august-darla-vampire-mainDARLA AUGUST

Real Name: Darla August

Identity/ClassHuman vampire (see comments);
    active for a period possibly ranging from around 1900 to 1939 as as a human, and from 1939 to 1974 as a vampiric being
(see comments)

Occupation: Predator;
    former servant girl

Group Membership: Possibly Earth's Vampires;

Affiliations: Anthony Bellis, Henry Bellis, Martin Bellis

Enemies: Clodetta Bellis, Ernest Bellis, Mary Bellis, Lisa, Sam;
    formerly 
Martin Bellis

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Snow Vampire" (only on the cover of Vampire Tales#4)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly the woods surrounding the Bellis house in Northern Wisconsin (near Wausau);
    formerly the Bellis house

First Appearance: Drifting Snow short story (1939);
    (Marvel adaptation): Vampire Tales#4 (April, 1974)

Powers/Abilities: As a human, Darla had some experience as a hired servant.august-darla-vampire-seduce_martin-close

    As a vampiric being (see comments), Darla did not age, and she was immune to the effects of severe cold and presumably other human limitations. 

    She was apparently unable to depart the region in which she perished as a mortal, the western slope extending up to the Bellis house. 

    She could physically move a solid being without leaving footprints, possibly via levitation or as existing as a spiritual being and not necessarily possessing physical mass.

    Darla was active during evening hours, from dusk until dawn, during the portions of the year when it was snowing (which is quite extensive in northern Wisconsin).

    She could mentally influence others in relative proximity, even without direct eye contact. Via eye contact, even from some distance and through glass, she could entrance a victim, compelling that victim (male in both documented cases) to come to her, disregarding frigid weather and her own ghoulish appearance.

    Via direct contact with a person, she could transform that person into a snow-related vampiric being like herself.

    It is unrevealed whether Darla had other characteristics typical of Varnean vampires, such as superhuman strength (typically enhanced human); requiring regular blood meals to survive; when fully fed, being able to heal rapidly from non-fatal wounds; and/or vulnerability to religious icons, sunlight, garlic, and a wooden stake through the heart; she was presumably vulnerable to the latter, but this is not 100% confirmed.

Height: Unrevealed (no frame of reference against anyone of established height); it is similarly unrevealed whether her height changed following her transformation
Weight:
Unrevealed (no frame of reference against anyone of established height); it is similarly unrevealed whether her height changed following her transformation
Eyes: Unrevealed (they appeared to be solid white in her vampiric form)
Hair: Unrevealed; she appeared to be brunette as a living woman, and possibly brunette or blonde in her vampiric form.

august-darla-vampire-freezingHistory
(
Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - A servant girl employed by Martin Bellis at his northern Wisconsin house, she was caught by Martin in a romantic embrace with Martin's son Anthony. Enraged, Martin -- though the girl had been blameless (at least according to Mary Bellis) -- cast her out into the cold night alone. 

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Martin regretted his actions minutes later, but by then a violent snowstorm had sprung up.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Trapped in the violent snowstorm, Darla died.august-darla-vampire-frozen

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Darla's frozen body was found on the long slope of the hill to the west of the house.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - "Years later," Darla came back during a snowstorm. Now vampiric, she called to Martin, and he went out to her in that cruel night, making contact with her.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - They found Martin's frozen body in the same spot that Darla's had been found.august-darla-vampire-seduce_martin-distant

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - A few years later, Darla returned alongside Martin, also now vampiric. They stayed until the last snow, always trying to lure someone out there; they never went beyond the west slope.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Appreciating this danger, Mary Bellis had the windows covered during the winter nights from sunset to dawn. Mary, along with her handyman, Sam, and servant, Lisa, kept this secret.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The day of the death of John Bellis, Mary invited her remaining family members, including her nephews (see comments) and Martin's grandchildren, Ernest (who came along with his wife, Clodetta) and Henry, to visit her, to remind her she still had relatives, people who cared for her welfare.
    Mary gave strict orders that none of the curtains over the west windows were to be withdrawn between sunset and dawn.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - During a snowstorm, Clodetta felt something compelling her to open a set of curtains on the west windows.
   
(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Darla and Martin stood by the Bellis house.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Though not sharing her reasons, Mary insisted the curtains be closed and reminded everyone of that policy.

