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THE HIGHGATE VAMPIRE

There are not many people who will not have heard of the famous - some would say ‘infamous’ - case of the Highgate Vampire.

It all really began in the late 1960’s/70’s when wide reports began coming into the British Psychic and Occult Society about a ‘tall dark figure’ with ’hypnotic red eyes’ that had been sighted in and around London’s Highgate Cemetery. This was sighted by many local witnesses, some of whom even claimed to have been ’attacked’ by this menacing figure which invariably disappeared without trace after the reported confrontations.

So persistent was the frequency of these sightings that it was not long before BPOS President, David Farrant, was called in to investigate, and not long after that (in 1970) that the Press picked up the story; mainly, due to the claims of certain others who attempted to ‘cash-in’ on the official investigation by claiming that the reported figure (maybe due to the reports of its ‘glaring red eyes’) must be a ‘blood-sucking vampire’.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it did not take long before events at Highgate got completely out of hand (small groups of amateur vampire hunters and film makers attempting to use any available publicity) and even resulted in David Farrant being taken to Court (he appeared before Magistrate Mr. Christopher Lea) charged with being in Highgate Cemetery one night with the intention of ‘hunting down’ a vampire! David Farrant was not in Highgate Cemetery for such a purpose and denied the charge of which he was acquitted, but not without the case attracting the attention of the world wide Press who established this apparition’s identity as a ‘fully-fledged vampire’. In fact, David Farrant had never stated that it was, although he did say when pushed on the matter that the reported entity seemed to take on vampire-like characteristics, or rather, that some reports about it had done so.

There were three more Court cases after this between 1970 and 1974 in which David Farrant was involved, not directly connected with Highgate Cemetery although the “Highgate Vampire” was brought into them, mainly by bolstering Prosecution claims that he (David) was a ‘black magician’ and a ‘vampire hunter’! He was, and is, neither, although the fact his name could be directly linked with the first ‘vampire hunting’ case in 1970, gave the police, and the Courts, and excellent opportunity to offer non-factual evidence relating to various conceptions of the occult. (As David Farrant stated in his last Court case in 1974, “We believe the persecution against Wicca [white witchcraft] from the Middle Ages still goes on today”)

Whatever the rights and wrongs of such an argument, it remains a fact that David Farrant well and truly (albeit inadvertently) put Highgate Cemetery and stories about vampires there ‘well and truly on the map’. He regrets that much; but again, I suppose he had no choice in the matter.

But in 1997, following a mass of speculation about the so-called Highgate Vampire and misguided controversy that had come to surround his name - not least because this had spread to a world wide interest in the case - David Farrant decided to form the Highgate Vampire Society, its purpose (as he said at the time) . . . “One of our main aims will be to become a repository for all the oral history and written data concerning the Highgate Vampire”. He also said that another main purpose was to take off some of the pressure from the British Psychic and Occult Society who literally had its hands full with dealing with numerous psychic investigations.

David was lucky in this respect because he had made the acquaintance of Kev and Chrissie Demant - two serious research historians of local history who had also happened to become interested in the case of the Highgate Vampire. They seemed to make a perfect team, and the quarterly magazine of the Highgate Vampire Society from its inception was called Suspended in Dusk with numerous contributions from Kev Demant and David Farrant and beautifully illustrated by Chrissie Demant. Indeed, Kev and Chrissie continued to post up articles and illustrations on the Highgate Vampire case, and David’s involvement in it, long after the Highgate Vampire Society was temporarily suspended in 2001 due to increased pressure in membership demand.

But that was only a ‘temporary blip’. Nobody can really remove the inherent interest in the Highgate case which may explain why the Society has now been re-launched; albeit by this current media on the Internet.

Unfortunately, Kev and Chrissie Demant (for nebulous reasons of their own), apparently no longer have any interest in the Highgate case (or anyone connected to it), so the present work and research of the HVS must go on without them. After all, the case of the so-called Highgate phenomenon is not really a private issue or one that can be affected by personal views or interpretations. It is a matter of public record and should thus be open to continued input and debate, and not one that should not be allowed to become clouded or influenced by any who have no knowledge of events (which they certainly do not ‘own’) as these actually occurred or happened. There are many such persons around (including sensationalistic authors and members of the Press) but their stories should really be shared in total, and not be allowed to become ‘dictorial’ in the sense that these necessarily represent the public view of things.




