Thursday, 7 February 2013

Elizabeth Siddal – The First 'Vampire' of Highgate?

Some notable literary scholars have theorised that the fictional character of Lucy Westenra; one of Count Dracula’s disciples, was largely based on 
Elizabeth Siddal: the late wife (and muse) of pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti [1]. In October 1869, some seven years after her suicide from an overdose of Laudanum, Rossetti had her body exhumed from her grave so he could retrieve the handwritten volume of poems he had buried with her. Rossetti's fortunes had been faltering since her death, and he was persuaded by his rather unscrupulous literary agent Charles Augustus Howell that this situation could be reversed, and his reputation further cemented, if he reclaimed and then published the poems [2].

It was Howell, who had elected to attend the exhumation in order to collect the volume that reported back to Rossetti that open viewing Elizabeth's body it was noted that her hair still retained its original colour and lustre, and that her body had remained uncorrupted. However it is believed that Howell had only said this at the time to reassure his rather distraught friend. Certainly the retrieved volume had some worm holes in it which suggests that Howell's account was very far from the actual truth. It was this very report of Elizabeth's umblemished apperance that was alleged to have inspired Stoker to conceive the character of Lucy for his most famous novel [3]. It has also been suggested that Lucy's tomb at the fictional Kingstead Cemetery was largely based on Highgate Cemetery where Elizabeth was laid to rest; though this has since been hotly disputed [4]. 

So did Elizabeth’s body defy natural law after death, or did Howell lie to save the sanity of his friend, and so perhaps unwittingly create a legend?

It might be also interesting to note that Rossetti was the nephew of none other than John William Polidori - the creator of the modern literary vampire. In 1819 he had penned a short story not surprisingly titled 'The Vampyre' [5]. Furthermore author David J. Skal has stated in his book 'V is for Vampire' that Stoker was once a neighbour of Rossetti's [6]. A fine example of life imitating art if ever there was!

It would appear that Lucy Westenra was in turn to prove to be an inspiration for Sean Manchester's Lusia [7]. Though going by the following synopsis, a blatant example of shameless plagiarism would probably be a more apt assessment: 

Lucy/Lusia suffers from severe anaemia. She has, in fact, become the victim of Count Dracula/The Highgate Vampire, who is slowly draining her of blood. Despite the best efforts of Van Helsing/Manchester, Lucy's/Lusia's condition worsens and she eventually dies. Not long after her burial, reports of children/a child being attacked are heard, with each child/the child claiming it was the "Bloofer Lady"/"white lady" that was responsible. The children/child also have/has bite marks on their/his throat(s), though none of their blood has been seriously drained. Van Helsing/Manchester realizes that Lucy/Lusia has now risen as a vampire. Helsing/Manchester explains to his friends/Lusia's sister Anne  that the Lucy/Lusia they know is indeed dead, and the figure they see now is a monster/demon in her form, the result of vampirism if a victim is fully drained. He warns that unless she is stopped, she will continue her nightly feeding to the point of fully draining her victims, who likewise will become undead and continue the cycle, so building up Dracula's/Lusia's army of the undead. Van Helsing/Manchester feels it best that the men who loved Lucy in life/as the man who loved Lusia in life were the ones/was the one to free her soul. They/he must therefore stake Lucy/Lusia, destroying the vampire part of her so Lucy/Lusia is finally able to rest in peace.*

*Adapted and truncated from the synopsis provided by Wikipedia:

Well as one wag had rather wryly put it: “His account of the Highgate Vampire has so many parallels to Dracula that Bram Stoker's estate could probably sue if it wasn't in public domain!”


Miller, E. (2006). Dracula: Sense & Nonsense. 2nd ed. Westcliff-on-Sea: Desert Island Books.

2. Topham, I. 2010. Elizabeth Siddal’s Grave’, Mysterious Britain and Ireland, weblog post, 18 March, accessed 6 February 2013, <>.

