Paranormal Lives Part 2

David Farrant

Here is Part 2 of the interview I gave to Jeremy Evans for his Paranormal Lives Website.  Enjoy Everyone . . .

David Farrant is Co-Founder and President of the British Psychic and Occult Society. In his second interview with Jeremy Evans, David explains how his beliefs cross over with magic, evil and religion.  [Jeremy Evans].

Q: To you was the paranormal just an interest, a hobby – or did you also feel a sort of duty?

I felt it was more of a calling. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I just felt sort of drawn towards it – the paranormal, the life beyond the material world as we know it. I just sensed it, I knew it.

My mother encouraged me, albeit in the limited way that you can encourage a young child. And she taught me about not so much what beliefs were but what they were not.

That there was no God sitting up there in a rocking chair going round in orbit and sending people to hell. I’m being serious, people really believe that and take it literally. I mean no offence to anybody – I have this all the time, as my wife’s a Catholic!

Q: So do you believe in heaven and hell?

No, not in the normal concept. This might surprise you, and even outrages some people – I don’t say it with any disrespect – but I don’t even accept the existence of the devil. And hence it follows that I don’t accept the existence of, if you like, evil spirits.

Where this confuses people is they think I’m trying to say there’s no evil. And that’s the last thing I’m saying – this world is absolutely brimmed full with evil, animosity, jealousy, wars, violence, famine, pestilence, illness. I’m not denying the existence of that; you’ve only got to open your eyes, open a newspaper or turn on the radio or TV.

But it’s only the product of the human mind. It’s in human nature, human thinking. If you’ve got no human mind, you’ve got no evil. And the same applies to goodness.

This spills over to white magic and black magic. Magic in the universe is a neutral power. People can tap into that if they know what they’re doing. If it’s used for goodness then you can safely call it white magic. But it can also be used for a negative purpose.

People try and form rituals or ceremonies, and people do this I assure you – I’ve met them. If you use that power for harm, for self-gain at someone else’s expense, you can safely call the use of that power black.

But the magic itself is neutral. It’s just a tool. But it’s a tool you have to understand – you can’t just tap into it if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Q: So how much do you know about where the magic comes from? Is it the same sort of energy as spirits and apparitions?

Let me put it this way; they’re all linked together.

There are different categories of unexplained phenomenon. The most common is the one we loosely term ghosts. And that’s a word I cannot stand as it automatically sums up visions of figures in white sheets, clanking chains or carrying their heads. That’s not what I’m saying; it’s absolutely ridiculous.

But what I am saying is that a lot of these apparitions don’t actually have any real intelligence, they’re just reflections of past events. If these apparitions appear naturally and are merely witnessed by people, which is what happens most of the time, they’re just appearing under their own volition. It’s like a recording. But they’re dependent on certain conditions.

Atmospheric conditions for example: you’ll find a lot of these apparitions appear in or around water – rives, lakes, underground streams, that sort of thing. And they usually appear under conditions where there is low pressure in the atmosphere, such as the heavy atmosphere before the thunderstorm when the air’s charged with electricity. You could say it’s all to do with the amount of energy around at that point.


Previously –
 David Farrant: Discoveries

Paranormal Lives (Part 1)

 

Just before Christmas 2012, I gave an interview for Jeremy Evans who ran a Website called Paranormal Lives.  I, in fact, first met Jeremy the previous October, at The Old Gatehouse pub in Highgate where I’d been giving a filmed Talk on ghosts and the Highgate ‘vampire’, and he asked me  afterwards if I would agree to be interviewed for his Website.  I published this two part interview with myself here in June last year

This interview was published in Paranormal Lives in two parts beginning early in January 2013 and titled simply “Interview with David Farrant”. .

As these interviews had been received quite well on Paranormal Lives,  and because that Website is no longer online  and so its achieves are no longer available  to view or copy, I decided to release them again here on The Human Touch, for the benefit of any who might have missed their original publication. They are, after all, really timeless in origin and some shrouded past events may perhaps become clearer if viewed with a more up to date perspective.

It perhaps goes without saying that I have reproduced these interviews with the full permission of Jeremy Evans who still holds the exclusive copyright.

Anyway enjoy everyone.

David Farrant.

 David Farrant is Co-Founder and President of the British Psychic and Occult Society.

He grew up in Highgate, North London, where he still lives, and quickly gained media attention due to his activities and writings.

In the first of a series of interviews on Paranormal Lives,  Jeremy Evans talks to David about the origins of his career  [Jeremy Evans]

 

David Farrant

david1

Q: Could you tell me a bit about how you got into spiritualism and the paranormal?

Well, you know, it’s going to be a long story, so I’ll have to keep it really simple!
I got into it really because of my mother’s involvement. She used to attend a couple of spiritualist churches in North London: in Finchley and Kentish Town. I was greatly influenced by her. In contrast, my father was a businessman, a company director. He didn’t believe in things like that.

But she was very interested in the paranormal; in communicating with spirits, because that’s the whole purpose of spiritualism. She mixed with other people who were involved in it, people from the church. They used to go to each others’ houses for coffee or tea or wine or something like that. So the simple answer is because I came under my mother’s influence.

She died when I was thirteen years old. After that I still kept the interest. I left school at fifteen and I went to seek out friends that had known my mother. All were involved in the field, all interested in things like hypnosis, contacting spirits, unexplained phenomena, all things like that. And that’s gradually how I got the interest. It was there I picked it up and then I just developed it.

Q: When was your first real paranormal experience, your first piece of, as it were, evidence?

The evidence was always there. The house that I was born in, which is still there actually, was in Shepherds Hill in Highgate. It was a huge Victorian house – I mean huge, huge garden and everything. Some years later it came that, in the course of my investigations and developing, I learned about ley lines, and I think the house was situated on such a leyline. And that might be quite significant because a few strange things happened in that house. I don’t like the word ‘haunted’, but there was some presence in that house.

And I actually saw a figure – not that many times, but it had a very deep impression on me. It’s not the type of thing you forget. When you’re a young child – nine or ten – and you see something like that, you just remember it. It was so vivid, and actually so real.

I think I only saw that figure only about three times over the course of a few years. But I saw it distinctly and it would seem to materialise out of one of the walls, and then either disappear through the big bay windows or through another wall. Or sometimes it would walk round the corner where I couldn’t see it, but I always knew it was there. I just sensed it was still there. So I had no doubt from a very early age that there was something, if you like, beyond the material world.

And if I didn’t see that figure, I used to wake up in the early hours of the morning. I’d always be asleep and then suddenly I’d be wide awake. And I just instinctively knew it was present. And if I didn’t see it I would hear a strange voice coming out of the wall. It wasn’t my parents, it wasn’t the room next door, because they were in bed – the whole house was in blackness, in quietness. And there was this really strange, ethereal voice. I couldn’t understand the words, funnily enough; it wasn’t as if I used to get messages. I just heard something talking to me. So I was actually brought up in that atmosphere.

Q: So it wasn’t a question of whether you believed in these things, but of how much you wanted to pursue it?

Yes. I used to tell my mother about these experiences and she was very understanding. She put things differently to me. She told me not to be frightened of these things, that they can’t hurt you. She put it in a way that a young child would understand. She said it’s very rare that these entities can try and harm you, unless you go out of your way to try and call them, or pray to them like you pray to God. She calmed me down.

My father was actually completely the opposite. He wouldn’t accept that I’d actually seen anything; to him I was just having a bad dream. My mother would never talk to me in front of him about it, because his attitude would be “don’t encourage him”, “don’t talk about it”.

Her involvement in spiritualism used to cause a lot of conflict between them. She used to come back from meetings, sometimes very late at night, after having been to the church. So I grew up with that conflict. My father was a very good man, don’t get me wrong – but he wouldn’t accept anything like that.

I think it was just in his nature. I might be wrong but I think when he met my mother – she was a nurse, stationed in London – he was aware of her involvement. He didn’t want to interfere – if people wanted to believe in God he would accept that. He wasn’t an atheist, he was just indifferent. But that was in normal religion: when it overstepped the boundaries as far as he was concerned and went in to spiritualism, and actually involved gathering in churches and using mediums to try and contact spirits, he didn’t really approve of that. But I just felt drawn towards it . . .

.

In Part Two: David on Spirits and Religion

Some Other News . . .

