The Human Touch Blog

David Farrant sequenza di apertura vampiro all'attenzione - Copy

To Be Or Not To Be? – We’ll See!

Hi Everybody,

You remember that forthcoming film I told you about due for release soon? Well, I’ve just had some news, so now its apparently OK to release a little more about the project . . .

Well, after the Symposium last year, I’m really just a little fed up with ‘vampires’!   But apparently people in good old Italy don’t feel the same way. They love them, and anything to do with them! I’ve learnt this from personal experience in the past, but it was really brought home to me recently after two aspiring Italian film students approached me personally after attending July’s Symposium. They were absolutely intrigued by tales of the Highgate Vampire and found it difficult to believe that there really was not some fact behind all the sensationalised fiction. They even suggested that maybe I could be persuaded to feature symbolically at the outset of the film portraying a ‘real vampire’ about to visit an innocent young damsel in her bedroom at night … But I had to decline this at the onset, notwithstanding they had already prepared some pre-promotional shots for a film mag to advertise their project!

So the two students, Sophia and Bethany, decided to contact me personally to see if I might be able to help with their film project. I am not really at liberty to disclose the plot in full; (and in any event I do not know it) but essentially it involves a young Italian girl who, after qualifying for a film career in Naples at University, had a frightening experience whilst visiting London in the 1960s to investigate a black magic Cult practising there. Perhaps not surprisingly the location chosen was a rambling old house was Highgate, North London, where several unsuspecting young people had fallen under the influence of this ‘Satanic Cult’ that was operating in Highgate Cemetery at the time.

Now, the fact that this had actually happened in reality, and the two young film makers were acquainted with the true facts underlying this case (facts which they had heard exposed by several witnesses attending the Symposium) did not appear to have dimmed their enthusiasm: indeed, they thought this would make an excellent film project for their own highly Catholicised country. The ‘shock value’, I suppose, being ‘diabolical practices’ that are seen to be openly displayed publicly (albeit by means of commitment to celluloid) , and are blatantly opposed to the traditional standards of the Catholic faith.

Whatever, I had to agree that the whole subject provided potential for using actual facts as the basis for creating a non-fiction film. The rest is really up to them!

All this happened last week – at least our provisional meeting did. Can only really wait and see what happens now . . . but I will keep you all up to date on this new venture.

I’m just as interested as you all are!

David (Farrant).

David Farrant sequenza di apertura vampiro all'attenzione - Copy
Swains Lane at night

YET ANOTHER HIGHGATE CEMETERY GHOST SIGHTING

When Della’s Farrant’s popular book on ghosts and hauntings, Haunted Highgate, first hit the shelves of national and local bookshops in October 2014, it caused not least a bit of surprise amongst the residents of this quaint old London village. Highgate – or rather its bordering Highgate Cemetery – had already been entrenched within the public persona as being the haunt of a blood-thirsty vampire: a story that owed its roots most probably to the activities of Hammer Horror films who chose the cemetery as a popular location in the late 1960s/early 1970s to make some of its most favourited Dracula movies. Stories of a ‘vampire’ abounded (most likely due to the success of these movies), but these also conflicted with many other stories of different ghosts and haunted locations that seemed to abound in the Highgate area. As a result, Highgate became associated with a mass of volatile ‘vampire’ stories which inevitably became entangled with much older stories of ghosts and legends, that originally took precedence in Highgate’s history.

It seemed Della was faced with the formidable job of trying to unravel an absurd mix of fact and fiction (or rather, what constituted fiction as opposed to genuine stories and legend) when undertaking research for her book, and still accounts come to light from people who, having read her book, are reminded of experiences of a ghostly encounters they may have had themselves, that have persuaded them to make contact.

The account below from former Highgate resident Declan Walsh is just one of these. In fact, Declan’s account was mentioned in a much shortened version in the book, but he subsequently made contact again with Della via her website hidden-highgate.org and was asked for more details about his sighting in Swains Lane – the eerie lane that skirts Highgate Cemetery – back in November 1991 . . .

