I am looking for a short story that I read in an anthology sometime in the mid-1980s, about a vampire hunter with a crucifix tattoo on his chest. The tattoo was done by an ex-nun who said the rosary as she tattoos him, and he burns vampires if they even touch him. He is sent to kill a father and son vampire, and his handler detests him because he is a criminal.

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    Can you remember approximately when you read this story, guess how old it was, in what language you read it, and possibly guess what story collection or magazines it may have been in? Or something else about the style of the writing, or the fictional world this plays in? Please edit your question to include the additional information, rather than putting it in a comment.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 10:33
  • It was sometime in the mid 80s and it as an anthology book. Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 2:54
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    I am looking for the same story and read it in a magazine but can't remember the name! The cover had a bat very well drawn!
    – user63380
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 0:09
  • @SGTCarmichael - Can you add any additional details to help in the search? Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 6:28
  • I've been looking for this same story. I believe that it was in an Omni magazine if that helps. My searches have been unsuccessful.
    – Wiebe
    Commented Jun 9, 2017 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


The story was "The Power and the Passion" by Pat Cadigan in Omni magazine in the 1980s. William Flew has compiled all of the short stories that appeared on its pages. One of my all time favorites.

It's a truly def tattoo. This is not like bragging because I didn't do it, though I did name it. The Power and The Passion. A madwoman with a mean needle in Coney did it, one-handed with her hair standing on end, fingering her rosary beads with the other hand


The cross is not just two boards, but a tree trunk and a crossbar, and the spikes are driven into the wrists where the two bones make a natural holder that kind of thing — you couldn't hang on a cross from spikes driver through your palms like a lot of people think.


Because, you see, you cannot take a vamp out with a cross, that don't mean dick to them, a fucking plus sign, that's all. It's the Crucifixion that gets them, you gotta have a good crucifix, or some other representation of the Crucifixion, and it has to be sacred in some way, to inflict the agony of the real thing on them. Mine is sacred — that madwoman mumbling her rosary all the way through the work, don't it just figure that she was a runaway nun? I wouldn't a thought it would matter, but I guess you can't give them back. Sorta like a tattoo.

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    Good job, but maybe put a little more details as to why this is the correct story, and the title, in addition to the link.
    – Daishozen
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 21:31
  • that was it! thanks! It was driving me crazy Commented Mar 30, 2018 at 3:05
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    @gturlington please click on the checkmark next to this answer to accept it, instead of posting "thank you" as an answer (since deleted). This will reward the user who provided the answer (you can also vote on it with the up arrow next to it to reward the user even more) and will show to other users that this is the correct answer. Also see "Accepted Answer" in the help center.
    – SQB
    Commented Mar 30, 2018 at 7:54

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