Just Me Again!

 

Just thought I should tell you everyone that I have NOT stopped doing my Blog here.  It may seem like it because of the last date, but it is still very much on my mind to keep it updated as far as is interesting.  Problem is: I have been working on three separate projects this past month and it is sometimes difficult to ‘break’ off’ from either one of them to write this to my Diary.  (Well, as I have said in the past, I consider this to be more of a ‘Diary’ as opposed to a Blog!).  As it is, I have to ‘fill in’ with other things as well, which includes to deal with some rather silly people (by way of their of their replies) who just can’t seem to get over the 45-year-old Highgate ‘vampire’ case and my past involvement in this at the time.

 I am taking a quick break at the moment though, as really need a break from the screen, and can ‘stop and start’ as I want to without worrying about something getting finished.

 So  what’s news apart from that?

 Well we had a pleasant surprise on Saturday when my friend Katherine from Scotland paid us a visit.  She used to live in Muswell Hill but had a few days off from college to visit friends in London.  She brought Della a beautiful bunch of red roses and myself, an equally welcome bottle of Bordeaux red wine.  She was here for a couple of hours so we had plenty of time to catch up with everything.  I was pleased to learn that she’d still been checking my Blog – in fact that’s what probably prompted me into getting back to it.

 Still getting calls and emails in asking me to give interviews on the paranormal or help with different student projects.  I try never to decline any, although I have had to put a few ‘on hold’ for a couple of months and tell the people they’ll just have to get back to me then.  Of course I will honour any I have already committed to but just can’t take on any more work until this other business has been sorted out.  But at least the Summer is not too far away now, and that does make things a lot more comfortable – especially travelling too far with my bad back.

 Talking of Summer,  I’ll be glad when I can start buying my strong 10% beer once again.  Its just not so enjoyable in the winter, in the cold months.

 Some good news in yesterday though from somebody wanting to know if past issues of our 1997 publication “Suspended in Dusk” are still available.  I have since answered him, but for the sake of people here . . . yes they are!  “Suspended” was quarterly and ran to 6 issues from ’97 and was the official magazine of the Highgate Vampire Society.  The only one that completely sold out was No 4 (and this probably helped by the fact that it has a skimply-clad ‘witch’ on the cover!), but we can still make one up for printing if anybody is interested.  Please just send me a PM here giving your email and I will gladly send the postage details.

 So, that has given me a nice little break before I have to return to more mundane matters.  But has to be done so I must say goodbye to everyone.  But I’ll be back soon and promise not to leave it so long next time!

David (Farrant).

 

Tulpa Unlimited!

The long awaited docudrama “Tulpa” tells the true story behind the now legendary Highgate ‘vampire’ case, which gripped north London with fear in the early 1970s.

The premier of the film was shown in Central London, at the King and Queen pub and attracted a dedicated audience. It was screened by ‘Spooky London’, a meet up group convened by David Saunderson of ‘Spooky Isles’ fame, and as you can see from the comments on their website Tulpa had a very good reception. Talented photographer and paranormal enthusiast Lorcan Maguire was also on hand to take some fantastic stills, as the film’s producers introduced their work and took questions and feedback from the audience.

The premiere of Tulpa (c) Lorcan Maguire 2014

 

Made and produced over a five-year period by Max and Bart Sycamore, it traces the life of David Farrant, the man synonymous with the case, “Tulpa” explores the man who, in his own words, ‘became a kind of story which people could read in bed on a Sunday morning’.

“Tulpa” is the culmination of several years of painstaking research, multiple interviews (including ones with authors who have written extensively on the Highgate case, Patsy Langley and Gareth J. Medway) and those that have witnesses the entity, and not to mention a few setbacks, including a chilling encounter with Jean Pateman, then Chairman of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery. Now, for the first time, the eight part series has been brought together, capturing the zeitgeist of 1960s and 1970s London, and reveals the man behind the myth.

Fans of Highgate will be aware of Audrey Niffenegger’s 2009 novel “Her Fearful Symmetry”, which tells the supernatural experiences and revelations of two identical female twins, who inherit a flat overlooking north London’s Highgate Cemetery. By a strange twist of fate, in 2009 identical twins Bart and Max Sycamore came across the story of the Highgate Vampire.

Max Sycamore speaking at the premiere of Tulpa (c) Lorcan Maguire 2014

 

The Sycamore brothers are made up of two very individual halves. One, with many years experience in community-based filmmaking, has the skills needed to deliver personal stories to the mainstream. The other, a writer of screenplays and novels, has a mind for the weird and wonderful. Together, they are the ideal whole to take on the subject of the life of David Farrant and his feared and famed foe – the ‘Highgate Vampire’.

 

Co-director Bart Sycamore at the premiere of Tulpa (c) Lorcan Maguire 2014

 

I was not able to attend the premier of the film myself on the night, but Gareth J. Medway – one of the stars of the film – was present and managed to participate in a Question and Answer session from the audience.  The interest from the audience was intense, but I will pass you over to Gareth for the moment as he was present and so better able to convey the atmosphere of the occasion . . .

The first question asked was: “Why did it take five years?”  There were various reasons, including their Nan dying soon after the original filming was completed, and a hard drive crashing at a crucial moment.  It was pointed out that the sound track varied in volume, and Max admitted that in future he would try to employ a skilled sound engineer.   As to how they first learnt of the affair, they read about it in a community magazine, whose editors warned them not to approach David Farrant, which they thought might somehow be dangerous.  They went to interview him anyway, and found him to be a friendly, helpful person.  Later, they showed a magazine of their own to Jean Pateman, who was, shall we say, not so helpful.  For that reason, they have never actually been around the cemetery!  Mrs. Pateman now resides permanently there herself.  There is now a more broad-minded management.  They concluded that they hoped to be able to do a longer version.

Max and Bart had to leave to go elsewhere, but there followed an informal discussion.  One man asked if there had been any other paranormal activity reported in the Highgate area following David’s imprisonment, and I told them that there have been intermittent sightings of an entity ever since.  There was a question regarding what the entity actually was, and I said that there are various possibilities: the spirit of a dead person, a psychic memory of a once living person, or a ‘tulpa’, which they had taken as the title of the film: this is not, as one man thought, an Egyptian word, but Tibetan, meaning a thought-form created by people’s minds.

So, last week on February 15th  2014, after several years of research, “Tulpa” in its completed form, was finally presented to an anticipating audience.  Its next scheduled stop is for a Film Festival later this year.

We can only eagerly watch its progress!

For anyone who was not able to attend the screening of the full length film, you can watch an earlier edit in 8 serialised parts here:

All syndication and film festival enquiries should be directed to maximusfilm@yahoo.co.uk All content © The Sycamore Brothers

 

Beaumaris – the Elusive Vampire

 

 

Haunted Beaumaris - home to a 'vampire'?

BEAUMARIS – THE ELUSIVE VAMPIRE

BY

DAVID FARRANT

Highgate Cemetery in North London is by no means unique when it comes to reports of ‘vampires’.  A case we investigated in 1982 concerns an old derelict Manor House which is about six miles from Beaumaris, Anglesea, in Wales. It was very isolated and the whole area was practically deserted.

Rumour had it that the mansion was haunted by a “female spectre” and locally she’d become associated with stories of “vampires”. We never found out why right at the beginning, but, in any event, this was the general story going around. We spoke to the locals – and I should add here that the Welsh are not exactly the easiest people in the world to get information out of. Maybe suspicious of strangers from outside their close-knit communities, they seemed very guarded in giving precise information, although most locals all basically told the same story: there was a terrible spectre that haunted the Manor House which was supposed to be that of a vampire and nobody would venture near the place at night. The police at Beaumaris whom we checked with before we started the investigation seemed to have no truck with the vampire rumours, but they did confirm that the place had a sinister reputation, also that Baron Hall hadn’t been lived in for many years and was now deserted.  It had been the ancestral home of the Buckley family who were very high up in the community.

The first thing we did, was to visit the Manor House by day – this would have been in the late summer or early autumn of 1982. It was very difficult to find. We had to go up long winding lanes, and there was not even anyone around to ask, but we eventually located it, hidden, right in the middle of nowhere. As it loomed up in the distance, in the grounds, we discovered a short flight of steps, very overgrown but not vandalised, and at the bottom of these were two securely locked iron doors with bars in them at the top, so of course, we had to look through these to see what was inside! When we shone the torch through them – and there is a comparison to Highgate Cemetery here – there were concrete shelves on either side of a small room and at least six coffins were clearly visible. We automatically assumed that these contained the remains of people who had lived in the house and who had been interred in the family vault. At the time, I remember thinking that this seemed unusual because there were no churches in the vicinity and it was almost as if the vault lay on unconsecrated ground. It was a bit of a mystery … the point being of course, that if this was the case, it could probably have given rise, or served as a reason, for the vampire stories.

We went into the house itself and discovered that half the roof was missing at one end of the building. It was a huge building and must have been about fifty or sixty feet high, and originally it probably contained four or five floors. None of these floors were intact, but the whole of the downstairs area was. We found one other short flight of step’s on the left of the building with two massive great oak doors at the bottom, and the temptation was to go and have a look, because obviously, there would have been a dungeon or crypt, or something, underneath. But there was literally no access because lying in front of these doors were great big chunks of masonry and it would have been impossible to move it, and even if we could have done, I doubt if we’d have got the doors open. I did the usual checks … I should mention here that the temperature inside the building was decidedly cold. Now you could put this down to the building being built of stone and that sometimes when you go into a stone building it can harbour cold, rather like a refrigerator, I don’t know – but it was markedly colder than the temperature outside. We also measured the pressure, and the pressure inside the building was a lot lower than it was outside, although it was a very warm late summer’s day; which again in itself is interesting because you don’t usually get drops in pressure to that extent in such a short distance of a few feet. I say it’s interesting because you often find that cases of unexplained phenomena often occur in area’s of low pressure.

We explored the building and we explored the grounds. In fact the grounds were massive. There was a huge overgrown orchard and this must have taken up two or three acres. There were outhouses that were derelict and had long since been deserted; there was a huge ornamental fish pond which had long dried up – the bottom was all cracked. I say “huge”, it was probably bigger than an average sized room.

The other strange thing we found were huge plants which I’d never seen before. It was almost as if they were tropical. I actually got a leaf and the leaf itself was about six feet across. And I have a picture of myself holding it (so you can compare it to my height which is about six foot), and the stem would have been about the size of a small sapling tree. It was covered in spikes. I don’t know what they were, it’s as if at some time people had been experimenting with various forms of vegetation in the grounds.

We subsequently visited the building on other occasions, we got photographs of it, took other readings, including using a compass. Now, a compass is very important because it can actually react in the presence of psychic energy. It can throw the compass out of alignment so instead of pointing North, it’ll go mad and start spinning around. There was a varied reading on the compass. We got a true North reading at one end of the building, then we walked to the other end and the reading was ten degrees different. This happened two or three times around the course of the building, so there was definitely some sort of strange energy in it.

We visited the Mansion by car on several other occasions in daylight; but we became absolutely fascinated, and so we decided to hold a vigil there at night. There were five of us all together:  Two psychic investigators who we were staying with across on the mainland; medium Colette Sully, and an Englishman called Geoff Jennings, who was a geologist living in the area.

Now, we went there one evening. We must have arrived about 10 0’clock and it was very, very cold inside the mansion, for we’d decided to hold the vigil inside it. I mean, I know there’d been a marked difference in temperature during the daytime but at night it was absolutely icy-cold. I do remember one thing: we kept fairly quiet, but after about an hour, there was a tremendous “slamming noise” and one of the windows at the top of the building flew open and slammed shut with tremendous force: which was unusual because there was no wind at all and it was a peaceful, passive night. But we sensed something there. It was very difficult to put into words, but it was as if some unseen presence was aware of our every move.  Of course, this could have been helped by the dank chilly temperature and impenetratable black shadows that permeated the inside, but on top of this, an overwhelmingly claustrophobic atmosphere seemed to ensure we were totally ‘cut off’ from the world outside.

Then after midnight when we were facing the right end of the building inside the great front door (the left end of the building was where the stairs had collapsed which led to the entrance of the cellars or the crypt, or whatever it was), one of the girls there suddenly gasped and said she’d “seen a figure” that had come “out of the wall” and which had disappeared through a wall in the vicinity of the staircase.

We all spun around, but there was no visual sign of the figure the girl swore to seeing before it disappeared through a wall.  Geoff Jennings also said he had seen the moving shadow out of the corner of his eye as he’d turned around, but this was more by way of a ‘quick glimpse’ as it had disappeared by the wall.  In fact, it was quite light in there; at least away from the dark alcoves and corners of the walls.  There was a bright half-moon and because there was no roof in this part of the building, it was quite possible to see without torch-light. She described the greyish figure she had seen  as that of a lady wearing a floor-length dress. Again, if it was possible, the place had turned even colder.

We took photographs but that was really an afterthought because the figure had already disappeared.  But the terrible atmosphere remained. I wouldn’t call it “evil”,  but an intense sort of ominous force that was in there that was “watching you”. 

Once outside the building, it was almost as if a great weight had been lifted from our shoulders. You could hear the odd owl again, or animals in the undergrowth. It was rather like walking back into a different world.

So although I didn’t actually witness the figure myself, I certainly heard the heavy window shutter slam open and shut in the absence of any wind and experienced the compelling  atmosphere.

And seen the intact coffins lying in the family vault situated in seemingly unconcentrated ground.  An important factor that may well have contributed to local stories that this ‘roaming spectre’ might be a . . . ‘vampire’!

David Farrant

Patsy Langley Paranormal Lives (1) – Presented by Jeremy Evans

Jeremy Evans, centre, at his meeting with David Farrant and Patsy Langley (fourth from right) at the Olde Gatehouse Occult Convention Oct 2012 (c) NLPI

Just before Christmas 2012, I gave an interview for Jeremy Evans who ran a Website called Paranormal Lives.  I, in fact, first met Jeremy the previous October, at The Old Gatehouse pub in Highgate where I’d been giving a filmed Talk on ghosts and the Highgate ‘vampire’, and he asked me  afterwards if I would agree to be interviewed for his Website.  I published this two part interview with myself here in June last year

This interview was published Paranormal Lives in two parts beginning early in January 2013 and titled simply “Interview with David Farrant”. .

Also present at this October Talk was medium Patsy Langley giving her own Talk on the Highgate Vampire.  Patsy had published  a book on the Highgate case in 2007, “The Highgate Vampire Casebook”, but Jeremy was especially interested to interview her for his Website to learn a little more about her background and those factors in her life that had led her to being trained as a medium. She was interviewed by a colleague of Jeremy’s,  Larry Ferguson, who went to interview Patsy at her home in Feltham and this was accordingly published on Paranormal Lives.

As these interviews had been received quite well on that Website, I decided to release them again on The Human Touch, for the benefit of any who might have missed their original publication. They are, after all, really timeless in origin and some shrouded past events may perhaps become clearer if viewed with a more up to date perspective.

Anyway enjoy everyone.  Part 2 of Patsy’s interview will follow in a couple of days.  Just as I had been influenced by my mother’s deep involvement in Spiritualism; so Patsy as well, may have had her path shaped through her own involvement in Spiritualism.

David Farrant.

Patricia Langley: Origins

January 23, 2013 by Paranormal Lives

Patricia Langley is a medium, paranormal investigator and a part-time author. She also trains new mediums, runs circles and offers spiritual advice. Patricia is a member of the British Psychic and Occult Society, and the Spiritualists’ National Union. Outside of her life in the paranormal, she has studied geology and earth sciences and works full-time as an assistant accountant.

In the first of two interviews, Larry Ferguson speaks to Patricia about the origins of her interest in the paranormal.

Q. When did you first become interested in the paranormal?

Well I can’t say exactly when, but I know that I was a very small child. When I was probably about two years old we lived in a big old house in Brentford, and I’m sure there was something in that house. I used to see odd white forms on the stairs and I was quite frightened by it.

I was always writing stories at school about ghosts and phantoms. And if there were spooky films on television, I would always be interested in watching them even though I was young. This has carried on through the years and as I’ve got older the more interested I’ve become.

Q. Is the paranormal just about ghosts, or is it more than that?

It’s more than that. Much of the time it’s the sensing of others – it’s the sensing of other people, living people. It’s about living sentient beings creating an energy that another sentient being can certainly pick up on, and it doesn’t have to be humans either. Lots of animals, especially insects, pick up on this, and one finds this when there’s lots of earth energy.

