But I haven’t seen it yet!

"We'll arrest 'him' too"!   Photo (c)  David Farrant
"We'll arrest 'him' too"! Photo (c) David Farrant

Let me explain:  A friend told me about another book on the Highgate ‘vampire’ case which she had seen in a bookshop, which had only just come out,  It was a large thick paperback with a black cover, but she couldn’t remember the author (authors?) or the title.  She was more interested in reading the pages about myself.  Yes.  I was high-lighted in it yet again!

 She tried to remember what it said, but being a novice to events, could only remember certain things.  Which is one reason I’m anxious to get hold of it!  She did go back to the bookshop to reserve the copy for me, but unfortunately, it had been sold.

 So this blog might seem to be a bit of an ‘anti-climax’, but fear not! I shall find the copy, and when I do, I will post the details here.  So keep watching this space.

 For those new to the events at Highgate Cemetery in the late 1960’s/70’s, there were reports of a ‘vampire-like’ figure that had been witnessed there by local residents.  I actually saw something myself back in December 1969.  I’m still not sure what exactly it was (a tall black figure that disappeared promptly after I had encountered it) but it sure as hell wasn’t a ‘vampire’!

 Anyway, rumours and stories spread (rather escalated) which were picked up by the newspapers and television, and before long, Highgate Cemetery was besieged by sight-seers and ‘vampire hunters’ all trying to catch sight of the woeful creature.

 Perhaps not surprisingly, Halloween became a favourite night,  and in the years that followed, police literally ‘cordoned off’ Highgate Cemetery on the ‘night of the undead’.  I used to keep well away from Highgate Cemetery stating at the time that such activity only impeded serious psychic investigation.

 And so it did.  Hooligans and sight-seeers running amok in Highgate Cemetery regardless of the police patrolling the place would have been enough to scare away any self-respecting ghost or ‘vampire’!

 I remember one such night when Highgate Cemetery was invaded by several hundred people influenced by some story in the Press or on television.  Every entrance to the cemetery was ‘guarded’ by police, and police were even inside the cemetery with dogs.  Scores of people were evicted from the cemetery, and even newspap reporters had gone there to find out what was going on.

 I sent 3 or 4 people down to the cemetery to mix with the crowds and report back as to what was going on.

 An amusing (but true) incident occurred on the night in question.

 A police car was parked outside the top gate, and two of the people I had sent spoke to the police officers. [See picture].

 “You know there’s a vampire in there. don’t you!?”

 “Yes.  And we’ll arrest him too if we find him”!, one of the officers said without smiling.

 He was not amused.   Maybe not surprisingly as all police leave had to be cancelled on such occasions and police ‘draughted in’ from other Police Stations.

 Perhaps also not surprisingly, no ‘vampire’ was ever found.  But then,  surely the whole vampire myth has really only ever served as a platform for some to act out their subconscious fantasies.  You only have to look at Buffy or Hammer Horror films to see that!

 So, with Halloween fast approaching, I leave some of you to once again ponder the vampire myth.  Obviously some still do.  The success of the film “True Blood” would testify to the fact that there is still good money to be made out of all the nonsense (and no, I have not seen it!).

Sweet dreams everyone!

 David

  • reply badnewswade ,

    What year did it all happen? This whole thing is of interest to me because my parents whom I don’t know very well, got together at around about that time, 1973 or 1974, (I was concieved in ’74) and lived in the area – I was born in the hospital round the corner from Highgate Cemetary.

    It’s an interesting place, makes me wish I had a London connection currently so I could wonder around the cemetary – it’s guided tours only nowadays isn’t it?

    • reply David Farrant ,

      Stories of a ‘ghost’ seen in and around Highgate Cemetery date back to Victorian times, badnewswade. The first personal report I have on record dates from 1965.

      This ‘ghost’ on enexplained phenomenon seems to have becaome especially active in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s. The Friends of Highgate Cemetery took the cemetery over in 1975 and now access is strictly limited to the Guided Tours that they run.

      They do not like Tour visitors asking questions about ghosts or ‘vampires’. But having said that, they have done a marvellous job in restoring the cemetery to some of its former ‘glory’.

      Thank you for posting here by the way.

      David Farrant

      • reply Rehan Qayoom ,

        The Highgate Vampire case also gets a mention in the book The Folklore of London. If you haven’t already seen it I can send you the excerpt once I’ve received the book.

        • reply badnewswade ,

          Thanks for the reply! ^_^

          • reply David Farrant ,

            Thanks for that Rehan

            Yes, would appreciate a copy of that extract once you get the book. I can add it to the files.

            Hope everything’s well with you,

            David

            • reply barbara green ,

              Hi DVID,

              I am writing about the Rev Lionel Fanshaw an Anglican priest involved with Fortean times. To put it as simply as posible without the cat arching its back and saying its rubbish and all my fault, LF was ready to come north to RHG around ten years ago on behalf of Fortean TV. HE KEW THAT THE KIRKLEES VAMPIRE AND THE HIGHGATE VAMPIRE had been investigated by the Biship*********

              Anyway like REDMONKEYFILMS and others our ourgrowly rev , was suddenly ” not on his way within hours”

              and never a reply since,

              so what do you make of him turning up in the Halifax Courier and sayimnh hie is insigitging paramormal west yorshire and not replied to my email

              bARBARA

              • reply David Farrant ,

                Hi Barbara,

                Yes, I have been in touch with the Rev Lionel Fanthorpe – in fact, he has a copy of my new book.

                But first this: your message came in just after 11 am and what I want to know is, why were you not in Church this week like all other good Christian girls? I think you owe us all an explanation?

                Don’t worry about Cat; he can’t put you in jail here – though I dearsay he’d like to!

                When did Rev Lional Fanthorpe go into the Halifax Courier? Was it recent?

                He has never mentioned Robin Hood to me (although he has Highgate Cemetery), but I can ask him if you want?

                I can’t really comment much more than that at the moment ’cause I don’t know much about his interest in the ghost or the grave.

                Was he actually in the paper as well as going into their offices?

                Let me know and I’ll see what I can find out.

                For the moment,

                David

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