All posts by: David Farrant

Highgate – The Lost Days

Had a telephone call earlier from some free lance journalist who wanted me to talk about the Highgate ‘vampire’. He was a bit surprised (well, ‘disappointed’ really) when I told him I did not accept the existence of vampires in their literal sense but that there were very real psychic entities that took on ‘vampire-like characteristics. I won’t discuss the conversation anymore here as I am anxious to keep that subject off my blog; but it did set him thinking about my last sole visit to Highgate Cemetery – where a notorious ‘vampire’ was once said to lurk

It was 2001 or so, and I had cause to pass through Highgate Village on my way to The Highgate Bookshop., and I couldn’t help noticing that that it was virtually unchanged in appearance since I had frequented it many years ago. The pubs were all the same, at least, from the outside anyway (although I never went inside any) and the old Georgian buildings and shops had changed little, if not very much.

I had walked up the steep hill from where I lived – about a quarter of a mile away – and was ‘catching my breath’ in the Village itself.

The bookshop was all downhill now, so it was not so much of a task.

Finishing in there, I decided to walk back to the Village back up Swains Lane; that dreaded ‘haunted lane’ that ran alongside Highgate Cemetery and where I was first reported as seeing a ‘vampire’. All nonsense, of course. I had seen ‘something’ there outside the top gate of the cemetery back in late 1969, but this was just some unexplained apparition (the same as had apparently been reported by many local people) but it certainly was not a ‘vampire’. Certain other people might have maintained that it must have been a ‘vampire’, but I always disputed such claims saying that it was just another unexplained phenomenon or ‘ghost’.

Half way up the lane, I stopped for a cigarette on the dangerously narrow pavement. It was much steeper than I had remembered it, and the 15 foot walls on either side almost seemed to ’entrap’ you. Not that much traffic at that time in the afternoon, but in the rush-hour it was almost lethal; people used it as a ’short-cut’ to escape Highgate Hill which was behind me at the other side of Waterloo Park.

A funny memory was prompted as I stood looking down the lane.

In 1999 an American film crew making a documentary on the Highgate Vampire had used Swains Lane as a ‘location shot’. It was late afternoon and dark and they had wanted a ‘take’ of myself walking down the lane alongside the wall. The timing happened to fall right in the middle of the rush hour. The takes had to be done over and over again due to the speeding traffic, and as there was no protection in the darkened lane, I had to keep crossing over to the ‘Park side’ every time I saw car lights coming. In the end, I’d had enough, and told them they’d just have to make do with one of the ‘takes’ they’d got. It was really dangerous and there was a real chance of being accidently hit by some speeding car (and I didn’t even have an injured foot then!).

Finally, I reached the top gate. It hadn’t changed much since I did the TV filming outside it way back in March 1970, except that at some stage, they had widened the small ’walk-way’ in front of it.

It was here that I’d seen that mysterious black apparition in late December 1969, I had gone to the cemetery one night in an attempt to find some logical explanation for the reports of other local sightings, but I had certainly never expected to witness THAT! ’It’ had suddenly disappeared after several seconds but had led me to instigate the original Highgate investigation It had also led to the TV filming and the apparition being dubbed as ‘David Farrant’s ghost’ – a title it retained for some time in the local press and in other local circles.

There was no trace of it this time. And there was hardly any traffic.

Anyway, the worst of the walk was over, but there was still some way to go.

I was not often in Highgate Village so I decided to take a break in the Flask., a quaint old coaching pub where there had also been reports of a ghost I had often wondered if it had been the same one. This is always a burning question that arises during the course of psychic investigations, but these are not thoughts that I want to pursue here . . .

David

 

Lost Days?

Strange experience today; well, not so much ‘strange’ but one of those that sticks in your mind.

Walking around the clustered streets (slowly), I passed a girl who I had long since thought had left the area. Our eyes quickly met in passing; but it wasn’t a casual look, but one of silent recognition. She smiled and was gone; but then the old feelings came flooding back as if re-vitalised by the brief meeting.

