You are hereThe Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David Farrant

The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David Farrant

LONDON 1969, AND WIDE REPORTS WERE COMING INTO the British Psychic and Occult Society concerning a tall black apparition that had been seen lurking among the tombs of London's Highgate Cemetery. Most of these reports were from people who claimed to have been confronted by this apparition which invariably took the form of a tall dark figure and petrified people both in, or passing, the cemetery. Where possible, most of these reports were followed up but unfortunately (as is frequently the case in psychic investigations) many turned out to be vague repetition of local gossip or the result of unqualified rumour.|

Eventually a man was traced, however, who claimed to have had a first-hand encounter with this phenomenon, although he requested that his name be withheld to avoid his account from being subjected to ridicule. According to this person (referred to here as 'Thornton'), he had been 'hypnotized' by 'something' in the cemetery after he had gone there late one afternoon to look around.

As the light began to fail he decided to leave, but somehow, he became hopelessly lost. Not being a superstitious person or even believing in the existence of ghosts, he walked calmly around looking for the gate when he suddenly became aware of the presence of something behind him. Swinging around, less than six feet away, he saw a tall dark spectre hovering just above the ground. He found himself transfixed to the spot completely unable to move; drained of energy by some powerful 'hypnotic force' that in a matter of seconds rendered him unconscious to any sense of time or his surroundings. So great was the intensity of this force, that he remained like this for several minutes (or what seemed like several minutes) before the spectre abruptly vanished and he slowly regained his normal faculties.

Recalling the incident afterwards, Thornton said that it was almost as if some force of terribly evil proportions had actually sought him out with the intention of doing serious harm.

This account was intriguing. Thornton was a sincere and logical person and not the type liable to fantasy or exaggeration. (His profession as an accountant by itself suggested that his interests lay in things of a logical nature.) That he had seen 'something', there seemed little doubt, but what was especially interesting was that he had described the entity as 'seeking him out' and actually trying to cause physical harm; an uncommon occurrence with reports of ghostly confrontations when ghosts themselves are rarely reported as exercising any physical control over their human counterparts. It was a fair conclusion that the phenomenon was definitely malevolent by nature.

Several more people were interviewed in the following weeks, but again, most of these accounts turned out to be second-hand reports or exaggeration of what by now had become an already established rumour.

An exception to this, however, was one old lady who claimed she had been frightened by a 'tall dark man' who floated at her from within the cemetery gates. She had been walking her dog late one night but as she approached the gates of the cemetery, it started to howl and tried to retreat. She looked up and saw a figure with 'glaring eyes' staring at her. In a matter of seconds, it promptly vanished.

This account was also entered on the Society's files, but it seemed the next step to obtaining more precise information was to visit Highgate Cemetery in daylight to check the sites of the phenomenon's reputed appearances and perhaps discover some clues that could have otherwise accounted for its presence.

This visit was made by the author who had taken a personal interest in the case, although it turned out to be disappointing as nothing significant was found that offered any explanation - by way of a hoax or otherwise - for the two sightings.

I arrived at the cemetery in the morning and spent several hours there. It was the first time I had been there for over two years and the increase in vandalism was immediately apparent. Vaults had been broken open and coffins quite literally smashed apart. One vault near the top gate (although not visible from outside it) was wide open and one could see the remains of a skeleton where it had been wrenched from a coffin. Another vault on the main pathway had been thus entered and one of the coffins inside, set alight. Although this vault had been padlocked and chained, the door was made up of an iron grill and the vandalised coffin was available for all to see. Furthermore, it appeared that virtually no attempt had been made to repair any of the damage.

A strange thing that was discovered was a freshly dead fox lying in the middle of a main pathway. This was puzzling because there were no outward signs betraying the cause of death, and besides, a wounded animal would usually have crawled away and hidden itself if it sensed impending death.

All this, however, came no nearer to solving the mystery of the black apparition. Indeed, apart from rumour and other unsubstantiated local stories, the only real 'evidence' were the testimonies of just two people, and it seemed the only way to credit their accounts (or discredit them as the case may be) and thereby justify a full investigation, was to spend a night in the cemetery to see if the phenomenon - or whatever it was - could be witnessed. The place where Thornton had been confronted inside the cemetery seemed an appropriate place as it was secluded and there was no risk of being seen by anybody happening by the top gate - the place where the old lady had seen the entity. The date chosen was December 21st - the eve of the winter Solstice and a traditional time (due to the maximum hours of darkness) when potent psychic forces have easy access to the 'earthly plane'. That the entity may be dangerous from a psychic point of view, was a fact not overlooked. But I was confident that previous experiences with potentially malevolent psychic forces would enable me to deal with any such possibility.

Around 11 PM on the proposed night, I set off for the cemetery. It was a bitterly cold night and the surrounding area was deserted. Walking down the narrow lane that ran alongside the cemetery, there was a sudden awareness of some 'alien presence'. This was difficult to define, except in so far as there was a distinct impression of no longer being alone.

Reaching the top gate and preparing to scale this, I decided to wait a couple of minutes with the intention of perhaps noticing some material object through the gate (such as a shadow cast by a tomb-stone or from a tree moving in the wind), that could have otherwise accounted for the old lady's phantom.

Peering through the rusty bars of the gate scrutinizing the pervading darkness, objects near the gate itself lining the pathway, were fairly easy to discern. But after 20 yards or so the path disappeared into impenetrable blackness. Staring into this, perhaps due to some trick of the light, there was a distinct impression of 'something moving'. What appeared one minute to be a definite black shape or shadow, would suddenly alter its form or change in density. The wind moving through the undergrowth was probably the cause of this, but it was equally feasible that this could have been the cause of the 'black apparition' seen by the old woman.

To the right of the path, some large animal was scurrying through the undergrowth. Then suddenly, something caught my eye and looking up, just inside not 5 yards from the gate and clearly visible, was a tall dark shape.

Instinctively, my conscious mind rejected this figure as being supernatural. It was more consoling to assume that it was somebody wandering through the cemetery; notwithstanding that the figure appeared to be over seven feet tall. Any immediate doubts were soon dispelled when I saw two reddish eyes meeting my gaze from a 'black mass' at the top of the shape, which I took to be its 'head'. But these eyes were not human, rather reflected some 'alive presence'; they were dull and penetrating like some hungry wolf, although the rest of 'it' had no discernable features, apart from a vague 'human' shape.

The whole situation seemed unreal - like some unwanted dream - but with determined effort, I tore my gaze away realising that the entity was malevolent and that I had come under psychic attack. Without warning, the figure then suddenly vanished, and it appeared that for the moment, at least, the entity had retreated . . .
Part 2
An Investigation

THE NEXT MEETING OF THE BRITISH PSYCHIC AND OCCULT SOCIETY was mainly occupied by arranging an investigation into the Highgate Cemetery affair now that it could be reasonably assumed that at least some of the reports might be authentic.
It was decided that a continuous nightly vigil would take place at the cemetery, two Society members at a time being stationed in turn at the two places where the apparition had been seen to appear. Cameras and tape recorders would be set up, but as yet, no 'psychic means' - such as conducting a seance, for example - would be employed to bring about the entity's materialization. This was because, it was concluded that in the initial stages of the investigation, the gathering of evidence and observation, were of greater importance than any attempt to make direct psychic contact - especially because of the entity's apparently malignant disposition. Instead, the cemetery's history would be checked out; in particular, sightings of any other unusual phenomena in the area that might be in some way connected. Anyone who laid claim to witnessing the entity would be interviewed and statements kept of their accounts. To obtain details of other sightings, it was agreed that a short and 'non-alarmist' letter be sent to a local paper inviting people to tell of any genuine experiences so that any subscribers could be interviewed first hand.

When the investigation proper began in January 1970, I undertook the task of checking the cemetery's history. Some interesting things came to light ... First, it became apparent that stories of an apparition at Highgate Cemetery had by no means begun with the current sightings. Indeed, similar tales dated back to the Victorian era and, interestingly enough, many of them had 'vampiristic' connotations.

