The Human Touch Blog - David Farrant - Psychic Investigator

So Here It Is!

Well, actually more-or-less on time for a change – I don’t believe it!  But I did say a couple of days.  But to save me writing any news up now (little busy with other things to be honest) here is the short extract I promised from the new book.  Can’t publish the whole chapter – well, I could but K. would ‘kill’ me!  So here it is . . .

 WE SET OFF for Dorset one hot July day in 1979.  We had no idea of the precise location, except that the AA repair mechanic said ‘it’ had been reported a few times near the ‘Old Roman Crossing’.  Really the only other clues were the long tree-lined driveway Kenny had described, and that it was on a ‘B’ road (or even a ‘C’ road) en route back to London  But there was the possibility, of course, that locals in the area might provide more information, and we intended to talk to the local AA to see if they had any­more useful leads.

       There was also a supposedly haunted wood near Salisbury named ‘Hound Wood’ that I wanted to visit (the name alone perhaps inspiring me to find out if there might be any connection between the haunted wood and Kenny’s experience); although we decided to check this on the way back, as the route was in a northerly direction, and more convenient towards London.

       We didn’t rush, and avoided motorways, and eventually arrived at Cranborne, a quaint old village in Dorset – right in the centre of the area we planned to investigate.  There was a lovely old pub there called the ‘Fleurs de Lys’ and we stopped there for a sandwich and a drink.  It was late afternoon and the pub was almost empty except for a few locals at the bar.

       A young friendly barmaid served us, who seemed more curi­ous about two strangers than she did in the locals ordering their ‘usuals’ at the bar.  We soon got into conversation with her and turned the subject to local history, and the ghostly figure that had been reported on roads round and about the area.  She said the pub itself was supposed to be haunted by ‘Blackbeard’s’ ghost, although she had never seen it, and didn’t particularly want to!  She said ‘yes’, there was supposed to be ‘something out there’ on the roads at night, but she wasn’t sure what that was.  She said she’d ask her friend who was interested in ghosts, and soon another young barmaid came over to join us.  Most people had heard about this ‘thing’, she told us; people saw it on the roads at night, and it was said to be a manifestation of the devil that appeared to take people back to hell, if they succumbed to its influence.

       A customer was telling people only a year before, she contin­ued,  that he had seen it from his car, but afterwards it just appeared to vanish.  He wasn’t a regular so she couldn’t be sure who it was.

       She then told us about her old school nearby, which was haunted.  The school was very old, but most of the sightings that of a ‘shadowy man’ in black – were confined to one of its ‘loos’.  Several girls and teachers had seen it over the years.

       I couldn’t help but inwardly smile: her story was not in any way relevant to our original request, but we listened to more details out of politeness.

       But on leaving, I gave her my card and asked her to let me know if she got anymore information on the ‘ghost’ seen on the local roads.  She promised she would, and we headed back for the van; nothing exactly ‘concrete’ had come out of this exchange, but at least we had a little more information.

       There were still a few hours of daylight left, and so we decided to try and camp out by one of the locations Kenny’s AA mechanic had described as the ‘Old Roman Crossing’. It was not that easy, because the course of the only Roman trackway  marked on the ordnance survey map appeared to cross modern roads with no actual names added to the crossover points.  It made sense to assume it must have been named at some point where the trackway crossed a ‘B’ road or ‘C’ road, where Kenny and his friends had got stranded.

       But which one?  It needed a little guesswork as the Fleurs de Lys was in fact situated at the edge of a large expanse of country­side known as “Cranborne Chase” which derived its name from a royal hunting estate owned by the Crown in times bygone: it was in fact a rich habitat for wild boar and deer – all ‘delicacies’ at the tables of the more affluent.  Penalties for poaching were extremely severe, which in turn seemed to reflect its historical importance.  The Romans were certainly in evidence there and – as far as I could tell – the Old Roman Road led directly to Old Sarum further northeast; which of course was the original name for Salisbury.

       We slipped into some dimly lit alcove off the beaten track and parked the van.

        There was hardly any noise – at least from traffic anyway.  We had picked a point  where the Roman Road had passed a ‘C’ road, although exact identification was difficult, having only a map to rely on.  There were no houses in the distance – not even a farm – but maybe, we thought, this could be around the right location.  If this was the Old Roman Crossing, we had parked right at the edge of it.  There was a large field in front with a small cluster of woods in the distance, which got even darker as the light slowly faded.

 © David Farrant

Far Too Long

Can you believe how quickly time (material time) seems to go sometimes.  Just realised its almost Friday, and my last post was a good week ago. 

 Well, nothing much has happened in the meantime, except I’ve been doing a lot more work on the next book.