She had worked in a bank in Muswell Hill a few years before, and I had continually made a point of going in there as an excuse to see her. My visits were often unnecessary (and I think she realised this) although I always had no other ‘excuse’ but to pay in money. Usually it was only five pounds, but sometimes I used to do this every day and she must have wondered why I didn’t just pay in just twenty five pounds on one day in the week all at once!

But the point is, I only visited that particular bank as an excuse to see her. She was very shy, and it took me a few weeks to find the courage to ask her name. But I was fascinated by her gentle shyness; indeed, this only added to my attraction for her. She was only young and exceptionally ‘plain‘(in the sense she didn’t decorate herself with make up), but so very beautiful. Not just physical beauty (that doesn’t really matter), but also an inward one which was the main part of the attraction.

I thought about her often over two years or so, but her memory had slowly (very slowly) died after she suddenly left the bank.

And now I had suddenly seen her again, and this started up the old thoughts. Kind of distracting in the midst of so much other turmoil. Yet in a funny sort of way, a sort of ‘invigorating distraction’.

I was thinking about this again earlier. Just what IS it that attracts one human being to another? It is a feeling that is ’there’, obviously, but what is it that actually brings this feeling into being? I have a pretty good idea on this, but I’m not going to answer my own question here.

In her case (as applied to myself) I sensed she was just as much a part of this feeling as I was.

In my case, I can only say that the feeling was not sexual (well, all right, that feeling was there but it was only secondary, very secondary), but more motivated by an ’unsought attraction’ – albeit that this developed by itself shortly afterwards.

Then all of a sudden, she was lost in the crowds. Wish I was more extrovert sometimes, as I might have made an effort to stop her. Well, there’s always tomorrow . . . Maybe.

D

 

As She Is Not Spoke

I’ve got to be careful here, as there is no way I wish to discuss personal relationships – current relationships at least. But sometimes life can be so strange; sometimes it just never lets you know what’s going to happen. Maybe I’ll say more about that later, but in the meantime I’ll just relax and see.

Interest in the old Highgate ‘vampire’ case is still very active in France, that I do know. Contacted today by somebody in France wanting old details. Don’t think its anything to do with the new book as I was told that was finished; at least the text was but they could be holding space to select photographs. But this request wasn’t for photographs, so not exactly sure what the project is; even who the person is – at least, her motivations or profession.

I’ll just wait and see about that too. Never believed in ‘forcing issues’, just wait for them to take their given course naturally.

Went to get a beer out of the fridge just now, and realised there’s hardly any food in it! Not that I’m hungry at the moment but its going to mean more walking tomorrow. I sometimes wish we didn’t have to eat at all – life would be far simpler!

D

Uneventful day

Its been a quiet day today, for a change, and never seemed to stop raining. That keep me in a lot. Which was maybe a good thing as I’m still having a little pain from my back, which, in turn, doesn’t help walking. But even in good weather, I tend to encourage people to come to my flat if they want to see me. It seems a lot of people do; but that doesn’t mean that I want to meet that many people. Only if its important, or if it’s a friend.

Quite surprised at the response I’m getting here; more so, because I’m not even discussing paranormal subjects here or even giving my thoughts on them. The response has been only to what I’ve written – with the exception maybe of what one person asked me about ‘witch orgies’ as reported in newspapers!

I’ll get back to the responses tomorrow (today), but in the meantime just relaxing from any material obligations.

Its strange sometimes how the ‘circles of Life’ seem to turn around. I have come to learn that every single thing has a ‘cause and effect’. What we experience is always a result of this Law; although most people just don’t seem to see this. It’s a pity, because if only people could look at their own lives (or ‘selves) sometimes a lot of the effects could be prevented from happening.

But I mustn’t get too philosophical! Its nothing to do with me personally anyway. Just a part of the Greater rule of Life.

Missed a doctor’s appoint today because I overslept. ‘Hell’. it doesn’t really matter, I didn’t want to go anyway. And at least I managed to cancel it by phone beforehand so don’t feel so bad about it!

