January 2012

The Brighouse Gala?

Its been a long and slow week. Long, because I’ve somehow lost track of real time :  slow, well, for exactly the same reason. I have always said that time is a bit of an enigma, so I am literally ‘practising what I preach’ as I write this. That said, its not as if I haven’t been busy. I have just received the edited release for the filmed Talk I gave for Atlantis Bookshop on Jan 4th. Might have to divide that into at least 2 parts to accommodate its maximum duration of about 2 hours. So look out for that on YouTube soon.

Also I was flattered to receive an invitation to give yet another Talk in the north west of England this coming June. More of that later, but it is at a convention that appears to take the subjects of esotericism, the occult and ancient ‘witchcraft’ very seriously , and Della and myself are very much looking forward to making a weekend of it and seeing all the ‘sights’. She already has her designer wellies picked out, she’s so excited.

As well as all this I have been receiving a constant stream of visitors, many of whom are interested in my further Talks and publications. Why they seem to want to visit my humble home has always remained a bit of a mystery, but visit it they do, in abundance! And they are more than welcome. In fact I have a very special guest arriving tomorrow, who Della and myself are very much looking forward to meeting in person.

Many of you might have already seen the first part of an interview with myself by journalist Mike Hallowell. This appeared in The Shields Gazette yesterday and is to be continued next week. If not, the link is here: http://www.shieldsgazette.com/community/columnists/wraithscape/scary_sights_in_the_cemetery_1_4184162

There has also been renewed activity on the filmed project involving Gareth J. Medway, Barbara Green and a couple of other assistants on the subject of Robin Hood’s (reputed) grave at Kirklees. I understand this film is now near completion, and will be released publicly later this year. Maybe even at the Brighouse Gala? – and I cannot think of a more glamorous and appropriate setting for its debut. Many of you may remember my mentioning this film project before, but to refresh any befuddled memories, here is a still from the production taken at the graveside (see below).

But apart from all this activity I have been looking after my darling Della lately who has caught a temporary bought of flu and who has needed constant attention especially at night. Hence I am rather fatigued, from the necessity of babysitting. But, as I said at the beginning, time is really of very little consequence to myself; and to prove the point, this has been written after 3 in the morning. But Della needs turning, yet again.

So I must bid you all adieu, for now.

I think we both need a medicinal whiskey to wake us both up properly.

For the time being at least!

For the moment everyone,

David

David Farrant (left) with Gareth J. Medway at reputedly haunted Robin Hood’s Grave

So Many Enquiries

I have had so many enquiries from people recently, asking me to upload various interviews I have given for television programs. This can sometimes be difficult as many of the early films were only obtainable from their production companies in VHS format, and then very often had to be sent to the UK from abroad on video film. Obviously, it was often not possible to watch such films live in the UK; there was no international Sky network then, and the Internet was only just coming into its own. However, I did manage to get copies of many of these films and interviews after they had been aired in different countries. And almost without exception I was given permission to reshow these films once they had been televised.
The following film is one such example, and consisted of a variety of interviews and footage of French psychics and occultists: in particular best-selling paranormal author in France, Jean-Paul Bourre. I have not included most of this other footage in the excerpt as it is a very long and involved documentary about the Luciferian tradition in France, and, apart from which, it would necessitate getting clearance and permission from the particular people involved. Anyway, here is my own contribution to the documentary, which was televised on TF1, the main TV channel in France in 1985.
I don’t really think the film necessitates any further explanation, but I hope it satisfies at least some of your requests. The next one I have in mind, once edited satisfactorily, is an interview I gave for Italian television recently – when I say it needs editing, I literally mean that! For while this particular film involves the Highgate vampire and myself, it also covers ‘other people’s’ involvements with the same subject who may not appreciate the angle taken and footage used by the film company – especially if they were aware of the popular response by Italian viewers. Italy is (at least Rome is) the very heart and home of the Catholic Church –  whose genuine followers do not take too kindly to the somewhat morbid – if not fascinating – beliefs in ‘blood sucking vampires’.  So draw your own conclusions on that!
For the moment everyone, and enjoy the film.
David Farrant

