March 22nd, 2010 | → 2 Comments | ∇ Blah |

The Gorbals Vampire

by M.I.K.

In September of 1954, PC Alex Deeprose was called to Glasgow’s Southern Necropolis. Expecting to find a simple case of vandalism, he was instead confronted with an altogether more bizarre sight. Hundreds of children, some of them armed with knives and pointed sticks, patrolling the graveyard.

When asked, they told the constable that they were hunting a 7ft tall vampire with iron teeth who had already kidnapped and eaten two local boys. Children returned to the graveyard on subsequent nights to continue their hunt.

The incident was quickly blamed on American horror comics, such as those published by E.C., despite there being no evidence to suggest any of the children had ever read any such material. Nevertheless, the government responded to the moral outcry by introducing the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955, which banned the sale of magazines and comics portraying “incidents of a repulsive or horrible nature” to minors.

BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting a documentary about the incident at 11pm on Tuesday 30th March, which will be available on BBC iPlayer.

More details of the story here…

Update : Cartoonist, Lew Stringer has posted a blog entry on the subject which includes a number of interesting newspaper clippings…

by M.I.K.

Theatre of Terror

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  • Garthim Sepet, December 13, 2010:

    I believe the original story that inspired the boys’hysteria was a copy of ‘Dark Mysteries’, an American comic (The Gorbals is right next to Glasgow’s Clyde river) actually entitled ‘The Vampire WIth Iron Teeth’.
    … or was it hysteria at all?

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