Friday 18 April 2014

AtoZ Day 16: P is for Priest, Pey, Priest

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Since I am white British stock and I have been preprogrammed with certain vampire literature whenever I think priest, I see a man in black with a white collar holding a cross. It is an iconic image from many a vampire film and book.

I think some of the most interesting moments in vampires films come when the priest, the man of god, fails because the reality of a vampire causes his faith to crumble. Salem's Lot has a great scene where this happens.

Of course there are other kinds of priests in the world and in legend they can offer different kinds of protection from vampires. In Asian legend a priest can provide written spells that will render the vampire immobile and powerless. The idea that a holy man can protect against what threatens the very soul is a logical one and so they play a big part in vampire lore.

Who is your favourite fictional priest character in a vampire or horror film?

Creature Feature:


This is a male vampire spirit from India. It feeds on battle grounds, drinking the blood of those wounded in the fighting according to The Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology. This source also says that once the body is drained these killers take it home to eat the rest.

However and Enchanting Gardens say that there is a much nastier female version of this vampire, the Peymakilir who eats the flesh of the dead and dying. These sources also suggest that the pey may be a merciful death for a wounded soldier.

Movie Recommendation:

Title: Priest
Rating: 12A
Summary: In a dystopian world a veteran warrior priest goes against the orders of his church to seek out and rescue his niece who has been kidnapped by vampires. The war with the vampires is supposed to be over, but there are battles left to be fought.
Why you should watch this: It's not my favourite vampire film and it has a lot of problems, but it is action packed and entertaining enough. It also has Paul Bettany and Karl Urban so there is also eye candy.
(#16 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Ianthe didn't know what she was expecting from the results of the ritual she and Alex had performed. He had said she would dream of her attacker, but she definitely hadn't thought to end up walking around looking out of someone else's eyes. Almost as soon as Alex had helped her to her rooms she had fallen into bed, but it had to have been past dawn as she dreamed, because she could see natural light wherever she was. It might have been more useful if she had known what the man was thinking, but all she received was the results of his senses.

She couldn't see her new body, of course, but she knew it was him, just like she knew she was dreaming. She'd never had a lucid dream before and it was very strange. Everything around her, sights, smells, tastes had a slightly surreal quality to it, but she was fully aware of everything. It was most odd being in another body; because it was not her own she appeared to be noticing everything in each simple movement.

She seemed to have missed her assailant rising in the morning, because he was already dressed and on the move. It felt like a routine, although she had no idea how she came to that conclusion.

It wasn't too much of a surprise when the man walked into a small room and one side was clearly set up as an altar. There was a large ornate cross sitting right in the centre with an old-looking bible to the right and a chalice to the left. She had never been one for church, but she recognised the trappings. There was even the heavy smell of incense in the air.

As she watched through his eyes, her assailant genuflected, giving her the first glimpse of his hands and arms. He appeared to be wearing a black shirt and his skin was very pale. When he knelt down all she could do was wait.

He started speaking, but even though she recognised Latin, she had no idea what he was saying. She knew enough to guess that the setup was Roman Catholic.

The whole thing was incredibly uninteresting for a while, because she didn't understand what he was saying and it seemed to just be a service of some kind. He moved around, performing little ritualistic movements, and she was pretty sure there was something significant about the way he drank from the chalice, but she couldn't remember what. All she knew was that the wine was way too sweet and cloying for her taste. When the man went silent, having once again knelt down she thought something might be coming.

"Lord, I beg your forgiveness," he finally spoke in English; "I failed in your work last night. I had his child in my grasp and I allowed her to escape. Forgive your servant his sin and bless my task."

For the first time he lifted his head and looked directly at the cross in the centre of the altar. His eyes reflected back in the smooth surface at the centre and she could see the same zeal as she had seen the night before. Unfortunately there wasn't enough surface area to see his face properly. All she could make out was a distorted mouth and one other thing; a white collar among all the black.

"He's a priest," she whispered and what she was seeing suddenly span.

It felt as if something in her chest snapped like old, frayed twine and her eyes snapped open to reveal her own room. Gasping in air, she sat up. There was no pause between thought and action as she scrambled out from under the covers and all but ran across the room. Alex's door was open when she got there.

"He's a priest," she repeated her revelation.

"I know," Alex said, clearly having just climbed out of bed himself; "I dreamed as well. It was unclear, but you pulled me along."

It didn't look as if Alex had been expecting that.

"I thought the church gave up their crusade against supernatural years ago," she said.

"It did, mostly," Alex replied.

"So why is a priest coming after me?"

"I don't know," was not the reply she wanted to hear.

