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21st Century Vampire Myths


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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The title says it all really. We were asked a while ago whether we knew of any and I can't think of any off hand. Do you know any?

Mauro
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Vampires

Do you mean vampire of the "classic" bloodsucking type or just anything vampire related?
I can ask to more knowledgeable friends but in the meanwhile the only think I can think of is this.
On the night of Halloween 1968 a graveyard desecration by persons unknown occured at Tottenham Park Cemetery in London.
These persons arranged flowers taken from graves in circular patterns with arrows of blooms pointing to a new grave, which was uncovered.
A coffin was opened and the body inside "disturbed". But their most macabre act was driving an iron stake in form a cross though the lid and into the breast of the corpse.
The source is the London Evening News, 2 November 1968, as cited by Gareth Medway in The Lure of the Sinister.
This was the culmination of the so-called "Highgate Vampire" case, which stirred up quite a sensation back in the '60s.
In 1963 two 16-years old girls (they were never tracked down by investigators) were walking home down Swain's Lane when, passing by the much dilapidated Highgate Cemetery, they saw "corpses rising from their graves".
Then it all went downhill.
People began "seeing things" around the old cemetery and stories got wilder with each retelling. There were self-proclaimed "Vampire Hunters" threatening to break into the old burial ground and driving stakes in every single corpse: the Metropolitan Police still considers the Tottenham Park case (still unsolved) a direct result of the "Highgate Vampire" hysteria/phenomenon.
I do not know very much about the case (for example I've never read David Farrant's Beyond the Highgate Vampire) but I do know that after Tottenham Park the whole story seemed to die slowly, maybe the result of increased surveillance around London's cemeteries, scaring away would be Vampire Slayers and curiosity seekers.
There were still a couple of interesting casesm though.
In 1971 a girl walking down Swain's Lane was assailed by a tall, dark-clad man with pale skin. She managed to escape and run to the police. The extensive search didn't turn out anything but, again, there was more than enough time between the girl's escape and the arrival of the first officers to allow even a human assailant enough time to make himself scarce.
In 1974 a man allegedly found a freshly dug corpse locked in his car, again Swain's Lane, though how this can be traced to vampires is not exactly clear...
Whatever the whole Highgate Vampire case was a delusion brought on by the superb Hammer horror movies (Dracula started the lucky streak in 1958) or whatever it was somehing more rooted in reality we'll probably never know.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Urisk
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Probably not Ian; given that

Probably not Ian; given that most Vampire myths have this sort of "Vampire the Maskerade" RPG nonsense attached to them. The mythology has been hijacked by the pseudo-goth culture and the movies (not that I have a problem with seeing Kate Beckinsale in ridiculously tight PVC and leather. Far from it!), and as such, I believe it to have been caught more up in the fashionable image than in actual mythology these days. Same goes for werewolves: All these kids seem to swarm forums like unexplainedmysteries.com asking for uber infoes on teh Lycans (sic- ish). The word Lycan was never used until the movie Underworld was released (although again, see my reference to Ms Beckensale). Vampires have been too romanticised and are now too well-known via multi-media formats to be classed as horror now.

Oh and let us not forget a certain Slayer who was just a little too efficient at killing off vampires... I suppose that was the final nail in the coffin, so to speak (sorry, Howler of a pun).

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Mauro
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I've found Mr Farrant's own

I've found Mr Farrant's own website and to be honest with you it seems more about promoting his own work than chronicling the Highgate Vampire saga. I'll dig out more this evening and see if I can come up with any interesting website.

PS: by an incredible chance of luck one of my terriers is named after the aforementioned Vampire Slayer. Don't blame me, my brother gave her the name and it stuck (mostly because it's short and sharp, ideal for commands).

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Lee Waterhouse
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Apparently a gentleman named

Apparently a gentleman named (Reverend) Sean Manchester staked and burned the Highgate Vampire in a haunted house.

About two 3rds down the page http://members.lycos.co.uk/Hirudo/manchester.html

And at the bottom is a review on his Vampire hunters handbook. It aslo mentions that he is investigating a Vampire at Robin Hoods Grave at Kirklees, Yorkshire.

I think i might invest in this book, you never know...it may come in handy one day

Mauro
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Thanks Lee, that's a useful

Thanks Lee, that's a useful link.
I've read that Mr Manchester and Mr Farrant were supposed to be rival "vampire hunters" and it would have been a immensely funny sight seeing them scramble through the cemetery gates, stakes and garlic in hand, to see who would be the first to imitate Peter Cushing!
To be honest Mr Manchester's claims are even wilder than Mr Farrant's (which says a lot) and many of his accounts seem stolen (probably quite litterally) from pulp horror magazines.
There have been at least three vampire scares in XX Century Britain I have been able to trace through our good common friend, the Internet: the Coventry Vampire (1922), the aforementioned Highgate Vampire (1963-?) and the Winford Vampire (1970).
All three of them seem to be at least partly influenced by both Bram Stoker's novel Dracula and its subsequent adaptations (thatre, movies etc), the Hammer classics being particulary prominent.

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Lee Waterhouse
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I couldnt find anything

I couldnt find anything about the Winford Vampire, but i did stumble across this hilarious website, http://www.fvza.org/vib.html hehehehe follow the link near the bottom of the page entitled Vampire population. Apparently Battersea power station was powered by burning vampire corpses.....rofl....

Mauro
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My fault, it's a typing

My fault, it's a typing error, sorry.
Search for the Winsford Vampire and you'll find plenty of sites...

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Matt.H
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The main one from round

The main one from round these parts dates back to the 1970s, when a man was found dead in a dilapidated but once-grand villa in Stoke on Trent. He was surrounded by various anti-vampire paraphenalia and seemed to have choked on a lump of garlic. Strange!

steve_ash
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 Did you here about Tower

 Did you here about Tower Hamlets Vampire?


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Daniel Parkinson
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steve_ash wrote:  Did you
steve_ash wrote:

 Did you here about Tower Hamlets Vampire?


Never heard of it steve - will this have a punchline :-)



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