

Malachi Van Helsing
Malachi Van Helsing (?-?) also hunted/hunts vampires as recorded in the film My Mom’s Dating a Vampire.

Integra Hellsing (1977-?) survived an assassination attempt by her uncle when she was only twelve years old.  She then went on to head a paramilitary anti-vampire/demon organization.  (See Hellsing)

Matthew Van Helsing (?-2000) maintained an antiques business while holding a powerful soul clone later known as Dracula-Judas prisoner.  When this creature escaped, Matthew sought to protect his daughter Mary, and in the process was murdered by the three new brides of the soul clone.

Conrad Van Helsing (1930-?) is both blind and psychic, and has had many encounters with both Dracula-Mordante as well as Vampirella.  He married Ruth Parrish Keogh and had two sons, Adam and Robert.

Kurt Van Helsing Sr. (1931-1968) and his wife Anna Ambroisius were murdered by vampires and the woman known as Vampirella framed for the crime.  The couple had three daughters—Rachel I, Jessica II and Vanessa—as well as a son, Kurt Jr.

Judith Van Helsing

Alex Van Helsing

Veronica “Ronnie” Van Helsing (1974-?) (see Sword of Dracula comic)

Francesca “Frankie” Van Helsing

Roberta “Robbie” Van Helsing

Richard Townsend (?-?) was a businessman turned into a vampire by Alexander Lucard.  He and his wife Eileen had two sons, Chris and Max.

Klaus Van Helsing (?-?) was also turned into a vampire by Alexander Lucard.  He bears a startling resemblance to Nicholas de Brabant, a medieval knight who became a Sutekhim vampire (see Forever Knight and Dracula: The Series).

Unnamed Van Helsing #4 (?-?) is only known as the son of Abraham III and father of Eric.

Lina Van Helsing (?-?) is a psychiatrist who seems to have encountered a Dacian vampire’s victims but did not recognize the signs.  It is possible she later traveled to America and went mad after a meeting of her own with the same vampiress dispatched (in theory) by Willamena Van Helsing.  (See Snakewoman and The Sexy Adventures of Van Helsing and Lust of Dracula)  She bears a resemblance to some women in the Karnstein family.

Mary Heller (?-2000) used her mother’s maiden name.  Living in New Orleans, she ultimately succumbed to Dracula-Judas, becoming a vampire.  Yet in the end she decided to follow her father’s path, fighting the undead.  [Note:  A fair number of Van Helsings of this generation ended up vampires]

Adam Van Helsing (1952-?) was an adult in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  It showed.  He entered into a relationship with Vampirella, fighting Dracula-Mordante.  Adam was good friends with Michelle Collins of Maine and her son Martin grew up referring to him as his uncle.  In time Adam claimed Martin to be his son, but this seems extremely unlikely due to dates.  Later, after Adam managed to defeat Dracula-Lejos, the two became instrumental (they thought) in destroying a Dacian vampire of the Karnstein family who was a kind of adopted daughter to the soul-clone.  (See Vampirella comics, Dark Shadows unfinished 2004 pilot, the film Nadja).

Robert Van Helsing (1958-1977) tracked down a nest of vampires that turned out to be led by a reformed Dracula-Latos!  This colony in the Arizona desert consisted mostly of undead who longed to stop killing and live in peace, but faced rebellion by younger, more feral vampires.  Sandy, a young vampires who fell in love with Robert, bit and turned him.  He then helped defeat the evil vampires.  (see Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat motion picture)

Rachel Van Helsing I (1950-1982) saw her parents murdered by vampires and was raised by the elderly vampire hunter Quincy Harker.  When Dracula-Prime seemed at long last defeated, she entered into a relationship with Frank Drake, the direct descendant of the Impaler himself.  It did not last but produced a daughter, Rachel II.  Upon resurrection Dracula-Prime turned her into a vampire, but after his defeat she persuaded a hero to destroy her. (see Marvel Comics)

