The Gorbals Vampire:Origins

Daily Mirror September 25th 1954

A fantastic story of a "vampire with iron teeth" led to amazing scenes in a city cemetery for the second day running last night. The story of the fictious monster spread through Glasgow schools, say teachers and parents, after the children had been reading horror comics.

The vampire according to the tale that spread around had "strangled and devoured" two little boys in the cemetery. Hundreds of comic reading youngsters became an easy prey to this gruesome invention-and the result has been a nightmare twenty-four hours for the police in the city's Hutchesontown district.


The trouble started at 4pm on Thursday, when the schools were closing for the day. Hundreds of children banded together, determined to slay "the vampire" which they believed to be roaming the cemetery.

Even infants just able to toddle joined the mob. Armed with sticks and stones, off they set for the cemetery, gathering recruits as they marched through the city streets.

At the cemetery they swarmed over the graves, determined to hunt down the fabulous monster. Every moment more and more children joined the yelling excited throng.


The police were called in. They cleared the cemetery. But band of youngsters still roamed around outside the walls "hunting the vampire" until darkness fell. All day yesterday the fantastic story persisted. Last night, a crowd of more than 100 children climbed the high walls into the graveyard to continue the hunt.

Gravediggers had been called on to help the cemetery-keepers to guard the gates, but they were powerless to turn the eager "vampire hunters" out. I walked through the cemetery as darkness was falling. Little boys and girls clung to my coat and shouted "Have you come to shoot him mister? Kill him so we can get to sleep tonight"


Glasgow leaders of education and welfare services are amazed that such incidents could happen in a bustling modern city.