Being trained as a geologist, I know that before an earthquake or volcanic eruption happens there’s lots of paranormal phenomena experienced beforehand – animals behaving in odd ways, people seeing and sensing things before an eruption or a tsunami. And that can be construed as paranormal where it’s beyond the normal. In normal daily life they wouldn’t experience it.

Q. For somebody to experience ghosts, do you have to believe in them, the paranormal or the supernatural? Do you have to in some way be predisposed to that?

It helps, but not necessarily. Some hardened sceptics I’ve known who would not countenance belief in ghosts or the paranormal whatsoever have had experiences that they just cannot explain. It certainly helps if you have an open mind.

Q. Is the paranormal more powerful than religion – or religious belief?

It depends on how powerful one’s religious belief is. Speaking as a medium, as a Christian who believes in God, I would say that certainly if it came down on one side or the other, the sensing of spirits and the seeing of ghosts – the paranormal – would trump anyone’s religion.

Q. You train mediums, run circles and offer spiritual advice – tell us a bit about that.

Some people come and see mediums if there’s some kind of crisis in their lives. I would never offer a spiritual reading to someone who is vulnerable. I would ask them to get some counselling, work through that first and then come back. If they still want to have some spiritual advice I would normally start with a reading, but I’d’d ask them why they want a reading, what they think they will get out of it.

I tell them that there is no guarantee of success that the person they wish to speak to, if they are bereaved for example, that they will actually get through to them in the spirit world. A reading with a medium is and should be a total spiritual experience so that whole spiritual energy envelops the medium, the sitter and the spirits coming through.

Training mediums, that’s a bit more difficult. It depends on why someone wants to be a medium. I’ve had people come in my circle and say I want to be famous, I want to end up on the television, I want to be like Derek Acorah. That’s totally the wrong reason. Most people will come and say they want to be a medium because they’ve had an experience – they’ve either been seeing ghosts, want some direction or want to know more about it.

We would start off with meditation, getting to know that person, followed by weekly meetings. Sometimes that person will go on to work with the general public, sometimes they won’t. It all depends on why they want to be a medium. Sometimes they want to help people; sometimes they just want it for themselves.

Q. And what was involved in your own training to become a medium?

The training involves deep thinking, deep breathing. Meditation forms a lot of being a medium – getting vibration right, practising, lots and lots of practising when you are reaching out to the spirit world. I would sit in a restaurant and look at a person and try to pick up their guide and what the guide was telling me about the person. We were told to do lots and lots of leg work like that to sharpen our skills.

Q. Does this take a number of years?

It depends on the person. Some people can do it in a couple of years, some people can do it in six months, others can take many years.

Coming soon: Patsy Langley’s guide to investigating the paranormal

 

He Heard A New World …

Joe Meek in 1966; photo copyright David Peters

All been fairly peaceful after the long holidays.  In fact, its 6.30 in the morning now, and all is pleasantly quiet.  No cars or buses – that will all start in a couple of hours,  with the stir of human existence;  just to remind you, they’re not really all dead – they’ve just been sleeping.  Problem is, I’m not really tired right now; just taking advantage of the quietness.

So what of any relevant news?  Well, I was pleased to learn earlier today (or was it yesterday?) that the new film “A Life in the Death of Joe Meek” directed by Los Anglers based, Howard Berger,  is still all on schedule and apparently getting some good reviews in America where a pre-release has been shown to some selected audiences over there.  The film tells the story of the Life of Joe Meek, the creative Rock Icon of the 1960’s of Telstar fame, the start of a series of major hits that topped the charts leading up to his tragic death in early 1967.  Fame caught up with Joe very quickly: in fact, so quickly that his success somewhat obscured his fame in later life, and caused some conflict among his associates in the music industry.  Some of these were opposed to the new sound he had introduced . . . or was it perhaps because this ‘over-night boy’ had hit upon success too quickly to please the acceptance of  his old style  contemporaries?  That is perhaps another story, and might best be left for explanation in Howard’s film when it hits our screens in the near future.

I first met Joe in the early to mid 1960’s.  He lived fairly close to my Highgate home in a small flat he was renting in Holloway.

Looking back at it all now, I seem to remember Joe had written me a hand-written letter introducing himself and asking for a possible meeting.  Couple of letters followed exchanging phone numbers (we should perhaps remember that there was no Internet or emails, in those early days).

He came to my home one evening, and I learned that he had a profound interest in things of an occult nature; indeed all things spiritual.  He had learned about my own involvement in things occult; not least from David Sutch (“Screaming Lord Sutch”) a Rock associate of his that I had met a few years earlier.  I remember that he was completely dedicated to contacting (and recording) ‘spirits of the dead’ and, to this end, he told me he had some very interesting recordings of ‘spirit voices’ he had recorded in London’s Highgate Cemetery.  He had spent the night there on several occasions, he told me, and if we could meet again, he could let me hear some of these.

We did meet again, and he played me a couple of tapes.  And not long after that, we both visited Highgate Cemetery.  It was open by day, in those days, but I was interested in finding the locations he told me he had made these recordings.

I had listened to these recordings with interest; but again, although made at night, with the absence of any London sounds, it was difficult to discern some distinct ‘voices’ from the sounds of owls calling in the distance or the wind as it made its passage through the still trees.  But Joe was convinced that one high-pitched female voice on one of the tapes, was trying to convey some message to him personally, and he was convinced this was a message hat had been given to him as it was meant to convey some guidance from the ‘spirit world’ that could affect his life personally.

I really didn’t know.  But I was sure at least he was sincere.  And I was sure, at least, he would not have spent several night in the darkened Highgate Cemetery, unless these recordings were of essential importance to him.

But that explained, those were my early meetings with Joe Meek.  And I look forward to hearing further accounts from other witnesses in Howard Berger’s completed film, which may provide some more exact information about the turbulent life of this legendary music producer. . .

On another matter, the 6th episode of “Tulpa” will be released on YouTube later today.  I will put a link to it up here later.  Joe would certainly have been familiar with some of the locations shared in this film – not least those that might have inspired him so much in the eerie grounds of London’s Highgate Cemetery.

All for now everyone, anyway.

Hope you enjoy the latest episode,

David (Farrant).

POST SCRIPT:

Almost forgot!  Here is the link to Part 6 of Tulpa:

 

BPOS Ferrestone Road Investigation (Hornsey North London)

 

Well, first day of 2014 and so far a quiet one.  In all, quite a quiet Christmas holiday, but that’s the way I prefer it.  Accordingly, not much news.

Except maybe perhaps, we have just released another YouTube film in advance of the 5th episode of “Tulpa” due for release at the weekend.

Its about an investigation the BPOS were conducting in 1999 into a haunted house in Hornsey;  really an update on the original haunting which seemingly occurred at the house in 1921.  Della has gone into this in more detail on the latest post on her Website,  so it might be more practical to read this first to ascertain the background information.  The link to that is here: http://hidden-highgate.org/8-ferrestone-road-hornsey-coal-ghost/

I was first called in 1999 by the present occupant of the house, Pauline, which is in Ferrestone Road in Hornsey,  as she wanted some possible explanation as to yet more supernatural occurrences which appeared to have started up at the property.   On my first visit to the house, my initial interview with Pauline was filmed, and it was during this that a strange ‘tapping sound’ was heard in the front room.  It seemed to come from just below the ceiling, but nothing was visible although this sound was recorded on film.

But perhaps just as intriguing as this, was that the garden of the house backed onto a disused graveyard which it appeared at one time had extended right up to the house.  Whilst planting some shrubs in the garden, Pauline and her husband had discovered several old gravestones lying just below the surface, and further digging revealed a flight of concrete steps like those leading down to a private crypt.  This seemed to confirm that the house itself had been built directly on the site of this old cemetery which had been serving the parish of Hornsey for over 700 years.

David Farrant and Pauline, the present occupant of No. 8 Ferrestone Road at the garden's boundary which borders Old St Mary's graveyard (c) Dave Milner / BPOS 1999

Gravestones visible in the back garden of No. 8 Ferrestone Road, adjacent to the crypt entrance (c) Dave Milner / BPOS 1999

We were very pleased to discover this surviving footage recently, as the original video tapes had been damaged and those converted to digital format had been feared lost.  Obviously we (the BPOS) are not holding the mysterious rapping sounds which can be heard on the film up as ‘proof’ of supernatural intervention.

David Farrant and the present occupier of No. 8 Ferrestone Road filming in what was the original kitchen where the 1920s disturbances first began (c) Dave Milner / BPOS 1999

The footage (and subsequent audio track) are probably too degraded in their surviving format to offer up for scientific scrutiny of the kind which would satisfy skeptics. Nor can we ‘prove’ the controlled conditions within which the film was produced. But personally I, and the rest of those present, felt rather unnerved at the time and still find the playback somewhat disturbing and bizarre.

Anyway everyone hope you enjoy it all the same! And don’t miss Part 5 of ‘Tulpa’ this weekend.

David (Farrant)

The Promised Episode 4 of “Tulpa”

Well, here is the promised episode 4 of  “Tulpa” by the Sycamore Brothers: a breathtaking film to enlighten interested people as to what really occurred during the official BPOS investigation of a ‘vampire’ (rather ‘vampires’) in late 1969 said to be associated with Highgate Cemetery.   I did promise that episode 4 of the film would be released today.  I have not forgotten my promise, and so here it is!  For the record, let me remind people,  I never stated that this ‘ghost’ or earthbound entity was anything to do with a ‘blood-sucking- vampire and that such inventions were just based on some previous Hammer Horror films (“Taste the Blood of Dracula” being just one; ”Dracula AD 1972” being just one other) which were filmed on location at this famous old cemetery.  Anyway, here is Part 4 of the film.

David Farrant.

 

Bethlehem, Las Vegas or Highgate?

I am pleased to announce that Part 3 of our new film “Tulpa” has now gone up on YouTube ahead of schedule as a special inclusion to coincide with Christmas.  The remaining installments will revert back to a weekly basis once again with Part 4  being released on Saturday December 28th.

Just think,  Christmas will be over by then, but no doubt the ‘Christmas spirit’ will not fully subside until the New year has taken the old one away with a load more celebrations in its wake.

Anyone reading my penultimate Blog “Farrant’s Goose will be Cooked for Christmas”, may be aware that it is only the commercial aspects of Christmas that I am opposed to, and not the genuine meaning behind the festival itself.  I made it clear in this Blog (at least, I hope I made it clear) that I am not ‘anti’ any religion or religious beliefs.  But I have little tolerance when some of these may be turned into festivities of ‘human indulgence’ and the Divine Godhead is sometimes forgotten. This is not always the case, of course,  and many people from different Christian denominations will give priority to ‘Christ’s Mass’ in the very literal sense of that word.

My wife Della, for example, is a dedicated Catholic and always insists on erecting her Nativity collection on my altar in the front room. So out go the wands, the athames, the candles, inscribed parchments and other ritual paraphernalia; and in trots the Virgin Mary, some shephers with some sheep, and three Wise Men laden with chipped and faded gifts (which may as well be 2,000 years old) for the baby Jesus.  This year we’ve even got LED palm trees, artificial snow and an English woodland backdrop complete with holly, ivy and silver-sprayed branches all liberated from Highgate Woods. Are we in Bethlehem, Highgate or Las Vegas? I am not sure myself. She’s had the basic parts of this since a little girl, and kept it fondly for display at Christmas.  So I usually let her get on with it for a quiet life, especially after my recent ‘outing’ on Facebook by her indoors as an alleged ‘scrooge’, or ‘grinch’ according to one mutual friend who shall remain nameless!

In fact, yesterday I had just finished giving a 2-hour interview for my friend Don Ecker for his Dark Matters radio, and I was quite tired so I settled down to get a couple of hours sleep.  At this stage, the room was ‘normal’ but when I awoke she had erected the whole Nativity scene complete with Pound Shop fairy lights for that added touch of class.  Well, I did say earlier I don’t approve of big spending at Christmas.  After all, it is really the thought that counts!  And I must admit it does have a certain naïve charm, which I find far more preferable than the gaudy displays of consumerism which one sees in the shop windows in Oxford Street at this time of year.

Anyway, so nobody can accuse me of being frivolous, here are some pictures of Della’s handiwork so you can all decide for yourselves! Actually, I’m rather fond of Las Vegas, but that’s another story!

(c) Della Farrant 2013

(c) Della Farrant 2013

For the moment everyone,

David

The Long Awaited Film “Tulpa”

I am pleased to announce that the long awaited film “Tulpa” on the Highgate Vampire case and my major part in it in the 1970’s, has now been completed.  Filmed by the Sycamore Brothers, Max and Bart, and based significantly on my autobiography “David Farrant – In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire” released in 2009,  this 8-part docu –drama shows exclusive scenes from my childhood and later travels around Europe in the 1960’s,  including my introduction to the mystical religion in 1963.  It goes on to deal with my investigation into the infamous Highgate ‘vampire’ case of the 1970s,  and conflicts with the police and courts which this entailed.  It also records interviews with witnesses involved in the original investigation and demonstrates the way the tabloid press and television influenced public opinion (or inflated this) about the practices of Wicca, Satanism and black magic.

The film tries to condense all these attributes that are connected  with the paranormal and psychic research, but at the same time,  attempts to portray these from a ‘human point of view’ as opposed to general misinterpretation and media sensationalism.

I was especially interested in the way Max and his brother reconstructed scenes relating to the Highgate vampire episode; especially scenes where ‘I’ was arrested   in Highgate Cemetery in 1970 for ‘hunting a vampire’.

Jamie Sims played the arresting officer; Sean Howard the DS/C who interrogated  me at the police station, and Nicholas Wood the ‘unfortunate person’ (i.e. myself) said to be ‘hunting a vampire’.

Patsy Langley, author of  “The Highgate Vampire Casebook”, made a convincing interviewee on the film giving her expertise on the BPOS investigation; as did Gareth Medway, an author who exposed the activities of alleged ‘Satanists’ in his best selling book “Lure of the Sinister”.  The 1960s ‘Witchcraft craze’ was also referred to in the film, in conjunction with the tendency that some people exhibited in trying to exploit this for their own ends.

Hope you enjoy Part 1 and screencaps from the forthcoming webisodes below.

That’s all for now everyone,

David (Farrant)

© Max and Bart Sycamore 2013

 

© Max and Bart Sycamore 2013

 

© Max and Bart Sycamore 2013

 

© Max and Bart Sycamore 2013

 

 

 

Farrant’s Goose will be Cooked for Christmas

 Well, we seem to be getting closer and closer to the ‘dreaded Christmas period!’.  Please don’t get me wrong.  I am not just ‘anti-Christmas’ in any religious sense – just the material or secular sense into which this has been turned into.  A period of mass commercialism and profit,  gaudy advertising which now starts some three months before it is even due; crowds of people bustling on pavements and queuing in shops, and, everywhere you look, an ‘atmosphere’ which you are forced to breathe that is charged with some sort of ‘Christmas spirit’!  There is no escaping it, it is almost ‘hypnotic’ – well, for most people anyway.  Even sitting indoors, we are swamped with it!  Via the Internet and television (I am lucky, at least as I don’t have a television), or Christmas cards from people you hardly know, or at least, you only ever hear from  approaching the ‘dreaded dat

Della wanted to get a Christmas tree this year.  I said ‘no’.  She promptly reported me to friends and acquaintances on the Internet (only in fun, I should add!) and I was immediately accused of being a ‘scrooge’ for my trouble (as no doubt I might be here!)… She seemed confused as we had had Christmas perks and decorations here some two years ago.  By ‘perks’ I mean’ mince pies, champagne, Xmas lights flickering around the room; cards displayed on shelves, and other silly decorations and tinsel.

 “We had them before”, she argued, “So why not again this year?”.

 “Because those were just for a ‘Christmas Special film”, I countered.  “It was only necessary for that film – they were props . . . it had to look authentic!”.

 That was really a lethal thing to say because – being a Catholic – Della had become used to all the usual Christmas trappings, and she seemed genuinely concerned  at me trying to explain that I simply didn’t want any around me!  I felt a bit mean then.  I have never intended  to mock peoples’ genuine sense of joy during the period,  but I was a bit ‘trapped’ into explaining why!  Without otherwise hurting someone’s feelings, that is.

