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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
Arrest

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 ...

FOR LUCI

I have heard about this ‘old tramp’ story before, Luci. I have never been able to substantiate all the facts but I can tell you that in those days (the 1970’s onwards) all sorts of maniacs were entering Highgate Cemetery and driving stakes through corpses there. This activity started after a certain individual had gone on national television programmes twice telling viewers that a real ‘vampire’ existed there and advising them how to ‘stake a vampire’. So much is fact, and the police called the then cemetery foreman, William Law, to give evidence to this effect at my Old Bailey trial in June 1974. He did so, but let me point out, it was not myself who offered this advice neither was I ever charged with ‘staking corpses’.

The Highgate Cemetery charges against myself strictly related (at least according to the police) of conducting ‘witchcraft rituals’ in the cemetery – indeed my Trial became dubbed as the “Nude Rituals Trial” in the Media. I was acquitted of 3 of the 5 charges against me said to relate to Highgate Cemetery and the two I was convicted of contained all the Prosecution’s introduced ingredients of ‘Satanism’, ‘nude orgies’ and ‘black magic’. In reality, I did not commit these two offences but the police were trying to make me a ‘scapegoat’ because of my known association with the cemetery.

For the record, however. (and as I point out in my book “Beyond the Highgate Vampire”), a man was found dying in Highgate Cemetery in September 1971 with deep wounds to his throat and chest. I say in my book that the circumstances surrounding this man’s death were ‘highly suspicious’ and I also point out that the police were anxious to cover the whole thing up because of all the ridiculous vampire stories.

So yes, there were some very unsavoury maniacs running around Highgate Cemetery actually using stakes . . . but ‘no’, I was not one of them! My television and newspaper appearances were representations of all these ‘vampire hunting’ allegations, nothing more than that!

David Farrant, President, BPOS

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

AND THERE CAME A GIANT SPIDER . . .

"For the record, Hill does not believe in the supernatural . . . " etc, etc.

For the record, 'anonymous', Hill most certainly DID believe in the Supernatural. Like yourself, he had an unhealthy interest in Satanism and black magic.

I have a tape of yourself, 'anonymous' where you are telling myself about an occasion Hill once claimed to yourself of how he 'conjured up the devil'. A crystal clear recording in which who are aslo admitting to having taken photographs of him dressed up in woman's clothing. you were trying to persuade me to send these to a French journalist for publication, although I never sent them. I have, however, reproduced one of these photograohs in my book "The Seangate Tapes".

I am not going to waste my time answering all the rest of your trivial waffle.

What I think most people will be wondering, however, is why you have deliberately ignored my request to give us more information about the staked 'giant spider'.

Well, why?

David Farrant, President, BPOS

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

"All sorts of maniacs were entering Highgate Cemetery and driving stakes through corpses there."

There is not one piece of evidence to substantiate that wild and foolish claim. The foreman of Highgate Cemetery did allege there was ONE incident where an iron pole had been driven through a coffin. This turned out to be vandals who smashed a heavy glass aperture over a large sunken vault with a pole which fell down onto one of the coffins beneath. These were the same sort of vandals Highgate and other cemeteries had suffered for many years prior. Thankfully, the vandalism dwindled and almost ceased altogether due to the focus the graveyard received from police and security guards from early 1970 onwards. It has never returned on the scale witnessed in the 1960s.

"This activity started after a certain individual had gone on national television programmes twice telling viewers that a real ‘vampire’ existed there and advising them how to ‘stake a vampire’."

