Necroscope (series)

Necroscope (series)

infobox Book |
name = Necroscope
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = Brian Lumley
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series =
genre = Horror/Science fiction/Adventure
publisher = Harper Collins
release_date = 1986
media_type = Print (Paperback)
pages =
isbn = ISBN 0-586-06665-9
preceded_by =
followed_by = Necroscope II: Wamphyri

"Necroscope" is the title of a series of horror novels by British author Brian Lumley.

The term "necroscope", as defined in the series, describes someone who can communicate with the dead (coined Deadspeak later in the series). Unlike necromancers, who attempt to command the dead through rituals, spells, bodily mutilation and sometimes necrophilia, a necroscope simply communicates with them without any physical interference.

The term "necroscope" originally (in Greek) meant someone that can "see" (scope) into the dead (necro). It was used as a formal legal and scientific term for "Coroner" up to the middle of the 20th century. After the 1950s it ceased to be used, but can still be found in early 20th century books and encyclopedias (see Helios' Encyclopedia, 1954 Athens). Necroscope, as a term for Coroner, came to be considered distasteful as it was associated with the coroner's "tools" of the day, knives, saws and drills, and today is not in use. Notably, in the series the "necroscope" communicates with the dead without any tools, or bodily mutilation, an ability normally attributed to a "necromancer" (in Greek), whereas the "necromancers" in the series use tools like those used by the real "necroscopes", the coroners.

The abilities of a necroscope are defined as a type of ESP.

Harry Keogh, Necroscope

The hero of the Necroscope series- or antihero, as the story unfolds- is Harry Keogh. Keogh's grandmother was a Russian immigrant who settled in Great Britain. His father died when he was very young. His mother later remarried and was eventually killed by Harry's stepfather. During his early childhood Keogh lived with an aunt and uncle in County Durham in North East England. Keogh would eventually return to exact vengeance on his Russian stepfather.

While at school, and not particularly popular or academically inclined, Harry discovers his ability to speak to people who have died.

The author also puts forward the idea that death is not the end, and that whatever someone was or wished to be in life, he or she continues to be in death, within the restraints that death imposes. For example, a mathematician would continue perfecting his math, an inventor would keep inventing new things, and a psychic would continue to practice using their powers.

Not only can Harry speak to the dead (thus earning him their eternal admiration, almost amounting to worship), but he can also form a bond with them which allows them a degree of control over him when he permits. For example, when faced with a dangerous situation, Harry hands his mind over to the control of a former gym teacher who was an army sergeant, and learns martial arts skills. He does not forget what he learns, and continues to use this skill and many others throughout the series. In addition, if the dead are nearby and the physical situation permits, they will literally raise themselves up out of the ground and fight for him. This gives him powerful allies as, being dead already, they have nothing to lose and almost nothing to fear.

The Vampires

Ferenczy Bloodline -

Belos Pheropzis (sp?) -

Thibor Ferenczy - Technically the first vampire to appear in the novels. Once a Wallachian barbarian transformed by Faethor Ferenzy. Conquers territories for hundreds of years until he is finally staked, chained, and buried beneath cruciform hills in Romania. Later discovered by necromancer Boris Dragosani.

Faethor Ferenczy - An old and very powerful Wamphyri residing on earth in the Dark Ages in a keep at the top of a mountain range in Szgany territory. After transforming Thibor he is attacked by his progeny one night upon his return to his castle. Burned almost to death, he plummets into a river and re-emerges centuries later, finally to die during a bombing raid during World War II.

Janos Ferency - Son of Faethor Ferenzy. Most noted for necromancy and telepathy powers which were even stronger than his fathers.

Fess Ferenc - A monstrous Wamphyri from the vampire homeworld of Sunside/Starside and the current head of the Ferenc Bloodline in the parallel world.

Yulian Bodescu - An infant who was infected with Vampirism by Thibor Ferenczy while still in his mothers womb. Infected from birth his vampiric powers and evil develop until he is destroyed.

Boris Dragosani - Eggson of Thibor Ferenczy. He is a necromancer in life and is destroyed before coming into full Wamphyri power.

Angelo Francezci -

Antonio Francezci -

Francesco Francezci -

Harry Keogh - The necroscope, vampire hunter, champion of the dead, is eventually vampirized himself and flees to the vampire world rather than risk his humanity and humanity itself.

Luigi Castanello -

Shaitan Bloodline -

Shaitan - the ORIGINAL Vampire in the parallel world and possible source of myths about Satan in ours.

