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My Cambridgeshire: an insider’s guide

Kevin Jackson, author of Bite: A Vampire Handbook, lists his top tips for the county

If it’s eeriness you’re after at this time of year, Leper chapel fits the bill nicely. You’ll find it just outside Cambridge, on the road to Newmarket, and as its name suggests, it was once the place of worship for a hospital devoted to sufferers of leprosy. Its doors are locked much of the time, but a sign tells you how and where to pick up a key. In recent years it has made a highly atmospheric setting for a variety of dramatic productions, and there are rumours that a local vampire group has applied to stage an event there in 2010.
cambridgeppf.org/leper-chapel.htm

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Celebrating Mexico’s Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead festival is one of Mexico’s cultural highlights, when for once cemeteries are bursting with life, nowhere more so than in the capital

A melancholy man lovingly decorates the grave of his dead wife with marigold petals and prepares for an all-night vigil. A raucous family in the same cemetery remembers their dead relative with alcohol, chilaquiles and song. A three-year-old excitedly carries a sugar skull to his kindergarten where he will proudly put it on the school altar. A protest group sets up an altogether more sombre version outside a government office to demand justice for murdered young girls.

Mexico’s El Día de Muertos is colourful, poignant, mystical, political, contradictory, satirical, macabre and rather childish – all at the same time.

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