Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Highgate's Portal

Seán Manchester's early recollection of Highgate Cemetery:

It was a very long time ago that I first came across the sloping field of crumbling masonry. I took the right-hand path. It swept steeply upward - towards, from my perspective, uncharted territory.

What brought me to this eerie landscape still escapes me; other than to say I was drawn for some inexplicable reason. I was struck on that day by the odd fact that no birds sang and there were no other people in the vicinity. Indeed, I met not a solitary soul on that first visit. Continuing along the silent, tree-shrouded route, I slowly stopped, sensing something strange and sinister in my midst.

It was the sombre pathway to an iron door, the inner circle and beating heart of the steep hill sewn with corpses that had a mystery and atmosphere like no other. The path led darkly to the portal.

This is an artistic impression of my first encounter. It shows me facing away from the portal and yet eerily drawn back to it - as if something unnatural was pulling me into a metaphysical realm.

These are my last artistic impressions, showing the figure further along the path, but still facing away from the door; inwardly sensing the untold horrors that lay behind it; yet unable to resist.

The view in the opposite direction, ie down the leaf-strewn pathway from the portal's perspective.

Returning for the last time to the lane where the unearthly had been experienced many years prior, I cast a lingering glance through the bars of the now permanently closed cemetery's north gate.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Secret Exorcism at Highgate Tomb

In the summer of 1970, both vampiric and satanic outrages were occurring at London's Highgate Cemetery, culminating in the press learning of Seán Manchester's secret exorcism of a tomb:

Such exorcisms were not uncommon and a theory about Satanists summoning an erstwhile dormant vampire had already become established in some quarters. This exorcism was reconstructed two months later by the BBC for their television documentary programme 24 Hours, 15 October 1970.

"The best advice I can give is to avoid involvement in the dark occult, ie Left-hand Path occultism, and do not seek the malign supernatural. Leave well alone. The Devil can tempt us, but he cannot touch us directly unless we open the door and let him in. We should not fear Satan and his demonic horde, but neither should we look for him in the day to day happenings of our life. There are positive aspects of the supernatural such as healing, miracles and visions. Phenomena that once existed with regard to places on any proposed Highgate Vampire tour list no longer afflict those places today, and all one can do is visit areas where something is alleged to have once occurred in the past, and very well might have done so back then. But nothing vampiric or demonic remains today.

"This is certainly true of Highgate Cemetery where a demonic contamination was in evidence over forty years ago, but no longer is there evidence of that manifestation at any of the places associated with the case which was finally closed in 1982. The neo-Gothic mansion was demolished back in the 1970s, and Highgate Cemetery has been regularly maintained and patrolled by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery (FoHC) since the graveyard was relinquished by the private owners, the London Cemetery Company, during the time of the terrifying supernatural occurrences. These reached back many years. The eleven acre woodland graveyard that once comprised part of the Great Northern London Cemetery where a secondary contagion occurred, linked to Highgate, was built on by property developers soon after the unearthly incidents and exorcism of same took place. Little remains to visit and certainly nothing directly associated with the infestation itself."

(Seán Manchester, from his writings regarding the occult.)