D

Randi Thoughts

Well, I see they’re even all at it on the James Randi forum again, even quoting me from here!  My God! can a man have no privacy!?  I know its my blog but my private thoughts just don’t belong over there.

Still, I love them all really. bless ’em! (even Cuddles!).

 Think I’ll stay where I am though . . . Its slightly safer here!

David (Farrant)

Raining

I had another one of those dreams last night; vivid, but tender.

They have all been recent but I can’t write about them here. Somehow it wouldn’t be right. But I know the cause of them so there is no real need for analysis.

It really started after I met my friend C here a couple of weeks back. He said the film was fine; except for one thing. The producer had said they really needed me to talk about A. I had previously refused saying that that is the one thing I could never talk about. I had said all I was prepared to in my book. He said he had told her that, but she had said it was really an essential part of the script.

I had still refused but he said maybe I could I tell him privately. He would still write it into the script for me to see but I had his word that I could change it or he would delete it all if necessary. Well, I knew I could trust C (one of the few people left that I can anymore) but it was also so difficult to talk about; indeed. I didn’t even want to remember.

It was so difficult because he didn’t just want to know about my vision of her on the Hampstead lake (well, that is in the book) but details of my relationship with her; our life together, why we never got married. And how she died all those years ago.

So I told him. But in doing so it seems to have unlocked a deep channel which released everything back to the surface. I know that this is what is causing the regular dreams. It is not really that I want any escape from them, but some, by their intensity, are so painful. She was the only person that I ever really loved.

The words with which I concluded my book, and which I wrote in that dreary prison, still come flooding back come flooding back to me . . . “Oh, how I loved that Child of Fate. But how much more were my feelings now being corrupted by pangs of hate” . . .

Its raining outside, just like it was raining in some of the dreams as well . . .

D

Relaxing

I decided to do nothing this evening, and I’m still doing nothing – apart from writing this, and one quick reply I did on my Forum board a little earlier.

I did wander into town this afternoon to get a bottle of wine but should have got two as its nearly finished! Don’t buy my cigarettes in shops anymore they are too expensive. Its not the money, its just the principle. You pay well under half the tax on them when you get them ‘duty free’.

Tomorrow I have to meet a publisher in the West End. Think I’ll leave earlier and get the bus. Don’t really like the Underground. But all taken into account, a very relaxing evening!

D

Monday – But Not Yet Finished!

Well, having said I’m not too impressed with Sundays, I have to admit that Monday is perhaps my favourite day of the week (if I had to make some mundane choice). I somehow like the general atmosphere of resigned acceptance that another working week is about to begin, and can almost enjoy some people taking the whole thing so seriously! I’m not a part of it all, so I suppose that’s easy to say; but my actual freedom comes mainly in not being a part of the masses and the petty time limits and obligations.

Not that I am not kept busy, I am. But my work is never restricted to any time-scales; or rather time limitations never restrict my work That really gives a sense of freedom; but it is not ‘cultivated’ rather has just come naturally. The secret probably lies in the very meaning of time, but that is one treasured secret I would not lightly give away!

I am nevertheless obligated to my work. I guess the main difference is, I pick my own time to do it in.

I am working on a couple of writing projects at the moment. I am revising two of my main books (autobiographical works titled Shadows in the Night and Dark Secrets) into one bound volume, which a large independent publisher has virtually accepted (too bad if they change their minds as the work will be published anyway!).

The other work (completely new work perhaps I should say) is to bring events in my life on the ‘esoteric field’ completely up to date. The latter is somewhat painful to write as it necessitates reconstructing old memories of things that I would much prefer not to have to think about; but then, the same problem occurred in “Dark Secrets” also. But I overcame that, so this will be the same.

What else? Well nothing really. Well into Monday now. Working all night and I’m a little tired. Its coming up to 5 am. Looks like I’m going to miss breakfast again!