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you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same

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THE HIGHGATE VAMPIRE – HOW IT ALL BEGAN.
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 .

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you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same

Jun/28/2008, 9:04 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 
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Re: the highgate vampire


KEY DATES IN THE LEGEND OF THE HIGHGATE VAMPIRE

1. Late 1969/early 1970. First recorded sightings of a ‘tall dark figure’ at Highgate Cemetery by local residents. David Farrant witnesses a seven foot tall figure just inside top gate of the cemetery.


2. February 1970, many local people come forward who confirm that they had also witnessed a similar figure, a common description being a ‘tall darkly-clad figure’ with ‘hypnotic red eyes’.


3. Friday March 13 1970, Thames Television interviews David Farrant about the vampire. Programme goes on air at 6pm. Within hours that same evening Highgate Cemetery is besieged by a mob of would-be vampire hunters.


4. August 1970, David Farrant is arrested in Highgate Cemetery for ‘hunting a vampire’.


5. August 1970, BBC 24 Hour programme interviewed David Farrant about his sighting of the vampire-like figure and an ongoing investigation his Society, The British Psychic and Occult Society, is conducting into this phenomenon, and claims he had made earlier that a coven of devil worshippers is using the Cemetery. Programme shows ‘evidence’ of a vampire cult and David Farrant says he is hoping his investigation will vindicate him, and that the police will be able to catch the black magic practitioners ‘red-handed’ so that everything he has claimed relating to Highgate Cemetery is proved to be true.


6. May 5th 1972. David Farrant writes a major article for the Camden Journal publishing some findings of the BPOS into the ‘vampire’ case at Highgate Cemetery.


7. June 1974. Following continued sightings of the ‘vampire’, David Farrant is again arrested on five charges relating to Highgate Cemetery. He subsequently receives a sentence of four years imprisonment. The trial receives world-wide publicity.


8. 1991. David Farrant publishes Beyond The Highgate Vampire in which he reveals the true facts behind the official investigation into the vampire said to lurk at Highgate Cemetery.


9. 1991 and 1995 respectively: both years seeing the publication of four best selling American volumes on the Highgate Vampire; Bloodlust by Carol Page, Vampires Among Us by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Hunt by Professor Bill Ellis and The Possessed by Brian McConnell. All books are subsequently released in the UK.


10. April 1996. David Farrant gives a recorded talk at the Fortean Unconvention in which he explains that the earth-bound spectre sighted so frequently at Highgate Cemetery must remain active under psychic law because it had never been properly exorcised.


11. November 1996. David Farrant appears on American TV programme Strange Universe in a film made about his investigation into the Highgate ‘vampire’.


12. Spring 1997. David Farrant, together with two vampire researchers, Kev and Chrissie Demant, form THE HIGHGATE VAMPIRE SOCIETY to deal with the tremendous world-wide interest surrounding the Highgate case.


13. Summer 1997. Udolpho magazine of The Gothic Society publishes exclusive extracts from a forthcoming biography on David Farrant by Kev Demant.


14. July 1998. David Farrant makes an exclusive video for Darkhouse Productions entitled In Search Of The Highgate Vampire in which he finally agrees to put on filmed record the whole sequence of events as these really occurred at Highgate Cemetery.


15. Early 1999. (the programme is repeated several times), David Farrant appears on the Michael Cole Show for UK Living and dismisses the possibility that the malevolent entity witnessed at Highgate Cemetery could in reality be a ‘blood-sucking’ vampire.


16. 23rd April 2005. David Farrant invited onto Coast To Coast American Radio Station, Speaking Of Strange, to discuss reports that the ‘vampire’ at Highgate Cemetery has become active again, and a possible connection the entity might have to the ‘Mothman’ witnessed in North Carolina.


17. July 2005. David Farrant returned to Highgate Cemetery after a 33yr absence on a guided Tour following local reports that a ‘vampire-like’ figure had been sighted there once more. The once bricked-up vault (see last picture on photo page 2) was said by amateur occultists to have once been inhabited by a ‘vampire’.







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you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same

Jun/28/2008, 9:05 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 


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