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Emma Interview June 15 -14

New Friends And New Projects

Emma Interview June 15 -14
L-R, Jon Kaneko-James, David Farrant, Dark Morte and Merlin (c) Della Farrant 2014

Very long day today. Some more filming about that Highgate Vampire case and so a little tired. Don’t get me wrong, am not THAT tired and all in all it was a refreshing experience. We just all relaxed and took it slowly, and there was no need to rush anything. Being a Sunday daytime, Della was here as well and was able to take a couple of photographs of the occasion afterwards (see above).

Dark Morte, her partner Merlin, and Jon Kaniko-James of The Spooky Isles arrived at 2pm to spend the afternoon filming for an interview which Dark Morte is preparing with myself for release soon. Both Dark Morte and Jon asked me separate questions about the case and I was pleased that Dark Morte had read my book “In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire” and also wanted to ask a little about my travels in Europe back in 1966 – things I recalled in the book; such as working on beaches collecting deck chairs, in various café’s along the way and picking fruit on various farms. It certainly was a refreshing change to talk to other seriously-minded people and get away from the silly ‘vampire claims’ which surrounded at case at the time in the 1970’s period. Jon also asked me some questions about Gardnerian / Traditional Wicca – always a contentious subject!

I believe Dark Morte has made two previous films (that I have seen anyway): one on haunted Minsden Chapel in Hertfordshire; and a more recent one featuring an interview with Jon about his personal views on ghosts and vampires.

In fact we didn’t finish filming until gone 7pm and then they left still accompanied by warm summer light as they all headed to the Flask. But not before Della had served us all some much need tea!

Well, that’s about all for now everyone. But I’ll keep you all up to date.

For the moment though,

David.

P.S. – Thank you Jamie for your message, I had a lovely Fathers’ Day!

written in blood cover

The Launch Of Written In Blood – By Paul Adams

Written in Blood event image

Hello everyone,

Well as promised – two Blogs in two days! And that’s not bad going for me!

Yesterday’s Blog was about something very special indeed – as is this one. Over the last year I have been following with interest and great anticipation the progress of a new title by my friend and fellow author Paul Adams. Paul has written many books focussing on paranormal history and activity, and is very skilled in presenting fresh views and perspectives on well-known cases which have captured the public’s imagination. He has, for instance, worked at length with Peter Underwood (who I presume needs no introduction to my readers here), on cataloguing the Borley Rectory case, which my organisation, the BPOS, have also investigated.

I would like to extend an invitation on behalf of The Spooky Isles to all readers of my ‘The Human Touch’ Blog to attend the launch of Paul’s forthcoming book ‘Written in Blood – A Cultural History of the British Vampire’, on July 12th. There will be a short introduction to Paul’s book by myself, which I was asked to contribute in light of my central involvement in the Highgate ‘vampire’ case when it first hit the headlines in 1970, and my continued research into the genuine phenomena which inspired this particular vampire myth over the proceeding 44 years (to date!). I believe that Paul also wants me to do a short interview about psychic research and my own views on ‘vampires’. Although I am a psychic investigator, and not ‘Britain’s Number One Psychic’ (anyone who promotes themselves in such ways would obviously be inviting scepticism regarding their claims, especially where these are fantastical! ), I feel that I can confidently predict that Paul’s book will ‘go down a storm’ when it hits the shelves. It is a ground breaking work, and his handling of the Highgate ‘vampire’ case has been very objective, unlike many stories which have appeared in the popular press. The number of books which have featured this case over the years is astonishing – as is the space they take up in my flat, as people tend to send these to me either because I have contributed or for my general interest. However it is rare to find a text upon this subject which pushes the envelope (or goes the extra mile, however one chooses to phrase it), and presents the facts in a cohesive and fresh style, but above all accurately.

I would like to say well done to Paul for his stoicism and enthusiasm in tackling such a nebulous and misrepresented paranormal case, as well as for completing a book with much broader implications for other cases, some well-known, some obscure – not to mention the impact of literature and movies upon popular culture including my old favourite bugbear, the influence of ‘Hammer Horror’ films!

