Yes it is true. Gareth Davies of Mindset Central / Paratalk fame passed away two days ago. The loss of such an all-round great guy, and shrewd investigator and broadcaster, has ripped through the paranormal and truth-seeking communities. Personally speaking, I am gutted and like a lot of people who knew Gareth I just can’t stop crying.
Gareth, who was born in Wales but had lived in Los Angeles for over half his life, was a valued friend of David and myself. Gareth and David had corresponded by post since the 1990s, and later via email and videochats etc. As David has also passed away the duty falls to me alone to thank our friend for all the loyalty and kindness which he extended to us over the years. A more genuine person would be impossible to find. His loss is felt tangibly and very deeply. There are MANY people who will never forget him.
Gareth died suddenly, leaving behind a family who depend upon him. If you can spare anything at all towards helping the family cover his funeral costs donations via Paypal can be sent via [email protected] – please reference your payment as Gareth Davies. Just a dollar each from all his listeners would cover the costs of his unexpected funeral. This collection is being managed by Gareth’s good friend Matthew Williams, who paid his respects to Gareth here: Gareth Davies Mindset Central has passed away. – YouTube
Tonight at 10pm EST / 7PM EST / 2am UK TIME our old friends Alex Rondini and Steve Genier of Nocturnal Frequency Radio will be hosting a special show to celebrate the life of our dear friend Gareth, who was taken far too soon. You can listen to it, and take part (including via call-in)_here: S13E41– Mindset – A Tribute to Gareth – YouTube (you can also watch the replay at the same link)
The video below was filmed at the Highgate Vampire Symposium 2015 in happier times – Gareth and Ben Emlyn-Jones x
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Today would have been David Farrant, the founder President of The British Psychic and Occult Society’s 75th birthday. David passed away in April 2019, so is not with us to celebrate his birthday. He remains greatly missed on a daily basis, and thank you to all of his fans from around the globe who continue to send emails of support, and of thanks for what he gave during his life. Baby David entered the world on Weds 23rd Jan 1946, at the Forest Gate Maternity Hospital, E7, as at the time his parents were living way out east at Goodmayes, which is almost in Essex. They moved to Shepherds Hill, Highgate around a year later.
Apologies for the photo by the way – I have searched high and low for the photograph of baby David which once led to a 30-minute chase around the front room and bedroom but alas cannot locate it at present. David claimed it back as victor, and I had hoped it was in the old Lucky Strike tin where we keep our passports and other irreplaceable items, but it seems that David hid it far too well. Remind me to tell you all about the fight with Colette on the stairs over the first Ham and High album one day! Fortunately I do know where the Baby David neg is for another day, hehe!
Speaking of irreplaceable items, changes are afoot in the House of Farrant. I have finally begun opening up and archiving the contents of the 159 boxes of photographs, letters, newspaper clippings (of course!), diaries, calling cards, ‘contracts’, court documents, early manuscripts, tape recordings, obscure magazines, books, altar equipment, ghost-hunting tools and so on which David left behind. They constitute an enormous legacy, and just how to manage it all for the best is taking quite some thought. What to do, for example, with all the confidential letters and membership applications received by the British Psychic and Occult Society over the decades? How do I go about digitising the thousands of never-before published negatives of David spanning the 1940s through to the 1980s? (I have almost solved the latter – tricky when they are in so many different sizes and formats).
The collection represents an archive of an extraordinary life, from David’s boarding school tuckbox (previously forgotten secret compartment intact) to the daily notes he wrote during 1982, chronicling the most significant and ascetic spiritual journey he undertook – the abandonment of many aspects of Wicca and the commencement of a solitary path verging upon Gnosticism. And in the middle of course looms the Highgate era, in all its high gloss, b/w, borrowed topper glory. What a beautiful creature David was to behold; I know I am biased but to me it is no wonder at all that he was so frequently photographed. What a beautiful muse he made.