This is gross hypocrisy. You went on television with a cross and stake to demonstrate how to hunt a vampire. You were filmed in Highgate Cemetery by the BBC stalking a vampire with your stake. This was a reconstruction of what you were doing on the night of your arrest in the graveyard (17 August 1970). How many people saw YOU and might have been inspired to copy YOUR antics? Even so, worse things were to come when a couple of years later you claimed to have ritually sacrificed cats in occult ceremonies. I daresay some disturbed individuals might have emulated what you were claiming for publicity. Your cat slaying claims were all over the national press and it was even mentioned by you in the High Court during a libel case as late as 1979. See link:

http://tinyurl.com/36rfq78

As well as the Hornsey Journal's lurid headline "Ritual sex act and cat sacrifice" of 16 November 1979, the same link contains a lengthy extract from an earlier expose in the News of the World, 23 September 1973, where you had the audacity to tell the reporter you were "president of the British Occult Society" when you were nothing of the sort.

"I say in my book [sic] that the circumstances surrounding this man’s death were ‘highly suspicious’ and I also point out that the police were anxious to cover the whole thing up because of all the ridiculous vampire stories."

There is no evidence to suggest "the police were anxious to cover the whole thing up because of all the ridiculous vampire stories." These are your words and your words alone.

"So yes, there were some very unsavoury maniacs running around Highgate Cemetery actually using stakes . . . but ‘no’, I was not one of them!"

Yes, you were! In fact, you were the ONLY "unsavoury maniac" prancing about Highgate Cemetery at night with a stake with the proclaimed intention of impaling an undead corpse through the heart. See newspaper reports at these links:

http://tinyurl.com/2ewz5uv

http://tinyurl.com/2woneky

"Hill most certainly DID believe in the Supernatural. Like yourself, he had an unhealthy interest in Satanism and black magic."

And your evidence for alleging this is what exactly?

"Hill once claimed to yourself of how he 'conjured up the devil'."

Well, not to me personally. Whatever Hill said about the Devil spontaneously appearing out of cigarette smoke to other people, he later withdrew the claim and put it down to an hallucination. This incident happened before he became acquainted with the BOS president and certainly before he ever knew you. He recounted it to lots of people.

Hill has admitted that he conspired with you in early 1970 to hoax a ghost story in a local newspaper. He secretly recorded you in conversation with him at his flat above the coal cellar where you resided. Your consent and signature will result in those taped conversations being made public, as it is illegal to publish recordings made without the subject's knowledge. You have not yet given your consent.

http://tinyurl.com/2c5vs3r

Why have you avoided answering my query about your supposed attempt to raise a "satanic force" in 1971 at Highgate Cemetery, as claimed by you in New Witchcraft magazine? Why did you claim to have smeared a nude female with blood in the graveyard in order to raise the vampire? See link:

http://tinyurl.com/3xaz7kz

If you have any questions regarding The Highgate Vampire (which, incidentally, is a proper book in hardcover with a dustjacket etc and not a flimsy pamphlet held together by a couple of staples) you should address them to its author on his Q&A blog. You already know the URL. Lyndall Mack, reviewing the book in Udolpho (magazine of the Gothic Society) said: “The Highgate Vampire will certainly be read in a hundred years time, two hundred years time, three hundred years time — in short, for as long as mankind is interested in the supernatural. It has the most genuine power to grip. Once you have started to read it, it is virtually impossible to put it down.”

I somehow doubt they'll be reading your pathetic, hate-filled pamphlets in a hundred or so years' time!

http://vampireresearchsociety.blogspot.com

"I am not going to waste my time answering all the rest of your trivial waffle."

Of course you're not because you can't address questions that expose you as a fraud and a cynical self-publicist.

How could you possibly explain why you claimed to have seen the Highgate Vampire on a different number of occasions? And you do say that it was YOU who saw it three times, then two times, and then just once! On the Today programme (Thames Television, 13 March 1970) you are heard telling the interviewer how many times you saw the vampire (she and the programme called it a "vampire"). Then you told Steve Genier and Andrew Gough last year that you actually only had ONE sighting, which totally contradicts what can be heard on the television interview. Then there is the not insignificant matter of you protecting yourself with Christian symbols when you later claimed to have been a "wiccan" and a "high priest of witchcraft"! You have no answer for that one! Then there is the little matter of cat sacrifice which you absolutely refuse to discuss. Yet it throws into question everything and serves to support my contention that you are a publicity-seeker and everything else about you is bogus.

When interviewed on the Today programme (BBC Radio 4; not to be confused with a television programme with the same name on which you also appeared) in 1973 about your Hallowe'en cat sacrifice, you did not deny it. There was also an interview with a doctor's wife, Mrs Annette Wilson, who opposed your publicly stated intention of sacrificing a cat in an occult ceremony. Moreover, the Hornsey Journal, 28 September 1973, who also interviewed you, stated on their front page beneath its headline "I Sent Voodoo Dolls - 'High Priest' Farrant," that "Farrant, as the Journal reported, admitted slitting a 'stray' cat's throat at the height of a bizarre ritual before his coven of eight hooded men and a naked High Priestess in Highgate Woods recently."

The same newspaper also confirmed that you "sensationally admitted to sending the dolls, with pins through their heads and accompanying poems, in a desperate 'leave me alone to continue my work' bid. Inspector John Tressider of the RSPCA received his package direct and Mrs Wilson's 'gift' was sent to Journal reporter Roger Simpson for forwarding."

On the front page feature of the Hornsey Journal, 28 September 1973, it was reported: "Questioned about the enormous outcry against his work involving ritual slaughter, Farrant stressed that he would not halt sacrificing animals."

When you were interviewed in the News of the World, 23 September 1973, by Sue Kentish, we learn: "He spoke matter of factly about a ceremony watched by 12 naked, chanting individuals during which he severed a cat's head with a dagger. All the participants then smeared themselves with blood before indulging in sex. 'I did not enjoy having to kill the cat, but for one particular part of the ritual it was necessary,' said Farrant. 'The sacrifice of a living creature represents the ultimate act in invoking a deity. I do not see animal sacrifice as drastic as people have made it out to be. Thousands of cats are used for medical research. The very livestock we eat have their throats cut. And, at least, I anaesthetised the cat before I had to kill it'. With a shrug of the shoulders he admitted mercislessly pursuing grievances."

When you were interviewed in the Hornsey Journal, 31 August 1973, by Roger Simpson, we discover: "A cat was sacrificed to a horned god in a macabre night ritual at Highgate Woods during the weekend involving eight hooded coven members and a naked High Priestess who left at the scene a blood-stained carving knife, blood-splattered stockings and offal. ... A North London coven later claimed responsibility and the coven's High Priest, David Farrant, told the Journal in an interview at his Archway Road flat: 'Hundreds of years ago a naked virgin would have been sacrificed, but obviously we couldn't do this now so we had to have an animal for the important ritual.' The victim was a stray cat and Farrant stressed that the animal was anaesthetised for the 45 minutes ritual which culminated in the slitting of the cat's throat. The ritual slaughter was a part of the festival of the Black Moon - an important date in the witchcraft calendar."

A court report in the Hornsey Journal, 16 November 1979, under the headine, "Ritual sex act and cat sacrifice," revealed: "Self-styled 'high priest' David Farrant told a High Court jury this week of the night he performed a ritual sex act in an attempt to summon up a vampire in Highgate Cemetery. He also admitted that he had taken part in the 'sacrifice' of a stray cat in Highgate Wood."

http://tinyurl.com/36rfq78

I have raised many more questions on this forum over recent days, all of which you have evaded and avoided. Well, why?

Please note:

This thread is about you and the claims you have made in the article you have published above. Don't try and turn it on someone and something that has nothing to do with you and your article. That is a cowardly thing to attempt and everyone will see it for what it is. You are too much of a wimp to answer questions put to you, having already achieved the publicity you crave with a manufactured and totally fraudulent article. There is little more one can say because you won't say anything when it comes to facing facts on public record.

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

For David,Iknow you didnt have anything to do with these ridiculous antics.They were the work of this highly disturbed individual they call Tea Cosy.and by the way,Tea Cosy,if you are reading this,i dont see why people shouldnt wear crosses and crucifixes?Its just fashion.Pagans or witches can wear them if they choose.Tea Cosy,you wear them but i do not think that you are so holy?What have you got to say about that?