    Considering Mary to be eccentric and appreciating the view, Henry opened the curtains again after Mary headed to bed. Clodetta, Henry, and Ernest saw a man and a girl out in the snow.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Clodetta went and told Mary, who revealed the past history of Martin and Darla.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Henry went out to bring the man and woman out of the snow.august-darla-vampire-henry-seduced

(Vampire Tales#4 - BTS) - When Ernest told Mary and Clodetta that Henry had gone out to bring in the pair, Mary urged Ernest to find Sam and bring Henry back inside before it was too late.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - As Henry ran towards Darla and Martin, Sam had to tackle Henry before he could bring Henry back. Sam rushed Henry back to the house, with Darla and Martin right behind him.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Still not understanding what was going on, Ernest prepared to go out and check on the pair out in the storm, but as Henry ranted about how the snow and the girl's hands were so beautiful, Darla and Martin approached the house door.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Sam spotted Darla and Martin at the door, and a still entranced Henry rushed out the door, pushing aside Aunt Mary despite her warnings not to listen, and calling to "his love" that he was coming for her. Ernest tried to go after Henry, but Sam and Clodettta stopped him, with Sam warning that they would get him, too.

    The others could only watch as Henry approached Darla and then screamed out in agony and/or terror.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mary instructed the others that the next day they must go to their graves and stake them down...regretting that they had not done this before.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The following morning, Sam, Ernest, Clodetta, and Mary found Henry's body in the same spot where the bodies of Darla and Martin had been found. Although he had clearly been dragged there, those that had dragged him left no footprints.

    Having apparently died of exposure (frozen to death), there were marks on his face, the delicate small prints of a young girl's hands.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The bodies of Darla, Martin, and Henry were presumably staked through the heart.

(Vampire Tales#4 - BTS) - Clodetta related her experiences at the Bellis house.

Comments: Created by August William Derleth (initially credited under the pseudonym Stephen Grendon);
    adapted by Tony Isabella and Esteban Maroto.

    As this was an adaptation of a story written/published in 1939, I would think that it makes the most sense that the main part of the story took place at that time period, with the flashback with Martin Bellis taking place "decades past," perhaps around the turn of the century, or even slightly before.

    Darla August was clearly referred to as a vampire in the story, but, she seemed more like a ghoul or some sort of vengeful spirit.

    On the cover of Vampire Tales#4, the feature starring Darla is introduced "The Snow Vampire." That name might lead one to suspect Darla (and Henry and Martin) were members of the Yiki Onna, a sect of Asian snow vampires. However, these beings existed (as one might expect) in Asia, and they could transform into razor sharp clouds of ice, instead of mist. Other than the unoffical nickname, there is nothing to link Darla (and Martin and Henry) to the Yiki Onna. That, however, does not mean that there is anything to officially rule them out, either. Darla and her like were, at least, an unconventional vampire sect, if they are indeed true vampires.

    If Darla (and Henry and Martin) were indeed true vampires, if they perished following being staked at some point in the 20th century, she (and they) would have been restored by fulfillment of the ritual/prophecy that restored all vampires in Blade III#12 (October, 2007)  

   Darla August's name, as well as the last name Bellis and the first name for Martin were provided in the the Vampires appendix in Vampires: The Marvel Undead handbook. The first name for Anthony was given in the online, unabridged appendix. I think it is pretty obvious that Darla August was named for author August Derleth.
    Thanks to Darci for noting that you can read more about August Derleth here:  http://heartinajar.blogspot.com/2009/12/snow-beautful-lovely-snow-drifting-and.html
    I think it likely that the name Bellis is used in homage to Guy Bellis, who was in the 1935 film Mark of the Vampire, but who knows...

    The original short story notes that the father <Martin>
found out his son <Anthony> had been very familiar with the servant girl, a pretty girl, a little older than Mary. The father had initially thought the servant girl, was to blame for the romance (and he did not find out that she was not until it was too late), and that he had sent her to walk the five miles to her home. Mary and her siblings had begged Martin not to send her out, but he paid them no attention. After repenting his actions, he sent some men out to find the girl, but they could not find her in the storm.