Thank you to Declan for sharing his memories, and to Della for helping to collate stories such as Declan’s for posterity.

David Farrant

 

Having found your website and read some of the stories I felt I had to tell you of my experience on Swain’s Lane.

I used to work at a community NHS unit near Parliament Hill Fields and I often walked to work from my flat just off the Archway Road. A lovely walk in the summer but on a cold, damp autumnal morning…I would walk briskly. There were a number of ways to get to work but the quickest one was via Swain’s Lane. It was steep and quite narrow in parts and as you near the halfway point to your left is the East section of Highgate Cemetery. I have visited the cemetery many times as a legitimate visitor and as a kid during the 60’s / 70’s who climbed over at night with his mates. It is fair to say that I had a pretty good knowledge of the cemetery.

This particular morning (6.30 a.m.) in November 1991 I was walking towards the cemetery gates when I spotted him. He was walking directly towards the gates and about 200 yards away from me. I don’t know how I knew it, but I instinctively knew something was wrong. He was extremely tall, well over six feet in height and he was very thin. He wore a long black cape-like coat and a top hat. His dress looked Victorian in style and he appeared all black. He also carried a small package. However, he walked directly towards the gates which I and every other local knew was locked to prevent intruders gaining entry. I watched as he walked straight at and through the gates, not once altering his stride or reaching out to open the gates. I stood frozen to the spot and stared at the gates. I kept thinking “Those gates are locked. I know they are locked”.

I walked towards the gates whilst keeping to the right hand side of the road, keeping some distance between myself and the figure who had disappeared once he had entered the cemetery. The gates were securely chained and padlocked. To get in one would need the key or would have to climb over. I stared at the gates and I realised that I had seen someone not human. It’s funny what details stick in your mind because as well as his extreme height, thinness, the clothing and the blackness of the figure, he also appeared to glide and there was no sound. The ground was littered with leaves yet I heard no sound from him nor did he take any notice of me.

I have to confess I made it into work in record time and one of my colleagues stated “You look as though you’ve seen a ghost”. When I told them what I had seen I was met with laughter and ridicule.

However, I know what I saw that morning and I remember it distinctly to this day.
As I saw the figure my instincts / feelings were of dread. It sounds very corny but I felt cold and full of dread. I recognised as I watched that something was wrong and immediately afterwards my instinct was to run. In the weeks and months afterwards I avoided that spot and to be honest I used other routes to get to work. I also reran it all through my mind and questioned whether I had really seen this apparition. I don’t recall having ever dreamed about the event or the apparition. When I think about it now I realise how lucky I was to have had this experience although at the time I certainly did not think so.

As to whether it was a vampire…I have absolutely no idea as to the existence of vampires although I do believe I saw an apparition.

Declan Walsh (2015)

Swains Lane at night
Swains Lane at night

 

Carrie Kirkpatrick and Sam Perrin - Why Highgate session - The Highgate Vampire Symposium 2015 (c) Della Farrant

New Highgate Vampire Symposium video uploaded

As promised everyone,

Just an update on the latest uploaded session of the Symposium, which was released today.

This session – “Why Highgate? Liminal Space and Environmental Influences” – ‘stars’ Carrie Kirkpatrick, High Priestess of Hecate and founder of Oracle Television, and former Highgate Cemetery tour guide and historical blogger Sam Perrin.

It is always a pleasure for me to hear new accounts of unexplained phenomena in the Highgate area, and indeed about the experiences of other magical practitioners.

I am sure you will all agree with me that this filmed footage is both enlightening and engaging.  Well done Sam and Carrie!

And do keep an eye out, my dear readers, for the next uploaded session – many more witness accounts to come!

