Episode 43: I Shall Become the Bat

When someone says the word ‘vampires’ to you, what do you imagine? Do you imagine Bela Lugosi, pale and wan; swirling his impeccable cape like he’s a matador? Are you lost in thoughts of sparkly, angst-ridden teen romance? Are you reminded of something truly horrific, like the acts of Peter Kurten or Richard Chase? Does your mind drift the plantations and Southern gothic sensuality a la Anne Rice? Do you think of Nosferatu and wonder if the rumors were true? Maybe you think of the white-haired, powder-skinned Count, as played by Gary Oldman. Maybe you start thinking about what a badass Gary Oldman is and forget the question.

What was the question?

Oh, yes, what do you think of when you hear the word, ‘vampires’? Chances are whatever image comes to mind, it’s somehow informed by mass media. That was the claim, at least, when a group of schoolboys took up arms against a hometown vampire in Glasgow in the 1950s. Join us this week as we explore where our ideas of vampires come from, and how we use those ideas to mask real monsters in our midst. In this week’s episode we will tackle vampires in mass media, and discuss those who have been called by the same moniker when real life violence exceeded the bounds of the public’s imagination.

Guest Storyteller: John Lees

Scottish comic writer, known for AND THEN EMILY WAS GONE, THE STANDARD, OXYMORON, QUILTE and SINK,

John’s Blog

John on Twitter: @johnlees927

Listen on iTunes

Be sure to check out our special bonus episode:

You Can’t Handle the Brogue

Listen on iTunes

I Shall Become the Bat

Clips from Nosfeatu

Scottish Folklore: The Gorbals Vampire

Child Vampire Hunters Sparked Comic Crackdown – BBC Scotland

The Vampire in Medical Perspective: Myth or Malady? by Maas and Voets

Rare Disease Proposed as Cause for Vampires – NY Times

Renfield’s Syndrome: A psychiatric Illness Drawn from Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Olry and Haines, Journal of the History of the Neurosciences

Oddly Historical – A Blood Sucker in Glasgow – The Vampire Panic

The Acid Bath Murderer of England – The Lineup

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