 So, there are still two weeks left, and already, I have half given-in.  But I’ll definitely put my foot down if it comes to purchasing one of those mass slaughtered turkeys!  I don’t mind going back in time (Victorian time, I mean) when a goose was the standard traditional delicacy,  and if she could find one of them,  be nice to try that out for a change!  I shouldn’t relay have said that, as knowing her, she probably will!  Then I’ll have no choice but to eat it!  Then people could honestly say . . .  “Farrant’s Goose Will Be Cooked For Christmas!”

 On to less ‘Christmassy news’ now,  I am pleased to announce that my friend, Gareth Davies, that prolific radio presenter from “Mindset Central” based in Los Angeles, has just released an interview with myself about my involvement in the Highgate case which grasped world headlines at fever-pitch throughout the 1970’s (and beyond).

 The interview itself was very relaxed and informal (at least I like to think!), and did touch on the Highgate ‘vampire’ craze which was also exploited by the media in the 70’s.  But to save me summarizing it here,  it is on episode 76 on Mindset Central’s Para Talk so go enjoy the whole thing.

 I like talking with Gareth.   He is very laid back and relaxed, as is his co-presenter, Reeves Cook.  It does make a pleasant change  when people are not bombarding me with persistent questions about the ‘bloody Highgate vampire’, but take things a little more seriously!  Della has already been on his show discussing her new Website “Hidden Highgate” on October 22nd in Episode 70, and I know she feels the same way as well.

 So, back to the comparative peace of my humble existence . . . with Christmas looming upon us!For now everyone

 David  (Farrant).

 

The Triumph Of The Moon

Just a very short Blog to follow my last one, and to prove that I DO answer my fans and critics! I have received quite a few enquiries recently about Ronald Hutton’s book ‘The Triumph of the Moon’, in which he covered my 1974 Trial at the Old Bailey for ‘witchcraft offences’ for which I received four year imprisonment.

That is now history, but a lot of people apparently missed the text of the book (not so surprising really considering the price) and have been emailing me about it.  So, I reproduce the section which deals with my own involvement here. The text is really self-explanatory.

Incidentally I am pleased to inform you all that the author, in his professional capacity as a writer for Oxford University Press, saw fit to make his book a ‘Manchester-free zone’, presumably concluding that events in Highgate Cemetery in the 1970s were of far more relevance than any deviation to the grotty fictional stories originating from the Manchester era.

So do read on, and have fun!

David

The Triumph of the Moon

In the early 1970s, also, the nocturnal desecration of graveyards reached a spectacular climax, in events which have been made the subject of a full scholarly study by Bill Ellis.  After the spate of attacks on churchyards and churches in 1963-64, there was something of a lull, punctuated by incidents at Tottenham Park Cemetery, London, at Hallowe’en 1968, and at a burial ground at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in the following February, which press reports interpreted as evidence of ‘black magic’.  Thereafter, public attention began to focus upon a single site, the famous, sprawling, decaying, and overgrown Victorian cemetery of Highgate in North London.  From 1966 onwards this became a regular venue for groups of young people, holding parties and seeking entertainment.  One of these grew into a British Occult Society, the most prominent member of which was a youth with fragile blonde good looks and a taste for foreign au pair girls called David Farrant.  During the early 1970s he recklessly courted press publicity, playing up to his growing image as a witch, magician, and necromancer.  He also made enemies of the local police, most obviously with a stunt in which he sent voodoo dolls to detectives who had questioned one of his associates, warning them that he would use his magic against them if they repeated the offence.  In 1973 they charged him with arson after catching him holding a ‘Wiccan’ ceremony around a fire in a derelict house, only to see him acquitted by the jury.

            The following year they tried again, this time charging him with most of the increasingly spectacular and grisly japes with tombs and corpses which had been occurring at Highgate.  Farrant had always taken care in his statements to distinguish himself from Satanists, and now claimed that he was a Wiccan, concerned with doing good to living and dead and being accused of offences actually committed by devil—worshippers.    He faced a hostile judge, was pilloried in the press coverage, and had to reckon with a prominent writer on ritual magic, Francis King, who informed the court that a photograph of graffiti left on one tomb in the cemetery proved that a ritual had taken place there to restore life to a dead body.  Farrant was acquitted of the most serious charges but found guilty of a set of minor offences, and gaoled for four years.  He has always maintained his innocence, and Bill Ellis’s careful analysis of the case suggests that he be given the benefit of the doubt – although it also demonstrates that there is actually no evidence that real Satanists ever operated in Highgate, and that the damage there may all have been the result of adolescent misbehaviour.  It makes clear also how much Farrant brought his fate on himself – however unjust it may have been – by  playing up to the newspapers and provoking the police.  His trial remains the most sensational one involving a self-professed Wiccan in the alleged practice of the religion, and gave a very bad public impression of it . . . [from] national events such as the Farrant trial, and the broader cultural developments discussed above, it does seem that press coverage of witchcraft in Britain was distinctly harsher in the 1970s than it had been in the previous decade.

Professor Ronald Hutton,  The Triumph of the Moon, Oxfordshire University Press, 1991

 

 

More Personal One For a Change

(c) David Farrant 2013

Well the cold weather has finally come back again, and I think readers of this Blog will remember just how much I hate the cold.  Its mainly because of my back injury quite some years ago now which I believe I mentioned almost as many years ago now.  Can’t quite remember when it happened, but I believe it was around 2001.  It was caused by a slight fall at my home – well, in fact, quite a heavy fall as I succeeded in dislodging a vertebrae.  No.  I wasn’t ‘drunk’ (much as this may come a disappointment to a few of my critics!),  but slipped on some workmen’s tools left on the stairs.  Among other things, they were supposed to be fixing the lighting, but they had somehow managed to set the communal lightings setting down to a minimum, so instead of staying on for 4 minutes or so, the main lights went off after only about 15 seconds.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of this, and my descent on the rather steep stairs where I live (in a flat at the top of a house over-looking Highgate Woods) was suddenly ‘plunged into darkness’.  Result.  I missed the stairs and slipped on some tools which they had neglected to put away before leaving.  I twisted my ankle and fell on the base on my spine – which wasn’t exactly helped by a heavy bang to the head in the process.  There was no pain – at least, if there was, I didn’t feel any at the time.  In the morning my foot was badly swollen and it was impossible to put any weight on it without severe pain; which meant, of course, normal walking was made impossible until the natural healing process had taken its course.

At least, that’s what I thought at the time; maybe two or three weeks trapped in my flat with a total reliance on others to bring me in every necessity from food to luxuries like cigarettes and wine.

The latter, in fact, didn’t bother me so much, as I needed a rest during a busy period and quite relished the fact of catching up on a lot of writing while being to see friends at the same time.

But after only just one week, it seemed I was getting a premonition of complications that were to come into the future . . . My foot was healing up quickly,  but I noticed that something seemed to have ‘happened’ to my back.  I could no longer get into comfortable positions in bed, or even sitting at the computer,  and unwanted feelings of ‘dizziness’ became increasingly common which seemed to have no connection with my injured foot..  When I tried to walk (which I could almost do by this time),  I could no longer do so with normal speed, and if I tried to so, all sense of balance would go so there was a real danger of falling over.

I spoke to a friend of mine about this whom I’d met at a nearby tennis club where I socialized.  Being a doctor he could advise me ‘out of hours’,   and he concluded that there was nothing physically wrong with my foot (which by this time had returned to normal size and not even painful),  but that the dislodged vertebrae was the real problem (which could be felt to be physically out of place) which had somehow affected the nerve endings  that affected walking.  He advised me to go to my own doctor for confirmation and that she would probably refer me to a specialist who may advise that spinal ‘manipulation’ may be necessary – in other words, an operation.

Well, that really decided me in advance.  I already suspected that this might be the problem, and yet I had heard so many horrendous stories about people having spinal ‘treatment’, that I decided to just ‘put up with it’, rather than just complicating the problem.  After all, I reasoned, I was not in any physical pain (which was one major blessing), and it just meant adjusting my physical balance accordingly, although I also realised this would probably mean, I could never walk any faster.

By some quirk of Fate, I had become a ‘semi-invalid’ overnight (quite literally!),  but  (I reasoned, and still do!) it was the lesser of two evils just to accept this gracefully, rather than become a permanent one!  I knew there were many others far worse off than myself, and I only had the disadvantage of being restricted by speed , and I would just have to accept Life’s given proviso.

