Sunday, 8 November 2020
Hemlock Books Ltd was registered in Brighton, England, UK, on 28 June 2007 in the names of Jane Meikle (Secretary) and Denis Meikle (Publisher). The latter offers his age as seventy-four. He was born in 1947. The image shown was taken in April 1994. The image of Jane Meikle was taken circa the same time, or possibly earlier. Hemlock Books Ltd are registered as a private limited company.
The person responsible for the inclusion of a photograph of †Seán Manchester on page 70 of the first printing of Matthew Coniam's Dracula AD 1931 without the consent of the lawful copyright holder is Jane Meikle. No compensation was offered. Instead an assurance was given that the stolen item will not appear in future printings of the book, as requested by†Seán Manchester who would later add:
"The image of me alongside Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster, at a religious occasion in Westminster Cathedral can be found in the top right-hand corner of page 64, being very slightly obscured by the top of Bela Lugosi's head, which, by way of composite, hides my cassock. Further down the same page are found images of the front cover of David Farrant's sparsely paginated, stapled together, pamphlet, Beyond the Highgate Vampire, plus the front cover of the second edition, revised and enlarged, of The Highgate Vampire in hardback with dust jacket. It seems bizarre to remove the image of me on one page whilst keeping a second image of me on another. Needless to say, both images are my exclusive copyright and lawful property."
Jane Meikle would respond one final time:
"We have already stated that we have removed the image of yourself on p70 of Dracula AD1931, and a substitute page is already with the printer. The photo on p64 to which you refer is part of the reproduction of a page from a 22-year-old commercial periodical; as such, we will be making no payment to you for its use. Nor (for the last time) will we be replying to any further emails on this matter. All future response will now be blocked on our servers."
†Seán Manchester had asked for the removal of all reference to himself, or, at least, the inclusion of some balancing material. Jane Meikle did not agree to this, saying that any dispute over the text should be taken up with the book's author, Matthew Coniam, who based his Highgate content, albeit a mere three pages of Dracula AD 1931, on Jacqueline Simpson's biased and factually innaccurate Wikipedia entry that repeats the conjecture of American author Bill Ellis. In 1992, he visited David Farrant in England, and was supplied by Farrant with cuttings and material slanted to benefit Farrant. Ellis did not speak to †Seán Manchester, but possessed his book. He was a colleague of Simpson, and member of her UK based Folklore Society. In turn, Jacqueline Simpson of Worthing, Sussex, was actively supportive of Farrant whose meetings, not least his symposium in July 2015, she attended as a major contributor and guest speaker. Simpson was also well acquainted with someone who, to all intents and purposes, did not exist (online) prior to 2010, employs various nomenclatures, most recently "Della Farrant," and has made a ten-year career out of defaming †Seán Manchester. Like the others, she has never met him, is drawn to the dark arts, and has strong connections to Satanists; for example, the French Luciferian who sacrifices animals in blood rituals on camera, Jean-Paul Bourre. Notwithstanding David Farrant, who, by his own admission believed in nothing ("Firstly, can I just say, as I have said many times before, I do not really 'believe' in anything." - David Farrant, James Randi Forum, 12 April 2007), all the aforementioned hail from the political Left, are atheists, and link to fellow travellers with a history of stalking and maligning †Seán Manchester.
Furthermore, the pulp fiction paperback writer Ramsey Campbell in Shock Xpress Vol 2, published by Titan, an imprint with which Denis Meikle is closely associated, wrote that the (childless) wife of †Seán Manchester had given birth to the Antichrist. Titan asked him to apologise, and promised to amend subsequent printings. There were no subsequent printings, and Campbell tried to make light of the grotesque libel in a half hearted excuse of a written apology. "I must of dreamt it," he explained. He would continue his ad hominem attack on †Seán Manchester, minus his disgusting and totally unsubstantiated defamation of Mrs Manchester, in Ramsey Campbell, Probably, which he later expanded in subsequent printings with the help of a certain Australian resident, Anthony Hogg, who had been stalking †Seán Manchester for a decade and a half. Hogg gets a credit in Campbell's book. Matthew Coniam, too, slipped into bed with Hogg, joining his obnoxious hate group on Facebook and quoting from it on his own timeline. Ramsey Campbell, like Hogg and the rest of them, is unapologetically a Marxist, evincing an agenda of pure malice toward †Seán Manchester who represents, as a traditionalist Christian and believer in the supernatural, the antithesis of atheistic communism. Moreover, they are all soft on individuals with a bent toward black magic and Satanism.