It is a slow process, and I have not forgotten my promises to various groups and societies who wished to acquire some of these items for posterity. Many which are more sentimental in nature will never leave the family, and some will wend their way to David’s friends from Highgate or to their children, (you know who you are – and there are some surprises in store!).
I do have a working vision of how to curate this extraordinary collection, and that this is happening seems to fit to announce on what I would refer to as the 75th anniversary of David’s natal if I was pretensiously inclined. Further details to be announced! And ideas welcomed – please email [email protected]. I will also be making David’s books available for purchase again in the very near future, as many people have been emailing me about this and I know that David would want his books to be out there. Information will be posted here soon.
Anyway – back to David’s 75th birthday celebrations! David hated birthdays and birthday parties. But I do feel that he would appreciate a little rerun of this funny little video we put together after we made A Christmas Quarrel. I’m wading through loads of home movies at the moment, but this one is easy to post up here, and IS pretty funny. “Oh I will have my little ‘joke’, won’t I?” 😉
What he would really love is for you all to raise a glass – or a mug of strong tea if you prefer – to his memory. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID!!! Not really gone that far, and certainly not forgotten.
I don’t often update David’s beloved blog, but thought I would make a couple of posts today – one to follow a little later.
I’m sure that David would be very amused by a new podcast episode, produced by ‘The Quantum Mechanics’. ‘The Highgate Vampire – A Tale of Two Hunters’ has just made me cry with laughter. In fact, it would have made David laugh so much that it only seems right to share it with you all here. Trust me, it will be an hour well spent.
It would be impossible to please every invested party 100% whilst covering a case as complex as the Highgate one . One could pick apart minor inaccuracies but overall, the presenters give a pretty accurate summary, with a healthy dollop of humour. They take their editorial approach from the title, which should give you a clue as to the content.
On a more serious note I particularly liked the comparison between the 1804 Hammersmith Ghost murder case and the Highgate mass vampire hunt, the analyses of clips of interviews given by David and he who shall not be named, plus the conjectures about the evolving motivations of both ‘hunters’ and how these influenced both the feud and popular perceptions of the case.
The only critique I would make is that the ‘lovely end’ referenced at 49 minutes and 1hr 02 minutes in has been taken at face value – which is ironic considering how spot on our hosts’ observations about various attempts to manipulate the media are throughout the rest of the podcast. Do cheapskate Blogspot blogs count as the media? Not really, but hopefully you get my drift. The dark side of the feud would not have been appropriate subject matter for a relatively light-hearted podcast, regardless. And during these troubled times, we need all the positivity we can get.
David could laugh at himself, and was often perplexed at the way the Highgate case got people whipped up into such states of frenzy. This with the confidence of a man who knew what he saw – or at least that he, along with many others really did see something. So, I think he would appreciate the tone of a lot of this podcast. Well done guys!
I haven’t yet listened to ‘The Quantum Mechanics’ episode aboutHat Men, but reckon that it will certainly be worth a listen. You can follow and give The Quantum Mechanics (great name by the way!) a like on FB here.
I know from all of your messages that when a cruel troublemaker put about the rumour that the house which David lived in and many of you visited us at might soon be demolished, David’s friends and long-term followers were distressed. The thought of the house going so soon after David was adding unnecessarily to your burden of grief – and to a feeling of loss, for a world so warm and familiar which encapsulated David himself.
I am therefore very pleased to be able to tell you all that the house in Muswell Hill Road which was David’s home for well over half his life is not going to be demolished. That is, if planning permission is granted for various internal modifications which will return the property from an HMO to a family home, which is highly likely. And even then it wouldn’t just be demolished!
The new owners deserve their privacy, but we have many Muswell Hillbilly friends in common re: civic and community connections, and I can assure you all that the house is now in very safe hands indeed. Plus, with all the planned restorations the south west chimney won’t fall down! The nights David gripped my shoulders, or me his, when storms gripped Muswell Hill and it started to sway …
What a massive relief all of this is! And I wish the new owners the best of luck. Thank you!