Perhaps the reason for this was that Stoker himself had possibly been influenced by the existence of 'something' in Highgate Cemetery. When he wrote his unique book Dracula, he makes direct reference to Highgate Cemetery (or at least, an area in the close proximity of Highgate Cemetery) as being the last resting place of one of Count Dracula's disciples.

Although Stoker may have also been influenced by the eerie case of Elizabeth Siddal who died in 1855 and who was buried in Highgate Cemetery. In 1862, her body was exhumed by a distraught relative anxious to retrieve some poems said to have been buried with her. A witness present, Charles Augustus Howell, described the 'awesome sight' of the undecayed body with 'luxuriant red-gold hair' that 'practically filled the coffin' - the implication being that Elizabeth was 'Undead', or in a state of catalepsy.

One of the common tales of that time also told of a 'tall man dressed in black' who used to disappear mysteriously through the cemetery wall. It was especially interesting to note the similarity between the Victorian sightings and the present day manifestations - especially as there was approximately 100 years difference between the two. If nothing else, this provided proof that the cemetery had been reputedly haunted for some time.

But perhaps most interesting was the 'vampire-like element' that had crept into these stories. Although it was difficult to pin-point the reasons or origins from whence the vampire legend came, it had nevertheless become an integral part of the cemetery's supernatural traditions. The Victorians, with their deep-rooted fears of the unknown and self-righteous attitudes towards religion, morals and death, may have contributed towards establishing - or perhaps re-establishing - a legend that was already in existence.

Whatever the case, it is reasonable to suppose that the Highgate phenomenon could have been connected with stories of vampirism.

Something obviously gave substance to the original sightings, though whether this 'something' was occult in origin or had a rational explanation that had been dismissed by some superstitious mind, was only debatable. One thing seemed certain, however: whatever formed the foundation of the original sightings, predated the Victorian era. To begin with, Stoker's reference to the immediate area in connection with 'vampires' almost certainly suggests that he was familiar with the local tales by then already in existence. But there was another fact to substantiate this. It dated back to the 15th century when Highgate was used as a mass burial ground for victims of the Great Plague. Highgate was probably chosen for this purpose as it was then an accessible outlying village within convenient range of London; far enough away to reduce the risk of further contamination. These unfortunate victims were brought out in cartloads from the Old City and deposited in an area which is now known as 'Church Yard Bottom', in Highgate's Queen's Wood.

All this, of course, was no more than historical fact. But what was interesting here was the possibility that the Plague deaths could have been the cause of many stories of vampirism. Basically, these burials were carried out quickly and in bulk and in all probability some people were buried whilst still alive - or in a cataleptic state.

Yet to return to the present day, the investigation also uncovered another fact of great significance, which alone possibly provided the key the current spate of hauntings. Exploration, and subsequent photographs taken in the cemetery, confirmed beyond doubt that Satanic masses had been taking place there. Furthermore, it became apparent that these masses had been conducted with great professional style (some in a maze of catacombs that ran beneath the cemetery) and were not the work of misguided amateurs.

One particular tomb hidden deep within the heart of the cemetery (in fact, a small mausoleum with a marble floor but which contained no coffins), had been converted into a small Temple, and, judging from the inverted pentagram and magical symbols inscribed on the floor and walls, was in regular usage. But more significant still, was the fact that the particular magical signs and symbols used, could only be applicable in a Rite dedicated to one of the most malign Deities to rule amongst the Old Kings of Hell and that such a Rite could only be performed by the highest of adepts, for no amateur would be capable of calling forth this Deiform.

In fact, in accordance with Satanic belief, this entity could only be summoned to the earthly plane if it was to perform some mission, and could not 'return' until that mission had been fulfilled.

Yet most important here, (and as I stated at the time), the fact that the cemetery was being thus used by dedicated Satanists, might also have a direct bearing on the frequently witnessed spectre. For just as this Deity might be invoked to visible appearance by means of a magical ritual, so might other forms of evil entities that might remain permanently 'earth-bound'.

It was therefore quite feasible to assume that the cemetery phenomenon was an evil entity that had been summoned up as the direct result of a Satanic ritual or alternatively, that the Satanists had succeeded in 'awakening' the latter-day vampire which had laid dormant for so long.

Whatever the case, it was evident that the Force (or Forces) being dealt with was malignly supernatural and protective measures may eventually have to be taken to safeguard against psychic attack.

Such a possibility was not taken lightly, in view of the apparent performance of the entity so far and the added frequency of its appearances.

Already, just two weeks after the investigation had started, two of the nightly watchers spotted it again on two separate occasions.

The first time, it appeared behind two Society members on watch at the 'Thornton spot'. Swinging around as if compelled by some over-whelming impulse, they both saw the entity hovering behind, but just as abruptly, it disappeared. Again, two other members saw it through the top gate on their way to keep the nightly vigil. On neither occasion, however, did the entity appear for more than a couple of seconds. It was almost as if it 'knew' it was being hunted down and had no intention of allowing anybody to fire flash-guns at it.

It should be said here that - contrary to popular belief - some types of supernatural phenomena, albeit not apparently discernable in the normal sense, can be photographed and there was every indication that the Highgate spectre fitted into this category. Although such photographs are rarely taken as credible evidence for the proved existence of ghosts, they would nevertheless have eliminated any logical causation (such as the possibility of hoaxing, for example) that could otherwise have accounted for the sightings.

But photographs did reveal several more foxes that were discovered dead in the cemetery. Unlike the previous one discovered, however, many of these had deep wounds to the throat.

There was no direct evidence to link these attacks to stories now circulating about a 'vampire', of course, but it was an interesting speculation (some might say a chilling reminder) to recall that in his book Dracula, Bram Stoker refers to a 'vampiric entity' that wandered in the vicinity of Hampstead at night and was responsible for 'attacking' young children.

In the meantime, there was a significant response to my letter to the local newspaper, The Hampstead and Highgate Express (Ham and High). This had taken the form of a simple request for information about the reported ghost, and to avoid any frivolous response, I had deliberately omitted any reference to a 'vampire'.

The week after I had made this request, in fact, four people wrote in to the newspaper all moreorless confirming the phenomenon's existence. One lady wrote:

My fiancée and I spotted a most unusual form about a year ago. It just seemed to glide across the path. Although we waited a little while, it did not reappear again. I am glad someone else has spotted it; I was convinced it was not my imagination.
Miss Audrey Connely.
(Ham and High, February 13th, 1970)

Another reader confirmed the existence of a ghost at the cemetery but although not having seen it himself, concluded ...

The ghost will sometimes appear nightly for about a week, and then will not be seen again for perhaps a month. To my knowledge the ghost always takes the form of a pale figure and has been appearing for several years.
K. Frewin
(Ham and High, February 13th, 1970)

The Ham and High obviously noticed the local interest in the subject and themselves took up the story inviting other readers to write in and tell of their experiences. Although with typical newspaper sceptism, they warned that they would check the authenticity of all letters received lest anybody attempted to 'spoof them with spooks'.

Prompted by this invitation, the following weeks brought many more letters from people who claimed to have seen the apparition.

Wrote one reader:

A figure such as that seen by readers does haunt Highgate Cemetery. I caught sight of it while I was walking around the cemetery. Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I saw something move and immediately looked around to see a 'form' moving behind some gravestones. My first reaction was that it was somebody 'mucking about' but looking back it seems strange that the thing made no sound and seemed to disappear into nowhere.
D. Winbourne
(Ham and High, February 20th, 1970)

Another reader expressed great dismay that her house was perhaps situated a little too close to the cemetery and that in view of all the stories, the cemetery entity should be seriously looked into.

Yet some readers portrayed more than a little sceptcism. One wrote:

Swain's Lane on a cloudy, windswept moonlit night, with its cemetery, overhanging branches, sparsely-peopled, ill-lit, and rather Gothic, has the same effect on some people as reading a good ghost story, and we all see ghosts after reading ghost stories ...And he concluded:

... The British Occult Society is to be congratulated on fighting a brave last ditch battle on behalf of the romantics in bringing their 'wampyr' [vampire] out of its dusty covers and presenting it once again for public display, but alas, it is too late, by at least three generations.
S. Levitt
(Ham and High, February 27th, 1970)

Although some letters contained irrelevant fact, many contained valuable information and by interviewing their subscribers, it was possible to put together a fairly concise record about the nature of the phenomenon and its appearances. Basically, it seemed it usually took the form of a tall dark figure and appeared mainly in an area around the top gate.