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

Oh and by the way why do you keep bringing up what was said in the Sun newspaper,and all that sort of rubbish?Any one who is educated,would not read a paper that prints Freddie Starr ate a hamster,or this crap.If you really are a Bishop,Id have thought youd read the Guardian,Tea Cosy.?Why do you read these sort of newspapers?They are full of lurid rubbish.But then,that would suit you,i suppose?

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

FOR LUCI

I think you are stating what most people know already. The individual writing here under the guize 'anonymous' is just a very sick individual who (unfortunately) has some obsession with myself. He spends most of his waking life writing his evil propaganda about myself, and sits behind his solitary computer all day just trying to use ancient newspaper reports about 'witchcraft' and 'Satanism' to 'fit in' with his evil propaganda. The person has been doing this for years, but, perhaps most amazingly, has fooled himself that people do not know his true identity! They DO! He is a very sick individual, Luci, and - as most people will note - carefully avoids answering any questions about his own published statements about having 'staked' a real vampires that dwelt in Highgate Cemetery or its disciple after she had changed into a 'giant spider'!
I am not inventing these stories. This person has stated this himself in newspapers, on his tiny message boards, in magazines and on television. His statements served to encourage all sorts of cranks who went into Highgate Cemetery putting stakes through corpses ('vampires') in vaults and then has the affrontry to accuse myself of being a 'Satanist'.
From a person who dresses up in Christian garb, that in itself is almost laughable!
Still, I suppose we are living in a very sick world sometimes where delusion can so often take the place of reality!

David Farrant

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

I stated:
"Hill once claimed to yourself of how he 'conjured up the devil'."

You replied, 'anonymous':
"Well, not to me personally. Whatever Hill said about the Devil spontaneously appearing out of cigarette smoke to other people" etc, etc . . .

Thank you 'anonymous' for this is exactly what you said to me, which I have on tape. It is a tape recording of YOURSELF, 'anonymous', which somehow makes a nonsense of your claim about trying to pretend to be somebody else. Otherwise how could you have possibly known this?

I am not going to waste my time here answering all your other purile allegations that you conveniently 'cut and paste' from ancient newspaper reports.

I have NEVER sacrificed any animal, which you yourself acknowledged in the first edition of your self-published book on the Highgate 'vampire'.

You wrote that you did not personally believe (and I can give you the exact quotation if you want me to) that you did not personally believe that I had ever sacrificed an animal, 'even for the sake of publicity'.

You also wrote that you did not believe I was guilty of the two counts of vandalism that I was convicted for at Highgate Cemetery.

YOU wrote this, not myself! If you want me to give people here your exact words, just tell me and I will do so.

I am not going to waste people's time here by answering all your other sensationalistic waffle.

But people will see that you deliberately keep avoiding the issue of your claim to have staked a beautiful young vampire after she had changed into a 'giant spider'.

This is a pity, as I am sure that many people here could use some real amusement!

Over to you 'anonymous'.

David Farrant, President, BPOS

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

"The individual writing here under the guize 'anonymous' is just a very sick individual who (unfortunately) has some obsession with myself. He spends most of his waking life writing his evil propaganda about myself, and sits behind his solitary computer all day just trying to use ancient newspaper reports about 'witchcraft' and 'Satanism' to 'fit in' with his evil propaganda."

You have just described yourself. What did your first self-published pamphlet dwell on? What does your most recent pamphlet concentrate on? What have all the tracts, pamphlets and booklets inbetween obsessed about? What do you keep banging on about on your message board, personal blog and Facebook wall? The answer? Someone you have been obsessing over for forty years; someone you at first tried to ingratiate yourself with and emulate; someone who quickly exposed you as an interloping bandwagoneer; someone whose wife, family, friends and colleagues you have sent your hate-filled material to unsolicted through the post.