3. Fanthorpe, L., and Fanthorpe, P. (2010). The Big Book of Mysteries. Canada: Dundurn Group.

4.’Spamosphere.’ 2010. ‘Bram Stoker vs Highgate’, Spamosphere, weblog post, 21 November, accessed 6 February 2013, <>.

5. DeWinter, A. 2009, ‘Dracula Was a Man of the Theatre’, Occult View, weblog post, 31 March, accessed 6 February 2013, <>.

6. Rhoads, L. 2012, ‘A Restless Wind is Blowing through Highgate’, Dark Echo, weblog post date unknown, accessed 6 February 2013, <>.

7. Manchester, S. The Highgate Vampire (London: British Occult Society, 1985; revised ed., London: Gothic Press, 1991).

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Vampire and the Satanists.

Both David Farrant and Sean Manchester have made allusions to secret black magic ceremonies at Highgate Cemetery (West), and that it had played a large part in the alleged spectral phenomenon that had occurred there. Both men have claimed that they had found evidence of diabolical and necromantic activity such as chalk circles with occult symbols and burnt black candles. Add to that there was ample evidence of staked corpses and desecrated tombs during this rather turbulent period in the cemetery's history. For example, on the 1st of August, 1970 a decapitated and burnt corpse of a woman (who had believed died in the late Nineteenth century) was found not far from one of the tombs. The police had suspected that the corpse had been used in a black magic ritual [1].

In Manchester's narrative he suggested that it was Satanists that helped bring a 'King Vampire' to our shores, and had provided him with accommodation in a fine house; only then to move him at some point to the cemetery that was erected in the house's grounds following it's demolition. All this supposedly happened in the early nineteenth century and in the wake of a vampire epidemic that had engulfed much of continental Europe. Now considering that the cemetery had opened in 1839 that leaves us with some 130 years of relative inactivity before the events of the now infamous vampire flap. Just what was his vampire supposedly doing during this time? Where did he go after his home (Ashurst House) was demolished? Did he find other lodgings? Or had he been abandoned by his secret coven, with his remains later discovered and interred into one of the new cemetery's vaults; only to be 'awoken' by another group of more contemporary occultists sometime in the mid to late sixties?

Farrant however contends that the spectre was not a vampire at all, but was either an earth bound spirit or some sort of malevolent psychic entity that had either been manipulated or conjured via occult means by a local coven of black magicians. With such magic being further enhanced by the tapping the energies from an ancient ley line that passes through the cemetery and much of Highgate village.

So what are we to make of all this? Was there a genuine occult element to this case or was most of  the desecration that had taken place merely the work of mindless thugs and vandals? If on the other hand it was a genuine supernatural phenomenon, was the vampire/spectre/entity either awoken or summoned by human hands? And if so were these shadowy individuals amateur or expert occultists? Did they employ white or black magic in their rituals? And to what end?

Or was it all just the inevitable (and collective) result of the public's appetite for media stories on black magic and the occult, the rising popularity of the hammer horror movies and a renewed interest in alternative religions? A media incited public hysteria or flap? Alternatively, were they all the right ingredients with which to a perpetrate a well orchestrated hoax?

The occult and supernatural aspects of this case will incidentally form the basis for my two prospective book projects. One will be a non-fictional, layman-friendly examination and appraisal of all the issues and questions that I have raised in this very blog entry. Whilst the other, a Dennis Wheatley- inspired horror novel, will provide an 'alternative', fictionalised account of what really happened in Highgate during the period of the so called 'vampire' flap.

However I must stress at this point that both books are in their very early stages of preparation and I do not yet have any firm idea yet about where and how they will be published. All in all this is a five year plan, but I will of course keep you all updated on any further developments, and as and when they happen. I will certainly be devoting more time to this blog from now on while I undertake more background research. So I hope to share with you some of my findings along the way.

But for now I will wish all my loyal readers a very belated Happy New Year!


