Thursday, February 19, 2009

What Was in the Cemetery?

David's account of the Highgate Vampire Case (reprinted in "Nicked at Highgate Cemetery") alludes to the ghostly figure said to inhabit the Cemetery:
In the late 60s there were voluminous reports about a ‘tall, dark figure’ that had been seen in and around London’s Highgate Cemetery.

However, what isn't mentioned, is the variety of other allegedly supernatural phenomena witnessed there. As the Case's Wikipedia article mentions:
On the 13th [of February, 1970 -ed.], several people replied [to Farrant's letter about supernatural sightings at the Cemetery -ed.], describing a variety of ghosts said to haunt the cemetery or the adjoining Swains Lane. These ghosts were described as a tall man in a hat, a spectral cyclist, a woman in white, a face glaring through the bars of a gate, a figure wading into a pond, a pale gliding form, bells ringing, and voices calling. Hardly two correspondents gave the same story.
Why not throw a vampire into the mix, eh?

Indeed, on February 27, 1970, the Hampstead and Highgate Express asked, "Does a Wampyr Walk in Highgate?" courtesy of a vampire theory supplied by one Sean Manchester.

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