The launch is taking place at the King and Queen public house in Foley Street, London, from 7.00pm, and full details can be found here.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as can make it on the night!

If you can’t attend, I heartily encourage you to obtain a copy of Paul’s work, which is essential reading for anyone interested in the Highgate ‘vampire’, and vampirism in general. It can be found on Amazon here.

For now,

David Farrant.

written in blood cover
Mickey and Louise Gocool of NLPI (c) Mickey Gocool

Congratulations To Mr and Mrs Gocool (To Be!)

Hello everyone – a very tired DF here! Not my fault. So much going on at the moment. Just when you think its all calmed down, it all starts up again.

So what’s news then? Well my son Jamie turned up last Friday and stayed over. He came rather without warning and just phoned Della to say he was en route from Southampton and would be here in a couple of hours. So that was a nice surprise. In fact, it was even nicer when he produced a bottle of Jack Daniels and said . . . “Happy Birthday – sorry it’s a bit late!” Then we ordered a Chinese takeaway and managed to catch up on a few things – ‘till about 4am in the morning! But both he and Della had the weekend off, so it didn’t really matter.

Think I mentioned before (or I meant to) Della’s new book Haunted Highgate is with the publishers now, so hopefully that will give her more time to write fresh material for her Website now “Hidden Highgate”. She had to make the book a priority, however, as she was working to an agreed deadline, and I know she has a couple of radio interviews coming up which will coincide with the book’s release in a few months. One of them is for Gareth Davies’s “Paratalk” in Los Angeles and the other one’s for Mickey Gocool’s Podcast NLPI Radio based in London. She already did one for Mickey last Hallowe’en at the launch of her Website, and is case anybody missed that, it is still available from the archives at this link.

Oh, before I forget, let us offer out congratulations to Mickey and Louise who recently announced that they are to get married in June next year. It’s a fascinating story how they met . . . maybe I shouldn’t say anything, but sure he won’t mind! . . .

Mickey and I were both interviewed recently for “Its Fate” magazine, and the accidental meeting of the happy couple could well be described as Fate. For were it not for Louise’s car breaking down unexpectedly one afternoon, Mickey would never have seen a “gorgeous blonde” standing forlorn at the side of the busy motorway, and like a knight in shining armour stopped to help. Perhaps the fact that he fancied her encouraged him to drive her all the way to the nearest service station to fill up her petrol can before driving her back to the stranded car – and of course getting her phone number! Well Fate does have a funny way of helping us along sometimes, and now they have a beautiful family together and are planning their nuptials, as well as managing the ever-expanding North London Paranormal Investigations as a team effort. I am genuinely pleased for them, as they are a compatible, friendly and loyal couple who deserve all the happiness that Fate has brought them.

Mickey and Louise Gocool of NLPI (c) Mickey Gocool
Mickey and Louise Gocool of NLPI (c) Mickey Gocool

Well, that’s it for now, but look out for tomorrow’s Blog, because another event is imminent (and I’m talking about July) that involves the well-known paranormal historian Paul Adams, who is bringing out a VERY exciting new book. The event is being organised by David Saunderson of The Spooky Isles, who incidentally is being interviewed by Mickey and his co-presenter Kurt Logsdon this Friday (June 6th) on NLPI Radio.  I’ll give you the details here tomorrow folks, and hope some of you can make it to his launch in London. We’ll be there anyway, but more on that very very soon.

Until tomorrow,

David

P.S. – that Jack Daniels was really good, thanks Jamie!

International Vampire

Due to quite a busy month, it’s been a little difficult to get back writing a Blog every day or two. I used to be quite good at it – but then, that’s when things were a lot quieter. Still trying though in between the ‘busy life’ of late, which has included continuing writing the third edition of my autobiography; arranging two more live talks for the near future in Oxford and London; another radio interview, and somehow trying to arrange some location shots which will mean a trip to Kent being slotted in as well. As well as that, I have been trying to give Della all the support I could with her new book Haunted Highgate, which, I am pleased to say, she has now completed.

And then, of course, there is the slight matter of sleep which I have never been too fussy about, but which sometimes has a habit of catching up with you! but it’s good to think you can you can keep this ‘at bay’ sometimes, by concentration and a few glasses of good wine! Well, it’s served to keep me awake on a good number of necessary occasions anyway!

