November 2014

Della Farrant and Paul Adams (c) Redmond McWilliams

A Walk Around Haunted Highgate – Coming Soon!

Paul Adams and Della farrant filming on location at Highgate Halloween 2014 (c) Dave Milner
Paul Adams and Della farrant filming on location at Highgate Halloween 2014 (c) Dave Milner

Well as many of you will know by now – especially if you keep tuned into the Highgate Vampire saga and BPOS investigations into the Paranormal around the UK – Muswell Hill held its first ever Geisterfest at Hallowe’en  aimed at promoting community spirit and businesses in the local community.  I gave a basic report about this in my Blog of November 9th and also gave a brief summary of my appearance on Carrie Kirkpatrick’s Oracle TV on Sunday November 2nd (and I provided a link to this 4-hour programme which touched on the case of the notorious Highgate ‘vampire’),  but what I really ‘held back’ was that after the Geisterfest itself,  there was another project to complete:  a promotional film to promote Della’s new book “Haunted Highgate”, and more importantly to give readers who have never had a chance to visit Highgate to see some of its most haunted locations for themselves – on the eeriest night of the year!  The film features Della and paranormal author Paul Adams, and was filmed entirely on location in Highgate.

I thought it best not to mention this at the time because 1) the project had not yet been completed and 2) I wanted to see the finished footage which had not then been viewed, let alone edited! So I decided to ‘err on the side of caution’ before releasing this ‘breaking news’ and attracting accusations from potential critics that we had actually filmed inside Highgate Cemetery at night and amounted to illegal trespass within the cemetery!  This in fact, did not happen, although we did go to several different Highgate locations most of which had been the sites of witnessed ‘ghost sightings’,  and such-like.

Well, I have since seen the edited footage and, apart from some technical lighting problems, it is now virtually completed, for release in about a week or two.  But I’ll let everyone know and provide the playable link.

So, everything seems to have quietened down a little now after the last couple of weeks.  Della and I really have been overworked a little  during the Hallowe’en period.  But we can relax a little now at least, and the only way to do that is with a couple of glasses of wine!

For now everyone,

David (Farrant)

Jamie Farrant in 1971 (c) David Farrant

On This Day in 1967

When I compose Blog entries, I usually pick the title last, but this Blog is an exception to the rule! You see, on this day in 1967 something happened which changed my life forever – my first born son came into the world. Jamie.

1967 was a hectic and confusing year.   I had returned from Spain with Jamie’s mother, and although we had some fun times together in Highgate, as young parents from different backgrounds and with very different interests we found it hard to integrate our lives together there. Although we cared deeply for each other, and I would never describe our relationship as simply a holiday romance, things seemed so different when we returned from our carefree existence abroad to start a new life together in London. So many rumours were flying around Highgate village about strange, seemingly paranormal goings on at The Gatehouse, and in Highgate Cemetery and Swains Lane, and I immersed myself in them. Having been away for around a year, I also had a lot of catching up to do with esoteric and magical acquaintances, and I threw myself back into my life in Highgate with less care than was perhaps fair for Jamie’s mother – who had quickly and sensibly formed her own circle of friends in the village.   Knowing that I was about to come into a large inheritance I was careless with money, and lived for the moment. How things change!

I can’t look back now and revise history; those early years of Jamie’s life were turbulent for me, and I was young and did things very differently from how I would now. I was imprisoned in 1974 as a result of my ‘Witchcraft Trial’ at The Old Bailey, and had last seen Jamie (and his brother, my second son Danny) in 1971.   But I never stopped thinking about them, despite the haze of chaos which surrounded me both in and out of prison as my life in Highgate, and my life in general, collapsed around me.

My wonderful son, Jamie Farrant, in 1971 (c) David Farrant
My wonderful son, Jamie Farrant, in 1971 (c) David Farrant

Many years later Jamie contacted me. I was suspicious at first; because of the Highgate case I get so many crank emails, including ones from people giving false hope and offering erroneous information about personal situations.   But when Jamie emailed me a scan of his passport I knew instantly that he was for real, and saw the boy I knew in the man staring back at me from my computer screen.   I also learned that I was a grandfather, of a charming and well brought up young lady who is the spitting image of Jamie, her grandmother and myself.

Well, happy birthday Jamie : 1967 seems a long time ago now, and we have had a lot of lost time to catch up on. As I say in my autobiography David Farrant : In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire:

Our first son, Jamie, was born in November. There was no shortage of visitors to the flat at this time, and inevitably he had no shortage of attention.

I am sure you have had a lot of attention tonight Jamie, as you always seem to. Like myself at your age (and younger) you are always surrounded by friends.   So have one on me tonight, and you can have your proper birthday drink next time you come and stay – and it won’t be a bottle of pop this time!

Your Dad,

David

Group shot at the Muswell Hill Geisterfest (c) Dave Milner 2014

Recovering From The Geisterfest

Group shot at the Muswell Hill Geisterfest (c) Dave Milner 2014
Group shot at the Muswell Hill Geisterfest (c) Dave Milner 2014

Well, the Muswell Geisterfest has been and gone, and a very good Halloween celebration it was as well. People turned up in their hundreds to Muswell Hill bringing (it seemed) just as many children but as the whole thing had been scheduled to coincide with the half-term weekend the kids got to enjoy an almost ‘extra holiday’.

The main gathering point was O’Neills pub in the centre of the Broadway, and it was here that Della, Paul Adams and myself were all selling our separate books. Della’s new book Haunted Highgate also attracted a lot of interest and we learned it had already sold out in nearby Muswell Hill Bookshop. They have got some more stock in now which has coincided nicely with local newspaper reports today of the Geisterfest in the “Ham and High” and “Broadway” newspapers which had mentioned the new book and the Geisterfest as well.
We managed to film a great deal of the general activity, and for this purpose we had brought along Dave Milner who has covered much of the Highgate ‘vampire’ story in the past, and Drew Hartley, a Press Officer who was formerly employed by Yorkshire Television.

About 7, Della was asked to go on the stage to say a couple of words about her book which she did admirably. I guess she was saying in essence that she did not intend to bore people with a long speech but the book was available if anyone wanted to go and see it in more detail.
We had to leave around 7.30 to venture forth on another filming assignment at Highgate Cemetery. That filming all went very well and will make the basis of another film which we will be releasing next week – maybe before; but keep watching this space (rather Blog!) for details on that.
But the endless Hallowe’en week was still not over! I had agreed to be interviewed by Oracle Television on Sunday evening by the vibrant Carrie Kirkpatrick (proprietor of the Channel) mainly about Della’s new book but also to clarify some old history about Highgate’s Queens Woods and the well known case of the Highgate Vampire.Also watch out for Gareth J. Medway, and the amazing Ken Rees.

Carrie’s 4-hour programme is now available to watch live on the Internet, and the link is here.

http://www.oracletelevision.com/watch-live/4583899940

My part was really in the last part of the show. Anyway, hope you enjoy that. Carrie kindly gave me a lift home afterwards – which was just as well as, by this time, I really was getting a little exhausted!
Yet still a lot to do in the aftermath of all that. So a couple of glasses of wine seem appropriate at this time!

See you soon everyone,

David (Farrant).