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The Vampire Hunters
Benjaman 'Ben' Mears
Portrayed by: David Soul (1978 miniseries), Rob Lowe (2004 miniseries)
- Dark and Troubled Past: His girlfriend died in a motorcycle accident, and he survived. It haunted him throughout the book, and inspired him to return to 'Salem's Lot.
- Doomed by Canon: By the time of The Dark Tower he's already dead, as Father Callahan states.
- It's Personal: With Barlow, after Susan is turned by him.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Has already written at least two books by the start of the story.
- My Nayme Is: Benjaman, not the more common spelling Benjamin.
- Stranger in a Familiar Land: He experiences a bit of this upon returning to 'Salem's Lot.
- Took a Level in Badass: When the rest of the party starts dying off, he's the one who keeps them moving forward. He is the one who finally puts the stake in Kurt Barlow.
Portrayed by: Lance Kerwin (1978 miniseries), Dan Byrd (2004 miniseries)
- Badass Bookworm: Wears glasses, reads horror books, and kicks a lot of ass.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: He spits in the face of the ancient vampire Barlow for murdering his parents. Barlow is pissed.
- Escape Artist: He uses some tricks he learned in a book about Harry Houdini to escape after Straker ties him up.
- Genre Savvy: Thanks to reading monster books and comics.
- The Glasses Come Off: During his Establishing Character Moment he takes his glasses off and hands them to another kid before facing the neighborhood bully that's twice his size. He then nearly dislocates the bully's arm and humiliates him in front of the rest of the kids.
- It's Personal: After Barlow kills his parents.
- Not So Stoic: He keeps his cool, despite the vampire infestation ...up until Barlow murders his parents in front of him and he witnesses Jimmy's gruesome death.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He's still a kid after all. He's also one of the most badass characters in the book. Even Barlow is impressed (albeit livid) with him. So much so that Barlow flat out tells Callahan that, "the boy makes ten of you, false priest."
- Spiteful Spit: Barely containing his rage towards Barlow for killing his parents, he spits in his face. Barlow isn't very pleased.
Matthew 'Matt' Burke
Portrayed by: Lew Ayres (1978 miniseries), Andre Braugher (2004 miniseries)
- Armoured Closet Gay: In the 2004 miniseries.
- Cool Old Guy: The book's equivalent of Van Helsing, a fact remarked upon by Mark Petrie and Cody.
- Cool Teacher: The town seems to regard him as such.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He randomly dies of a massive heart attack in the hospital. This is made particularly egregious since he had survived an assassination attempt from a Brainwashed and Crazy Ann Norton.
- Genre Savvy: He has read most of the classic vampire lit.
- Logical Weakness: Although he's the most knowledgable and prepared of all the vampire hunters, he's still a man in his early sixties who lives an academic's life with a bit too much drinking. So he has a heart attack when facing a vampire face to face.
- Race Lift: The 2004 miniseries has him played by the black Andre Braugher.
Father Donald Callahan
Portrayed by: James Gallery (1978 miniseries), James Cromwell (2004 miniseries)
- The Alcoholic: One of Stephen King's alcoholic characters. His alcoholism largely stems from his disillusionment with the church.
- Badass Preacher: Takes on Barlow, despite his fear. A shame he can't best him.
- The Cynic: His disillusionment with the church and experiences with the worst humanity has to offer has left him pretty close to the Despair Event Horizon.
- Despair Event Horizon: After Barlow marks him as untouchable, casting him out from God and humanity, he gives up and leaves town to wander the fringes of mankind.
- Demoted to Extra: In the 1978 miniseries.
- Fate Worse than Death: Barlow marks him as untouchable, essentially casting him out from humanity and God, so Callahan is doomed to walk the Earth like Cain or the Wandering Jew.
- Suppressed Rage: Whenever Sandy McDougall tells him about how she beats her infant son Randy in confession, he suppresses the urge to leap into the confessional and throttle her.
