Vampire, unexplained phenomenon or outright hoax? David Farrant re-visits the myths and realities of the infamous Highgate Vampire panic that occurred in London in the late 1960’s. David’s investigations into the case brought it worldwide fame, but also led to his ‘witchcraft’ trial at the Old Bailey in 1974 and a subsequent term of imprisonment. He is author of the best selling book Beyond the Highgate Vampire.
Thus reads the programme description for the Talk I am scheduled to give at the ASSAP Conference at Bath University on Saturday September 6th this year. It shouldn’t really surprise anyone that I was invited to talk on the so-called Highgate ‘vampire’ as the British Psychic and Occult Society investigation into this complicated case in the late 1960s became the subject of much controversy involving police arrests and court cases and the claims of certain other people that the spectre witnessed in and around Highgate Cemetery was, in reality, a ‘blood-sucking vampire’! Not so, I pointed out at a the time. Stories of a genuine psychic entity – or ‘ghost – seen in the vicinity were definitely authentic (at least the reports themselves were), but some other reports of this being a ‘vampire’, were ‘just pure fiction’. I said as much to the Finchley and Hampstead Advertiser in 1987: that the original reports of an unexplained phenomenon in the area were authentic – stories of a ‘vampire’ were just the result of a hoax perpetrated by just a small handful of people.
Obviously, I will be expounding on this in the Talk itself, so people can still attend should they wish to as I believe tickets are still available.
The Conference begins with an introductory speech from the Rev Lionel Fanthorpe (who many may remember from Fortean TV), but many other ‘psychic celeberaties’ will be speaking over this 3-day Conference, and I understand the Saturday night dinner and disco are also included in the price of the ticket.
Other ‘Blog news’ news?
Well things have been pretty quiet recently. Della and myself have just been catching up on a few mundane things, but otherwise enjoying the heat. I’ve ‘switched back’ to cold beer in this weather (found some that’s 10%!) as our flat does tend to trap the heat. It does overlook Highgate Woods luckily, so not too much smoke or noise, and we can just walk over and lie in the shade if we want.
Then only a couple of days ago, somebody from abroad sent me a photograph to illustrate a quote I was once supposed to have made. I have posted it, but I seriously don’t remember making the quote – even if it might be applicable! I don’t know. But no doubt some of you might have your own opinions?!
So, all for now everyone. But I do hope some of you can make it down to ASSAP. There are plenty of others speaking for any who don’t particularly want to hear myself. (There, that’s not vain, is it!?)
For the moment,