But to get back to the ‘straggling’ Blog:

A few people have asked me to release (rather re-produce) some newspaper or magazine articles which they may have seen references to, but which are no longer available. Well, these ‘available’ in a way, because most of them are still on public record, but because of time, are may not be available for immediate purchase as original copies.

Well, I do have a few that may interest some people; and all you have to do is to copy them or download them. I referred to the 2005 edition of the “Paranormal Magazine” about the Highgate Vampire by in my last Blog, so here is another that may interest collectors of esoteric material on the Highgate case.

It was written by Rob Brautigam, a dedicated enthusiastic researcher of the Highgate case from Holland and appeared in his “International Vampire” magazine in August 1995.

It’s only an interview with myself when Rob visited London earlier that year, so please don’t get your hopes up! But here is the Intervamp article as it was published so maybe you will enjoy it! . . .

 

David (Farrant)

International Vamp No. 2 001
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International Vamp No. 6 001

Something Old, Something New, But Nothing Borrowed And A Night Off Too!

An article published in Paranormal Magazine in 1995 is still doing its rounds and being repeated on the Internet. Someone sent this to me very recently and thought I should share it with you as an excuse for not doing a Blog update now for near upon a month.

It was written by Dave Milner, a member (and the professional photographer of) the British Psychic and Occult Society, and deals with the Highgate ‘vampire’ – some would say ‘old news’ now . . . some not however!

One of the reasons I’ve been so busy is because Della’s new book, Haunted Highgate, had to get completed before a deadline of April, and, needless to say, I had to give this prior priority on the computer. But this is now finally complete and with the publishers, complete with all the required photographs and illustrations. So doing a new Blog in the midst of all this was a little difficult! Her book will be out in October and already has been getting some favourable orders and reviews…I’m not allowed to say much before publication, but soon it will be available to all!

In the meantime, we are enjoying some free time finally, and after two days of trampsing the woods for some last minute illustrative photographs, Della is eventually settling back with myself after a lovely meal and enjoying a glass or two of well-deserved wine. 40,000 words and over 40 photographs later, I think she has earned it!

Anyway, to get back to Paranormal Magazine, here it is re-produced in its entirety.

Be back soon everyone and hope you enjoy the article.

David

 

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Dave Milner Paranormal Magazine Interview with David Farrant Page 2 resized

 

Paranormal Lives Part 2

David Farrant

Here is Part 2 of the interview I gave to Jeremy Evans for his Paranormal Lives Website.  Enjoy Everyone . . .

David Farrant is Co-Founder and President of the British Psychic and Occult Society. In his second interview with Jeremy Evans, David explains how his beliefs cross over with magic, evil and religion.  [Jeremy Evans].

Q: To you was the paranormal just an interest, a hobby – or did you also feel a sort of duty?

I felt it was more of a calling. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I just felt sort of drawn towards it – the paranormal, the life beyond the material world as we know it. I just sensed it, I knew it.

My mother encouraged me, albeit in the limited way that you can encourage a young child. And she taught me about not so much what beliefs were but what they were not.

That there was no God sitting up there in a rocking chair going round in orbit and sending people to hell. I’m being serious, people really believe that and take it literally. I mean no offence to anybody – I have this all the time, as my wife’s a Catholic!

Q: So do you believe in heaven and hell?

No, not in the normal concept. This might surprise you, and even outrages some people – I don’t say it with any disrespect – but I don’t even accept the existence of the devil. And hence it follows that I don’t accept the existence of, if you like, evil spirits.

Where this confuses people is they think I’m trying to say there’s no evil. And that’s the last thing I’m saying – this world is absolutely brimmed full with evil, animosity, jealousy, wars, violence, famine, pestilence, illness. I’m not denying the existence of that; you’ve only got to open your eyes, open a newspaper or turn on the radio or TV.

But it’s only the product of the human mind. It’s in human nature, human thinking. If you’ve got no human mind, you’ve got no evil. And the same applies to goodness.

