Children of the Night



Continued statement of Trevor Hebert, regarding the latter years of his career as a vampire hunter.

Original statement given July 10th, 2010.

Audio recording by Jonathan Sims, head archivist of the Magnus Institute, London.

Note: several pages are missing from the file around the time that he apparently did not die of lung cancer in the institute.

Statement resumes.


She died in the end.

Sad old thing but she didn’t deserve that. Always wondered what would have happened if I’d gotten there a bit sooner.

Trouble is, once they’ve really got their teeth into you you’re as good as dead even if they don’t drain you. Gushing on the floor or bloating a vampire’s belly doesn’t make much difference to the poor fool bleeding out.

I often wondered if I was mad, you know. I mean, no one else seems to have seen these things, and I found plenty across my life. Perhaps I just got the smell of them.

Like, no one else ever really got away and my early escape from Sylvia MacDonald gave me a sense that could pick them out.

There’s a sharpness to them. They’re hunters. But over the years I’ve become a hunter as well and maybe predators recognize each other. All I know is, these days I can almost smell the blood coming off them.

That’s not to say I can’t be wrong though. I can be very wrong indeed.

I found Alard Dupont in the summer of 1982 and murdered him shortly afterwards. I used the word murder here, where I have not before, because he was the only one I’ve killed I know to have been human.

In most ways I regret his death, but there is a certain comfort to it. If I was just a serial killer with a hallucination I don’t see why my mind wouldn’t have made Dupont vampire as well.

The fact that I was able to kill normal people reassures me that the creatures I hunt are real. Do you understand?

That’s not to say that the death of Alard Dupont wasn’t the result of several extremely bad decisions on my part. In the early 80s, I was deep in the grip of my twin addictions. As I mentioned, after a while the hunt became an addiction of its own. Of the two I have always found heroin the easier one to quit.

Heroin is calm. It’s a small chunk of peace in a world that’s full of nothing but hard edges. It’s hard to put that down permanently, but the hunt…

The hunt is a purpose. It’s not just a way to get through the day, it’s a reason for there to be a day at all.

I tried to give it up for a while after Dupont but it burned in me far deeper than any hitch I got when I was clocking.

Back in ‘82 though those addictions were running pretty much unchecked. It had been several years since I’d last found a vampire and every waking moment I wasn’t high was spent in keen lookout for anything suspicious.

I was in bad shape physically. I’d acquired an infection from injecting between my toes, which would eventually hospitalized me and lead to my losing two of them, though I luckily kept the foot. At that point though it just slowed me to a limp and caused me a reasonable amount of pain.

Perhaps if I’d been faster, able to keep up with Dupont more easily, I would have realized my mistake. Perhaps if my mind hadn’t been so fogged with brown I might have beaten it out, or perhaps if I hadn’t been so dead eager to kill another vampire any of these might have saved him. Maybe even if he’d had a name that didn’t make me think of Dracula.

But none of those things were the case, so dwelling on them is pointless.

I don’t know if Dupont was technically a mute or not. I’ve had no real experience with the condition and he didn’t seem to have any problems with his hearing.

Either way I never saw him speak, which by now I’m sure you know is what I would consider a significant warning sign for vampirism.

A friend of mine I shared a shelter with some weeks before, and who shared a similar weakness for narcotics, had mentioned how amazing it was that his dealer was always able to know exactly what he was after without either of them saying.

In retrospect I should have realized that it didn’t exactly match the vampires I’d met before, who’d never displayed any sort of mind-reading, but I was aching for a killer.

The kid who told me this was a weird one. Must have been about nineteen years old, told everyone his name was Stanley Kubrick. He was always making references to his film career, and I was never able to figure out if it was actually his real name that he happened to share with the director, or if it was just some weird joke he was really committed to.

What struck me about him more than that, though, were the scars on his neck.

I later discovered they were from a dog attack when he was younger, but at the time I was convinced they were connected to Dupont so I found were allowed Dupont made his handovers at Piccadilly Gardens and I started to watch.