There is not a day of your life over the last four decades when you have not engaged in some vindictive scheme against this man. Every waking moment of your life during that period has been filled with envy, malice and scheming to try and cause trouble for this man who last mentioned you in a book (to set the record straight) in the previous century, and has subsequently advised people who contact him to ignore you even though they want to confront you.

http://therightreverendseanmanchester.blogspot.com/2009/11/adventus.html

If you check the boards, blogs and Facebook wall of the person you are obessed with you will find no reference to yourself apart from a couple of entries on his blog where people have raised questions which mention you. Otherwise there is nothing whatsoever about you. The VRS have set certain things straight on sites, but that is all. Now check your own internet presence. It reveals your obsession with this man where you refer to him, usually in code, every day you visit your own forum, blog and Facebook (and whenever you visit other peopel's). Now let's examine the interviews you give. You cannot get through one interview without bringing up the subject of your hatred. You run out of things to say when interviewed and quickly resort to attacking your archnemesis. People are tired of hearing your boring rhetoric which is unconvincing and transparently part of your vendetta. Now turn to the object of your obsession. Since 1970 he has not once mentioned you in a radio or television broadcast. In fact, he makes this a condition for giving an interview, as Andrew Gough and anyone else who has interviewed him will confirm.

SO WHO IS OBSESSED WITH WHOM?

And reports about your phoney "witchcraft" and bogus occult stunts are hardly "ancient" when they date back to as recently as a year or so ago (first link below to television interview) and three and a half years ago (second link below to newspaper interview).

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ezDZBOZZcVQ

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article69185.ece

"He is a very sick individual, and - as most people will note - carefully avoids answering any questions."

This thread is about YOUR claims in the article YOU have published on this site. Don't try and turn it onto someone and something that has nothing to do with your article.

SO FAR YOU HAVE ANSWERED ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, HAVING EVADED AND AVOIDED EVERY QUESTION RAISED IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR CLAIMS.

"His statements served to encourage all sorts of cranks who went into Highgate Cemetery putting stakes through corpses ('vampires') in vaults."

These are yours and other people's statements published in newspapers:

"Much remains unexplained, but what I have recently learnt all points to the vampire theory as 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." - David Farrant in the Hampstead & Highgate Express, 6 March 1970.

"My intention was to search out the supernatural being and destroy it by plunging the stake in its heart." - David Farrant in Evening Standard, Evening News and The Sun.

"He [Farrant] heard that it rose from a grave and wandered the cemetery 'on the lookout for human beings on whose blood it thrives." - Detective-Sergeant Neville Brown in the Evening Standard, Evening News and The Sun.

"I joined a macabre hunt among the desecrated graves and tombs for the vampire of Highgate Cemetery. ... David, 24, was all set, kitted out with all the gear required by any self-respecting vampire hunter. Clutched under his arm, in a Sainsbury's carrie bag, he held the tools of his trade. There was a cross made out of two bits of wood tied together with a shoelace and a stake to plunge through the heart of the beast. Vampire hunting is a great art. There is no point in just standing around waiting for the monster to appear. It must be stalked. So we stalked. Cross in one hand to ward off the evil spirits, stake in the other, held at the ready. David stalked among the vaults, past the graves, in the bushes and by the walls. When we had finished he started stalking all over again." - Barrie Simmons in the Evening News, 16 October 1970.

The photograph (at the link below) of you with wooden stake raised, clasped in both your hands, wearing a Roman Catholic rosary plus a large crucifix around your neck, was published in the Evening News, 29 September 1970.

http://tinyurl.com/28evva4

There is no evidence to substantiate the claim that "all sorts of cranks went into Highgate Cemetery putting stakes through corpses." The foreman of Highgate Cemetery did allege there was one incident where an iron pole had been driven through a coffin. This turned out to be vandals who smashed a heavy glass aperture over a large sunken vault with a pole which fell down onto one of the coffins beneath. These were the same sort of vandals Highgate and other cemeteries had been plagued by for many years prior. There is evidence, though, that you were considered a crank who vandalised and desecrated graves in Highgate Cemetery.