 Saw Jamie last Saturday, and Gareth, Patsy and Rick also came over.  We had a good night just talking and socialising generally, and, would you believe it, they all wanted to make a late-night drive up to Highgate Cemetery.  I stayed behind (having already seen more than enough of the place) but apparently they didn’t meet any ‘vampires’!  Or ‘giant spiders’!

 I’ve had a few emails and other requests asking me to post up a little more of the new book.  So much logged and done now, that I don’t think that would really matter.  But it will have to be tomorrow; too late to sort out any extracts now.

 Saw my friend Dave Milner again recently, and I told him I’d mentioned his name in connection the  2nd Vigil at the Ancient Ram Inn back in 2002.  He didn’t mind; in fact, he’d already read it here before I even told him! 

 So weather is warmer now (thankfully) and that enables me to walk about a little more freely now.  No more slipping on icy pavements, which was a bit of a nightmare while it lasted.

 I will sort out another short book extract tomorrow (with K’s full permission) so just  watch this space everyone.  The book itself should be ready for full release by October.

Well, better start thinking about some sleep soon – as usual, I’ve been awake far too long!

 So till a little later.

 David

2 Bottles Of Wine

Sunday – not my favourite of days!  I’ve been into this before (and upset a few people in the process!) but I just can’t see how some people (people who go to Church, that is) put Sunday aside for God, then mostly forget Him for the rest of the week.  And lets face it, many do.  Without the ceremony and the pomp to stimulate them, often God is only viewed as some distant reality, and has to remain locked in Church for the rest of the week.  Sorry K., I know you don’t like me expressing this in public, so I’d better not go on about it, as I have to protect my ‘little girl’!

But there is one point here, I’d better mention.  I heard from an old friend yesterday who used to live in Muswell Hill and her name also begins with ‘K’.  I was pleased to hear from her again and hope to meet up when she next comes to London.  But her name (at least as far as you are all concerned) is ‘Lady K’  –  but its not my Karen!.  Just thought I’d mention that to avoid any potential confusion as I have invited her to post on the Blog if she wants to.

I have gone back to write a few more details from 1982 about the French congress in Paris.  Looking for some pics. and found one of French TV presenter Marcus Drake who interviewed for that French TV Special televised in April 2008  Obviously its too late for the new book – the time sequence is far to late for one thing, although I could probably use it in the 3rd Volume which will bring things right up to date.  Anyway, got to worry about Volume 2 first. 

I’ll put the photograph up at the end here, and no comments please about the state of the room.  It may be a little ‘cluttered’ (which is a writer’s privilege!) but its not dirty.

Marcus came back here in the evening after the TV crew had left, and brought two really good bottles of French wine with him.  Needless to say we finished it, and more if you count mine.  I really hope  Marcus keeps his promise to visit again with his girlfriend one day.  Nice guy.

Heard from Jamie again today, and will be seeing him soon.  But no, I’m not saying when.  Us ‘witches’ have to have some secrets!

Well, its finally getting warmer at last. That winter just seemed to go on forever, trapping me inside the house as well for a couple of weeks.  At least I’ve got a bus pass now, which was a great help on some fairly ‘slipperly days’.  Just as well actually as there is now a set fare of £2 in London, whether you go for one stop (which this is) or to the end of the line.  Bloody rip off, if you ask me!

So that’s just about all the news, good people.  But I shall keep you all up to date, or I’ll just get K. nagging me again!  (Sorry K!).

So, that’s it for the moment,

 David

Marcos Drake and David Farrant.  Photo with permission of French Television
Marcos Drake and David Farrant. Photo with permission of French Television

Release

Well, its almost the weekend once more, and what easier way to ‘skimp’ writing a Blog than to post up something that I’ve already written.  Its from the third chapter of my new book “David Farrant – In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire” (Vol 2) and carries on with events after I was released from prison in 1976.  I’ve written a lot more; in fact, now got up to the year  1991,  just to show you all I’ve been busy!

Anyway, here’s the lead into the third chapter.  Enjoy it  ‘cause you ain’t getting any more for the moment!

David.

Release

 SO IT WAS, that in July 1976, I was released from prison on Parole, escaping just 3 months of the time I still had left to officially serve.  They had given me a ‘prison release suit’, perhaps in stark contrast to the jeans and sandals I’d first been arrested in.  It was too hot to wear a suit really, for that month (with others still to come) was at the peak of the famous 1976 heat wave.  My only luggage really were two large cardboard boxes (so heavy they were almost impossible to carry) containing all my legal submis­sions and complaints I had made about my Trial, the prison authorities and the Home Office, to support an Application I had lodged for Hearing before the European Court of Human Rights.

