Monday, 30 May 2016

Who Hijacked Whom?

"The bishop rubbishes a book about Farrant." - Angie Mary Watkins (Facebook, Coventry, England, 28 May 2016)

The authoress has not written a book about Farrant. He is credited as one of five "narrators" whom she contacted for the purpose of making her work appear more plausible. In fact, it does the opposite. Sharon Clarke lives in Northern Ireland and quite obviously has scant factual information about him. FoBSM comprises friends of Bishop Manchester whom we consult and also invite input from to clarify and verify in certain instances. Her book per se is not "rubbished" by us, but her glowing appraisal of Farrant is seriously brought into question and naturally dismissed as erroneous.

"While I agree with the bishop to an extent, it was actually him who hijacked David's ghost story in the first place and they've been feeding off each other ever since." - Anthony Hogg (Facebook, Melbourne, Australia, 29 May 2016)

Hogg's absurd claim that Seán Manchester "hijacked" Farrant's ghost story does not stand scrutiny.

Seán Manchester has never subscribed to Farrant's "ghost story" and with good reason. It was a cynical ploy to fool the press and public into believing what has subsequently been exposed as a hoax on the part of Farrant. He was assisted by a small handful of people who allowed their names and addresses to be used in fraudulent correspondence to the editor of a local newspaper. He was also assisted briefly by his "landlord" who rented the flat above the coal cellar occupied by Farrant.

Farrant's "ghost" emerged in February 1970 when his hoax was first vented by him in the Hampstead & Highgate Express newspaper, previous to which time nobody had ever heard of David Farrant.

Seán Manchester and his colleague, Peter Underwood, had been separately investigating reports of vampiric incidents and an associated unearthly spectral manifestation at Highgate Cemetery since the mid-1960s. This led both to make their own independent discoveries. In Seán Manchester's case it was a schoolgirl who, together with a friend, experienced an unearthly vision at Highgate Cemetery.

This occurred in early 1967 at a time when Farrant was not even residing in the United Kingdom. He was living rough in France and Spain at the time. This is where Farrant met his future wife, Mary.

Due to all the speculation caused by the "ghost" hoax in a local newspaper, Seán Manchester felt obliged to acquaint the wider public with his own theory which did not involve a "ghost." One of the schoolgirls had been attacked in the previous year by the supernatural presence in the graveyard, and now he was being contacted by others who had similarly been attacked, eg Jacqueline Beckwith.

Seán Manchester acted expediently to forewarn and prevent further attacks. His vampire theory was published by the Hampstead & Highgate Express as a front page feature article on 27 February 1970 under the headline Does A Wampyr Walk In Highgate? There was no reference or mention of Farrant.

Within days, Farrant ditched his unsubstantiated "ghost" account and started to appear in the press as a "vampire hunter" determined to track down and destroy what was being dubbed the Highgate Vampire. Seán Manchester examined claims made by Farrant and found them unconvincing.

On 6 March 1970, an article appeared on the front page of the same newspaper, the Hampstead & Highgate Express, where, in an interview given to its editor, David Farrant states: "... what I have recently learnt all points to the vampire theory as being the most likely answer. Should this be so, I for one am prepared to pursue it, taking whatever means might be necessary so that we can all rest."

And pursue it he did. Consequently, on 17 August 1970 he was arrested at midnight in Highgate Cemetery and charged with being in an enclosed area for an unlawful purpose, ie vampire hunting.

Seán Manchester had been investigating and indeed pursuing the vampire since the mid-1960s. It would eventually be tracked down and exorcised by him, but there is little doubt, contrary to Anthony Hogg's allegation on Facebook, who hijacked what and who has been feeding off whom ever since.



"[FoBSM] needs to pay closer attention to the material [they're] citing. Indeed, the article from Feb. 27 clearly connects the vampire to the ghost -- and that continued to happen. As I said, they feed off each other. ... The fact remains: David came out with the ghost before Seán came out with the vampire. I never said David didn't hop on the vampire bandwagon." - Anthony Hogg (31 May 2016)

To be clear, Anthony Hogg is based in Australia and has never visited the United Kingdom, much less Highgate Cemetery, and has spoken to nobody directly connected with the case; not that they would want to speak to him. He was not born when these events took place, and seeks out the worst imaginable sources - eg people who, like him, now attempt to exploit the case even though they had no part in it whatsoever - to feed the obsession that has preoccupied his cyber-life for over a decade.

Despite the February 27th article attributing quotes to Seán Manchester and the Reverend "John" Neil-Smith (they even got his Christian name wrong, it's Christopher) that were simply not uttered, there is no reference to any "ghost" in the context of what Seán Manchester revealed. According to folklore, vampires manifest in both corporeal and apparition form, metamorphosis being one of the traits which distinguishes them. That is quite different to the "ghost" being touted by David Farrant.

Seán Manchester is explicit in the article: "... not merely the apparition of an earth-bound spirit, but much worse." He then identifies the spectre as being a vampire, as distinct from a ghost. He makes the distinction to avoid any confusion. And that is the only reference and/or quote to an apparition.

