Two Doomsday's in 2016 I hear you say?! May 18 2015
To say Doomsday VI was a huge success would be the understatement of the year however , I left Whitby with a heavy heart...
It was announced (yes, by me) that the event would move to London to make it more accessible for UK and international attendees. Whitby, as you would imagine for a place riddled with vampires and Goths is remote and difficult to get to for most foreign and southern folk. It was a difficult choice and I could sense a clear divide amongst the ranks.
The last person I shook hands with before departing Doomsday was the bizarre mastermind behind one of the most memorable acts you will ever cast your eyes upon – Brian Maxwell and The Travelling Werewolf Show. Now in his 80's he told me that if Doomsday relocated to London it would be too far for him to travel and rightly so. More importantly, the Daddy of Doomsday Roni Shachnaey would unlikely be able to make the long journey south.
During the six hour drive back to Heathrow I discussed the matter with my multinational council and thought long and hard about making Doomsday accessible to everyone, northerners, southerners and of course our overseas friends alike. We addressed the pros and cons of having a Doomsday in London but ultimately we all agreed that Sneaton Castle in Whitby was the true home of the event.
Therefore I am delighted to announce that there will be not one but two Doomsdays in 2016!
Doomsday VII with remain the premier Bizarre and Mystery Entertainment event in the UK and will cover all aspects of macabre magic, freakish sideshow acts and typically anything that might cause you to look away in disbelief! This is as close as you can get to a real Addams Family gathering, and yes we do consider ourselves a family albeit a strange one!
Doomsday VII will be sponsored by Lebanon Circle Prop & Illusion Design
Doomsday by Gaslight will be set in the heart of Jack the Ripper territory in Simon Drake's 200 year old Victorian Mansion. Experience an autumnal gathering of guests and performers from the world of horror, paranormal investigation and cult stage and screen! The weekend kicks off with a tour of the Ripper murder sites, the Elephant Man museum, the Victorian operating theatre as well as other strange and unusual locations around the dark streets of London.
Tickets will go on sale next week. Both Sneaton Castle and Simon Drake's House of Magic have capacity for 120 attendees.
So for now, thank you for being part of Doomsday and see you in 2016...
For now, here are some shots from Doomsday VI, enjoy!
Dr Diablo's Carnival Macabre
Todd Landman 'Mystery Boxes'
Stuart Burrell - World Record Holding Escapologist & Artist
Oskar Hejll - Cabinet of Curiosities – Vampires
Voodoo Mick - The Singing Psychic
Lothar Malmberg - Echoes Seance
Lars Ruth - 'Arcanum Mentis – Secrets of the Mind'
Prof BC - At the Heart of the Tale
Dr Nicolas Grimoire - Tales From The Darker Side
Tracy Wise - Crime Scene Illusion
Brian Maxwell - The Travelling Werewolf Show
Rookman Swindler & Co - Glass Walking (and lying face down!)
The Whitby Vampire May 08 2015
Bat-man discovered in Bat-cave!
Disturbing half man, half vampire bat creature discovered beneath Whitby Abbey.
They may be the stuff of horror movies and romantic teen novels, but could this be the most damning evidence of the existence of Vampires?
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.
A disturbing series of images have been released from a Yorkshire University research department showing a humanoid creature possessing elongated limbs, bat-like wings and a part human - part bat head with razor sharp incisors. The 'bat-man' has also been 'staked' through the chest with an iron spike containing a rolled up parchment of the Lord's Prayer in Latin.
