Highgate Vampire – Real Sightings
One of the more well-known of modern-day vampire sightings is that of a vampire which supposedly haunted the Highgate Cemetery in London and became dubbed the “Highgate Vampire“. Stories of the Highgate vampire date back to the 1960s. There are various reported sightings starting in 1965 with a student who one evening reportedly saw a black shadow pool into his path that formed into a shadowy human-like figure. In 1967 two teenage girls on their way home passed the cemetery and saw what they described as bodies emerging from graves. A few weeks later another couple walking past the cemetery saw a shadowy specter hovering near some gravestones. In the same time period, animals were reportedly discovered in the area drained of blood and eventually it is said a human was found in the same condition – which it is believed police tried to cover-up. Sightings and stories persisted, and locals came to firmly believe that the area was haunted.
This attracted the attention of David Farrant and Sean Manchester, of the British Psychic and Occult Society who came in the 1970s to investigate the haunting. Manchester indicated to newspaper and television that he believed the haunting was from a “King Vampire of the Undead”, linking current sightings with hauntings dating back even before the cemetery was established. Manchester claimed to have found the “haunted” tomb and performed an exorcism. He was arrested and brought to court on charges of “vampire hunting” for his research and associated activities.. Sightings however persisted leading to the belief that there was a coven of vampires in the area. Around 1974 the sightings did end, linked to what many believe are Manchester’s claims that he did in fact find and stake the actual “vampire” corpse causing the hauntings.
Interestingly, it should be noted that the Highgate Cemetery in London is said to be the source of inspiration for the cemetery scene in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”.
Interview with David Farrant on the Highgate Vampire: