There are certain places which are said to be more haunted than most. That certainly seems to be the case with England’s Highgate Cemetery. It was constructed in 1839 and since the 1960s there have numerous reports of various strange sights on its grounds. In 1963 two girls reported seeing what appeared to be bodies rising from their graves. Later that year a couple allegedly spotted a terrible face peering at them from behind the cemetery’s iron gates. This figure was reported by many other people and the local newspapers started to run stories about a possible haunting. However it wasn’t until the very early 1970s that things really started to take off.
That’s when David Farrant gave his account of, on passing the cemetery, having seen what he called ‘a grey figure’. Several people wrote in to say that they too had been privy to various apparitions. Another man, Sean Manchester, was perhaps one of the first to give voice to the theory of a vampiric entity being present. As evidence of this, reports of dead foxes being found with wounds on their throats and their blood drained were cited.
The story was kept alive by two things. In 1971 a young woman reported that she had been attacked by what she believed to be a vampire. The reputed assault took place in the wee hours of the morning and she had been thrown to the ground by a tall, pale figure. Before anything more could take place, someone stopped to help her and the figure mysteriously vanished. The second factor which has sustained the story is the bitter rivalry between Farrant and Manchester. Each claim to be able to rid the Highgate Cemetery of its ghostly inhabitants, and each claim to have made visits to banish vampires. Sightings continue to this day.