WHEN: Hallowe’en 2012
AT: The Gatehouse, Highgate North London
FOR: North London Paranormal Investigations (N.L.P.I.)
This event was headed up by Master of Ceremonies: Mickey Gocool, Founder of North London Paranormal Investigations N.L.P.I., and took place at the Gatehouse pub in Highgate Village on October 27th 2012. Hallowe’en was not until Wednesday that year, but it was obviously scheduled a bit earlier to enable people to attend at the weekend. I was invited to give a keynote talk on the so-called Highgate ‘vampire’, which was particularly relevant as many sightings of a tall dark figure in The Gatehouse itself have been attributed to this mysterious entity.
David Farrant’s introductory speech
Among the other speakers were Patsy Langley (Secretary of the British Psychic and Occult Society and author of the Highgate Vampire Casebook); Jason Hollis who was the time preparing his book Haunted Enfield; Shar Ray, a private investigator and paranormal researcher who came over from America especially for the occasion, and Mickey Gocool himself who demonstrated some of his ghost hunting equipment via a live-link to a vigil in the reputedly haunted basement, and later led a long ghost walk through Highgate, taking in many of the haunted locales in the area.
Patsy Langley’s Talk, was very well-received, and discussed the research which went into The Highgate Vampire Casebook, an academic work which finally blows the lid off of the legend, cutting away at the falsehoods, mistruths and outright lies about the Vampire and its supposed Eastern European origin. A concise in-depth study of the Vampire hoax, the book offers new insights into the truth behind the myth which have clearly been overlooked by the more gullible. Rather than lose itself in whimsical ideas, it pulls no punches and goes for the jugular, backing up facts from Census Records, Wills & Probate & the University of Cambridge archives, amongst other sources.
Patsy Langley’s Talk about Highgate’s haunted history
Patsy first became interested in Highgate Cemetery during her research into the Pre-Raphaelite painters and poets for her University studies. She has a degree in Earth Sciences and Humanities, has contributed articles on ley line theory and ghostly phenomenon for ‘The Highgate Vampire Casebook Files’ magazine.
Other guests included GhostQuest UK and Gillian Trench of The WOE Girls (Witches of Essex). It was a long but pleasant day, starting at 3pm and not finishing until after midnight. People were invited to wear fancy dress for the last part of the evening, and a mysterious figure, eerily resembling the Gatehouse ghost appeared seemingly out of nowhere at the appointed time. He/she spoke to nobody, but appeared to be paying close attention to regulars of the pub, seemingly gleaning some information which was found greatly amusing for at some points he/she was observed to dissolve into great thundering guffaws of laughter whilst listening to the locals’ recollections of events in the late 1960s concerning myself – and a generally apparent lack of recollection regarding a certain other individual’s name. Who this mysteriously garbed person was still remains a mystery – although undoubtedly their presence was not entirely coincidental. He/she did not escape the numerous cameras present however, some of which managed to capture this tall, dark figure looming amongst the crowds. I must say, it ‘freaked a lot of people out’ to the extent that many locals were witnessed trying to converse with the silent figure and observed saying … ‘Take that bloody mask off – I don’t like talking to masks!!” It didn’t. The mysterious figure just kept observing and listening in on the renegade locals in question.
I hope you enjoy some of these photos from the event! David Farrant.