Vampire de Highgate : à la recherche des victimes

En 1969, David Farrant, qui évoluait dans certains groupes occultes se retrouvant depuis plusieurs années dans les allées du cimetière de Highgate, décide de passer la nuit dans les lieux. Quelques semaines plus tard, en février 1969, il écrit une lettre au journal local, le Hampstead and Highgate Express, pour relater son expérience, mentionnant l’existence d’une forme grise qu’il aurait croisé durant la nuit. Rapidement, la rumeur veut que le cercueil d’un noble de l’époque médiévale (devenu un prince vampire sous la plume des journalistes de l’époque), originaire de Roumanie, ait été enterré au XVIIIe siècle dans les lieux, avant que le cimetière ne voit le jour. Les mois suivants, l’hystérie s’empare de Londres, cristallisée par la dualité qui émerge entre David Farrant et Sean Manchester, tout deux se présentant comme les seuls à pouvoir débarrasser les lieux de la menace. Manchester mena un exorcisme largement couvert par les médias, au cours duquel il affirma avoir vaincu la créature (et en avoir rencontré une autre quelques années plus tard, au même endroit), alors que David Farrant finit en prison pour profanation.

Depuis plusieurs mois, Erin Chapman et Anthony Hogg, tous deux partie prenante du site, se sont attelé à la tâche de démêler le vrai du faux, partant des articles de journaux de l’époque comme du livre de Manchester, The Highgate Vampire, ce qui a notamment donné naissance à l’article 5 raisons pour lesquels un vampire n’a sans doute jamais mis les pieds à Highgate.

Ces dernières semaines, tous deux se sont lancé à la recherche des deux « victimes » connues du vampire de Highgate, Elizabeth Wojdyla et Jaqueline Cooper. L’idée étant de pouvoir s’affranchir de la subjectivité des deux compte-rendus les plus connus (ceux de Farrant et de Manchester, largement influencés par la haine réciproque que se vouent les deux « chasseurs de vampires ») pour remonter à la source de ce qui est connu comme un des cas modernes les plus médiatisés de chasse aux vampires.

Pour rappel, la défunte émission Mystères avait proposé un reportage sur le sujet. Avec le sérieux qu’on lui connaît…

Vampire de Highgate : à la recherche des victimes

13 réponses à Vampire de Highgate : à la recherche des victimes

  1. The following was issued as a press release five days ago by me (Bishop Seán Manchester):

    Those pursuing ‘Lusia’ were not born when these events took place and one particular character, Anthony Hogg, has never visited the United Kingdom, much less Highgate Cemetery. Sadly, there are some people on the internet who are facilitating the wanton stalking of two females, Jacqueline and Elizabeth, who wish to be left in peace. What happened almost half a century ago should not be used as an excuse to pursue them relentlessly now. I am the author of The Highgate Vampire but I, too, all these years later, have a right to a private life, as does anyone mentioned in my account. Those seeking to gain their fifteen minutes of fame on the coat-tails of my book and incidents that occurred almost half a century ago should not be aided and abetted by anyone, least of all the online community.

    As the author of The Highgate Vampire I should know who and what is what. Jacqueline was a photographic model in the 1960s who, like a number of actresses who came after her, represented ‘Lusia’ in pictures. She was not ‘Lusia.’
    « The identity of ‘Lusia’ has always been shielded by me, and always shall be. Hence members of her family cannot be traced and her grave remains hidden from the public and such compulsive individuals who potentially might disturb its tranquility for their own nefarious reasons. I allowed just enough confusion to arise much closer to the time to protect her true identity. Jacqueline and ‘Lusia’ are completely separate people.

    Elizabeth was indeed involved in the Highgate Vampire case at its inception. Her testimony can be heard in a video (True Horror: Vampires, Discovery Channel). I spoke to her very recently. She once again reiterated that claims made by David Farrant that she was contacted at work by an emissary of his decades ago is absolute nonsense and utterly false. She was mortified at the prospect of being sought by strangers obsessed with the happenings in the 1960s, and made it clear that she would do whatever necessary to prevent it.