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: Barlow torments him with the memory of his childhood boogeyman, Mr. Flip.
- The Transplant: He later became a major character in The Dark Tower.
Dr. James 'Jimmy' Cody
Portrayed by: Robert Mammone (2004 miniseries)
- Agent Scully: At least until seeing Marjorie Glick turn and getting bitten by her.
- Composite Character: He is combined with Bill Norton in the 1978 miniseries, who takes Cody's status as the doctor and an Agent Scully.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Impaled on knives after he fell through a booby trap. The original draft had him eaten by rats.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: See Cruel and Unusual Death.
- The Smart Guy: He acts as an Expy for Dr John Seward, with his medical expertise and skepticism.
Portrayed by: Bonnie Bartlett (1978 miniseries), Elizabeth Alexander (2004 miniseries)
Portrayed by: Bonnie Bedelia (1978 miniseries), Samantha Mathis (2004 miniseries)
- Action Girl: Averted. She heads to the Marsten house with the intention of staking Barlow, but ends up turned instead.
- Cute Bookworm: Can be assumed to be this. She has read Ben's novels and liked them enough that she almost immediately recognizes him when they met for the first time.
- Expy: The manner in which she dies (being turned into a vampire and then staked by her boyfriend) is similar to the fate of Lucy from Dracula. Considering that King was inspired to write Salem's Lot after teaching a high school course on Dracula, this parallel was likely intentional.
- Kill the Cutie/Corrupt the Cutie: Is turned into a vampire by Barlow. One of her first acts as an undead is to try and feed on Mark. But since he already dealt with something like this via Danny, he manages to chase her away. Regardless though she obey Barlow's command and kills both the sheriff and her mother until she's eventually staked.
- Starving Artist: She's managed to avoid the brunt of this by living with her parents. At least, until her relationship with her mother begins to deteriorate. She later ends up moving out of the house in spite of this trope, in order to gain her independence and reduce the growing conflict between her mother and herself.
- Stuffed in the Fridge: She is the first of the hero's gang to die and becomes a vampire. She is staked by her boyfriend Ben Mears, who becomes much more dedicated to hunting down the Big Bad as a result.
William 'Bill' Norton
Portrayed by: Ed Flanders (1978 miniseries)
- Ascended Extra: He has a far more prominent role in the 1978 miniseries and becomes a member of the vampire hunters, thanks to being merged with Jimmy Cody.
- Cool Old Guy: Is far more laid back and accepting of his daughter's choices than his wife is.
- Composite Character: He gains Jimmy Cody's role in the 1978 miniseries.
- Death by Adaptation/Dies Differently In The Adaptation: While in the book his fate is never shown, the implication is he turned into a vampire. In the 1978 miniseries, he is impaled on deer antlers by Straker.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In one of the most memorable scenes from the 1978 miniseries, Straker impales him on mounted deer antlers.
- Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: Bill disappears from the book after Susan dies, though he probably became a vampire.
Anthony H. 'Tony' Glick
- Cosmic Plaything: Both his sons die, his wife dies soon after, and then his vampirized wife and son turn him into a vampire.
Daniel Francis 'Danny' Glick
- Adaptational Villainy: In the 1978 miniseries, he actually becomes a vampire and is the one to turn Danny.
- Composite Character: He is given his brother's role as the first to be turned by Barlow.
- Expy: He shares a lot of attributes with Georgie Denbrough, another Cheerful Child regarded as an Annoying Younger Sibling by their older brother who meets a horrifying fate at the hands of a monster.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Whatever Straker does to him is described by the narration as unspeakable.
Royce Roy McDougall
Ed 'Weasel' Craig
Portrayed by: Elisha Cook Jr. (1978 miniseries), Martin Vaughan (2004 miniseries)
Lawrence 'Larry' Crockett
Portrayed by: Fred Willard (1978 miniseries), Robert Grubb (2004 miniseries)
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Of his real estate agency.