Friday, 13 March 2020
This book outsells all others I have written by at least one hundredfold; yet I refuse to be defined by it. Half a century ago on Friday 13th March seems permanently etched onto the nation's psyche, and to some degree the sensational nature of that historic occasion will have obvious and lasting public appeal. It marked, of course, my television debut, and events later that night at Highgate Cemetery.
A more meaningful and pivotal Friday 13th for me would occur three years later in April at Easter. This was my first ascent of Parliament Hill. It was attended by a crowd of hundreds, not unlike the crowd spontaneously triggered by my television transmission on 13 March 1970. I was not expecting such a vast number to assemble all over the hill on Hampstead Heath on Good Friday 1973, but it was nevertheless a pleasing sight. Before a makeshift altar with candles on a bench at the very top, I inaugurated the founding of Ordo Sancti Graal. Tapers, incense and food were handed out. This began a pilgrimage, concentrating on London and its environs over the Easter period, and eventually spreading further afield. A lay order of twelve was instituted from those who attended and followed.
There came a second ascent of Parliament Hill in 1984 which, while attracting a good few people, plus a radio station wanting to cover the occasion live, had also come to the attention of the self-proclaimed (since the age of eleven) atheist Leader of the Greater London Council, Ken Livingstone who ordered my arrest due to an obscure piece of legislation that forbade the utterance of religious words after dusk. I was thus arrested at nine minutes before nine o'clock, taken to Hampstead Police Station under police escort, and made to feel comfortable by all concerned. When I prepared to leave without charge some time later, after a cup of tea and a pleasant chat with the Chief Superintendent, the officers all lined up to shake my hand. The date was Friday the 13th of July. It was a full moon.
A third ascent of Parliament Hill occurred on Good Friday 1993 in a heavy downfall of rain and the odd rumble of thunder. We were soaked to the skin in our white robes, but spiritually vibrant. Bemused onlookers caught sight of us, as we made the procession for the final time up the rain-soaked hill, having begun this final pilgrimage in Hertfordshire on foot. My mother had slipped into God's safekeeping months earlier. I decided to depart from London, which I did the following year.
On the forty-first anniversary of a headline on 27 February 1970 that would catapult me into the limelight for an uncomfortably long period of time, I agreed to give my final television interview at home. It was recorded using three cameras for a Canadian production company. The edited film was first broadcast on 1 April 2011. Thereafter it was repeated in many countries throughout the world.
On Friday the 13th of December 2013, a statement containing a plea for privacy was published by me on social media where it was widely viewed, and occasionally paraphrased. I reiterate it with mild adjustment because seven years later some of the time periods would not make sense for 2020.
I find today's world, particularly the cyber-world, all too frenetic and reactive. This jars with my own desire for creative contemplation instead of the tumult I see around me which being a public figure only serves to exacerbate. This reflective approach to everyday existence is at odds with being under public scrutiny, somewhere I have found myself for the past half a century. What most brought me to public attention were the television and radio programmes I regularly appeared on, and also the books and documentary films associated with topics which hold the public imagination in thrall. It is for that reason I have not submitted a book for publication since the beginning of the 21st century. Likewise, I scaled back my broadcasts in the media to a point where I no longer make them. I ceased giving interviews to the print media decades ago and only then in quality magazines. Moreover, it is quite some time since I declared I am no longer prepared to provide interviews on matters relating to Highgate et al. What there was to say has been said many times over. I found myself answering the same questions over and over again; questions which invariably are already answered in my published accounts. One of the problems, I quickly came to realise many years ago, is that interviewers, regardless of the subject, simply do not know the right questions, and the questions are every bit as important as the answers. Another problem in the new century has been one of trust. Seldom have I encountered an interviewer in recent years who keeps his or her word. Consequently, any condition I might have set for providing a contribution was frequently and almost inevitably compromised. Without trust and a sense of honour there is nothing. I cannot interact in that way and would rather stay silent than witness yet another contract broken. I am still having to regularly turn down television and radio interview requests, along with a plethora of other invitations to partake in projects that would maintain a perception of me remaining on the public stage, which, I accept, is exactly what I have been for most of my life. What made me so, however, is very much in the past. The memoir I began to write some time back will not now see the light of day. This is for the best if I wish my privacy to be respected. The concomitants of being a public figure have slowly eroded over the last couple of decades to a point where I stand on the threshold of finally achieving meaningful privacy. Hence, I have now stepped over that threshold and become a private individual. This will not affect my episcopal duties, sacerdotal ministry, art and music etc, but involvement in secular preoccupations and the expression of views on same in the public hemisphere is now at an end.