       Quite apart from this I was still considerably weak from my seven week hunger strike; one of the main reasons I had been released from prison.  That, and the intense heat, did little to help me enjoy my new found ‘sense of freedom’.

       A prison officer (one of the more humane ones) ran me the two or three miles to the railway station at Lowestoft and handed me a one-way ticket to Liverpool Street in London, courtesy of the prison authorities.  Laughingly, he told me to make sure it was ‘one-way’ as he wouldn’t like to see me back again!

       Sitting on the train, it seemed hard to believe I was really free.  It was difficult to suddenly adjust to the reality of ‘freedom’ all around, and my thoughts were still ‘pulled back’ to the grim nightmare I was leaving further and further behind.

       Before long, the train sped past the suburbs of Lowestoft, and I was looking out at scorched fields and brown leaves of trees and hedges, all victims of the intense drought.  The earth itself seemed to be crying out for water, but there was none; even many of the rivers were virtually dry.  I was told it was the severest drought in living memory; but I didn’t care that much.  Freedom seemed to have opened its arms to the exclusion of caring; and besides, there was plenty of cold beer available on the train!

       One of my Parole conditions was that I had to stay  (at least until the end of my licence) with a lady I’d become friendly with, who had visited me regularly in prison.  Her name was Elspeth Nolan; a petite dark-haired girl with brown eyes, who looked at people knowingly if she liked them, but tended to stare straight through them if she was indifferent.

       She lived in a high-rise tower block just outside Finsbury Park, with her 8-year-old daughter, Caroline.  Her flat was immaculate – but anything would have seemed luxurious outside the grey confines of that prison.  She cooked the most carefully prepared meals, though whether this was just for my benefit or part of a normal habit, was impossible to tell.  I had my own small bedroom with a comfortable bed, and she often came in to say goodnight and see if there was anything I wanted.

       But much as I liked her and her hospitality – and notwith­standing that I was bound to stay there by the conditions of my parole –  I nevertheless felt a bit out of place, and yearned to get back to my roots in Highgate.  So whilst still staying there, I made a few visits to my old ‘Highgate haunts’ and visited people I had known when I lived there.

       One of these was my friend Julia – the ‘witch girl’ – the same person that I had called to give evidence in my defence at my Old Bailey trial.  She was living in Crouch End now, and had kindly arranged to store boxes of the things for me from my Highgate flat whilst I was in prison.  She insisted she knew a good pub in Tottenham Lane, called The Railway.

            We sat at a secluded table to ‘catch up’, and it wasn’t long before we noticed several heads at the bar kept staring in our direction.  These people all seemed to be of one type; mostly clean cut and shaven, and all drinking together.  It didn’t take long to realise that they were all off-duty police officers, who had obviously recognised myself from my pictures in the newspapers.  It hadn’t occurred to Julia that the pub was virtually ‘next door’ to Tottenham Lane police station, and a regular ‘socialising place’ for local police.  But I remained indifferent, and brushed aside Julia’s suggestions to leave.  I knew there was nothing they could do to me now, and wasn’t about to ‘give way’ to a few intimidating looks. . .

(c) David Farrant

. . . ‘Us Witches’ Are Lazy!

Its still cold here and seems set for the moment.  The wind has switched to the East and that’s never a good sign in the winter: well, it should really be Spring now but that seems far away.  Its hardly a pleasure to go out;  Though sometimes you have to when material things – such as food – start to run low.  Not that I make food a priority but there are other things.  For example, yesterday I had to get a new ink cartridge for the printer, but luckily they had one in stock.  There are other shops, but it would have meant further travelling.

But its okay inside in the warm, though I’ve literally abandoned my back room for the moment.  Its too large to attempt to keep warm.  I was stuck in there during the winter of 2008 while decorating work was going on, and getting an electricity bill of nearly £170 for that quarter was not in the least bit funny.  Mind you, that was at the time I was sitting up most nights trying to get “In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire” finished, and I had the heating on through most of the night.  Its not so bad in the front room as its not quite so large and there gas in there, which is a much better heat, and a damn site cheaper!

Talking of writing; I’m over half way with the next Volume of “In the Shadow” now.  So that’s well ahead of schedule.

K. came round the other evening, and she’s pleased with my progress, anyway.  I let her read most of what I’ve written but she’s really an exception to that rule.  Well, we are very close in more ways than one.  ‘Ways’ that most people don’t know about, and never will, unless or until, of course, she decides to tell them.

