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The Source:


Peter Underwood :
"The Vampire's Bedside Companion"
Leslie Frewin, London, 1975

Mike Bagshaw:
"Slow North Yorkshire: Moors, Dales and Coast, Including York"
Bradt Travel Guides, 2010

Clive Kristen:
"Ghost Trails of Yorkshire"
Andrews UK, 2011

Paul Adams:
"Written in Blood: A Cultural History of the British Vampire"
The History Press, 2014

The Case:

My first meeting with this tale was in Peter Underwood's book. This - more or less - is what he tells us.

In Dent, not far from the church of St.Andrew, a metal stake was driven through the gravestone of a certain George Hodgson (who had died in 1715), and through the coffin and corpse beneath that stone. It would appear that the dead man was haunting the living.

Thanks to the internet there was further information to be found.

Somewhere, don't ask me where, it was said that George Hodgson owed his longevity to a deal he had made with the Devil. Some place else I found that: "his hair and nails had grown and the flesh was glowing pink as though the corpse were alive."

Mike Bagshaw - and now things do get more interesting - reports that "George Hodgson was a farmer who regularly drank sheep's blood as a tonic."

According to Clive Kristen - further interesting information - "It is said that George rose from his grave and drank the blood of farm animals, and just possibly the odd tipple of warm human gore."

Paul Adams informs us that "Hodgson was buried in the main churchyard, but at some later time his coffin was exhumed and moved to a spot close to the main church doorway, where an iron spike or stake was driven down through the flat memorial stone and seemingly through the body itself."

All in all it is a pretty good story.

The Date:

We may not have been given the date of the end of George Hodgon's vampirism. But at least we know when he died. The year of 1715. I will put this case on file as "around 1715.

The Place:

Dent is a village in the West of Yorkshire. According to one tourist website it is "a valley of contrasts, from its cobbled streets and charming stone houses to windswept moors, sparkling waterfalls and tumbling streams."

Personal Comments:

It is rather annoying that none of our reporters reveal the sources for this story. I am still looking for evidence that has been written or printed before Peter Underwood's book came out.

Possible Follow-up:

You can start by reading Peter Underwood's book. And of course the others. Like I said, if this story is genuine we should be able to find older material about it.

2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed November 2014

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