Season 1 - Episode 2 - Gorbals Vampire

Welcome to the Generally Spooky Podcast! Each week Eilidh tells her husband Kieran a mysterious story from Scottish history.

In this week's episode, Eilidh tells Kieran about the Gorbals Vampire - a strange rumour that captivated the minds of kids across the Gorbals area of Glasgow in 1954. If you want to support the podcast, please subscribe and leave a review. We'd really appreciate it!

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Show Notes


Kids at the Necropolis looking for the Gorbals Vampire - Citizens theatre

Could this have inspired the Gorbals vampire? Source: The Horrors of It All

The foreboding Entrance to the Southern Necropolis. Source: Lost Glasgow

Mural in the Gorbals source: Glasgow Discovered

Citizens Theatres play of the Gorbals Vampire. Source: Citizens Theatre

Jenny Wi’ The Airn Teeth Poem

What a plague is this o’ mine,
Winna steek his e’e,
Though I hap him ow’r the head
As cosie as can be.
Sleep! an’ let me to my wark,
A’ thae claes to airn;
Jenny wi’ the airn teeth,
Come an’ tak’ the bairn:

Tak’ him to your ain den,
Where the bowgie bides,
But first put baith your big teeth
In his wee plump sides;
Gie your auld grey pow a shake,
Rive him frae my grup—
Tak’ him where nae kiss is gaun
When he waukens up.

Whatna noise is that I hear
Comin’ doon the street?
Weel I ken the dump-dump
O’ her beetle feet.
Mercy me, she’s at the door,
Hear her lift the sneck;
Whisht! an’ cuddle mammy noo
Closer roun’ the neck.

Jenny wi’ the airn teeth,
The bairn has aff his claes,
Sleepin’ safe an’ soun’, I think—
Dinna touch his taes;
Sleepin’ weans are no for you;
Ye may turn about
An’ tak’ awa’ wee Tam next door—
I hear him screichin’ oot.

Dump, dump, awa’ she gangs
Back the road she cam’;
I hear her at the ither door,
Speirin’ after Tam.
He’ a crabbit, greetin’ thing,
The warst in a’ the toon;
Little like my ain wee wean—
Losh, he’s sleepin’ soun’.

Mithers hae an awfu’ wark
Wi’ their bairns at nicht—
Chappin’ on the chair wi’ tangs
To gi’e the rogues a fricht.
Aulder weans are fley’d wi’ less,
Weel aneuch, we ken—
Bigger bowgies, bigger Jennies,
Frichten muckle men.

by Alexander Anderson

Select Links and Sources

Intro/Outro Music by Celestial Fury

Interviews with the BBC

Glasgow Times

Folklore Scotland

Dangerous Minds

David Castleton