Jamie phoned me again recently, and I’m meeting him again soon.  When I met him last time, he told me he’d bought my book from Amazon, so that must be getting around.  Actually, I’ve found a ‘lost’ picture I shall be using in the second volume.  Its from the tome of the Paris Congress back in 1882, and I met several French mediums and occultists.  She visited me in London later that year, so I thought the Pic might be appropriate.  See at the end for that (and ‘yes’, she gave me permission for the photograph).  But for the moment I shall just refer to her as a ‘Parisenne Occultist’ – to learn more, you’ll just have to wait and read the book!

What else?  Well nothing really.  I shall be opening a bottle of wine in a minute and getting on with some more of the book.  Lot of work, but gonna be well worth it when all three Volumes are finished.  Yes, looks like being three now.  There’s no way all the rest of it will fit in one more Volume.  So don’t ever say ‘us witches’ are lazy!

For the moment everyone,

 David (Farrant)

A Parisenne Occultist with David Farrant
A Parisenne Occultist with David Farrant

Blog Time Again

Well, I suppose its Blog time again; I mean, for actually writing something as opposed to just letting you read about some old investigations.  Having said that, not much news of late really – at least, nothing I can disclose here at the moment (confidential reasons, no less).

I went out today, and was pleasantly surprised by the weather.  Still cold because of an East wind, but bright and sunny with it.  Just wandered around catching up on a few things.  Places I’d put back, such as the Post Office, the Bank etc.  All stuff that had to be done, although I’d just delayed doing it.  Well, you can only postpone some things for so long before there’s no excuses left!  But I’ve always tended to leave things to the ‘last minute’ – basic material things, that is.  Not the writing, as I don’t view that as ‘material’!

Beautiful girl in a shop I had to go into in Muswell Hill, and we got talking again.  Its easy to talk naturally (at least I find it is),  but then I seem to carry an unwanted reputation around with me – although luckily, she was not aware of that. 

Then I headed back to the Supermarket and met my friend Rose who was still standing outside selling her “Big Issues”.  She was talking to Ben, a well known pavement artist in the area, when I arrived.  He said ‘hello’ to me, and she just said . . . “I might have known you two would have known each other”!  Well, ‘eccentrics’ tend to stand apart from other people, I guess, but she immediately spotted it!

So then, into the Supermarket.  Just to get some basics, like bread and another bottle of wine.  And, yes, and a packet of cigarettes, lest I forget!

K told me recently (in person no less) that I really must stop mentioning cigarettes on my  Blog; let alone allow any photographs of me on there smoking.  She stressed it was ‘anti-social’ nowadays and wouldn’t do my image much good!  K, sweetheart. You know I love you really, but I don’t really give a damn about what people think about that, or the whole smoking issue.  I just don’t want to disguise it, that’s all.  But thanks for caring, many people wouldn’t bother!

So, then I walked home, and began finishing another chapter of the book.  Without wanting to sound repetitious, that will be out by the end of the year and will probably give more cause for ‘salacious gossip’!  Not that I care – people gossip anyway without the books!

But I guess that’s part of the tragedy;  I’m judged sometimes only by the gossip (and I’m talking only about that which is ‘filtered’ through some tea pot cosy’s which adorn the tables covered with theYorkshire Puddings of this world),  and not for myself, as I really am.

But having said that, better get back to some more writing!

 David

Ram Inn 2nd Vigil – Pt 2

Members of the BCPS Pt 2
Members of the BCPS Pt 2

HAUNTED RAM INN – second vigil, PT. 2

 
A good part of the night was spent monitoring the Bishop’s room and the adjacent room hoping to pick up any, shall we say, supernatural occurrences. Actually, the original idea was for Dave Milner to sleep in the Bishop’s Room, and he could be monitored, whether he actually managed to sleep or not, lying on the bed. He was a bit reluctant at first, but he agreed to do it but only on the understanding that we all went downstairs first to have some tea from flasks and get warm by the calour gas fire John Humphries had left on for us. In other words, for everybody to take a short break away from the gloom and despairing atmosphere that seemed to permeate the upstairs of the building. The idea was that, after this short respite in the investigation, Dave Milner could act as a firsthand witness to any unusual psychic activity in the Bishop’s Room in the event of any unusual occurrences as – and as seemed to have proved the case going by its past history – the Ram’s ghosts seemed to become more active in the presence of human witnesses.

Anyway, it seemed a more plausible alternative as opposed to rather just continuing to monitoring the room empty. And if it was the case that psychic energy might be in some way be activated by some “living presence” in the room – in this case Dave Milner – if anything happened it could be recorded on film and produce some sort of evidence of psychic activity.