This corresponded more or less exactly with my encounter, and those of Thornton and the old woman.

The Ham and High, however, seemed especially interested in the 'vampire' possibility and the fact that black magic had been taking place at the cemetery. On March 6th, 1970, they ran a front page story entitled, perhaps appropriately "WHY DO THE FOXES DIE?" The implication was, was that in some manner the 'ghost' was no less than a 'vampire' which had been responsible for the death of the foxes. It was interesting hypothesis, and one which had not been overruled by the author himself. In fact, I held the view that as the phenomenon seemed definitely malevolent by nature, it was quite conceivable that it possessed sufficient power to have some affect upon 'weaker forms of intelligence's' - such as animals. Alternatively, there was the possibility that the foxes had somehow been trapped by the Satanists and used as sacrifices in black magic rituals.

In reality, the Satanic group that were using Highgate Cemetery hadn't taken kindly to the Society's investigation which had exposed their activities to the public view. The weeks that followed brought a spate of threatening letters to the Society. Essentially, these letters warned that the Society's investigation at the cemetery must be stopped or there would be 'disastrous consequences' - namely, 'death' to be effected by means of black magic.

A typical letter to the author, read:

By your interference with the work of our High Order, you have invoked the wrath of Lord Hadit. By His element and the power of the Seven-Fold Cross, you shall now be destroyed. This is decreed by His Grace, and this wish will be fulfilled through our Order. Be it thus so ...

The letter was signed in blood and adorned with satanic symbols; mainly to the effect that I had offended the Satanic god Hadit who, through the media of his worshippers, was about to reek terrible revenge.

There was no doubt that the sender - or senders - of these letters were genuine Satanists. For one thing, the secret signs which adorned the letters, would only be known to authentic practitioners of the Black Arts. Yet the letters did not cause undue concern. Previous experience by the Society with black magic groups gave us enough confidence to file these letters and forget about them.

In the meantime, public interest in the Highgate Cemetery affair had attracted the interest of Independent Television. They were preparing a programme on the 'ghost' and invited the author to give an account of the investigation. Initially, this request had to be denied, as Society policy forbade the release of any information to the media about internal investigations unless, or until, these were complete. But I finally agreed to verify my own personal encounter with the phenomenon. This programme was shown on 13th March, 1970 - although it was not filmed without some mishap. When the film crew began filming outside the top gate (they were not given permission to film inside, the cemetery Superintendent, Mr. William Law, explaining that this was 'against regulations'), the camera man suddenly clutched his throat and passed out. The filming had to be postponed until a replacement took over. Sandra Harris, the interviewer, was visibly shaken; more so probably, as she had already witnessed the deplorable damage inside the cemetery. (In fact, whilst she was walking through the cemetery with the film crew and myself a little earlier, we had all witnessed a vandalised coffin that had been removed from an old vault and was lying in the middle of a pathway. Its lid had been ripped off, and the skeleton inside was clearly visible.)

During the interview, and to avoid any possible sensationalism about 'vampires', I took great care to avoid such a term when referring to the phenomenon. Of course, it was realised that local opinion tended to support a 'vampire theory', but I certainly didn't accept the existence of vampires in their strictly commercialised sense and I had no intention of being misunderstood or misquoted. Another man who was being interviewed, however, (a somewhat theatrical character dressed in undertakers' clothes who had been pestering local newspaper's looking for publicity since he had first become aware of the Society investigation), claimed that the phenomenon was really the 'King Vampire' and, after producing a crucifix and a home-made wooden stake, announced that to destroy a vampire one must ... 'first drive a stake through its heart with one blow, chop off its head with a gravedigger's shovel, then burn what remains'!

Of course, this amateurish verbiage would not have been taken seriously by genuine occultists but the situation was made worse when this person went on to claim that ... " 'David Farrant' would be returning to Highgate Cemetery that same evening' to 'perform this dangerous mission." And for further effect, he warned of what he saw as the 'dangerous consequences' facing anyone foolish enough to take on the 'King Vampire'.

Although these remarks were obviously intended to create maximum publicity, in reality, they were based on a misunderstanding of a report in the local Press the previous week when, humouring some over-zealous reporter, I had stated that if the apparition at Highgate Cemetery turned out to be anything like a 'vampire', I, for one, would be prepared to take any means necessary so that everybody could 'rest in peace'.

But to make matters worse, this person's remarks were put over the air, and later that night following the television transmission, several hundred people converged on Highgate Cemetery to witness a non-existent 'vampire hunt'.

One of these was a school teacher from Essex called Alan Blood (in fact, his real name) who had traveled to London after seeing the programme to take part in the 'vampire hunt'. He had even brought several students with him to join in this quest.

I was approached by Alan Blood who wanted permission to join in the 'hunt' but I was forced to explain that it was not possible to conduct any serious psychic investigation under the unfavourable conditions created by the television programme (people were flocking to Highgate Cemetery en-masse including groups of hooligans carrying beer cans and makeshift weapons to take on the 'vampire' and who looked as if they could have turned nasty) and that the whole charade had been instigated at my expense.

Needless to say, no Society members joined in this charade, but the 'hunt' still went ahead, its outcome being reported in the Press the following day.

The London Evening News reported the situation by saying:

Nearly 100 people joined in a vampire-hunt at Highgate Cemetery today.  They included a vampire expert named Mr. Alan Blood who journeyed 40 miles to investigate this legend of an 'Undead Satan-like being' said to lurk in the area.  Spectators gathered in the spooky darkness after watching a TV interview last night, Friday 13th, in which a man said he was going to exorcise an evil spirit he claimed he had seen three times.

Curious onlookers managed to scale the 10 foot wall in search of an open tomb. Several people scrambled back frightened claiming they had seen 'something crawling' in the dark.

Anthony Robinson aged 27 of Ostel Road, Hampstead came to the cemetery after hearing of the torchlight hunt.

"I walked past the place and heard a high pitched noise, then I saw something grey moving slowly across the road. It terrified me."

"First time I couldn't make it out, it looked eerie. I've never believed in anything like this, but now I'm sure there is something evil lurking in Highgate."

The vampire expert, history teacher Alan Blood, 25, traveled from Chelmsford, after he saw David Farrant, 24, speak of his plans to stake the vampire through the heart with a wooden cross.
(Evening News, March 25th, 1970.)

Yet aside from the 'sensational slant' of this article, I remained sceptical about this particular sighting. It was more likely over-wrought imagination combined with a mild form of mass hysteria, had created 'ghosts' where there were none to be seen. There was more concern about the potential effects arising from such publicity for this was bound to attract further vandalism to the cemetery, which in turn, would hamper the investigation proper and upset both the cemetery authorities and the police. Added to this, was as a result of the unsubstantiated ravings made by the person on the television and subsequent coverage of these by the Evening News, 'David Farrant' had been irrevocably branded as the main instigator of this mass vampire hunt and a man who quite literally believed in the existence of 'blood-sucking vampires'.

Meanwhile, the vigil by the Society at the cemetery continued, although there were no significant developments and the phenomenon was not sighted. It seemed the 'vampire' had not taken kindly to the mass intrusion of its privacy and had 'gone to ground' to avoid further persecution.

It was therefore decided to carry out the original idea and conduct an occult ceremony at Highgate Cemetery one night in order to summon the entity forth, and possibly, communicate with it. This ceremony was to be conducted with a High Priestess and other members of the Circle, some of whom were members of the British Psychic and Occult Society.

Unfortunately however, an unforeseen event prevented this planned ceremony from taking place, although it was agreed that another date be set for this at the first available opportunity. . .

