There can be few places in the British Isles more steeped in myth and legend than the ancient shores of the Isle of Man. Ruled over by a legendary Celtic sea god, our seemingly innocuous island is positively awash with malevolent spirits, faeries, salivating hounds and…vampires. Not for us though the pasty-faced anemics that haunt the world of Twilight. No, our vampires come with chains and spikes!
In the grounds of a whitewashed church on the outskirts of the island’s old capital, Castletown, lies the grave of one Matthew Halsall, vampire of this parish. Now, the unfortunate Mr Halsall died in 1854 and, as is custom in these parts, his passing was commemorated with much drinking by those left behind. During his wake however, legend has it that the corpse emitted a haunting groan from within the coffin. Fearing that they were about to bury poor Matthew somewhat prematurely, the mourners rushed to open the coffin…to find a very dead corpse inside.
Obviously common sense soon prevailed…and Matthew Halsall was declared a vampire, promptly staked through the heart and sealed up again!
Today he lies under a heavy slate slab in Malew Churchyard, in a grave crossed with heavy metal chains and staked on all four corners with iron spikes. No-one really knows the reasons for the chains, although the legends that abound in these parts declare them to be deadly to the fairy-folk and those of a…supernatural persuasion. It is also rumoured that when the spikes were once removed, the ghostly form of Matthew Halsall rose from his grave to haunt the graveyard.
Suffice to say, common sense prevailed once more, the stakes were driven back in and Matthew Halsall has not been seen again to this day.