The Gorbals Vampire
The Gorbals Vampire
By:, Categories: Words & Images, 2 comments



As we’re in Halloween week, what better time to tell the tale of the famous Glasgow urban myth surrounding one of the city’s graveyards that’s now been made into a play? It is, of course, the extraordinary case of ‘The Gorbals Vampire’ that gripped the city for the best part of a week, chilled the nation, mystified the media, and ended up being debated about in Parliament. 


It was like Oor Wullie meets Scooby Doo, with hundreds of schoolchildren (armed with whatever they could lay their little mittens on) roaming across Glasgow hunting for a vampire – and such was the outcry it led to new censorship laws in the 1950s for the new craze of American horror comics, that politicians blamed for the root cause of all the hysteria in the first place. 


More than sixty years on, the tale is being brought back to life with the help of the people of the community in a new play, The Gorbals Vampire. The play is inspired by the real-life monster hunt is now being staged at the Citizens Theatre, based in the Gorbals, involving performers drawn from the community – and already there’s talk of it being turned into a movie. 


The hunt was triggered by rumors which swept around school playgrounds in September 1954 that two boys had been killed and eaten by a vampire with “iron teeth” which was roaming Glasgow’s Southern Necropolis – and believe me, easily the scariest graveyard in the city – as shown in today’s photo.


Leica M3 & 1.4/50mm Summilux pre-asph v2

B+W Yellow Filter

Sekonic L-308S

Kodak Tri-X (200)

HC-110 (Dil. B – 7 min)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan