full body - profile HORACE GRIMSTONE

Real Name: Horace Grimstone

Human vampire
    possibly pre-modern era

Occupation: Predator

Group Membership: Vampires of Earth

Affiliations: None revealed

Enemies: Formerly Morgan Dawkins;
    those he worked with weren't his enemies...they just thought he was weird

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    at least formerly
Metropolitan General Hospital, the Bronx, New York (see comments)

First Appearance: Vampire Tales#7/2 (October, 1974)

refurbed vampire facePowers/AbilitiesLike most vampires, Grimstone presumably superhuman strength (typically enhanced human) and required regular blood meals to survive; further, feeding on a human victim would turn that victim into a vampire, depending on the extent of the feeding and other circumstances. Many vampire victims take three days to revive as a vampire, but Grimstone revived in less than 24 hours.
    Grimstone presumably has the standard vampire vulnerabilties, including religious icons (presumably proportional to the strength of the wielder's faith), garlic, sunlight, and a wooden stake through the heart.

    As a human, Grimstone had delusions of being a vampire, and he avoided sunlight and churches and even drank blood.

Height: Approximately 5'7"
Weight: Approximately 180 lbs.
Eyes: Red; original color unrevealed (possibly brown)
Hair: Brown

original teeth - disappointmentHistory:
Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - His eyes sensitive to sunlight, Horace enjoyed sleeping during the day and working at night. 

(Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Horace came to believe he was a vampire.

(Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Horace got a job as night watchman in the blood bank at Metropolitan General Hospital. 

(Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - Each night, Horace awakened at midnight, dilligently and meticulously brushed his teeth; despite being disappointed that there wer no fangs, his teeth meant a great deal to him.

(Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - Each night, Horace left his apartment in its tenement building and hit the streets by 12:22 AM.

(Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - Each night, though it was only a 13 minute walk to the subway station, Horace went 8 minutes out of his way to avoid walking past a church.

(Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - Each night, Horace rode the subway for 15 minutes, arriving at 12:58 just across the street from the hospital.upper body

(Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - Each night, Horace arrived at the hospital precisely at 1 AM. He often greeted the nurse, speaking in an exaggerated Transylvanian accent. Occasionally, he overheard subsequent ridicule, but it didn't bother him, he liked his job: He liked the night hours, he liked his privacy, and he liked guarding the neatly shelved bottles of "plasma." (see comments).

(Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - His vampire fetish/delusion led Horace to drink a pint of blood from the blood bank each night.

(Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - Horace's apartment was furnished largely in neglect and filth.

(Vampire Tales#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - As state law forbade paying donors for blood, the hospital began to face a crippling shortage of blood. This made the hospital take notice of apparent errors in Horace's inventory reports.

(Vampire Tales#7/2) - Howard performed his nightly routine. As he reached the hospital, he greeted the nurse at the desk, "Goot eev-en-inggg. Your complexion, my dear, is as healthy as ever. You must like onions -- they are good for the blood, you know." (see comments)

    As he walked away, the doctor commented, "Old weird Horace again, huh?" 

    And the nurse responded, "Yeah -- it's no wonder he's not on the day shift. The less people who seek that kook, the better."

    Perhaps overhearing this, Horace was unconcerned, and went into the blood supply room. He was unconcerned by reading newspaper reports about the blood shortage hitting hospitals, as he had plenty of blood for himself.

    drinking blood from blood bankLater, Horace's hands trembled in excitement (or mock addiction) as he broke the seal on a bottle of blood and drank deeply. Just as he was finishing, he had to stop abruptly and hide the bottle as a doctor entered and asked to talk to him. The doctor talked about the shortage of blood, and Horace agreed with the precious nature of blood, but then the doctor told him that his inventory had been in error, as they were 30 pints of blood short in the last month alone. As the current month's report was due the next day, the doctor would be making the report himself, and he warned Horace that if there were any discrepancies between their stock and their allocation minus usage, they were going to have let him go.