The Sun newspaper, 26 June 1974, reported:

"The judge [Michael Argyle QC sentencing David Farrant] said any interference with a corpse during black magic rituals could properly be regarded as a ‘great scandal and a disgrace to religion, decency and morality’."

The Sun, 4 July 1974, reported:

"David Farrant, self-styled priest of the occult, saw his weird world of witchcraft collapse yesterday. An Old Bailey jury found him guilty of trying to stop two detectives giving evidence by sending them voodoo death dolls. And he heard Judge Michael Argyle remand him for psychiatric reports before deciding his sentence. For 28-year-old David Farrant it was the final proof that his phoney black magic was a failure. He had been convicted in three separate trials fro desecrating graves in London's Highgate cemetery, stealing linen from Barnet Hospital and sending the death dolls. In his first trial he bragged he would be cleared because three members of the jury were frightened of his powers. ... In his final trial he was said to have sent clay effigies to Detective Constable Michael Westmore and Detective Constable David Reid to stop them giving evidence against a member of his coven, John Russell Pope, who faced a sex charge."

The charge against John Russell Pope (aka John Pope de Locksley), indecent sexual assault on a young boy, was later proven. In an article published in 1975 (written while you were serving a four years eight months jail sentence) for New Witchcraft magazine, issue 4, you stated:

"The intrinsic details regarding this part of the ceremony however, must remain secret; suffice it is to say here that the entity (in its now omniscient form) was to be magically induced by the ritual act of blood-letting, then brought to visible appearance through the use of the sex act. ... I disrobed the Priestess and myself and, with the consecrated blood, made the secret sigils of the Deity on her mouth, breast, and all the openings of her body. 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."

http://tinyurl.com/3xaz7kz

"From a person who dresses up in Christian garb, that in itself is almost laughable!"

You are obviously referring to the focus of your obsession whose image you are so compelled to distribute that you infringe photographs of him with libellous captions in illegal pamphlets which inevitably concentrate only on defaming him and anyone thought to be close to him. However, what exactly are we to make of the garb you are wearing in the picture at the link below? And why are you holding a dagger in one hand and a clay effigy in another?

http://tinyurl.com/39rgdf9

"Thank you 'anonymous' for this is exactly what you said to me, which I have on tape."

Not me. I have never met you. But anyone recounting Hill's story would say exactly the same as I have told you on this forum. Many people heard it. The VRS president even mentions Hill's alleged encounter with the Devil and his later retraction in his memoir. That aside, what the VRS has on tape is you and Hill discussing hoaxing a ghost in early 1970 to dupe the press and public. All we need is your signed consent and we can let everyone on the internet read the transcript and have access to the recordings themselves. Without your consent we'd be breaking the law because they were taped secretly and without your knowledge.

"I have NEVER sacrificed any animal."

So why did you tell a radio programme in 1973 and many newspapers that you did sacrifice animals. You even stated that you had sacrificed a cat under oath in the High Court. If you are now saying you were lying you committed perjury. When interviewed on the Today programme (BBC Radio 4; not to be confused with a television programme with the same name on which you also appeared) in 1973 about your Hallowe'en cat sacrifice, you did not deny it. There was also an interview with a doctor's wife, Mrs Annette Wilson, who opposed your publicly stated intention of sacrificing a cat in an occult ceremony. Moreover, the Hornsey Journal, 28 September 1973, who also interviewed you, stated on their front page beneath its headline "I Sent Voodoo Dolls - 'High Priest' Farrant," that "Farrant, as the Journal reported, admitted slitting a 'stray' cat's throat at the height of a bizarre ritual before his coven of eight hooded men and a naked High Priestess in Highgate Woods recently."

