Monster Hunters: The Top 6

Who ya gonna call?

Leon Belmont: “Give [Dracula] this message: You have become a cursed being and I will never forgive you. This whip and my kinsmen will destroy you someday. From this day on, the Belmont clan will hunt the night!

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

Monsters have always plagued stories. Cruel creatures of the night descend to destroy and subjugate everything in their path. Any humans along the way become playthings or food until a hero appears. With skill, strength, or guile, the hero slays the monster and saves the day. They then leave, already preparing for the next fight.

Make no mistake, the monsters are coming. These six monster hunters are gonna send them back to Hell.

# 6 Van Helsing

Debuted in: Dracula
Played by Edward Sloan, Peter Cushing, and Hugh Jackman

Count Dracula: “You are too late. My blood now flows through her veins. She will live through the centuries to come, as I have lived.
Van Helsing: “Should you escape us, Dracula. We know how to save Miss Mina’s soul, if not her life.
Count Dracula: “If she dies by day. But I shall see that she dies by night.
Van Helsing: “And I will have Carfax Abbey torn down, stone by stone, excavated a mile around! I will find your earth-box and drive that stake through your heart!

Dracula (1931)

Vampires are a joke these days. Everyone knows their powers and weaknesses. They’re used as disposable mooks in action movies and tortured love interests in books. There was a time when vampires were the most nightmarish beasts to ever blight the world. And the only one who could stop them was the great granddaddy of monster hunters, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing.

Van Helsing became a monster hunter when his student, Dr. Seward, contacted him about a mysterious disease plaguing his fiance, Lucy. After ensuring she stayed healthy, Helsing recognized Lucy was a victim of vampirism. Van Helsing was unable to save Lucy and swore to save her friend, Mina Harker, who was also being fed on by Count Dracula.

Van Helsing gathered a posse to track and slay Dracula. The group of monster hunters destroyed Dracula’s coffins, killed his servants and brides, and finally trapped the Count in his Transylvanian castle. While Van Helsing doesn’t strike the deathblow on the sleeping Count, it is only his esoteric knowledge that allows them to kill Dracula.

Later monster hunters rely on high tech weaponry or superpowers, but Van Helsing proved that those tools are useless compared to knowledge of the enemy. The good doctor was popular with the ladies, as almost every vampire story has a Van Helsing descendant taking on the forces of darkness.

#5 Alexander Anderson

Debuted in: Hellsing
Played by Steven Brand and Ben Creighton

Anderson: “Hold your tongue! The dead don’t speak. Do the dead dare walk the earth before my eyes? Will the undead raise an army, fall in, and advance? Would those who would abandon God and embrace the heretical order DARE presume to meet my gaze!? Iscariot will not allow it. I will not allow it. You will be cut down like straw, trembling before my wrath! AMEN!”

Hellsing Ultimate “Hellsing 5” (season 1, episode 5)

The world of Hellsing is full of vicious monsters. Ghouls run rampant, werewolves prowl the streets, and a battalion of Nazi vampires besiege London. The world is so dark that even Dracula is forced to side with humanity. One human is capable of surpassing every monster: the Judas priest Alexander Anderson.

Little is known of Anderson’s backstory. He is implied to have been a criminal who joined the Catholic church after disguising himself as a priest. Anderson was recruited by the Iscariot Organization, the Vatican’s black ops unit. They experimented on Anderson, turning him into a supersoldier with regenerative abilities and set him loose on their enemies.

Anderson has a variety of holy weapons that he stores in a pocket dimension. His signature weapons are a pair of bayonets made from blessed silver. He also uses a Bible to channel magic, including teleportation and sacraments that repel the undead. Anderson’s last resort is Helena’s Nail, one of the nails that pierced Christ’s body. By stabbing himself with the nail, Anderson can transform into a thorn-covered “Monster of God.”

Alexander Anderson seems like the ideal hero for Hellsing, but there’s a catch. He has a tendency to go crazy whenever he sees the undead or a non-Catholic. And the main characters of Hellsing are Dracula, a woman he turned into a vampire, and a Protestant descendant of Van Helsing. Still, you would be hard pressed to find a better monster hunter.

#4 Blade

Debuted in: Tomb of Dracula #10
Played by Wesley Snipes and Mahershala Ali

Blade: “Good try, Spider-Man, but you have a lot to learn about catching vampires. It’s time I taught you a few tricks. Stay alert, webslinger, it’s gonna be a long night.”