Plenty of people were aware of Seán Manchester's investigation into the Highgate Vampire prior to the turn of the 1970s, but not the press. He was careful to keep what was going on in the general vicinity out of the media, and would have continued to do so, but Farrant's publicity-seeking antics made that impossible. He turned the situation to his advantage by providing a means for people to contact him whose experiences he would otherwise not know about. This strategy proved fortuitous.

Hence the local press published a letter from Farrant a couple of weeks prior to the front-page article featuring Seán Manchester. Farrant did not dream up his "ghost" hoax until 1970. Seán Manchester had already before that time been dealing with the nightly visitations of the vampire upon a young lady whose boyfriend assisted him in offering efficacious protection to her from the predatory demon.

Hogg persists with his "they feed off each other" chant without offering a single piece of evidence. 

Seán Manchester no longer provides interviews about the case to the media, and has not done so for some considerable time, despite lucrative offers and persistent requests. He eschews all media publicity, but will talk about the case privately as a guest speaker at closed meetings for those with either academic and/or practical reasons to listen and debate the matter. Farrant from the onset has been an inveterate attention-seeker who will talk to anyone about anything provided there is publicity, even though he knows absolutely nothing. When he talks he is exceptionally tedious and boring.

Hogg is also extremely tedious and, like that other person, will do almost anything for publicity. The trouble is that when push comes to shove he has absolutely nothing of any interest to offer, and holds no experience or expertise in supernatural matters. Furthermore, like Farrant, he is not truthful. He claims to be a liberal Christian, but associates mostly on the internet with Satanists, wannabe "vampires" and like-minded individuals. His behaviour is about as unChristian as you could hope to find, and he appears to have made it his mission in life to harass and denigrate Seán Manchester who is a devout traditional Christian, exorcist and leading authority on demonology/vampirology etc

This is the context in which Hogg must be seen. He is a friend of Farrant's son, Jamie, and befriended a person who still proclaims himself to be a "master of the black arts"; someone who stood alongside Farrant in the dock at the Old Bailey in 1974 accused of arson following several attempts to summon a demon in a derelict house with an evil reputation. He was acquitted of arson, but shortly afterwards was found guilty of sexually molesting a young boy. His excuse was that he was following the teachings of the Edwardian Satanist Aleister Crowley of whom he claimed to be the successor. These are the sort of people Hogg seeks out to learn about the Highgate Vampire case, and provide ammunition against Seán Manchester. They can do neither, of course, because none of these people were present (Jamie Farrant was born in 1967) when the case was under investigation. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

Vacuous Voice in the Dark

Sharon Clarke's Voice in the Dark was published a handful of days ago by something called "CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platforms," and is described as "an in-depth look into the world of paranormal investigating centred on Northern Ireland with a mix of photographs and interviews with leading paranormal experts such as Jeff Belanger and David Farrant." 

Page 27 of Ms Clarke's book describes Farrant as playing "a prominent role in the history of 20th century occultism and parapsychology and continues to do so." Such unsupported claims suggest that her interview with him was conducted impersonally, ie via the internet, and that, apart from knowing only what Farrant has told her about himself, this young authoress knows precious little about him. For example, she places the word "vampire" inside inverted commas to suggest the Highgate Vampire case should be disregarded when the only thing which deserves being disregarded is Farrant's cynical attempt to hijack it for his own publicity-seeking purposes. Furthermore, she seems oblivious to the fact that throughout most of 1970 Farrant described himself in the media as a "vampire hunter," and was arrested as same by police in Highgate Cemetery in August of that year.

He appeared on BBC television two months later, pulled a wooden stake out of the back of his trousers, brandished a large cross, and explained how he had been pursuing the legendary vampire in the graveyard. Yet in September 2007, the same David Farrant wrote: "To keep talking about ‘vampires’ when I don’t even accept their existence, is really a bit boring!" Two years earlier he stated on the James Randi forum: "I do NOT believe in vampires. I cannot say it more clearly than that." That same year on the same forum he protested: "As I have said many times before, I do not really 'believe' in anything." Farrant has nevertheless lived off his fraudulent association with the case all his adult life, ignoring the television footage, newspaper articles and images which contradict his protestations. He makes these anomalies and contradictions his means to gain interest in the media who these days never seem willing to actually pin him down and expose him as a hoaxer who keeps crying something then denies he ever believed in it. Examples include vampires, black magic curses, cat sacrifices, naked witchcraft ceremonies, summoning demons, satanic worship etc. This has been his raison d'être throughout his life, ie implicating himself in something sensational and, having achieved the publicity he hungers, explain it all away and whitewash the incident in question.  

If she had only done some proper, in-depth research and, moreover, met him, would she really describe 70-year-old Farrant as a "leading paranormal expert" who "played a prominent role" etc?

Nobody at the time took Farrant remotely seriously, and this book must run the risk of attracting some considerable criticism from the more discerning among paranormal researchers, due entirely to her reckless inclusion and promotion of this man who has caused such upset and grief to so many.

Sharon Clarke's glowing testimony and promotion of the charlatan who was charged and found guilty of many offences in the 1970s, including indecency in a churchyard, tomb desecration, cemetery vandalism, threatening witnesses with black magic, attempting to pervert the course of justice, theft from a hospital, and possession of an illegal firearm with ammunition, will win her few Brownie points.