My quest to get David Farrant to answer a simple question about sources used in his own writings has come to an end.
Or maybe a standstill. We'll see. For clarification, the sources are alluded to in this extract from his 'Invoking the vampire', New Witchcraft, vol. 1, no. 4 (1975):
Some interesting facts came to light. Firstly, it became apparent that stories of an apparition in Highgate cemetery had by no means begun with the then current sightings. Indeed, similar tales dated from the Victorian Era and interestingly enough more of them had "vampiristic" connections. One of the common tales of that time told of a "tall man dressed in black" who used to disappear mysteriously through the cemetery wall (p. 34).I have been trying, for several weeks, to get him to simply state what they were. If Farrant is recounted these 'facts' firsthand, that'd mean he's over 140 years old. Despite his decades dabbling with the occult, I find that prospect highly unlikely. I'm sure you do, too. Therefore, we're clearly dealing with some contemporary sources here, whether they be contemporary to Victorian times or contemporary with the time he wrote his article.
It is a 'fact' he has regurgitated in other publications, too. For instance, he wrote the following in Beyond the Highgate vampire: a true case of supernatural occurrences and "vampirism" that centred around London's Highgate Cemetery, 2nd rev. edn (London: British Psychic and Occult Society, 1992):
When the investigation began in January 1970, I undertook the task of checking the cemetery's history. Some interesting things came to light. First, it became apparent that stories of an apparition at Highgate Cemetery had by no means began with the current sightings. Indeed, similar tales dated back to the Victorian era and, interestingly enough, many of them had "vampiristic" connotations (p. 8).Is 1992 too far away for you? How about his online article 'abridged from the 4th edition  of the author's book'?
When the investigation proper began in January 1970, I undertook the task of checking the cemetery's history. Some interesting things came to light ... First, it became apparent that stories of an apparition at Highgate Cemetery had by no means begun with the current sightings. Indeed, similar tales dated back to the Victorian era and, interestingly enough, many of them had 'vampiristic' connotations.Apart from the relatively minor alterations, it's clear that Farrant considers these stories to be 'evidence' for his case, to which I say: prove that this information is valid via documentation, i.e. what's the source(s)? My query has been met with evasiveness, ad hominem attacks, fake deals, etc. I've compiled a narrative of my efforts into this handy, bite-sized list:
- 'What's been going on and upcoming books on vampire 3'
- 'Victorian era vampire or modern-day sham?'
- 'Persistence (sort of) pays off'
- 'The stonewalled amendment'
In the meantime, I encourage other readers to try and find out the source for themselves. Here's his blog which is open for comments and queries. See how you do. Good luck!
You'll need it.