1.  'That vampire back again?' - The Hampstead and Highgate Express, August 7, 1970 (p. 1).

Friday, 26 October 2012

A Dispatch from the Viper’s Den.

“I've got better things to do than join a den of vipers even if there are only six of them.”–
The Vampirologist, November, 20th, 2011.

Well, well, well... just look how far my Facebook forum: ‘The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation Society’ (THCVAS) has come since that rather withering commentary!  We have reached our first anniversary and now exceed one hundred members. Furthermore, we’ve not had to spam a single one of them, or ship them in from other forums; in order to get them to join us. Unlike some quarters I could mention. But you dear reader are of course already well familiar with their underhand tactics by now!

To be honest it’s been a hard and long slog and we have faced quite bitter opposition, and have fought the occasional flame war along the way. Sadly, we still do face quite active opposition. The clone group co-administered by Sean Manchester unfortunately still remains, and that is in spite of our best efforts to petition the Facebook administration to have it taken down. Or, at the very least, have it forced to change both their name and mission statement. Nevertheless, we are still being targeting by their group's (not so) anonymous trolls. Whom, when not busy quoting us out of context and failing to cite us, are posting up ad hominem attacks on various hate blogs; all in an attempt to undermine both our credibility and personal reputations.

Still, if anything our trials and tribulations tell me that we must be doing something right. So enough with all the maudlin introspection; for it is a time for celebration; as well as a chance to look back on the past twelve months with a more retrospective eye.

It has certainly been a very eventful period. We have had a couple of revelations along the way: most notably the extract from Kev Chesham’s forthcoming biography which detailed Sean Manchester’s penchant for neo-fascism [1] – accompanied with photographic evidence of a Nazi shrine, and the discovery of an early narrative by the man on the Highgate Vampire case [2]. In the interest of balance Manchester has stated that he is a collector and trader of wartime memorabilia, and that Chesham was being rather selective in publishing only photos of the Nazi material on sale [3]. However, we could not fail to note that this Nazi material covered quite a large section of a wall, and included items that were most definitely not militaria. One such example was a framed Daily Mail news cutting from as recent as 2007! To date we have yet to see photographic evidence of the 'other' (allied) militaria) that is (or has been) claimed to be in Manchester’s possession.

The article find was just as explosive in my opinion, for Manchester not only identifies ‘Lusia’ as his former girlfriend by name; her encounter with the Highgate Vampire was a very different one to what we have officially been told. ‘Vebjørn’, the Bishop’s most notorious sock puppet has dismissed it a mere extract from the Highgate Vampire book; conveniently ignoring the fact that it was published a good twelve years before, and that it gives a very different take on his established account. Personally I view it as yet more evidence that Manchester’s Highgate narrative was one that had simply evolved over the ensuing decades.

David Farrant, the other major proponent of the Highgate Vampire case (a good friend and Manchester’s ‘arch enemy’), has since joined our forum; but not long after Manchester ‘agreed’ to join and then co-administer our rival (albeit fake clone) group. Since then it has led to a little revisionism from the Manchester camp that somehow we are merely some mirror opposite of theirs: whilst they are fervently pro-Manchester, we are now being portrayed as pro-Farrant (and anti-Manchester). But that couldn’t be any further from the truth. We are (and will remain) a neutral and inclusive platform: where open, uncensored and unfettered discussion is always welcomed. A mutual forum that respects, considers and debates all the relevant topics, accounts, various opinions and viewpoints. In short, ‘a broad church.’

Sadly (but all too predictably) these are qualities that have not been imitated by our ugly sister of a clone. As was most recently experienced by Raymond Williamson; a member of both groups who was very recently censored and banned for merely asking just a few quite reasonable questions; as well as defending both Anthony Hogg and myself from any further misrepresentation and slurs on our respective characters. 