Shaithis - Descendant of Shaitan and leader of the Vampire Lords as they battle Harry and Harry Jr.

Turgo Zolte - The eggson of Shaitan and a vampire hunter when alive, he later flees old starside and establishes Turgosheim, in which the "zolteist" followers practice relative control of their vampire natures.

Drakul Bloodline -

Karl Drakul -

Egon Drakul -

Lykan Bloodline -

Radu Lykan - Progenitor of the bloodline, Werewolf/vampire. A hunter in ancient starside before he was transformed by the leech of his companion wolf he was banished through the gate into our world over 2000 years ago along with ancient members of the Ferenczy and the Drakul bloodlines. Infected with plague by Faethor Ferenczy he was driven into a multicentury hibernation.

Bonnie Jean Mirlu -

Doombody Bloodline -

Dramal Doombody - an ancient vampire lord, known to have been egg father to Lady Karen and known to have slowly whithered from leprosy.

Lady Karen (presumeably Doombody)

Other Known Vampires -

Maglore the Mage

Volse Pinescu

Vormulac Unsleep

Devetaki Skullguise

Wratha the Risen

Nestor Lichloathe

Vasagi the suck/gape

Lesk the glut

Spiro Killglance

Wran "the rage" Killglance

Eygor Killglance

Siggi Dam

Gorvi the guile

Canker Cannison

Menor Maimbite

Plot summary


Harry is an English youth in school, and strange things occur as he grows up, such as a sudden increased intellect in mathematics, and the ability to fight beyond his experience after a teacher is killed. Eventually he marries his childhood sweetheart, Brenda, who slowly realizes there is more to her now-successful writer husband: that he can speak to the dead, whose collective consciences remain behind, at the location of dying.

These dead can talk only to Harry at first, but eventually, they can "deadspeak" to each other. Coinciding with Harry's evolving abilities, Boris Dragonasi is contacted by a long-chained vampire, Thibor Ferenczy. Boris gains the ability to become a necromancer, who can forcefully extract secrets from the dead by playing with their remains and even eating them.

Harry goes to visit his stepfather, who he knows killed his mother by drowning her in a river, and lives in a house at that river. Harry, realizing his stepfather is a Russian spy who plans to kill him for his talents, sabotages his stepfather, but both crash through the ice and fall into the frozen river. As he tries to get out, Harry discovers a new ability of the dead when his mother's corpse drags his stepfather down into the cold river, drowning him also.

Eventually, Harry is contacted by E-Branch, who deal with ESPionage using psychic investigators and spies, while Boris is hired by the U.S.S.R. equivalent, the Opposition. Boris tracks down rumors of vampires, finding a World War 2 veteran who killed one, Faethor Ferenczy, along with a Russian Mongul, Max Batu, whose talent is to kill someone just by looking into their eyes. Eventually, Thibor manipulates Dragonasi and reveals that he is in a symbiotic relationship with a vampire, and they can reproduce but once per lifetime. He gives his offspring to Boris, who later betrays and kills Thibor with Batu, and in turn kills Batu so he can gain the secrets of using the "Evil Eye".

Meanwhile, the head of E-Branch, who was killed by Boris, requests Harry's help in defeating the necromancer. Harry uses his ability to talk to the mathematician Mobius, who teaches him to travel time (and later space) by using "the Mobius Continuum". Harry uses "doors" to leap to places, and goes (teleports) to Russia where Boris is now the head of Russia's ESPionage unit, having killed the former leader. Using an army of walking undead, he eventually finds Boris, who uses his "evil eye" to kill Harry. Harry uses a mirror to reflect the eye back at Boris, killing him. Unfortunately, Harry himself dies in the conflict, but his mind also lives on like his dead friends.

Necroscope II: Wamphyri!

The spirit of Harry now resides in his son, Harry Jr. When his infant son sleeps, Harry can roam the Continuum and speak to the dead, but is gradually losing his control as the son "reels" his father's spirit back in.

Roaming in his spare time, Harry discovers that Thibor had infected a pregnant woman with a small part of his flesh, which results in a lesser breed of vampire, albeit a still formidable one. This youth, Yulian Bodescu, retains many vampire abilities: hypnotism, increased lust, bodily transformation, regeneration, and creating thralls (lesser vampires that are infected with a shed body part of the master vampire).

