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The Human Touch Blog ~
David Farrant

Call Me Psychic If You Like!

Call me psychic if you like!

Just realised its been a week since my last Blog, but I have been occupied with the new one (relating to things paranormal) and called The British Psychic and Occult Society.

The link is at: in case anybody’s missed it.  I started it really to give interested people some insight into BPOS investigations, many of which have escaped public documentation, simply because the information obtained about many reputed ‘ghost cases’ is only contained on private Society files.  This should not imply that writing up such cases is to betray confidences: to the contrary, only the facts relating to psychic occurrences or experiences have been included, not personal details or information relating to the people themselves.  Where name have been given, it has only been with the express permission of a particular person who do not mind their names appearing on record; where names have been changed or withheld, this has been made abundantly clear in any given report.  The same principle applies in reporting psychic happenings or ‘hauntings’ that have occurred at private addresses, although often people do not object to the name of a village or town being disclosed.  Whatever, all the relevant information has been retained on file, and genuine psychic investigators can sometimes be given this in confidence, with permission of the people concerned.

Call me psychic if you like! but yesterday I received a Friend request on Facebook from a person who I’d been trying to get into contact with for some time.  Jennie Cobban contacted me from her new location near Pendle Hill, and informed me that she was near completion of a new book on the history of the Pendle witches who caused so much controversy in the small village so many years ago.  They were cast into prison on suspicion of ‘witchcraft’ where one of them died during incarceration and I believe another two were finally hanged.  It is not a case with which I am all that familiar; although some of us did visit Pendle in 2005 with the objective of obtaining some new local information.  I remember it was a very wet day and the damp winds of the dales penetrated protective clothing, while the rain around Pendle Hill had succeeded in turning everything into a mass of puddles and slippery mud.

No doubt Jennie has succeeded in uncovering some more interesting facts; but again, writing about events in history when written records  are often scant or simply non-existent, is no easy task at the best of times.

I first met Jennie back in 1995, who approached me over a book she was writing on ghosts in the Barnet and Enfield areas.  She, in fact, had a leading advantage having qualified as a historian and having access to many private files when she worked at Barnet museum.

Her interest in myself really stemmed from an incident in which I was involved in 1972 when I was arrested in a small Barnet churchyard on night and taken to Court charged with behaviour ‘likely to offend the decency of the church’.  This Act was over a hundred and fifty years old (then) and was mainly put on the Statute books to persuade people to ‘behave themselves’ as they attended church.  It might seem a little ridiculous nowadays; but it was actually a serious offence then for people to sing or shout to and from their way to church, or to discard sweet papers on church property.

Myself and another person ended up being fined £10 – which was quite a lot of money in 1972!

It was also Jennie who originally founded The Highgate Vampire Society which she asked me to take over in 1997 due to pressure of work.  I explained at the time that Jennie’s choice of name merely reflected the huge interest that had grown up around the Highgate ‘vampire’ case, and as the BPOS had already accumulated vast files on this case, I can only assume Jennie thought I was the best person for the job!

But I do hope that maybe Jennie may see fit to write something on this Blog.  If she does, I would allow her a full post or article if she so wishes.  So, Jennie . . . if you find time?!

Quiet day today, but I did sign a film contract over the weekend.  No!  I’m not giving any details yet.  You’ll all just have to wait and see!

For the moment



4 responses

  1. Good that you heard from Jennie. I sent her an email today.
    If we did make it up for Samhain we could stay here, I bet its haunted!

  2. Hi D,
    I’d rather get the train to be honest, have to check out how close everything is, may not need a car – and not much use after a party! 😉
    And no I wouldn’t want to be up there after end October, being an unabashed Southern pansy! No fun being cold.
    Apparently it is being refurbished, so would be reluctant to go if its half done. But if significant progress has been made, the location should make up for it.

  3. Yes, that certainly looks like a fabulous place: be good for a couple of day’s break. Would you prefer driving or the train? Maybe train would be better, as its just as quick and we’d arrive more refreshed. Getting around the area might be more of a problem, but I’m sure they could lay on car hire as well. Have to check into that. Whatever, have to be preparted for the weather up on those Dales. It can be pretty windy up there; even if its not raining.
    So nice to arrange something before the end of October. After that its really taking a risk with the weather up there; and you know how I hate the cold!
    PS It better be haunted. Its a long way to go withouit any ghosts!

  4. David, you ‘believe’ that two people were executed for witchcraft in Pendle, actually no less than nineteen were hanged on one day. I hope that Jennie Cobban has found some new evidence, because most of the many books on the subject simply rehash the same details, mainly from the primary source, the account of the trial published by the judge in 1613. She might also want to deal with the second Pendle trial of 1633, where no-one was hanged because the principal witness, when interviewed by no less a person than Charles I, admitted that he had been lying.
    Synchonicity corner: earlier on the blog you mentioned Jennie Lee, who sang the popular song ‘Rupert the Bear’, and now you have gone on to talk about Jennie Lee Cobban.
    I do recall our trip to Pendle, about which I had co-authored an article for ‘Fortean Studies’ with Mark McCann, although we had never visited the place. We went up as far as is possible by road, and whilst you and a couple of other people sat in the local pub, myself and a woman and a dog tried to walk up to the top of the hill, but the rain and mud made us give up after a few hundred yards. We did see a few other interesting things, such as a church with an ‘Eye of Abraham’, a model eye on the church tower which is supposed to repel evil spirits. These used to be quite common, but not many have survived to the present day. Mark McCann did get up to the top of the hill some years later.
    Gareth J. Medway

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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.