21st Century Vampire Myths

21st Century Vampire Myths

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28 Responses

  1. Mauro says:

    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.

  2. Urisk says:

    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).

  3. Mauro says:

    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).

  4. Lee Waterhouse says:

    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

  5. Mauro says:

    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.

  6. Lee Waterhouse says:

    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….

  7. Mauro says:

    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…

  8. Matt.H says:

    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!

  9. steve_ash says:

     Did you here about Tower
     Did you here about Tower Hamlets Vampire?

    • Daniel Parkinson says:

      steve_ash wrote:
       Did you

      [quote=steve_ash] Did you here about Tower Hamlets Vampire?


      Never heard of it steve – will this have a punchline 🙂

      • steve_ash says:

        Daniel Parkinson
        [quote=Daniel Parkinson][quote=steve_ash] Did you here about Tower Hamlets Vampire?


        Never heard of it steve – will this have a punchline :-)[/quote]

        The punchline might be this was the only time the Police have held a press conference to deny the existance of vampires 🙂 The public had to be reassured after a wave of hysteria spread through the Bangladeshi community after a series of ‘vampire attacks’ in Tower Hamlets a few years back.

        I’m searching for the news reports that were on the net a couple of years ago, but no luck so far.

        • Daniel Parkinson says:

          steve_ash wrote:Daniel
          [quote=steve_ash][quote=Daniel Parkinson][quote=steve_ash] Did you here about Tower Hamlets Vampire?


          Never heard of it steve – will this have a punchline :-)[/quote]

          The punchline might be this was the only time the Police have held a press conference to deny the existance of vampires 🙂 The public had to be reassured after a wave of hysteria spread through the Bangladeshi community after a series of ‘vampire attacks’ in Tower Hamlets a few years back.

          I’m searching for the news reports that were on the net a couple of years ago, but no luck so far.[/quote]

          It does actually ring a bell now, I do recall reading about it but I can’t remember the details.

  10. Daniel Parkinson says:

    Vampire kit
    It could be an expensive hobby this vampire hunting, like to see someone get this through customs, looks like something from the Buffy series 🙂


  11. Matt.H says:

    In the 1970s, a young Polish
    In the 1970s, a young Polish man was found dead in his flat in Stoke on Trent. He had smeared a mixture of urine, blood and garlic around the windows and had choked to death on a clove of garlic. There were also a number of crucifixes in the room.

    • Ian Topham says:

      Matt.H wrote:
      In the 1970s,

      [quote=Matt.H]In the 1970s, a young Polish man was found dead in his flat in Stoke on Trent. He had smeared a mixture of urine, blood and garlic around the windows and had choked to death on a clove of garlic. There were also a number of crucifixes in the room.[/quote]

      I think this maybe the case your reffering to Matt.  The Polish guy was called Mr Myiciura and it was reported in the Times of London, in early January 1973. He was a retired pottery worker of 68yrs of age and had been a resident in UK for twenty five years.

      There was a bag of salt by his head, one between his legs and salt scattered around the room and on his blankets. The garlic clove was in his mouth and he even had galic in the keyhole of his room.

  12. Ian Topham says:

    I suppose with him being
    I suppose with him being older and an immigrant from Eastern Europe he would have been brought up with a lot more folklore and myths surrounding vampirism.

  13. Matt.H says:

    Just realised I’ve
    Just realised I’ve double-posted my Stoke vampire story… never mind!

    I have a couple of sources (admittedly secondary) that say the guy was a young man. Does the Times article say he was 68?

    • Ian Topham says:

      Matt.H wrote:
      I have a

      [quote=Matt.H]I have a couple of sources (admittedly secondary) that say the guy was a young man. Does the Times article say he was 68?[/quote]

      I just found this source Matt, I’m unsure about how good it is, but id does quote the newspaper article.

  14. steve_ash says:

     Found it!
     Found it!

    ‘Count Drac-ullah’ terrorises Bengalis, 4.2.05

    The east end of London has been gripped by a climate of fear not seen since Jack the Ripper, Britain’s most famous serial killer, prowled its streets.

    Community leaders are appealing for calm as rumours of a “neck-biting beast” create panic in Britain’s Bangladeshi community.

    Stories about a vampire started in Birmingham after reports of a man indiscriminately biting innocent bystanders last month.

    Now rumours are spreading about a vampire among Bangladeshis in London.

    Mosques are trying to quash fears of a supernatural predator after many contacted Eastern Eye recently claiming to be too scared to leave their homes.

    An imam from the East London Mosque urged the congregation at last Friday’s prayers to ignore the rumours.

    Abel Umar a spokesperson for the mosque. said: “This was the topic of our Friday sermon because the women and children were so frightened.

    “The imam told them that there is no truth in it, it’s just rumours because everyone had heard it but no-one had seen anything. He pointed out that the Qur’an says one has to verify things that one hears and it is a sin to spread rumours.”

    But it has failed to appease Bengalis such as Ruksana Begum. Mrs Begum, of West Midlands, said: “For a few weeks I have been hearing disturbing stories about people being attacked and bitten by this one person in Aston, Lozells and Small Heath.

    “The Bengali people are really frightened. I don’t really believe this person is a werewolf, but ask anyone in the Birmingham area and you will find that they all believe it is something supernatural.”

    Abul Kalam, of east London, said: “One woman was bitten and a large chunk of her neck is missing and elsewhere, something jumped from a wall onto a woman and she started to fight back. As she caught a glimpse of the thing, she screamed because she said it wasn’t human.”