    Realizing the trouble and not wanting to lose his precious job, which he would if he failed to account for the 30 pints he had consumed this month, Horace desperately filled 30 empty "plasma" bottles with water and then added iodine to make them red (see comments). Pleased with his ingenuity, he placed all of the iodine-water bottles back on the shelves.

    The vampire Morgan Dawkins suddenly burst through the window of the blood storage room, grabbed Horace Grimstone, and then bit into his neck -- as a terrified Horace, who had never imagined being a vampire could be like this -- and drank a large volume of blood via his jugular vein. Satisfied, Dawkins turned into a bat and flew off into the night.

    Drawn by the sound of shattering glass, hospital staff members rushed in and found Grimstone. Recognizing his severe anemia, they quickly and skillfully prepared somed blood transfusions for him. Though they would have been in time to save Grimstone, the iodine-water they used proved insufficient, and Grimstone died.

    That night, however, Grimstone awakened in the city morgue as a true vampire. He grinned a large grin, as he knew his new vampiric fangs would no longer be a source of disappointment for him.

CommentsCreated by Doug Moench and Billy Graham.

    The second time he's named, he's called Grimston, rather than Grimstone, but it's Grimstone in each other reference I see.

    original vampire faceGrimstone had a nicely refurbished image in the Vampires: The Marvel Undead handbook. I'm including the original, unrefurbished image for your viewing enjoyment.

    While unconfirmed, it may be that Grimstone's story took place at the time it was published, rather than being part of the sliding time scale...that would put it in October, 1974, or 26 years before the transformation of the Fantastic Four...as of 2015, anyway. That would be my preference. Given the glass bottles holding the blood, it sure seems like it would have an older story, but that could just be topical.

    Grimstone would presumably have been destroyed by the Montesi Formula, in Dr. Strange II#62, but would also presumably have been restored via the prophecy spell in Blade III#12.

    Grimstone worked at Metropolitan General Hospital in the Bronx and took a subway from his apartment to get there. He had a 13 minute walk to the subway station (though he deliberately took an extra eight minutes to avoid approaching a church), and a 15 minute subway ride that let him off just across the street from the hospital. 
    While I doubt he walked too quickly, a 15 minute subway ride can take you fairly far between or across the burroughs of New York City, especially if it's an express train, and I think the trains traveling between midnight and 1 am may not stopped at every stop. I know a little bit from living in Manhattan for a year (nearly 20 years ago), but I'm sure someone with the time and inclination could figure out how many places Grimstone might have been from and still had a 15 minute subway ride to the Bronx.

    This story, like a few others, uses the terms blood and plasma interchangeably. However, plasma is the protein rich fluid in blood...plasma by itself doesn't have any significant numbers of red or white blood cells, and wouldn't be used to transfuse someone who was anemic (unless you were trying to replace clotting factors, though modern medicine generally uses cryoprecipitate for that).
    They also have all of their blood stored at room temperature, which decreases the time period over which it can be stored and used dramatically...blood is a great medium for bacterial growth.
    Iodine is generally brown...dilute iodine could maybe make water look like plasma, which is straw-colored, but anything dark enough to look like blood would have been really brown, rather than dark red. Perhaps this iodine was colored more red for some reason.
    Oh well...comic book science...
    On a positive/good science note, Onions do have several beneficial effects to the body that involve blood...they decrease the risk of stroke by decreasing platelet aggregation, and they can decrease blood pressure.
    I learned in veterinary school that onions can cause hemolytic anemia (anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells)...but as far as I know, this isn't a problem in people.

Profile by Snood.

Horace Grimstone
should be distinguished from:

images: (without ads)
Vampire Tales#7/2, pg. 2, panel 3 (disappointed by normal teeth);
            panel 4 (full body, profile);
        pg. 4, panel 6 (upper body);
        pg. 5, panel 7 (drinking blood);
        pg. 9, panel 7 (awakening as vampire)

Vampire Tales#7/2 (October, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Billy Graham (artist), Marv Wolfman (editor)

Last updated: 02/26/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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