David Farrant : In The Shadow of the Highgate Vampire
Highgate born, bred and nearly destroyed, David Farrant has now become as closely linked to the area, as the infamous ‘Highgate Vampire’ story that he first broke to worldwide media attention four decades ago – a story that resulted in his eventual arrest and imprisonment. Well known psychic investigator and author of over two dozen books, David Farrant has taken two of his biggest selling books ‘Dark Secrets’ and ‘Shadows in the Night’, and combined them; adding over a hundred new pages featuring never before seen photographs from his personal collection, to bring you this definitive autobiography.
Brutally honest and refreshingly candid, this autobiographical story charts David’s life from his childhood in Highgate, through to his travels across Europe as a headstrong fifteen year old after the death of his beloved mother.
The voyage of self discovery takes him from the grounds of private schools (from which he was frequently expelled) to the seedy backstreets of France, and through the mountains of Spain before finally returning home to Highgate only to face public and worldwide scrutiny over the infamous Highgate Vampire episode.
A veritable Who’s Who of celebrities and villains are also referenced, from the Kray twins; the death of Joe Meek (wrongly asserted by some to be the result of a hex devised by David); the sinister neighbour who turned out to be mass murderer Dennis Nilson; visits at his parents’ home from Spike Milligan, to his friendship with Graham Chapman of ‘Monty Python’ fame. Those with an avid curiosity about David’s personal life will also not be disappointed – but be prepared to be shocked!
As we return with David to 1960s and 1970s Britain, we are invited to experience the moral climate of the day, that broad gulf which stretched between the entrenched attitudes of the old order, and a post-war generation that was embracing never before known freedoms and opportunities at a giddily accelerating pace.
David provides the reader with a unique and personal insight into the sensibility of this era of Highgate’s history. He details his experiences within the relatively safe confines of a Barnet Wiccan coven, and his break away movement into a more dangerous experimental magic. Even in the world of the occult and organised alternative religion the younger generation were rebelling against the restrictions imposed therein. And the occult itself had become a popular fascination for many; a new and exciting world which was the thing to be ‘into’ – but which was also the catalyst which contributed to the legacy afforded by many of the well known personalities in occult and paranormal circles today.
There are clear differences between the Wiccan beliefs and practices, and explorative High Magic techniques he describes at length in his book, and the darker, often Satanic practices he was accused of by the popular press, including black masses, naked orgies, and necromancy.
Many incidents recounted in this volume have themselves attained cult status. Recurrent ‘occult duels’ between David and rival ‘occultists’, often complete with pre-battle publicity shots, were chronicled by the local and national press. Their readers, with tongue firmly in cheek, anxiously awaited the outcome of these frightful duels to the death (or, more correctly, to first blood). We also find out the truth behind the Daily Express and The Sun’s accusations that David had kidnapped and sacrificed the blues singer Long John Baldry’s cat.
It was against this backdrop that David’s involvement with the phenomenon which is now known as the Highgate Vampire began. Local sightings of a dark entity in and around Highgate Cemetery led to an investigation by the British Psychic and Occult Occult Society of which David remains Founder President. Amid escalating press hysteria maintaining that a real-life bloodsucking vampire was terrorising North London, the Society continued its attempts to decipher the true nature of the shadowy aggressor, and its connection with Satanic activity within the tombs of the cemetery. Various ceremonies, detailed within this volume, were conducted within the cemetery in an attempt to make contact with the entity, with varying degrees of success. These attracted the unwelcome attention not only of other occult groups, but also the Police who had begun to keep a close watch on David’s activities.
By the time of the arrest which led to his trial, David had already been arrested three times – essentially for the practice of magical rituals in public places, regardless of how these charges had been worded in point of law. Eventually David’s impulsiveness and headstrong defiance was catching up with him. A dossier of circumstantial and fabricated evidence had been compiled which identified him as the principle cause of the vandalism and desecration which had defiled once peaceful Highgate Cemetery. His now admittedly misguided decision to send voodoo effigies as a warning to police officers who had assaulted a society member was probably the final straw. The police had long made it very clear that they considered him a public nuisance and an outrage, and his time was running out…
The eyes in this face were so diabolic, so full of unprecedented evil, that it was only with difficulty that I tore my eyes away from its gaze. But even then, I could feel its terrible eyes upon me; it seemed to be compelling me to look at it once more. I fought against this instinct with fanatical determination. For some reason, I knew that if I looked into those eyes once again, I would become possessed by its being, merged forever with its evil. Yet the more I resisted, the more my strength seemed to be draining away. I could hear the two priests laughing, and I realised then that they were servitors of the demonic creature.
A Note from the Author
Why the need for a new autobiography? Simple. With the advent of the internet, a lot has been said about me and my life by people with an agenda to discredit me. Whilst it was interesting to see what lengths people would go to in the early days, a close friend suggested that I take on board all of the comments and answer the critics – who better than me to tell you about my life? A lot of readers said they felt there were important parts of my life missing from my two previous autobiographical volumes, so here, for the very first time, is a complete, concise account of my life from the beginning right up until the events of ’74 when I found myself facing a long prison sentence. Rather than take an all too easy way out, I have been pushed by close friends who have told me to leave no stone unturned as truth is sometimes far stranger than fiction.
Volume II, which is now complete and also available, picks up the story from the last page of Volume I and includes never before seen court transcripts of my trial and the aftermath.
At 275 pages, it has been a daunting task to go over the events of my life whilst picking at old wounds to scribe new blood into the story. I hope you, as the reader, will have a better understanding of the truth as it actually happened.
The book has been a labour of love that many people have tried to stop me from completing whilst going to extraordinary lengths in the process.
For me, the final volume looks as good as it reads, with a cover that I hope does some justice to the pages within.
I do hope you enjoy the read!
|Publisher||British Psychic & Occult Society|
|Date of Publication||23/01/09|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Country of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Imprint||British Psychic & Occult Society|
|Content Note||20 pages of black and white illustrations|
|Edition Statement||First edition|