Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Whitby Vampire

Let's nip this one in the bud. Some of you may've heard about the Whitby Vampire. Apparently, a 'story was printed in the Whitby Telegraph on Friday 23rd March 2012' which was 'withdrawn by the newspaper just before it went on sale.'

An 'unnamed worker' salvaged one copy of the paper before all other copies were destroyed. Fortuitously, the issue features images of the supposed vampire–the only ones in public existence, because the rest were seized by 'government officials the same day'.

The vampire in question was a small, shrivelled bat-thing impaled through the chest 'with an iron spike containing a rolled up parchment of the Lord's Prayer in Latin.' It has some rather obvious Dracula (1897) parallels:
In the remote North Yorkshire town of Whitby, the setting for Bram Stoker's gothic novel Dracula, a recent discovery may suggest that he took inspiration for his book from something much closer to home than the 15th century Vlad the Impaler.
The story has been shared by credulous sources like identity-theft group, The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation Society (not to be confused with the legit group of the same name).

The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation Society

Where do I begin? Firstly, the photographic 'evidence' of the 'man-bat' tells us the images are property of Aldbrough University's Anthropology Department:

The Whitby Vampire

The story is accompanied by an interview with Rabbi Shachnaey, who 'claims to have successfully slain over 15 vampires in the last 40 years.' His identity is obscured by a black bar across his eyes.

Shachnaey can't hide behind a Google Image search, though, which reveals 'Rabbi Shachnaey' is actually Roni Shachnaey, an Israeli magician. He 'has had lifetime career in magic, mentalism, readings, and the bizarre.' Not vampire hunting, I'm afraid.

Lastly, what about the paper the article appeared in? The Whitby Telegraph? Yeah, about that–there's no such paper.

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