Friday, 14 September 2012

Wanted... Information Concerning a Certain 'Vampire.'

First of all dear reader, my profound apologies for being so neglectful of late in regards this blog, but I have been very busy with my various Facebook groups and societies. Of particular note is the THCVAS which I am happy to report is growing - slowly yes but surely. So to that end we have even started up a Facebook fan page to further promote our group, and so expand our potential audience:

Well, you have got to keep ahead of the competition!  As it is we will be reaching out first anniversary very shortly, so I am presently preparing a very special blog update. So stay tuned!

Anyway, onto some important business. One of the main aims of my society was to gather information regarding the Highgate case and of particular interest to me was the lack of eyewitness statements - in particular first-hand ones. Of course both David Farrant and Sean Manchester both claim to have interviewed those who have seen the alleged entity - even it's supposed 'victims'! But considering that the 'vampire' was supposedly active for at least over a decade, many researchers have observed that there really aren't that many accounts that have been officially reported or published. Which is rather strange, when you consider the sheer number of people who live (or have lived), in that rather congested suburb of North London alone. And we are talking about a case that is barely over forty years old, not ancient history. 

We do have the old newspaper accounts of course, but with these there was a real lack of consistency with the spectral sightings reported. Such examples included: a tall man in a hat, a spectral cyclist, a woman in white, a face glaring through the bars of a gate, a figure wading into a pond, a pale gliding form, bells ringing, and voices calling within the cemetery itself. In fact, hardly two correspondents gave the same story (Ellis, 1993). Add to that there have been claims of black magical practices; as well as the suggestion of supernatural activity dating back at least to the mid-Victorian era, and we have a very complex case to say the least.

So with all this in mind I have set up the following online appeal:

Have you or anyone you know experienced anything strange or unusual either within the old west cemetery or in the nearby Swain's Lane? These eyewitness accounts can be from either the late sixties/early seventies (during the height of the vampire scare), even older or much more recent. There have also been (so far unsubstantiated) claims of a Victorian origin so any historical sources of information would also be most welcome.

We (Anthony Hogg and myself) can be contacted either via the society email address:

or alternatively:

All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Thank you.

I must add that I did send a letter into the Hampstead and Highgate Express earlier in the year appealing for information, but I did not receive any feedback either via the paper or privately; which I think in itself is very telling. Still I remain cautiously optimistic however, because who knows, there might still be those out there with a story yet to share. Only time will tell I suppose - well it nearly always does in my experience!


B Ellis, ‘The Highgate Cemetery vampire hunt: the Anglo-American connection in satanic cult lore’, Folklore, vol. 104, no. 1-2, 1993, p. 22.