I read a short story back in the 90s from a compilation of science fiction (or possibly horror), where the main plot point was that after the aliens bombard Earth, they are surprised to still detect movement on the surface. They gather all the 'survivors', only for the twist to be revealed that these survivors are ghouls and vampires, and if I recall correctly, at the end of the story the lights in the spaceship begin to flicker and go out.

I've searched and searched but I can't find any reference to a similar plot, and I'm beginning to wonder if I just imagined the whole thing.

  • 1
    Sounds a bit like Out of the Dark, though that is a novel and far too recent.
    – Adamant
    Jul 5, 2016 at 7:28
  • 2
    And Not Quite Human maybe.
    – Adamant
    Jul 5, 2016 at 7:31
  • It's possible that it's @Obie2.0's suggestion of And Not Quite Human. I didn't manage to find a copy of the story, but I did find an excerpt from The Monster with a Thousand Faces: Guises of the Vampire in Myth and Literature by Brian J. Frost on Google Books, which said: The science fiction magazines of the day also carried several "post-holocaust" stories revolving around the vampire's alleged indestructibility. In [...] Joe Hensley's "And Not Quite Human" (_Beyond_, September 1953), a handful of vampires are the only survivors of a global catastrophe [...]
    – flith
    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:04
  • Sorry about that, I am a long-time Stack* reader but a noob when it comes to interacting. I tried to make a new paragraph in the comment and ended up pressing Enter instead. Edited now.
    – flith
    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:07
  • I may have been wrong about the flickering lights - it's been a long time since I read it, and my own imagination may have embellished the details.
    – flith
    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:08

1 Answer 1


This could be "And Not Quite Human"

This story is by Joe Hensley, and was published in 1953. It was included in the 1994 sci-fi vampire anthology Tomorrow Sucks, which may be where you read it.

Aliens destroy life on Earth, but are surprised to see that there are a few survivors:

"How are the Earth specimens, Doctor?" the older one asked, his voice indifferent. He touched his splendid purple pants, straightening the already precise creases.

"They stare at the walls, Captain. They do not eat what we give them. They seem to look through the guards, say very little and use their bodies feebly. I do not think that all of them will live through the trip."

"They are weak. It only shows the laboratories are wrong. Our people are not related to them—despite the similarity in appearance. No, we are cast in a stronger mold than that." He drummed his desk with impatient fingers. "Well—we can't let them die. Force-feed them if necessary. Our scientists demand specimens; we are lucky that some of them lived through the attack. I don't see now it was possible—it was such a splendid attack."

It is later revealed that the supposed human survivors are in fact vampires:

"It was a wonderful attack, Captain," the old man said softly. The shadows nodded as they formed and faded. "Nothing human could have lived through it—nothing human did. Some of us were deep underground where they'd buried us long ago—the stakes through our hearts—they knew how to deal with us. But your fire burned the stakes away."

  • Ahh, I couldn't find that ending part - that confirms it's definitely the story I was after. Brilliant, thanks!
    – flith
    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:19
  • @filth - You are welcome.
    – Adamant
    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:19
  • 1
    @filth It was also in the 1992 anthology Weird Vampire Tales. You can read the story for free here.
    – user14111
    Jul 5, 2016 at 8:27

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