    My grandparents had lived in Chicago and had a house in Northern Wisconsin: Lac du Flambeau, which is about 80 miles north of Wausau.
    And I have an Aunt Mary and a cousin Henry.
    No Clodettas, Martins, Anthonys, or Johns, though...

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Darla August
should be distinguished from:


august-darla-vampire-bellis-cabinaugust-darla-vampire-blizzardBellis house

    In Northern Wisconsin, Martin Bellis owned a house during a time frame somewhere between 1900 (or earlier) and 1939.

    It is unrevealed whether Martin purchased or inherited the house, or whether he obtained it through other means.

    After Martin ceased to exist as a living person, Mary Bellis remained in the house, seeking to prevent others from succumbing to the callings of Darla August. She was served by Lisa and Sam.

(
Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Catching servant girl Darla August in a romantic embrace with his son Anthony, an enraged Martin cast her out into the cold night alone.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Dying in the violent snowstorm, Darla Darla's frozen body was found on the long slope of the hill to the west of the house.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - "Years later," Darla came back during a snowstorm. Now vampiric, she called to Martin, and he went out to her in that cruel night, making contact with her.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - A few years later, Darla returned alongside Martin, also now vampiric. They stayed until the last snow, always trying to lure someone out there; they never went beyond the west slope.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Appreciating this danger, Mary Bellis had the windows covered during the winter nights from sunset to dawn. Mary, along with her handyman, Sam, and servant, Lisa, kept this secret.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The day of the death of John Bellis, Mary invited her remaining family members to visit her.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Henry disregarded Mary's warnings, and he opened the curtains and ultimately met his fate with Darla and Martin.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The bodies of Darla, Martin, and Henry were presumably staked through the heart.

(Vampire Tales#4 - BTS) - Clodetta related her experiences at the Bellis house.

--Vampire Tales#4

august-darla-vampire-bellis-anthony-romanceAnthony Bellis

    The son of Martin Bellis, Anthony was caught by his father in a romantic embrace with the servant Darla, whom Martin cast out into the frigid wilderness.

    Anthony was the father of Henry Bellis, the uncle of Ernest, and the brother of John and Mary

    Clodetta, the wife of Martin's grandson Ernest, referenced Anthony as "of whom auntie never spoke."

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - While living in the Bellis house in northern Wisconsin, Anthony was caught by his father, Martin, in a romantic embrace with the servant girl Darla August. 
    Enraged, Martin -- though the girl had been blameless (at least according to Mary Bellis) -- cast her out into the cold night alone. 

--Vampire Tales#4

Note: Darla was apparently "blameless" in the romantic embrace between herself and Anthony. 

        What does that mean? That he had initiated things? That he had forced himself on Darla? The latter seems most curse-worthy.

    What did Anthony do to be never spoken of by Mary? Had he forced himself on Darla? Again, I think that is a likely scenario, but it isn't spelled out at all. Maybe there's even more to it than that.

    Perhaps this was detailed in the original short story?

    Anthony's ultimate fate is unrevealed. Presumably if he had become a victim of the vampiric Darla August, he would have been there seeking new victims alongside his father....


august-darla-vampire-bellis-clodetta-fullClodetta Bellis

august-darla-vampire-clodetta-face-1    The wife of Ernest (and daughter-in-law of John), she was only related to the Bellis family by marriage. Nonetheless, she referred to Mary as an aunt and Henry as cousin.

    She was loyal to her husband and her family, and more swiftly sensed something was amiss than he did.

    She and Ernest apparently lived in Chicago, Illinois.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The day of the death of her father-in-law, John Bellis, Ernest's Aunt Mary invited her remaining family members, including Ernest and Henry, to visit her, to remind her she still had relatives, people who cared for her welfare. Clodetta accompanied Ernest.
    Mary gave strict orders that none of the curtains over the west windows were to be withdrawn between sunset and dawn. Ernest and Clodetta were placed in rooms facing East.august-darla-vampire-clodetta-face-2

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - During a snowstorm, Clodetta felt something compelling her to open a set of curtains on the west windows.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Though not sharing her reasons, Mary insisted the curtains be closed and reminded everyone of that policy. She advised Clodetta, "It's all very well to believe I'm getting eccentric...but I shouldn't advise you to be satisfied with that!"