Friday 13th March 2020 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the largest vampire hunt ever to take place in the British Isles. It occurred at Highgate Cemetery on the evening of 13 March 1970, following reports in local and national newspapers, plus a television interview with various witnesses earlier on a programme called Today, Thames Television. Notwithstanding many amateur vampire hunters inflicting themselves on the cemetery with home-made stakes, crosses, garlic, holy water, but very little knowledge about how to deal with the suspected undead if they encountered it, I made an appeal on the Today programme at 6.00pm requesting the public not to get involved, nor put into jeopardy an investigation already in progress. Not everyone heeded my plea. Over the following weeks and months a wide variety of independent vampire hunters descended on the graveyard — only to be frightened off by its eerie atmosphere, and what they believed might have been the supernatural entity itself. Some were promptly arrested by police patrolling the area. None, however, caused any damage. I advised the public that a full-scale investigation was already taking place, and that individual efforts by those merely seeking thrills only served to endanger all.
On the Today programme, 13 March 1970, I warned one self-styled vampire hunter in particular, who had appeared on the same programme as one of several witnesses, to leave things he did not understand alone. Apparently he had received “a horrible fright” a few weeks earlier when he allegedly caught sight of the vampire by the north gate of Highgate Cemetery and immediately wrote to his local newspaper about the experience, concluding with these words: “I have no knowledge in this field and I would be interested to hear if any other readers have seen anything of this nature.” (Letters to the Editor, Hampstead & Highgate Express, 6 February 1970). In the following month the same individual revealed to the media that he had seen something at the north gate that was “evil” and that it “looked like it had been dead for a long time” (as told by him to Sandra Harris on the Today programme). I warned on the same programme that this man’s declared intention of staking the vampire alone and without the proper knowledge went “against my explicit wish for his own safety.”
The Hampstead & Highgate Express, 13 March 1970, under the headline The Ghost Goes On TV, reported: "Cameras from Thames Television visited Highgate Cemetery this week to film a programme ... One of those who faced the cameras was Mr David Farrant, of Priestwood Mansions, Archway Road. ... 'It was tall and very dark grey. But it didn't appear to have any feet. It just glided along.' He intends to visit the cemetery again, armed with a wooden stake and a crucifix, with the aim of exorcising the spirit. He also believes that Highgate is 'rife with black magic.' ... [Seán] Manchester is opposed to [David] Farrant's plans. 'He goes against our explicit wish for his own safety,' he said. ‘We feel he does not possess sufficient knowledge to exorcise successfully something as powerful as a vampire, and may well fall victim as a result. We issue a similar warning to anyone with likewise intentions'."
The mass vampire hunt on the night itself was not attended by David Farrant who spent his time in the Prince of Wales pub before repairing home to Archway Road and the bunker of an acquaintance.
The hunt went ahead, as chronicled in The Highgate Vampire book, and what was thought to be the vampire source and its resting place was discovered, along with empty coffins, in the catacombs.
Thursday, 27 February 2020
Most everyone has a story to tell, and mine, up to that point, became public on 27 February 1970 when, albeit reluctantly, I revealed some of that story in a front page feature article. From that moment, I ceased to have a private life, especially following the Reuters News Agency getting hold of it, and my being interviewed by a television programme, transmitted on Friday 13 March 1970, a short time later. I quite literally woke up and found myself famous. Yet it was a wholly unwanted celebrity.