Part 3

IN AUGUST 1970, there was another development in the Highgate investigation. That month, the body of a woman was dragged from a vault in Highgate Cemetery, staked through the heart, and left lying in the middle of a main pathway. The fact that this was discovered by two schoolgirls made the incident even more gruesome. The Hornsey Journal's reportage of this incident, perhaps also did little to allay the already public growing concern over reports of 'black magic' and vandalism at Highgate Cemetery.

Evidence of vandalism at the cemetery was, of course, no new thing. But the element of 'staking the corpse', seemingly as the aftermath of some black magic rite, pointed convincingly to the work of the Satanists and their possible connection with the phenomenon.

Soon afterwards, it was decided to conduct the postponed ritual; the object was to summon the entity, make psychic communication with it and then - if it proved to be malevolent, which seemed an obvious fact - banish it from the earthly plane by conducting an appropriate rite of exorcism. The view was held that, if indeed the author's personal theory was correct, and the Satanic group were in some way responsible for 'controlling' the entity's appearances by means of black magic, such an exorcism would also dispel much of this group's power by negating the evil they had summoned into existence.

It was almost full moon (three days preceding the full moon and those immediately after being especially favourable for conducting magical ceremonies), and it was decided to hold the seance at midnight on August 17th.

Accordingly, Highgate Cemetery was entered late one night on the appointed date, the purpose basically, to conduct this psychical seance. The place chosen was the 'Thornton spot' as this was secluded and well within the cemetery.

In requirements for this ritual, a large circle was inscribed upon the ground which was adorned by protective symbols and 'sealed' with consecrated water and salt. Some ten feet away from this, where the phenomenon would be summoned to appear, a smaller circle was cast with protective symbols (it had not been overlooked that we were dealing with a particularly lethal form of psychic energy).

When the preparations were complete, the seance commenced but after only a few minutes, torchlight's could be seen in the distance and there was the muffled sound of human voices. It was the police: still some way off but approaching the back gate of the cemetery. This presented something of a dilemma; for not only was it dangerous - from a psychic point of view - to leave the protective circle once the ceremony had commenced, but there was the very real problem of explaining such clandestine nightly activity and being believed, let alone being understood. Because of this, the psychic paraphernalia was quickly gathered up and respective members headed for different exits in the cemetery.

On a sudden impulse, I made for the back wall, which the police were approaching, thinking it was possible to reach this without being spotted and then scale this further along. After all, this was the only way out. Unfortunately, just by the wall, I was caught by a flashlight and quickly arrested. Luckily, however, the police must have assumed their captive was alone and they made no attempt to look for other people.

Perhaps ironically, any concern about being arrested was not so much for fear of having done anything wrong or illegal, but because the seance would be misunderstood and such misapprehension could attract adverse publicity to the investigation and the Society.

For this reason, the ceremonial paraphernalia I was carrying (which included candles, incense, a wooden cross adorned with protective magical symbols and a small tape-recorder) was quickly discarded in the undergrowth by the back wall hoping this would go unnoticed. Unfortunately, this was discovered and was to form the basis of a police charge of 'being in an enclosed area for an unlawful purpose' - although this 'purpose' was not clarified in the charge itself.

The case came before Magistrate Christopher Lea at Clerkenwell Magistrates' Court two weeks later, although it had to be adjourned as the Detective Sergeant in charge, Neville Brown, had apparently suffered a mild heart attack. In any event, the police were unable to proceed and the case was re-scheduled for September 29th.

The main evidence put forward to support the charge was that the Defendant had been caught whilst leaving Highgate Cemetery with a cross and 'wooden stake' (this 'wooden stake' was, in fact, merely a pointed piece of wood used with string to cast - or measure out - a magical Circle), his intention (according to the Prosecution) to seek out and destroy the legendary vampire that slept in a coffin in the cemetery. During this process, the Prosecution claimed, coffins would have had to be opened to find the vampire.

Logically, of course, in principle some of this may have been correct, but, due to my reluctance to give details of the seance realising that these would never be understood because of their occult connotations, and my refusal to name members involved in the investigation, the facts had been grossly distorted.

It was not true, for example, that I had been arrested with just a cross and a 'stake' but the other items I had been carrying had 'mysteriously disappeared' and had not been produced in evidence. Neither was it true that there had been any intention to 'open coffins', but the established link between 'vampires' and coffins had been sufficient to give grounds to this allegation. Ignorance and superstitious assumption - and almost certainly a desire to produce a scapegoat for all the vandalism and desecration at Highgate Cemetery - had done the rest.

If I had any doubts about the latter these were quickly dispelled when Neville Brown proceed to read out a statement which amounted to a verbal admission by myself to the charge. The crux of this admission was as follows ...

At midnight I went with the Cross and the stake to St. Michael's churchyard" [which backs on to Highgate Cemetery] "to look for the vampire. Had the police not arrived when they did my intention was to make my way to the catacombs to search for it. I would have entered the catacombs and inspected the coffins in my search, and upon finding the supernatural being, I would have driven my stake through its heart and then run away.

How this statement had ended up in this form and in a vernacular totally foreign to that of the author's, perhaps indicates how the whole thing was proceeding. But this notwithstanding, the case was dismissed, the Magistrate (this time Mr. DJ Purcell) accepting a Defence denial of this 'admission' and a further submission that I had already been featured on the television in connection with the investigation; and that, in any event, it was just as akin to 'hunt for vampires' as it was for some people to spend vast sums of money trying to locate the Loch Ness Monster.

The Magistrate added that there had been no intention to 'damage coffins' and that the cemetery was not an enclosed area in the strict legal sense.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the police were none too pleased at this decision or the publicity the case had attracted; although any publicity had only been forthcoming because they had brought the case to court in the first place and introduced outrageous statements throughout about 'staking vampires' attributed to myself which had no relation to the real facts of the investigation. It is little wonder that such outrageous statements were seized upon by the Popular Press, but the fact that many of these statements found their way into print but were not retracted afterwards when proved to be false by very virtue of my acquittal, (and even today, many of these earlier newspaper accounts lie erroneously on record), merely confirmed that serious psychic investigation could not be entrusted to the understanding of the police, or the Press.

In fact, some newspapers had a 'hey day' with all this sensationalism and some let their imaginations loose beyond the bounds of credibility. The Daily Express said, for example, that the Society had 'over 100 members looking for vampires all over Europe'! Belief in vampires may well have been prevalent all over Europe in the Middle Ages, as originally stated, but this historical fact was certainly not the immediate concern of the British Psychic and Occult Society!

With a little more sobriety, although not without a hint of sarcasm, the Baltimore Sun observed that apparently it was 'no longer a crime to hunt vampires in England'.

But the publicity brought by the court case made it impossible, at this stage, for the investigation to continue. Attracted by reports of 'vampires', scores of people visited Highgate Cemetery and desecration and vandalism of graves and tombs increased to an alarming degree. People flocked to the cemetery in droves and police were frequently called to evict groups of hooligans or self-professed 'vampire hunters'. Indeed, the situation had become so grave, that on Hallowe'en night, 1970, police literally had to throw a cordon of police cars around Highgate Cemetery to prevent people from entering on the night of the undead.

One small group of aspiring occultists, however, seemed to have evaded the ongoing police presence and claimed to performed a 'secret exorcism' at a tomb in the cemetery that had been desecrated by Satanists; although the only 'evidence' to support this was a photograph that had been sent to the Hornsey Journal showing a man dressed in an evening suit brandishing a crucifix and wearing a 'garlic necklace' posing outside some unrecognisable tomb in the cemetery.

Contacting the Society for comment, the Hornsey Journal were informed that we recognised the person concerned as a well known prankster and, if in line with his past record, the whole thing was just a well timed publicity stunt.

Unfortunately, a sad side to all this activity at the cemetery, at least, as far as some elements in the police and the media were concerned, was that the Society itself was held directly responsible for influencing its occurrence. This was an especial irony, when I had already stated publicly on several occasions that this sort of activity was to be deplored and had nothing to do with genuine psychic investigation. Indeed, in a article I was to write for a local paper scarcely a year later, I stated that the growing menace of Satanism in general - especially at Highgate Cemetery - was a 'very real menace indeed'. (This article appeared in the Islington Gazette on September 29th, 1972, and in it I also pointed out that it was the young, with their tendency to think they were invulnerable, who were most at risk to the dangers of Satanism. Attracted by some 'dare-devil' instinct to the challenge of Satanism, some would became entrapped in a web of corruption and degradation from which there was usually no escape).