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - When Henry arrived shortly thereafter, Clodetta saved him from a chastising at Mary's hands by commenting to Mary how they weren't as isolated up there as she thought they'd be. Mary replied that with telephones they were not so isolated, but that "when Martin was living," he had been snowbound many times in the past.

    Considering Mary to be eccentric and appreciating the view, Henry opened the curtains again after Mary headed to bed. Clodetta saw someone out in the snow and called out to Ernest; Henry initially dismissed this as Clodetta having let the foolish old woman's delusions get to her, but then he exclaimed that she was right, as he saw a man and a girl out in the snow.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Clodetta went and told Mary, who revealed the past history of Martin and Darla.

(
Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Henry went out to bring the man and woman out of the snow.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - When Ernest told Mary and Clodetta that Henry had gone out to bring in the pair, Mary urged Ernest to find Sam and bring Henry back inside before it was too late.

    Suddenly, Sam threw the door open and dragged Henry in with him, noting how he had to tackle Henry as he rushed towards "them," and that "they" were right behind him.


(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Ernest, still not understanding what was going on, prepared to go out and check on the pair out in the storm. However, as Henry ranted about how the snow and the girl's hands were so beautiful, Darla and Martin approached the house door.august-darla-vampire-clodetta-face-window

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - As Darla and Martin appeared at the door, a still entranced Henry rushed out the door to them. Ernest tried to go after Henry, but Sam and Clodettta stopped him, with Sam warning that they would get him, too.

    The others could only watch as Henry approached Darla and then screamed out in agony and/or terror.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mary instructed the others that the next day they must go to their graves and stake them down...regretting that they had not done this before.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - The following morning, Sam, Ernest, Clodetta, and Mary found Henry's body in the same spot where the bodies of Darla and Martin had been found. They noted that while he had clearly been dragged there, those that had dragged him left no footprints.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The bodies of Darla, Martin, and Henry were presumably staked through the heart.

(Vampire Tales#4 - BTS) - Clodetta related her experiences at the Bellis house.

--Vampire Tales#4

Note: Interesting name, Clodetta...presumably some variant on Claudette.

august-darla-vampire-bellis-ernest-faceaugust-darla-vampire-bellis-ernest-fullErnest Bellis

    Ernest was the grandson of Martin Bellis, the son of Johnthe nephew of Anthony and Mary, the cousin of Henry, and the husband of Clodetta.

    Ernest enjoyed smoking a pipe.

    He and Clodetta apparently lived in Chicago, Illinois.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Having previously spent time at the Bellis house, Ernest had previously been instructed not open the curtains on the west side of the house as there was danger in doing so. However, Ernest did not know what this danger was.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The day of the death of John Bellis, Ernest's aunt Mary invited her remaining family members to visit her, to remind her she still had relatives, people who cared for her welfare. Clodetta accompanied Ernest.
    Mary gave strict orders that none of the curtains over the west windows were to be withdrawn between sunset and dawn. 
Ernest and Clodetta were placed in rooms facing East.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - After Clodetta felt compelled to open a set of curtains on the west side of the house, Mary sternly reminded Clodetta of her rules regarding the curtains, and Ernest assured Mary that Clodetta had not meant to go against her wishes.

    Considering Mary to be eccentric and appreciating the view, Henry opened the curtains again after Mary headed to bed. Clodetta saw someone out in the snow and called out to Ernest; as Ernest and Henry peered out the window, Henry initially dismissed this as Clodetta having let the foolish old woman's delusions get to her, but then he exclaimed that she was right, as he saw a man and a girl out in the snow.


(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - After Clodetta went and told Mary, Henry went out to bring the man and woman out of the snow.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - When Ernest told Mary and Clodetta what Henry had done, Mary urged Ernest to hurry and find Sam to bring Henry back inside before it was too late. When they got downstairs, however, Ernest noted that not only could he no longer see the man and girl, but that he could not see Henry anymore.

    Suddenly, Sam threw the door open and dragged Henry in with him, noting how he had to tackle Henry as he rushed towards "them," and that "they" were right behind him.


    Still not understanding what was going on, Ernest prepared to go out and check on the pair out in the storm; but as Henry ranted about how the snow and the girl's hands were so beautiful, Sam spotted and called out as Darla and Martin arrived at the door. A still entranced Henry rushed out the door, calling to "his love" that he was coming for her. Ernest tried to go after Henry, but Sam and Clodettta stopped him, with Sam warning that they would get him, too.