Up until the end of the last century, notwithstanding one or two attempts to treat me in a lighthearted manner, I was received with impartiality and respect by film production companies, television and radio programmes, quality glossy magazines, including an appearance on the cover of The Sunday Times magazine, and others besides. As we entered the new century it became abundantly clear that people's beliefs, particularly belief in the supernatural, had fast begun to erode and become eclipsed by an aggressive form of atheism, often dressed up as something else, eg humanism etc. Interest in me did not lessen, however, but suddenly I was now, according to a new generation, see RationalWiki, and others of that ilk, "an unhinged British author." I was being painted as "unhinged" for one reason only: I was continuing to tell my story, but it no longer chimed with the atheistic, anti-everything supernatural, clique who dismiss such things. My story now earned their opprobrium on a grand scale, and they were not slow to make their extreme displeasure known.
“Ever since I became aware that Highgate Cemetery was the reputed haunt of a vampire, the investigations and activities of Seán Manchester commanded my attention. I became convinced that, more than anyone else, he knew the full story of the Highgate Vampire.”
~ Peter Underwood, ghost hunter & author, The Ghost Club Society, London, England
“I am very impressed by the body of scholarship you have created. Seán Manchester is undoubtedly the father of modern vampirological research.”
~ John Godl, paranormal researcher and writer, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
“Seán Manchester is to be congratulated on this fine piece of research work which I confess to enjoying to the extreme.”
~ Professor Devendra P Varma, vampirologist & author, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
“Fascinating in its subject matter and magnificent in the quality of its prose. Seán Manchester’s literary style is refreshingly reminiscent of the Gothic genre.”
~ Paul Spencer Vickers, Dept of English Literature, University College, London, England
“Seán Manchester is the most celebrated vampirologist of the twentieth century.”
~ Shaun Marin, reviewer and sub-editor, Uri Geller’s Encounters magazine, England
“A most interesting and useful addition to the literature of the subject.”
~ Reverend Basil Youdell, Literary Editor, Orthodox News, Christ the Saviour, Woolwich, England
“This book will certainly be read in a hundred years time, two hundred years time, three hundred years time ~ in short, for as long as mankind is interested in the supernatural. It has the most genuine power to grip. Once you have started to read it, it is virtually impossible to put it down.”
~ Lyndall Mack, Udolpho magazine, Chislehurst, England
Friday, 7 February 2020
To access the answers to Francisco Garcia-Ferrera's four questions click on the images above.
To access Francisco Garcia-Ferrera's article click on the images below.
Francisco Garcia-Ferrera drew himself into the controversy that has existed long before he was born.
Having chosen to publish what amounts to misinformation, falsehood and factual inaccuracy, he now wants to wash his hands of any responsibility for what he has written and published on the internet.
†Seán Manchester's response to Francisco Garcia-Ferrera's less than "rounded" article now follows:
Where do I start?
Francisco Garcia-Ferrera approached me as late 2019 became early 2020. I directed him to a private forum (click on image at the top of the page to access) where I told him I would answer any queries.
I also advised him that much he probably sought to know was already contained in my book The Highgate Vampire. He confirmed that he had not read it.
He asked only four short questions. I offered to address any supplementary or additional queries he might have. There were none.
Consequently, the article he produced is riddled with misleading statements, false claims and error.
Straight away, I am described as "a self-proclaimed exorcist, vampire hunter and bishop of the mysterious 'Old Catholic Church'."
The description "exorcist" is quite obviously an accurate one in view of the fact that I entered the minor order of Exorcistate in early 1973, and had been performing exorcisms bohth before that date and, of course, long after it.
How can the description "vampire hunter" be "self-proclaimed"? This is how I was accurately dubbed by academics, authors, researchers, interviewers and the media generally over the last half a century. I did not "proclaim" myself as such. I had no such need. It was apparent to my readers and most others.
How does he deduce that the Old Catholic Church is "mysterious"? There is nothing mysterious about it. His statement is based on ignorance, ie a lack of ecclesial understanding, information and knowledge. This is probably not the place to elaborate further, but I will gladly do so elsewhere.