Kurt Van Helsing Jr. (1952- ) defeated a Dracula soul-clone in the 1970s and went on to marry Mary Gibbons, the vampire’s target. (see The Curse of Dracula)

Jessica Van Helsing
Jessica Van Helsing II (1956- ?) was raised by her grandfather, Lorimar (see Dracula A.D. 1972)

Vanessa Van Helsing (1962) was a psychic who aided a team in hunting vampires and monsters. (see Night Force from DC Comics)

Sophie Townsend, nee Metternich (?-?) was the ward of Gustav Van Helsing, eventually falling in love and marrying Chris Townsend, the old man’s nephew.  Due to a strange set of circumstances, she was turned into a Varnean vampire but cured.  Many years later she was turned again, this time into an Orlockian and as a result was vastly powerful, taking the name Lilith and leading a very dangerous nest in Los Angeles.  She and Chris had two daughters, Christine and Amber. (see Dracula: The Series and 30 Days of Night sequel)

Christopher “Chris” Townsend (?-?) was a Van Helsing by blood but not name.  His father vanished and only eventually did the family learn he’d been turned by Alexander Lucard.  In time he married his Uncle Gustav’s ward, Sophie.  They had two daughters, Christine and Amber (see Dracula: The Series and the upcoming The Sisterhood)

Maximillian “Max” Townsend (1970 - ?) never knew his father.  He became like a second son to Gustav, and enthusiastically studied vampires. (see Dracula: The Series).  As an adult, changed his name to Jacob Van Helsing (see Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Curse)

Eric V.H. and son
Eric Van Helsing (?-?) was a teacher in England whose wife at first did not believe his talk about vampires and the family history.  Then the soul-clone Dracula-Edgar and his family crossed their paths.  Ultimately, Eric was mesmerized to forget the existence of the undead and so was helpless when confronted by same.  His widow and son Jonathan or “Johnno” vowed to carried on in his memory. (see Young Dracula television show)

Martin James Collins (c. 1960 -?) ended up at the center of events in New York when his wife was bitten by the very unusual Dacian dhampir named Irina. (see the film Nadja)  Whether in fact Adam Van Helsing was indeed his father remains a little mysterious, but overall not at all likely.  Then again, Adam might have married Michelle Collins (Martin’s mother) at some point so it remains possible this describes their legal relationship.  Martin and Adam together exorcised the Collinsgreen estate in upstate New York, probably in the late 1990s (see 2004 Dark Shadows).

Rachel Corrigan, nee Van Helsing (?-?) looks amazing like her mother.  Widows at the same time her son Connor died, she and her daughter Kat eventually found themselves associated with a covert organization known as the Legacy.  As a direct descendant of both Abraham Van Helsing and Count Dracula, Rachel has demonstrated considerable abilities as a magic user. (see Poltergeist: The Legacy)

John Van Helsing (?-?) would seem to be the son of Kurt Jr., and whose widow Samantha is a vampire hunter with certain powers (and amnesia).  (see Helsing from Caliber Comics).

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Blood Countess

Few women in history ever inspired quite as much sheer terror as Erzebet Bathori, the so-called Blood Countess of the Carpathians  (7 August 1560 – 21 August 1614). 
Keep in mind the history of the Wold Newton Universe varies from our own.  Evidence against the Erzebet in this timeline remains suspect to say the least.  Achieved through torture by those who stood to profit from her disgrace, this "evidence" consisted of hearsay at best with all witnesses conveniently slaughtered.
 
However, the WNU version of this person proved much worse than even the wildest tales of her accusers.