    The others could only watch as Henry approached Darla and then screamed out in agony and/or terror.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mary instructed the others that the next day they must go to their graves and stake them down...regretting that they had not done this before.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - The following morning, Sam, Ernest, Clodetta, and Mary found Henry's body in the same spot where the bodies of Darla and Martin had been found. They noted that while he had clearly been dragged there, those that had dragged him left no footprints.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The bodies of Darla, Martin, and Henry were presumably staked through the heart.

--Vampire Tales#4


august-darla-vampire-bellis-henry-faceHenry Bellis

    Henry Bellis was the grandson of 
Martin Bellis, the son of Anthony, the cousin of Ernest, and the nephew of John and Mary.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Henry had previously been instructed not open the curtains on the west side of the Bellis house in Northern Wisconsin as there was danger in doing so. However, he did not know what this danger was.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The day of the death of John Bellis, Mary invited her remaining family members to visit her, to remind her she still had relatives, people who cared for her welfare.august-darla-vampire-bellis-henry-full

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Henry traveled through a harsh snowstorm to reach the house.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Arriving somewhat late, Henry blamed the miserable weather. Clodetta saved Henry from a lecture from Mary by distracting her with a notation of how they weren't as isolated up there as she would have thought.

    Henry told Mary he hoped she'd made some provision in case they got snowbound, as the radio was reporting a blizzard to be on the way, and he'd had "the devil's own time getting the car this far." Mary assured him that her handyman, Sam, could drive him to Wausau whenever he liked.

    As she headed upstairs, Henry commented that he thought she was losing her mind.
Appreciating the view and disregarding Mary's warning (and possibly influenced by Darla), Henry opened the curtains on the west side of the house.Clodetta saw someone out in the snow and called out; Henry initially dismissed this as Clodetta having let the foolish old woman's delusions get to her, but then he exclaimed that she was right, as he saw a man and a girl out in the snow.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - After Clodetta went and told Mary, Henry went out to bring the man and woman out of the snow.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - As Henry ran -- entranced -- towards Darla and Martin, Sam had to tackle Henry before he could bring the young man back. Sam rushed Henry back to the house, with Darla and Martin right behind him.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - After Sam dragged Henry back inside, Ernest -- still not understanding what was going on -- prepared to go out and check on the pair out in the storm, but as Henry ranted about how the snow and the girl's hands were so beautiful, Darla and Martin approached the house door.

    Still entranced, Henry rushed out the door, pushing aside Aunt Mary despite her warnings not to listen, and calling to "his love" that he was coming for her. Ernest tried to go after Henry, but Sam and Clodettta stopped him, with Sam warning that they would get him, too.

    The others could only watch as Henry approached Darla and then screamed out in agony and/or terror.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mary instructed the others that the next day they must go to their graves and stake them down...regretting that they had not done this before.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The following morning, Sam, Ernest, Clodetta, and Mary found Henry's body in the same spot where the bodies of Darla and Martin had been found. august-darla-vampire-henry-corpse
august-darla-vampire-henry-facial-markings
    Although he had clearly been dragged there, those that had dragged him left no footprints.

    Having apparently died of exposure (frozen to death), there were marks on his face, the delicate small prints of a young girl's hands.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The bodies of Darla, Martin, and Henry were presumably staked through the heart.

--Vampire Tales#4

Note: If he were not staked, Henry would almost certainly have arisen in a vampiric form akin to Darla's and Martin's (see main entry for her abilities)

    If Darla (and Henry and Martin) were indeed true vampires, if they perished following being staked at some point in the 20th century, she (and they) would have been restored by fulfillment of the ritual/prophecy that restored all vampires in Blade III#12 (October, 2007) .

    The original short story made it seem like he was also from Chicago.

John Bellis

    John Bellis was the son of Martin Bellis, the brother of Anthony and Mary, the father of Ernest (and father-in-law of Clodetta), and the uncle of Henry.

    He died under unrevealed circumstances just before the main story.

    Though not mentioned, John would presumably have been present during, or at least aware of to some degree, the events involving his father, Anthony, and Darla August.