This spills over to white magic and black magic. Magic in the universe is a neutral power. People can tap into that if they know what they’re doing. If it’s used for goodness then you can safely call it white magic. But it can also be used for a negative purpose.

People try and form rituals or ceremonies, and people do this I assure you – I’ve met them. If you use that power for harm, for self-gain at someone else’s expense, you can safely call the use of that power black.

But the magic itself is neutral. It’s just a tool. But it’s a tool you have to understand – you can’t just tap into it if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Q: So how much do you know about where the magic comes from? Is it the same sort of energy as spirits and apparitions?

Let me put it this way; they’re all linked together.

There are different categories of unexplained phenomenon. The most common is the one we loosely term ghosts. And that’s a word I cannot stand as it automatically sums up visions of figures in white sheets, clanking chains or carrying their heads. That’s not what I’m saying; it’s absolutely ridiculous.

But what I am saying is that a lot of these apparitions don’t actually have any real intelligence, they’re just reflections of past events. If these apparitions appear naturally and are merely witnessed by people, which is what happens most of the time, they’re just appearing under their own volition. It’s like a recording. But they’re dependent on certain conditions.

Atmospheric conditions for example: you’ll find a lot of these apparitions appear in or around water – rives, lakes, underground streams, that sort of thing. And they usually appear under conditions where there is low pressure in the atmosphere, such as the heavy atmosphere before the thunderstorm when the air’s charged with electricity. You could say it’s all to do with the amount of energy around at that point.


Previously –
 David Farrant: Discoveries

Paranormal Lives (Part 1)

 

Just before Christmas 2012, I gave an interview for Jeremy Evans who ran a Website called Paranormal Lives.  I, in fact, first met Jeremy the previous October, at The Old Gatehouse pub in Highgate where I’d been giving a filmed Talk on ghosts and the Highgate ‘vampire’, and he asked me  afterwards if I would agree to be interviewed for his Website.  I published this two part interview with myself here in June last year

This interview was published in Paranormal Lives in two parts beginning early in January 2013 and titled simply “Interview with David Farrant”. .

As these interviews had been received quite well on Paranormal Lives,  and because that Website is no longer online  and so its achieves are no longer available  to view or copy, I decided to release them again here on The Human Touch, for the benefit of any who might have missed their original publication. They are, after all, really timeless in origin and some shrouded past events may perhaps become clearer if viewed with a more up to date perspective.

It perhaps goes without saying that I have reproduced these interviews with the full permission of Jeremy Evans who still holds the exclusive copyright.

Anyway enjoy everyone.

David Farrant.

 David Farrant is Co-Founder and President of the British Psychic and Occult Society.

He grew up in Highgate, North London, where he still lives, and quickly gained media attention due to his activities and writings.

In the first of a series of interviews on Paranormal Lives,  Jeremy Evans talks to David about the origins of his career  [Jeremy Evans]

 

David Farrant
david1

Q: Could you tell me a bit about how you got into spiritualism and the paranormal?

Well, you know, it’s going to be a long story, so I’ll have to keep it really simple!
I got into it really because of my mother’s involvement. She used to attend a couple of spiritualist churches in North London: in Finchley and Kentish Town. I was greatly influenced by her. In contrast, my father was a businessman, a company director. He didn’t believe in things like that.

But she was very interested in the paranormal; in communicating with spirits, because that’s the whole purpose of spiritualism. She mixed with other people who were involved in it, people from the church. They used to go to each others’ houses for coffee or tea or wine or something like that. So the simple answer is because I came under my mother’s influence.

She died when I was thirteen years old. After that I still kept the interest. I left school at fifteen and I went to seek out friends that had known my mother. All were involved in the field, all interested in things like hypnosis, contacting spirits, unexplained phenomena, all things like that. And that’s gradually how I got the interest. It was there I picked it up and then I just developed it.

Q: When was your first real paranormal experience, your first piece of, as it were, evidence?

The evidence was always there. The house that I was born in, which is still there actually, was in Shepherds Hill in Highgate. It was a huge Victorian house – I mean huge, huge garden and everything. Some years later it came that, in the course of my investigations and developing, I learned about ley lines, and I think the house was situated on such a leyline. And that might be quite significant because a few strange things happened in that house. I don’t like the word ‘haunted’, but there was some presence in that house.