"Have you heard of him?" she demanded and realised belatedly that she was being somewhat petulant.

"I am unsure," was the less than satisfactory response, "but I shall make some enquiries. Meanwhile I suggest you get some more sleep."

"I'm not going to be able to sleep after this," she protested.

Alex did not look impressed.

"Then go and play with your dog," was the put-upon reply.

It was then Ianthe remembered Lilith and turned to find her hellhound standing in the doorway looking vaguely worried.

"Dammit," she said; it appeared that all she had managed to do with the dream was ruffle some feathers.

She had been hoping for so much more. Maybe a full dossier of where to find the madman.

A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

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  1. I think of the priest in The Exorcist. Tough guy.

    Saw you at #AZchat

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    1. Thanks for dropping by :) He was indeed a very tough guy.

  2. I never thought of you as a white British girl. More of a white girl from Brittan.

    The Priest from John Carpenter's Vampire comes to mind. Holding a gun to his own head, knowing that such an act would send him to tell, but still does it anyways.

    1. I'm really quite British :) I'm pasty white, I don't tan, I avoid bright sunlight and I don't like hot climates ... so yeah, British, or possibly vampiric, but I tend to prefer tea ;)
      Oh yes, he was a good one.

  3. Yeah, to echo Arlee, the FIRST priest who comes to my mind is the guy in The Exorcist. It wasn't a vampire movie, but it is a movie that puts a priest as a character I will never forget.

    1. It's a very unforgettable movie all round :). I actually read the book long before seeing the film and it has always stuck in my mind.

  4. i couldnt think of any priest ryt nw! i am still thinking abt the story i read at the end! oh it was so gripping! loved it
    a-z participant

  5. I'm with Arlee and Jolie, The priest which springs to mind for me is in The Exorcist.
    I loved Priest, but as you mentioned, with Paul Bettany playing the leading role, who wouldn't! ;)
    For some strange reason, Alex is growing on me. Don't quite know why though?

    1. I am so looking forward to Avengers 2 because it won't just be Paul Bettany's voice, it will actually be him in it :).
      Maybe Alex isn't all bad? ;)

  6. Has to be the priest, Adam Guiteau, from John Carpenter's Vampires, because he's not that kick arse, but he does what needs to be done and comes through in the end.
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  7. Priest was mine. There's just something about his character that draws me in.

  8. I'm not much into vampire movies or books, but I used to love watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I remember Caleb, evil to the core, dressed in a priest's uniform. That might be a true example of irony.

    1. I missed out on Caleb - I have to admit I gave up watching before he came on the scene. I was really involved up until Glory, then I kind of stopped. I understand he was very evil though.

  9. SALEM'S LOT is one of the scariest books I've ever read. I re-read it a few years ago, while vacationing in a pretty isolated, woodsy place. Bad idea. Really bad idea.

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
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    1. I love that book and I love both mini-series. It's Ralphy Glick floating outside his brother's window that always gets me - shudder inducing!

  10. A priest? Sounds like Alex is the real motive since he was pulled into the dream? Uh-Oh.

  11. I liked parts of the movie Priest, and am a big fan of Karl Urban.

    Looks like the priest is heading for Alex through Ianthe. Uh-oh.

    1. Karl Urban is hot and talented - a very nice combination. He also looks damn good in a loin cloth, ah, I used to love him as cupid.


  12. Priest always conjures the exact same image in mind.

  13. In my supernatural-thriller series there is one book featuring vampires and I did a little twist with the traditional priest character in vampire stories. In my story, the vampires have their own sort of world and religion, so I created vampire priests, cardinals, as well as a bishop and pope. Of course I gave them different titles though.

    1. Very interesting idea considering how religion is supposed to repel vampires in more vampire law :)

  14. I did like Priest. The hive aspect was truly unique.

    It's been a long times since I researched the different types of vampires, but I do remember coming across pey. Thanks for the reminder!

    True Heroes from A to Z

    1. You're welcome, I hadn't heard of them before my current research :) - I've had so much fun learning about all the type.

  15. Absolutely love Salem's Lot! The Priest was a good movie, too. But, like you, not my favourite vampire flick.

    1. Yes, it's not bad, but it was just missing a little something for it to make it into my favs list :)

  16. It always intrigues me to discover the types of creatures in your posts, like the Pey. The story heats up as a priest takes centre stage and I loved that scene.

  17. Hmm. The closest is Van Helsing. He is not exactly a priest, but he fills that role.

    Timothy S. Brannan
    The Other Side, April Blog Challenge: The A to Z of Witches
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  18. My favorite priest is from hellsing. He hunts vamps but is crazy as a loon!


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