Public Domain Super Heroes
The Vampire Master

Real Name

Van Horn

First Appearance

Out of the Night #5 (Oct. 1952)

Original Publisher


Created by

Richard Hughes and George Wilhelms


Deep in the jungles of Malaysia, the captain of the river boat Ellen G was chartered by a man named Van Horn to travel upriver to his plantation to collect a cargo. The native crew were fearful of going towards Van Horn's plantation, but the Captain and his first mate Steve ignored their warnings.

That night, the native fears proved justified when Van Horn revealed himself to be a vampire. He slew the wheel man, and revealed his "cargo" was in fact a horde of zombies he intended to take down river to search for new prey. The Captain, his daughter Ellen, and Steve jumped into the river to avoid the monsters, but Van Horn captured Ellen, intending to make her his bride.

The Captain returned to the ship to prepare for their getaway, while Steve tried to rescue Ellen. Steve fought Van Horn on a wooden raft, and was able to shove a broken pole into Van Horn's heart, slaying him. Returning to the ship, the the zombies continued to pursue them on rafts, Steve and the Captain released oil on the river, and burned the zombies when they set it on fire.

Powers and Abilities

Van Horn showed several abilities common to vampires. He drank blood, and he could transform into a giant bat (though the bat possessed a human face.) When in human form, he had a pair of giant bat wings coming out of his back. He didn't show any weakness to sunlight, being able to walk out in daytime.

His most powerful ability was to create and control zombies. The zombies were distinctly different from vampires like Van Horn. They were were clearly decayed corpses, and Van Horn described them as "dull witted. spiritless slaves." How exactly he created these zombies was not clearly explained.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Out of the Night #5