The Highgate Vampire

History time! Today’s post won’t be about vampire lore though, but rather a vampire event that happened a while back …and by a while back I mean 1970. Today you’ll learn about a modern case of vampire hysteria, the Highgate Vampire. There have been loads of vampire hysteria cases throughout history, where there was a break out of mass vampire fear spreading through town after town. People being deathly afraid of the supposed vampires roaming their streets and whatnot. But what is different about this case is that it didn’t happen way back in the 1600’s, it only happened about 40 years ago.

In March of 1970 it was widely reported that there was a vampire living in Highgate Cemetery in London. This became so big that even the news covered it. Once this vampire story got really big The London Evening News reported that over a hundred people had one night, underwent a full out vampire hunt. In 1970 over a hundred people trotted through the dark and gloomy cemetery in search of a vampire. Seriously.

The media focused on two men throughout the hunt, David Farrant and Allan Blood, the vampire experts that lead the search. Both of these guys were convinced that the vampire was living in one of the cemetery vaults and were determined to find it and kill it. Know what happens when you go vampire hunting in in graveyard in modern times? You get arrested for trespassing and desecrating graves. That’s what ended up happening to Farrant, but he was later acquitted on the grounds that the cemetery was open to the public.

Just like most media driven things like this the news took the story and ran with it. Basing all their stories on gossip, unconfirmed sightings and rumors. They wrote story after story, spreading the chaos, exploiting the madness (just like they do now). While I wish I could say “dude, they totally found a vampire!” I can’t because no vampire was ever discovered. People said they saw a man dressed in black leave the cemetery at night and that a woman nearby fell victim to this vampire but once again, those were rumors. Once the media grew bored with the story so did the people and the Highgate vampire chaos was put to an end. Just goes to show you that even in modern times, with the help of the media, you can have pandemonium based off of a rumor.

– Moonlight

By Moonlight

Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).


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  3. So lets get this straight, they had a SUPPOSED vampire shighting about 27 years before I was born????? That’s kinda cool that it’s a modern topic. But one thing SOOOO NOT COOL is that pretty much the whole story was based on rumors and vampires are not just rumors.

  4. “Ever since I became aware that Highgate Cemetery was the reputed haunt of a vampire, the investigations and activities of Seán Manchester commanded my attention. I became convinced that, more than anyone else, the president of the Vampire Research Society knew the full story of the Highgate Vampire which is probably the most remarkable contemporary account of vampiric activity and infestation ~ and cure. Can such things as vampires really exist? The evidence seems to be overwhelming and the author [of The Highgate Vampire] is to be congratulated on his knowledgeable and lucid account of the case which is likely to become one of the classic works on this interesting and mystifying subject.”

    ~ Peter Underwood, President of the Ghost Club Society and author of over fifty non-fiction books about the paranormal.

    Seán Manchester informed the public on 27 February 1970 that demonic disturbances and manifestations in the vicinity of Highgate Cemetery were vampiric. Shortly afterwards he appeared on television on 13 March 1970 to repeat his theory. The suspected tomb was located and an exorcism performed in August 1970. This proved ineffective as the hauntings and animal deaths continued. Indeed, they multiplied. All manner of people were by now jumping on the bandwagon; including film-makers, rock musicians and sundry publicity-seekers. Most were frightened off. Some who interloped became fascinated by the black arts with disastrous consequences. Meanwhile, Seán Manchester and his colleagues pursued the principal source of the contagion at Highgate until it was properly exorcised in the ancient and approved manner. It took them on a nightmare journey into a nether region inhabited by terrifying manifestations in corporeal form.

  5. I am currently writing an article on this particular topic myself and also feel the same sentiments. Although I do genuinely believe in vampires, and hauntings, I fear this story was only built on hype and ambition. On the other hand, it is possible there were black figures and "animal carcasses" that had been present on the burial grounds, this could be merely coincidental to the events stated. However, I am soon taking a trip down to London and will have a look around myself!

  6. Vampires are not real & you are all a bunch of Twilight watching losers. Harry Potter is a real wizard & Gandolf and Frodo saved the world from orcs long ago. Get some lives…losers,

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