Thrown out of the Best universities, excommunicated from all the most popular religions and many of the obscure ones, fresh from his recent engagement in Hell, we present Johannes Cabal, Necromancer!
— Horst Cabal on his brother, "Johannes Cabal the Necromancer"
Character Facts






Late twenties

Appears in

- Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
- Johannes Cabal the Detective
- Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute
- The Brothers Cabal

Short fictions:
- Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day
- Exeunt Demon King
- The Ereshkigal Working
- The House of Gears
- The Death of Me
- Ouroboros Ouzo
- A Long Spoon

Life status



Convicted criminal and notorious snob, Johannes Cabal considers himself first and foremost a scientist. He is dedicated to the pursuit of life after death, or rather curing death itself. His interest lies in restoring people exactly as they were, not in raising an army of the undead. All the same, it would seem that unpopular practise of Necromancy is the only way to go about his goal.


His first appearance was in the shortstory Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day, in which Cabal fights an eldritch horror and debates having tea.

This was followed by Exeunt Demon King, in which he recounts a ghost story for Christmas.

After a trip into Hell, Johannes Cabal the Necromancer sees Cabal running an evil carnival for the purpose of collecting one hundred souls in the course of a year.


"Cabal’s full history has not been yet revealed in the stories, but some little is known. Johannes Cabal was born in Hessen, Germany, the younger of two brothers. When still a child, his father moved the family to England. Here the intention was for the Cabal brothers to integrate with English society. Their father Gottfried gave the elder son Horst a lot of latitude to find his own way, but the more serious Johannes had his future planned out and imposed upon him; he would read law at university and then join a local firm of solicitors.

A traumatic death changed all that, tipping Johannes into a kind of highly rational madness. He abandoned the life that had been planned for him and set himself on the path of necromancy.

First becoming a necrothologist (a theoretical necromancer, but lacking the deep knowledge), Cabal tried to gather the data he needed by investigating sites of reputed supernatural occurrences, such as the Grimpen Burial Ground, or the Alhambra Theatre (“Exeunt Demon King”). Horst, concerned by his brother’s mental state, accompanied him on some of these expeditions, only to die while examining a crypt with a dangerous history.

The disappearance and presumed death of Horst—Johannes never told anyone of the circumstances—caused a collapse of their father’s health. He died, and was buried in an English churchyard, just as he had always wanted. Mourning Horst and her husband, and unable to forgive Johannes, his mother Liese Cabal returned to Germany.

Disowned and isolated, Johannes Cabal’s obsession with perfect resurrection became all-consuming. He sold his soul to become a full necromancer—a sale he would later come to regret (as detailed in Johannes Cabal the Necromancer)—and gave up all pretence of common morality. Now even murder, should he deem it necessary, was not beyond him."

-- Johannes Cabal, Necromancer

Physical Appearance and Dress Edit

At the time of the books, Cabal is in his late 20s. Physically, he is pale blond, blue-grey or blue-eyed, and lean. He generally wears a black frock coat, black trousers, a white shirt, a black cravat, black braces (suspenders), and a black hat of some description (slouch-brimmed and snap-brimmed have both appeared in the books). He sometimes wears black kid gloves. In daylight, he often wears blue-lensed glasses with side baffles. He adds a long black coat and scarf in colder weather. He favours plaid carpet slippers and a black cardigan at home and sleeps in the nude.

He's been known to dress differently in special circumstances, though he feels it's beneath his dignity. He posessess stout walking boots and, for warmer climes, a cream linen suit and a panama hat.

Tools Edit

Cabal is rarely without his Gladstone bag. This leather bag is described as both black and brown in the books. It contains: a leather folder which holds surgical instruments; a padded box containing test tubes holding his latest "batch" of necromantic reagents and, on at least one occasion, holy water; and his gun, a Webley .577. The side of the Gladstone has leather straps for securing his cane.

The cane has an ebony shaft and is topped with death's head handle. The handle disengages with a twist to reveal a sword.

Cabal carries a flick knife (switchblade) and a notebook in his pockets. On at least one occasion, he carried a small piece of meteoric iron. He's also been known to carry extra rounds for the Webley here.


At some time about nine years prior to the events in Necromancer he lost a young woman of great importance to him. Ever since then Johannes has been obsessed with trying to bring her back which has lead him to study Necromancy, and to actions as extreme as selling his soul to Satan and stealing books of dark magic.