Sunday, February 26, 2012

Honourable Mention: Blood and Bone China - The Vampire of the Villas

I hope that you are all aware of the web-series Blood and Bone China. The brainchild of director Chris Stone, the series was set in Stoke-on-Trent in 1897. One incident it used within its storyline was an actual event that took place in Stoke in 1972, which Chris Stone transposed to the Victorian setting.

the unfortunate victim
This is a short documentary about the Villas’ vampire case. On the 24th November 1972 PC John Pye was asked to go to a house on the Villas as one of the residents had not been seen for some time. When no-one answered the door to the lodgings it was broken down. The resident, Demetrius Myiciura, was unfortunately dead. In the room were bags of salt and crucifixes, excrement with garlic was outside the window. The unfortunate man was terrified of vampires and the cause of death was asphyxiation caused by a garlic clove that had lodged in his throat.

Lara de-Leuw
The documentary is hosted by Lara de-Leuw, who played the vampire Lady Victoria in the web serial, and is about the incident. I was already aware of the Villas’ Vampire, a famous case and if not the only, then one of the very few times vampirism has been cited within a British inquest. Another case, two years earlier in Winsford, Cheshire, when two girls claimed to have been visited by a vampire who sucked their blood and left them listless and lethargic – subsequently citing an Eastern European art student named Lazlo, is mentioned. This is much less famous a case, I hadn’t come across it before and there is only a little on the net.

vampires hit the press
What is interesting – aside from the fact that it would appear an abject belief in and fear of vampires led to Mr Myiciura’s untimely death – is the timing of these incidents. More the regime of the student of vampire folklore than it would be for me as a fan of the media vampire, it does strike that there seems to have been a spate of English incidents in and around the early 70s. Highgate in 1969-70, Winsford in 1970 and Stoke in 1972… It could make for an interesting exploration.

However, we are looking at Stoke here and Chris Stone lays the case out before us as you can see for yourself:

4 comments:

ken rodziewicz said...

I am probably the only living person who knew Mikicura. I lived at the house with my mother until 1971 when I moved to London. He lived as a lodger at my mums house rent free, on condition that he kept the upstairs clean as my mum had several lodgers most of them Polish ex miners, who had come here after the war and worked in the Pits.The poor man had had a bad time of it during the war which had left him no all there.He was a quiet man and a loner and as he got older he began to develop mental health problems, for example once there was a electrical short in the house which made the water taps give a slight shock on touching them, my mum had this fixed but Mikicura insisted it was the government doing this to stop people using too much water, hence he didn’t trust electricity any more. My mum always regretted. not sorting some medical help for him before it was too late. The only up side to the whole affair was that the room had to be gutted and contents destroyed because he had got it into such a state, and when my mum stated to dismantle the wardrobe she found nearly 1000 pounds taped to the back of it. This paid for the redecoration of the top 3 rooms.
Ken Rodziewicz

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Thanks for the comment and for sharing Ken. The man clearly suffered from mental health impairment and, as fascinating as the beliefs that they manifested as are, we should never forget that there was a human being at the heart of this who was truly terrified.

John Pye said...

So interesting to hear this comment from Ken. It all makes for a fascinating story and I should know as I am the police officer who went to the incident and researched the facts for the Coroner's inquest.It's very strange how this story has continued to crop up after all these years and it's wonderful to see Stoke's talented film maker Chris Stone become inspired by something that took place back in 1972 and use it as the basis for his very professionally produced film 'Blood & Bone China', Chris has become a good friend. His revitalising story has further inspire me in my own new career as an author... Along with crime novels I have produced a short kindle story 'The Vampire of The Villas.' best wishes John Pye.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

John, many thanks for stopping by and commenting. Your short is actually on my amazon wish list :)