Speaking of David Farrant, in the summer I had the great pleasure of interviewing him at his home [4]. The interview – which took thirteen or so hours (!) is in five parts, and is now available to watch via David’s ‘you tube’ page; while a DVD-ROM (which will include un-transmitted material) is currently under discussion. So watch this space!

All in all, co-administrating the forum with my dear friend and colleague Anthony Hogg has provided both its own rewards and challenges, and whilst we have had both our fair share of personal and professional differences, it has been a fruitful collaboration and long may it continue. One such possible positive result of our combined efforts is that we may soon see the case’s two main proponents submitting to a polygraph (lie detector) test; so we all may at last determine the truth. 

Anthony and I will both continue to gather information on the case and seek out new sources and avenues of enquiry. Most notable of our efforts has been our request for more witnesses to the phenomenon to come forward, as well as appealing for historical or more contemporary sources of information; both online and via the popular press (see below). And though it has so far failed to produce any results, we remain ever hopeful and vigilant. So without more to add, here’s to year two and whatever it may bring. Cheers to you all and...  well, bring it on! 

Picture source: 'Ham and High', January 12, 2012 (p.20)


  1. Hogg, A. 2012, ‘Ja, mein Bischof!’, Did a Wampyr Walk in Highgate?, weblog post, 8 March, accessed 8 March 2012, <>.

  2. Hogg, A. 2012, ‘An interesting find’, Did a Wampyr Walk in Highgate?, weblog post, 21 January, accessed 21 January 2012, <>.

  3. Hogg, A. 2012, ‘Rebutting the Nazi Room’, Did a Wampyr Walk in Highgate?, weblog post, 9 April, accessed 9 April 2012, <>.

  4. In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire Part 1, 2012, online video, David Farrant, accessed 1 September 2012, <>.

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.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Clone Wars!

Photo by Perov Stanislav

It is often said that 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' but that old saying was to prove small comfort yesterday when I was alerted by my friend and colleague Anthony Hogg that our Facebook group 'The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation Society' (THCVAS) had been surreptitiously cloned by a hostile element that is allied to Bishop Sean Manchester (BSM). My readers are now aware I'm sure that there is a forty year ongoing feud between this 'gentleman' and one David Farrant over just what really occurred at Highgate. It was my opinion, and that of Anthony's that this feud was getting in the way of many a serious researcher’s quest for answers; hence our mutual desire to create a neutral platform where the case could be examined, discussed and explored without prejudice. But not long after our official launch last Halloween we were to be beset by problems.

With us both having previous experience of being on the receiving end by trolls on other forums, we initially decided that the group should be 'closed'; which meant only signed up members could view posts as well as make contributions. However, we were soon to find that this just encouraged the planting of moles. One such mole lurked within our group but was soon passing information to a BSM supporter named 'Vampirologist.' I should add at this point that it is a widely held belief that this individual was either BSM or one of his small coterie of true believers. Why? Well, because BSM has a long history of using such aliases (or sock puppets) in which to troll and intimidate his critics. Anyway, 'Vampirologist' was soon quoting verbatim (and with much relish) comments we had made, and posted these (usually out of context) on another blog: 'AtlasObscura'. Besides, with the help of a good friend I was able to establish just who the mole was and had him expelled from the group. Interestingly enough 'Vampirologist's' information soon dried up and despite his rather vague boasts that he could view our closed group’s contents personally no more quotes were forthcoming.

However, fearful that such a situation could happen again and with a fast growing membership we soon realised that it would be increasingly difficult to screen out any further moles and so we opened the group to the public. Certainly for a short while things did calm down but this relative peace was not to last. The catalyst appeared to be the discovery of a previously unknown, early article by BSM on the Highgate Vampire case and one which had a narrative that was somewhat at odds with the one we were all familiar with. This did not go down too well with the BSM camp naturally and shortly afterwards a certain 'Vebjørn Hästehufvud' applied to join our group. A self proclaimed 'independent researcher' he declared that he ‘aimed to set the record straight’ but almost immediately this pretence was abandoned and he embarked on the usual tactics of a BSM sock puppet: namely posting great slabs of pro-Manchester, anti-Farrant rhetoric from BSM friendly sources, make unsupported and unsubstantiated claims in support of BSM, adopt an inflammatory and provocative tone and stance to other members, and (when all else failed) would resort to ad hominem attacks on critics or anyone with an alternative viewpoint to his own.

