Just a quiet day for me today; not for Della though who has been working on resurrecting an old ‘archive’ which has required endless converting and ‘cleaning up’ in order to make it comprehensible to a modern audience, although the quality has turned out really excellently – watch this space!
She has also been doing quite a lot of research into ‘shadow people’, an area which seems to get overlooked with regard to Highgate. It seems that these entities appear as tall, slim men in long black cloaks and top hats and invade people’s homes in the dead of night. Well I thought Della might be getting a bit overworked with it all, burning the midnight oil and scaring herself silly reading these horrific tales late into the night, so decided to give her some light relief when she came back in from the kitchen!
Sadly she was not amused.
Anyway, the forthcoming film is getting closer and closer; provisional title ‘The Devil Rides In’! Apparently it’s a story all about possession within the younger genre who dabble in the occult arts, black magic and Satanism. There are a variety of well-known stars in it (including myself at the risk of sounding immodest) and it has been filmed in various locations in and around North London. Some well known faces in occult circles have already featured in the film – well, some well-known, some not so well known …and some choosing to wear masks (as usual). There are plenty of exploding altars (well, have to keep today’s audience happy!) and the Magister himself is even rumoured to be making an appearance, although whether he will consent to new scenes being shot or force the producers to rely on never before seen archived film reels is yet to be confirmed. We somewhat doubt the former; because now with his completely bald head he would be in danger of being instantly recognisable should a stray spark of sulphur ignite his ‘occult shower cap’.
But we mustn’t be unkind to the old boy; after all, he has had a good run, and he will be 70 next year! I am reliably informed that playing dress up is still a regular hobby however so we live in hope. I believe Cousin Hoggy is also due to make another well-timed performance, although this was really not my idea. Due to the success of Hoggy Hallowe’en we have been besieged by fans, including readers of KentishTowner, entreating the producers to ‘bring him back from the dead’, if only so that he can be kidnapped by aliens once again and given a proper, uncensored probe live on film up in their galaxy.But there will be a few serious interviews in the film; I mean with SERIOUS practitioners of the occult. Patsy will be there again I am informed, if she can get the night off from choir practice and can persuade Ricky to go on a slimming diet so she can squeeze him through the roof of the catacombs of Highgate Cemetery to discover just what devilry really went on there.
Anyway I digress. The film is only in its early stages yet, although its all looking good so far. The props department have been experimenting very successfully with a hairdryer and bags and bags of flour; I can’t imagine what they have been perfecting but I did hear a big whoop of joy from the back room earlier today followed by ‘IT’S A WRAP!’ and the main star stumbling out looking like an extra from a Hammer Horror film on Shrove Tuesday. I think the producers have a plot lined up for the final scenes in the cemetery that involve some spectacular action and bacon sandwiches all round!
But seriously everyone, Della and I really have been very occupied with a few things lately – serious filming included. I guess its so easy for some young inspired film directors to want to spoof the ridiculous Highgate ‘vampire’ story as it remains on record (in some quarters) but who am I to condemn them having been at the centre of that whole ridiculous episode back in the 1970s?! But some people really DO take the whole Highgate ‘vampire’ scenario a bit more seriously, and in-depth articles continue to appear on the internet; not least, quite a few interviews with myself about what really happened there.
So getting to the serious side of it, The Butcher’s Apron, an independent yet escalatingly popular internet based radio show interviewed me in March this year and have just given me permission to reproduce the full interview here. All I did was answer the dedicated questions put to me by the presenter, Emma Gibson, and if you would like to hear the Highgate extract from the show it can be listened to here; Episode 8 – “Desire”.
Anyway, yet another two more serious talks coming up in the near future : I have been invited to speak at ASSAP’s annual conference on 7th September, so will be away for two days for that. Then on September 23rd I have another local talk to attend in London for London Haunts and Horrors, which will again deal with the subject of the Highgate ‘vampire’ (no rest for the wicked!). Quite looking forward to them actually, although have not prepared any script for my Talks : well, don’t need to really as all I have to do is to relate these facts as they happened.
That’s it for now, but another Blog soon I promise, “Don’t have nightmares”! David