    For unspecified reasons, Mary referred to him as "Dear John" (see comments).

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The day of John Bellis' death, Mary invited her remaining family members, including her nephews (see comments) and Martin's grandchildren, Ernest (who came along with his wife, Clodetta) and Henry, to visit her, to remind her she still had relatives, people who cared for her welfare.
--Vampire Tales#4

Comments: "Dear John" sometimes refers to a letter written by a woman to her husband or romantic partner to inform him that their relationship is over because she has found another lover. I doubt that is the reason for the reference here, but it is only referenced as what she called him. We don't know anything else...
perhaps this was detailed in the original short story?

    John was not pictured.

august-darla-vampire-banishedMartin Bellis

august-darla-vampire-return    Martin Bellis was the father of Anthony, John, and Mary, and the grandfather of Anthony and John's sons, Henry and Ernest, respectively. 

    Not wishing to reference Anthony, Mary consistently referred to Martin as "Ernest's grandfather."

    As a vampiric being, Martin presumably had abilities comparable to Darla's (see main entry's abilities), although he seemed to be subserviant to her.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - While at their northern Wisconsin house, Martin Bellis caught his son, Anthony, in a romantic embrace with the servant girl Darla August. 

    Enraged, Martin -- though the girl had been blameless (at least according to Mary Bellis) -- cast her out into the cold night alone. 

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Martin regretted his actions minutes later, but by then a violent snowstorm had sprung up.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Trapped in the violent snowstorm, Darla died.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Darla's frozen body was found on the long slope of the hill to the west of the house.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - "Years later," Darla came back during a snowstorm. Now vampiric, she called to Martin, and he went out to her in that cruel night, making contact with her.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - They found Martin's frozen body in the same spot that Darla's had been found.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - A few years later, Darla returned alongside Martin, also now vampiric. They stayed until the last snow, always trying to lure someone out there; they never went beyond the west slope.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Appreciating this danger, Mary Bellis had the windows covered during the winter nights from sunset to dawn. Mary, along with her handyman, Sam, and servant, Lisa, kept this secret.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The day of the death of John Bellis, Mary invited her remaining family members to visit her.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - During a snowstorm, Clodetta felt something compelling her to open a set of curtains on the west windows.
   
(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Darla and Martin stood by the Bellis house.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mary had the curtains closed again, but Henry -- considering Mary to be eccentric and appreciating the view -- opened the curtains again after Mary headed to bed. Clodetta, Henry, and Ernest saw a man and a girl out in the snow.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Clodetta went and told Mary, who revealed the past history of Martin and Darla.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Henry went out to bring the man and woman out of the snow.

(Vampire Tales#4 - BTS) - When Ernest explained that Henry had gone out to bring in the pair, Mary urged Ernest to find Sam and bring Henry back inside before it was too late.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - As Henry ran towards Darla and Martin, Sam had to tackle Henry before he could bring the young man back. Sam rushed Henry back to the house, with Darla and Martin right behind him.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Still not understanding what was going on, Ernest prepared to go out and check on the pair out in the storm.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Sam announced Darla and Martin's presence at the door, and a still entranced Henry rushed out the door. Ernest tried to go after Henry, but Sam and Clodettta stopped him, with Sam warning that "they" would get him, too.

    The others could only watch as Henry approached Darla and then screamed out in agony and/or terror.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mary instructed the others that the next day they must go to Martin and Darla's graves and stake them down...regretting that they had not done this before.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The following morning, Sam, Ernest, Clodetta, and Mary found Henry's body in the same spot where the bodies of Darla and Martin had been found. Although he had clearly been dragged there, those that had dragged him left no footprints.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The bodies of Darla, Martin, and Henry were presumably staked through the heart.

(Vampire Tales#4 - BTS) - Clodetta related her experiences at the Bellis house.

--Vampire Tales#4

Note: See the comments in the main entry for a discussion of the vampiric status of Martin (as whatever was true of Darla was presumably true of him as well).

    Since Clodetta was relating these events as having occurred in the past, one would presume they followed through with the stakings and that this had the desired effect (preventing the return of the vampiric creatures).

