In the autumn of 1973, a series of ‘mysterious witchcraft ceremonies’ that took place in a deserted gothic mansion house in Crouch End, North London, began to unnerve the local residents. This eventually caught the attention of the Hornsey Journal, who sent chief reporter Roger Simson and photographer Ted Stormer to visit the house and investigate more fully. They found the house unlocked and upon ascending to the top floor discovered a small room, covered from ceiling to floor with magickal signs, which indicated that the house was indeed in current, regular use by a witches’ coven.
The Hornsey Journal apparently liked their exclusive discovery, and the following week ran a lead story titled “What Goes on at the House of Dracula?”. They had already photographed the small room and the outside of the house, and used these to illustrate their article, reproduced below. They were kind enough to provide me with the original prints for the records of the British Psychic and Occult Society.
Just for the record, it was to transpire that police had arrested two coven members in the mansion at night, conducting a magickal ceremony. They were taken to the Old Bailey charged with arson, as apparently the two people had lit a small fire on a biscuit tin lid just outside the circumference of the circle. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charge, explaining that the small fire was only for the purposes of heat and light and because the element of fire was an essential ingredient in the Ritual to summon the nature God Pan which they were conducting. They were later acquitted by High Court Judge Bruce Campbell, but warned to be careful in future as they were certainly acting in a manner that could have provided unwanted police attention.
And how is it I am privileged to this ‘inside information’? Well. Simple. I, David Farrant, was one of the two people arrested!