But before the publication of this article, BBC Television decided to mount their own investigation and sent a team of cameramen and reporters to see if they could locate the 'vampire'. Although they were unsuccessful, what they did find was a mass of desecrated coffins, many of which had been deprived of their lead. Invited on the programme, I explained that although most of the desecration was the work of vandals, the activities of the Satanic group was a very real problem, as was the existence of the 'vampire-like' entity that had been witnessed there. This programme was televised on October 15th, 1970 and went some way in vindicating my claims that black magic was being practised at Highgate Cemetery.

But regarding the threats from the Satanic group, they had apparently given up. The threatening letters suddenly ceased and it was likely that - as they saw it - the damage done by the Society in exposing their activities to the public view had already been done and so there was no point in continuing their vendetta.

Meanwhile, there was a major development at Highgate Cemetery. Reports were coming into the Society that a young girl had been 'attacked' by the 'vampire' in Swains Lane which runs alongside the cemetery. Eventually, the girl's identity was discovered and I arranged a meeting with her. Although reluctant to discuss the matter at first, I assured her anonymity and she gave the following account:

She was returning home in the early hours walking down Swain's Lane. As she passed the cemetery, a little way further on, she was suddenly 'thrown to the ground' with tremendous force by a 'tall black figure' with a 'deathly white face'. At that moment, a car stopped to help her and the figure 'vanished' in the glare of the headlights. She was taken to Highgate Police Station in a state of severe shock suffering abrasions to her knees and elbows. The police immediately made a thorough search of the area but could find no trace of her attacker. More mysterious still was the fact that where the figure had vanished, the cemetery was lined by 15 foot high walls.

On hearing this, I felt a tinge of apprehension. Until now, the 'vampire's' appearances had been mainly confined to frightening people. It seemed now, however, that the 'creature' was becoming 'bolder' and presented a real threat to innocent people. If it had attacked somebody once, it could do so again. Only next time, with more disastrous consequences.

It was decided to conduct a full scale ceremony in Highgate Cemetery whereby the phenomenon would be summoned and then banished back to its preordained place of existence.

This time, however, the Ceremony would involve the use of High Magic as a means of communicating with the demonic entity. It was not dared to use less than an advanced form of ritual. At least, if the ritual was not successful, it would be possible to control the entity, whereas Low magical techniques - albeit less complex - could not have afforded adequate protection ...

Part 4
The Reckoning

ON JUNE 21ST, 1971, several members of a secret Occult Order gathered in Highgate Cemetery to perform one of the most dangerous magical rituals in existence. The motivation for performing this ritual was to counteract the activities of a Satanic Coven who had violated magical Law by evoking a malevolent evil force to execute their own desires; the basic object being to establish psychic 'contact' with the existing phenomenon (or 'vampire') and thereby negate the diabolical power that had been brought into existence.

Of course, such a task was by no means easy for, in magic, darker forces are most potent when summoned to the earthly plane and may only be revoked by a White magical ritual. Thus in context - and in accordance with magical law - an extreme force of evil may only be counteracted and neutralised by an equivalent force of Good. Any other method - if attempted - would have little effect and, in all probability, would only serve to aggravate an 'opposing evil force'.

For the sake of the uninitiated, and to allay any confusion arising from this point, a few words should be said here to explain the difference between white magic and black magic, and black magic and Satanism.

Firstly, it should be understood that magic itself is neither 'black' nor 'white' - it is neutral. Furthermore, magic is only a psychic element through which 'outside' forces may be evoked, not itself active but only a channel through which such forces may be brought into operation.

Of course, these supernatural forces which can be summoned as a result of magical techniques are both good and evil (or 'white' and 'black'), but even the definition of these forces is a man-made conception.

Yet this is not to say that magic alone is harmless, for although it may only act as a catalyst in producing an end result, the very nature of its source makes it lethal in the hands of those who don't understand it - rather like a trainee chemist who does not know which chemicals, if mixed together, will cause an explosion.

Therefore, it may be seen that magic is only governed and subsequently labeled by the intentions of those using it. It follows, that a 'black' magician may also be a 'white' one, and vice versa.

With Satanism, however, it is a slightly different matter. For here, unlike a magician who can harness various types of forces at will and without obligation, a Satanist is dedicated to the continual service and worship of evil powers. And as he cannot retain the neutrality of the magician, (the very doctrines of Satanic belief make this impossible) he becomes bound, or possessed, by the dark forces he has pledged to serve. Thus, unlike black magic, Satanism is a form of religious belief, and because of the doctrines and requirements laid down in its beliefs, it is far more potent and dangerous.

The communication ritual was performed after taking all these things - and more - into consideration. According to the magical requirements of the ritual, a Circle was constructed on the ground in which were placed various ceremonial items. These included vessels of consecrated water, charcoal and salt, and protective talismans which each member must wear. Different coloured candles were placed at strategic points around the circumference to correspond with the elements of air, fire, earth and water. whilst a small fire burned steadily in the middle. To the North of the Circle a small 'sealed' triangle was cast (also containing a small fire) where the entity would be summoned to appear, and hopefully, be able to 'communicate' with a psychic medium who would be inside the protective Circle.

When all was prepared, the ritual commenced and was timed so that the vital part would coincide with midnight.

The first part of the ritual was dedicated to the relevant incantations and 'Calls' necessary to summon forth the entity. These magical 'Calls' were made in strict accordance with the form of ritual and served two purposes: to dispel any unwanted elementals which might have hindered the appearance of the entity, and to open a channel of psychic energy through which the entity could later materialise.

When the preliminary part of the ritual had been completed, the actual evocation to summon the entity then began.

The intrinsic details regarding this part of the ritual, however, may not be disclosed as this would violate magical secrecy; suffice it is to say that the entity would be magically induced to appear in the triangle where it would have a direct 'psychic line' to communicate with the medium.

As midnight approached, the medium began to make the Commands for manifestation and almost immediately the Circle turned icy cold as though some warm power had suddenly left it, and the candles went out. Simultaneously, the fire in the triangle was obliterated by a misty smoke and some sinister force seemed to be amidst everyone present. For the next minute or so, nothing happened. There was no wind and it seemed unnaturally silent and the fire in the Circle cast an eerie red glow over everything. Suddenly, the area was full of a dense mist, more intense around the triangle, and in this, scarcely discernible through the haze, was a quivering 'black shape' that seemed to be trying to materialise. The medium spoke aloud, attempting to aid 'its' materialisation and all at once, two eyes could be seen at the top of the moving black form. They were the same eyes that I had witnessed inside the gate, dull red and almost diabolically evil; only this time, they had increased in strength to such a degree that it was like being confronted by some 'living presence'.

A girl present screamed and fainted, but such was the hypnotic power of the entity, that nobody was really conscious of her. There seemed to be a tremendous power emanating from the distinct eyes that was magnified even more by the flickering firelight and it was at this stage that I realised that the entity might be too powerful to control and we would be entrapped in the Circle. The whole thing was like a vivid dream; that you had a complete awareness of what was happening, only with little means of controlling it.

Strangely, (and this was an impression that other members later recalled) there was no sense of imminent 'evil intent' from the entity, it being more an impression that it was trying to 'absorb' you.

Seeing the dangers of prolonging the ritual, without hesitation - although not without some effort - the medium and myself performed a rite of banishment during which the entity promptly vanished.

Yet, notwithstanding the manifestation and urgent dismissal of the entity, the ritual had not been a complete success. For although the entity's materialisation had proved a success and it had been possible to dismiss it, circumstances had not allowed time for a full exorcism and, to this extent, it still remained earthbound.
But the ceremony had established beyond doubt - at least as far as most serious psychic investigators were concerned - that the majority of sightings, and witnessed encounters relating to the Highgate phenomenon, were not entirely without foundation.

