The Human Touch Blog - Page 2 of 74 - David Farrant - Psychic Investigator

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You Know Who You Are – And So Does Le Comte

Received a visit from an old friend on Thursday night, Rob Milne, who many will remember as Le Comte de Milano, the acclaimed international playboy, duellist and occultist who caused so much controversy in the UK a few years ago by fighting on the ‘Cause of right’ to defeat the forces of evil. This was only one milestone in his turbulent career . . . but it was sufficient to invoke the wrath of many so-called religious sects and groups in the UK after Le Comte had denounced them as all being ‘false prophets’! He was almost certainly right . . . they were! But disillusioned by all the hypocrisy of such individuals and their attempts to smear him on a global scale, Rob finally left the UK a few years ago to return to his ancestral roots in Northern Italy. He did need ‘a well-earned- rest’ as he confided to myself a few years ago; but we agreed to keep in contact. I was not in the least surprised therefore to hear from him a couple of weeks ago announcing that he had to return to the England for a while and ‘could we put him up for a couple of weeks’, as he had some a matter of ‘honour’ to sort out in the UK.

Of course, I said he was welcome, and lo and behold he turned up last Thursday

It turns out, as I suspected from several cryptic phonecalls and posts on my Blog and various forums, that Le Comte has been keeping a protective and watchful eye on the Land of Farrant, and the nefarious behaviour of those who would threaten its reputation – himself included. Le Comte after all is a long established member not only of The Highgate Vampire Society, but of The British Psychic and Occult society’s inner circle.

Anyway, he turned as expected after a long trip with his long-time paramour Veronica, armed with a bottle of best scotch whiskey, champagne and some bottles of wine . . . and he’s still here with his fair damsel!

But they are very welcome, and we’ve all had a great time catching up, and no doubt there will be more adventures to follow.

I was a bit surprised to learn though that since our last meeting ‘in the flesh’, Le Comte has followed in the footsteps of that other notorious libertine Lord Byron, and become a vegetarian. He claims that this maintains his equilibrium, and inhibits his desire to take up the rapier again. But judging by the things he was coming out with on Thursday his diet seems to be having quite the opposite effect. I have often wondered whether the self-denial of an innate urge for blood can provoke peculiar consequences in certain personalities . . .

Anyway, I will keep you all informed on Le Comte’s progress before he returns to his secret retreat in Northern Italy – once his business in the UK has been completed of course.

Well, that’s the latest for now everyone. And be back soon.

David.

P.S. – You may need to let the video below buffer briefly depending upon the speed of your internet connection.

David-and-Paul-laughing

From Fitzrovia to Highgate via Hampstead

Frights and Delights

Hello everyone,

Just to inform you that the 2nd Part of Dark Morte’s film on myself and the paranormal investigations of the British Psychic and Occult Society is now up on her YouTube channel. This episode is titled – perhaps appropriately – “Wicca, Paganism & Psychic Investigations” and carries on from Part 1 which concluded with a BPOS investigation in the Snowdonian Valley in 1985.  Amongst other things, I discuss the advancement of 20th century Wicca which, I point out, might well be much older (by thousands of years) than Gerald Gardner’s 1930s epoque as asserted by ‘New Age’ protagonists. Gardner’s book “Witchcraft Today” written in 1954 really gave way to this assertion of the ‘modernists’, but then, this only really amounts to a ‘book-shelf’ mentality which has somehow been turned into an unfounded myth by those in fact having no true knowledge or experience of the customs and traditions of true Wicca.

In anycase, you can watch part two of Darke Morte’s film here:

What other news?  Well last week my good friend Redmond McWilliams, and Secretary of the BPOS Patsy Langley, organised a walking tour of haunted Hampstead and Highgate, in conjunction with Redmond’s Facebook group ‘The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation Society’.  They had a big turnout, and the attendees for this seven mile long trek included Paul Adams (author of Written in Blood) and David Saunderson of The Spooky Isles.     Their walk took in the Bull & Bush pub, Jack Straw’s Castle, the Spaniards Inn, and of course Highgate Cemetery West, and was loosely based on this self-guided walk.  

Unluckily for them the Highgate ‘vampire’ did not come out to play.  Yes – like the ungracious and temperamental lower-astral realm cad that he is allegedly is, he didn’t even creep up on David Saunderson whilst this photograph was being taken, despite repeated calls from his fellow paranormal tourists of “He’s behind you!”

 

 

Holly bush

 

Still, a good time was had by all.   It was unsufferably hot in my Highgate flat on the day on account of the heatwave, and so sadly the anticipated after-party could not be accommodated this time around.  However, Paul, Della, David and myself have some other projects in the pipeline which will see the light of day very soon.   In the meantime, in case anyone missed it, here is my recent podcast for The Spooky Isles with Paul and David.  Enjoy everyone!

