Some Vampire History

Left to right: David Farrant, Colette and Nathalie

Oh dear, sorry it’s been late again, everyone, since the blog last Friday.

In fact, I really have been very busy working on the second volume of “Shadows in the Night”.  Luckily, my friend Gareth was here again tonight, and we got a considerable amount of work done to an unfinished chapter.  Gareth usually comes on a Friday, but unfortunately he had a ‘prior engagement’ yesterday, and was unable to make it.  Actually, he does go to some rather ‘secretive’ places on some Fridays, but on this occasion it was a private ceremony which was for the purposes of healing the planet.  I kid you not!  Gareth is really an environmentalist at heart, and this is reflected in any magical ceremonies that he is invited to participate in.

Anyway, back to the book: as I might have mentioned before, in 1980 I was visited by Jean-Paul Bourre and his then companion Natalie (who was a journalist on a large French newspaper).  Bourre was (then) just about in the final stages of completing his book “Messes Rouges et Romantisme Noire”, and he wanted to include a chapter on myself and my investigation into the ‘Highgate Vampire’.  They turned up unexpectedly one day, and my wife Collette invited them in, because she was also very interested in the Highgate Vampire case.  We chatted in my flat for several hours; Natalie doing most of the translation herself, as Jean-Paul Bourre’s English was not that good.

Later, we went to visit Highgate Cemetery itself, and they were both impressed by the structural architecture of the cemetery – and of course, in the stories that a ‘vampire’ had once lurked there.  We showed them around the cemetery without any hindrance, as, for some reason, on this particular afternoon, the main gates had been left fully open.

We showed them the vault in which it was said the ‘vampire’ had had a ‘narrow escape’ in being ‘staked’ after being discovered by a small group of would-be vampire hunters.  Stories also abounded at the time about a group of Satanists who had been using Highgate Cemetery to perform their evil rites.

Bourre thought this point to be quite amusing, in view of the fact, he said, he was often being described as a Satanist in France, when in fact he was only a Luciferian.  I asked him what the difference was, and he again laughed, and quoted to us an old French satirical joke, which he hoped he said would explain this.

He said that in the 1890s, this was a point of strong contention in France, but in reality Satanism had nothing to do with Luciferianism, and he was only involved in the latter.  The joke he cited, perhaps proved his point . . . one Léo Taxil had published several books regarding this controversy, in which he claimed that the Satanists and Luciferians regarded each other as ‘heretics’.

Bourre sympathised with the fact that both Collette and myself were really Wiccans, and – like himself – were not involved in the somewhat more dangerous practices of Satanism.  During our visit to Highgate Cemetery, we took some photographs; the one which appears above shows myself, Collette and Natalie, and the photograph was obviously taken by Jean-Paul Bourre.

Anyway, the book is going well, and on schedule, and both Gareth and myself have decided that the above photograph will be used among the illustrations.

Hope you will not have to wait so long for another blog, everyone, but as I said at the onset, we have been a little busy!

David Farrant

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