Sunday, 22 January 2012

Time to Forget

Dear Bishop Manchester, will you be giving any more interviews about your investigations and experiences at Highgate Cemetery which has again recently been in the news? Inge Schwaiger

It was necessary to tell the full story, even though this was not an easy decision, due to the overwhelming public interest in the case, but I really now feel the topic has been exhausted and all there is to say about it has been said. The topic has also exhausted me after four decades of television and radio interviews, film documentaries and related projects. There will always be people, Asa Bailey being the latest, seeking to cash-in and exploit my work for their own ends. In the case of Asa Bailey, too young to remember the happenings at Highgate, he has gone so far as to copy the title of my book for a novel and an exploitation movie which can only disappoint anyone believing these products to be related to the mysterious goings-on four decades ago. As a matter of interest, my book The Highgate Vampire is optioned for cinematic treatment with a major film production company, but that is not something I am allowed to elaborate on at this stage. Asa Bailey's unrelated efforts were recently discussed in an article in the Highgate & Hampstead Express and that is yet another source of misinformation which required my intervention. The journalist and news editor eventually accepted they might have got things wrong and amended their article accordingly. The journalist in question had contacted me three weeks prior to her article being published, and my initial statement to her was: "The unfortunate thing about the media is that they are sales driven and in my experience seldom get very much correct, even when pointed in the right direction." She, or rather her news editor (according to her), made my point most handsomely, but, at least, they corrected the mistakes that had appeared in the online version of their article.

So, yes, I am willing to set the record straight where need be, but I gave my final interview about this case to the broadcast media some time ago and have no intention of returning to the topic despite persistent requests from television and radio programmes to do so every week. I still make contributions to television and radio, but this subject of public fascination in some cases obsession concerning events at Highgate Cemetery more than forty years ago is not an area I wish to elaborate on further. Having said that, my memoir in its unexpurgated form, if and when published, will obviously return to the topic in proper and fitting context to my life.

Unimaginable horrors were experienced by folk at the time of the contagion and these I feel are best not evoked. They should be left undisturbed. The reality that I and others, some sadly deceased, experienced all those many years ago no longer exists, and next to the hunger to experience the supernatural, albeit in this case at its most malificent and deadly, there is perhaps no stronger hunger than to forget.

Should an individual have a particular query about those mysterious happenings, I will give that person an answer (but not an interview); otherwise I have too much in the present with which to be concerned without reliving nightmares from the past.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Seal of St Michael

I should like to ask His Excellency: what does the seal of Michael the Archangel look like, how is the seal to be used, and where can one be obtained? Thank you, and God bless you. In Christ, Theodore.

The seal that appears below is carried for protection, and is used by exorcists when engaged in confronting demons. Like all symbols of this kind, its efficacy lies in the symbol being blessed in the correct manner and, most important of all, the strength of faith held by the person carrying it. Authentic seals are not easily obtainable, and suppliers of esoterica are not to be recommended. Try a traditional Catholic source, and have a traditionalist priest bless it. Without the requisite faith of the user, however, the seal and/or sigil is impotent.

Seal of St Michael

Sigil of St Michael

Sigil of St Michael

Friday, 13 January 2012

Friday the Thirteenth

Dear Bishop, what significance, if any, does Friday the 13th hold for you? Many thanks and God Bless. Pauline Wright

In order of the day's importance for me, the Last Supper, a momentous historical moment for all Christians, witnessed a total of thirteen in attendance including, of course, Judas Iscariot whose betrayal led to Jesus Christ's act of Sacrifice in His crucifixion. Tradition says that Judas was the thirteenth to sit at the table and the first to leave. The day of the Crucifixion was a Friday. Some believe it to have been Friday the thirteenth.

The founding of our religious order — Ordo Sancti Graal — was on Good Friday, April 1973, which happened to be Friday the thirteenth.

My television debut forty-seven and a half years ago was on a programme called "Today" (Thames Television) that was transmitted on Friday the thirteenth. The largest public reaction and indeed pursuit of what is commonly known as a wampyr, vampir, vampyre, or vampire took place at Highgate Cemetery on Friday the thirteenth of March 1970. Numerous propitious occasions have fallen on that date; so have those that would be considered nebulous, even dark. Hence I do not view the date of itself as being unlucky.

At least, not for me.

There is good and bad to be remembered for Friday the thirteenth, like many days. I do concede, however, that the light and dark is perhaps more intense.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Conversational Tangents

You were mentioned yesterday morning on the BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast Show by its presenter Nicky Campbell who referred to your interview broadcasts in the past in glowing and affrectionate terms. He seems impressed to have known you. I believe you are regularly heard on programmes abroad, mostly repeats, but when will you be doing something here in Britain? Raymond Hunt 

I had many interesting and lively discussions on air with Nicky Campbell on his very popular BBC Radio One programme when I was still living in London in the latter decades of the old century. This included late night questions from listeners where I was able to deal with anything they cared to raise about topics aired during the daytime show. These could range from the occult and supernatural to ecclesiasticism and my own spiritual odyssey; historical figures to the English Romantic Movement in the nineteenth century. We had some quite interesting chats after the show had been transmitted on subjects both related and unrelated to those raised during the programme. I have also made live television guest appearances with Nicky Campbell before large studio audiences who were also able to put questions to me following the featured material.

More recently, I was recording a studio talk on the topic of Montague Summers for a Bristol radio station yesterday which shall probably be transmitted in three or four days' time. Summers should be of some fascination to folk in Bristol because he grew up in a wealthy family living in Clifton, near Bristol. I touched on some of those who knew Montague Summers personally, including my own friend and colleague Peter Underwood, and described the seventeenth century vampire protection medallion Summers blessed and gave to Peter on his second visit to Richmond Green, Summers' last home, shortly before the demonologist's death in 1948.

There was so much more to say about the man whose works introduced me and many others to the world of the malign supernatural, but, as often happens, the presenter strayed into an increasingly tangential conversation concerning such distractions as ecclesiastical minutiae, Christian exorcism, the modern witchcraft movement, necromantic diabolism, demonology, even Masonry and the Illuminati. I kept trying to steer our talk back to the subject I had actually been invited to discuss, but clearly the presenter had an interest in matters he believed I could shed some light on, and consequently managed to extract enough material for six separate programmes. Personally, I would have much rather kept to the topic at hand rather than fragment in different directions before I had even begun to get up steam.

Be assured, Montague Summers is quite fascinating enough in his own right to merit a programme entirely to himself, which is what I had hoped to provide yesterday. Hopefully there will still be enough included about "Monty" in the final edit to wet the appetite for much more to come in the future.

On such as the Illuminati, I proffered that if they do not exist there is no worth in speculating endlessly about their possible manipulation at the apex of an elite, albeit hidden, political control system, and if they do exist it would certainly be somewhat unwise to do so.

Friday, 6 January 2012



O God

Who by a star

guided the wise men to the worship of your Son

we pray you to lead to yourself

the wise and great of every land

that unto you every knee may bow,

and every thought be brought into captivity

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Shadows In The Nave


This was a  Christmas gift from my good friend and colleague of many years, Peter Underwood.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year


Felix Sit Annus Novus! 
Pax et benedictio, 
+Seán Manchester