Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Highgate Vampire


 The Highgate Vampire: The Infernal World of the Undead Unearthed at London's Highgate Cemetery and Environs  


 Seán Manchester

Publisher: Gothic Press (1991)

This is the definitive account of the UK’s best documented contemporary vampire case written by the man who led the only investigation into the spectral hauntings, nightly visitations, demonic disturbances and blood-lettings at Highgate Cemetery and environs. Spectres rising from tombs, ghostly manifestations in moonlit lanes, nocturnal attacks on people and animals, corpses drained of blood — almost everyone has heard tales of the Highgate Vampire. Only this book offers the full and unexpurgated account written by the man who was at the epicentre of the official investigation into these mysterious and terrifying happenings. Illustrated with case file photographs from the author's own archive plus line drawings inspired by the recorded history, this revised and handsomely updated edition in hardback has already become a collectors' item. Copies are signed by the author. This enlarged edition stands as the last word on the case by the man who investigated it from start to finish.

“Ever since I became aware that Highgate Cemetery was the reputed haunt of a vampire, the investigations and activities of Seán Manchester commanded my attention. I became convinced that, more than anyone else, he knew the full story of the Highgate Vampire.” — Peter Underwood, ghost hunter & author, The Ghost Club Society, London, England

“I am very impressed by the body of scholarship you have created. Seán Manchester is undoubtedly the father of modern vampirological research.” — John Godl, paranormal researcher and writer, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

“Seán Manchester is to be congratulated on this fine piece of research work which I confess to enjoying to the extreme.” — Professor Devendra P Varma, vampirologist & author, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

“Seán Manchester is the most celebrated vampirologist of the twentieth century.” — Shaun Marin, reviewer and sub-editor, Encounters magazine, England

“A most interesting and useful addition to the literature of the subject.” — Reverend Basil Youdell, Literary Editor of Orthodox News, Christ the Saviour, Woolwich, England

“This book will certainly be read in a hundred years time, two hundred years time, three hundred years time in short, for as long as mankind is interested in the supernatural. It has the most genuine power to grip. Once you have started to read it, it is virtually impossible to put it down.” — Lyndall Mack, Udolpho magazine, Chislehurst, England

Elizabeth and Barbara, two sixteen-year-old students of La Sainte Union Convent, were walking home late at night after visiting friends in Highgate Village in early 1967. Their journey took them down Swains Lane which intersects Highgate Cemetery, a Victorian graveyard in two halves on a steep hill. These intelligent students could not believe their eyes as they passed the cemetery's north gate at the beginning of their downward path between the two graveyards. For there before them, amongst the jutting tombstones and stone vaults, the dead seemed to be emerging from their graves. The two schoolgirls walked in eerie silence until they reached the bottom of the lane. Here they spoke for the first time, having finally found their voice, and confirmed they had both experienced the same terrifying scene. So frightening was their experience that Barbara would not talk about it again. Elizabeth, however, gave the author her account some months later. It was tape-recorded and can be heard in a television film documentary about the Highgate Vampire case. Elizabeth recounted: "We both saw this scene of graves directly in front of us. And the graves were opening up; and the people were rising. We were not conscious of walking down the lane. We were only conscious of this graveyard scene." Demonry later took hold on Elizabeth where her elocuted and very attractive feminine voice would suddenly erupt into a distorted masculine sound, deep and harsh, that issued threats. Her boyfriend, Keith, recalled this phenomenon in an interview he gave for a documentary (True Horror: Vampires distributed by Discovery Channel) which DVD also includes archive recordings of Elizabeth speaking about her vision and the punctures on her neck.

The revised and updated edition was preceded by the first edition in 1985, which was published in paperback by the British Occult Society, 13-15 Pond Square, Highgate, London. Its front and rear covers appear below: