Sunday again, and hopefully a lazy one – well it wants to be – I’ve got a busy week ahead!
Well had a print out of my new autobiography last night and I’ve hit over 140 pages – all complete and all checked. I have left the two long chapters at the beginning till last about the Trial and the prison experiences. I’ve half done the ‘Trial one’ but then put it aside because the the checking (precise dates, witness statements etc) was no fun writing. I mean, imagine it: I write a paragraph and find I have to go through boxes of transcript to get dates and quotes accurate – and it has to be accurate. I guess the Trial and the prison chapter will be the same amount of length again (just to give some idea of the length) and then there is just the concluding chapter to do. So it should be around 300 pages, even longer than Volume 1.
My Pact with the Devil book is now finished, just waiting for the cover. I shall be sending a finished copy of that to some friends in Yorkshire as it deals with the infamous Robin Hood’s Grave case, and, after all, that is a local issue involving local people.
Anyway, here is the second part of the extract from Beyond the Highgate Vampire first released in 1990. (The extract here is from the 4th revised edition released in 2002). It deal with the whole question of the ghostly entity witnessed at Highgate being connected (or very possibly connected) with ley lines that run through the area. Such at least is my conclusion; but, of course, you can make up your own mind’s!
So, I’ll do a more ‘personal’ Blog next time. But here is part 2 Enjoy . . .
HIGHGATE CEMETERY AND LEY LINES? (Part 2)
To digress from the phenomenon at Ye Olde Gatehouse (although perhaps not without some relevance), it is an interesting point that, in recent years, many cases of hauntings and other unexplained occurrences of a psychic nature have come to associated with ley lines. Indeed, it has come to be appreciated by some psychic investigators – if only a few – that these lines themselves may well be instrumental in explaining many preternatural occurrences; or rather, that many ‘hauntings can be directly attributed to their location on a ley line.
In their excellent work, Alien Animals, Janet and Colin Bord cite numerous cases of reputed hauntings many of which – they point out – seem to occur on ley lines; although they do not expound this possibility much further, inviting readers to conduct further research themselves.
Perhaps, however, it is not surprising that any connection between ghosts and ley lines has never really passed the stage of guarded theory when the possible existence of either is not even acknowledged by any known scientific theory, and when Science, itself, is slow to take account of any phenomena that cannot first be tested and proved by those laws that are seen to relate to everyday understanding.
But it may be, on the other hand, that there exists a form of energy (connected with ley lines, but not necessarily inseparable from them) previously unrecognised which under certain conditions – such as planetary alignments, lunar cycles, atmospheric conditions and the receptivity of given witnesses, for example – can be ‘replayed’ resulting in the appearance of what are termed ‘ghosts’ or ghostly images, when in reality, such phenomena may be as natural in their formation or appearance as those laws governing the existence of magnetic fields, radio waves, laser-beams and electricity.
If this is the case, and ley lines are responsible for harbouring an unknown form of energy that can sometimes be witnessed in the form of replayed reflections or ‘pictures’ of some past event – an event or occurrence itself perhaps long since forgotten and potentially of a ‘highly emotional’ nature – it is also a reasonable assumption that a line would be capable of ‘transmitting’ such energy along its course (perhaps in a similar way to the reproduction of a television picture which is not ‘really there’, except as a transmitted recording) or that of any other lines it crosses, allowing a given manifestation to ‘replay’ itself at various locations along the line.
This in turn, would probably result in many aligned sites to be assumed ‘haunted’ by several different ‘ghosts’ when in fact, these various apparitions may be no more than the transmitted reflection of one phenomenon, albeit this being subject to varying interpretations and descriptions by different witnesses.
But to extend still further the possibility that psychic energy (termed ‘ghosts’, or whatever) can be – or is – transmitted along ley lines to manifest under certain conditions, we need perhaps look no further than the Gatehouse phenomenon itself to see how it matches almost identically other phenomena reported in the immediate area; phenomena that could prove to be one and the same – or at least, directly related.
The line on which Ye Olde Gatehouse is situated, in fact, runs from a mound in Highgate Cemetery marked by an ancient yew tree (interestingly enough this mound was chosen to accommodate a sunken circle of tombs known as the Columbarium when the cemetery was open in 1839, but could have been an ancient burial mound long before that), passes through St Michael’s church which backs-on to the cemetery, and skirts the Flask which is in the close vicinity. It then continues on through Ye Olde Gatehouse, and passes through a small Council estate called Hillcrest (itself constructed upon the site of an old nunnery) in North Hill. Further on, the line passes through the site of an ancient Roman Settlement in Highgate Wood, but after this, it is difficult to trace the further progress of the line as it becomes obscured by modern development (a frequent obstacle encountered when trying to pinpoint landmarks on ley lines in urban areas).
The interesting point here, however, is that what can be traced of the Highgate ley line, can be directly linked to places where psychic disturbances have been reported; or put another way, by huge coincidence, a majority of the reports relating to ghostly sightings or experiences in the Highgate area, just happened to have occurred at sites along this ley line.
Perhaps the best known of these ghostly figures, is the black-clad apparition – or ‘vampire‘ – that was reported at Highgate Cemetery, perhaps by no coincidence at virtually the same time of the reported Gatehouse sightings.
Of course, because of the considerable publicity that the Highgate ghost attracted at the time (much of it having already been dealt with at the beginning of the book), reports about all the claims and speculation about its reputed appearances would be far too lengthy to detail here, but it is worthy to note that the Highgate phenomenon (‘vampire‘) and the Gatehouse ghost seem to share remarkably similar characteristics, in particular, their malevolent disposition and tendency to ‘attack’ people psychically.