Spider-Man: the Animated Series “Blade, the Vampire Hunter” (Season 2, Episode 9)

There are lots of monster hunters in Marvel comics, but none of them are as famous as the Daywalker: Blade.

Eric Brooks was born into a nightmare. His mother was attacked by a vampire named Deacon Frost as she was giving birth. The vampiric taint spread to Eric, turning him into a half-vampire. Eric spent his childhood training to kill Frost and even found a retired vampire hunter to teach him how to kill them.

Eric was soon nicknamed Blade for his skill with swords and knives. Around the same time, vampires began spreading word of a Daywalker, a half-human vampire with all their strengths and none of the weaknesses. 

Blade made his grand debut by helping a posse of vampire hunters who were led by Van Helsing’s granddaughter fight Dracula. The group never killed the Count , and Blade was the only survivor. Their deaths put Dracula on Blade’s shitlist, second only to Frost.

In addition to monster hunting, Blade was the focus of a trilogy in the 2000s. Wesley Snipes brought the character to un-life on the screen, revitalizing interest in superhero movies. Marvel is planning for a Blade remake starring Mahershala Ali to be the flagship of the MCU’s fifth phase.

#3 Hellboy

Debuted in: San Diego Comic Con Comics #2
Played by Ron Perelman, David Harbour

Hellboy: [Loading his gun] “Perfect job for these babies. Made ’em myself. Holy water, clover leaf, silver shavings, white oak… the works.”

Hellboy (2004)

The best monster hunters are usually part monster themselves. So how good a monster hunter will the Antichrist be?

Hellboy was summoned to Earth as part of a Nazi plan to win WWII. He was instead recruited by the Allies, including a scientist named Bruttenholm who raised Hellboy with his group, The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Hellboy soon grew into the Bureau’s greatest agent and secret weapon.

Hellboy has taken down countless monsters, but there’s a lot more to his story. Our Hellboy Backstory has the details.

#2 Sam and Dean Winchester

Debuted in: Supernatural
Played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles

Detective: “Gotta ask…do you boys chase the crazy, or does the crazy chase you?
Sam:Depends on the day.

Supernatural, “Hunteri, Heroici” (Season 8, Episode 8)

It might be cheating to put two monster hunters in one slot, but the Winchester brothers come as a set.

Sam and Dean are the sons of a professional monster hunter named John Winchester. Sam attends college while Dean stays to learn more about monster hunting. John eventually goes missing, and Dean recruits Sam to help find him.

The Winchesters eventually find themselves in a war between Heaven, Hell, and various other forces. They’ve killed countless monsters, ghosts, demons, and angels both fallen or otherwise. The Winchesters also can’t stay dead, as they’ve both died and been resurrected a total of thirteen times so far. If you count a Groundhog Day-style episode, Sam has died a whopping 118 times!

The Winchesters may have a big body count, but they lose out on the top spot because their kills are split between the two of them. Besides, they’ve died at least thirteen times while our number one choice only died twice.

#1 Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Debuted in: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Played by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kristy Swanson

The Master: “You’re dead.”
Buffy: “I may be dead, but I’m still pretty. Which is more than I can say for you.”
The Master: “You were destined to die! It was written!”
Buffy: “What can I say? I flunked the written.”

Buffy: The Vampire Slayer “Prophecy Girl” Season 1, Episode 12

The number one monster hunter and inspiration for dozens of copycats is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Buffy Summers was an average high school cheerleader. Her life changed when she caught a knife someone had thrown at her. The assailant introduced himself as an agent of The Watcher’s Council, an organization dedicated to killing vampires. He also revealed that Buffy was The Slayer, a chosen one with superhuman strength who was destined to hunt monsters.

Buffy was reluctant at first, but eventually embraced her role as the Slayer. Buffy burned down her school’s gym during a fight, forcing her family to move to Sunnydale. There she met a new agent of The Watchers named Giles and befriended genius Willow and class clown Xander. This foursome became known as The Scoobies.

Part of Buffy’s success as a monster hunter stems from The Hellmouth, a portal beneath her new school that draws monsters from across the world. Buffy has slain hordes of vampires, zombies, demons, the Frankenstein-like Adam, a Hell Goddess named Glory, and even the First Evil. Not bad for a ditzy teenager.

Which monster hunter would you want to save you? Is there a hunter better than these six? Tell us in a comment.

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