He was surprisingly brazen about it – sat there on a park bench for hours smoking or reading some magazine or other. I’ve never seen a vampire read a magazine before, but I had seen them pantomime watching television or reading a book to better blend in, so it didn’t raise any suspicions for me.

Then came the moment that fully convinced me I had to kill Dupont.

As he sat there on the bench two policemen walked past me heading towards him. They took no notice of me, nobody notices a tramp.

But as they walked up the path towards the figure on the bench one of the police nudged his partner and gestured towards him. They clearly considered him suspicious and began to walk over.

As they got close though Dupont looked up and made eye contact with them.

They stopped just for a moment and he nodded gently. The policeman looked at each other, turned, and walked away.

That was all I needed to be sure of what he was.

The idea I have come to since then, that the two police officers were simply on the take and hadn’t immediately recognized him, didn’t occur to me until much later.

It was an overcast day and it seems to me that Dupont was keeping in the shadows just as I thought he would. I kept watching as he made a few more transactions.

I was craving a hit of my own by that point. There was a much more intense rush I was chasing just then and it pushed all thoughts of junk to the back of my mind.

Eventually evening fell and I watched Dupont rise from his bench and make his way down to the town center, keeping downwind of him and sticking to the shadows. Obviously the darkness would be no impediment to him spotting me but I’d learned that, inconspicuous as a homeless man might be, it’s still always best to be seen by as few witnesses as possible.

I figured he was heading towards a nightclub or dance, a favorite haunt of the vampire since the loud music makes their lack of speech that much easier to hide. I was right in as far as he headed towards the Hacienda, one of the loudest clubs in Manchester. It wasn’t as notorious then as it would later become, in fact I think it had only recently opened when all this happened. But even at its worst it would probably have drawn the line at allowing me entrance given the state I was in.

So I watched Dupont head inside, adopting my camouflage of softly asking passersby for change and waited.

It was about two hours later that he emerged, another man following close behind him. I didn’t recognize them, I mean there’s no reason I should have, but Dupont’s new friend was almost as big as he was.

Vampires tend to go for the smaller victims, those less able to defend themselves, should the initial surprise of their attack not be enough. This one really looked like he could take care of himself. Still, as far as I was concerned he had no idea what was about to happen to him. As Mr. Dupont led him down a nearby alley, I hurried after them.

I was quiet as I limped through the rubbish that covered the alleyway and I silently drew my trusty hammer. After a minute they turned in to a doorway and took out a key. The door opened and they both stepped inside.

I had a sudden alarm at the thought of getting locked out and being unable to reach him. Forgetting stealth, I grabbed the door and flung it open. They turned to face me.

I charged him with a cry, slamming the hammer into Dupont’s shoulder and knocking him to the ground with a sickening crack.

I will never forget the moment I heard Alard Dupont scream.

There was such a piercing sound and something I’d never expected. In a moment everything I’d built up in my head over the past couple of days shattered and I felt a sudden panic at what I’d done. What I was doing.

His friend screamed as well and started to run back out the door. I don’t know if he got a good look at me. Given the police never came around to question me I guess not.

Dupont was still screaming, that horrid sound overriding all other thoughts. Blood was streaming from his face where it had hit the ground and I didn’t know what to do. I had to get out of there, but that noise was too much.

I couldn’t focus, couldn’t do anything, so I hit him again. Hard. In the head. And then he was quiet, and everything was horribly still.

He just lay there.

I have never felt anything like the shame and disgust I felt at that moment.

I tried to burn his body more out of habit than anything else, but it didn’t really take and I fled out into the street before the police arrived.

After that I spent over a decade in a very serious spiral. I don’t remember much of it, except that I spent most of it so high that looking back I’m genuinely astounded I never OD’d. I only snapped out of it in ‘96 when a chance encounter with a creature that called itself Hannah Edwards led to my saving a young woman from becoming its dinner.

I won’t bother with details. It was very similar to my hunt for Jane Lewis except that the victim made it out alive this time.

I wonder why it is that I only ever seemed to find them just before they attack. It can’t be that they spent every night feeding, the world would be a bloodbath.