Harry eventually contacts Faethor Ferenczy, a master manipulator (as all vampires are), who wasn't ready to die but was forced to when he was pinned beneath an unmovable column. When Faethor died, a small worm like (leech) creature left his body, which was also killed. Talking to Faethor, Harry discovers that the creature is the "true" vampire and source of the Wamphyrii power, longevity, and when the two beings are merged, they are Wamphyri.

Faethor tells about Thibor, who was a mighty warrior centuries prior, and how he infected Thibor with his sole wamphyric egg. Thibor was to watch over Faethor's castle and servants while gone, but after disobeying him, Faethor had him chained underneath the earth (leading to the events of the prior book).

Yulian is creating thralls out of his family, and Thibor uses telepathy to tell him Harry Jr. is a great enemy. Yulian sets out to kill the infant, and Harry informs E-Branch that Thibor has a piece of dead skin left behind, to further Yulian's mutation. E-Branch teams up with the current Russian head to destroy Thibor's remains and a "finger mutation" left behind in Castle Ferenczy. Russians have meanwhile captured Alec Kyle and mindwiped him believing him to be a spy.

As Yulian prepares to murder Harry Jr, the youth slips through the Mobius Continuum to parts unknown with Brenda, after releasing Harry's consciousness, which takes over Alec's body, changing his appearance. Meanwhile, the dead rise to slaughter Yulian. Harry does not know where his wife and child have gone.

It is unclear at the end of the Novel whether Yulian would have developed into "FULL" Wamphyri, however such seems likely as he had been able to shapeshift extensively among other talents that lesser vampires seldom posess to any great extent.

Necroscope The Lost Years

Necroscope The Lost Years, Resurgence!

Necroscope III: The Source

The series starts to explore the origins of the Wamphyri manifestation on Earth. * years after Harry's son left Harry has left E-Branch and been searching the world for them. The new head of E-Branch, Darcy Clarke, recruits him in a case of a British spy (Jazz Simmons) who similarly disappeared, while investigating a Russian base.

On investigation Harry discovers the Base is the result of a blowback of a high powered photon beam into the atomic pile which powered it and has created a "Grey" hole in space time, a harmless ONE WAY passage to another world which the Russians have been sending people through, and which monsters have emerged from.

Traveling through a parallel grey hole in Romania Harry enters the source world of the Vampires, a world known as Starside/Sunside, wherein Vampire overlords prey on gypsie inhabitants, and wherein his now adult son (his son having used time travel as well as interdimensional to avoid Harry) is infected as a Vampire/Werewolf and besieged by the worlds Vampire Masters as he seeks desperately to protect both himself and the worlds people without losing what remains of his own humanity in the process.

Teaming up the father son duo destroy the Vampire lords, using the power of the sun, but in the process Harry Jr is horribly injured. Harry Jr, far more powerful than his father, strips Harry Sr of all math, deadspeak, and the Moebious Continuum before returning him unharmed to Earth.

Necroscope IV: Deadspeak

Several Years after his return to earth Harry Sr. is trouble by nightmares of resurgent Vampires. These nightmares are messages from the dead who he is unable to communicate with when awake due to the actions of Harry Jr.

Separately E-Branch is investigating Drug smuggling in the Mediterranean when two of its agents are assaulted, one Vampirized and the other rendered insane.

Harry Sr's new girlfriend, Sandra, herself secretly a member of E-Branch plays a pivotal role in bringing Harry into the mix. She had been assigned to watch him and if possible restore his awesome psychic powers and reports to the head of E-Branch on his status. Unknown to everyone this head is a sleeper agent for the Russian E-Branch/KGB community.

Afraid that Harry may be recovering his old powers, or perhaps developing new ones the Russians choose to eliminate him. The plot fails due to the intervention of the dead, and in the process Sandras status as an agent is revealed, as is the fact that Ken and Trevor are in trouble, and that the dead want Harry in the Med.

Together Harry, Sandra, & Darcy, go out to check on the situation. During the course of the investigation they learn that the drug smuggler is a resurrected Janos Ferenczy, using the alias Jianni Lazarides. Sandra and Ken Layard are kidnapped and vampirized, and Janos uses his telepathy to force Trevor Jordan to kill himself. Despite being virtually powerless Harry moves to engage Janos on his home ground in Romania, but not before spending the night (what would later be revealed to be a very fateful night) in the ruins of Faethers house in Ploesti, where Faether was burned down to his essential fats.

When he awoke the next morning Harry discovered he was surrounded by odd black mushrooms that exploded at the slightest touch releasing their spores into the air which he breathed. Overnight Faether had restored his Deadspeak, and had untangled most of Harry's mental troubles. However not being a mathematician he was unable to restore the necroscopes command of numbers and the Mobius Continuum.