Cave appeared overnight
The grotesque remains were discovered in 2011 after a series of storms ravaged the Yorkshire coast. Erosion of the cliffs in a now secret location close to Whitby revealed the entrance to a network of caves leading beneath the ancient Abbey. University spokesperson Professor Edward Forks commented: "The cave literally appeared overnight, as the sea had washed away a large section of cliff face to reveal a small cave entrance. We were only made aware of the cave after Mr. Stephen Meyer brought his disturbing find to the university where he usually brings his fossils for verification." Meyer, a keen fossil hunter, had been scavenging along the coast when he stumbled upon the cave. He entered the 'vampire’s lair' armed with only a torch, chisel and mallet. The scattered remains of wooden barrels indicated that the caves had probably once been used by smugglers; he commented that as he ventured further inside the atmosphere became increasingly dark and brooding. The cave seemed to lead directly to the space beneath Whitby Abbey on the cliff tops. The passage gradually narrowed, leading to a small wooden door with a large crucifix hanging on it. Meyer tried the handle, but the door would not budge. After a swift smash of his hammer, however, the door swung open. In the gloomy alcove his torch illuminated a wooden chest surrounded by a white circle in the centre of the room. The circle was later discovered to be salt, a known method of protection from evil spirits. Meyer recalls a strange inner voice that commanded him to take the box: "I would never normally have disturbed a find of such historical significance, but I felt compelled to take the box; it somehow told me to take it!" Scared and confused, Meyer took the small box from the cave and hurried home.
Forks recalls how Meyer was unusually agitated and 'as white as a ghost' when he brought the box to the university. "When I opened the box, I didn’t quite know what to think,” recalls Forks. Together with the 'man-bat', the men found an ivory rosary, garlic and more salt. "My initial thought was that a smuggler may have locked a small monkey in a box, but that was before I noticed the bat wings, hideously clawed hands and feet and an iron stake protruding from the thorax." Meyer told Forks he had opened the box at home, unaware of its contents. As the lid was lifted a shadowy vapor shot out, causing his cat, Jacob, to hiss incessantly. The animal was too scared to go anywhere near the box. "Mr. Meyer was clearly worried he had unleashed some ancient curse. I tried to calm him by saying curses didn't exist. At the same time, I didn't think vampires did either until a few months ago…”
Remains at least 500 years old
The 'bat-man' has undergone rigorous scientific tests at the university and it has been revealed from blood and tissue analysis that it is of human origin. X-rays show that, although the main skeletal structure is humanoid, the hands and feet are scaly and clawed, a feature often used in the medieval imagery of demons. The head has the same brain cavity dimensions of a human, but the ears and upper and lower jaws are more reminiscent of a mammal such as a dog or bat. Carbon dating suggests the corpse is at least 500 years old and is in remarkably good condition for remains of this age. The blood sucking bat-man has the world's science community baffled and the body is being held at a secret location until further test results can be published. The rolled-up scroll found in the top of the iron stake has been sent to the Vatican's Department of Document Authenticity for verification. The parchment scroll contains the Lord's Prayer in Latin, which is thought to have helped in the slaying of the vampire.
Vampire threat to society!
A local Israeli vampire hunter, Rabbi Shachnaey, now residing in Scarborough, has commented that this find should not be dismissed lightly. Having seen the corpse first hand, Shachnaey concluded that "…the reason we have never seen a creature like this before is that the 'vampire' was staked part way through its transformation from bat to human. In the movies vampires generally explode or dissolve, but in reality this is not the case. Once killed, a real vampiric being will ‘freeze’ and remain that way until the body is disposed of either by burning or burial on holy ground." Rabbi Shachnaey is best known for ridding the remote Israeli town DusKtild’Awn of a vampire infestation back in the early 60's. "It would appear that the monks in Whitby Abbey wanted to preserve the remains and keep them protected on consecrated ground, possibly for research. Whatever their purpose, I am pleased this find has come to light as it proves once and for all that vampires are a real threat to society."
Secret order of monks
Could Bram Stoker have secretly known of the Whitby bat-man and used the vampire as his inspiration for Dracula? Historian David Vanian suggests that, after the destruction of the abbey in 1540 by Henry VIII in the 'Dissolution of the Monasteries', a secret order of monks was assigned to watch over the ruins. Vanian speculates that the secret order could have been formed to protect not the ruins of the abbey, but rather the tomb of the vampire in the caves beneath. During his time in Whitby, Stoker befriended local priest Father Renesmee, who was rumored to have had connections with the secret order and could have passed some of the eerie tale to the novelist.
So could the sleepy fishing town of Whitby really have been plagued by a vampire? This compelling evidence may suggest there is more to the legend than meets the eye. Locals have been assured there is nothing to worry about... at the moment.