With Halloween just over, we’re all watching the old classic slashers and supernatural horror movies and shows. Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Stranger things and Silent Hill- what do all of these have in common? They all make appearances in the Multiplayer Online game, Dead by Daylight.
I thought, in light of the autumnal season, we could go through some lore of the killers lurking in this spine-tingling survival horror game as some mini character dissections.
The Hillbilly or, more respectfully, Max Thompson Jr had a pretty lonely and cruel upbringing. The killer was one of the three original cast of the game when it first came out, alongside the wraith and trapper. He wields a roaring chainsaw, a hammer and incredible persistence, he can rush the survivor’s team and down a few of them at once. His Perks also make it harder to lose him in a chase.
He was originally based on Leatherface from the Texas chainsaw massacre and the two’s stories are slightly similar and I find myself feeling bad for both of the killers who were mistreated and manipulated by their families. You can find his lore in Tome V – Unleashed.
The boy had been born with a facial deformity to a wealthy couple who did not want him; they never cared to name the child and in the rare instances they needed to call him they would just yell, ‘Boy!’ until it eventually became a name in itself. The couple was so ashamed of the poor child, they would lock him up in a room and slide his food through a hole in the wall throughout his whole childhood. They did have one use for him, however. Max Thompson Sr had a good relationship with the local police chief and when the two were together they were particularly cruel, making Boy kill the animals kept on their farm for the entertainment of them and others on the police force. He was incredibly strong even as a young adult and when his father handed him a hammer he felt satisfied, bludgeoning the poor creatures to death. The men would taunt Boy though, they would laugh at his appearance, call him names and mock him. One night after the relentless mocking torment Boy saw red, being pushed too far, they were laughing at him, making him kill again, and he would. Just not exactly what, or who, they expected. Boy killed and maimed everyone on the farm that night, dumping the bodies of those left alive in the Pigpen where the swine gathered around the still squirming meat. After that night Boy decided he wanted something to be called by, he wanted a name. He named himself Max Thompson Jr, after his late father.
‘Kill. That’s what they love to watch you do. Kill. Kill. Kill!’ Max Sr.
Coulrophobia is one of the most commonly known phobias in the world and even if you don’t have it, one still might find themselves being unnerved at the image of a colourful grease-paint covered visage following them in the night.
This exact fear is what the developers of Dead by Daylight were trying to incite in their players on the release of Kenneth Chase as the Killer of Chapter VIII: Curtain Call. This strategic killer has the ability to chuck bottles of his signature afterpiece tonic, inflicting survivors with impaired vision, slowed movement speed and coughing fits that give away their location. He attacks with the affectionately named ‘Madame butterfly’ knife.
Though it hasn’t explicitly been confirmed, many parts of his lore point to the Clown being based on the infamous John Wayne Gacy, a real-life serial killer from the ’60s. You will be able to find Kenneth’s backstory in Tome VIII: Deliverance.
Kenneth Chase never knew his mother, she had died during his birth and because of this, his father grew ever distant from the child he thought had taken away his wife. As young Kenneth grew older his father’s resentment only snowballed and eventually, the man gained a rather nasty drinking habit.
With his father always either away at work or in a drunken stupor, Kenneth had a lot of time on his hands, enough to get some nasty habits of his own in order to pass the time. The boy was fascinated with feathers, he would often find them on the floor on his way back from school or in his back garden next to the feeder- they were always so soft and he kept those he picked up in an empty cigar box under his bed. He had resolved to catch a bird, just long enough to hold the delicate thing and then let it go. In order to do this, he snuck some anaesthetic from the local dentist, creating a trap next to the feeder and after a couple of failed attempts, he caught a tiny robin. As he held the sleeping thing in his fingers, though, plans of letting it go screeched to a halt. The feeling of having its life in his palms was exhilarating and as it began to rouse, he found himself unable to let go, in fact his grip tightened around the panicking bird’s neck until the robin’s chest ceased the rapid fluttering of it’s breath. After this he discarded the dead bird alongside the old collection of feathers he had garnered, starting anew with a single red feather from his first victim.