And I actually saw a figure – not that many times, but it had a very deep impression on me. It’s not the type of thing you forget. When you’re a young child – nine or ten – and you see something like that, you just remember it. It was so vivid, and actually so real.

I think I only saw that figure only about three times over the course of a few years. But I saw it distinctly and it would seem to materialise out of one of the walls, and then either disappear through the big bay windows or through another wall. Or sometimes it would walk round the corner where I couldn’t see it, but I always knew it was there. I just sensed it was still there. So I had no doubt from a very early age that there was something, if you like, beyond the material world.

And if I didn’t see that figure, I used to wake up in the early hours of the morning. I’d always be asleep and then suddenly I’d be wide awake. And I just instinctively knew it was present. And if I didn’t see it I would hear a strange voice coming out of the wall. It wasn’t my parents, it wasn’t the room next door, because they were in bed – the whole house was in blackness, in quietness. And there was this really strange, ethereal voice. I couldn’t understand the words, funnily enough; it wasn’t as if I used to get messages. I just heard something talking to me. So I was actually brought up in that atmosphere.

Q: So it wasn’t a question of whether you believed in these things, but of how much you wanted to pursue it?

Yes. I used to tell my mother about these experiences and she was very understanding. She put things differently to me. She told me not to be frightened of these things, that they can’t hurt you. She put it in a way that a young child would understand. She said it’s very rare that these entities can try and harm you, unless you go out of your way to try and call them, or pray to them like you pray to God. She calmed me down.

My father was actually completely the opposite. He wouldn’t accept that I’d actually seen anything; to him I was just having a bad dream. My mother would never talk to me in front of him about it, because his attitude would be “don’t encourage him”, “don’t talk about it”.

Her involvement in spiritualism used to cause a lot of conflict between them. She used to come back from meetings, sometimes very late at night, after having been to the church. So I grew up with that conflict. My father was a very good man, don’t get me wrong – but he wouldn’t accept anything like that.

I think it was just in his nature. I might be wrong but I think when he met my mother – she was a nurse, stationed in London – he was aware of her involvement. He didn’t want to interfere – if people wanted to believe in God he would accept that. He wasn’t an atheist, he was just indifferent. But that was in normal religion: when it overstepped the boundaries as far as he was concerned and went in to spiritualism, and actually involved gathering in churches and using mediums to try and contact spirits, he didn’t really approve of that. But I just felt drawn towards it . . .

.

In Part Two: David on Spirits and Religion

Some Other News . . .

Just Me Again!

 

Just thought I should tell you everyone that I have NOT stopped doing my Blog here.  It may seem like it because of the last date, but it is still very much on my mind to keep it updated as far as is interesting.  Problem is: I have been working on three separate projects this past month and it is sometimes difficult to ‘break’ off’ from either one of them to write this to my Diary.  (Well, as I have said in the past, I consider this to be more of a ‘Diary’ as opposed to a Blog!).  As it is, I have to ‘fill in’ with other things as well, which includes to deal with some rather silly people (by way of their of their replies) who just can’t seem to get over the 45-year-old Highgate ‘vampire’ case and my past involvement in this at the time.

 I am taking a quick break at the moment though, as really need a break from the screen, and can ‘stop and start’ as I want to without worrying about something getting finished.

 So  what’s news apart from that?

 Well we had a pleasant surprise on Saturday when my friend Katherine from Scotland paid us a visit.  She used to live in Muswell Hill but had a few days off from college to visit friends in London.  She brought Della a beautiful bunch of red roses and myself, an equally welcome bottle of Bordeaux red wine.  She was here for a couple of hours so we had plenty of time to catch up with everything.  I was pleased to learn that she’d still been checking my Blog – in fact that’s what probably prompted me into getting back to it.

 Still getting calls and emails in asking me to give interviews on the paranormal or help with different student projects.  I try never to decline any, although I have had to put a few ‘on hold’ for a couple of months and tell the people they’ll just have to get back to me then.  Of course I will honour any I have already committed to but just can’t take on any more work until this other business has been sorted out.  But at least the Summer is not too far away now, and that does make things a lot more comfortable – especially travelling too far with my bad back.

