AMONGST the creepy gravestones of the Southern Necropolis, a strange figure lurked.

Was it a ghost? A trick of the light, conjured up by the red glow and smoke from the steelworks nearby?

Could it really have been a seven-foot tall vampire with iron teeth?

The legend of the Gorbals Vampire, blamed for killing and eating two young boys, is being resurrected again as the city prepares to celebrate Halloween.

It’s one of several grisly tales featuring in a new exhibition at the Mitchell Library.

Ghoulish Glasgow, part of the hugely popular #MitchellCurious series which showcases some of the amazing items in the library’s special collections, takes place tomorrow and Thursday.

Librarian Ellen Sykes explains: “The Gorbals Vampire is a really great example of the kind of creepy story that gets shared amongst people through old folklore, causing incidents of mass hysteria.

“The Mitchell has newspaper accounts and images that tell the story, and people will be able to look through these at the Mitchell Curious events this week.”

The rumour of a vampire roaming the Southern Necropolis in September 1954 resulted in gangs of hysterical youngsters, armed with stakes, knives - and even dogs - congregating at the cemetery for days on end, in the hope of catching the strange creature.

The monster hunt spiralled out of control and before long, national press had picked it up.

Protesters claimed American horror comics were to blame for influencing young minds.

It even reached Westminster, with then Gorbals MP Alice Cullen calling for a new act to protect children from harmful publications. (That act is still in existence today.)

As well as newspaper articles and images of the Gorbals Vampire, a number of rare and interesting items from the Mitchell’s occult collection, and a manuscript of the 1697 Baggaran witch trials, will be part of the display.

Ellen adds: “The Bargarran witch trials manuscript from 1697 includes detailed accounts from witnesses and local people of the bewitching of eleven year old Christian Shaw, the daughter of the Laird of Bargarran.

“Christian started to experience symptoms that were believed at the time to be demonic possessions.

“Now, today, you could argue that she was making these up, or perhaps had symptoms of an illness, but back then it was decided certain individuals had cursed her and were causing her to experience these symptoms.

“The document we have here in the Mitchell is the only surviving copy of the manuscript from 1697, originally owned by Christian Shaw’s father, John Shaw, and is a contemporary account of what had happened to his daughter..”

Ellen adds: “It includes witness statements from local people, and first-hand accounts of those who allege that they had seen Christian Shaw becoming possessed.

“There’s something about the creepiness of this manuscript that really brings the witch trials to life.”

Halloween week at the Mitchell will also include the chance to relive some of the horrors of the nineties with a special, live recording of Kirsty Logan and Heather Parry’s Point Horror podcast, Teenage Scream.

Audience members are invited to throw on their best 90s costumje and join the two authors as they lovingly dissect the Point Horror classic, Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick.

The event will be filled with 90s tunes, bingo and special prizes for the best dressed.

Kirsty explained: “Nineties nostalgia, trashy horror novels, and all the silly puns you can handle - the Teenage Scream podcast is for anyone who spent the 1990s reading teen horror books like Point Horror, Goosebumps and Christopher Pike, all borrowed from the library, of course…”

Heather added: “As writers we both rely on libraries, so we’re thrilled to be able to bring our Point Horror podcast to the Mitchell Library—and on Halloween itself…”

Glasgow Libraries have recently added a great collection of Point Horror ebooks to the collections, which are free to download with a library card.

The Ghoulish Glasgow #MitchellCurious events are on Wednesday at 6:30pm and Thursday at 12:30pm.

The Teenage Scream live recording takes place on Wednesday at 7pm.

To find out more about the Ghoulish Glasgow #MitchellCurious, or to book tickets for the Teenage Scream recording, please visit: