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[london] Highgate Vampire … fascinating story of the creation of a urban-legend in 1970s … ‘The Hampstead and Highgate Express reported [Seán Manchester] on 27 February 1970 as saying that he believed that ‘a King Vampire of the Undead’, a medieval nobleman who had practised black magic in medieval Wallachia (Romania), had been brought to England in a coffin in the early eighteenth century, by followers who bought a house for him in the West End. He was buried on the site that later became Highgate Cemetery, and Manchester claimed that modern Satanists had roused him. He said the right thing to do would be to stake the vampire’s body, and then behead and burn it, but this would nowadays be illegal. The paper headlined this: ‘Does a Vampyr walk in Highgate?’ Manchester later claimed, however, that the reference to ‘a King Vampire from Wallachia’ was a journalistic embellishment. Nevertheless, the 1985 edition of his book also speaks of an unnamed nobleman’s body brought to Highgate in a coffin from somewhere in Europe. In his interview of 27 February, Manchester offered no evidence in support of his theory.’

The Highgate Vampire

This entry was posted on Monday, June 3rd, 2013 at 12:46 pm and is filed under London, People.

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14 Comments »

I’m afraid Sean’s always been a bit sparing with the truth….

The clue is in the surname of the person posting the previous comments.

Jamie Farrant is the son David Farrant who has made death threats to a wide variety of people, sacrificed cats, privately photographed naked females and then had their pictures published in newspapers and magazines without their knowledge or consent, taken nude photographs of a young female in a mausoleum containing satanic symbols and published them, attempted to raise “a satanic force” (Farrant’s own words) at midnight in Highgate Cemetery in order to have it possess him and his naked accomplice, attempted to raise a demon in a derelict house with a naked man who at the time was a self-proclaimed Satanist, waged hate campaigns against people, written and distributed vitriolic self-published pamphlets, sent malicious mail to friends and relatives of those he does not like, sent black magic curses to people in order to create publicity for himself and silence his critics, and has been convicted in the criminal courts of indecency, vandalism, desecration, threatening people and theft.

It would, therefore, have been rather more concerning if this Jamie Farrant (previously known as Jamie Coster) character had anything truthful or good to say about the author of “The Highgate Vampire” in which his father’s criminal behaviour is briefly touched upon to provide some context for the would-be interloper who has made a career out of disseminating malicious faslehood. He was known as a prankster by all who knew him in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and earned himself a notoriety for some very childish and often cruel pranks on unsuspecting people, mostly strangers. He also showed absolute contempt for anyone who believed in the supernatural, and was particularly hostile towards Christians. His later self-styled adoption of the more sinister aspects of the dark occult was as much to shock Christians as anything else, but it also served to bring him the media attention he craved. Hence his modus operandi spiralling increasingly into something more resembling full-blown Satanism.

Why are you dragging other people into it Sean…this is about you stealing your story from Dracula. Perhaps you should answer that rather than hide behind cut and paste character smears…..

I did an analysis of Sean’s book in 1991 and drew attention to other echoes (Shirley Jackson, Vadim’s BLOOD AND ROSES, Terence Fisher’s film of DRACULA and so on). An expanded version of the piece appears in my collection of essays.

A few minutes ago, Ramsey Campbell posted on a Facebook group (created by an Australian troll who has never been anywhere near the UK) dedicated to inciting hatred against Seán Manchester:

“Believe me, he shouldn’t have taken me on in the first place. I don’t back down.”

How exactly did Seán Manchester take Ramsey Campbell on? It was Campbell who took Seán Manchester on when he published malicious falsehood about him in a cheap book many years ago. Seán Manchester pointed out all the errors to Campbell’s publisher who promised to have them corrected in the next edition. There was no next edition.

It is Campbell who shouldn’t have taken on Seán Manchester in the first place. He bit off more than he can chew! Does he really imagine Seán Manchester “backs down” in the face of adversity?

“How exactly did Seán Manchester take Ramsey Campbell on?”

By attempting to prevent publication of the analysis referred to – writing to the publisher in advance of publication without even having read the essay. I have the letter Seán sent and several others that his supporters wrote to try and head off publication.

“Seán Manchester pointed out all the errors to Campbell’s publisher who promised to have them corrected in the next edition.”

Except that only one of the details Seán objected to was inaccurate, and I was happy to apologise and to delete it from the reprint of the essay. While Titan Books didn’t reissue the anthology in which it appeared, it was reprinted in my collection RAMSEY CAMPBELL, PROBABLY, which Seán knows perfectly well, since he demanded to be sent a copy before publication.

I don’t think Seán backs down – he merely avoids answering all the awkward questions raised by my essay, and I can promise that he will continue to do so.

Indeed…as he’s doing here…come on Sean…straight answer for once…..in the face of the evidence printed here do you deny that your book is copied from others…

I don’t know about “demanding a copy” of the reprint by a different publishing house, the fact is, whether he requested a copy or not, he did not receive one and to this day Seán Manchester has not read “Ramsey Campbell, Probably.”

It is customary in such circumstances to provide a copy of an amended book where a damaging and potentially libellous allegation is made in the original text.

This did not happen.

You seem to have missed my question completely again Sean…..

‘I don’t know about “demanding a copy” of the reprint by a different publishing house, the fact is, whether he requested a copy or not, he did not receive one.’

Yes, he did, and he acknowledged it on 18 December 2002 in an email in which he went into detail about the changes I made in the essay he had just read (he complained about inaccuracy but – good heavens – cited not a single example). I have the email here – indeed, his entire correspondence with the publisher.

That is simply not the case.

Just to be clear, are you, Ramsey Campbell, claiming that Seán Manchester was sent a copy of “Ramsey Campbell, Probably”?

It did not happen.

I think you should discuss this matter privately with Seán Manchester (using an authentic email address to contact him).

‘Just to be clear, are you, Ramsey Campbell, claiming that Seán Manchester was sent a copy of “Ramsey Campbell, Probably”?’

No, and I think I was clear enough, but let me be even clearer. As I already said, he was sent a copy before publication of the revised essay that appeared in the book. He commented on it, as I said above, on 18 December 2002. He’s welcome to buy the book itself, just as I bought his.

He seems to have left…again. He usually does when things get a bit much for him…..

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