Unfortunately, however, it was realised that such proof would hardly be acceptable to the hardened sceptic, but we had at least succeeded in establishing that not only did some genuine psychic presence exist at Highgate Cemetery, but had also uncovered valuable information about the nature of the phenomenon and possible aspects that might have primarily caused its existence.

Of course, while it could not be irrefutably stated that this 'demonic' entity was the direct result of Satanic activity, it could be reasonably said that Satanic practices had perhaps been the cause of activating some age-old supernatural phenomenon.

Given that the investigation at Highgate Cemetery still remained incomplete - an opinion, shared by most Society members - not long afterwards it was decided to again return to the cemetery with a view to perhaps obtaining some photographic evidence by means of performing another ceremony.

This though, was never to be. The police, keeping surveillance as a result of continuing vandalism, arrested two members just inside the gates.

On this occasion, however, they were released as no offence had been committed but the Press picked up the story the next day (presumably as a result of police information) and more attacks were leveled against the Society's name.

With the usual precision of Fleet Street, the Society investigation was irrevocably limited to a continuation of clandestine midnight manoeuvres that took place amongst dank decaying tombs inhabited by a 'blood-sucking vampire', whilst the author, in turn, was reduced to some modern-day Van Helsing type vampire hunter.

Ironically, perhaps, concerning the Highgate phenomenon itself, the Press may have for once come closer to the truth than they originally intended.

Copyright David Farrant

[Much of this material has been abridged from the 4th edition of the author's book, "Beyond the Highgate Vampire]

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Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...

More tea,vicar?

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Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...


You are really not doing yourself any favours, ‘anonymous’ by trying to mis-represent the Highgate ‘vampire’ case in relation to myself by falsely representing 40-year-old newspaper reports. Maybe you are relying on the fact, that some people can’t check back that far; indeed, who would really want to?

Instead you appear to be trying to ‘judge’ myself by your own misinterpretatation of these old Press reports.

Okay, you seem to be determined to set your own interpretation about the Highgate ‘vampire’ case on record. Fine. But lets now hear a little truth . . .

While there was an unexplained phenomenon at Highgate Cemetery seen by many witnesses in the late 1960’s, it was YOURSELF who chose to try and change this into a ‘blood-sucking vampire’.

You made personal statements to the Press and on the Television to this effect, which caused misguided hooligans to enter Highgate Cemetery and drive iron stakes through corpses. So much is fact.

The ‘vampire’ story crated by yourself was a complete hoax. There was no ‘vampire’ – but there were reports of some ‘ghostly phenomenon’ seen in and around Highgate Cemetery.

Subsequent investigations by the BPOS uncovered that such reports had been fabricated, and were based solely on an amateurish ‘vampire film’ made in 1969 that supposedly portrayed the Highgate ‘vampire’. This film might have been good fiction. ‘anonymous’, but it was nevertheless a fake film as opposed to later claims that it was genuine.

You know exactly what I am talking about, ‘anonymous’, as you were the person who was ‘starring’ in this film. I saw it personally, as did others.

David Farrant, President, British Psychic and Occult Society

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Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...

You have in recent years (though not at the time) claimed that you were entertained with a screening of an 8mm horror movie made by and starring Seán Manchester, and that the papier mache (as you have described it) "vampire" which appears in the movie is what also appears in photographs of the corporeal shell of the exorcised vampire in Seán Manchester's account The Highgate Vampire and in television programmes featuring photographs from that book. Needless to say, Seán Manchester strenuously denies this and invites anyone who saw such a movie as described by you to come forward and be identified. He states that no such movie was ever made; that you were not someone he would have considered entertaining in his home; and that, even when you did eventually become acquainted with Seán Manchester, he only visited you at Tony Hill's coal bunker in Archway Road and later, following your term in jail, a bedsitting room in Muswell Hill Road. Hill, of course, was the person you colluded with more than forty years ago to hoax a ghosty story in the local press. Hill fell out with you because you didn't keep to your part of the bargain which was to reveal it had all been a hoax soon after having duped the newspapers. You had got a taste for the limelight and continued with your hoax for the next forty years! Unfortunately for you, those you involved did not, and Hill placed on record what actually took place in 1969/1970.

Your friends Audrey Conelly and Kenny Frewin were also part of the hoax. They allowed you to use their names and addresses for fraudulent letters which were published in the Hampstead & Highgate Express in early 1970. You even now have the audacity to mention this fraudulent correspondence in your article above.

On pages 62-63 of The Vampire Hunter's Handbook, Seán Manchester reveals:

“His alleged sightings of the vampire were to coincide with the time when he was ensconced in [Tony Hill’s] coal cellar. His wife was gone and so were the people who had helped him squander his money. His interest was not the occult at this time, but pub-crawling and the collecting of exotic birds; mostly cockatoos, parrots and macaws. This earned him the nickname ‘Birdman.’ Ironically, Hill had the nickname ‘Eggman.’ Relishing the attention he was now receiving, following his alleged sightings of a vampire, he took foolish risks and ended up being arrested in August 1970 for being in an enclosed area for an unlawful purpose. His ‘vampire hunting’ days were over.”

The Hampstead & Highgate Express, 6 March 1970, records your meeting with Seán Manchester on its front page, under the banner headline “Why Do The Foxes Die?” The newspaper recounts:

“David Farrant … returned to the spot last weekend and disovered a dead fox. 'Several other foxes have also been found dead in the cemetery,' he said at his home in Priestwood Mansions, Archway Road, Highgate. 'The odd thing is there was no outward sign of how they died. Much remains unexplained, but what I have recently learnt all points to the vampire theory being the most likely answer. Should this be so, I for one am prepared to pursue it, taking whatever means might be necessary so that we can all rest.' The vampire theory was suggested last week by Mr Seán Manchester, president of the British Occult Society. … Mr Farrant and Mr Manchester met in the cemetery at the weekend.”

The British Occult Society (1860-1988) was an investigation bureau which existed solely for the purpose of examining occult claims and alleged paranormal activity. It gave birth to the Vampire Research Society, which still survives. You carried out your threat to "pursue [the vampire], taking whatever means might be necessary" and were arrested on the night of 17 August 1970. The Daily Express, 19 August 1970, reveals your explanation:

"‘My intention was to search out the supernatural being and destroy it by plunging the stake [found in his possession when arrested in Highgate Cemetery by police] in its heart.’" The report continues: "David Farrant pleaded guilty at Clerkenwell, London, to entering St Michael's churchyard, Highgate Cemetery, for an unlawful purpose. Farrant told police he had just moved to London when he heard people talking about the vampire in Highgate Cemetery. In a statement he said that he heard the vampire rises out of a grave and wanders about the cemetery on the look-out for human beings on whose blood it thrives. Police keeping watch for followers of a black magic cult arrested him. He was remanded in custody for reports. Last night, Mr Seán Manchester, leader of the British Occult Society, said: ‘I am convinced that a vampire exists in Highgate Cemetery. Local residents and passers-by have reported seeing a ghostlike figure of massive proportions near the north gate.’"

How am I "misrepresenting" newspaper reports of your publicity-seeking stunts and court appearances when I provide each time links to the original newspapers themselves? For example, here is a link to three original newspapers' coverage of your wife's appearance at one of your trials in 1974 where she discusses your games in Highgate Cemetery:

Which part of what I have previously said misrepresents anything found in those newspaper reports? What have I omitted that would make the slightest difference to the fact that you and your drunken friends were in the cemetery for just a laugh and a joke; indeed, "giggles in the graveyard." None were involved in witchcraft, the occult or paranormal investigation, least of all yourself.

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Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...

We can see that you have now started naming yourself. ‘anonymous’, or rather talking about yourself in the 3rd person as you have been doing all along.

I have said all along that there was no ‘blood-sucking vampire’ at Highgate Cemetery.