In our desire to maintain a neutral ground for all viewpoints we reluctantly tolerated Vebjørn's presence though it was clear that he was only there to either sabotage the group or derail the discussions that were taking place. The latter point came all the more apparent when he attempted to import and propagate a pre-existing yet ongoing feud between David Farrant and a few of his former friends. That and with a falling membership (mainly caused I believe by Vebjørn's and fellow sock puppet 'Arminius Vambery’s' habit of spamming members via private message), led to the inevitable decision to expel him from the group. Furthermore his profile was reported to the Facebook admins and his profile was removed.

We were soon to learn however that such an action, though entirely justified, was to have a consequence. That such a consequence could and almost certainly would occur that much we were already sure of. At worst we thought we would be the subject of yet another character destroying write up on one of the many pro-BSM hate blogs that are in circulation but no, a new low has now been established in this ever bitter (but one-sided) war. In his ongoing desire to both discredit and deflect attention away from our group 'Vebjørn Hästehufvud' has created a new FB profile and has produced a near exact clone using the exact same name of our group, and with eerily similar topic posts and images. The group has a high membership - amazing you would think for a group barely five days old, but it appears that most if not all have been imported from BSM's other Highgate (albeit closed) groups.

Still if there is one saving grace it's that the good Bishop has decided to let the veil slip for once and show his own hand in this deception. Whilst I cannot prove the full extent of his involvement, nevertheless that fact he has given his endorsement to such a shady and underhand enterprise via both his membership and contributions speaks volumes in itself. So going back to the old saying quoted at the beginning, I’m afraid that I would have to draw the line with pale imitations. And a very pale imitation it is indeed!

For those who would like to learn more, an in-depth analysis of the current situation can be obtained from Anthony Hogg's two most recent blog entries:

Also, If you are members of Facebook I would recommend that you take a look at both groups and see this debacle for yourself. Until next time dear reader... happy viewing!  

Thursday, 19 April 2012

An Official Statement (and a warning).

The Farrant's have now released a statement concerning both BSM's and one 'Arminius Vámbéry's' unfounded and untrue allegations. It has the full endorsement of the Jacob's. I would like to add that David and Della on behalf of both Christine and Jacob and themselves would respectfully request that debate on this subject is discontinued so as not to encourage the libellous remarks of the perpetrator; which are causing great offence to his intended victims. With this in mind I shall be moderating posts to this blog to avoid any more unpleasantness. So would you all please ensure that your contributions remain relevant to the Highgate case and refer only to those directly involved. 

Official Statement by David and Della Farrant regarding libellous statements about the identities of Christine Moloney and Della Farrant.

In recent months a fabricated claim has been circulated on the Internet concerning the marriage in Normandy last November between Christine Moloney and Isaac Ben Jacob.
This claim has been made by a particular person posting under his usual aliases ‘Steatoda Nobilis’ and ‘Arminius Vambery’.
Whilst this was and remains a legitimate marriage, the person in question has been persistently maintaining that Christine herself is, in reality, my wife Della Farrant. To this end, this claimant has also published a series of photographs of Christine and Isaac which he obtained in an underhand manner from the Internet. He has reproduced these without their permission and these pictures remain their copyright and personal intellectual property.
This individual has also reproduced photographs of the real Della and myself, without permission, which remain our copyright and personal intellectual property. By the use of these photographs, including captioning pictures of Christine Moloney as Della Farrant and vice versa, which is erroneous and libellous, he has also attempted to convey that Della and Christine are the same person. They are not. May we also stress that at no time has Christine ever posed for photographs pretending to be Della.
I should like to state unequivocally that this highly defamatory allegation is unfounded, malicious and totally untrue. Neither Della nor myself have ever stated or implied that Christine Moloney is Della, either before or since her official marriage, and the person repeating this false allegation is perpetrating a serious libel against Christine and her husband Isaac, and against ourselves. We would both like to apologise sincerely to Christine and her husband for all distress and embarrassment this false statement has caused them.
We would request that the person posting these statements and photographs online remove them with immediate effect, and desist from further libellous remarks to avoid the need for further action to be taken.
This request is endorsed by both Christine Moloney and Isaac Ben Jacob.
Signed by David Farrant and Della Farrant, April 18, 2012, to be circulated to all appropriate parties and reproduced online including Facebook where appropriate with the full consent of all parties hereby given.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Cemetery Spectres and Pub Spirits.