And I do!

I have no choice.  Yet I have adapted it to fit in with everyday life.  Not so difficult to do in private maybe, but it can become quite inconvenient at some Talks I give when its necessary to travel by busy roads or rail with crowds of people to meet and converse with at the end of it!  But even then, this may be a misnomer.  More than often I’m just seated comfortably in my flat with or without friends around me – but invariably enjoying the work or solitude with my wife Della.

Sorry for any delay in Blogging, everyone.  But I thought you at least might like a more personal one for a change!

David  (Farrant)

An Ancestor Choosing Love Over Money …

David, Nancy and Uwe (c) Della Farrant 2013

As I must have said here quite a few times recently, things have been so hectic (over Hallowe’en at least) that they have really curtailed my ability to do every day blog posts here. Anyway, enough of that, I have already explained that! Suffice to say, the ‘Hallowe’en rush’ with all its commitments now seems to be over.  So I hope to be able to write at a more leisurely pace again, and give you the somewhat more ‘boring’ accounts that go to make up my everyday life; and of course, that includes Della as well who has also been a part of this latest ‘humdrum’ of psychic and media activity.

Most of you will be aware that on Hallowe’en – exactly – Della officially launched her new website “Hidden Highgate”, which was accordingly reviewed and promoted in the Press, including North London’s Hampstead & Highgate Express. The Ham and High telephoned Della and requested an interview about her new site in advance of its imminent release. They wanted to know more about her involvement in local history, and strange phenomenon that had plagued Highgate so for long: which she had promised would be forthcoming on her new site. She had already given two radio interviews about this in the previous weeks (one on Para Talk Radio based in Los Angeles, and one for Mickey Gocool’s North London Paranormal Investigations) both of which had been very successful. But, as she is a ‘local girl’ the Ham and High wanted to have a more personal involvement with Della’s own research and motivations regarding the launching of her new Site. All fine so far, and a lot of people are visiting the site and sending emails as a result of the Ham and High coverage, so thanks, Ham and High! And thanks to your IT department, you know who you are ;-)

Another really unexpected development lately, when Nancy Kilpatrick, the well known Canadian folklorist and author from Montreal sent us an email to say that she would be in London for a couple of weeks, and would welcome the chance to visit if this could be fitted into her schedule.  In fact, I have met Nancy previously, in 1997, when she visited me at my home in Muswell Hill with fellow vampirology enthusiast Rob Brautigam. So needless to say, Della and I were more than happy to arrange to see Nancy and her companion Uwe again before she had to return to Canada and he to Germany.

Nancy as many of you will know is the author of “The Goth Bible” (2004), as well as the editor of dozens of anthologies of gothic literature and a fiction writer in her own right.  She has long standing connections with the Count Dracula Fan Club, and we have many friends in common in this regard such as the venerable Jeanne Youngson – it always amazes me how one can develop such long lasting friendships from such unlikely beginnings! But that said, much as I don’t believe in vampires most of the friends I have made in this way over the years do not either! But that is not to say that do not have a sincere interest in writing and reading about them, as well as appreciating and seeking out an aesthetic appreciation of death and the hereafter.

We all had a nice meal together (spinach and ricotta lasagna a la Delia Smith, not blood bags!) and caught up on old times. We were very interested to learn that Nancy has managed to trace a family rumour about her ancestors’ manorial lives in England to verifiable fact, and indeed yesterday she made the journey to Leeds to visit the mansion that could have been her rightful seat if certain decisions had not been made over the years – an ancestor choosing love over money being the primary component. Her detailed research in this area has really born fruit, and we were both happy that she was able to physically visit such a strong link to her roots – and be welcomed personally!

Nancy is returning to Canada in the next few days, but no doubt she’ll be over again to the good ol’ UK soon, in the pursuit of her research.  Nancy has certainly made the most of her time in England, and seems to have found herself invited to private collections at museums and to stately homes wherever she has set foot. That said, she has a long history of very specific research and regularly travels Europe seeking out artifacts which fascinate her. But she is always welcome here, at our humble Highgate abode, and in the summer, Nancy, you might even see the odd bat flitting about above Highgate Woods out the front room window! And we are both really looking forward to meeting you again when you next come to London.

But for now,

David

 

Well Done Della! And Welcome To Hidden-Highgate.org

Hello all,

The 24th of October 2013 was a milestone in Highgate’s history. After years of research and months of hard working ‘getting lost in the code’ (and I mean HARD work – sleepless nights, dedicated research and cross referencing sources and learning the mysterious world of ‘php’ and ‘css’ files, not just copying and pasting articles from Wikipedia like some plagiarists I could mention) Della’s new website finally went live last Friday. It was a mad dash to get it live incase the Ham and High wanted to run a piece on Thursday the 23rd, and a subsequent push to get it ready for the Friday night North London Paranormal Investigations Friday Night Show with Mickey Gocool and Kurt Logsdon, which you can listen to in the archives here.  Della had been concentrating so hard that she was barely speaking, working all day, then working all night on the website, and at the weekends working on the website as well. But suddenly the Sunday before last she downed tools and rushed off to the cemetery shrieking ‘OH my God, I’ve got to meet Polly Hancock’.

I have met Polly myself several times over the years, ironically perhaps the first occasion was when she took a photograph of myself in 2003, to celebrate the launch of my own website.  I think it was called in those days dfarrant.co.uk, and I remember long suffering Dave Milner plugging away at that site using a 56k dial up modem. We should also remember that in those early days hardly any functioning websites had videos to watch. But BPOS member (and alleged fugitive from justice) Dave Milner managed to secure about ten for me, all of which constituted interviews with and films about my career as a psychical investigator. For retro value, you can see fragments of the early site here , but Della ‘revamped’ it last year and I think you will agree that the progression of available technology has been a great help.

But back to the present day, and last week in fact. In the meantime Della had somehow managed to find time to record an excellent broadcast with Gareth Davies and Reeves Cooke of Mindset Central and The Para Talk, which you can listen to below.

My old acquaintance Gareth visited Highgate Cemetery himself in the year 2000, and has always been interested in genuine attempts to decipher exactly what if anything haunts the cemetery and its environs.

So, by the time Hallowe’en itself came around, we were enjoying a well deserved lie-in, unaware that just over the road in the newsagents the Ham and High was sitting there on the counter with Della gazing back from it. We didn’t even turn the computer on until the afternoon, and it took a good hour to wade through the responses to the article (and the response behind the scenes on the website!)

Well here is the article itself for you all to enjoy. I think that if you are reading this blog, you will agree that it makes a very refreshing change from endless circular debate about such nonsense as ‘bloodsucking vampires’. Here at last is a Highgate-focused website for grown-ups who are not fantasists, cranks or easily led mental patients (no detriment intended to the latter).

I am very proud of what my wife has achieved with her history and real-life paranormal orientated website, and so I present to you – http://hidden-highgate.org Enjoy!

A Hallowe’en Treat For You All – The “Tulpa” Trailer

Here you are everyone . . . a Hallowe’en treat for you all – the trailer for “Tulpa” which will be serialised on YouTube soon . . .

TULPA – A Film by The Sycamore Brothers

Featuring David Farrant

‘Tulpa’ – the long awaited film from the London-based Sycamore Brothers – is scheduled for release in October 2013.

The film tells the story of the true facts underlying the now legendary Highgate ‘vampire’ case which gripped north London with fear in the early 1970s. Tracing the early life of David Farrant, whose name has become synonymous with the case, the film explores the background of a man who, in his own words, ‘became a kind of story which people could read in bed on a Sunday morning’.

Several years of painstaking research and interviews have culminated in ‘Tulpa’ – a film which captures the zeitgeist of 1960s and 1970s London, and reveals the man behind the myth.

All syndication and film festival enquiries should be directed to maximusfilm@yahoo.co.uk

All content © The Sycamore Brothers

 

Have fun everyone and enjoy. (Just in time for midnight!).

David Farrant.

