Sabat 1: The Graveyard Vultures

“Sabat 1: The Graveyard Vultures” is a horror novel by Guy N. Smith, first published in 1982. It’s the first book in the “Sabat” series, known for its blend of horror, suspense, and occult themes.

Plot Summary

Mark Sabat, ex-priest, SAS-trained killer, and exorcist, is a man with a harrowing mission. Haunted by his past and driven by an unrelenting need for vengeance, he must seek out and destroy his mortal enemy—a brother who has chosen the Left Hand Path and embodies the eternal principle of Evil.

Sabat finds himself trapped, helplessly imprisoned within his own paralyzed body. His mind, fully conscious but impotent, rages and struggles against his inert flesh. He can sense the dark, encrusted blood that masks his face, sticky and rancid. More blood has soaked into his clothing, saturating through to his skin. Beside him, a girl lies naked, her pale body hideously marked by the knife that has stabbed and sliced through her flesh.

Above them looms a desecrated altar, adorned with black candles and a reversed crucifix, casting ominous shadows in the flickering light. The air is thick with the scent of blood and the oppressive weight of impending doom. Sabat knows that the waiting is almost over; the ceremony is about to begin.

His brother, the embodiment of malevolence, stands at the altar, preparing to complete a dark ritual that will solidify his power and plunge the world into chaos. The sinister atmosphere crackles with dark energy as the ceremony progresses, each moment bringing Sabat closer to a fate worse than death.

With every fiber of his being, Sabat fights against his paralysis, fueled by the knowledge that failure means not only his own destruction but the triumph of his brother’s evil. Memories of his training and his faith clash within him, igniting a fierce determination to break free and thwart the ritual.

As the ritual reaches its climax, Sabat’s internal struggle reaches a fever pitch. He taps into his deepest reserves of strength, drawing on his experiences as an ex-priest and a soldier. The pain and horror of the situation serve to sharpen his resolve, transforming his helplessness into a burning will to survive and conquer.

In a final, desperate surge of effort, Sabat breaks free from his paralyzed state. The battle that ensues is one of raw power and sheer will, pitting brother against brother in a clash of good versus evil. The altar room becomes a battleground, the air thick with the sounds of their struggle and the dark energies unleashed by the ritual.

Sabat’s journey is one of redemption and revenge, a relentless pursuit of justice in the face of overwhelming darkness. The novel masterfully weaves elements of horror, action, and the supernatural into a gripping narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Sabat’s character is richly developed, his internal conflicts and external battles making him a compelling and complex hero.

In the end, Sabat’s confrontation with his brother is a testament to the enduring power of faith, determination, and the human spirit. The story delivers a thrilling and satisfying conclusion, leaving readers both haunted and inspired by Sabat’s relentless quest for justice and his ultimate triumph over evil.

Themes and Style

  • Occult Horror: “Sabat 1: The Graveyard Vultures” explores themes of occultism, dark magic, and supernatural evil, with Sabat serving as the central protagonist battling against the forces of darkness.
  • Action and Suspense: The novel is characterized by its fast-paced action sequences and suspenseful encounters with the graveyard vultures and their sinister masters, keeping readers on the edge of their seats throughout.
  • Character Development: Smith delves into the backstory and motivations of the protagonist Sabat, revealing his complex and troubled past as he confronts his own inner demons while battling the forces of darkness.


“Sabat 1: The Graveyard Vultures” received generally positive reviews from readers and critics, who praised its atmospheric setting, gripping plot, and memorable characters. The novel’s blend of horror, occultism, and supernatural suspense resonated with audiences, making it a standout entry in Smith’s bibliography.

Author Background

Guy N. Smith (1939-2020) was a British author known primarily for his horror fiction. With over 100 novels to his name, Smith’s works often featured elements of the supernatural, the macabre, and the grotesque. He gained widespread recognition for his ability to craft thrilling and suspenseful horror narratives.


“Sabat 1: The Graveyard Vultures” remains a beloved installment in Smith’s “Sabat” series, offering fans of occult horror another thrilling and chilling adventure. The novel’s enduring popularity speaks to Smith’s talent for creating compelling narratives that blend horror, suspense, and supernatural elements in equal measure.