For now,

David

 

We can do the looking, all you have to do is the reading!  Happy 2016  David Farrant

2016 APPROACHETH . . .

Well, the New Year is nearly here, and once the crazy celebrations are out of the way tomorrow, we hope to catch up on some long over-due news items.  There are already at least 3 pre-recorded films of the Highgate ‘vampire’ case scheduled for release by independent Film Companies and Broadcasters, although I am  limited to what I can say about these until they  have been made public.  I would love to be able to tell you: but alas, I can’t being bound by contract.  But you will not be disappointed, I can assure you of that!

And then,of course, there are the two remaining episodes from The Highgate Vampire Symposium 2015 which will be uploaded for you in the next few weeks. (Just ‘Watch this Space’, as they say!).  Really the Symposium films should have been completed by now as all the episodes have now been filmed and are just ‘waiting to go’!  Unfortunately, as many of you know by now,  a certain ‘Bonky person’  took exception to the Truth coming out and tried to suppress the coverage as this didn’t suit his frivolous ‘vampire story’   But it didn’t work and so people will be free to watch the whole film saga in just a few weeks. It appeared the person just got tired of playing with his Hornby train set in his bungalow and wanted to spoil the enjoyment of others,, not least by releasing photographs of himself stuffing down his displayed Christmas dinner and surrounded by cheap Christmas decorations instead!  (All photographed for self-publicity and some sympathetic effect, of course!).

But anyway, life goes on, and we do hope that you can join us all for the New Year, and perhaps take solace in the more serious issues that life has to offer!

Happy New Year when this inevitably comes now the day after tomorrow . . .

David

We can do the looking, all you have to do is the reading! Happy 2016 David Farrant
We can do the looking, all you have to do is the reading! Happy 2016 David Farrant

 

 

 

 

df black christmas hat

ALL SO QUIET . . .

df black christmas hat

Seven hours into Boxing Day and it’s all so quiet. A solitary car passed by about half an hour ago but the birds had not woken up yet in darkened Highgate Wood across the road; only a lone fox could be heard barking intermittently from its sleeping confines.

But all in all it was a very quiet day . . . at least from a ‘physical’ point of view of having to expend energy on socialising or entertaining guests. There weren’t any! We had just decided to have an uneventful Christmas day instead.

In fact, things have been very hectic of late, although perhaps not quite as bad as events leading up to The Highgate Vampire Symposium 2015 which took place last July. That involved a lot of organization and work but, after all’s said and done, it was a huge success and well worth it. The whole thing was successfully filmed throughout its 7 hours of sessions, but ‘unofficially’ it went on much longer than that as speaker Patsy Langley led an hour and a half long “Ghost Walk” around Highgate and the borders of its famous cemetery afterwards and, after that, quite a few people came back to my Highgate-based home for further discussion.

There are approximately 3 sessions left now, and these will be especially interesting ones: we have Carrie Kirkpatrick, a local TV producer and presenter from Highgate who is well acquainted with the area and has participated in Pagan ceremonies in mysterious Queens Woods; ex-Highgate Cemetery tour guide Samantha Perrin who runs an Internet site devoted to research into the history of The Magnificent Seven and its slumbering occupants – including Highgate Cemetery. In the following session we also have paranormal author John Fraser, a longstanding member of three of the oldest paranormal research organisations in the UK (the SPR, The Ghost Club and ASSAP) sitting with American Broadcaster Gareth Davies, Founder of Mindset Central, and author and parapsychologist, Andy Mercer, whose writings and research into the paranormal and the Occult have appeared in his many published articles and books.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy the final two or three Symposium sessions when these are put up, but they’ll be advertised well in advance on line so you don’t miss them.

All the best from Della and myself for the coming new year.

David (Farrant).

 

Symposium Vampire Theory Q and A

‘VAMPIRE’ CASE CLOSED

I expect most of you will have heard by now (especially those who have been following the Highgate ‘vampire’ saga over years) that the current video from the Highgate Vampire Symposium 2015, “The Vampire Theory” Part 2, was suspended by You Tube recently following a complaint made by one Patrick Sean Manchester again myself for ‘copyright infringement’. Mr Manchester insisted that he had undertaken Court action and demanded the permanent removal of this session while Court proceedings were pending. This would have a perfectly reasonable request . . . if true. The only problem was – it wasn’t! While it is true that Mr Manchester made the complaint cited above, it is NOT true that Mr Manchester had instigated any legal action to substantiate his complaint against myself and was therefore unable to supply any evidence to YouTube to the effect he had done so.