 Talking of Summer,  I’ll be glad when I can start buying my strong 10% beer once again.  Its just not so enjoyable in the winter, in the cold months.

 Some good news in yesterday though from somebody wanting to know if past issues of our 1997 publication “Suspended in Dusk” are still available.  I have since answered him, but for the sake of people here . . . yes they are!  “Suspended” was quarterly and ran to 6 issues from ’97 and was the official magazine of the Highgate Vampire Society.  The only one that completely sold out was No 4 (and this probably helped by the fact that it has a skimply-clad ‘witch’ on the cover!), but we can still make one up for printing if anybody is interested.  Please just send me a PM here giving your email and I will gladly send the postage details.

 So, that has given me a nice little break before I have to return to more mundane matters.  But has to be done so I must say goodbye to everyone.  But I’ll be back soon and promise not to leave it so long next time!

David (Farrant).

 

Tulpa Unlimited!

he long awaited docudrama “Tulpa” tells the true story behind the now legendary Highgate ‘vampire’ case, which gripped north London with fear in the early 1970s.

The premier of the film was shown in Central London, at the King and Queen pub and attracted a dedicated audience. It was screened by ‘Spooky London’, a meet up group convened by David Saunderson of ‘Spooky Isles’ fame, and as you can see from the comments on their website Tulpa had a very good reception. Talented photographer and paranormal enthusiast Lorcan Maguire was also on hand to take some fantastic stills, as the film’s producers introduced their work and took questions and feedback from the audience.

The premiere of Tulpa (c) Lorcan Maguire 2014

 

Made and produced over a five-year period by Max and Bart Sycamore, it traces the life of David Farrant, the man synonymous with the case, “Tulpa” explores the man who, in his own words, ‘became a kind of story which people could read in bed on a Sunday morning’.

“Tulpa” is the culmination of several years of painstaking research, multiple interviews (including ones with authors who have written extensively on the Highgate case, Patsy Langley and Gareth J. Medway) and those that have witnesses the entity, and not to mention a few setbacks, including a chilling encounter with Jean Pateman, then Chairman of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery. Now, for the first time, the eight part series has been brought together, capturing the zeitgeist of 1960s and 1970s London, and reveals the man behind the myth.

Fans of Highgate will be aware of Audrey Niffenegger’s 2009 novel “Her Fearful Symmetry”, which tells the supernatural experiences and revelations of two identical female twins, who inherit a flat overlooking north London’s Highgate Cemetery. By a strange twist of fate, in 2009 identical twins Bart and Max Sycamore came across the story of the Highgate Vampire.

Max Sycamore speaking at the premiere of Tulpa (c) Lorcan Maguire 2014

 

The Sycamore brothers are made up of two very individual halves. One, with many years experience in community-based filmmaking, has the skills needed to deliver personal stories to the mainstream. The other, a writer of screenplays and novels, has a mind for the weird and wonderful. Together, they are the ideal whole to take on the subject of the life of David Farrant and his feared and famed foe – the ‘Highgate Vampire’.

 

Co-director Bart Sycamore at the premiere of Tulpa (c) Lorcan Maguire 2014

 

I was not able to attend the premier of the film myself on the night, but Gareth J. Medway – one of the stars of the film – was present and managed to participate in a Question and Answer session from the audience.  The interest from the audience was intense, but I will pass you over to Gareth for the moment as he was present and so better able to convey the atmosphere of the occasion . . .

The first question asked was: “Why did it take five years?”  There were various reasons, including their Nan dying soon after the original filming was completed, and a hard drive crashing at a crucial moment.  It was pointed out that the sound track varied in volume, and Max admitted that in future he would try to employ a skilled sound engineer.   As to how they first learnt of the affair, they read about it in a community magazine, whose editors warned them not to approach David Farrant, which they thought might somehow be dangerous.  They went to interview him anyway, and found him to be a friendly, helpful person.  Later, they showed a magazine of their own to Jean Pateman, who was, shall we say, not so helpful.  For that reason, they have never actually been around the cemetery!  Mrs. Pateman now resides permanently there herself.  There is now a more broad-minded management.  They concluded that they hoped to be able to do a longer version.