    If Martin (and Henry and Darla) were indeed true vampires, if they perished following being staked at some point in the 20th century, he (and they) would have been restored by fulfillment of the ritual/prophecy that restored all vampires in Blade III#12 (October, 2007)  


august-darla-vampire-bellis-mary-fullMary Bellisaugust-darla-vampire-mary-face-tooclose

    Mary was the resident of the Bellis' house in northern Wisconsin in the modern portion of the story. She was the daughter of Martin Bellisthe sister of Anthony and John, and the aunt of Ernest and Henry. Ernest's wife, Clodetta, considered her an aunt as well.

    Mary was present during the events involving Martin, Anthony, and Darla August. 

    She "never spoke" of Anthony Bellis, although the reasons for this are unrevealed.

    She referred to John Bellis as "Dear John," although the reasons for this are also unrevealed.

    For decades, Mary apparently lived at the Bellis house, assisted by her servant, Lisa, and handyman, Sam, both of whom were privy to the nature of the threat of Darla August and Martin.

    In her later years, at least, Mary used a cane.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The day of the death of John Bellis, Mary invited her remaining family members, including her nephews (see comments) and Martin's grandchildren, Ernest (who came along with his wife, Clodetta) and Henry, to visit her, to remind her she still had relatives, people who cared for her welfare.
    Mary gave strict orders that none of the curtains over the west windows were to be withdrawn between sunset and dawn.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - During a snowstorm, Clodetta felt something compelling her to open a set of curtains on the west windows.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Though not sharing her reasons, Mary insisted the curtains be closed and reminded everyone of that policy. She advised Clodetta, "It's all very well to believe I'm getting eccentric...but I shouldn't advise you to be satisfied with that!"

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - When Henry arrived shortly thereafter, Clodetta saved him from a lecture at Mary's hands by commenting to Mary how they weren't as isolated up there as she thought they'd be. Mary replied that with telephones they were not so isolated, but that "when Martin was living," he had been snowbound many times in the past.

    Henry told Mary he hoped she'd made some provision in case they got snowbound, as the radio was reporting a blizzard to be on the way. Mary assured him that her handyman, Sam, could drive him to Wausau whenever he like. As she headed upstairs, Henry commented that he thought she was losing her mind.


    Disregarding Mary's instructions and appreciating the view (and possibly influenced by Darla), Henry opened the curtains again. Clodetta, Henry, and Ernest saw a man and a girl out in the snow.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Clodetta went and told Mary, who revealed the past history of Martin and Darla.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Henry went out to bring the man and woman out of the snow.

(Vampire Tales#4 - BTS) - When Ernest told Mary and Clodetta that Henry had gone out to bring in the pair, Mary urged Ernest to find Sam -- telling him not to wait for her -- and to bring Henry back inside before it was too late. When they got downstairs, however, Ernest noted that not only could he no longer see the man and girl, but that he could not see Henry anymore.

    Suddenly, Sam threw the door open and dragged Henry in with him, noting how he had to tackle Henry as he rushed towards "them," and that "they" were right behind him.


(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Sam subsequently announced Darla and Martin's presence at the door, and a still entranced Henry rushed out the door, pushing aside Mary despite her warnings not to listen to the girl. 

    Mary and the others could only watch as Henry approached Darla and then screamed out in agony and/or terror.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mary instructed the others that the next day they must go to their graves and stake them down...regretting that they had not done this before.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The following morning, Sam, Ernest, Clodetta, and Mary found Henry's body in the same spot where the bodies of Darla and Martin had been found. Those present appreciated that though Henry had clearly been dragged there, those that had dragged him left no footprints.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The bodies of Darla, Martin, and Henry were presumably staked through the heart.

--Vampire Tales#4

Note: The Bellis name was revealed in
Vampires appendix in Vampires: The Marvel Undead handbook.

Darci speculates:
John is "Dear John" both because he was recently deceased and because he was the "good" brother, as opposed to Anthony, the rapist.
    As I noted, it is not detailed that Anthony forced himself on the servant girl, even in the original short story; but it would certainly explain things.

august-darla-vampire-samaugust-darla-vampire-sam-face-profileSam

    Sam was Mary's long-term handyman at her house in northern Wisconsin.

    Whether he was present at the time of the events involving Martin Bellis and Darla August is unrevealed, but he was certainly privy to the nature of their threat.



