ABRAHAM VAN HELSING
Real Name: Abraham Van Helsing
Place of Birth: somewhere in the Netherlands
Marital Status: Widowed/Remarried
Known Relatives: father, mother (names unrevealed, deceased), Boris (brother, deceased), Elizabeth (wife, deceased), unnamed son (deceased), second wife (name unrevealed, deceased), Jeremiah (son, deceased), August (grandson, deceased), granddaughter-in-law (name unrevealed, deceased), Rachel Van Helsing (great-granddaughter, deceased); Noah Tremayne (adopted great-grandson) Rachel van Helsing (ancestor, deceased), Rebecca Van Helsing, Richard Van Helsing (descendants),
Base of Operations: London, England
First Appearance: (literary) Dracula (1897); (motion pictures) Dracula (1933), (comics) Tomb of Dracula I #1
History: Abraham Van Helsing was an obscure Dutch anthropology professor from the late 19th Century. In the course of his career, he taught in both Germany, the Netherlands and in Great Britain at the University of Leyden, Trinity College and Oxford University, where he taught anthropology and both secular and religious philosophy. While traveling abroad during a sabbatical, he came across a book by Augustin Calmet about the existence of vampires and after perusing and studying the subject, published a book of his own, "On the Existence of Vampires," which established him at the time as the first truly leading scientific authority on the subject.
Following his marriage to Elizabeth Cromwell, his former assistant, Van Helsing learned from lawyers that he had inherited land from a distant relative living in Romania. While he remained in Bistritz to study a collection of Hun and Magyar artifacts, Elizabeth went onward to the property which was believed to be haunted to get it ready for them, but by time he caught up with her days later, he discovered her missing and several corpses in the basement with burn marks over bite wounds in the neck. Using his knowledge of vampires and his own detective work, he discovered Elizabeth had been abducted by a coven called the Children of Judas who believed themselves to be vampires. They kept Elizabeth alive to feed on her, but Van Helsing failed to save her in time, and she died in his arms.
News coverage of the story made Van Helsing reputation through Europe, and he was briefly a guest of the Prussian Government in 1862. In 1890, while he was teaching pathology in London, Van Helsing was called by a former student, Dr. Jack Seward to lend his professional medical advice on the bizarre medical illness of socialite Lucy Westenra, who was dying of a mysterious loss of blood. The bizarre case brought him to meet a foreign dignitary named Count Vlad Dracula who owned adjoining property known as Carfax Abbey. Van Helsing believed Dracula was the 15th Century Romanian prince, Vlad Tepes, who maintained a nearly immortal existence as a vampire. Lucy died as a result of her encounter with Dracula, but Van Helsing managed to save the life of her best friend, Mina Murray, Dracula's next victim, the fiancée of solicitor Johnathan Harker. Van Helsing used the lore of vampires to destroy Dracula, but Dracula or possibly several men who believed themselves to be Dracula came to terrorize him several times in his life. Around 1897, several letters and journals of Van Helsing turned up in a swap meet that were sold to struggling author Bram Stoker who developed the story of Van Helsing's encounter with Dracula into a novel. The novel, "Dracula," was published as a fictitious work, and Van Helsing erroneously became known in history as a fictitious character.
Following the encounter, Van Helsing was recruited by British police and European constabularies through Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Greece to investigate vampire-style murders. In only a few of these cases did Van Helsing find actual vampire activity which he helped to end. He eventually fell in love with a new assistant and married, having a son in the late 1890s, but his mysterious sudden death in 1903 left many of his family members convinced that Dracula had somehow returned to life and returned to kill him. As a result, several of his descendants have followed him as paranormal researchers, occult experts and vampire killers.
A fictitious version of Van Helsing's accomplishments was made into a movie "Van Helsing" in 2004 starring actor Hugh Jackman.
Abilities: Dr. Abraham Van Helsing was a brilliant physician, medial expert and anthropologist with four degrees and a doctorate in medicine, philosophy, literature and law. He also had a particularly strong will and could retain control of his own mind over Dracula's efforts to hypnotize him. He also has extensive knowledge in arcane lore and superstition, including the powers of anathema powers in certain substances such as garlic, silver, Holy Water and wolfsbane and their effects to ward off unholy creatures, such as vampires and evil spirits.
Case Files: Castle Dracula (date uncertain), Carfax Abbey (date uncertain), Castle Cachtice/Castle Bathory (date uncertain), Munster Castle (date uncertain), et al.
Source/Comments: Abraham Van Helsing is a fictional character created by Bram Stoker; he has been portrayed in television and the movies by Sir Laurence Olivier, Anthony Hopkins, Peter Cushing, Mel Brooks, Edward Van Sloane, Herbert Lom, Jack Palance, Peter Fonda and Christopher Plummer.
Van Helsing's history has been adapted from his appearances in Marvel Comics and includes plot points from several of the movies, including Dracula's Daughter, Brides of Dracula, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Prominent Van Helsing descendants include Rachel Van Helsing (Marvel Comics), Lawrence Van Helsing (Dracula AD 1972), Lorrimar Van Helsing (Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires), Professor Abraham Van Helsing (Dracula 2000), Conrad and Adam Van Helsing (Warren Publishing), Jeffrey Rosenberg (Love At First Bite) and Gustav Van Helsing (Dracula: The Series).