Two vampire-obsessed men waged a three-month campaign of harassment against a vicar and his family, a court has been told.
St Mary the Virgin Church in Eling Hill, Totton
Scott Bower and Benjamin Lewis were said to have harassed the Reverend Christopher Rowberry, his wife, Karen, and children, Hannah, 15, and Simon, 17, in Eling, near Totton, Hampshire.
The pair, who were later joined by Mr Lewis' 19-year-old girlfriend Natalie Gibson, made howling noises from a graveyard close to the family's vicarage and made scores of abusive telephone calls, it was alleged.
Mr Bower, 26, of School Road, Eling, Totton, and Mr Lewis and Ms Gibson, both of Kinross
Road, Totton, deny religiously aggravated harassment between 1 October and
31 December 2002.
They also are said to have set off fireworks at the vicarage and left obscene pictures on a church notice board.
When police raided Mr Lewis' home, they discovered pictures of him and Mr Bower
apparently drinking each other's blood.
In a police interview Mr Lewis, 25, said: "I am a vampire and proud."
James Newton-Price, prosecuting, told Southampton Crown Court the campaign against the vicar of St Mary the Virgin Church in Eling Hill started in October 2002.
Mr Newton-Price said: "This conduct was aimed at the vicar and the church.
'Sensitive and intelligent'
appears to be motivated by some hostility on the part of the defendants to the
"It's also a rather sad case about two, perhaps in some ways, sensitive and
intelligent young men who share an obsession with vampirism and the occult."
Mr Newton-Price said Mr Bower and Mr Lewis dressed in dark gothic-like clothing and
Mr Lewis subscribed to magazines about vampirism.
He said Ms Gibson, who is alleged to have made harassing phone calls to the
vicarage in December 2002, was not obsessed with vampirism but had gone along
with the other two.
The jury was shown articles from a magazine called Crimson which were written
by Mr Lewis.
One article said: "I am beyond the earthly understandings of humans
because I am a reincarnated vampire."
The trial continues.