This collection grew rapidly in both size and variation, feathers were no longer his fascination but the trophies he got from his various victims. Over time he became an expert in tailoring his tinctures to knock out different species, raccoons, dogs, etc until in the late 1940s when a young man went missing.
Kenneth had been coasting by undetected with his new hobby until one day he came back from work to see his father backing out of the crawlspace under the house with a familiar cigar box- one that he knew contained various feathers, animal paws and an incriminating male finger. He turned tail and ran, taking up a life in the circus as a rope-puller where he gained his killer alter-ego that was slowly becoming a part of him.
“Your mom would have hated you. You listening?” Mr chase.
Have you ever heard that old myth that twins can feel each other’s pain? This is certainly true for the conjoined twins Victor and Charlotte Deshayes, the pain they both experienced in life was equal parts undeserved and cruel resulting in them being one of the few killers I hold sympathy for, a great emotional bond between the two formed out of this unjust torment.
Their primary ability, ‘Blood bond’ allows the two to separate in a match and hunt for survivors together, in this state Victor will leave Charlotte and search the map at a great speed for remaining survivors, he can clearly see any blood pools or scratch marks left behind making this an easy feat. Charlotte’s main weapon, the Blade of Marseille, is a stolen farmer’s sickle she had modified to her liking that can deal a vicious blow to the survivors.
The pair were born in France in the 17th century to a single mother, Madeleine Deshayes- the medical advancements, or lack thereof, in this era meant both of them being alive and well was nothing short of a miracle. However, this stroke of good fortune for the two brought with it a life of persecution and running. When the people of their town heard of the unusual birth on their doorstep many spoke of a demon born to a witch.
For the first few years of their lives, Victor and Charlotte thought they shared a similar childhood to others their age, playing games with their mother of running and hiding through the countryside of France. This sense of normalcy for the two all but dissipated when they turned five, their mother growing ill and having no choice but to burden Charlotte with the responsibility of garnering food for the small family. With Victor tucked underneath a heavy coat, she would go out onto the streets of France and swipe food from various market stalls; though as would be a pattern in the unfortunate souls, this way of life was short-lived. In the night, a horde of hunters infiltrated the families residence, trying their mother as a witch on the spot while pulling the kicking and screaming twins from their bed, Madeleine was later burnt at the stake. She begged her children to look away as fire licked the bottom of her skirt but, as much as they wanted to, they were made to watch by the men committing this vile act, becoming the very demons they accused the twins of being.
The two were taken to a temple, sold to a shady group of hooded men and had all manner of cruel and curious experiments implemented on them. In between these experiments, being forced to snap the neck of a bird or to bleed their finger over a vase of roses, they could only find comfort in one another’s arms, crying and hugging to the endless chorus of chanting from their captors that echoed through the halls. After a time, they were taken from their room for the final experiment in the centre of the temple. As the hooded figure chanted and retrieved a sacrificial knife from his robe, Charlotte rolled over, allowing her brother to extend a small arm and knock a candelabra from the altar, the place caught on fire in an instant, ropes of flame travelling up each man’s draping robe and traversing the wooden floors. The screams of agony from her tormentors, a fitting end to the men who endorsed their mother’s death, invigorated Charlotte and though her lungs filled with smoke she continued on until she saw the promising light of the sun. Finally, after the girl had spent what felt like an age running she reached for Victor’s hand but felt no movement and when she looked down anguish enveloped her, seeing her brother hanging limp from her chest cavity.
Years later, Charlotte had found her purpose in protecting Victor’s corpse which was blackened and rotting by now, he was the only family she had left, even this way. Life was still an unrelenting game of cat and mouse between herself and what seemed like an endless supply of cloaked figures giving chase.
“Though forever bound through blood and trauma, The Twins have been granted the power to separate from their shared body. Together they hunt as brother and sister, doubling the threat to Survivors.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the lore in Dead by Daylight and there are all manner of stories, some stemming from vengeance, others from someone’s twisted desires. You can find all of these cool titbits through playing the game, youtube (both official and unofficial) and the Dead by Daylight wiki, which I highly recommend if you enjoyed reading this article.
This fandom has a little bit of everything for horror lovers and presents it in really creative and interesting ways.