There is also the fact that the Highgate cemetery ghost was sighted frequently around the Columnbarium – the same circle of tombs that marks the apparent beginning of the ley line.
Yet to continue with the proposition that psychic energy can be transmitted along ley lines, it is fascinating to note that another ghostly figure draped in black has for several years been reported in the grounds of Hillcrest – the small complex of council flats that now stand upon the site of the old convent in Highgate. In fact, the residents of one particular flat on the estate have experienced drastic falls of temperature, lights that mysteriously turn themselves on and off, and on more than one occasion glimpsed a tall dark figure in one of the rooms.
Other events of a psychic nature occurred with unrelenting persistency at this flat, although details of this case are so profound that they are beyond the scope of this present enquiry.
A little further on where the line traverses the site of the old Roman Settlement in Highgate Wood, there have again been reports of a tall dark figure that has been seen gilding silently amongst the trees. This is supposedly the ghost of an ‘earthbound nun’ who searches in vain for a long-lost lover – although the figure probably acquired this label by an assumption that it was connected with another convent, now demolished, that stood near Highgate Woods.
It is of course tempting to be led to the assumption that the ‘ghostly nun’ seen in Highgate Woods, is of different origin to the figure reported at Highgate Cemetery and Ye Olde Gatehouse, but then it should perhaps be recalled that descriptions of ghosts will frequently vary according to individual interpretation and belief, and it may well be that many reported cases are, in fact, variations of one and the same phenomenon.
Certainly, in the case of Highgate (and for that matter in that of many other reported sightings across the country), this would not necessarily invalidate the possibility that the phenomena reported there might be caused by one entity that manifests along the ley line at given intervals; even that, the energy causing this and other ‘supernatural’ manifestations (albeit not properly understood) may turn out to be so natural in its origin that it would be unsafe to even categorise such occurrences under the heading ‘ghost’.
For if it is the case that ‘ghosts’ themselves are not supernatural entities at all but merely non-intelligent images or reflections from the past somehow ‘caught’ in energy fields along ley lines (‘energy’ that is not only capable of transmitting ghostly pictures and images but which can, subject to certain conditions, actually reproduce sound, affect or move material objects, change humidity or temperature and interfere with electrical systems), then it may be necessary to completely rethink the whole notion of ghosts existing as independent ‘intelligent’ entities or as having returned to earth in the form of departed spirits – a belief that has accompanied the explanation for the existence of ghostly phenomena since the dawn of recorded history.
Having presented the possibility that ley lines could be connected with, or even responsible for, many cases of psychic phenomena, it should perhaps be pointed out in retrospect, that not all incidents of unexplained phenomena can be simply ‘explained away’ by reference to ley lines. This would be a far too over-simplistic approach and there would be a danger of generalising cases, some of which may not even fit into the ley line category. It is self-evident that a vast amount of further exploration is necessary into the existence and function of ley lines to establish any definite connection with the ghostly happenings that apparently occur along their course.
For there may be other causes for some supernatural occurrences which are not connected with ley lines …
As an example, there is the possibility that many ‘ghostly visitations’ and psychic disturbances – but by no means all – are caused or created by powers active within the human mind itself and, although frequently termed ghosts or ‘spirits, these may have nothing to do with the intervention of any outside agency.
This is not to imply that many cases of ghostly activity can be dismissed out of hand as being projections of the imagination (although even figments of the imagination ‘exist’, if only as varying ‘thought forms’), but it does mean that certain categories of psychic phenomena – or what are seen as psychic phenomena – may be due to forces originating in the human mind (albeit forces operating beyond the comprehension of the everyday thinking mind) that can sometimes have an effect on material conditions.
This idea may not be as far-fetched as it might first appear. It has already come to be widely accepted, or at any rate suspected, that many reported cases of poltergeist activity are caused or activated by adolescent children, and many other reported disturbances only seem to occur when selected people are in the close proximity.
If mind power can thus affect the movement of material objects, it is but a short step to assume that many other cases of ghostly manifestations – including the ‘table-lifting’, rapping’s and ‘spirit voices’ induced by mediums – owe their existence to the same source of origin.
But the suggestion that unconscious forces in the human mind are responsible for many cases of inexplicable phenomena which are otherwise termed ‘ghosts’, or the previously expounded observation that many supernatural phenomena are connected with ley lines, is not intended to be a neatly tied-up explanation for the existence of psychic phenomena.
There are too many factors to be taken into account when dealing with cases of unexplained phenomena; not least, that a number of reported cases (and the author has concluded that it is a very small percentage) that cannot be explained by any rational means, and seem to have as their basis the existence of some form of independent outside ‘intelligence’s’.
To speculate about the possible existence of such ‘intelligence’s’, however, or to ascribe to ‘them’ characteristics usually reserved for the living. would be to enter a meaningless realm where unexplained fact becomes overshadowed by unprovable theories and fantasy leaving no room for serious psychic investigation.
It is no easy task, after all, to sift fact through the lurid pictures of red-eyed monsters and other such demons that so often beguile the human imagination.
But regarding ley lines themselves and any relevance these might have to the phenomena reported at Highgate, or for that matter, their relation to many other cases of reputed paranormal phenomena all over the country, we can only rest on the hypothesis that if such lines are responsible for the appearances of many supernatural phenomena, and the energy connected with them can be understood, then, fearsome entities such as the one at Highgate – ‘vampire-type’ apparition or otherwise – will no longer be a mystery.
Adapted from “Beyond the Highgate Vampire” © David Farrant