(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Appreciating the danger of the vampiric Darla August and Martin Bellis, who were limited to the the long slope of the hill to the west of the house, Mary Bellis had the windows covered during the winter nights from sunset to dawn. Mary, along with her handyman, Sam, and servant, Lisa, kept this secret.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Decades later, Henry told Mary he hoped she'd made some provision in case they got snowbound, as the radio was reporting a blizzard to be on the way. Mary assured him that her handyman, Sam, could drive him to Wausau whenever he liked.
august-darla-vampire-sam-stops-ernest
(Vampire Tales#4 - BTS) - Later, after Henry went out into the blizzard in hopes of bringing in a man and woman he had seen out there, Mary urged Ernest to find Sam and to bring Henry back inside before it was too late. Though they never reached Sam, he apparently observed events on his own and went out after Henry.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - As Henry ran towards Darla and Martin, Sam had to tackle Henry before he could bring the young man back. Sam rushed Henry back to the house, with Darla and Martin right behind him.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Still not understanding what was going on, Ernest asked about the people in the storm, but Sam
prepared to go out and check on the pair out in the storm, but as Henry ranted about how the snow and the girl's hands were so beautiful, Darla and Martin approached the house door.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Sam spotted Darla and Martin at the door, and a still entranced Henry rushed out the door. Ernest tried to go after Henry, but Sam and Clodettta stopped him, with Sam warning that they would get him, too.

    Sam and the others could only watch as Henry approached Darla and then screamed out in agony and/or terror.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mary instructed the others that the next day they must go to their graves and stake them down...regretting that they had not done this before.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The following morning, Sam, Ernest, Clodetta, and Mary found Henry's body in the same spot where the bodies of Darla and Martin had been found. Although he had clearly been dragged there, those that had dragged him left no footprints.

(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - The bodies of Darla, Martin, and Henry were presumably staked through the heart.

--Vampire Tales#4

Note: According to the original short story, Sam usually slept in the garage.

august-darla-vampire-lisaaugust-darla-vampire-lisa-faceLisa

    Lisa was Mary's servant at her family's house in northern Wisconsin. 

    Whether she was present at the time of the events involving Martin Bellis and Darla August is unrevealed, but he was certainly privy to the nature of their threat.


(Vampire Tales#4 (fb) - BTS) - Appreciating the danger of the vampiric Darla August and Martin Bellis, who were limited to the the long slope of the hill to the west of the house, Mary Bellis had the windows covered during the winter nights from sunset to dawn.
    Mary, along with her handyman, Sam, and servant, Lisa, kept this secret.


(Vampire Tales#4 (fb)) - Lisa assisted Mary in getting around the house and keeping the curtains closed. She likely performed cooking and cleaning jobs as well.

    She was witness to Henry's encounter with Darla and Martin.

--Vampire Tales#4

images: (without ads)
Vampire Tales#4/9, pg. 1 (Bellis house);
        pg. 2, panel 1 (Clodetta, in glass);
            panel 3 (Mary full, with Lisa);
            panel 4 (Clodetta full);
            panel 5 (Lisa, upper);
        pg. 3, panel 3 (Ernest, face);
        pg. 4, panel 3 (Henry, face);
        pg. 5, panel 3 (silhouettes in the snow);
        pg. 7, panel 1 (Mary, face);
            panel 2 (Martin finds Anthony and Darla);
            panel 3 (Darla cast out);
            panel 4 (Darla freezing);
            panel 5 (Darla frozen);
            panel 6 (Darla returns);
            panel 7 (Martin approaching Darla; near);
            panel 8 (Martin approaching Darla; distant)
        pg. 8, panel 5 (Sam profile; Ernest and Henry full);
        pg. 9, panel 1 (Darla & Martin at the door);
        pg. 10, panel 1 (Sam stops Ernest from going after Henry);
            panel 2 (Henry approaching Darla);
            panel 3 (faces of Sam & Lisa);
            panel 4 (Henry corpse);
            panel 5 (Henry corpse face);


Appearances:
Vampire Tales#4/9 "The Drifting Snow" (April, 1974) - Tony Isabella (writer), Esteban Maroto (artist), Marv Wolfman (associate editor), Roy Thomas (editor)


Last updated: 10/31/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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