In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire by David Farrant
I have known the name David Farrant ever since I first started reading about and investigating the paranormal. President of the British Psychic and Occult Society, the author and investigator David is a figure probably best known for his involvement in the Highgate Vampire case which dominated the media for part of the early 1970’s and his subsequent trial and imprisonment on witchcraft offenses.
Volume One of David’s autobiography ‘In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire’ combines and expands upon two of his earlier books (Dark Secrets and Shadows in the Night) and gives a very honest and frank account from his early childhood through to his prison sentence in 1974.
This is the first book of David’s I have read and I was genuinely surprised at how quickly and easily I became enthralled in past events. His conversational style of writing comes across as very personal so you get a real sense of David’s character and strong feelings towards those around him at the time. Illustrated by never seen before black and white photographs from the authors private collection, the aptly named ‘In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire’ focus’s on the authors early life in Highgate, his introduction to Wicca, his travels in Europe and the events surrounding the aforementioned Highgate Vampire case for which his name will be forever entwined..
I have read some reviewers opinions in which they have regretted not having more information about some of his relationships, but, never having been a fan of autobiographies, I found Farrant’s accounts gave just enough information to keep the story moving along and not be overcrowded with unnecessary details which frankly I would not have been interested in.
Looking at pictures of David now it is easy to forget that during the events surrounding the Highgate case (forty years ago) he was a young man and the mistakes made then were in some cases the mistake of youth.
On his website David has said that this book was a ‘labour of love’ and that he found it a daunting task to go over the events of his life whilst picking at old wounds to scribe new blood in the story, hoping that the reader will have a better understanding of the truth as it actually happened. Not having read ‘Dark Secrets’ or ‘Shadows in the Night’ I found ‘In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire’ an intriguing insight to the Highgate case and the man thrust into the media storm that surrounded it.
Paperback: 275 pages
Publisher: British Psychic & Occult Society Publications