The illustrative photograph shows David and his granddaughter Lauryn standing outside the house in May 2010. What a cutie!!
Thinking of those of you are working with tonight’s Full Moon and eclipse, for positive ends. 20.24PM seem optimal for those of us in London depending of course upon what you are working – and especially for those us close to some of the highest natural points. Support flowing from myself especially to a friend who has been struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been planning around this night for some time – you know who you are.
For inspiration, here’s a pic of a full moon which is not eclipsed, with the shade of David Farrant looming over Highgate Woods (view from our front room). It was mocked up by a friend for their own amusement but I thought some might enjoy it although it has no astronomical accuracy!
Some other exciting events over the next few nights:
Hello all, this is Della, David’s widow. I hope you are all bearing up during these stressful times.
I would like to address some strange rumours which have been spread on social media lately.
It has been brought to my attention that I have been being accused by a certain person – the same person to whom David and I sent a cease and desist letter some years back regarding online stalking and harassment – of some very strange things. I am sure you can all guess who he is. Yet again this person is attempting to resurrect sickening and perverse rumours which he alone started. These include David being my father, my mother being David’s second wife, etc. He also sees fit to challenge the parentage of David’s youngest son (who looks just like him and whose birth certificate accurately records David and his first wife as parents).
Worse still, this person has been publishing blog and FB posts which evidence his unhealthy interest in the months of ill health which preceded David’s death, his last days, and what happened next regarding his mortal remains. Understandably I find this all distasteful and distressing. This is made worse for me as I am aware of this person’s morbid interest in dead bodies. It is me who has lost their partner, not him, and he seems to be a bit confused about that.
David died of natural causes, and the precise details of his passing and subsequent funeral are not a matter of public interest. Those who were there know how it went down, and have retained their loyalty towards our need for privacy – a need which has clearly not diminished! David was a somewhat infamous person who had enjoyed friendship and correspondence with a vast number of people over the years. He was and is very much loved, and to avoid misinformation spreading I made a public statement about his death on his website and upon request gave an interview to the Ham and High. Prior to these public disclosures close friends and family members had naturally been made aware of David’s death. It was a terribly difficult time for us all, and I appreciate and am very grateful for the huge amount of support and care which was extended to my step-son Jamie and myself. I also made a public statement on the first anniversary of David’s death this year. I have continued to respond to personal emails and phone calls etc. from people who David had respect for. Therefore the general public – which includes the person in question – have had ample access to all they need to know.
That the troublesome person earlier referenced is openly bragging about his attempts to obtain David’s birth and death certificates, his will, probate details and more concerningly information pertaining to his body or cremated remains is beyond upsetting. David’s death was legally registered, and his body was legally cremated, under his legal name. Allegations have been made that both these processes were overseen by myself having used a fake name for David – which is pure nonsense as well as libellous.
This person was not informed of David’s degenerating health because he was not his friend on any level (quite the opposite), despite his bizarre blog entries which fantasise about some sort of final reunion. That he continues to stalk David in death is beyond the pale, and I respectfully request that the people who are fruitlessly assisting him in his inappropriate endeavours have a good think about their actions and motives. This includes a woman who has apparently been telephoning crematoriums on his behalf who may wish to recall the many non-Highgate related supportive chats we had whilst her own husband was dying. Ironically some of the people who have caused David and I a lot of strife over the last 10 years and who I have no contact with have apparently been criticising our primary stalker’s actions, and I would like to thank them for that. I would encourage you all to continue to bear in mind how low his behaviour is and to treat it with the contempt that it deserves. Ditto re: the people who may find it amusing, or who actively participate in it. Can people please also try to bear in mind that there are people who may be reading any dissemination of this nonsense and your comments upon it who are family members or long term (or at least decent and trustworthy) friends of David’s in real life?
David has left behind enough writings, audio and video recordings as well as memories for those who met him in person. There is no need for this sick and strange interest in his remains. Those of us who have responsibility for them have no interest in creating a publicly accessible gravesite, which would attract oddballs and weirdos (the occult generally does!). David did not want that either – he genuinely did not care what happened to his body after death as he considered it to be a spent shell with no further use. I know that, because – you know, I was married to him. Husbands and wives talk about a LOT of things. The last thing he would want would be for the person who continues to harass him even in death to visit any kind of grave and to use his visit as a publicity stunt. OR to disrupt his funeral service or wake – both of which were very intense yet positive and respectful events. With no cameras! NO need. We loved him for who he was, and were there to celebrate his life. Not to show our friends that we knew someone famous or sell pics to the press.
I am so sorry to all of the genuine, kind people reading this who will be upset by this person’s actions. Please do not retaliate, or give him any more attention. I miss David every day, as you may do – and if you don’t think about him every day that is OK too. But this person’s perverted obsession with the remains of the deceased is not how David would like you to think about him.
Stay safe, stay indoors where possible – and stay sincere. Think before you type and starve his nibs of the ‘oxygen of publicity’ which he so craves.
Love to you all,
P.S. – David does not have a half brother called Robert who once played the lead role in Jesus Christ Superstar! Someone asked me about this today. The actor of that name is from a completely unrelated Farrant family who did happen to live in the Hornsey area in the 1970s. Bobby Shafto (stagename) is alive and well and not remotely connected to David Farrant. What next??? I’ll tell you what next. He’ll be saying I buried David in the back garden. Well why not, he’s already obliquely referred to him faking his own death, dying long before I announced his death, and kinda of being undead. Yeah, imagine someone talking about your deceased loved one like that. No shame.
Friends and Followers of David Farrant, of the British Psychic and Occult Society (BPOS)
Public announcement by Jamie Farrant and Della Farrant
It is our sad duty to announce the passing of David Farrant at 9.20pm on 8th April 2019.
David had suffered from ill-health for several years, but remained dedicated to his family and friends, and the world of paranormal research which he had devoted his life to.
We know that David will be very much missed by his many friends, both online and in ‘real life’. HIs loss is felt by us all, and he leaves a niche which no one else could ever fill.
David’s funeral will be held privately, but tributes are welcomed and will be read out.
If you have memories of David which you would like to be shared at his farewell ceremony please email [email protected]
Thank you all for the fun and intrigue which you brought into David’s life. The legacy of his work – and his charisma – will live on through your podcasts, comments, thoughts and observations. And also through conversations over the years, perhaps especially for those of you who met him in person – either at his home, or at Pagan parties or paranormal events, and can imagine him sitting in that empty seat at the table.
Thank you all for your thoughts about David, your contributions to his life, and your respect for our privacy during this painful time.
An important request here, and thanks to all who read it and act upon it.
Rikki LaCoste is a Canadian musician, Pagan, sound technician, Magician, father, radio presenter, researcher, eco activist and all round great guy. But in May this year he suffered an enormous personal tragedy when his house burnt down, the blaze destroying everything he owned. Rikki has been in temporary accommodation ever since, and is struggling to rebuild his life.
My wife Della and our Canadian friend Zena Hagerty have launched a fundraiser to help Rikki with food and re-housing costs, amongst other ‘luxuries’ such as phone credit so he can communicate with his children.
Zena is a co-host of Nocturnal Frequency Radio, along with Steve Genier and Alex Rondini, and Della and myself as well as Rikki are proud to be part of that online radio community. Zena has produced this video, with the help of her partner Cody Lanktree, to help raise awareness of Rikki’s plight:
Some of you may remember my interview with Rikki which went out at Hallowe’en 2012, via his popular radio show Kakophonos. If you missed it, you can listen here:
If any of my readers can spare the slightest donation towards helping Rikki during this terrible time it would be VERY much appreciated. Just remember – this could happen to any one of us. The paranormal community is not a rich one, but it should be a cohesive and supportive one. PLEASE help if you can.
Here is where you can donate – the URL says it all.