Max and Bart had to leave to go elsewhere, but there followed an informal discussion.  One man asked if there had been any other paranormal activity reported in the Highgate area following David’s imprisonment, and I told them that there have been intermittent sightings of an entity ever since.  There was a question regarding what the entity actually was, and I said that there are various possibilities: the spirit of a dead person, a psychic memory of a once living person, or a ‘tulpa’, which they had taken as the title of the film: this is not, as one man thought, an Egyptian word, but Tibetan, meaning a thought-form created by people’s minds.

So, last week on February 15th  2014, after several years of research, “Tulpa” in its completed form, was finally presented to an anticipating audience.  Its next scheduled stop is for a Film Festival later this year.

We can only eagerly watch its progress!

For anyone who was not able to attend the screening of the full length film, you can watch an earlier edit in 8 serialised parts here:

All syndication and film festival enquiries should be directed to maximusfilm@yahoo.co.uk All content © The Sycamore Brothers

 

Beaumaris – the Elusive Vampire

 

 

Haunted Beaumaris - home to a 'vampire'?

BEAUMARIS – THE ELUSIVE VAMPIRE

BY

DAVID FARRANT

Highgate Cemetery in North London is by no means unique when it comes to reports of ‘vampires’.  A case we investigated in 1982 concerns an old derelict Manor House which is about six miles from Beaumaris, Anglesea, in Wales. It was very isolated and the whole area was practically deserted.

Rumour had it that the mansion was haunted by a “female spectre” and locally she’d become associated with stories of “vampires”. We never found out why right at the beginning, but, in any event, this was the general story going around. We spoke to the locals – and I should add here that the Welsh are not exactly the easiest people in the world to get information out of. Maybe suspicious of strangers from outside their close-knit communities, they seemed very guarded in giving precise information, although most locals all basically told the same story: there was a terrible spectre that haunted the Manor House which was supposed to be that of a vampire and nobody would venture near the place at night. The police at Beaumaris whom we checked with before we started the investigation seemed to have no truck with the vampire rumours, but they did confirm that the place had a sinister reputation, also that Baron Hall hadn’t been lived in for many years and was now deserted.  It had been the ancestral home of the Buckley family who were very high up in the community.

The first thing we did, was to visit the Manor House by day – this would have been in the late summer or early autumn of 1982. It was very difficult to find. We had to go up long winding lanes, and there was not even anyone around to ask, but we eventually located it, hidden, right in the middle of nowhere. As it loomed up in the distance, in the grounds, we discovered a short flight of steps, very overgrown but not vandalised, and at the bottom of these were two securely locked iron doors with bars in them at the top, so of course, we had to look through these to see what was inside! When we shone the torch through them – and there is a comparison to Highgate Cemetery here – there were concrete shelves on either side of a small room and at least six coffins were clearly visible. We automatically assumed that these contained the remains of people who had lived in the house and who had been interred in the family vault. At the time, I remember thinking that this seemed unusual because there were no churches in the vicinity and it was almost as if the vault lay on unconsecrated ground. It was a bit of a mystery … the point being of course, that if this was the case, it could probably have given rise, or served as a reason, for the vampire stories.

We went into the house itself and discovered that half the roof was missing at one end of the building. It was a huge building and must have been about fifty or sixty feet high, and originally it probably contained four or five floors. None of these floors were intact, but the whole of the downstairs area was. We found one other short flight of step’s on the left of the building with two massive great oak doors at the bottom, and the temptation was to go and have a look, because obviously, there would have been a dungeon or crypt, or something, underneath. But there was literally no access because lying in front of these doors were great big chunks of masonry and it would have been impossible to move it, and even if we could have done, I doubt if we’d have got the doors open. I did the usual checks … I should mention here that the temperature inside the building was decidedly cold. Now you could put this down to the building being built of stone and that sometimes when you go into a stone building it can harbour cold, rather like a refrigerator, I don’t know – but it was markedly colder than the temperature outside. We also measured the pressure, and the pressure inside the building was a lot lower than it was outside, although it was a very warm late summer’s day; which again in itself is interesting because you don’t usually get drops in pressure to that extent in such a short distance of a few feet. I say it’s interesting because you often find that cases of unexplained phenomena often occur in area’s of low pressure.