For now,

David

 

The Spooky Isles Podcast Ep. 5 – David Farrant with David Saunderson and Paul Adams

 

David and Paul laughing
Emma Dark Morte, Merlyn Roberts, Paul Adams and David Farrant at the launch of 'Written in Blood' July 2014 (c) Dave Milner / BPOS

Happy Birthday to You!

Well, I can honestly say that laziness is not the reason for my recent lack of Blog posts! (I really have got a true excuse this time!) Anyway, to bring you all up to date, there is a bit more news which I am sure some of you will already be aware of.

Dark Morte released the first part of her new video last week, which involves a questions and answers interview with myself by Dark Morte and ritual magician Jon Kaneko-James about the paranormal and, of course, the infamous Highgate ‘vampire’. Actually, to be accurate, that part of the interview (the Highgate ‘vampire’, has not been released yet, but I believe it will be in part 3 of 4. I will be putting all four parts of her video onto my Youtube channel as a playlist, so look out for that, but here is part 1 to be getting on with:

By the way I should point out that the interview in its entirety forms part 6 of Dark Morte’s’s Frights and Delights series of documentaries and interviews. Dark Morte also writes a Blog for the Spooky Isles, and you can check out more of her professional work here:

+ Official website – http://darkmorte.com
+ Facebook fan page – https://www.facebook.com/the.dark.pri
+ Twitter – https://twitter.com/Dark_Morte

I caught up with Dark Morte and her partner Merlyn (who is responsible for the marvellous Frights and Delights camera work) again on Saturday at the launch of my good friend and fellow author Paul Adams’s new book ‘Written in Blood – A Cultural History of the British Vampire.’ Dark Morte and her cosplaying friend and colleague The Daywalker Rebooted were in attendance as Selene from Underworld and legendary vampire-slayer Blade, in Dark Morte’s words to ‘safely keep any problematic Lycans and Vampires away ;-)’. Well that made us feel in safe hands! It was lucky for Gareth J. Medway however that they didn’t notice him in the crowd, else he would have been quickly staked, no doubt!

Emma Darke Morte as Selene Paul Adams and The Daywalker Rebooted (c) Dave Milner / BPOS 2014
Dark Morte as Selene, Paul Adams, and Rune / The Daywalker Rebooted (c) Dave Milner / BPOS 2014

 

The launch went very well, and had a great attendance with representation from The Ghost Club, The Society for Psychical Research, The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation, The British Psychic and Occult Society, The Spooky Isles, and London Haunts and Horrors, as well as many fans of the gothic and vampire genres. BPOS cameraman Dave Milner attended and filmed the event for those who could not make it, and you can watch the video below.

I was very proud to be asked to deliver the keynote opening speech at the launch, and extremely pleased that the first book containing original and accurate observations about the Highgate case to be published for quite some time received such an enthusiastic reception. Well done Paul! And Happy First Birthday to your book! I am sure it will still be going strong when it enjoys its 70th!

Emma Dark Morte, Merlyn Roberts, Paul Adams and David Farrant at the launch of 'Written in Blood' July 2014 (c) Dave Milner / BPOS
Dark Morte, Merlyn Roberts, Paul Adams and David Farrant at the launch of ‘Written in Blood’ July 2014 (c) Dave Milner / BPOS

What else? Well before the launch, Paul and David Saunderson of The Spooky Isles conducted a podcast interview with myself, which is now online. It was fun to discuss subjects other than the Highgate ‘vampire’, such as the past, present and future of psychical research, and some other cases which the BPOS have investigated over the years. You can listen to the podcast at this link.

David Farrant, David Saunderson and Paul Adams recording a podcast for The Spooky Isles July 12th 2014 (c) Dave Milner / BPOS
David Farrant, David Saunderson and Paul Adams recording a podcast for The Spooky Isles July 12th 2014 (c) Dave Milner / BPOS

We had a small ‘gathering’ at my home in Muswell Hill after the event, to wind down and discuss the launch (and have some coffee, pizza and wine in no particular order!), which was a good opportunity to reflect upon a very successful and positivity filled day. Just one question remains – who was the solitary and silent man of mystery with the crash helmet, seemingly afflicted with shyness, sketching away very professionally like a court-room artist? Apparently, although I did not see them myself, he caught some very good likenesses of the young ladies present, but didn’t sketch any men. If you are reading this then please do get in touch, I don’t bite! And perhaps your sketches could be featured on my Blog!

Well that’s it for now everyone, I think I might give myself a week off. That said, I’m sure there is something ‘important’ about tomorrow, or something I need to do … maybe it will come back to me in my well-earned sleep.

David Farrant

President, British Psychic and Occult Society, etc., etc.

 

 

 

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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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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Vampires back in Highgate full page 001
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 . . .

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In Part Two: David on Spirits and Religion