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by Montague Summers


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Montague Summers (1880-1948) was suposedly a member of the Roman Catholic clergy. There is a 25 year gap in his biography during which it is speculated he dabbled in the dark arts. Summers wrote numerous serious books about the witch hunts, vampires, werewolves, and other occult subjects. He violently disagreed with Margaret Murray, and advocated the death penalty for witches!

In this work Summers discusses the vampire phenomena from a relentless Catholic perspective; he either belives in the literal reality of vampires, or is pulling our leg. However, this is not a hoax. This book has all of the apparatus to qualify as an academic study, including footnotes, extensive quotations in the original languages, and references to rare source documents. Of particular interest is the final chapter, which traces the development of the vampire craze in 19th century literature.

--John Bruno Hare, January 29th, 2002

A reader has contributed the following information, which clears up some of the murk about Summer's academic career and clerical background (and also supplies a middle name which is not found anywhere in his bibliography):

There is an entry for Summers in Crockford's Clerical Dictionary, 1909, p. 1394, col. b:

Summers, Argustus (sic) Montague, Bitton, Bristol.--Trin.Coll.Ox. BA 1905, MA 1906. Lich.Theol.Coll. 1904. Ordained 1908 Bristol. Curate of Bitton, Dio. Bristol. 1908.

"He was ordained as an Anglican (Church of England) priest: I was unable to find any mention of him in the Catholic Directory so [I] 'deduce' that he was high church and left to become a Roman though whether his priesthood went with him, or not, I do not know."

Title Page
Chapter I. The Origins of the Vampire
Chapter II. The Generation of the Vampire
Chapter III. The Traits and Practice of Vampirism
Chapter IV. The Vampire in Assyria, the East, and Some Ancient Countries
Chapter V. The Vampire in Literature