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUcp1GvuVho

Something Completely Different…

“And now for something completely different”, as the stars of Monty Python’s Flying Circus used to say.
As a matter of fact, I knew one of the stars of the series, Graham Chapman, who used to confide in me about the series in the late 1970s.  Sadly Graham died in 1989 from cancer, but we had many a happy hour in meeting and in general chat. We often had long conversations about his film career and my own unfortunate experiences regarding my involvement in the infamous Highgate ‘vampire’ affair back in the ‘70s, and my arrest which culminated at my Old Bailey Trial for ‘witchcraft offences’ in the Summer of 1974.  I often used to be invited back to his house in Highgate for coffee, and there was no doubt he was very sympathetic regarding my experiences with the belligerent attitudes of the Metropolitan Police which resulted in my unjust imprisonment. Graham had read many of the stories in the national Press which covered my Trial, and quite frankly, he was less than impressed. A comedian by profession, but nevertheless, a person who deeply understood the more tragic sides of human nature and, as he often explained, merely sought to satirise this.
He owned a fairly large Georgian house which sat on the outskirts of Highgate Village, not far from the infamous Highgate Cemetery where the Press had maintained a ‘vampire’ existed, and all sorts of black magical activity was taking place.
He used to rest his large feet up on a pouffe in front of his favourite armchair, and pour me a whiskey, while he infrequently enjoyed a double gin.  It seems so long ago now; maybe even longer, as those times were fairly short-lived. Graham was to die of cancer not many years later after he had abandoned the house in Highgate and moved to Maidstone. But one thing I will always remember from our conversations is his attitude towards the way I had been treated. On many occasions he encouraged me to keep fighting to prove my innocence of my 1974 ‘witchcraft’ convictions. He said I should ‘never give up’ and right would always prevail in the end – but to give it a chance, which he emphasised was always essential. Maybe he was talking in part about the lighthearted attitude he used to take towards society in general; maybe he was just trying to satirise life, which he made only too clear in his comedic roles:  but with myself he was always serious, and expressed a far deeper understanding of life, than most people would ever realise.  “I think there is a great empathy between us”, he once told me. “Never give up.”
Well I never have done, and never will.
Graham’s motto always seemed to be…just publish and be damned, that way people can never accuse you of being hypocritical.
So I’ve taken his advice – at long last – and decided to make public a few experiences from the past which have hitherto remained unpublished. Nothing sensational, but events which have completely escaped the attention of the popular Press – in the UK at least.
I have just received a video of a film recording I made in 1985, for French TV. The film crew came to interview me about the occult and ‘witchcraft’ and I will be posting the film itself in the next day or so, but in the meantime, here are some stills from the TF1 transmission that apparently was so popular in France.
So watch this space tomorrow!
David