With his deadspeak restored Harry sought out and again spoke to Mobius himself, who recruited other mathematicians to help with the problem as Harry approached Janos lair slowly. Harry began showing signs of developing telepathy and possibly other powers in his own right. A fact he initially put down to his mind compensating for the long lack of his other abilities.

During the final confrontation against Janos and his vampire thralls a group of Thracians raised from their ashes by Janos to help him instead took Harry's side and assisted him. This along with the timely restoration of his teleportation abilities through the Mobius Continuum allowed Harry to defeat Janos. The book closes shortly after Harry and the last Thracian Bodrog(sp?) stake and behead the vampirized Sandra.

Necroscope V: Deadspawn

Harry Keogh discovers that he is being transformed into a member of the Wamphyri by the spores of the mushrooms he inhaled at the ruins of Faethors house in Ploesti. Additionally he experiments with Janos Ferenczy's "resurrection" necromancy to restore some people - notably Trevor Jordan and Penny Sanderson - to life. E branch begins to suspect Harry may have been infected, but Darcy calls Harry in anyway on a serial killer case.

Resolved to do one last favor for humanity, both the living and the dead, Harry hunts down and deals with the necromancer/serial killer/rapist Johnny Found.

Shortly after this Harry, and Penny who slept with him while he was literally asleep and thus infected herself, are driven from England by E branch, who cannot risk Harry being allowed to live as a vampire. Eventually Harry and Penny flee for starside, but in the process Penny is killed.

Arriving back in the Vampire world Harry finds Lady Karen alive, after he had thought her dead from an attempted cure. The two out of loneliness become lovers for a time. But Shaithis, banished after battle with Harry and Harry Jr to the icelands is returning at the head of a small but vicious army, along side his ancestor from time immemorial, the most feared Wamphyri of all time, Shaitan himself.

Unfortunately Harry JR, injured by the sun itself in that battle has now mostly devolved into a wolf such as the one who transmitted its egg to him. Gone are most of his powers, leaving his father and Karen to face Shaitan and Shaithis almost alone.

Harry and Karen are, after a brief battle, crucified at the gate. However in a last act Karen commits suicide to take Shaithis with her and Harry and Harry Jr, combine their powers one last time to send a plea for help to earth which results in the dead in the Russian complex sending a nuclear armed exorcet through the gate, destroying Harry, Harry Jr, and Shaithis in a nuclear explosion.

Blood Brothers

It is revealed that after the Battle in the Garden (Necroscope 3, The Source) Harry Keogh fathered two sons unknowingly with a szagany woman Nana Kiklu, in starside/sunside. This books covers in some part the boys growing up, as well as the first appearance of the Wamphyri out of Turgosheim. It also covers Nathan and Nestor being separated to two very different fates. Nestor, destined to become a Necromancer and Lord of the Wamphyri, and Nathan destined to follow the path of a Necroscope.

Nathan is borne away from his Szagany home to live with the telepathic Thyre, learning to use his telepathy and deadspeak as well as some other talents. Eventually Nathan even ends up in Turgosheim, in the home of Maglore the mage, a Wamphyri lord, learning about the vampires from their own mouths. Maglore however doesnt vampirize Nathan, instead being curious, and insofar as a vampire can be a bit fond of him even.

Nathan eventually is cast through the gate at the orders of his own brother, and into our world.

Nestor on the other hand ends up in the hills, his memory damaged due to a head injury, witnessing a duel between Vasagi the suck and one of the KIllglance Brothers. His intervention in the form of a crossbow Bolt fired into Vasagi allows the Killglance Brother to win. He is then "rewarded" "illegally" with Vasagi's egg.

The Last Aerie





E Branch

Allies of Harry Keogh/Nathan Keogh/Kiklu/JakeCutter

E-Branch - see the E Branch section

Zek Foener -

Jazz Simmons -

Lady Karen -

Harry Jr/The Dweller -

Sandra Markham -

Penny Sanderson -

Lardis Lidesci -

Soviet E Branch


The Thyre

The Wamphyri




Warriors -

Flyers -

Siphoneers -

Gas Beasts -

Familiars (bats) -


Olden Wamphyri when defeated in a bloodwar were occasionally allowed to choose their fate, or assigned punishments that were seen as more fitting than death.