After having discussed the matter downstairs for an hour or so and comparing notes in the still relatively depressing atmosphere that seemed to envelop the entire Inn after dark, I remained downstairs with Dave Milner, trying to grab as much available heat as possible, whilst Wayne went upstairs with the others to check the equipment and make sure it was ready for the next stage of the vigil. He said he would send somebody down to get us once the preparations were complete. Although Dave was set to get into the bed, I would be watching the monitor and checking around with the others. About twenty minutes after this, there seemed to be a slight commotion, movements of the others moving around upstairs which seemed at variance with a previous “organised silence”.

I went upstairs to find out what was happening, only to find Wayne packing up the equipment. He said he was sorry but they had to leave; not because of any “psychic anomalies” in the Inn itself, but because Heidi was feeling really unwell, an escalation of a condition that she’d had for over a week or more. I could tell this was no idle excuse. I had come to know Heidi quite well and realised she was not one who would easily give in to any effects of physical sickness, unless its results were real enough and she only longed the comfort of her own home and the warmth of her own bed. You could tell by looking at her that she looked drained by the temporary “bug” that had attached itself to her; indeed, even at dinner earlier before that vigil had even commenced, she looked slightly pale and had not been her normal talkative self. Wayne with his typical concern for other people, and notwithstanding that he was a dedicated psychic investigator himself who had frequently endured far more potent places than the Ancient Ram Inn, just wanted to take her back to Wolverhamption as quickly as possible, and had no wish to aggravate her condition by making her endure yet more hours in the cold, damp environment of the Inn.

So, after loading up the equipment, Wayne and the rest of his group left in their two cars at approximately a quarter to four that morning leaving Dave Milner and myself tired, but relatively comfortable, downstairs. Dave covered himself with blankets on a tattered settee and fell into a light sleep, probably relived no longer to be expected to try and sleep in the cold Bishop’s Room upstairs. I curled up on another sofa; cold and “sleepless” but hugging the warmth of the small calour gas fire.

Lying there in the dim light, my eyes absorbing the numerous strange objects and ornaments that cluttered the room, I suddenly became aware that something seemed “different”. I didn’t know what it was; only that there was just something ‘different’ in the room.

I had been idly watching an old grandfather-clock; not so much consciously, but because it commanded my line of vision on the wall opposite and it had almost an hypnotic effect in the undisturbed stillness. An orange glow reflected from the light of the gas fire, which by itself, seemed to reflect unreal images in a semi-real environment. You could see the light move across the yellowed glass; strange images, I thought, yet consoled by the fact the cause was only a gas container. It would have been easy to let imagination to wander in the confines of the Inn; but it was more an hypnotic effect, like fleeting illusions that seemed to be trying to defy reality.

Ironically, I was wide awake, but my attention was somehow drawn to the clock for no apparent reason.

I lay watching the minutes on the clock, casually “ticking these off” as it gradually approached daylight, when it suddenly dawned on me that what had taken five minutes on the clock, seemed to have taken more like half an hour. Its difficult to describe it more precisely than that. I never wore a watch, and Dave Milner was asleep, so I didn’t want to compare time by waking him up. But what was strange was, this went on for the next five minutes, and then the next five; it seemed to be an eternity. Eventually, what should have been about an hour or so, had only registered on the clock as about five minutes.

Then, all of a sudden, my attention was distracted by something else and I looked at another area in the room (as it was this turned out to be irrelevant; I had heard a ‘scratching noise’ but I assumed this to be a genuine rat or something) but when I looked back at the clock, I realised that something was ‘different’. The clock had actually stopped ticking. Before, its monotonous ticking sound had been almost a part of the background but now, after I had been distracted by the noise of the ‘rat‘, there was just an overbearing silence. I lay staring at the clock-face and could swear its hands were still moving forward. But this almost ‘hypnotic’ focusing’ caused me to fall into a ‘half-sleep’, and when I awoke fully it was light and I realised the clock had started ticking again. Dave Milner eventually woke up and I learned the exact time and, much to my surprise, the actual time registered on the clock was dead right. I was convinced these mysterious ‘time lapses’ – or perhaps more accurately ‘time-delays’ – had not been my imagination. Like most people, I was perfectly capable of being able to discern normal time spans; at least, be aware of the difference between lengthy periods and those accompanying only a minute or two. But another careful look at the clock confirmed that it hadn’t lost any time whatsoever.

We remained till the morning, and again, being a Sunday, there were no buses. But John Humphries called us a taxi and, once again, I watched the Ram Inn merge back into its virtual hiding place on the hill; an encapsled shrine in the bleak countryside that seemed to be in no hurry to give away its innermost secrets …

Ram Inn - 1 resized

© DAVID FARRANT