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.
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:
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