Portrayed by: Penny McNamee (2004 miniseries)
- Clueless Deputy: He seems pretty oblivious to all the supernatural activities going on in the town.
- Expy: He greatly resembles Norris Ridgewick, another Clueless Deputy who served as a recurring character in Stephen King's Castle Rock stories.
- Nice Guy: If a bit dim.
- Police are Useless: When it comes to the vampires, though Parkins Gillespie implies he was rather competent at his job.
Maury 'Moe' Green
- Posthumous Character: Died the same night as her husband.
Hubert Barclay 'Hubie' Marsten
- Hollywood Satanism: In addition to being a mobster and a bootlegger, Hubie was a devil-worshiper who sacrificed children.
- Posthumous Character: He's long dead by the events of the book, although Ben saw an apparition of him.
- The Renfield: He seems to have been an indirect one. It's mentioned that he corresponded with Barlow (then calling himself 'Breichen') for several years prior to his murder-suicide, and presumably made some kind of agreement for Barlow to occupy his house when the time was ripe.
- Police are Useless: Played With. While he is oblivious to the vampires, he still seems rather competent and gets killed when he actually tries to investigate the disappearances in Salems Lot.
- The Sheriff: Of Salems Lot.
Charles 'Charlie' Rhodes
Portrayed by: Andy Anderson (2004 miniseries)
Portrayed by: Brendan Cowell (2004 miniseries)
Michael Corey Ryerson
Portrayed by: Geoffrey Lewis (1978 miniseries), Christopher Morris (2004 miniseries)
Portrayed by: Kenneth McMillan (1978 miniseries), Steven Vidler (2004 miniseries)
Portrayed by: George Dzundza (1978 miniseries)
Kurt Barlow (formerly Breichen)
Portrayed by: Reggie Nalder (1978 miniseries), Rutger Hauer (2004 miniseries)
- Adaptational Ugliness: He could pass off as a normal human in the book, but in the 1979 he looks completely inhuman with bald hair, pale skin, bright eyes and pointed teeth. This is reversed in the 2004 miniseries where he is played by Rutger Hauer.
- Adaptation Personality Change: In the book, he's a Faux Affably Evil Dracula expy, a Classical Movie Vampire who tempts his prey with their deepest desires before turning them. In the 1979 miniseries, he's more of a Generic Doomsday Villain who Looks Like Orlok, doesn't talk at all, and just turns and kills the townspeople left and right.
- Badass Boast: Delivers an epic one to Ben.Barlow: Look and see me, puny man. Look upon Barlow, who has passed the centuries as you have passed hours before a fireplace with a book. Look and see the great creature of the night whom you would slay with your miserable little stick. Look upon me, scribbler. I have written in human lives, and blood has been my ink. Look upon me and despair!
- Bad Boss: He kills Straker himself after Straker is bested by Mark
- The Bad Guy Wins: He's killed in the end but by then it's too late, his vampirism has spread through all of Jerusalem's Lot.
- Big Bad: In both the book and its adaptations.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He's quite proud to call himself "the father of serpents" and a "great creature of the night".
- Deal with the Devil: He preys on people's innermost desires, and uses them to lure them under his wing.
- The Dreaded: It's implied that Straker, himself a devil-worshiping child killer, is scared to death of him.
- Expy: For all intents and purposes, he is Stephen King's modern-day take on Stoker's Dracula, only far older and with a different origin story. And in the miniseries, he Looks Like Orlok.
- Faux Affably Evil: Often comes across as really friendly and charming to the people of 'Salem's Lot, but his only intention is to turn them into vampires.
- Groin Attack: What he threatens to do to Mark.Barlow: ...you shall enter my church as choirboy castratum.
- I Shall Taunt You: A good portion of his dialogue consists of this.
- Kick the Dog: He is really fond of doing this.