D

Sunday Seems Forever

 

Don’t really like Sundays. Not because its supposed to be religious day, but because of the ‘slow monotony’ of everything. I guess its not so bad compared to a few years back when everything was closed, the streets were quieter, and it really was more like a ‘day of rest’. The church bells still rang, of course, but that was mainly for the benefit of those who thought (and still think) that God only exists inside some Church. I’ve already just previously said this (for those with the basic mentality to get the point), but there are actually people around who think that if you don’t attend one of these buildings it means that you ‘don’t believe in God’: that God doesn’t love you (but has ‘chosen’ them exclusively, of course!) or has ‘outcast’ you from the rest! It is really tragic sometimes to see this bigoted attitude. Surely the Great Creator who put us all here is available to anybody; providing, of course, people could but just open their hearts and REALLY recognise this Divine Principle of Love and gentle Compassion.

But there are really people around who think that. That if they dress up in certain religious garments (without even going to Church!) or go to a particular building (whether it be a Mosque or a Church) they – and they alone – have some exclusive right to God. Personally, I find this rather sad; especially, as is often the case, when people leave their particular Church for the day, they return to their same old human life-styles and the same prejudices which led them to believe that God only favoured exclusively, ‘them’.

There are many more people besides, of course, who think that no physical Churches are necessary to be ‘favoured by God’. The Internet is full of organizations offering certificates of ‘validity’ for people who wishing to gain the status of priests, bishops, deacons – even ‘Arch Bishops – merely on completion of some particular form. A well known one (widely advertised) is The Universal Life Church and I have actually seen forms completed by some people whereby they boast to having been ordained and ’given’ some ’religious status’. As an author, I was sent one such form (dating back to late January this year, I believe), and I am seriously think of framing it to add to my collection of ‘esoteric paraphernalia’ which really demonstrates the true mentality of such people.

It is not only religion, of course. Many ‘courses’ are available on the Internet whereby you can become fully fledged ‘witches’, ‘occultists’, Pagans and the like. No harm in it, I suppose. And not really any different from the people attending Church and then declaring that God loves only them! (Or in the case of witchcraft and Paganism you would have to add the Mother Goddess, I suppose).

Not sure what bought this on!

Maybe because its still Sunday!

David

 

Where Are You?

Although its a Sunday, I don’t really want to talk about religion here.  I have learned that it causes too many problems – and I’ve learned the hard way!

 But I had an interesting phone call from somebody earlier.  Apparently, they’d seen some statement on the Internet declaring that if you don’t go to Church; then that means that you cannot believe in God!

She asked me what I thought.

This is not really my problem, so to this extent I was fairly evasive.  But she happened to be a fairly religious person and more-or-less wanted an answer – or at least, my opinion.

All that came to mind, was an old story told to us in assembley at a bording school I attended in Sussex around the age of 12 or so.  He used to be a Commander in the 2nd. World War but had obviously long-since retired – although he had apparently kept his true Christian principles. Even at that early age, I could tell that he had been ‘in the thick’ of that bloody war; but now he had retired and was now a qualified teacher.

He told a story (maybe from Victorian times; maybe dating back older – I don’t know) and it has always remained in my mind:

It was a cold and wintery day in London, and a little urchin child sought to take refuge in some brightly-lit church.  The child was dressed in rags, hungry and cold, and only wanted to enter the brightly-lit building as a means of some sort of shelter.

“You’re not allowed in here”, said some Church usher, and he evicted the little urchin back onto the dismal street.

The child broke down in tears, wondering why God should have rejected their attempt to enter the church.

As he was crying, the child encountered a vision . . . It was an angel sent by God to comfort him in his misery.

“Why are you crying”, the Angel asked?

“They won’t let me into their Church”, the child replied.

The sent Angel replied . . . “Well, don’t cry, because God can’t get in there either”.

I guess my point was, just to confirm that God can’t really enter anywhere; unless we really open our hearts to Him.

 That’s the only way I could really explain my point .

And its still Sunday!

 

D