May 2010

It Had To Happen!

I suppose it had to happen again sooner or later.  What?  Well somebody just posted me a copy of “Chronicles” magazine and in it there is a full 2-page write-up on the famed Highgate ‘vampire (its even titled “The Highgate Vampire”!)

I’m not going to discuss the implications in the article here – except to say its quite funny.  That’s if you have a sense of humour, of course, which a lot of people don’t!  Its from last March, I believe, but no date on the article.

And me?  Well, I’ve just finished the final chapter of my own book “David Farrant – In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire” (Volume 2), so all I have to do now is to go back to the beginning and complete the first two chapters.  My God!  I sometimes wish I had chosen any other profession than being a writer.  It really is hard work sometimes.

Other news?  Well my film is going well and meeting the producers again later this week.  You will all be hearing about that in due course.

And little ‘ole  me personally?  Well as you can see my precious K, I’ve finished the end of the book.  Now, get yourself over as soon as you can and we can catch up properly.

For the moment everyone,

 David Farrant

 

 

Not Far To Go Now . . .

The new book is going really well (I should say ‘books’ because the other one is now finished) and looks like being well on schedule for October.  I’ve also had quite a few orders for “Pact” (the book about ‘love and betrayal) but I can’t help wondering where one or two of those came from.  Still   as I’ve received some cheques and postal orders I shall have to honour the orders. And I will.

But the other book (unfinished) has not far to go now. In fact, I’m on the last chapter, but then I have to go back to the beginning and finish off the Trial chapter.  I put that aside because it was a real ‘nightmare’!  You see there were (and still are) boxes upon boxes of legal papers to sort through, and I don’t really enjoy doing that.  Too much like hard work and not as easy as ‘straight writing’.

Anyway. I’m having a night off tonight as Gareth switched his nights and came yesterday instead.  Got a lot of work done, so not complaining. He had to go to an important meeting tonight; something to do with some follow up to a Talk he gave on the Tarot for the Secret Chiefs in London, I understand.

Do you know, I actually bought some food this afternoon.  Nothing special, but now I realise I’m not really hungry!  Still, will do for tomorrow instead.

Looking through the album, I did find another photograph though.  Its of a supposedly haunted castle ruin in Devon and we spent a really interesting day there in 1987.  No ghosts though; think it was too nice a day!.  I mean, we were too busy concentrating on the picnic lunch without have to look for ghosts!  Got some good photographs though.

And now, I’m slightly bored!  No Gareth – no anybody.  Just my own company.  Still that’s the way I prefer it sometimes!

So ‘till later,

 David

No 'ghosts' that day!
No 'ghosts' that day!

The Ghost Of Blackbird Cottage

Been a hot day – but who really cares.  At least, I don’t – much prefer it hotter rather than colder!  But, I promised another short extract from my new book a few days back.  So here it is.

It follows the Netley Abbey investigation and at least might keep K. happy at least!  Not giving too much away. but here is what I have written about that, at least

You’ll have to get the whole 2nd Volume when its released if you want to read the whole thing, but in the meantime, here is another bit . . .

The Blackbird Cottage Mystery

In fact, the Netley trip was by no means the only one of our investigations, and Colette was involved in a great number of these.  A year later, Colette and myself were also looking into a spate of ‘strange happenings’ that had been taking place in the mountainous region of North Wales.  The ghost of another ‘tall black figure’ had also been sighted quite regularly, gliding along a scarcely used path that led to a disused cottage near Deiniolen in the Snowdonian valley.  Snowdon towered in the background, a menacing-looking mountain whose peak was often obscured by cloud.  Even on a clear day, it was said, you could rarely ever see the top of that mountain; only the clouds that chose to envelop its lofty shadows.

       We were lucky as we knew a Welsh family who lived on the out-skirts of the village: they had a comfortable stone cottage with a large spare room.

       We visited them one cold January day in 1985,  but a large log fire warmed the building; the stone walls insulated the warmth somehow, and even held the heat.  In the early hours, it was possible to touch them, and they were still warm, even though the main fire was just faint glowing embers.

       It was warm inside, but one step outside into the cold January air, with the cold mountain winds, quickly reminded  you of the true temperature outside.  A walk to the local village shop (in fact the only one in the village) made you glad to return to the warmth of their cottage.