Brian Lumley's novel Necroscope IV: Deadspeak revealed a hitherto-unsuspected aspect of Erzebet's story.  In the 12th century a vampire made himself a stronghold in Hungary.  This creature, Faethor Ferezcny, came not from this world nor that one but a weird alternate Earth known as Starside.  Vampires there are called Wamphyrie and a tenacious type they are.  Yet withing this world, hugely outnumbered by a people uncowed by their rule, the Wamphyrie nature changed, become more subtle and hidden over time.  "Anonymity equal Longevity" became their byword.  But it didn't always word, for Faethor's touch conveyed something of his evil and his lusts even when he didn't intend it.  So when he dallied with a noblewoman by the name of Elspa Bathori, some taint went into the flesh and manifested in later generations.  Indeed, Faethor claimed to have later 'married' his great-great granddaughter--the very Erzebet who more than any other made that name infamous!  Such actually might account for much, not least the fact that Erzebet Bathori proved such an unusual vampire when the time came.

As far as anyone can tell, she seemed to have been diabolically cruel even in life, and grew only moreso after her husband "died" (or faked his death).  She'd found that bathing in blood had a regenerative effect upon her flesh--surely a sign of the Wamphyrie taint.  The motion picture Immoral Tales was a perfect example of how she pursued fresh blood in this way.  So too did the motion picture Countess Dracula. Yet the closest to conveying the true depths to which the Countess sank was Night of the Werewolf which chronicled some of this woman's effort to stave off time.  In truth, the efficacy of blood began to fade and so she made a pact with the forces of darkness, the details of which remain somewhat obscure.  From various account, including the motion picture Blood Scarab it seems clear she allowed herself to be bitten by either Dracula-Prime or (more likely) one of his early soul-clones--this despite her own preference for the touch of women rather than men.  One possibility is Dracula-Matthias with whom her name has been sometimes coupled.  But the bite, coupled with her own magic and the Wamphyrie taint in her blood, insured that in the event of her death she could rise as a full-fledged nosferatu.  Meanwhile, still breathing, she managed to enslave a male of the cursed Daninsky family line, a man doomed to become a werewolf.  Yet she was caught in the end, sealed in her tomb in the prescribed manner by the Inquisition.

And yet, she escaped.  Preparing the way, she left behind clues for future demonic occultists as well as a medallion that could be used to resurrect her (much as the soul-clone Denrom did).  Exactly when this happened is a matter of conjecture, but during the occult craze in the late Victorian or perhaps as late as the 1920s seems likely.  She was nearly destroyed at this time, at the fangs and claws of a Daninsky werewolf but now she demonstrated a power only seen in the most powerful of vampires -- she transferred her essence into another body.  And it was in the form, traveling amid Europe during the tumultuous twentieth century she sought to hone her powers, increase her body's natural strength to be the equal of what she felt it should be.  After all, she had to flee the sun.  She lacked the ability to change her shape.  Were it not for her sorcerous abilities to take over a different body the Countess would have perished in the 1970s, when a car accident resulted in an accidental staking!  These events can be seen chronicled in the film Daughters of Darkness.  Fortunately for her, a young and strong victim proved available and nearby.  And in this new, more vigorous form the Countess' exploits included her decadent seduction/serial killing as seen in the 2004 film Eternal.  However, having been nearly destroyed so many times, the Blood Countess was on the lookout for finding a way to transcend the limitations of her vampire state.

Which brings us to the aforementioned film Blood Scarab, which chronicles the Blood Countess' arrival in Los Angeles circa 2008 and taking over a castle from her "husband" Dracula (actually Dracula-Lykos).  She then scoured occult tomes for an immunity to sunlight, finding it at last in a possible pact with an Egyptian Deity.  Things did not go as planned, for said Deity believed Erzebet meant to betray the pact and so infused a living mummy to put an end to the perfidious noblewoman.  In fact a member of the Renfield family would seem to have arranged this confrontation, which (seemingly) resulted in yet another death for the infamous Blood Countess.

But recall, she has died before.  It seems wildly unlikely this resourceful creature could be so easily dispatched, especially since she had so recently entranced/turned a tiny harem of young women--any one of whom might have served as a Host.