“It’s an outrage, it seems that these people can just trespass on my land, let their livestock wreck my grounds, allow their children and dogs run wild, and yet when I try to protect my property, apparently I am the one being unreasonable,” declares an angry Baron Frankenstein, who has been cautioned by police in the tiny East European province of Vasaria after sending his infamous monster to try and move on a group of travellers who have set up camp in the grounds of his castle. “Their camp is an eyesore and their lack of hygiene a health hazard – they’ve been crapping in my moat for God’s sake! The stench is disgusting!” In addition to desecrating his family seat, the Baron claims that the gypsys have also been disrupting his business by continually harassing his assistant Ygor. “They shout abuse at him, calling him names on account of his unfortunate physical disabilities. It is outrageous that, in this day and age, a hunchback should be subjected to such discrimination,” says a furious Frankenstein. “It’s got to the stage that he’s frightened to go out grave-robbing on his own! Without a regular supply of body parts my research is grinding to a halt!” A spokesperson for the local police has condemned the Baron’s actions. “Whilst we appreciate how frustrating the situation must be for him, we cannot condone Baron Frankenstein taking the law into his own hands in this way,” says Inspector Karl Frottage. “Violence never solves anything. He must have patience and take the appropriate legal process to move the gypsys on, via the local courts.” The Baron denies that his monster was in any way violent when he attempted to move the travellers on. “What did he do that was so terrible? He didn’t kill or maim anybody, he merely overturned a few of their caravans and tried to carry off one of their women,” he claims. “I don’t know why he does that thing with the women – it’s not as if he ever does anything with them, he’s not equipped. Anyway, he was just trying to scare the pikeys a little, not do them any real harm.”

Frankenstein has little faith in the legal process to evict travellers, pointing out the problems experienced by fellow nobleman Count Dracula in Transylvania, when his castle grounds were invaded by roving gypsys. “It took six months just to get an order for possession of his own land,” rages the Baron. “He got no assistance from the local authorities whatsoever – he had to serve all the notices himself! Even when he got the possession warrant, the police wouldn’t help him and the court bailiffs told him they could only move the people on, he’d have to shift the caravans and animals himself, if they wouldn’t move!” According to Frankenstein, the Count eventually had to enlist a mob from the local village, armed with flaming torches, shouting “kill the pikeys”, to chase the gypsys off . “He should have done that in the first place,” opines the Baron. “He told me that he would have driven them off by drinking the blood of their women, except that they were all so filthy and he didn’t want to dilute his own noble blood with that of an inferior race!” However, with the monster still in police custody on charges of affray and sexual harassment, the Baron is being forced to consider a fresh approach. “It is ridiculous, just because that pikey girl said he groped her bottom as he carried her off, they set the bail too high for me to get him out,” he laments. “Times are hard, my great grandfather blew most of the family fortune building the first monster. What with that and having to keep paying out to have the castle rebuilt every time it is burned down by mobs of angry villagers – the insurance won’t pay out for that, you know – the money is virtually exhausted. There’s not the demand for monster-making there used to be, either, so there’s barely enough coming in from the family business to pay the electricity bills.” Nevertheless, the Baron has succeeded in raising sufficient funds to take the travellers to court. “I sold a couple of those electrical devices from the laboratory to some Americans – I haven’t a clue what the damn things do, they just spray out sparks. But apparently they’re very good for extracting confessions from terrorist suspects strapped to them,” he reveals. “Of course, as well as getting them evicted, I’ll also be claiming damages for loss of business. Not to mention the amount of electricity I had to use to revive the monster!”

Not everyone agrees with the Baron’s characterisation of the gypsys, accusing him of discrimination and racial stereotyping. “It’s a clear case of racial discrimination – there’s no evidence that these travellers commit any more crimes than the scum who live on the local Countess Bathory council estate in the local village,” opines Hans Koblerz of the Vasaria Council for Civil Liberties. “Not only that, but in his deposition to the Court, Baron Frankenstein even claims that at least one of the gypsys is a werewolf responsible for the recent spate of local murders and sheep maulings. This is quite outrageous, playing upon crude racial stereotypes – just because many of the gypsy men are swarthy and hirsute, it doesn’t mean that they are lycanthropes.” Koblerz has also claimed that it is the Baron who has a proven record for anti-social behaviour, rather than the gypsys. “How many times has his bloody monster rampaged through the village, terrorising the local populace and causing mayhem?” he asks, pointing out that the Baron and his creation have had several anti-social behaviour orders and restraining orders brought against them by local businesses in the past few years. “Quite frankly, the odd theft and fly tipping of waste by the gypsys pales into insignificance beside this persistent vandalism!” Nevertheless, on the gypsy issue, the villagers are firmly behind the Baron. “All the murders and monster business is traditional. The gypsys, on the other hand are just a menace,” says the local Burgomeister. “They like to give the impression of being colourful eccentrics, but if you decline to have your fortune read, or to buy their lucky heather or clothes pegs, then it’s all gypsy curses and shitting in your garden. The only time we had any respite from them was during the war when the local Nazis had them rounded up and gassed.” However, Koblerz also believes that the Baron has brought the gypsy problem upon himself. “Let’s not forget that it was his objections that led to planning permission for a new permanent site for the travellers outside the village being rejected,” he says. “Besides, everyone knows that the travellers wouldn’t keep coming back to the area if local people didn’t keep employing them – and it is no secret that Baron Frankenstein himself paid them to resurface his driveway last year!” Surprisingly, the Baron doesn’t deny this assertion. “Yes, I employed them to tarmac the drive – they offered a very reasonable price and it seemed like a good deal at the time,” he explains. “But within a few weeks the surface started to crack and potholes appeared – it’s damn near impossible to get the hearse down there now without wrecking the suspension! The bastards! Never again will I allow them to curse Vasaria with their shoddy workmanship!”