       Stories abounded about a ‘phantom figure’ draped in black that had been seen disappearing into the ruins of an old cottage some way up the mountain slopes.

       We visited this one early afternoon, and could see it had lain derelict for some 50 years or more.  We decided to return that same evening with a medium to try and make some sort of ‘communication’ with this entity, and to this end, stacked up an old fire-place with any pieces of dry wood that we could find.  A fire, we reasoned, would help for purposes of heat and light; especially as we planned to return that cold winter’s night.

       In fact, nothing much remained of the cottage but its stone shell; and half the roof was missing.  Further enquiries revealed that this had belonged to a slate miner, who had their residences in abundance in the area; although many of these had fallen into similar decline. It was a ‘ghost town’ of ruined cottages, but one where once people had actually lived, making their livings from quarrying the local slate.  In fact, evidence of these slate quarries still existed (although by then disused) and you could still witness deep holes cut into the mountain slopes, although many of these had long-since filled up with water.  Many of these looked like small lakes; although the water was particularly deceptive and concealed mining holes cut into the earth which were, in many cases, well over 500 deep.

       But men once used to make their livings from these quarries, and the ruined remains of their cottages provided evidence of that. 

       The ruin, known as “Blackbird Cottage”, lay less than a quarter of a mile from our friend’s comfortable cottage.  There had been several reports by locals of seeing a ‘ghostly black figure’ that glided into the ruin and then just seemingly disappeared in the gloom.  Apparently, no-one had ever followed it in there – probably being off-put by the figure’s ability to glide silently across the ground before disappearing into the ruin.

       One night around 11 pm, we set off to hold a séance in the isolated ruin.  There was Colette and myself, our two friends and about five other people – all members of the BPOS who were based in North Wales.  We had all met up beforehand and arranged cars for the transportation, all following one another closely so as not to get separated.

       The ruin eventually came into view and we parked as near as possible, walking the remainder of the way guided only by torches across an old track way.  It was bitterly cold, but still and noiseless, stars glittering undisturbed in the clear night sky.  The silence was intense, in fact; Snowdon loomed before us full of in impenetrable shadows, and only the remaining lights of some houses were visible in the valley some way below.  But it was cold; the air cutting through protective clothing to freeze the skin below.  And all this only minutes after leaving the cars roughly parked in the darkness of the mountain slope.

       We had to open a flimsy barred gate; itself part of some entrance in a roughly designed expanse of barbed wire; presumably put there to control sheep in the area.

       Once inside the ruin, we lit candles, as well as the fire which had been prepared earlier in the day.  The light from this soon illumed the ruin and made the use of candles and torches really unnecessary. It cast eerie shadows upon previously darkened walls, but at the same time emitted a pleasant warmth to compensate for that cold January night.

       There was no other sound except the crackling of the firewood as we formed into a group to prepare for the vigil.

       We gathered around the old stone fireplace, remaining silent, while a medium present ‘tuned in’, in the silence.

       Eventually she said that she could feel the distinct presence of a man, who was trying to convey that a dreadful tragedy had occurred many years earlier.  His name was Benedict, and he conveyed that there had once been a fire where the cottage now stood which had destroyed his entire family, and now he had to remain here as the ground was sacred and he had to protect the souls of his family.

       The medium was not sure if the summoned presence was referring to the cottage itself or an earlier building that had once stood on the site, but just as she was about to continue, there was a low ‘sighing sound’ which she said indicated that the spirit had suddenly ‘gone’.  Next, a ‘static atmosphere’ then seemed to permeate the building, and only moments later, a brilliant white light illuminated the cottage for 3 or 4 seconds, reflecting through the broken roof and caused by something passing directly overhead.  There was no sound such as a plane or helicopter to otherwise betray the cause of this; just a dazzling white light which lit up the room and disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared.

        Following this, a low rumbling sound echoed down the chimney and seemed to shake the building, and brought with it a mass of flaming soot and stones which obliterated the fire and left the room engulfed in dense smoke.  The candles had gone out, and even torches provided little light in the dense smog as everybody struggled to get out into the fresh air.

       Once outside in the cold night air, another surprise was forthcoming when we were apprehended by two police officers and asked to explain what we were doing there.  They were out on patrol and had seen the reflection of our fire from way below in the valley.  They were satisfied with our explanation about trying to see the ghostly monk (indeed, they said they were familiar with tales of this haunting), but said we were nevertheless on private land.  They didn’t say who owned the property, but took everybody’s names and addresses and warned us of the possible risk of a trespass charge if we returned again uninvited.