Maybe they just blend in better when they’re not on the hunt and I don’t spot them. Or maybe they hibernate. It’s not a question I think I’ll ever be able to answer, but it does mean that there is always an urgency to the hunts that has for the most part stopped me doing much investigation into them.

Hannah was my fifth confirmed vampire and the last one, assuming I don’t find another before the cancer takes me.

I really considered myself retired, resting after a life spent defending the world from the darkness. Because that’s what I thought it was, you know. Vampires were what lurked in the dark. The only thing that lurked in the dark.

Last year though, just before my diagnosis, I met something that made me rethink this.

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that winter is a hard time to be homeless. Doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done it, when that first cold wind blows through you it’s like some awful debt coming due.

The last one was really bad. A bunch of the shelters I normally hit up had closed up shop and those that were left tended to fill up fast.

I do pretty okay given I’m a well-known face and all that but I still felt the pressure to scrape enough cash together to secure my spot early. Even then there’d be a couple of times a week that I still ended up in the cold.

My old bones don’t do so well at that these days, so I was keeping quite a close eye on the comings and goings around the night shelters of Manchester, and after a few weeks I started to notice something strange.

Several times at a couple of different shelters I watched one of the sleepers get up in the middle of the night, gather their possessions, and walk out into the freezing streets of the city. To see it happen once would have been strange but to see it happen several times was surreal. I was sober at the time so I couldn’t even pass it off as a trick of the mind.

Even stranger, every time it happened, within 10 minutes a woman would walk in and take their place. It was the same one every time. She must have been about 40, and slender, though her clothes bulged a bit in odd places. Her face was lined from what I could recognize as a hard life and a thin layer of grime matted her hair.

She looked pretty normal for the place, and I could even write off the distant, neutral expression as the sort of trauma all too common among my people. That’s why I didn’t pay her any mind the first time it happened, or the second.

When I noticed it happening a third time I finally started to pay attention, though I didn’t approach her immediately.

I did ask about her the following morning but even the staff didn’t seem to know anything. I decided to keep a lookout and if she turned up again I would confront her.

Well, she did.

It was late January when it happened, about 2:00 in the morning. Just when the night was at its coldest. I saw one of my fellow sleepers get slowly out of bed. His name was Craig, I think. I didn’t know him well, he was a seasonal drifter and we’d only occasionally crossed paths.

Well, he walked out without a sound gathering up his belongings quietly and leaving an empty bed.

I waited wide awake, hand on my knife, breathing steady. Sure enough, a few minutes later, in she walks, no backpack or gear of any sort, and sat on Craig’s bed.

I stood up and walked towards her. As soon as she saw me her posture changed and she became defensive, although the expression on her face and never changed from that blankness.

I started to introduce myself and ask how come she was taking over Craig’s bed when she locked eyes with me, and the weirdest sensation began to flow through me. I wanted to leave. It wasn’t like with a vampire where I would feel like I’d been spoken to, this was just a sudden awareness of my own desire.

I’ve been sober for three years at that point but I felt like I desperately wanted to get high, and I knew that the best place to get some was out in the night.

Looking back I think it might have been my own mind rationalizing the way I felt my will being tugged out of the room, but it was still very powerful. If I hadn’t had a lifetime’s experience identifying and fighting off the effect of the vampire’s gaze I probably would have done it too. But I did, so I stood my ground.

There was a long pause as that woman gazed levelly at me.

Then she broke into a run through the door and out. I followed. Didn’t matter to me whether she was a vampire or not, there was something wrong and I wanted to find out what was going on.

I chased her out into the road. It was cold and still and if anyone saw us they didn’t make a sound.

She ran strangely, more like a spasm, smooth steps, and her arms shifted in weird ways as she moved. I’m not as spry as I once was and my lungs were obviously shot but I managed to keep pace with her.

I could feel it in my blood. It was a hunt and I always felt stronger on a hunt.

Finally I got close enough to grab her by the arm. My fingers locked around her elbow, and then they sort of sunk inside. They didn’t go through the skin or anything but it sort of shifted beneath my fingers like when you squeeze an uncooked sausage.