The same newspaper also confirmed that you "sensationally admitted to sending the dolls, with pins through their heads and accompanying poems, in a desperate 'leave me alone to continue my work' bid. Inspector John Tressider of the RSPCA received his package direct and Mrs Wilson's 'gift' was sent to Journal reporter Roger Simpson for forwarding."

On the front page feature of the Hornsey Journal, 28 September 1973, it was reported: "Questioned about the enormous outcry against his work involving ritual slaughter, Farrant stressed that he would not halt sacrificing animals."

When you were interviewed in the News of the World, 23 September 1973, by Sue Kentish, we learn: "He spoke matter of factly about a ceremony watched by 12 naked, chanting individuals during which he severed a cat's head with a dagger. All the participants then smeared themselves with blood before indulging in sex. 'I did not enjoy having to kill the cat, but for one particular part of the ritual it was necessary,' said Farrant. 'The sacrifice of a living creature represents the ultimate act in invoking a deity. I do not see animal sacrifice as drastic as people have made it out to be. Thousands of cats are used for medical research. The very livestock we eat have their throats cut. And, at least, I anaesthetised the cat before I had to kill it'. With a shrug of the shoulders he admitted mercislessly pursuing grievances."

When you were interviewed in the Hornsey Journal, 31 August 1973, by Roger Simpson, we discover: "A cat was sacrificed to a horned god in a macabre night ritual at Highgate Woods during the weekend involving eight hooded coven members and a naked High Priestess who left at the scene a blood-stained carving knife, blood-splattered stockings and offal. ... A North London coven later claimed responsibility and the coven's High Priest, David Farrant, told the Journal in an interview at his Archway Road flat: 'Hundreds of years ago a naked virgin would have been sacrificed, but obviously we couldn't do this now so we had to have an animal for the important ritual.' The victim was a stray cat and Farrant stressed that the animal was anaesthetised for the 45 minutes ritual which culminated in the slitting of the cat's throat. The ritual slaughter was a part of the festival of the Black Moon - an important date in the witchcraft calendar."

A court report in the Hornsey Journal, 16 November 1979, under the headine, "Ritual sex act and cat sacrifice," revealed: "Self-styled 'high priest' David Farrant told a High Court jury this week of the night he performed a ritual sex act in an attempt to summon up a vampire in Highgate Cemetery. He also admitted that he had taken part in the 'sacrifice' of a stray cat in Highgate Wood."

http://tinyurl.com/36rfq78

http://tinyurl.com/2wa95oq

http://tinyurl.com/2vsrfdo

You have attempted to wriggle on the hook over the conflicting amount of times you have claimed to have seen the Highgate Vampire in interviews after your initial letter published in February 1970. You are now trying to claim that your letter was edited and altered. This is a bare-faced lie. It was published unedited and complete, as Gerald Isaaman, the then editor (who is still alive), will readily confirm. There is also, of course, your televised interview with Sandra Harris on 13 March 1970 where you claim you sighted the vampire more than once. Now you are claiming it you saw the vampire only once. In you initial letter in 1970, however, you stated you saw it on THREE occasion. This is your unedited letter as it appeared in the Hampstead & Highgate Express, 6 February 1970:

"Some nights I walk home past the gates of Highgate Cemetery. On three occasions I have seen what appeared to be a ghost-like figure inside the gates at the top of Swains Lane. The first occasion was on Christmas Eve. I saw a grey figure for a few seconds before it disappeared into the darkness. The second sighting, a week later, was also brief. Last week, the figure appeared long enough for me to see it much more clearly, and now I can think of no other explanation than this apparition being supernatural. I have no knowledge in this field and I would be interested to hear if any other readers have seen anything of this nature."

Why have you consistently lied about these sightings?

http://highgatevampire.blogspot.com

"But on these occasions, the witnesses were other people whom I had witnessed by this time." - David Farrant on Andrew Gough's Arcadia forum, 12 December 2009.