As I mentioned in my first blog entry I had learned that there were two main protagonists in the Highgate Vampire case. I have already discussed Sean Manchester so now I must turn my attention to David Farrant. His account differs somewhat from Manchester's and it is one that I first got to hear about via an encyclopaedia on the occult and supernatural that was sitting on the shelf of my school library (of all places). Unfortunately I cannot recall the title of the book but the entry on the Highgate Vampire struck a chord with me nevertheless and memories of my visit to the cemetery and my father's stories had come flooding back.

In essence the book referred to a vampiristic spectre that was reputed not only to be haunting the cemetery but other locations within its vicinity. It was where I first heard about 'Thornton's' (a pseudonym adopted to protect his identity) cemetery encounter. Thornton was a local accountant who decided to visit the west cemetery (the oldest of the two cemeteries) one late afternoon so he could view the varied architecture of the mausoleums, gravestones, and the elaborately carved tombs of the Egyptian avenue and the Circle of Lebanon.

In those days you could freely walk around unsupervised so he explored the cemetery at his leisure. So when he had finally seen what he wanted to see, and with dusk fast approaching he decided to make his way back to the exit. Only he couldn't seem to be able to retrace his steps and in fact appeared to be going in circles. Quite understandably he grew increasingly anxious and it was not before long that he started to feel that he was being followed by someone or something. This feeling intensified to the point that he felt that he had to turn around to see just who or what it was. To his horror he saw a tall, black and amorphous humanoid shape rise up from the ground to the point that it towered well above him.

Two glowering red eyes met his and Thornton felt that he could no longer move or even cry out for help. He was not sure if it was either from fear or whether he was in the hypnotic thrall of the spectre, but he slowly felt his vitality leave him. He then passed out only to come to some time later, but he found to his relief that he was now quite alone. Gathering his wits, this time he managed to find the exit and sometime later was to recount his experience to Farrant. As it was, the encyclopaedia’s author had surmised that the vampire tag had probably originated from the eyewitnesses’ descriptions of hypnotic red eyes and a feeling of being drained of energy.

Though it has been alleged that there has been a long standing local legend of a cemetery haunting, it would appear that it had been considered to have been just a ghost – albeit a malevolent one by some. Certainly it was first described as a ghost by the local press and TV reports. It is therefore much more likely that Manchester’s theory of a ‘King Vampire’ from the continent being responsible is the real origin of the subsequent vampire tag.

The book went on to describe another attack - this time a very physical one in which the victim – a young man who was walking along the adjacent Swains Lane, was knocked to the ground by a tall dark figure that appeared to glide along the ground before disappearing through the solid, twelve foot high wall that backed onto the cemetery. This same apparition was also reputed to haunt the local Flask public house and again was witnessed phasing from and into solid brick walls. On many of these occasions the local bells of the nearby St Michael’s church were said to toll at precisely the same time.

I cannot recall just what the author's conclusions were as it was too long ago, but nevertheless I had found it very intriguing (at the time) that there was absolutely no mention of a vampire hunting priest in his narrative!