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All of the above helps support this blog and helps keep it going... So now that all of that is out of the way, Today's blog is another creepy look into our recent past. It's the rumored true story about a vampire that lurked in the Highgate Cemetery in London, England back in 1969 and throughout the early seventies. It all started in 1969 when dead animals started being found throughout the Cemetery grounds. The animals were mostly pets like dogs and cats, but some were wild animals like squirrels and deer. The animals had been completely drained of blood.
Soon locals started watching the Cemetery a little more closely and reports of a tall, thin, darkly dressed figure emerged. Individuals that came in close contact with the figure stated that evil surrounded him and he had a hypnotic stare. On particular witness stated that after coming in contact with the figure he became disoriented and couldn't find his way back out of the Cemetery. He ran into the figure again and became paralyzed unable to lift his feet from the ground. After a short time the mysterious figure simply vanished into thin air.
Here is the story of the initial publicity from wiki:
"The publicity was initiated by a group of young people interested in the occult who began roaming the overgrown and dilapidated cemetery in the late 1960s, a time when it was being much vandalized by intruders.On 21 December 1969 one of their members, David Farrant, spent the night there, according to his account written in 1991. In a letter to the Hampstead and Highgate Express on 6 February 1970, he wrote that when passing the cemetery on 24 December 1969 he had glimpsed "a grey figure", which he considered to be supernatural, and asked if others had seen anything similar. On the 13th, several people replied, describing a variety of ghosts said to haunt the cemetery or the adjoining Swains Lane. These ghosts were described as 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. Hardly two correspondents gave the same story."
Later that year and into 1970 more dead animals began appearing, this time in the form of several foxes that were again devoid of blood. A couple of locals were very persistent and insisted that a "King Vampire of the Undead" lurked in and among the graves. The two local men were Sean Manchester and David Farrant. Here is their story... again this is from Wiki:
"A second local man, Seán Manchester, was just as keen as Farrant to identify and eliminate what he and Farrant believed was a supernatural entity in the cemetery. The Hampstead and Highgate Express reported him on 27 February 1970 as saying that he believed that 'a King Vampire of the Undead', a medieval nobleman who had practised black magic in medieval Wallachia (Romania), had been brought to England in a coffin in the early eighteenth century, by followers who bought a house for him in the West End. He was buried on the site that later became Highgate Cemetery, and Manchester claimed that modern Satanists had roused him. He said the right thing to do would be to stake the vampire's body, and then behead and burn it, but this would nowadays be illegal. The paper headlined this: 'Does a Vampyr walk in Highgate?"
On Friday March 13th (yes Friday the thirteenth) a reported mass vampire hunt ensued. The hunt was announced on the news and spectators from all over England came to the Cemetery to watch the exploits of the hunters. They had planned to find the vampire's coffin and stake the creature in the heart. Local Police tried to keep the throng of people out of the Cemetery, but the hunters simply climbed the walls and fences. here is Manchester's account of the hunt which varies somewhat from other reports.
"In later years, Manchester wrote his own account of his doings that night (The Highgate Vampire 1985; 2nd rev. ed. 1991). According to his narrative, he and some companions entered the cemetery, unobserved by the police, via the damaged railings of an adjoining churchyard, and tried to open the door of one particular catacomb to which a psychic sleepwalking girl had previously led him; but try as they might, it would not budge an inch. Failing in this, they climbed down on a rope through an existing hole in its roof, finding empty coffins into which they put garlic, and sprinkling holy water around. Some months later, on 1 August 1970 (Lammas Day), the charred and headless remains of a woman's body were found not far from the catacomb. The police suspected that it had been used in black magic. Soon after this incident, there was a noticeable surge in both Farrant's and Manchester's activities. Farrant was found by police in the churchyard beside Highgate Cemetery one night in August, carrying a crucifix and a wooden stake. He was arrested, but when the case came to court it was dismissed."
So in the end nothing was proven either way. Farrant and Manchester maintain their claims and there have been a few books written on the entire episode. In my opinion this was probably a combination of hoax and circumstance. The entire are had been used by "satanic" worshipers and I believe they may have sacrificed animals there resulting in the bloodless animal corpses found. I think that Farrant and Manchester took advantage of this and other local legends and used the publicity for their benefit.
What do you guys think?