THE MANY FACES OF VAN HELSING “SO FAR FROM US IN ALL WAYS” (SHORT STORY BY CHRIS ROBERSON)
Release Date: April 2004 (Setting is 1860)
Series: Dracula (Bram Stoker)
Horror Crosses: Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Non-Horror Crosses: Fu Manchu
The Story: After the death of his child and commitment of his wife, Van Helsing decides to run away from his problems by taking a job in China. He escorts a body to China, and is accompanied by a priest named Master Xi and a young man named Fu Zheng Lei who may be a young Fu Manchu. They find themselves pursued by the last of 7 vampire warrior brothers.
Notes: Chris Roberson is one of my favorite authors of crossover fiction, and should I get around to writing the Sci-Fi Crossover Encyclopedia, I will be able to present my greatest case for my opinion. This story brings in Hammer Film’s Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, which is a piece that supports Chuck Loridans’ soul-clone theory. This story also brings in Fu Manchu, though only his original stories by Sax Rohmer and any crossovers in this book.
DRACULA (NOVEL BY BRAM STOKER)
Release Date: May 27, 1897 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Dracula (Bram Stoker)
The Story: The undead Count Dracula, known in life as the 15th century Prince Vlad, the Impaler, lives in Transylvania, but comes to London with grand plans never truly stated, but with a side goal of taking young Jonathan Harker’s fiance Mina Murray as his bride since she seems to be the reincarnation of his former bride from his living years. Professor Abraham Van Helsing comes to the aid of the young couple and helps to slay the vampire and his minions.
Notes: In the Horror Universe, it seems that there is more than one Dracula. Indeed, Dracula means “son of the dragon”, and dragon is another name for Satan. I believe that in fact, Dracula was the name given to the Vampire Lords of this cult, and these Lords were allowed the title Dracula. This accounts for many different variations of Dracula that all seem to be in the same reality. To take things a step further, it seems that this Dracula, who is based on the real historical figure of Vlad the Impaler, is the head of the Draculas, and has been gifted with a method of creating soul clones. This is a theory created by MONSTAAH researcher Chuck Loridans, and which has been incorporated into published works that are part of the Horror Universe, making it official. The full details of this theory can be found at http://monstaah.angelfire.com/the-monstaah-case-files.html, and this site includes a timeline and many essays. Though I love the timeline and essays, I am not considering any of it as canon unless it works its way into published works that get “crossed in”. But to sum up the theory itself, which is in, there are times when Dracula needs to rest, and he “turns” a human into a vampire, but also, embeds that new vampire with a type of mind control where the vampire to some degree believes himself to be THE count, with some of his memories merged with the original person’s personality thrown in. Dracula then sends the person off to carry out his plans while he slumbers and recharges. Sometimes he has more than one clone. His ability to control the clones, versus them taking charge for themselves, depends on various factors, such as how weak Dracula had been, how many clones are active, how far away the clones are from their master, and how strong the will of the clone is. Chuck Loridans says: “The soul-clone theory is based upon events recorded in the Hammer film, The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. In this film’s 1804 opening, Kah, a Chinese wizard, travels to Transylvania to seek Dracula’s aid in reviving seven evil vampires. Kah’s wish is to be the master of these vampires himself, so that he may hold a reign of terror over China. What he soon learns is that you can’t cut deals with the Prince of Darkness. Dracula is intrigued with the idea of ruling an army of vampires, even if it is not in his native country. Dracula proclaims the wizard a fool, and grabs him by his throat. A swirling mist envelopes them both, and when we next see Kah’s body, he has the mind and voice of Dracula. When Kah departs, Dracula is nowhere to be seen. We next see Kah in 1904 China. He is destroyed by Lawrence Van Helsing, but before he turns to ashes, he reveals what Van Helsing already knew, that Kah was indeed Count Dracula. From this information, one might assume that Dracula used his shapeshifting abilities to transform himself into the wizard, travel to China, and rule the seven vampires. But if Dracula, in Kah form, was in China from 1804 to 1904, Dracula’s confrontations with Abraham Van Helsing, and later his son Lawrence Van Helsing, are impossible. Abraham fought Dracula in the year 1897 (Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, though some would argue that perhaps the actual events of the story took place ten years earlier, in 1887), and Lawrence, from 1895 to 1910 (see Hammer Films Dracula series). In Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, Van Helsing and Dracula acknowledge that they have met before. So the ‘soul-clone’ theory was born. Why does Dracula make soul-clones? It is shown time and time again that Dracula is strongest when surrounded by the soil of his native Transylvania, and is in peril if he does not have a supply of it nearby. From this one can assume that this soil is one of his sources of strength, fuel, if you will. Nowhere can a greater supply of this soil be found than in Transylvania itself. My theory is that the longer the Prince of Darkness rests in this soil, the stronger he becomes. Lying in the dirt for extended periods of time, however, is not helpful when one plans to rule the world. He needs field agents with great power to traverse the globe, setting his plans into motion. So he makes soul-clones, beings with powers almost equal to his. Living (or undead) puppets, which Dracula exists through, hears through, sees through, and drinks through, all while his original body lies sleeping, gathering power.”
THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES (FILM)
Release Date: 1974 (Setting is 1904)
Series: Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Horror Crosses: Dracula (Bram Stoker)
The Story: Kah is a Chinese monk who also happens to be the vampire leader of the 7 Golden Vampires. He comes to Dracula’s castle to seek the aid of the count, but instead the count possesses the monk. Years later, Professor Lawrence Van Helsing is lecturing in China when he gets involved in fighting six of the seven remaining golden vampires along with seven martial artist brothers.
Notes: This film was the inspiration for Chuck Loridans’ soul clone theory. The story of what became of the seventh golden vampire is later told by Chris Roberson in the Many Faces of Van Helsing. This film follows the Satanic Rites of Dracula. It was remade in 2003 in the Era of Vampires. The film has been referenced in Dust Devil, Don’t Wake the Dead, and From Dusk Till Dawn 3.