The Icelands -Occasionally a defeated lord would be banished to the Icelands. Such was the case of Shaitan the Unborn, Shaithis, Fess Ferenc, Volse Pinescu, Lord Schwart, Malinari the Mind, and Vavarra among others. These Lords in the main over time were frozen into the ice in an extended hibernation which ended when one of Shaitans beasts got to then, they eventually froze/starved to death after Millenia, or during the ice melt which briefly occurred after the event in the book BloodWar (Necroscope 10).

Banishment through the Gate - On occasion it was deemed appropriate to banish a enemy through the gate and into the "Hell Lands" aka our Earth. This was feared because no Vampire had ever returned from such banishment (the gates only work one way) but with the Wamphyri not able to understand that they assumed the lands beyond must be hellish and deadly. The original gate actually opened in our world in a cave with an underground river which was a tributary of the Danube under the Carpatians in Romania. The second gate, created thousands of years later by a Russian experiment sat atop the first and opened into another cave under the Urals.

Death - The means of most reliably carrying out a death sentence was to stake the offending vampire, behead them, then burn and scatter the ashes.

Staking out - A vampire might be staked out on the Sunside of the mountains during the night and left to be burned to death by exposure to the sun. This method however was unreliable as there was always the chance, however slim, of the vampire in question receiving help and escaping before sunrise.

Entombment - a Vampire could be staked, wrapped in silver chains, and left buried under the starside plains to slowly whither. These vampires might or might not actually die depending on how powerful and how long they were there, but would be effectively immobilized by the stake and even once it finally rotter away would still be held by the silver chains.


The Szagany

The Great/Silent Majority

The Shing`t

In Necroscope: The Touch a race of aliens known as the Shing`t are introduced to the world. The Shing`t supposedly seeded the earth long long ago with a mix of native DNA and their own to create a sentient race they could return to some day.

The Shing`t organize themselves into "Three groups" that consist of three Shing`t who study, think, and work together. These three groups allowed them to study every facet of science and all other fields accurately. Each three group was dedicated to a different path. The Shing`t adopt their number in the three group along with the name of the number one in that group and that is their name.

Series bibliography


* "Necroscope" (1986)
* "Necroscope II: Wamphyri" (1988); US title: "Necroscope II: Vamphyri!" (1988)
* "Necroscope III: The Source" (1989)
* "Necroscope IV: Deadspeak" (1990)
* "Necroscope V: Deadspawn" (1991)

"Vampire World"

* "Vampire World I: Blood Brothers" (1992)
* "Vampire World II: The Last Aerie" (1993)
* "Vampire World III: Bloodwars" (1994)

"The Lost Years"

* "Necroscope: The Lost Years [Volume I] " (1995)
* "Necroscope: The Lost Years Volume II" (1996); US title: "Necroscope: Resurgence The Lost Years Volume II" (1996)

"E-Branch" trilogy

* "E-Branch: Invaders" (1999); US title: "Necroscope: Invaders" (1999)
* "Necroscope: Defilers" (2000)
* "Necroscope: Avengers" (2001)


* "Harry Keogh: Necroscope and Other Weird Heroes" (2003)

New Adventures of the Necroscope

* "Necroscope: The Touch" (June 13, 2006)

Related role-playing games

* Ed Bolme. "The World of Necroscope" (1995) published by West End Games.


* Miranda Horner, Daniel Scot Palter, Brian Sean Perry and Jesse VanValkenburg. "Deadspeak Dossier" (1995)
* Miranda Horner and George R. Strayton. "The E-Branch Guide to Psionics" (1996)
* Edward Bolme and Andrew Heckt. "Wamphyri" (1996)
* Mark Barnabo, Edward S. Bolme, Angel McCoy, and Christopher E. Wolf. "Operation: Nightside" (1997)

Related comic books and graphic novels

# The "Necroscope" series of comic books published by "Malibu Comics", collected in a graphic novel titled "Necroscope":
#* October 1992
#* December 1992
#* February 1993
#* April 1993
#* June 1993
# The "Necroscope Book II: Wamphyri" series of comic books was published by "Malibu":
#* August 1993
#* November 1993
#* January 1994
# Another series of comic books entitled "Necroscope" was published by "Caliber Comics":
#* 1997
#* 1998

Other media

* German heavy metal band Rage released a song based on the Necroscope series titled "Talking to the Dead" on their "End of All Days" album in 1996.

External links

* [ Necroscope pages at Brian Lumley's website]
* [ Necroscopy:] A Guide to the Necroscope series

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