 

Adventures In Margate – And The Launch Of “Tulpa”

 

Having fun at the 2nd UnXplained Conference in Margate (c) Della Farrant

Hello all,

Just to let you all know that my Talk at Margate on Saturday 26th of this month went well. Unfortunately, we were curtailed a little because of time on the way there, and with having to catch the last train back. The host, Karl Serveld, had very kindly booked us a double room for the night but we had to get back early for a BPOS meeting on the Sunday. However, Karl’s generousity was much appreciated.

I think the Talk went well (then again I would say that wouldn’t I!). But it was reassuring to see that the audience were listening attentively and a little later on were asking questions.  Most of the conference attendees seemed to be from the Kent and London area, and it was good to meet some new people and forge some fresh networks.  I am very much hoping that they will invite us back again next year, as we would very much like to make a complete day of it. I understand the other speakers’ Talks were also well received, and the atmosphere over all was very warm and friendly. I feel Karl’s annual conference has a lot of potential. The one we attended was the second, and in the downstairs area of a large hotel. It had been prepared carefully with camera equipment, stalls for attendees’ publications and aprojector screen for presentations (and of course an open bar!) so altogether a very professional endeavour which I am proud to be associated with.

What else?  Well in other news I am pleased to announce that finally the film “Tulpa” is due for imminent release.

The film tells the story of the true facts underlying the now legendary Highgate ‘vampire’ case which gripped north London with fear in the early 1970s. Tracing the early life of David Farrant (myself!), whose name has become synonymous with the case, the film explores the background of a man who, in his own words, ‘became a kind of story which people could read in bed on a Sunday morning’.

Several years of painstaking research and interviews have culminated in ‘Tulpa’ – a film which captures the zeitgeist of 1960s and 1970s London, and reveals the man behind the myth.

So do keep an eye out for the trailer which will be released on YouTube any day now.

So, another tiring week, but as you may all have gathered by now, Della’s new website http://hidden-highgate.org is finished and went live on Friday.  She has put a lot of work into it and I admire her determination not to allow the negativity of Highgate ‘vampire’ fixated plaigiarists and hangers on to detract from her original research. After all the project was developed for people with a genuine interest in Highgate’s paranormal past and not politics and back stabbing – and it seems to be very popular with its target audience, generating an average of 150 visits and 500 pageloads a day. So all in all a success! And if one multiplies these figures over the coming weeks and months, the sky will literally be the limit.

Poor Della is used to the usual round of interviews and appearances which I am asked to give each Hallowe’en, but this year she has had her own to manage as well. Somehow on top of a full week at work, caring for her brother, and staying up all night on two hours sleep working on the website she has managed to give four interviews and a photoshoot and participate in a live phone in, as well as accompanying me to Margate. But it has all been worth it, and we have finally managed to relax this evening with a nice meal and some wine – before it all commences again on Thursday night!

So keep an eye on this blog for updates about “Tulpa” , and enjoy the build up to Hallowe’en – now we have snatched 5 minutes to ourselves we certainly are!

Yours for the moment,

David

Della’s Hidden Highgate.

As some people will already know, Della has just done a news interview on Mindset Central’s Para Talk radio hosted by Gareth Davies and his Co-host Reeves about her new Website “Hidden Highgate”.  This was pre-recorded simply because there is an 8 hours time difference between California USA and the good ol’ UK.  (Della works hard enough as it is without expecting her to go live over air at 4 or 5 am!).

I have since spoken to Gareth Davies and apparently her interview was very well received; so much so that he would like her back on the show again soon.

Della has also done another interview for Mickey Gocool’s North London Paranormal Investigations (NLPI) about her new Website which can be heard this coming Friday between 9pm and 11pm.  Although this interview was also pre-recorded because of Della’s busy work schedule,  I am pleased to say that both Della and myself will be tuning in live to Mickey’s programme in the event that any listeners have any questions that are Highgate related.

I know Redmond Mc Williams has already put a link up to the programme on his own group The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation Society  but here is the link again in case anybody missed it:   

https://www.facebook.com/groups/thcvas/permalink/550352158371683/

People have already been informed on Twitter of the new Website’s imminent launching, but the static Internet page also warns people that the content of Hidden Highgate will literally be in accordance with its aptly chosen title i.e. about the hidden mysteries and legends of old Highgate – including the paranormal ones -  that were once so dominant in the lives of this class conscious community.  But other than that, in the pre-publicity leading up to its official opening, Della is quick to reassure her readers that her new Website can be taken seriously and (I surmise) will not be wasting time on the usual ‘vampire’ fiction that is so commonly circulated about quaint old Highgate.  It is to be a ‘vampire-free zone’ she so proudly informed some inquisitive readers.  We’ll have to wait and see how she intends to deal with that.  But I imagine it simply means that she intends to deal with provable history; rather than waste time by introducing fictional accounts and opinions which, in any event, are ‘unprovable’.   However she does it,  I am very proud to be a part of  Della’s Hidden Highgate.

 I have to give yet another filmed Talk in Margate on Saturday on the Highgate case.  Haven’t really decided what to go into yet, but the Highgate ‘vampire’ case will most likely get a mention.  I am not so interested in speculating what the Highgate ghost or entity is, was, or could have been;  but I will certainly empathasise that any notion that it was/is a ‘real vampire’ belongs to the realms of invented fiction!

So, all in all its proving a pretty exhausting week – or will be by the time it is over!

But I’ll keep you all up to date.  Should prove eventful!

David Farrant, President, BPOS. 

But I Managed To Struggle Through

 

Sorry all for the delay in putting a new blog entry together. As you all know October is always a busy month for me, and September was no quieter with my ASSAP Talk in Bath and my London Haunts and Horrors Talk in Clerkenwell. The latter was held in a packed events room above The Green public house, and it was standing room only by the time the Talk commenced, with around 50 people packed into the venue. This event was unusual in that it featured in addition to myself three other witnesses to the ‘tall dark figure’ often seen in Swains Lane and other parts of Highgate. It is all now up on YouTube in three parts for those who were unable to attend. This event was also marked on a less positive note by the fact that I had a cracked rib, but I managed to struggle through and by and large from all reports it all went well. 

But there seems to be no end to the demand for these Talks, and just when I should be recuperating and being fed grapes and whisky (medicinal) in bed, I am off to Margate this weekend for the UnXplained Hallowe’en Conference 2013, which is going to mean an overnight stay. I don’t really mind the stay so much, as doing the travelling there and back in one day might have otherwise proved a little tiring.

I know I have a lot of readers in Essex and Kent, and if any of you would like to attend here are the booking details, and links to where you can find out more:

UNXPLAINED HALLOWEEN CONFERENCE 2013.

Saturday, 26th October @ 7.30pm – 11.00pm

Location: The Glenwood Hotel, 19-25 Edgar Road, Margate,
CT9 2RG.

Tel: (01843) 292137

Price: £10 admission (full day)

From 2pm until late

David Farrant will be a guest speaker at this forthcoming all day event that will consist of an afternoon and an evening session; with breaks in between speakers. Food and refreshments will be available throughout the event. Guest speakers will include: Scott Costello (UNXplained), David Papa-Adams, Gary Gary Heseltine (PRUFOS), David Weatherley (author of ‘The Black Eyed Children’ via live feed), and Ian and Mandy (members of a local Wiccan coven).

Further info:

1. http://www.unxplainedconference.com/

2.https://www.facebook.com/UNXplainedConference

3. https://www.facebook.com/groups/UNXplainedconference/

It would be great to see some familiar faces there, just as it will be to meet some new people with an interest in the paranormal.

In other news … I understand that my friend and colleague Mickey Gocool, founder member of North London Paranormal Investigations is also planning a Hallowe’en Event. More details on that to follow. But he has also managed to squeeze in a Hallowe’en special on Friday night on his NLPI Radio show (co-hosted with Kurt Logsdon). He will be interviewing my wife, Della, about her forthcoming book ‘Haunted Highgate’ which will be published in Oct 2014, and her new website http://hidden-highgate.org which goes live this Hallowe’en. Her new website details many of the haunted locations in and around Highgate and encourages the community to contribute their own experiences of the paranormal. She has put a lot of work into what is a very original idea, and all is going to plan – and gathering a lot of interest from various quarters.

So perhaps you can understand now why I have been a bit lapsed with my blog entries – I simply can’t get access to the computer!! Anyway, that’s it for now, everyone, and I’ll certainly keep you updated about Della’s Hallowe’en interview later this week.

For now,

David