On Sunday I headed over to Chelsea to lead a couple of walks for The Dracula Society! If a year ago you told me that, I would have been bemused and befuddled, and incredibly pleased. And, I suppose I was Saturday night when I was preparing; but it was absolutely great fun.
I lead a walk that is adapted from Chelsea Walk in Death Lines so we got to look at the amazing cluster of films that were made in Chelsea – all in the late sixties and early seventies. It has some really cracking films in this walk, including locations from one of my favourite films: Theatre of Blood.
There are also several haunted locations in the area, as well as a few famous authors – including Bram Stoker. Naturally, we did a group picture there!
What on earth was I going to be able to tell The Dracula Society about Brahm Stoker?! This was my great challenge – because they know all about the unlicensed film (Nosferatu 1922), the legend of Stoker pulling someone out of the Thames, and the various films and remakes that made Dracula one of the most reproduced characters in horror film history. In the end, I decided to go with the story of the real Chelsea Vampire, and the interesting connection to John William Pollidori’s short story “The Vampyre”. It was a great way for me to make the walk fresh and remember what makes these stories so perfect for cinema.
If you are interested, my next walk is 28th of October with London Month of the Dead, and you can get tickets here. The walk will be in Covent Garden and is titled “Terror In the Crowds”:
In horror cinema, the crowds that flow through this bustling centre of London are as deadly as any monster. Imagine the feeling of hundreds of people suddenly rushing down to the underground, or a panicked crowd pushing each other into traffic at a busy circus. Horror films have capitalized on the dread, terror, and eeriness of such moments, drawing inspiration from the area’s tumultuous history.
On this guided tour through Covent Garden, author and horror expert Lauren Barnett will explore films as far-reaching as Gorgo, the 1960 answer to Godzilla, Alfred Hitchcock’s final London film, Frenzy, and the recent Jack the Ripper horror From Hell. As we journey, you will have the opportunity to navigate through these perilous crowds and witness firsthand what instills fear in the hearts of many.