Another Filmed Talk For The Moot

Gave another filmed Talk for the Moot last night. It was at the usual venue, upstairs at the Devereux Arms by the Temple. It was organised by Geraldine Collins of Atlantis Bookshop and introduced by Steve Wilson whom I have met before at some of the other Talks. There were some new faces there, as well as the regular ones. Gareth J. Medway conducted an interview with myself and asked quite a few questions about my involvement with the so-called Highgate vampire in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and my sentence for alleged ‘witchcraft’ offences at the Old Bailey in 1974. I also explained some of my other ‘occult involvements’ around this period, in particular the suicides of Graham Bond and Joe Meek, who had approached me prior to my Trial about the activities of the Society and my group. We also discussed the late pop singer and hopeful MP, Screaming Lord Sutch, who was planning to make a film on the Highgate phenomenon (or ‘vampire’ as it had then come to be known in the late 1960s). Della came along to give me her support, as did my son Jamie who kindly gave us a lift home afterwards in his new car. This was much appreciated, as it was a cold night, and pouring with rain, and by unexpected coincidence we actually found a place to park just near the entrance to the pub.
Arrived back at the flat around 11.30pm, but then poor Della found the job of having to cook us all something to eat. (I am seriously considering changing her pen name to Cinderella as this seems to be more appropriate to some of her activities!)
The Talk was filmed throughout by Society member and my good friend George, who has asked me to withhold his full name to prevent him going on a rival society’s blacklist. George works in the City, at a job in banking, so quite understandably he has to consider ‘respectability’ as opposed to filming somebody with a fairly infamous reputation…i.e. myself! Anyway, the film will be ready for wider distribution soon, so please keep watching this space for details.
Well, that’s all my scheduled Talks over for just the moment, but there are a couple more being planned for the Summer which, quite frankly, I much prefer to doing them in the cold dark evenings of Wintertime. On other news, I am glad to say that we now have my 3 Youtube films for availability on DVD. ‘Hoggy Hallowe’en’; ‘A Christmas Quarrel’; and the ‘Christmas Special Bloopers’. Didn’t realise these 3 moderate films are becoming so popular. But not complaining! The next film in the series should hopefully be ready for March, but you’ll just have to wait for the title!
So with that I leave you, my friends, and also a still photograph taken during the course of my Talk.
For the moment everyone,
David

The Moot Talk yesterday (Weds 4th Jan) From left to right: Gareth J. Medway, David Farrant, Geraldine Beskin and Steve Wilson.

Asa's Not Toothless!

Ham and High 29 Dec 2011
Well thank God, that whole little scenario is over!  I mean the Christmas season, in case anybody might not have guessed!  Sorry, don’t want to offend anybody, but its one time of the year that I really cannot stand, with all its pomp and commercialised hypocrisy.  People only give presents to each other – or remember each other with silly greeting cards and all that sort of thing – while millions of others around the world  are starving in poverty with little or nothing to eat or sustain them.  While we are remembering our friends or relatives; I wonder just how many give those people a thought?
Not that there’s anything wrong in being thoughtful or kind to people; but why on only a few days of the year? out of an almost compulsive obligation?  The Churches just tell you to ‘pray’ for them.  And many do – at least, pay ‘lip service’ in ‘prayers’ in the particular Church they might happen to be attending; if, in fact, they happen to attend one at all!
And ‘no’.  I am not ‘playing the hypocrite!  I recently made a film titled “The Christmas Quarrel” which involved Christmas decorations being displayed in the background of my home.  But that was  just for the set of that particular film to reflect the ‘Christmas spirit’.  If Hollywood insists on its props . . . well, at least I was only doing it for a film: not out of heart-felt sincerity for the ‘invented occasion’!  I think its what you really feel inside – not what people just pretend to feel for the sake of show.
For example, I recently saw a message board in which one proclaimed  ‘Christian person’ published pictures of himself and his partner enjoying a lavish Christmas dinner.  All lavishly cooked (for the sake of the cameras) and which, by all standards, could only have increased his dangerously increasing weight!  And what about the millions of people who might have had nothing to eat at Christmas (or any other time of the year)?  Well, no mention of them!
But getting away from that; I see the Press and other media sources are still interested in the strange case of the Highgate ‘Vampire’ (in which this author played a central part).
We are now told, that one Asa Bailey is bringing out a book and ‘fictional film’ about the activities of this so-called ‘vampire’.  The local Highgate newspaper,  the Hampstead and Highgate Express, picked up the story and decided to do a review.  I have reproduced this here (above) for the sake of all those who may still retain some interest in this 40-year-plus saga.  Some people do – indeed, still appear to do so – maybe trying to create a modern day legend upon facts which were really non-existant all those years ago.  But that’s Hollywood for you!
That’s all for now everyone.  Have a good New Year,
David (Farrant)