You are right, though, that I have clearly stated in my books, Talks, articles and other writings, that the ‘vampire’ claimed to have been ‘staked’ near Highgate Cemetery in the winter of 1973 was a sheer invention on the part of an amateur occultist (whom you know more than well!); as was his later claim to have ‘staked’ one of its disciples after she had changed into a ‘giant spider’ in 1982.

It is sheer and utter invention on the part of a person who has apparently deluded himself into believing that vampires really exist. They do NOT – except perhaps in the warped confines of this person’s imagination.

You are also correct when you say I have stated that pictures (rather stills) of this ‘decomposing vampire’ were taken from an amateur home-made cine film made around 1969. These pictures were taken from that film and published on the Internet (as well as being published in magazine and shown at least three times on television) as ‘evidence’ to support that person’s story that the Highgate ‘vampire’ really existed. For your information, ‘anonymous’, that made up vampire that appeared in this film was the same person who appeared in this film disguised as a ‘vampire’, and you are only too aware who this person really is, aren’t you ‘anonymous’?!

You have apparently introduced this issue here, ‘anonymous’? May I ask why? Could it perhaps be a subconscious reflection of your own knowledge of the real truth?

You waffle on elsewhere about some interview I gave where you say I have ‘contradicted myself’. I have never contradicted myself in any of my public Talks or recordings. The only tape I can think you are referring to was when I agreed to allow yourself to interview at my home in 1977. This tape was then offered by the spurious “Vampire Research Society” who were selling it for £4.99 excluding postage.

Only problem was, this tape had been deliberately ‘doctored’ and large sections of what I had acually said had been ‘cut’ or removed completely from the copy being sold. For example, I had explained why Wicca had nothing whatsoever to do with black magic or Satanism and how the Police had given fabricated evidence at my Old Bailey trial in 1974 in this respect. All this material had been removed from the ‘VRS’ copy. Why?

However, all is not lost. I have over 50 tapes of conversations I had with yourself, ‘anonymous’ between the late seventies up until 1986.

Fairly recently I published a large selection of these recordings in my book titled “The Seangate Tapes”.

These tapes completely disprove most of what you are saying here and elsewhere, ‘anonymous’.

The tapes (as does the book) prove yourself to be a calculating liar – not least the fabricated allegations about myself that you have been making on this Forum.

David Farrant, President, British Psychic and Occult Society.

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Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...

"I have clearly stated in my books [sic], Talks, articles and other writings, that the ‘vampire’ claimed to have been ‘staked’ near Highgate Cemetery in the winter of 1973 was a sheer invention."

Yet in the Finchley Advertiser, 30 July 1987, (for which you were interviewed) you openly admitted that you started "rumours of a vampiric haunting" in 1970 concluding with these words: "Mr Farrant supported the vampire theory in the local and national press, but now concedes the idea was 'just pure fiction'."

What you actually attempted to start rumours over in early 1970 was a ghost haunting the cemetery, not a vampire, but you quickly shelved your proposed ghost hoax and jumped onto what you perceived to be a publicity bandwagon; something with rather more substance than your attempt to dupe the public and press with a non-existent ghost (which in reality was you with white face make-up in a black coat). Hence you taking up your cross and stake and being photographed for newspapers "vampire hunting"; something you also repeated for television in October 1970.

"I have stated that pictures (rather stills) of this ‘decomposing vampire’ were taken from an amateur home-made cine film made around 1969."

You have, but only in relatively recent times and always without any supporting evidence. Anyone can see by looking at the archive photographs published in The Highgate Vampire (Gothic Press, 1991) that you are talking utter rubbish. If this mythical cine film existed as far back as 1969, why did we hear nothing from you about it for at least three decades? I put it to you that you have fabricated the film allegation along with just about everything else you claim in connection with Highgate.

"You have apparently introduced this issue here, ‘anonymous’? May I ask why?"

Not "apparently." I clearly HAVE introduced it because it is a falsehood you have repeatedly claimed in recent times. Why? Well, obviously because the Vampire Research Society (in whose archive the images of the decomposing vampire are found) is not the least bit concerned by your very silly allegations which do not bear any scrutiny or examination.

"I had explained why Wicca had nothing whatsoever to do with black magic or Satanism."

No, you did not. You explained in a 1978 interview given to the VRS founder that what you said and did back then could and probably would be construed as black magic and that most people would regard you as being a Satanist. You also claimed to have been in contact with Satanists from as early as 1970. This much you openly admitted, along with claiming to worship Lucifer.

Wicca and Satanism are not the same thing. You have never been a wiccan or a Satanist. You used a pseudo-occult mantle laced with theatrical diabolism to attract attention to yourself in the media. The tricks of your trade, ie your devices and stratagems, are shock followed by denial followed by publicity. It worked for a couple of years by which time you were being repeatedly exposed in the media as a phoney. You are a lone publicity-seeker who believes in absolutely nothing. That has not altered since you first contacted the press in 1970. These are your own words from three years ago:

"Firstly, can I just say (as I have said many times before), I do not really 'believe' in anything." - David Farrant (#385 ) Thursday 12 April 2007, 10:47 AM

Anyone who has listened to your so-called secret tapes is immediately aware of two things: the amateurish doctoring and splicing together of words in some cases, plus the exceptionally poor quality (making them virtually inaudible most of the time). Your so-called tapes serve only to prove what a devious person you are and how desperate you must be to go to such lengths to doctor and fabricate recordings.

There exists secretly made tape-recordings, however, from 1969/1970 of you and Tony Hill conspiring to hoax a ghost story for the press. You discuss and name other people whose identities and addresses you used to send fraudulent letters to the Hampstead & Highgate Express. You can also be heard discussing various ways to garner publicity for the hoax you planned with Hill who made all these tapes available to VRS a few years ago. It would obviously be illegal to publish such material as the recordings were made without your knowledge and consent, but it is not illegal to allow private individuals to listen to them. Those who wish to do so may contact the VRS to arrange hearing these secretly recorded tapes.

You were officially declared a "calculating liar" by the law courts, many newspaper editors and journalists. Few people can top that.

The November 1972 case where you were found guilty of indecency at Barnet Magistrates Court is a prime example. It was revealed in court by the Crown Prosecution that you had colluded with a journalist (who just happened to be related to your co-defendant) to orchestrate your own arrest in a churchyard with a female for the sole purpose of self-publicity in the media. This was confirmed by one of the more reputable newspapers in their coverage of the court proceedings where you and your co-defendant were both found guilty of indecency.

The Hampstead & Highgate Express, 24 November 1972, revealed:

"Mr P J Bucknell, prosecuting, said Mr Farant had painted circles on the ground, lit with candles, and had told reporters and possibly the police of what he was doing. 'This appears to be a sordid attempt to obtain publicity,' he said."

It would not be the first or the last time that you colluded with newspaper reporters to arrange to have the police conveniently arrest you in the middle of a supposed "witchcraft ceremony" with reporters and photographers standing by to witness the whole event.

What has been established beyond all doubt is that you were a phoney witch; something the national press, eg "Phoney Witch Sent Out Dolls Of Death" article on page 5 of The Sun, 4 July 1974, dubbed you when you were sentenced at the Old Bailey to almost five years' imprisonment in 1974. It follows that you are a phoney everything else.

The cry of "I'm not a Satanist!" while manufacturing what is clearly a piece of satanic theatricality for the press would become your modus operandi. What were you doing, for example, writing an article and providing photographs of yourself and a girl naked in bed, stating in it that you raised a "satanic force" at Highgate Cemetery?

These are your exact words published in New Witchcraft magazine (issue 4, 1975):

"We then lay in the Pentagram and began love-making, all the time visualizing the Satanic Force so that it could - temporarily - take possession of our bodies. The entity was present. We felt our bodies being 'charged with Power' and there was now a visual Force all over us."

What then follows amounts to a regurgitation of Aleister Crowley's "sex magic" at its most disgusting where orgasms lasting "seven minutes" are alleged, or rather fantasised, by you.

You were commissioned to write the article from your jail cell by the magazine's editor, Brian Netscher, who had negotiated with someone collaborating with you on the outside. However, Martine de Sacy, the naked girl in one of the published pictures in New Witchcraft had already admitted to the News of the World, 30 June 1974:

"I don't think David's occultism was serious. He was just dabbling in it for the sense of self-importance."

