Like many people, Patsy Langley first became interested in Highgate and its cemetery because of her interest in Pre-Raphaelite painters and poets. As many will be aware, in 1869 the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti organised the exhumation of his wife Elizabeth Siddal from her grave in Highgate Cemetery in order to retrieve certain poems which he had buried with her some seven years previously. Siddal’s grave, which is rarely accessible to tourists, has become a kind of pilgrimage site for those who seek to instil in popular consciousness the role which women played in the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
As a teenager growing up in London during the 1970s Patsy was aware not only of stories circulating in the popular press about dark goings-on in Highgate Cemetery, but also on a personal level of copy-cat vandalism involving tomb desecration at nearby Kensal Green. As Patsy’s early 2000s research about Highgate Cemetery’s burials, and its history, progressed she started to notice inconsistencies contained within certain paranormal narratives pertaining to the locale, especially one which claims that a ‘vampire’ of European extraction had once leased the Ashurst House estate upon which the cemetery and St. Michael’s church now stand! After spending several years researching the occupancy of the site since the 1600s, and finding zero supporting evidence of this bizarre claim, Patsy began the meticulous process of writing her first book, The Highgate Vampire Casebook (British Psychic & Occult Society, 2007). Having established contact with many direct ancestors of those buried in the vaults which feature in some of the most lurid – and yet allegedly factual – accounts of vampiric activity in the cemetery, Patsy is currently developing a revised edition of her book with the blessing of said relatives.
Patsy has a degree in Earth Sciences and Humanities, and is a chartered accountant. A trained Spiritualist medium, she is currently working on a new book about haunted Middlesex due for release in 2015. She has previously published many articles about ley lines and earth energies. Patsy is an active member of her local church choir and Royal British Legion.