Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. He is the author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), Dragons: A Natural History (1995), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), The Unexplained (1996), From Flying Toads To Snakes With Wings (1997), Mysteries of Planet Earth (1999), The Hidden Powers of Animals (2001), The Beasts That Hide From Man (2003), Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), Dragons in Zoology, Cryptozoology, and Culture (2013), The Menagerie of Marvels (2014), A Manifestation of Monsters (2015), Here's Nessie! (2016), and what is widely considered to be his cryptozoological magnum opus, Still In Search Of Prehistoric Survivors (2016) - plus, very excitingly, his first two long-awaited, much-requested ShukerNature blog books (2019, 2020).

Dr Karl Shuker's Official Website - http://www.karlshuker.com/index.htm

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Tuesday 21 December 2010


With poster block of Kiefer Sutherland in the cult vampire-biker movie 'The Lost Boys'

As you may know, highly-acclaimed graphic artist Andy Paciorek and I are planning various collaborations. One of these may result in a future book on supernatural entities of the night. Consequently, I'm currently preparing some samples of text for it, and here, in an exclusive preview, is one of them. I hope you enjoy it!


Alone with the ghosts of days long departed, stretching back in silent homage, I dream that I am gazing into a looking glass and fancy that I see there, staring back out at me, a tall grim shadow, a wraith in human form that haunts my very being, chills my innermost essence with its dread pallid countenance, mesmerising and yet also captivating me with its icy doom. I have so many questions to ask this creature of darkness and night, I scarcely know where to begin.

Why do you and your kind exist?

“We exist to remind humanity that sometimes not even death can bring release from the evil that is nurtured in life. We exist to feed upon the fear that such realisation generates, to feed and grow stronger and wait.”

But why feed upon blood too?

“Blood is life, blood symbolises all that has dried up and long since disappeared from our shrivelled, exsanguinated existence. When we imbibe it, we are temporarily regenerated, rejuvenated, and reborn. For a short span of time, we are fully alive, even if only during the veiled hours of night. We may never feel the warmth of the sun, but we are sustained by the coolness of the moon and by the fire of the stars, nourishing and restoring us, empowering our living death with deathless life.”

I stand before this mirrored being of nightmare, and imagine with trembling electric horror its long slender fangs pressing so softly, imperceptibly, against my exposed neck, seeking the throbbing jugular beneath before sliding within, to freeze forever my existence with a single scarlet-trickling kiss of eternity.


“Life is fleeting, death is immortal. Those who become one of us shall persist forever.”

But what kind of existence will it be? Nothing but an undead, half-living, surely, surrounded by death but unable to find release.

“True enough, but that is the punishment for having lived an evil life. Only a stake or the burning caress of sunlight can end our torment, and then shall we decay and crumble, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, our long-postponed mortality finally upon us. Until then, we must linger, and hunger, and wonder...”

Only a dream, and a foolish, impossible dream at that. True, now that I am awake again I could indeed stand before the looking glass. Yet I know only too well that to do so would be futile, it would serve no purpose. How could I hope to elicit answers from my own reflection? After all, being a vampire I would have no reflection...

'Kiss' - Sue Woodlace(?), 1994

I'd very much like to include this wonderful artwork in a future publication of mine, so I've been trying to trace its artist for a very long time, ever since I purchased my numbered print of it, in fact, one Sunday afternoon in 1994 at the Sunday market formerly held regularly at the Holiday Wharf in Birmingham, England. I can't quite read her signature on the picture - her surname may be Woodlace, Woodlane, Woodlore, or even something else entirely! - but if anyone reading this blog has any information regarding her identity and/or current contact details, I'd love to hear from you!


  1. As a young boy I recall looking forward to friday nights with my dad, watching Cushing and Lee battle it out in the old b&w hammer films.
    Even back then there was pity in my heart for old drac and the vampires.Would it be our sins that transformed us into these creatures or a simple fang in the neck? Anyway always found it an interesting subject with the affect garlic has on the blood,sunlight, wooden stakes and crucifix.. I'm looking forward to this Karl !!

  2. Thanks very much for your kind words! All the best, Karl

  3. I know this is several years after the fact but I can tell you the 'Kiss' artist is Sue Woodlore. I'm trying to track her down too as my partner has a couple of her prints and we'd both like to see more.

    1. Thanks very much indeed for this useful information, I'm very pleased to know the correct name at last of this talented artist.