For your viewing pleasure we present an audio-visual record of the third session of The Highgate Vampire Symposium 2015. This session, “Highgate and the Occult”, has been divided into two YouTube uploads, so be sure to look out for part 2 very soon.
Why devote such a long session to the subject of “Highgate and the Occult” during a conference devoted to exploring the nature of an alleged ghost (nicknamed the Highgate ‘vampire’) which inhabits Highgate Cemetery and its environs? Although the area had been reputedly haunted for many years prior to the 1960s and 1970s, the use of the cemetery for occult purposes during these decades coincides with a massive surge in reported sightings and experiences. Is it possible that necromantic rituals and more innocent Pagan rites could have some connection to this entity’s manifestations?
During part two of this session our speakers and audience explore this possibility, having in part one begun to consider the environmental and energetic impact of magical practice upon a location such as Highgate Cemetery. During part one, the history of occultic and morbid vandalism and desecration across the south of England comes up for discussion, in especial regard to Highgate. The frequently challenged existence of darkly-inclined black magical groups operating in this and other areas is also debated, in context of available witness testimony from the latter part of the 20th century and beyond.
Part 1 features a brief overview of the occult-related atrocities which occurred at Clophill Church in Bedfordshire and Tottenham Park Cemetery in Greater London, by our compere Paul Adams. David Farrant, one of our keynote speakers, remembers the remains of magical rituals which he documented in 1971. David reveals the (related) intimidation of himself and his own white magic focussed coven around this time by a Highgate-based occult order, and the damaging impact that this group had upon a young female acolyte of his acquaintance a decade later.
We also hear from Charles Walker of Clapham Wood notoriety, whose colleague Toyne Newton came into contact with another survivor of a cult which was operating in the Highgate area in the mid-1960s. In a rare public appearance, Charles openly discusses the threats that have been made to himself and his family by a group known publicly as the Friends of Hecate, who utilise woodland and sacred spaces in West Sussex and other largely southern locations.
Be sure to check back for part two, which features necromancer and dark Pagan Fox the Rebel, giving his own insights into just what was going on deep in the vaults of Highgate Cemetery in the late 1960s, and lecturer and much revered proprietor of Atlantis Bookshop Geraldine Beskin, who shares her personal memories and reflections of 1960s occult London.
Information about Paul Adams’ paranormal research, including his 2014 work Written in Blood which covers the Highgate Vampire in depth can be found here: http://pauladamsauthor.co.uk/ and here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paul-Adams/e/B003W3MWQW
David Farrant’s personal website – which contains a wealth of information about his investigation into the Highgate entity – can be found here: http://davidfarrant.org
Charles Walker’s long-running organisation, the Worthing Occult and Paranormal Society, can be found on the web here: http://occultandparanormal.webs.com/
Fox the Rebel’s fascinating, enlightening and challenging blog can be found at this address: https://rebelwithoutasoul.wordpress.com/
In case you have never visited (shame on you!) full information about the Atlantis Bookshop, which is run by Geraldine Beskin and her daughter Bali can be found here: http://theatlantisbookshop.com
And you can read more about The Highgate Vampire Symposium’s organiser, Della Farrant, at her own website http://hidden-highgate.org and via her book, Haunted Highgate at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haunted-Highgate-Della-Farrant/dp/0750958316/