Public Domain Super Heroes
Lord Ruthven

Real Name

Lord Ruthven

First Appearance

"The Vampyre" (in The New Monthly Magazine, April, 1819)

Original Publisher

Henry Colburn

Created by

Dr. John William Polidori


Lord Ruthven is a man of mysterious origins who has entered London society. A young man named Aubrey meets Ruthven and accompanies him to Rome, but leaves him after Ruthven seduces the daughter of a mutual acquaintance. Aubrey travels to Greece where he becomes attracted to Lanthe, an innkeeper's daughter. Lanthe tells Aubrey about the legends of the vampire. Ruthven arrives at the scene and shortly thereafter Ianthe is killed by a vampire. Aubrey does not connect Ruthven with the murder and rejoins him in his travels. The pair are attacked by bandits and Ruthven is mortally wounded. Before he dies, Ruthven makes Aubrey swear an oath that he will not mention his death or anything else he knows about Ruthven for a year and a day. Looking back, Aubrey realizes that everyone who Ruthven met ended up suffering.

Aubrey returns to London and is amazed when Ruthven appears shortly thereafter, once again alive. Ruthven reminds Aubrey of his oath to keep his death a secret. Ruthven then begins to seduce Aubrey's sister while Aubrey, helpless to protect his sister, has a nervous breakdown. Ruthven and Aubrey's sister are engaged to marry on the day the oath ends. Aubrey writes a letter to his sister revealing Ruthven's history and dies. The letter does not arrive in time. Ruthven marries Aubrey's sister, drains her blood on their wedding night, and escapes.

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