    • Vladkergan dit :

      Dear Bishop Seán Manchester,

      I don’t see why not being born when the whole affair occured (and never having visited England nor the Highgate cemetary) should be a problem for someone who’s interested in the whole story.

      I’m very interested in what happened during the Highgate Cemetary events, even if I wasn’t born in 1970. This story is the most well known vampire case of the modern days, and has since inspired many authors (for example Fred Vargas in her novel Un lieu incertain). Regarding this, it seems rather normal to me that people interested about such matters are proceeding further with their own investigations.

    • There is a considerable difference between having an interest in a subject and stalking innocent women who don’t want to have their privacy violated after the passing of almost half a century. If you cannot detect the difference in the two positions then I am wasting my time.

      I am the author of The Highgate Vampire and in the past have contributed to scores of television documentaries and several independent film projects. I sometimes also host private talks for people who genuinely wish to discuss vampirological research and contemporary investigations.

      What we are dealing with in the case of this trio of trolls, however, is something rather unpleasant. I have been ruthlessly trolled and stalked by one of them for over a decade, so I speak from personal experience.

    • Erin Chapman of Vancouver, Canada, and one of the three trolls pursuing Jacqueline and Elizabeth, has a history dating back to the previous century of playing at being a vampire with plastic « vampire » teeth inserted into her mouth, artificial blood dripping from her mouth and an inexpensive black cape, probably also plastic, bought from a supplier of Hallowe’en fancy dress items. Such pictures of herself she readily shares with the rest of the world while expecting to be taken seriously as a « researcher » into all things to do with Highgate’s history and indeed myself.

      Chapman and Hogg run a website that publishes a plethora of puerile abuse and personal nonsense about me. Like Swale, the ultimate source of all their bile is convicted felon David Farrant. Sometimes it comes via another party on the internet who gleaned it from yet another party, but invariably all the misinformation, malice and defamation can be found to originate with David Farrant who was convicted of desecration and vandalism at Highgate Cemetery, as well as threatening people with black magic effigies transfixed with pins. This is pertinent because Jacqueline, a professional model half a century ago, was prepared to give testimony against Farrant at Highgate Magistrates Court over threatening and harassing telephone calls to herself. Since then she has become an extremely private person who has an absolute right to enjoy a private family life. The same goes for Elizabeth who is identified in The Highgate Vampire due to supernatural experiences she underwent in the 1960s.

      « I’m not trolling anyone, simply ensuring people get the facts about the case. Manchester has not explained on numerous occasions about his so called ‘purposeful misdirection.’ He only did so after my article was published. This means you are calling him a liar, no disagreement from me. Manchester has made it very clear that no one is authorized to speak on his stead, so your comments mean nothing. … Regarding the Highgate Vampire and Sean Manchester this may be of interest to you. Spent 6 months investigating his claims and it turns out there is more holes in his story than a sieve. » – Erin Chapman (31 July 2015)

      Tony Hill gave this (subsequently mysteriously deleted) public response to Erin Chapman:

      « What you are doing, Erin Chapman, is by definition trolling. I only came here to explain a couple of errors in Carri-Ann Taylor’s article for Metro. You were not mentioned. Why should you be? None of this has anything to do with you. But along you came nonetheless to inject your poisonous vitriol about Seán Manchester who is invariably the sole object of your malice, together with links to your website which is obsessed with denigrating and defaming him.

      « You were listed on an illicit (violates FB’s rules) hate account by the name of ‘Bishop Bonkers’ where a collection of Farrantites, associated Satanists and fellow miscreants were also listed until the name of the account was changed to identify Seán Manchester by his real name. Within twenty-four hours the account previously named ‘Bishop Bonkers’ was permanently disabled by Facebook.

      « You spam links to your hate site repeatedly on Facebook. Your nasty comments on Facebook and a variety of other places are in keeping with the behaviour of someone who is totally obsessed with another individual, ergo an internet troll. The person who co-runs your website is no less a troll with a history of stalking Seán Manchester for over ten years.

