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January 27, 2005updated 22 Nov 2022 2:04pm

Birmingham vampire slayer

By Press Gazette

An urban
myth sparked by an isolated attack escalated into mild hysteria leaving
the Birmingham Evening Mail no choice but to send out its very own
vampire slayer.

The incident occurred over the New Year when a
family was attacked and bitten by a member of the public. The paper
reported the attack as it would any other, but in the following weeks
reporters were inundated with calls from frightened readers claiming
they had heard rumours of similar incidents. The story was picked up by
the nationals including The Guardian , Radio Five Live and Richard and
Judy .

Jim Levack, news editor on the Mail, said: “We were
getting about 10 calls a day. It spiralled out of control and became
ridiculous. People were emotional and upset so eventually we put in
calls to the police who confirmed that there had been no other reports.”

put readers’ minds at rest and inject a little fun into the whole
affair, the Mail sent reporter Anna Jeys (pictured) out with a stake
and garlic cloves and she scoured the area looking for the vampire. The
paper ran a report saying that the story was an urban myth and more
calls flooded in by relieved people thanking the paper for putting
their minds at rest. Meanwhile Jeys and the other member of staff
working on the story are off sick…

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