April 27, 2015
The Gorbals Vampire Ate Children And Created A Moral Panic In 1954
On 23 September 1954, children aged 4 to 14 armed themselves with knives and stakes and marched on Glasgow’s sprawling Southern Necropolis graveyard. They had heard that two children had been eaten alive at the place known locally as ‘The City of the Dead’, where 250,000 bodies were buried. The only suspect was a 7-ft tall, iron-teethed vampire.
No children had been reported missing. No-one had seen the monster.
So. Why had the story spread?
Horror comics “which were brought into this country by the American Forces” were blamed but:
Academics pointed out that none of the comics featured a vampire with iron teeth, though there was a monster with iron teeth in the bible (Daniel 7.7) and in a poem taught in local schools. Their voices were drowned out in a full-blown moral panic about the effect that terrifying comics were having on children. Soon the case of the “Gorbals Vampire” was international news.