      « Seán Manchester was discussing his purposeful misdirection regarding people and places mentioned in his book way back in the previous century before you even knew about the existence of him, his book or the Highgate Vampire case. So, nice try Erin Chapman, but no Hallowe’en outfit to replace your old one.

      « Anyone can see I am not speaking on behalf of Seán Manchester. I am speaking on behalf of myself in defence of my friend. If you were to quote him in his entirety and not just select a short extract from what he said you will find that he has no problem with people doing exactly the same as me.

      « Those more familiar with this endless saga will know that your quip is second-hand and repeated from another troll with whom you co-run your website. They will also know that both his and your allegations aimed at harming Seán Manchester stem back to the man who hoaxed a ‘ghost’ or, as in the case of the topographical locations, his so-called ‘secretary’ who, like her mentor, is waging a vicious hate campaign.

      « As for you ‘spending 6 months investigating his claims,’ there are better qualified people than you who have met Seán Manchester and been given access to his vast archive of evidence who have spent more years than that researching his material who would certainly disagree with you.

      « You are a stalker, Erin Chapman, who has a pathological compulsion to berate someone more than twice your age, who lives thousands of miles from your native Vancouver, about whom you know absolutely nothing. To that end you are willing to use second and third-hand and even fourth-hand material which all stems at source from a man who was convicted of crimes at Highgate Cemetery for which he was sentenced to almost five years’ imprisonment. Every single attack made by you here and on your website against Seán Manchester can be traced back to that man or one of a handful of flunkies he has in his pocket.

      « The accusations you and your collaborator make against the author and exorcist you both envy and despise frequently apply to the pair of you. This is called transference and it is not uncommon with trolls. Your Australian collaborator has falsely called Seán Manchester a ‘sociopath,’ but it is obvious to me that the pair of you are clearly the real sociopaths. »

      Erin Chapman’s fellow troll is Anthony Hogg who is probably the worst example of the lot of them.

    • Anthony Hogg dit :

      Good evening Mr. Manchester,

      There’s no evidence you’re still in contact with Elizabeth Wojdyla and Lusia was certainly Jacqueline Cooper, as evidenced by the photographs of her you’ve published in various articles, books and websites, not to mention your confirmation of her true identity in 1986.

      Now, you will probably continue to spam this « press release » across various media, as you’ve done in this article:

      But the points will still remain: age and location have nothing to do with seeking witnesses for a case you insist is true. You are not the witnesses’ guardian or representative. We are interested in hearing their testimony, the press release isn’t about you. However, that you’re going out of your way to spam comments everywhere and attempt to « block » access to them, certainly suggests you have something to hide.

  2. « We don’t really know if they want to be left in peace. As explained, several times over, [Seán Manchester] is not their guardians. [He’s] not their representatives. … Our position on this matter is fairly clear and reasonable. » – Anthony Hogg (The Enfield Independent newspaper)

    How predictable that literally within minutes of a comment from myself in an online newspaper providing publicity for this unholy trinity, one of the three stalkers would be arguing the case to find two women after half a century who definitely do not wish to have their lives disrupted in this way. To be absolutely clear, Jacqueline made me her representative back in the early 1970s. She was absolutely explicit about her privacy not being violated, and I intend to uphold that wish. Elizabeth reiterated her desire to have her privacy protected when we recently spoke at length about this matter. I represent her, too. Should either female be run down by this trolling trio it might easily become a police matter. I knew these women very well and am in no doubt how they would feel about being exploited by the likes of Anthony Hogg, Trystan Lewis Swale and Erin Chapman. Brushing aside my words while insisting that the women speak for themselves defeats the exercise because by that point their privacy will have been violated.

    There is, of course, no honour amongst trolls and it is up to people like myself to become the « guardians » of women being pursued in this morally unacceptable way.

    • Vladkergan dit :

      « How predictable that literally within minutes of a comment from myself in an online newspaper providing publicity for this unholy trinity »

      In the same way as it took few hours for you to react, they are maybe monitoring the citation of their names on the Internet.

