The Gorbals Vampire: Children turned monster hunters

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Our final Halloween feature delves into the rumours of missing children, of a “vampire with iron teeth”, and the local children determined to rid the creature that haunted their dreams...

The Southern Necropolis is a massive cemetery which opened in 1840 to provide an affordable and respectable place of burial for the people of the Gorbals and the surrounding areas. More than 250,000 individuals have been buried within the grounds.

It is also said to be the lair of a 7ft child-eating vampire with metal teeth.

64 years ago, in 1954, stories began circulating in the Gorbals about missing children.

The police denied all knowledge, but local youngsters knew better. They believed they had been killed by a vampire, lurking in the Southern Necropolis.

The ghoulish beast was supposedly seven feet tall with blood red eyes and sharp iron teeth. It drank the blood and ate the flesh of youngsters who got too close to its lair.

Parents, teachers and police rubbished the story and out it down to the wild imaginations of local youngsters.

If no adult would believe them, then the children would take on the vampire themselves.

On September 23, 1954 police were called to a disturbance at the Southern Necropolis.

Officers were shocked to find hundreds of children aged between four and fourteen armed with sticks, stones, knives and a crucifix looking for signs of a vampire.

The children begged for their help to find the vampire and drive a stake through its heart.

They were soon sent home, but for the three nights, the children returned to the Gorbals City of the Dead.

The Gorbals Vampire was dismissed as an urban myth – an example of mass hysteria.

Claims were made that an American comic book was to blame.

In a 1953 issue of Dark Mysteries there was a story entitled: “The Vampire with the Iron Teeth.”

This was the apparent source of the panic over the Gorbals Vampire.

Was the American comic book to blame or did a vampire really lurk behind the headstones snatching young children?

And is the creature still there..?