RIP + David Farrant 1946 - 2019 +

The Human Touch Blog ~
David Farrant

Bit More Book

Blog time, but I’m feeling lazy again!

I have had quite a few requests to put up another extract from my new autobiography. Couple of people asked me to put up some new stuff on the ‘vampire’ case. Sorry, I can’t do that! For that you’ll just have to order the book. Anyway, what are you talking about? Its all new stuff. But I just don’t want to give too much away for free here.
Although instead, here is a short extract from near the beginning, so you’ll just have to make do with that! . . .


“I arrived in Sicily about two weeks later. I had hitch-hiked all the way, wanting to meet people along the way, which also broke up the long journey. Some thoughtful driver took me into the popular resort of Taormina suggesting that, if anywhere, I might be able to find work there. It was fairly late, so I slept in some sandy alcove that night and wandered into the town proper the next day. It was a beautiful old town and seemed to lie high above the sea, glimpses of which still be caught between its ancient buildings as it lay deep blue in the distance. Its colour certainly matched the climate, which still allowed open sandals and white cotton shirts; and I could only imagine how much hotter it would get in Summer!

I wandered around the hilly streets making various enquiries about possible work. Hardly anyone spoke English, but trial and perseverance led me to Hotel Europa, a fairly large hotel which lay half empty in the slack off-tourist season. But it was still open for guests, and I located the manager – or a man I presumed was the manager. He said that apart from the permanent staff they usually only employed casual local labour each day, but as he could see I had come a long way, he could offer me a job with a room at the hotel helping out in the kitchen. The wages were not high, he emphasised, but these also included meals and the accommodation and if I wanted to, I could start the next day. I gladly agreed. I was still quite tired from the long trip, and couldn’t wait to get some proper sleep between clean sheets again.

It turned out that work in the kitchen mainly involved washing up greasy dishes in a large aluminum sink. It wasn’t that hard, but obviously required constant hot water, and in only a couple of hours, you’d be dripping with steamy sweat. Although on minimum staff, there were still some local waitresses employed, who came backwards and forwards collecting meals or delivering empty plates, which I found considerably brightened up the kitchen.

They were mostly young local girls between fifteen and twenty I guessed; all rather shy, and looked seemingly resigned to the tedious job of waiting tables. All the staff ate together at about 3 pm when the main luncheons had finished, and again, around 9 when the evening meals had been taken care of. I used to watch the girls in the staff dining room as they sat down to enjoy well-earned meals after finishing serving tables. They had all disregarded their black and white waitress uniforms and frilly caps that they were obliged to wear. Many just sat in T-shirts, and the cotton dresses they had had to temporarily discard in preference for their uniforms.

There was one regular girl I had been placed next to at the staff table. I learned her name was Angelique and she also had live-in accommodation in the hotel. She came from Messina but there was no real work there without proper qualifications, she told me, so all she was left to do was wait tables. She was only 16 and very shy, but I gradually learned that Messina could be a bad place to live if you were poor and got into debt and had to rely on borrowing money. The banks could be unscrupulous, she said, and it was easy to get further into debt by not repaying given loans on time. She didn’t qualify exactly what she meant but implied this involved her parents. She said that they just couldn’t find any work and had to depend on herself and her brother. He didn’t have a bad job, unloading cargo at the docks, but her only option had been to take a job ‘here’.

A pretty girl with dark eyes, a smooth complexion and glistening hair that almost reached her waist; we got quite friendly and in the habit of taking late evening walks around the quietened town after work. I kissed her one evening in a deserted area under some palm trees. She responded briefly but suddenly recoiled as if suddenly hit by some deeper conscience. I asked her what was wrong. “My parents would not like that”, she replied seriously. “We should only do that if we were married”.

She was obviously very sincere so I respected her wishes, although she allowed us to link arms as we walked back to the hotel. It was warm, not even a breeze. But she did clutch my arm as if to show she was not totally rejecting my advance, rather just trying to control it.

Adapted from “David Farrant – In the Shadow of the Highgate Vampire”

PS No remarks from you thanks Cat!


24 Responses

  1. – “PS No remarks from you thanks Cat!”
    OK, a question then. Did Bonky smoke cigarettes in the 1970s, and if so, what brand?

  2. No I never saw him smoke, Cat. But he used to sit in my kitchen and drink tea while he was waffling on about everything: mostly about himself and “The Eggmanne” and publicity enterprises he was engaged in.
    Most if not all of our conversations are on tape. I think most of the funniest extracts are when he went into ‘over-kill mode’ and insulted people he didn’t like. Well, he didn’t like anybody who happened to be non-white or Jewish and he said so.
    Sorry, I realise some of this may not be appropriate to your question, but it just reminded me that’s all!

  3. Didn’t drink, didn’t smoke. Interesting. A sort of religious purity, foreshadowing his, erm, later vocation. Purely from a historical perspective of course, I wonder if you got the impression he enjoyed the company of ladies to any great extent?