      To be clear, is a totally independant media, I choose by myself the subjects I want to discuss here.

  3. I nonetheless sense a certain degree of naivety where these « young people, » as you call them, are concerned because neither Hogg, Swale or Chapman in all these years (over a decade in Hogg’s case and half as long in Swale’s case) have ever sought out eye-witnesses identified in the early months of 1970 in a local newspaper. People like K Frewin, R Docherty, J McKennar, Audrey Connely and Nava Arieli (real name Nava Grunberg). There were others also named in that newspaper. Why would Swale, Hogg and Chapman pursue Elizabeth while ignoring all the others who were named as eye-witnesses on public record as early as 1970? Elizabeth was not identified by name in 1970. She was referred to anonymously on television programmes in that year, but she was not actually named until Peter Underwood’s anthology was published five years later.

    I have been advised not to respond to people like Hogg, Swale and Chapman and that has been mostly my position. What makes this occasion different is that they have crossed a line by stalking innocent women for no other reason than those women have a historical connection with me. Hogg and company will deny this, of course, but while denying it they offer no explanation why they are not pursuing, for example, Mary Farrant or Colette Sully (aka Colette Gee), who, while sympathetic to David Farrant, could offer a new perspective on his claims made all those many years ago. There were other much less sympathetic to Farrant who were also named in newspapers and magazines, eg Victoria Jervis. They, too, could easily cast fresh light on this saga because they have unique and privileged information. But you will find neither Hogg nor Swale nor Chapman showing any interest in them; unless, of course, they have a connection to me, which they don’t. That is simply the fact of the matter.

  4. Anthony Hogg dit :

    Mr. Manchester,

    You’re obviously monitoring this very closely. I’m responding to what you’re saying/accusing us off. You’ve been copy-paste commenting here, on the news article and across various Facebook groups and pages — including the one I run, Vamped. To accuse us of stalking is ludicrous especially as you’re obviously following *us* around.

    As stated several times over, we aren’t trolling. Asking for witnesses of the Highgate Vampire case to step forward isn’t trolling.

    As it stands, we only have your word that they don’t want to be contacted. Unfortunately, your word is notoriously unreliable, as demonstrated here. And like I said before, you may have a vested interest in them not speaking, and could be providing a red herring. That’s why, in the spirit of hearing things from primary sources, we want to hear from them.

    So, Mr. Manchester, you can rant on as many websites and forums as you like, but it won’t change our stance or policy on this matter.

    But in regards to their privacy, please don’t pretend that’s something you’re genuinely concerned with, considering you publicly posted their names, photos and details in the first place. Thanks to you, their testimony is public record and can be addressed accordingly.

  5. Hogg stakes a claim to his intention of pursuing two women who will quite obviously resist any such attempt, but shows no interest whatsoever in finding eye-witnesses identified in the Hampstead & Highgate Express in the early months of 1970. These eye-witnesses only differ from Elizabeth (I do not included Jacqueline because she is not « Lusia ») in one regard. They have no connection to me. Had they a connection they would doubtless be pursued to the ends of the earth!

  6. Anthony Hogg dit :

    Mr. Manchester,

    There’s no point referring to me in third person as you’re directly addressing my comments. No need for rudeness. Especially not from a self-proclaimed bishop.

    We can’t say they will « obviously » resist attempts to get in touch. As stated, we don’t know because we haven’t heard from them directly. It’s up to them (not you).

    The witnesses we’re after, Elizabeth Wojdyla and Jacqueline Cooper, have a much bigger stake (heh heh) in these matters than a handful of letter-writers do. None claim to have been bitten by the vampire, for starters.

    We are not seeking out these witnesses because they’re vaguely connected to you; we’re seeking them out because they’re witnesses. But not just any witnesses; witnesses alleged to have been attacked by the vampire itself. Anyone with half a brain could appreciate the significance of speaking to them, directly, about their experience.

    Hell, according to your book, even you made an appeal for Wojdyla to step forward. No need to be a hypocrite, Sean.