Accordingly, the video was restored on December 10th and people are now able to view it at

should they wish to do so (it is approximately 58 mins in length).

The Symposium was compered by publisher Paul Adams of Limbury Press, and the Speakers in this session included: author and paranormal researcher Jon Kaneko-James; Patricia Langley, whose book The Highgate Vampire Casebook caused quite a furore among esoteric circles upon its publication in 2007 and Dr. Jacqueline Simpson the former Secretary of the Folklore Society whose book Lore of the Land [2005] contained a detailed chapter on the so called Highgate ‘vampire’ case. I was also invited to give my humble opinion on some of the evidence presented to the Speakers during this session.

Some of this related ‘evidence’ was screened for the audience to see and was directly relevant to what the panels of expert witnesses had volunteered to discuss. Invariably this basically involved the published affirmations of some other people to the Media – including authors such as the late Peter Underwood – that the long-sighted apparition or ‘ghost’ witnessed at Highgate Cemetery was in reality a ‘blood-sucking ‘vampire’!

This latter point, of course, was one of the main objectives for holding the Symposium; to finally allow a team of experts to sift through the available evidence and decide how much of this was reliable in suggesting some ‘vampiric entity’ (or similar) could have been a possible causation for many of the ghostly sightings.

The Symposium proper lasted for approximately 7 hours, and by the end of this time, most people present – including the audience – concluded that while something had undoubtedly been witnessed in and around Highgate Cemetery (indeed, was still being witnessed) there was no real evidence to point to ‘vampires’ apart from earlier years in the cemetery’s history when in the late 1960s and early 1970s Hammer Horror Films had used the cemetery to film some of their most famous ‘Dracula films’. The rest was really just history – and fictional history at that!

David Farrant, President, British Psychic and Occult Society.

 

David Farrant (c) Gareth Davies Mind Set Central

LATEST SYMPOSIUM FILM COVERAGE

David Farrant (c) Gareth Davies Mind Set Central
David Farrant (c) Gareth Davies Mind Set Central

Don’t worry everyone – I’m still here! But I have been kept pretty busy lately, hence no recent Blogs. Just to announce really that Part 2 of the Highgate Vampire Symposium 2015, The Vampire Theory, has now been released.

Guests include paranormal author and researcher Patsy Langley and folklorist Jacqueline Simpson, both of whom continue to discuss the Highgate ‘Vampire’ case. Compere Paul Adams and myself also discuss the actual evidence available for the alleged existence of a blood-sucking vampire in and around Highgate Cemetery. Enjoy everyone!

As I’ve said before, the complete 7 hour session (Sunday July 19th, 1-8pm) was professionally filmed, although the day proved to be much longer than that with Patsy Langley leading a Highgate Ghost Walk after 8pm and many guests and Speakers coming back to my ‘humble abode’ afterwards. All in all, it was a VERY long day. And still on the Monday morning, people were calling in to say their goodbyes.

One of these was Gareth Davies (from (Mindset Central fame) who was one of the Speakers at the Symposium, and his brother Richard. We all had some coffee (or maybe tea – I really can’t remember). Gareth was due to head back to Los Angeles a few days later and wanted to put a short interview with myself about the Symposium on film to take back to America. Well, that was fine by me – the exhaustion of the previous five months arranging all the details for the event with Della, finally being over. Here is the interview again if anybody missed it on my Facebook Profile page (about 20 minutes).

Well, hope you enjoy the late ‘catch up/s’ – although not really so late as there’s still two more filmed sessions to release for you all and this current one was only released 2 days ago.

Enjoy,

David Farrant.

David Farrant Gaggia Caffe TV

2 new videos in one week!