Twenty years later, when interviewed by the News of the World, 17 July 1994, you are quoted as saying:

“As High Priest I have to have sex with a girl at her initiation, but if she is very unattractive I might pass the task on to someone else. I’m only human.”

The report goes on to describe orgies and rituals involving “policemen and politicians.” You also laid claim to having the ability to “cure cancer and make the blind see again” through the use of your phoney "witchcraft." This is the miserable fantasy world of depravity and deception by which you attempted to infect the public via the media.

It is only a matter of time before people see through you.

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Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...


I am not going to waste people’s time on here, ‘anonymous’, by arguing against your own fabricated version of all your careful selection of ‘cut and pasted’ newspaper accounts. You have been employing this strategy for decades now, and believe me, people have seen through it long ago and, moreover, realise who you really are – a very sick individual notwithstanding that you try and hide behind the mantle of ‘Christianity’. That is really the ‘sickest’ part of your whole multiple personalities.

The film I refer to did exist and was made in 1968 or 1969. I was invited to see this film along with four other people in 1969 and you should remember this as you were also present. The film was made in colour, but had no sound, and in it, the film showed a ‘decomposing vampire’ at its climax, which was obviously an amateurish attempt to copy the original 1958 Dracula film starring the late Peter Cushing and Chistopher Lee.

Another person has since come forward who was shown this film on another occasion and it was explained to him (by the maker of the film) how this sequence was filmed The person disguised as a vampire (now I wonder who that could be, ‘anonymoun!?) used flour, eye make up and paper mache, which was then covered with flour. A fan heater was then used to blow the flour away but filmed in ‘time sequence’. The film was then reversed in slow motion . . . result? One ‘decomposing vampire’!

Still reproductions from this home-made movie (in b/w) were later shown on a TV programme presented by Jonathan Ross in (around) 1998 and on “Dial Midnight” in 2000 presented by Anathasia Cooke (hope I’ve spelled that right!). Later, in 2004, colour copies of these same photographs were transmitted the French TV channel TFI on “Mysteries” on March 11th 1994 after they had been submitted to them by the maker of this film (who was also interviewed). Shortly afterwards, the producer of that programme, Corienne Spaak, gave an interview to the French showbiz magazine “Entrevue” was quoted as saying . . .
“When we got the video tapes saying that [the person in question] was a bishop, we didn’t check any further. And no British journalist told us about his past. The only thing they told us was his obsession for vampires”. And (to the magazine’s Editor) . . . “Now you say that, it must be that. But its disgusting that they left us to show such rubbish”.

Yes, there WAS a film , ‘anonymous’. Now I suggest you just go back and look in the mirror!

David Farrant, President, British Psychic and Occult Society.

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Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...

ForVampire researcher.You are clearly a very disturbed individual.You are envious of David Farrant.Lets face it,YOU would like to be in the papers,but no one writes about you,because of your silly and ridiculous book.However,your envious nature is obvious,from the way you keep going on about satanic orgys,vampires,sex and other similar subjects.Be honest,you are obsessed with these things.Lets face it,you would love the papers to write about YOU!But you are too stuck in your silly phoney religious act.Anyone can tell by reading your book,with all its lurid undertones,that you are not what you seem??? You should have admitted it was all a silly story.Instead of inventing this ridiculous vampire and yourself as an equally ridiculous vampire hunter.Its your responsibility that people laugh at you, you stupid pratt.

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Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...

Well, I guess that's all I was trying to say Luci - only a little more politely! Not that 'he' really deserves it, after his unfounded attacks upon mtself here! But thanks anyway for your point of view.

David (Farrant)

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Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...

Well, I guess that's all I was trying to say Luci - only a little more politely! Not that 'he' really deserves it, after his unfounded attacks upon mtself here! But thanks anyway for your point of view.

David (Farrant)

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Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...

"I am not going to waste people’s time on here by arguing against your own fabricated version of all your careful selection of ‘cut and pasted’ newspaper accounts. You have been employing this strategy for decades now, and believe me, people have seen through it long ago and, moreover, realise who you really are – a very sick individual notwithstanding that you try and hide behind the mantle of ‘Christianity’."

This is your way of NOT answering queries I have raised that relate to claims made in your published article on this site.

What exactly have I "cut and pasted"? This is another of your oft-repeated allegations that hold no water. My comments are in direct response to your own statements.

What "carefully selected newspaper reports" have I "fabricated" by quoting from them? Especially as I often provide a link to the complete newspaper article in question.

I have not mentioned "Christianity" or any other religion with regard to myself. I HAVE questioned, however, why a self-proclaimed "high priest of witchcraft" would exclusively employ Christian symbols for self protection. What I believe or don't believe is completely irrelevant to the question I have put in relation to yourself and your claims.

"The film I refer to did exist and was made in 1968 or 1969. I was invited to see this film along with four other people in 1969."

What you claim is impossible given that you did not make the acquaintance of the BOS president until March 1970. There was no film such as you describe and nobody will be found to support your claim because it is manufactured. Moreover, this is a recent false allegation to have been levelled by you. Why didn't you make any mention of it throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s? Why did you need to wait until the 21st century before anyone heard anything about this mythological film?

You now claim: "The film was ... obviously an amateurish attempt to copy the original 1958 Dracula film starring the late Peter Cushing and Chistopher Lee."

Are you not confusing your own antics in Highgate Cemetery with a film that was never made by your archnemesis and aren't you describing a supposedly filmed "vampire" which bears a startling resemblance to your own "ghost" make-up?

The argument put forward by you that because Christopher Lee played Count Dracula in films it does not make him a vampire is spurious and yet another smokescreen to mask what really happened in August 1970 and the reconstruction of your "vampire hunt" on BBC television which followed in October 1970. This was filmed by the BBC solely because of your arrest to demonstrate what you were doing when arrested. You had been on remand at Brixton prison during some of the interim before the BBC reconstruction was shot, but it clearly showed you stalking a vampire with a cross and stake in a manner not dissimilar to Van Helsing in a Dracula film from the Hammer Horror studios. What are we supposed to make of this photograph (see link) of you taken by a newspaper photographer for the Hornsey Journal:

"Another person has since come forward who was shown this film on another occasion and it was explained to him (by the maker of the film) how this sequence was filmed The person disguised as a vampire (now I wonder who that could be?) used flour, eye make up and paper mache, which was then covered with flour. A fan heater was then used to blow the flour away but filmed in ‘time sequence’. The film was then reversed in slow motion . . . result? One ‘decomposing vampire’!"

Someone no doubt who will never come out into the open and, if he did, would turn out to be an associate of yours and a sworn enemy of the man you are accusing of making the film. Who is this so-called witness? Let's question him/her and see how long his/her story survives scrutiny and examination.

You have also repeatedly claimed that this non-existent filmed vampire made of paper mache and flour is the same as the archive photographs of the decomposing vampire in The Highgate Vampire (Gothic Press 1991). Anyone viewing those pictures can see what a complete load of rubbish you are talking.

There WAS someone, however, who applied flour to his face to be photographed in early 1970 as a ghost hovering near the gates inside Highgate Cemetery. Mmmmmm. I wonder who that person could possibly be? Maybe these photographs of you taken by Tony Hill in 1970 might help:

Your face is clearly covered in flour to make you look like a ghost. Hill says this was your attempt to dupe passers-by by convincing them a ghost haunted the cemetery. They'd probably have died of laughing if they had caught a glimpse of you! Are these the "giggles in the graveyard" your wife had witnessed in the years prior? Is this the true inspiration for your fake claims about a vampire film made by the man you have held a grudge against for forty years? I put it to you that the ghost hoax you attempted in collaboration with Hill is the true source of all this flour on face nonsense. Take another look at those images of you pretending to be a ghost at Highgate Cemetery to fool the public into believing your hoax which, in any event, was quickly eclipsed by concerns of something rather more demonic at large, something that was very real.

Please explain what you were doing with flour on your face!



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