       As one of them appeared to be quite friendly, I decided to ask them about reports about series of strange phenomena that had been reported in the area.   These concerned strange unexplained lights that had been seen in the skies around Snowdon; and I had already heard local reports about these while making enquiries about Blackbird Cottage.

       The policemen expressed no surprise about these reports; in fact, they confirmed they got them all the time, people actually going into the Police Station to report their experiences.  They didn’t know what these were, but the ‘friendly one’ added that they had seen one themselves that very night as they were driving up to the cottage.

       It was an unusual conclusion to an eventful investigation.  Though one which, perhaps typically, left the events unsolved and the facts shrouded in mystery.

From:  David Farrant: In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire (Vol 2)

Those Were The Days!

Thanks for your post Roger and for the invitation.  I am not sure about that (the latter) right at this moment as there has been another development today.  If not possible we can make it very soon but I will get back to you on this tomorrow.  In fact, I am greatly honoured your family would want to meet this ‘wicked witch’ but I guess there can be some sensible people about!  I enjoyed talking about the old school with you.  Yes, you did remember some things about the girl’s school down the road, but I’d better not go anymore into that!  Anyway just for ‘old times sake’, here is a pic. you might remember.  From left to right: Peter, Ian, Bill and Stan with me underneath (as usual).  I did publish this pic. in my last autobiographical book actually, and just want to stress (for the sake of some ‘cowboys’ around on the Internet, it remains my personal copyright.  But those certainly ‘were the days’.  Not that I enjoyed the learning side of it all, but there was a bit of fun as well.

Well, here is the pic. anyway.  Might bring back a few more memories.  But there has been quite a bit a lot of interest in the last one (school pic.) which gave me extra incentive.

Be seeing you again soon whatever.

And don’t forget your post as well Clarmonde.

So just for the moment everyone that’s really all.  Better start looking towards bed as it is nearly 2.30 am.  (Wouldn’t care but I’m supposed to be up early in the morning).  But always time for a last glass of wine I suppose!For the moment

David

Me underneath!
Me underneath!

Dorm ‘Fight’!

That's me underneath
That's me underneath

As I’m meeting an old school friend tomorrow from my old Weymouth school, just thought you might like to see this picture of a dormetery ‘fight’ from 1961.  He is not in it, although he could well have taken the picture – really can’t remember.  It wasn’t all ‘learning’ – fr myself anyway!

David

A Bit Of News

Well I’ve had an easy time with the last two Blogs – all I had to do really was post up a couple of pictures of Lauryn.  That’s obviously easier than writing; but here I am again back at the drawing board with nothing really to say!  But I’ll have to think of something or I’ll have K on the phone again!

So what to talk about?

I know, maybe a bit of news.  Problem is nothing much has happened.  Except maybe . . .

Last night I received a phone call from an old school friend called Roger.  He had seen my Website and sent an email and we exchanged phone numbers. He went to the same school as me in Weymouth – you may remember the same one I got expelled from for refusing to get my hair cut (well, and for making ‘illegal’ dates with school girls from the comprehensive school down the road, but that’s really another matter!). 

Seeing him soon anyway and we should have a lot to talk about.  I know I put much of this in the 1st Volume of my book, but it’ll be interesting to see if he remembers things I’ve forgotten.

I think I mentioned in the book that I came top of the class in Scripture, but this is only because I was interested in it.  Most of my other grades were close to zero as I just refused to learn anything.  Not that I didn’t make up for this in later life; but any learning was through Life and people (as it still is).

Anyway, if he remembers anything interesting I may post it up afterwards.  But ‘may’ is the operative word here as I virtually rebelled against the whole system and I’ve got a bad enough reputation as it is!  Forget it being some 50 years ago, people can still dredge these things up (like the times we used to arrange ‘midnight swims’ with a few of the girls and had to climb down some 30 feet to ‘escape’ from the dormeteries. I remember it was lovely and warm, but the sea was bloody cold!).

But if he remembers anything interesting I MIGHT post it up!

Still getting on well with the new book and just finished the other one. But its as if people were saying “sod the 2nd Volume, we want to know what really happened with the betrayal”.  Well, you all soon will, that is the interested people.

