Highgate Cemetery is a cemetery located in Highgate, London, England which opened up in 1839. It is the resting place of Marxist Karl Marx and Sir Ralph Richardson. The cemetery is known to supposedly be haunted by quite a few ghosts including a ghostly old woman wandering the graves and numerous ghost faces starting from the gates to the cemetery. The most famous of all the reported ghosts of the cemetery would be the Highgate Vampire.
The Highgate Vampire was a media sensation surrounding the cemetery dating back to the early 1970s. The hype began when a group of young people roamed the cemetery back at a time when it was heavily vandalized by intruders. David Farrant, one of its members, on December 24, 1969, saw a gray figure when passing by the cemetery which he considered to be supernatural. All the others claimed to have seen a variety of different ghosts they reported to be roaming Swains Lane in the cemetery.
Sean Manchester, a second local man, confirmed Farrant’s account and claimed that a “King Vampire of the Undead”, a medieval nobleman, who practiced black magic in the medieval Wallachia, had been brought to England in the early eighteenth century by coffin. Manchester claimed that modern satanists have roused him. He said that the right thing to do would be to stake the body, then behead and burn it, which is considered illegal so it was never done. Later, Farrant claimed to have seen dead foxes in the cemetery, with throat wounds and drained of blood. He later agreed that it might be a vampire.
Both Farrant and Manchester had an emerging rivalry between each other, fighting over which one would be the first to bring down the vampire. Manchester said to his associates that he would have a vampire hunt on Friday, March 13, 1970 to rid of the claimed vampire in the cemetery. Within two hours of having interviews of Farrant and Manchester shown on TV, a swarm of people climbed over the gates and walls of the locked cemetery beyond the police’s control.
Although the vampire was never found, Manchester kept making returning trips to the cemetery in later years. He had a psychic sleep-walking girl lead him to many places in the cemetery with some companions. She led him to a specific catacomb that was empty. After climbing down a rope through a hole in its roof, he found empty coffins into which there was garlic and sprinkled holy water put on. A few months later, charred and headless remains of a woman’s body was found not far outside the catacomb. This led to a massive surge in both Farrant and Manchester’s activities. Farrant was caught outside the cemetery with a crucifix and a stake. Manchester, led by his psychic sleep-walking friend, visited the cemetery a few days later, during the daytime. He was about to stake a corpse that he believed was transferred from a previous tomb until one of his companions asked him to desist and he did. In his book, he claims to of staked and burned a body in an empty house in the Highgate area.
Farrant was jailed for damaging memorials and interfering with body remains which Farrant claims to have been done by satanists, not him. Both Farrant and Manchester compete to this day on who is the more competent exorcist or better researcher of the paranormal.