I could feel movement from inside the arm itself. It wasn’t a vampire but it definitely wasn’t human.

With this other arm it took a wide sweeping swing at me, but I was prepared and ducked below the flailing punch.

I got my knife to try and threaten the thing, maybe get it to answer some questions, but I misjudged the draw and ended up slashing it slightly across its stomach. It wasn’t a deep cut or a long one but apparently it was enough.

A whole body began to shudder as tiny shapes began to stream out of the wound.


Thousands and thousands of spiders.

She opened her mouth at last, as if to scream and more poured out. Tens of thousands of skittering legs and evil little eyes. I screamed and started to back up as the dark shapes pooled around her feet and spread out in a twitching circle.

For a second I was worried they were coming for me but then they just scurried off into the shadows and crevices of nearby buildings, until the street was empty of everything except this woman.

She was still standing upright, but from the open mouth, I could see that her body was completely hollow, save for a few cobwebs that I could just make out under the streetlights.

I ran the hell away and that’s the last creature I encountered.

That’s my whole story. You’re welcome to it.

When I thought it was just vampires about, I might have given you people as miss as a bunch of kooks. But if there’s other stuff around out there… maybe you know more about it than me.

And maybe you could use a bit more information on vampires.

It’s a shame I’m on the way out.

I will miss the hunt.


Statement ends.

[agitated] Well, this is certainly a surprise. Martin informed me that Mr. Herbert passed away after making his initial statement, so it is rather a shock to find this misfiled addition to his original, even if it is partially incomplete.

What’s more, actually checking the hospital and death records for both London and Manchester, I can’t find any record of Mr. Herbert’s death. Then again, I could find no record of him alive, either, after the date of the statement.

The idea that he could survive six years with untreated late-stage lung cancer is implausible, to say the least, and yet Alard Dupont’s death appears to match the statement in most of the particulars. He had a half dozen convictions against him for various drug charges or violent misdemeanors, but nothing exceptional.

I can’t find any indication of muteness, but aside from that, everything checks out.

As for the spider person, the only proof of its existence seems to be that I am far too unlucky for it to simply be an old tramp hallucination.

I need to have some words with Martin.

End recording.




Sit down.


What is–?


Sit. Why did you lie to me about Trevor?




[agitated] Why did you tell me he was dead?


Sorry, who’s… who’s Trev–


Trevor Herbert. The tramp? The vampire hunter. You told me he died.


[nervously] But I mean he… did. Didn’t he?


Apparently not.


Oh! Sorry.




I mean, I–I didn’t ever actually meet him. I just heard some of the other researchers mentioning it.


[whispered] *What?


Yeah, well, I could’ve sworn they said he died. I mean… maybe they just said he looks like death or something –




I really thought they said he was dead.


[venomously] So that’s it. Just a misunderstanding.


[stammering] Yes. You seem to be taking this kind of personal–


Because you keep lying to me, Martin!


About what?!


I don’t know. But you are.



Where did you get that? Have you been going through the bin?


It was in the old document room, just next to where you used to sleep. Your handwriting. “If the others find out I’ve been lying” – lying about what, Martin?


Look, just forget about it, okay? Please.


I can’t forget it. Everyone in this place has so many goddamn secrets and I can’t trust a word you say. Not about this and not about Trevor –


John, just–



[shouting] Martin!


Okay! Okay! Okay. Just… just… promise you won’t… fire me.


[scoffing] Fire you – fine.



I lied on my CV.




I don’t have a master’s in parapsychology. I don’t even have a degree.

I was 17, my mum, she had – she had some problems and I ended up dropping out of school trying to support us. I tried everything but nowhere was hiring, so I just kind of started to lie on my application, sending them out to just about anywhere.

For some reason my lie about parapsychology got me an interview with Elias and – and then a job here. But most of my employment details are made up. I’m only 29.


[slight laugh] Right, I–I… uh… I believe you.


…why are you smiling?


[audibly smiling] Yes, um, I jus… I won’t mention it to Elias. Just between us.


[hesitant] So you don’t mind?


To be quite honest, Martin,, I’m really rather relieved.