Wednesday, 29 July 2009


Dear Bishop Manchester: As a cultural anthropologist, my dissertation is on modern folklore. As the Highgate Vampire is part of modern folklore, I have a few questions: (1.) Exactly how did you become a 'vampire hunter'? As I recall from the Highgate Vampire, you were not a priest at the time of this incident. Were you under the tutelage of a church elder or did you simply follow what was written in folklore? (2.) In the “So Weird” interview with the BBC, you state you have exorcised scores of vampires. Can you elaborate a little – just how many and where were these beings were located? Can you give the year you exorcised the vampires? Thank you in advance for your time. Regards, Rita Miller.

While it would be true to say that others have labelled me a "vampire hunter," I have never employed that term specifically to describe myself. Casting out demons is the preserve of Christians; especially Christians in holy orders. The pursuit of those demonic entities commonly known as vampires commenced for me in earnest with the unfolding of the Highgate case in the late 1960s. I was not in orders during that decade, but had contact with a sympathetic Roman Catholic priest and fellow students who, like me, were largely self-taught. The modern church as an institution was not entirely comfortable with the subject matter, but certainly did not dismiss it out of hand. However, individual priests along the way proved most helpful; especially those of the Eastern Orthodox persuasion. I entered the minor order of exorcist in early 1973. Highgate's principal demonic contagion was exorcised in the following year. The "incident" to which you refer occupied thirteen years of my life before the file was finally and irrevocably closed.

Throughout the BBC internet interview, which followed a vampire programme on BBC2 television, much of what I said became altered and sometimes lost in translation. As I am sure you will appreciate, the questions came thick and fast. Moreover, as I replied with what I felt to be minimum yet essential detail, some poor soul was attempting to type an abbreviated form of my responses into a BBC computer. So when looking through the dialogue one must take into account its transliterated summary of my actual answers. That notwithstanding, the bare bones of what I was attempting to communicate managed to surface, albeit the worse due to an unavoidably hasty exhumation.

I have carried out multifarious exorcisms of demonic contamination over the years; some undoubtedly vampiric and I am still consulted by priests in other denominations due to the unique sub-category of vampirology within demonolatry being no longer part of their training and syllabus. More often I am contacted by clergy and laity where a suspected contagion arises. Whilst demonic interference is frequently unearthed, classical vampirism less often rears its head. Forms of vampirism can occur without the manifestation having an apparent corporeal presence. When it does have a tangible form it would be regarded by vampirologists as a traditional case.

There are obvious reasons why I would not want to get involved in just how many have been encountered by me and my colleagues. It is, of course, more than the two recorded encounters and exorcisms in the published account of the Highgate investigation. The scourge of this unearthly phenomenon is by no means vanquished. It presents itself as a manifestation of that demonic legion referred to in Ephesians 6: 12 that we are required to resist in every way we can. This is the struggle that ensued at Highgate all those years ago. It is a permanent struggle for those of us called to rid the world of such evil.

Avoiding wherever possible the media in all its forms to ensure confidentiality to those who need help and whose help and co-operation is sought has allowed the ministry for dealing with such demonic molestation to become increasingly effective over the decades. Suffice that a world famous case was written about over the last four decades where media intrusion was impossible to prevent. Countless film documentaries have been made about it and there has been a televised dramatisation. There would have been no justification in repeating the unavoidable process of media co-operation applicable in the Highgate case over and again. By not discussing subsequent cases and by not exposing private people to a limelight they would certainly not welcome, my colleagues and I have been able to continue to operate with a reputation which precedes us for keeping confidences and not compromising people and places. Almost forty years after that first case was both reported and sensationalised by the media, I am still being asked to discuss it. While remaining open to debating the topic generally, I try to avoid the particular when it comes to unpublicised incidents and cases; having resolved not to allow investigations in the wake of Highgate to become similarly blighted.

No comments:

Post a Comment