    And no need to carry on like a drama queen. This search is about them, not you. All your histrionics do is suggest that you’re quaking in your cassock about the possibility of them being found and what they might say. To be honest, that wouldn’t surprise me.

    But in the meantime, there’s no need for you to repetitiously comment on an issue that no longer involves you, Sean. These witnesses can speak for themselves.

  7. The women have spoken for themselves, and they have done so to me.

    Jacqueline, who is not a witness, made her feelings very clear on this matter in the 1970s.

    It is true I lost contact with Elizabeth toward the end of the last century. It is also true that she was not told of my request for her to communicate with me, and therefore did not do so at the time. Since then I have privately restored communication with Elizabeth and we spoke about this stalking campaign by strangers not even alive when she originally gave witness to her supernatural experiences in and around Highgate. I asked her earlier this month what she would like to happen. She was adamant that her privacy be protected at all times.

    Nobody is daft enough to fall for Hogg’s stratagem about the women speaking for themselves. If either female did that it would defeat the whole object of their privacy remaining sacrosanct.

    That is what the women in question want, ie their privacy to be respected. Whatever happened in the 1960s and/or 1970s, this is what they want today; and my understanding is that this is what they have wanted ever since everything got out of hand and became the global sensation it did which nobody could have predicted. I originally wrote the chapter in Peter Underwood’s anthology and, moreover, the full story in my own book to stop being pestered all the time by people asking about the case. My account is there to quell and quieten the endless questions and fascination folk understandably have with the case. I no longer give interviews on it and have long since moved on to other things, as have the people mentioned in my account, or were associated with me at the time. The innocent women identified by Hogg, Swale and Chapman certainly do not want to be stalked and have their privacy compromised. Neither do I.

    Perhaps we should pity these people almost young enough to be my grandchildren who allow these things from my history to obsessively preoccupy their lives from one day to the next. I do not pity them, however, because they are disingenuous in the extreme. None of them actually believe in the existence of the malign supernatural such as I describe in my account. In fact, I doubt they believe in anything at all. One is a self-proclaimed atheist, and all three evince a profound dislike of me, and spend an inordinate amount of time trolling me on the internet when not misrepresenting and defaming me in their commentary on various groups, blogs and sites. They labour under the deluded notion that their own selfish, compulsive desires outweigh the rights of other people. But they are wrong. They do not.

    All in all, this is a sorry reflection of an aspect of the dark side of the web. Trolls are always looking for fresh victims, but in this instance they might have bitten off rather more than they can chew!

  8. Anthony Hogg dit :

    Mr. Manchester,

    What you’ve written in your books isn’t the same thing. We want to hear from them, specifically. It can’t be much clearer than that.

    We only have your word that they don’t want to be spoken to; we want to hear that from them. Your word is irrelevant to the equation. This stipulation has also been explained countless times. Patrick, you’re like an echo chamber.

    Either way, you even mention being in contact with Elizabeth again (supposedly) only validates our own search, which you’re desperately trying to demonise. We’re well within our rights to ask them to step forward. You don’t own them.

    And you certainly weren’t concerned about their privacy these last 43 years where you’ve broadcast their experience and photos across various media including books, TV, radio, websites and your blogs. With such exposure, your defence of their privacy is somewhat suspect.

    Your accounts, however, don’t quell questions, they only raise more. That’s also why we’d like to hear from them. Sorry Patrick, but you lost exclusive domain on it the second you billed it as a true story and released it into the public domain.

    Nonetheless, I find it amusing you feel compelled to paint yourself (falsely) as a victim while brazenly attacking us with distinctly non-Christian remarks. All from a « bishop » no less.

    Even more amusingly, you keep following us from comment section to comment section, trying to hound us into silence despite having to repeatedly explain our stipulations to you: you aren’t them, Sean. Our search is not yours.

    We’re interested in what they have to say about their own experiences. If they wish to remain private, we will respect that. But they have to tell us that, personally. You are not their guardians or keepers.

    If you don’t like our search, then ignore it. It’s really that simple. Nonetheless, it will still go ahead no matter how many times you try and derail it.

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