I did an interview with Ben Emlyn-Jones for his “Hpanwo Radio” last night (Thursday) which is now in the archives, and Ben has kindly posted the link on here (its beside the pic. of myself standing outside the top gate of Highgate Cemetery with the ‘warning sign’ in the background). It was quite an informal interview (I prefer those) but Ben did raise some interesting points about the ‘vampire’ said to haunt Highgate cemetery. I hope I clarified that the ghostly figure seen in Highgate Cemetery, which has been reported by many local people over the years, is NOT – nor ever has been – a ‘vampire’. This tag only came about courtesy of Hammer Horror films who used HC as a location in the late 1960s and early 1970’s to make several of their popular vampire films; Taste the Blood of Dracula and Dracula AD 1972, being among them. It is a fact Hammer films firmly established a direct link between Highgate Cemetery and a ‘vampire’ (and it was not only Hammer, there were other film companies and film titles as well such as Tales from the Crypt and The Body Beneath), but they also succeeded in ‘changing’ the cemetery’s long established ghost or spectre (which had been reported for decades before film companies like Hammer came on the scene) into some ‘blood-sucking vampire’. Of course, such an assumption was not given serious credence by serious psychic investigators, but it did serve to confuse the gullible and unwary (the type who believed Alice in Wonderland may have existed just because a best-selling book featured this character) and attract to the cemetery a more serious element of people who entered the cemetery at night, and who were opening coffins and driving wooden stakes through the interred corpses.
And as well as these people, of course, there were also the usual group of individuals anxious to ‘cash in’ on the sensational ‘vampire tag’ originally instigated by Hammer, and take full advantage of any opportunity of personal publicity that the case had to offer.
One thing Ben did ask me to clarify on the show was the infamous mass ‘vampire hunt’ that took place on the night of Friday 13th of March in 1970. This occurred after I had appeared on the “Today” programme hosted by the late Eamon Andrews at 6 o’clock that same evening. I had been invited on to discuss the appearances of the ghost that had been witnessed frequently in or near the cemetery. Anxious to avoid attracting any sensationalism about vampires, I carefully avoided using the word ‘vampire’. Another invidual being interviewed, however, insisted that this unexplained phenomenon or ‘ghost’ that I had described, was in reality a ‘real life’ vampire and proceeded to demonstrate for the cameras how one must destroy a vampire. Producing a large silver-plated crucifix and pulling a sharpened wooden stake stuck down the back of his trousers, he said that the only sure way to destroy a vampire on must . . . first drive a wooden stake through its heart with one blow; cut off its head with a grave-digger’s shovel and then burn what remains.
Sandra Harris, the presenter, then asked him if he didn’t think that would be illegal today? He agreed, but then proceeded to say that he understood that David Farrant (myself) would be returning to the cemetery later that same evening to do just that!
(He was obviously basing this assumption on a report that appeared in the “Ham and High” newspaper the previous week when I was asked by some over-zealous reporter what I would do if the spectre really turned out to be a real vampire. Humouring him, I replied that should be the case, I would take whatever means necessary so that we could ‘all rest in peace’! But the humour had obviously been lost on this individual you chose to interpret my remark quite literally!)
Now as this individual’s statement had been put over the air, that same night following the television programme, hundreds of people besieged Highgate Cemetery all expecting to witnessed a non-existent ‘vampire hunt’!
All police leave in the area was cancelled and police cars surrounded all the entrance points of the cemetery, and just to ‘seal off’ the police operation, police with guard dogs and search lights patrolled the cemetery evicting a few people who had managed to scale the walls.
Asked by Ben about the outcome of the ‘vampire hunt’, I told him that this had been prevented by the police and so had never taken place.
All the same the press loved the event, despite its anti-climax, and more stories about a vampire roaming Highgate Cemetery were splashed across some headlines . . .
This is really just a brief synopsis of my interview with Ben about the Highgate vampire for Hpanwo Radio. There was a lot more. Anybody wishing to hear the complete interview, please just follow the link below.