Hello again everyone. Here is the link to the 4th part of the Highgate Vampire Symposium as promised yesterday – or rather the day before yesterday! Anyway, you can watch it now although, in fact, it was released yesterday on a few other internet sites. I hope you can all be patient about any delay in getting these episodes published here or elsewhere ; it has not been an easy project – at least, in collating and editing the full 7 hour film coverage. Anyway, here it is:

Also, I mentioned in my last entry that a couple of surprise ‘Hallowe’en specials’ would be up here very soon, so here is one of them.

It is an interview I gave last month (September) about the Highgate Vampire case – or more precisely, my views on this (with which my name came to be inextricably linked) and ‘ghosts’ and other unexplained phenomena. Toby Kirkup, who is originally from Yorkshire and who interviewed me for Gaggia Caffe TV, asked some very interesting questions. It was a pleasure to converse with him about matters ‘Beyond the Highgate Vampire’!

I hope you all enjoy the films folks,

David

Highgate Vampire Symposium - Highgate and the Occult

Part 2 Now Live – Highgate & The Occult

As some of you who follow my YouTube channel may be aware, we have been uploading more filmed sessions from July’s Highgate Symposium 2015.

Here is the second part of Highgate and the Occult. Those taking part in this session are:

David Farrant, Charles Walker, Fox the Rebel, Geraldine Beskin owner of the Atlantis Bookshop, and compere and paranormal author Paul Adams.

Charles discusses his investigations into with a group known as the Friends of Hecate, who were operating at Clapham Wood, West Sussex, and into another group known as The Black Cathedral, a Black Magic sect which had been practicing their bizarre ceremonies in a house in Highgate and possibly even inside Highgate Cemetery.

Fox the Rebel defines the true motivations behind the practice of necromancy which was also taking place in Highgate Cemetery during the 1960s and 1970s (and possibly beyond), and Geraldine Beskin and David Farrant discuss the occult movement as this emerged from the ‘Flower Power era’ of ‘free love’ and mysticism as this unfolded in the throughout the 1960’s and ‘70’s.

I do hope you all enjoy it, if you haven’t already seen it.

We have a couple more interviews connected with Highgate Cemetery and its spectral entity (not connected with the Highgate Vampire Symosium) coming up in the Hallowe’en week, but we’ll keep these as a surprise for readers here – although we’ll keep you all posted, so watch this space! . . .

Oh – I almost forgot – “The Vampire Theory – Part One” will be uploaded tomorrow 😉

David Farrant.

Highgate Vampire Symposium - Highgate and the Occult

“BLOG ON” . . .

Hello everyone

Just to keep you all up to date on here: Part 2 of the Highgate Vampire Symposium 2015 is now up and running on my YouTube channel as well as also being linked from my Facebook profile page. We want to keep all these parts together as and when these are released, simply for the sake of easy reference. Part 2 – Haunted Highgate : A Paranormal Chronology – is presented by Redmond McWilliams, founder of The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation Society over on Facebook. I am sure you will all agree that Redmond does a sterling job in condensing such a complicated sequence of events, in order to prepare members of the Symposium for things yet to come!

Part 3 is ALSO on YouTube. In this, Highgate and the Occult 1 /2, Paul Adams continues to question myself about my involvement in the ‘infamous’ case of the so-called ‘Highgate Vampire’, and the Society’s discovery that a group of dedicated Satanists were using Highgate Cemetery to perform their clandestine nightly rituals in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But I am not the only speaker! We also hear from Charles Walker of Clapham Woods notoriety, who discusses his research into a Highgate-based cult and his own intimidation by Black Magical practitioners.

We are not exactly sure at this stage how many Parts the finished film footage will contain. There are 14 Speakers to include and that, of course, does not account for comments and observations from the audience. We did, of course make provisions for this from the outset, and kept Speakers essential time down to a minimum to accompany their essential points.

But don’t worry. We’ll get there!

All for now everyone,

David (Farrant).