Next we are told that "the story officially ended in 1973, when Manchester claimed to have driven a stake through the vampire's heart in the nearby 'House of Dracula' in Crouch End."
The year is incorrect. It was not 1973. The term "House of Dracula" was coined by a local newspaper (the Hornsey Journal). I dubbed it as a house of evil, and "Hell House." The property where the exorcism took place is actually situated on the border of Highgate and Hornsey, not Crouch End. The story did not, of course, end with the 1974 exorcism, as anyone who has read my book will know.
"While Farrant had presided over The British Psychic and Occult Society, Manchester founded the British Occult Society," it is erroneously claimed.
David Farrant's British Psychic and Occult Society was created by him circa 1982-1983. There is no evidence of its existence prior to that date. The British Occult Society was not founded by me. I became its president in June 1967. The British Occult Society was originally formed as an umbrella organisation circa 1860. Much of its activity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century is shrouded in mystery. The BOS came out of the closet, however, in the mid-twentieth century before finally disappearing in 1988 when it was dissolved under my presidency. During that period I placed emphasis on investigating the claims of the occult and the study and research of paranormal phenomena. Out of this history sprang the Vampire Research Society (formerly a specialist unit within the BOS).
Next we are told: "Both parties heavily advertised a 'magical duel,' which was to take place on Parliament Hill in Hampstead, before cooling down and calling off the clash."
I advertised nothing, and the occasion, which I attended, was not called off. According to the media it was to be a "duel." It was made clear in that from my perspective it would be an attempt to exorcise and heal. David Farrant did not attend for reasons he made known to the local and national press.
"Manchester remains in no mood to relinquish his grip on ownership of the case – it is, after all, almost his entire life's work – while also not exactly forthcoming when it comes to interview requests," Francisco Garcia-Ferrera claims.
The absurdity of the article is summed up in the above sentence. I am approached almost every week, certainly every month, of the year to do a piece to camera, or speak on radio, about this case. Each time I have rejected any attempt to involve me in continuing to publicly fuel more interest in the case, something that was a tiny part of my life's work which is so much more than just one solitary case.
Garcia-Ferrera then says that I "am not exactly forthcoming when it comes to interview requests." That's because I don't give interviews, and haven't done so for many years. But he already knew that.
"I tried to reach Farrant's long-term partner, Della – but she chose not to respond," says Garcia-Ferrera. How do you define "long term"? Della came onto the scene ten years ago, and quickly made a beeline for Farrant. They claimed to be an item from 2013 when on Hallowe'en of that year they had pictures taken at his Muswell Hill Road address. These were allegedly images of a witchcraft "handfasting," even though Farrant had stated back in 1982 that he had outgrown witchcraft. When interviewed by Andrew Gough in December 2009, he said: "I left Wicca in 1982, actually." He self-identified as a Luciferian privately in the 1970s, and publicly in the 1980s, until his death in 2019.
Francisco Garcia-Ferrera ends his piece with this paragraph:
"I'm not really sure what I expected when I asked Sean Manchester for some thoughts on his old rival, but it certainly wasn't a link to a relatively magnanimous self-penned eulogy. Perhaps I should have already realised that, when it comes to the Highgate Vampire, one should leave any reasonable expectations at the door."
A eulogy is piece of writing that praises someone highly, especially a tribute to someone who has just died. The link I provided, having explained that I would "not pursue this infelicitous matter beyond the veil of death," took the reader to an obituary, not a eulogy. A nuance that is perhaps lost on one who writes for and is published by something called VICE?
Hemlock Books Ltd was registered in Brighton, England, UK, on 28 June 2007 in the names of Jane Meikle (Secretary) and Denis Meikle (Publi...
It began like most days when the cold winter won't go away. The bitterness of former weeks not only intensified as the unseasonal...
Most everyone has a story to tell, and mine, up to that point, became public on 27 February 1970 when, albeit reluctantl...
To access the answers to Francisco Garcia-Ferrera's four questions click on the images above. To access Francisco Garcia-Fe...