That’s about it newswise.  I’m working on a very amusing part for the 2nd Volume though  I’ve called the chapter “From Satan with Love” – quite appropriate really, although it is from the year 1987!

Well K, another full Blog!  Hope you can get over again soon and that C is behaving himself.  Still, you’re old enough to take care of yourself now sweetheart!

That’s all for now really folks, so ‘till next time,

 David

Choosing Dinner

Choosing Dinner

Just the other picture of Lauryn and myself in Highgate Wood last Thursday choosing dinner.  It was a lovely day which made it even more enjoyable  Anyway, I think she enjoyed herself anyway; even after seeing my untidy flat!

Thanks for sending Jamie. Well, for taking them as well.

For the moment

David

Here’s A Pic!

Lauryn and me, just after she arrived

 

Here is a pic I wanted to post yesterday.  Its of Lauryn, my grand-daughter just after she arrived in London on Thursady.

Chris fixed my picture programme this afternoon.  I’ll put another up soon taken just before we had dinner in Highgate Wood.

Anyway, enjoy!

David

Unlikely To Forget

Saw my granddaughter Lauryn today; my son Jamie brought her up to London by car.  It was a beautiful day so we just wandered over into Highgate Wood.  We sat at the café in the centre – well, its been converted now and more like a small restaurant.  The food is all good and wholesome; all home cooked and fresh.  Even the bread was the real stone-ground stuff, and it did make a change to relax in the sun eating healthy food. But it was not only that; the air smelled clean and noisy traffic noises had just melted into the distance – in fact, you couldn’t even hear any cars or buses.

She’s only eleven, but so full of energy, and she enjoyed playing in the Woods afterwards expending even more of it!  She’s a very pretty little girl and has inherited her father;s good looks – who, in turn, I have to say, has inherited mine!

Jamie took a few photographs, but I can’t put any up at the moment.  I intended to with this but unfortunately, my picture re-size programme has made itself in accessible for some reason so you will just have to wait a day or so for those.  But it will be done.

But I think they enjoyed themselves anyway, apart from having to put up with my untidy flat!

Well, I think I have already explained, that is one of the hazards of being a writer; papers all over the place, nothing filed properly, etc.

I’ll be seeing Jamie again soon, and hopefully he can bring Lauryn again.  And what I will work on is getting the pictures re-sized so you can see them  Shouldn’t take longer than a couple of days.

Well, that’s it really.  A relaxing day and one I’m unlikely to forget in a hurry!

For the moment,

David

This Or That

I must admit to feeling a little tired tonight, and its only 11 which is unusual for me.  Tired but relaxed at the same time.  Nothing to do – unless I want to do anything that is.  No restrictions, no compulsions;  nothing, just a lot a space and solitude, which is the way I like it sometimes.

So, what’s new. Without doing another boring Blog!?  Quite a lot really.  The book is going well, so is the filming.  In fact, I got loads done over the weekend, way into the night/s, which is probably another reason – if not the only one – its suddenly ‘caught up with me’. 

You know, somebody asked me, in all seriousness, last night if I’d ever thought of getting married again.  Yes, I’ve thought about it; but who could really put up with me?  I mean, I’m just too bloody independent and ‘hooked’ on my own freedom!  Its not that I’m inconsiderate; I’m just impossibly caught up with being free of those things that so many people are captured by.  Committed to beliefs or obligations by ‘this or that’, some people would just not find it easy to realise I give so little importance to material things.  I really don’t – but some others do, and that is partly where most of the problem lies.

For example, I never eat at set times – I just eat if or when I am hungry.  I rely on my body to tell me that without relying on a clock.  Or I very rarely have any knowledge of ‘material time’, rather a sense of timelessness which is far more valuable than that.

Lets face it, most people just don’t have that, but are reliant on clocks most moments of their working lives.  I am just not which is just another reason why I could never get re-married!

You have to ‘give and take’ in human relationships, that’s only fair.  But I have nothing to give – I could only give up my sense of freedom, and I could never do that.

But quite apart from that, you have to take into account that often people can change quite inexplicably and without reason.  They can even betray you without any cause,

I guess that’s just a part of human nature.  That always brings about its own suffering; but just another reason why I desire no part of it!

Well, its all quiet.  But I prefer it quiet with nothing to distract you!

 David