We explored the building and we explored the grounds. In fact the grounds were massive. There was a huge overgrown orchard and this must have taken up two or three acres. There were outhouses that were derelict and had long since been deserted; there was a huge ornamental fish pond which had long dried up – the bottom was all cracked. I say “huge”, it was probably bigger than an average sized room.

The other strange thing we found were huge plants which I’d never seen before. It was almost as if they were tropical. I actually got a leaf and the leaf itself was about six feet across. And I have a picture of myself holding it (so you can compare it to my height which is about six foot), and the stem would have been about the size of a small sapling tree. It was covered in spikes. I don’t know what they were, it’s as if at some time people had been experimenting with various forms of vegetation in the grounds.

We subsequently visited the building on other occasions, we got photographs of it, took other readings, including using a compass. Now, a compass is very important because it can actually react in the presence of psychic energy. It can throw the compass out of alignment so instead of pointing North, it’ll go mad and start spinning around. There was a varied reading on the compass. We got a true North reading at one end of the building, then we walked to the other end and the reading was ten degrees different. This happened two or three times around the course of the building, so there was definitely some sort of strange energy in it.

We visited the Mansion by car on several other occasions in daylight; but we became absolutely fascinated, and so we decided to hold a vigil there at night. There were five of us all together:  Two psychic investigators who we were staying with across on the mainland; medium Colette Sully, and an Englishman called Geoff Jennings, who was a geologist living in the area.

Now, we went there one evening. We must have arrived about 10 0’clock and it was very, very cold inside the mansion, for we’d decided to hold the vigil inside it. I mean, I know there’d been a marked difference in temperature during the daytime but at night it was absolutely icy-cold. I do remember one thing: we kept fairly quiet, but after about an hour, there was a tremendous “slamming noise” and one of the windows at the top of the building flew open and slammed shut with tremendous force: which was unusual because there was no wind at all and it was a peaceful, passive night. But we sensed something there. It was very difficult to put into words, but it was as if some unseen presence was aware of our every move.  Of course, this could have been helped by the dank chilly temperature and impenetratable black shadows that permeated the inside, but on top of this, an overwhelmingly claustrophobic atmosphere seemed to ensure we were totally ‘cut off’ from the world outside.

Then after midnight when we were facing the right end of the building inside the great front door (the left end of the building was where the stairs had collapsed which led to the entrance of the cellars or the crypt, or whatever it was), one of the girls there suddenly gasped and said she’d “seen a figure” that had come “out of the wall” and which had disappeared through a wall in the vicinity of the staircase.

We all spun around, but there was no visual sign of the figure the girl swore to seeing before it disappeared through a wall.  Geoff Jennings also said he had seen the moving shadow out of the corner of his eye as he’d turned around, but this was more by way of a ‘quick glimpse’ as it had disappeared by the wall.  In fact, it was quite light in there; at least away from the dark alcoves and corners of the walls.  There was a bright half-moon and because there was no roof in this part of the building, it was quite possible to see without torch-light. She described the greyish figure she had seen  as that of a lady wearing a floor-length dress. Again, if it was possible, the place had turned even colder.

We took photographs but that was really an afterthought because the figure had already disappeared.  But the terrible atmosphere remained. I wouldn’t call it “evil”,  but an intense sort of ominous force that was in there that was “watching you”. 

Once outside the building, it was almost as if a great weight had been lifted from our shoulders. You could hear the odd owl again, or animals in the undergrowth. It was rather like walking back into a different world.

So although I didn’t actually witness the figure myself, I certainly heard the heavy window shutter slam open and shut in the absence of any wind and experienced the compelling  atmosphere.

And seen the intact coffins lying in the family vault situated in seemingly unconcentrated ground.  An important factor that may well have contributed to local stories that this ‘roaming spectre’ might be a . . . ‘vampire’!

David Farrant