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.

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