Pull the other one, its got bells on it! You would have insisted on having anything altered in the letter you wrote corrected in the following week's issue if that had really happened. But, of course, it did not happen. There is no record of you having asked for a correction. There is no record of an amendment appearing even though your relationship with that particular newspaper remained ongoing for the next few weeks. Indeed, the newspaper made a point each week of saying that, while letters too long might be shortened, they were not edited in any other way. Your original letter was quite short to begin with and required no editing. There are records of you sticking with your personal "three sightings" account until October of that year when it suddenly reduced to "two sightings." Now it has become "one sighting."

We are bound to wonder whether a further passing of time will establish "no sighting"? That, at least, would be more honest.

DavidFarrant
User offline. Last seen 23 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Mar 2010
Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...

"The foreman of Highgate Cemetery did allege there was one incident where an iron pole had been driven through a coffin. This turned out to be vandals who smashed a heavy glass aperture over a large sunken vault with a pole which fell down onto one of the coffins beneath. These were the same sort of vandals Highgate and other cemeteries had been plagued by for many years prior."

This is a deliberately false statement, 'anonymous'.

The cemetery superintendand stated under oath in Court that many coffins had been opened and stakes put through the corpses indide them. He said (again under oath) that he was frequently having to reseal coffins where this had happened. He said that he personally blamed all this this activity on the two television programmes on which a man (ie yourself) was advising people how to 'stake vampires'.
He agreed with myself (under cross examination) that there had always been a fair amount of vandalism at Highgate Cemetery but people putting stakes through bodies had only started after the television programmes.

You can try and swear that black is white as much as you want to, 'anonymous', but that was Law's evidence (or part of it) whether you like it or not.

I am not going to debate your confused interpretation of ancient newspaper reports about Satanisn and black magic. You do not ask genuine questions; you state erroneous facts and then expect me to agree with your erroneous assertions. This I will not do - most especially because you are merely showing people that you have some kind of unhealthy with myself that exists within your mind, and your mind only.

Now, how about answering my point about the beautiful young vampire that you claimed you staked through the heart (sorry, really mean 'middle') after she had turned into a giant spider.

Well, come on 'anonymous'! I am sure people would like to be cheered up here, rather than just listening to yous morbid ravings!

David Farrant, President, British Psychic and Occult Society.

greenwych
User offline. Last seen 4 years 15 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 5 Jul 2009
Re: The Highgate Vampire - How It All Began - by David ...

Luci---you are right about the dangerous situation in pouring petrol over a sleeping tramp an enarly setting him on fire. If you read the advice in the Highgate Vampires Handbook there is all manner of dangerous humbug which if put into practise could cause injury or death,to people like tramps, drug addicts or acoholics who tend to fall over and sleep rough, not to mention distress to people whose dearest and dearest have been dug up from their graves as suspected vampires. You know once I asked Manchester what to do on his Cross and Steak Pie site, I said I thought here was a vampire up our road and I was very worried. I used a false name--he reckons he knew from the start being such a mastermind and all that--well he just referred me to his book and told me where to write the cheque to, but I persevered and said I was very worried and my friend had got bittten. Even if it was an experiment to see if he could put his money where he mouth was, and it could have been true, he was as much help as a chocolate teapot( with a cosy!)

It seems odd to me that he can spout off and hold forth in such florid prose about being the most famous vampire huntere in the world , but when someone seeks his help, even if he suspects an imposter, --though why shoul he---he offred no help. I said I had been to see some monks and they told me that there were no such things as vampires--this was actually true--he flew off the handle at that and demanded to know which monks, so I said the Jesuits as I reckoned they would know how to deal with a mad vampire hunting padre.

Then I said my friend was in hospital dying from a mystery illness, should I tell the doctors it was a vampire--well I guess that blew the story, but just think, if all these bitten people were dying mysteriously from blood loss, the Coroner would soon be asking questions! There might be a few people around who mess around with blood drinking and what not, but the bish was talking about the undead.

tata greenwych

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