Nov 12, 2010


Vampires embody so much of what we secretly desire within. They are (presumably) immortal, they are often seen as so irresistible to the opposite sex, that their food supply willingly submits to whatever awaits them. The dark and foreboding nature of the character combined with the sexual attraction guarantees generation after generation of both wannabe vampires and wannabe vampire hunters.

If the myth and legend can’t be realized though, the next best thing is to invent a viable alternative. Thus was born the emotional/soul sucking vampyres of the modern era. It would just be too doggone easy to expose a fake because they either drink the blood of the living victims or they are seen as a fraud. That spoils the head-trip so… they dazzle their victims, vacuuming out their emotions and spirits. Since such cannot be seen to be confirmed, it can neither be disproved or denied. Very convenient.

Highgate Cemetery in north London is a spooky place at the best of times, and rumours of ghosts occupying its Victorian crypts and tombs have existed since its consecration in 1839. And the fact that Karl Marx, father of communism, is buried there only adds to its mystique. However, when a phantom figure was seen in the cemetery in 1967, followed by the discovery of animals sucked of blood in nearly Waterloo Park, rumours began of a vampire. The situation was not helped when a local paper dubbed the phantom the Highgate Vampire in 1970. And on Friday, 13 March of that year, a mass vampire hunt was organised. Hundreds of vampire hunters invaded the cemetery, armed with stakes, garlic and crosses. No vampire was caught, but much vandalism took place and a female corpse was exhumed. In 1974, a further, smaller hunt organised by famed vampire hunter David Farrant, led to claims that a vampire had been caught and destroyed. But rumours of sightings and dead animals continued well into the 1980s.

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