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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZxEDgtfEbs&list=PLk1iPDfKdJS8iquFKcnZqNjyBj_bSQmfX

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgR9sg7CIxU

 

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTCZ6bOYswM

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLV7oKwKTIg

 

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRW5m5avwOU

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