People gravitated around him, drawn in by the stories he denied about himself, but what the source of these stories might be, if not his own denials, was never entirely clear.
The tales had to do with the psychic powers that he'd supposedly inherited from his mother's side of the family who, he claimed, had lived at the smarter end of Transylvania. That is to say, he didn't make any such claim at all, and said it was the most absurd nonsense. He strenuously denied that there were bats of any kind at all in his family and threatened to sue anybody who put about such malicious fabrications, but he affected nevertheless to wear a large and flappy leather coat, and had one of those machines in his room which are supposed to help cure bad backs if you hang upside down from them. He would allow people to discover him hanging from this machine at all kinds of odd hours of the day, and more particularly of the night, expressly so that he could vigorously deny that it had any significance whatsoever.
By means of an ingenious series of strategically deployed denials of the most exciting and exotic things, he was able to create the myth that he was a psychic, mystic, telepathic, fey, clairvoyant, psychosassic vampire bat.
What did "psychosassic" mean?
It was his own word and he vigorously denied that it meant anything at all.