Phantom Archers

Real Name


First Appearance

The Bowmen (Sept. 29, 1914)

Original Publisher

London Evening News

Created by

Arthur Machen


In August of 1914, a report is made by British soldiers of mysterious Phantom Archers appearing to assist them against the German soldiers.

A writer by the name of Ian Bowes-Clidden is called to serve Britain against the Germans. When fighting alongside his fellows, Colonel Ian observes green, poison gas sent out by the Germans. Ian was the first to see a Phantom Archer, more appearing and more seeing them as time passed. The Archers began firing on the Germans, quickly dispatching many of them. The remaining German solders fled the scene.

Ian is returned to England and told to not speak of the incident. One of the Phantom Archers appears to him and tells him to write about them when he can.

Powers and Abilities

The Phantom Archers are incorporeal and translucent, and can appear or disappear at will. They are highly skilled in archery.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Strange #3
  • The Legend of Mons: and other Legends of the War


  • A re-telling of events at the battle of Mons, where angels purportedly appeared to assist the British soldiers.
  • This story likely originated in Arthur Machen's story, The Bowmen.
  • Machen says he created the story while singing a hymn in church.
  • Machen apologized for the related rumors in the introduction to The Angel of Mons, a collection of war stories.
  • When the editor of The Occult Review asked Machen if there was any fact to the events in the story, Machen replied that there was none at all.

See Also

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