  4. did you miss me?
    spain was brilliant as usual.
    listen theres a programme on channel 4 right now about Byron.
    i wonder if they’l interview Bishop bastard offspring lineage.
    if not then i suppose they didnt believe his story either.

  5. He was a bit of a health fanatic, Cat, and when he used to visit me between 1977 and 1985 (when we really fell out) he would invariably come on his bike dressed in a tracksuit. But ironically, he wasn’t that healthy. He used to carry an asthma inhaler and he’d use it quite a lot on arrival after a bike ride.
    As for women, he was always trying to impress my girlfriends. Should say he visited regularly in 1973 as well. I had a girl called Pamala staying with me at one stage and he tried to ‘make a play’ for her. Caught him once ‘smooching’ with her on the settee after I’d had to go out and left them together. But I really didn’t care about her too much in that way and I’m sure I’d told him so. He never wanted her to know his real name and she used to call him ‘George’.
    I remember another funny occasion in summer 73. I had another half Spanish girl staying there and for some reason on one occasion she was undressed. He knocked on the door unexpectedly and I immediatelly called “Come in”. He did and nearly ‘jumped out of his skin’! She wasn’t too pleased with me either!
    But going forward a bit to 1978, he often met my second wife Colette. He never attempted any ‘advances’ there though as he knew she generally didn’t trust him or believe any of the yarns he used to spin. Especially his favourite one of being a genuine Lord! She never challenged him to his face but used to humour him as she thought his claims were really funny! But after he’d left, she’d tell me she hadn’t believed one word of what he was saying. Colette was also present in Highgate Woods late one evening when we had the now infamous swordfight duel. The real Katrina was also present.
    Hope that answers your question Cat. If I’ve missed any point, just remind me.
    For the moment,

  6. Thank you but I must admit I am confused about the timeline. According to the current bio of the man, he started off as an exorcist in 1973 and worked his way up to his present erm, title, sometime in the 1980s. Was there a specific year you could identify when you feel he suddenly “got religion”?

  7. I lost all personal contact with him in 1985, Cat, although several letters were exchanged (in the late 1980’s/early 90’s) which I still have on file. He actually signed all of these in his own name – and they wern’t very friendly!
    I can tell you this much though, 1973 was certainly NOT the year he claimed to have ‘got religion’. That was the year he turned up on Parliament Hill to ‘exorcise myself’ but got chased off Hampstead Heath. He only ‘back dated’ that date much later to use it for a point of reference.
    I know he turned himself into a ‘priest’ in 1990, and a year later used the same ploy to become a self styled ‘bishop’. So it must have been around then. Probably around 1988 when he first got the ‘religious idea’. There is nothing on record before this that’s for sure.
    For the moment,

  8. Thank you again, and one last question for today, if you don’t mind. It is a big one, so I ask that you give it some thought.
    * When did “the feud” start?
    He claims he always saw you as bad, evil, foolish and treated you with suspicion. You claim there was a cooperative relationship, then he suddenly began attacking you for no reason.
    When did you first realize that he was seriously against you, and what event (if any) precipitated it?

  9. No, I didn’t miss you. Just glad of a little peace!
    I’ll bet you enjoyed yourself over there – all those women and lovely cold beer. Must be a difficult choice what to choose first.
    You’ll have to get over here again anyway whenever. But hope you had a good time.
    For Cat,
    You are right its not an easy question because different events were so spread out. But I will answer tonight, or try to in somewhat limited space.
    So till a bit later,

  10. FOR CAT
    You asked how this feud began. Well I met the person Bonky) in late 1967 through a man he had nicknamed “The Eggmanne” but whose first name was Tony. There was no ‘feud’ at this early stage: if anything I just regarded him and his belief in ‘real vampires’ as somewhat amusing. Until I realized he was really deadly serious about this belief – or said he was. He claimed (publicly and almost certainly for publicity purposes) that ‘vampires’ really existed, while I didn’t accept this notwithstanding that I was the Founder of a Society that investigated ‘ghosts’ and the paranormal.
    In 1970, this person had become a fringe member of this Society but he was later asked to leave because of his extreme views, both political and on the ‘vampire front’. It was made more complicated because the Society had been trying to get more information on an unexplained phenomenon that had been reported in and around London’s Highgate Cemetery (and which had in fact been reported back from Victorian times) but the person began to circulate to the media (including national TV) that this reported apparition was really a ‘vampire’, and hence the conflict really began. The Eggmanne (who was in reality a close ‘mate’ of this other person) also was trying to push the view that this entity wasa ‘vampire’ and to this end, the two men frequently visited HC to take photographs there of the reportedly haunted sites where this apparition had been reported. I accompanied both men on two or three occasions, but mainly out of curiosity to see what ‘they were up to’ and to keep an eye on the progress of their ‘vampire story’. I should add, that The Eggmanne had long been interested in the works of Alister Crowley and all things magical and ‘occultish’.
    Whatever, we did not share the same views and this became more apparent as the weeks progressed in 1970. Eventually this led to severe conflict in the Society’s work, and really the ‘feud’ started from there, and my refusal to accept that this witnessed entity (albeit malevolent) was really a ‘vampire’.
    There is a lot more to it, of course, Cat, but I have just given you the ‘basics’.
    In a nutshell, you could say that I just did not agree with either the philosophy of these two people; let alone their motivations.
    Come back to me if you want further details Cat. Although this might be better on your own Blog or the “Net Curtains” one as I have always been anxious not to get drawn into this Highgate debate on here!. My Blog was always intended to be a ‘day to day diary’ of my life – and it just don’t include ‘blood-sucking vampires’!
    For the moment,

