Posts Tagged ‘UK’

It is a cemetery in the Gorbal’s district, Glasgow, Scotland and was opened in 1840 to provide more affordable burials; there are over 250,000 burials there on various layers of the place. The Old Gorbals cemetery was vastly overcrowded, this is not unusual for the time period, London and many major cities around the UK were opening more graveyards to compensate for the lack of space in those already established.

The proposals for a new cemetery started in 1839 and the following year the land was purchased and the first burial commenced. The first soul laid to rest there was 16-month old and occurred 21st July 1840. The three sections opened as follows: Central in 1840, Eastern in 1846 and Western in 1850. In 1954 the cemetery suffered from a large group of children who were committed to hunting down a vampire that they believed was buried in the cemetery. The incident sparked it’s own urban legend, a vampire had killed two children. The influence for this was blamed on American horror comics like Tales from the Crypt, despite no evidence for the reason being the comics the moral outrage led to an increased comic censorship.

23rd September 1954 PC Alex Deeprose was called out and expected to deal with a case of vandalism, instead he was met with hundreds of children from around 4 years old up to 14. They were armed with sticks and knives and were patrolling around inside the cemetery. They told the constable that they were looking for a 7 foot tall vampire, with iron teeth and had that he had kidnapped and eaten two local boys.

The rumours started in the playground, and there was a Chinese whisper emerging that they were going to head out there after school. At three o’clock that day the school emptied and children headed to the graveyard, gathering around the walls. Some were too scared to go in and stayed outside. There were no records of missing children at the time and the only blame they could come up with – comics.

Newspapers at the time took the tale and ran with it, the children turned up a second evening running and the headmaster of a local school had told them it was a ridiculous tale and eventually had the crowd dispersed.

Some of the other people in the area pointed out that they had got little reason to blame comics, after all the children were taught the bible. Daniel 7.7 specifically mentions a monster with iron teeth in it. The political frenzy however meant blaming comics was far more convenient. A local man explained that they would threaten the local children with the Iron Man before then, it was meant to be a sort of bogeyman affair but the political agenda against the comics made a better fit for the reason.

The cemetery is now operated by Glasgow City Council and is protected as a listed Category B building with the entrance listed as Category A. The cemetery also has 11 Commonwealth burials.

Glasgow. Southern Necropolis. Thomas Lipton's grave

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Manaton, Devon in the UK is a mound of grass that’s got the colloquially known Jay’s grave upon it. It’s through to be the resting place of a suicide from the 1700’s situated in the region of Dartmoor. It is a bit of a tourist trap for ghost hunters too these days.

Kitty Jay was denied a burial spot on consecrated grounds to to the religious laws about ‘self-murder’. Like many suicides in the past she was then buried at the crossroads to try and prevent the restless and confused spirits not being able to find their way into the afterlife.

Fresh Flowers often appear at the grave, some say delivered by pixies, but at least one human being has been involved. The author Beautrice Chase used to leave her flowers before her death in 1955. Other votive offerings include candles, coins, shells, crosses and toys.

Motorists have apparently had glimpses of ghostly figures in their headlights and some report seeing a dark hooded figure kneeling at her grave. It seems that fresh-flowers may have stopped in more recent years and silk ones more often appear, perhaps because they last longer as an offering.

As you may have guessed I am a big fan of the stories that are pretty well known locally, or even the very big stories. I like to look for the ones that are not always featured on blogs but also I like to find ones I haven’t heard of before. This one I stumbled across and thought was worth a share.

Happisburg is in Norfolk and the churchyard contains the unmarked grave of the “Happisburg Poisoner” his real name being Jonathan Balls. Legend has it that Mr Balls had worked out he was destined for hell, he died having accidentally taken his own poison… bit clumsy of him but anyway he asked to be buried with a Bible, a plum cake in one hand, a poker and a pair of coal tongues in the other hand. It seems that the locals were fearful he might not remain in the coffin as it was believed evil and suicidal people would become vampires after death.

Crossroads were places that these folks were buried as a precaution, the idea that they would be confused by which road to take. They also got buried in unholy grounds and suicides were then staked through the heart, this was legislation until 1834 (I can’t provide citation but I wouldn’t be surprised).

For some reason they exhumed him 6 months later, it was preserved by the arsenic he had consumed. He’d perhaps consumed it over a long period to build up a resistance, this was not an unknown practise. Anyway it seems that the reaction to this fact was not recorded, a shame as I am sure they would have been concerned by the potential of the vampire evidence presented.

Photos by HauntedIsle