In terms of publication history (first instance in published media, rather than first instance for the character's perspective in a particular story), when was the very first time that Batman discovers the existence of something that's considered to be either paranormal or supernatural, and how did he react to this?

For example, when was the first time in the real world that a comic book reader could pick up an issue and see Batman encountering an unambiguous ghost, or evidence of life after death.

And yes, I understand that there may be some blurring of the lines of what is paranormal and what isn't in DC comics. I'm discounting things like aliens, flesh and blood creatures from other dimensions, and meta-human powers.

1 Answer 1


In Batman's fifth appearance, in Detective Comics #31 (1939), "Batman Versus The Vampire", Batman encounters The Monk, a vampire or werewolf (he's described as both).

The Monk was a vampire who wore a red, monk-like outfit, with a hood that bears a yellow skull and crossbones on it. He had an assistant named Dala, who lured Batman to their lair using Bruce Wayne's fiancé, Julie Madison, as bait.

The Monk placed Julie in a hypnotic trance, but Batman managed to rescue her and afterwards, Batman killed the Monk and Dala by shooting them with silver bullets as they lay in their coffins.

In short, he seems to take the supernatural entirely in stride.

  • 1
    Did he comment on the existence of this creature in any way? Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 15:03
  • 2
    @AaarghZombies: Based on youtube.com/watch?v=RbF__NCzE98 and youtube.com/watch?v=Dcl65OXWNGQ, not really, with comments like "So, you are vampires" followed by immediately pursuing The Monk.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 15:14
  • 2
    Was this before Batman decided he didn't shoot people? Or do werewolf-vampires not count as people? Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 15:34
  • 18
    @DougWarren: Golden Age Batman didn't mess around. He routinely killed criminals, and there's a notorious image of him machine-gunning a set of mobsters with his Bat-Biplane.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 16:00
  • 2
    @FuzzyBoots But only villains. For example, ducks are beyond the pale and yet Batman (admittedly inadvertently) kills baddies in the same movie.
    – Spencer
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 20:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.