    Shireen Ahmed, also of east London, added: “I could not sleep thinking about it.

    “In one case a person opened the door and the guy or woman wearing a veil just pulled the person and drained the blood from their neck. It seemed to have very, very long nails to attack.”

    Firoz Hussain, 36, a Bangladeshi Youth Worker in Birmingham, said: “I couldn’t believe it when a member of staff didn’t turn up to work at the weekend because of this. She phoned me and said she was too scared to come in.”

    The community has offered some explanations for the presence of the predator.

    “I have heard that a spirit was unleashed by a community leader in Oldham to help re-unite a separated couple. It’s black magic which went wrong,” suggests Mr Kalam.

    Police in Tower Hamlets received 17 calls in just two days about non-human creatures.



    • steve_ash says:

       Toothless vampire hoax
       Toothless vampire hoax slain by cops 

      Claire Rudd 

      POLICE are having to reassure East Enders that there are no such things as vampires, after a spate of panic-stricken calls to the borough’s stations about the blood-thirsty neck-biters. 

      On January 24 and 25 Tower Hamlets police received 17 calls from members of the public claiming to have knowledge of non-human creatures attacking and biting people in the borough. 

      Police said the calls received appear to have been made by different people, each with genuine concerns. 

      East End Life also received calls from concerned members of the public who told reporters that family members were too scared to leave the house until the creature had been caught. 

      But it is all a cruel hoax to scare people. The claims follow similar scare stories that were doing the rounds in Birmingham earlier in January. 

      Local newspaper the Birmingham Evening Mail has been flooded with calls from “terrified” families, community leaders and schools. 

      Birmingham news agency Newsteam, reported: “As the sun dips below the rooftops of sleepy terraced streets, residents rush home, quickly gathering up playing children, because after night falls a vampire hungry for blood stalks. Reports of a Dracula-style attacker biting innocent people have spread terror throughout neighbourhoods in Birmingham, causing many to fear the night.” 

      But a police spokeswoman said: “Tower Hamlets police have not received any calls from victims claiming to have been bitten by a vampire or anything else non-human. 
      “Reports of vampires and other non-human creatures bear all the hallmarks of an urban myth fuelled by rumours and hearsay. 

      “We would like to reassure members of the public that vampires and other non-human creatures do not exist and they need not be fearful of being attacked in this way. 

      “We have not received any calls from victims and there is no evidence to substantiate these claims.”

  15. steve_ash says:

     Its all a cover up I
     Its all a cover up I reckon…

  16. BaronIveagh says:

    The Kit
    Not too sure about that one.  It may or may not be a genuine antique, the 1700 and 1800’s being the tail end of the vampire hysteria that swept Europe.  I have seen new made kits that had a similer setup.  It’s possible that many genuine antiques were gathered together to make this a sort of collection rather then an actual period piece.

    New verifible vampire material is scarce due to a variety of reasons.  One there are too many goths around who love to muddle up any investigation.  Two, vampire hunting, unlike ghost hunting, is illegal in some countries. England, for example.  Three, and God help you, if you would find a ‘real’ vampire, you may want to stake first and do an involved investigation later.  Remember, by all traditional accounts a vampire is a dangerous predator.  It is not hip, cool, or suave.  It’s a maneater.

    Summum Nec Metuam Diem Nec Optima

  17. greenwych says:

    two 21st century vampie stories.
     Two real vampire stories of the 21st century.

    One is the Highgate Vampire , first written about in the late 1960s and still in the headlines.

    The other is about an investigation into the vampire story of Robin Hoods Grave in West Yorkshire, investigated by the same team for the Highgate Vampire. This investigation was based on the historical legend that Robin Hood was bled to death, either accidentally or maliciously, by the prioress of Kirklees in the fourteenth century. Her lover the convent priest, Red Roger of Doncaster, was her co-conspirator. The vampire connection was simply based on the "bleeding to death"–which I agree, I hadnt thought about as a vampire tale before!

    For details see http://www.robinhoodyorkshire.co.uk

    The investigation is still  on-going, though more concentrated on the various paranormal sightings of the prioress and Red Roger, than any actual vampiric happenings, whichw ere actually reported as taking place in the locality of Clifton in the 1990’s.


  18. Ian Topham says:

    Hi Greenwych, welcome to the
    Hi Greenwych, welcome to the Mysterious Britain & Ireland forum.  I knew about Highgate, but not the Robin Hood related vampire. 

  19. greenwych says:

    The Kirklees Vampire
    Hi Ian,

    The Kirklees Vampire isn’t as well know as the Highgate, but there is a lot of press cuttings and articles about it and it is linked to Highgate as it involves the same people. The vampire story is probably really an extension of the widely reported ghost sightings , but even though I don’t really think it could have been an "undead" vampire, there  is a possibility that the prioress was a kind of medieval "Goth" and went in for blood drinking, or there could have been some kind of fertility rite/sacrifice going on. It could have just been a murder though no one knows why, or it could have been bad nursing or just the natural weakness resulting from loss of blood.
    There is d efinitely something very spooky at the grave–I have explained it on the folklore board.


  20. Ian Topham says:

    Thanks fo rth elink above to
    Thanks for the link above to your website Greenwych.  I can see that we are severley lacking Robin Hood articles in our gazetteer here.  I’m more interested in the haunting aspects surrounding the grave than the vampire link, though it is interesting that the Highgate team thought that something was worth investigating there.