  11. Hello Mr F,
    thought I’d just ask you if Tony is the guy who was photographed in the catacombs of Kensal Green, holding up a skeleton and grinning like a half-wit ? And, if so, was it ‘baldy’ who took the photos ? Brief, I know, but I’m busy today. Cheers.

  12. Hi Rob,
    Sorry about the slight delay in getting back to you but I was very busy myself yesterday.
    Yes, that photograph was of the person called ‘Tony’ in the catacombs of Kensal Green Cemetery and I published this in the 3rd edition of my book “Beyond the Highgate Vampire” in 1997. The photograph was taken in 1968/9 and ‘yes’ that bonky person was present when it was taken.
    A full account of this story was given to me in 1981 which I (perhaps very wisely) recorded. I still have this tape.
    Hope this answers your question.

  13. Wow,
    and this is the guy who rants about ‘indignities to the dead’. Talk about the tea cozy calling the kettle black. Want to share some extracts from those tapes ?

  14. How woudl the Bonkyone know what your diet was anyway David? Demie has gone orf on one on JBC to distract from the post about the mysterious ms–you know that hilarious fairytale of the “papers ” wafting around on the breeze and might have accidentally landed in Bonky’s domain but he didnt read them , and she might have assumed and I might have misunderstood and got my wired c rossed–what a load of tosh trying to paper over the cracks of the The Mystery of the Missing Manuscript!Anyhow, as I said, how does he know all these intimate details of your life–well mostly wrong details at that!
    tata barbara

  15. “The bonky one writes that you enjoy an “appalling greasy diet”. Care to comment?”
    Yes, I do care to comment, Cat.
    Considering I hardly eat at all (and when I do its hardly ever meat, but salads), that really is a laugh! Typically, I am being accused of the things of which he is most guilty. Nothing wrong with stuffing yourself, I suppose, except it can make you overweight. Just look at him if you don’t believe me!
    Healthy?!! For a man getting on towads 66 years-old and carrying that obseity around, I hardly think so! The Yorkshire Pudding seems to be following in his footsteps and has put on 2 stone. That’s why I can never quite make up my mind whether to call her the “Yorkshire Pudding” or the “Yorkshire Dumpling”!
    For the moment,
    PS They really both ought to go on a ‘fast’ to atone for their sins – but I doubt that they will!

  16. I have ten questions I’d like your responses to, and permission to post them at Cat’s Miaow or Net Curtains. What is the email address for you?

    Yes, I know, Barbara. He has gone off into his old ‘cut & pasting’ trick which he always does when in a corner and can’t answer questions – at least’ without incriminating himself. Its his same old game! Quote newspaper articles (or bits of newspaper articles) from 38 years ago or more, deludes him into thinking he can escape the present!
    How would he know all the details from so far back? He couldn’t (unless, of course, he is the very same person as the person he is writing about, ie. himself!). Even a child could work that out!
    Its the same with that manuscript. How could he know what’s in it, if he hadn’t received it and read it? Of course, he couldn’t.
    But it has served one purpose: it has shown to each of them that the other is quite capable of lying when it suits themselves.
    Most unchristian, I suppose, but there you have it!
    For now,

  18. FOR CAT,
    Yes, I will answer your ten questions on either the Net Curtains Blog or your one.
    Can you confirm your email address for me here (obviously I won’t publish it) and I’ll give you mine again. Its a bit difficult as I have 3 email addresses at the moment and I want to make sure you’d get the right one.
    I don’t mind answering any questions about the case. Just anxious to keep the Highgate stuff off here as I feel it somewhat ‘contaminates’ my Blog diary!
    For nw,

  19. Sorry Cat,
    Us ‘witches’ can get a bit tired sometimes with all their ‘fan clubs’!
    Post your questions and I’ll email my answers, at least, I’ll try and answer consisely!
    For the moment,

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1946 - 2019




From the vaults ...

A flashback to one of David’s comedic, profound or quizzical blog entries. Dive into the archives to find more gems. 

Away From Boring Matters

Got a rather stupid letter today from the owners. They had had an ultimatum from the Council to clear up the garden because of complaints