- In his conversation with Dud, he asks if there are any wolves around 'Salem's Lot. Dud says that there are dogs, who Barlow voices his spite for, declaring, "Gut them all!"
- He kills Mark's parents in front of him.
- Turns Susan to spite Ben.
- Defeats Father Callahan in a duel of faith, then force-feeds his blood to him, leaving the priest barred from holy ground for the rest of his life.
- Large Ham: Barlow thoroughly enjoys the sound of his own voice, and his dialogue carries a pretentious and highly theatrical flair. See his Badass Boast above. Arguably, he's pretty hammy in the miniseries, too, albeit through non-verbal means.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: Even after his demise, Barlow's bloodline continues to grow. Anyone who passes into the now vampire-infested town seals their fate.
- Moral Myopia/Never My Fault: Blames Mark for Straker's death, when in reality, he was the one who killed him, and Mark only wounded him. There's also this gem:Barlow: You spit on me.context
- No Immortal Inertia: After Ben stakes him, Barlow's body rapidly decomposes. In the end, only his teeth are left.
- Really 700 Years Old: Naturally, being a vampire and all. In the novel he claims to be older than Christianity, which means he's at least 2000 years old.
- When he's first seen in person in the novel, by Dud Rogers, he appears as an elderly, white-haired man. Subsequent encounters with other characters have him looking increasingly youthful, presumably due to the infusion of fresh blood from his feedings.
- Sore Loser: Does not take well to Straker being killed. See Kick the Dog.
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: When he torments Father Callahan with the memory of his childhood boogeyman, Mr. Flip.
- Worthy Opponent: Views Mark as such, although he still hates him for killing Straker.Barlow: The boy makes ten of you, false priest.
- Would Hurt a Child: As shown with Danny Glick and Mark.
Richard Throckett Straker
Portrayed by: James Mason (1978 miniseries), Donald Sutherland (2004 miniseries)
- Adaptational Badass: In the 1978 miniseries, where he seems to have supernatural powers of his own.
- Adaptation Expansion: In the miniseries, he ends up playing a much larger role than his master.
- Bad People Abuse Animals: Kills Win Purinton's dog, Doc, and hangs him on a fence to protect himself from Barlow.
- Bald of Evil: He's entirely bald, murders children, and is in the service of Barlow.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Like his master, if his prayer to the "Lord of Flies" is any indication.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Straker is the main antagonist until about halfway through the book, when he's defeated by Mark and subsequently killed by Barlow.
- The Dragon: To Barlow.
- Evil Brit: Is British, and is a child killer who serves an ancient vampire.
- Faux Affably Evil: Susan even talks about how he's "charming" but with an undercurrent of something cruel about him. She got the feeling that he was putting on a show, but knew he wouldn't have to try hard to fool the hicks of Salem's Lot.
- Genre Savvy: Straker pre-emptively gets rid of every anti-vampire resource he can find, before Barlow's plot goes into full-gear, such as buying every rose in town and killing a black dog with white eye-patches.
- Hate Sink: The guy's a cowardly, self-serving bastard and a child killer to boot. He's easily the most repulsive person in the book, with the exception of Barlow.
- Karmic Death: He gets beaten nearly to death by Mark, who he was going to torture and then feed to his master, who later sees him bleeding out and finishes him off.
- The Renfield: For Kurt Barlow. He seems to have some supernatural powers himself, although he isn't a vampire.
- Serial Killer: Heavily implied. Mark finds a scrapbook bound in human flesh with photographs of Straker holding a child's corpse. Coupled with his murder of Ralphie Glick earlier on and what he planned to do to Mark, this certainly seems to suggest he enjoys killing children in his spare time.
- Would Hurt a Child: He murders Ralphie Glick and takes sadistic pleasure in beating Mark, and is implied to have killed several children before the events of the novel.
- You Have Failed Me: One of the possible reasons for his death at Barlow's hands. It could have been simply because Barlow was hungry or had no use for Straker anymore.