Towerpedia:Father Callahan

Father Donald Frank Callahan is a fictional character in author Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. Father Callahan has the distinction of discovering his entire life is actually the plot for the novel 'Salem's Lot.

Early Life

While serving as a Catholic priest in Jerusalem's Lot, Maine, Father Callahan stood up to a Type One Vampire named Barlow. Ultimately, Father Callahan's faith deserted him, and Barlow "marked" him by forcing the priest to drink his blood.

As a result of this confrontation, Callahan was no longer able to enter the church, burning his hand when he attempted to grasp the door handle. He left Jerusalem's Lot on the next bus, which happened to be heading to New York.

New York

Callahan's drinking problem, ever present during his years in the priesthood, worsened during his time in New York. Eventually he finds Home, a "wet" shelter for people with drinking problems. Callahan begins to clean up his act and works for the shelter for awhile. It is during this time that he discovers he can see Type Three Vampires, the ones who feed on others without killing them. Callahan likens them to mosquitoes, who continually feed, and who possibly spread the AIDS virus.

Callahan begins killing these Type Three Vampires, which eventually earns him the attention of the can-toi, or low men. Callahan soon realizes he is being followed, and leaves New York by the Highways in Hiding, flipping between the world he knows and other versions of his world, where different faces are on the bills he carries and the names of the towns are different.

After several years on the road, Callahan reads a newspaper article about Rowan Magruder, the man who runs Home and someone he considers his friend. Rowan is in the hospital after an attack by the Hitler Brothers, an attack that ultimately causes his death. Callahan is compelled to see him, and returns to New York. He sees Rowan and returns to his familiar haunts, and is himself captured and tortured by the Hitler Brothers. The attempt by the Hitler Brothers to carve a swastika into his forehead are thwarted by Calvin Tower and Aaron Deepneau, resulting in the sign of the cross instead. This is a scar Father Callahan will carry for the rest of his life.


After recovering from his encounter with the Hitler Brothers, Callahan hits bottom. His drinking finally lands him in jail in Topeka, where he goes into convulsions on the floor of his cell. Callahan resolves to give himself one year to clean up his act, or he will take his own life. When he is released from jail, he finds his way to the Lighthouse Shelter, where he eventually becomes part of the staff.

Soon a letter arrives at Lighthouse Shelter offering a charitable donation of one million dollars from The Sombra Corporation. Callahan goes with two other representatives to the offices of Richard P. Sayre, and soon discovers this is a trap - Sayre means to allow the Type Three Vampires to infect him with the AIDS virus as punishment for his meddling in their affairs.

Rather than allow this fate, Callahan throws himself from the skyscraper to his death.

He does not die, however.

New Life

Callahan awakes to discover himself in the Way Station, and meets Walter there. Walter tells Callahan he is to be a diversion in the gunslinger's path, and pushes him through a door into Calla Bryn Sturgis, sending Black Thirteen in after him.

Callahan is discovered by the Manni in Doorway Cave and nursed back to health. He makes a life for himself in the Calla, founding a church and managing to acquire a good-sized congregation. After meeting Roland and his ka-tet, Father Callahan, known as Pere Callahan or The Old Fella in the Calla, decides the gunslinger should take Black Thirteen with him, and shows Roland its hiding place under the floorboards of his church.

Later, Callahan discovers a book owned by Calvin Tower entitled 'Salem's Lot, which appears to be the story of his life. Flabbergasted, Callahan is unable to believe his entire life could be the creation of an author in another world.

After the battle with the Wolves, Callahan decides to join the ka-tet on their journey.

Callahan and Jake go through the Unfound Door in Doorway Cave and end up in New York. They make their way to the Dixie Pig to rescue Susannah. Here Callahan regains his faith; he sacrifices himself to allow Jake to continue the journey and find Susannah.

Original artwork by Michael Whelan



Furth, Robin. Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance. Scribner, 2006. ISBN 0743297342

King, Stephen. The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, Book I, Revised). Viking Adult, 2003. ISBN 0670032549

King, Stephen. The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower, Book II). Viking Adult, 2003. ISBN 0670032557

King, Stephen. The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, Book III). Viking Adult, 2003. ISBN 0670032565

King, Stephen. Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, Book IV). Viking Adult, 2003. ISBN 0670032573

King, Stephen. Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, Book V). Donald M. Grant/Scribner, 2003. ISBN 1880418568

King, Stephen. Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, Book VI). Donald M. Grant/Scribner, 2004. ISBN 1880418592

King, Stephen. The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book VII). Donald M. Grant/Scribner, 2004. ISBN 1880418622

King, Stephen. 'Salem's Lot. Signet, 1976. ISBN 0451165888

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