Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas 2012

Procul in praesaepi et sine lecto,

en, parvulus Iesus dormit in faeno

stellaeque micantes despectant eum

tranquillo in somno, nostrum Dominum.

Dum mugiunt boves, expergiscitur;

nec tamen ex illo auditur murmur.

Amo te, mi Iesu! De caelo specta

et usque ad lucem, precor, mi adsta.

Es, Domine, mecum, te rogo; mane

me iuxta aeterno, et dilige me.

Pueruli omnes in cura tua

fac uti fruantur aeterna vita.


Friday, 21 December 2012

Catholic Paranormal Research Society

Dear Bishop Manchester, My name is Demetrius, and I would like to invite you to read an article I have prepared (dedicated to you and your experiences). I sincerely believe you're presenting the truth. If you are interested, please visit my blog since you requested not to have any links posted here on your blog. My purpose in posting here is to let you know that your work is important and appreciated. I hope I did justice to analyzing your works, and that others will have an opportunity to recognize your work as a valid Christian source of information. In Christ, Demetrius.

VAMPIRES: Exploring the Highgate Vampire Case by Demetrius (Co-Founder of the CPRS)

Do Vampires exist? The answer to this question largely depends on how people understand what a Vampire is. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people are only familiar with the Vampire of popular culture. Only fragments of what a Vampire truly is, is ever promoted through popular culture. Here are two dictionary examples defining what a Vampire is according to contemporary standards:

Vampire – a corpse supposed, in European folklore, to leave its grave at night to drink the blood of the living by biting their necks with long pointed canine teeth. (Oxford Dictionary)

Vampire – (folklore) a corpse that rises at night to drink the blood of the living; a blood-sucking ghost; a soul of a dead person superstitiously believed to come from the grave and wander about by night sucking the blood of persons asleep, thus causing their death. (Webster’s Dictionary)

Such definitions are not entirely incorrect, but they only describe something based on contemporary and secular standards, and not the actual folklore itself. It should be noted that such standards also dismiss the existence of Vampires, especially in those definitions making use of terms such as “folklore” and “superstitiously.” Overall, the Vampire is defined according to a set of myths or legends, rather than to reality.

Vampire phenomenon includes other characteristics and circumstances of which the contemporary definitions lack. More importantly, these other details are excluded from popular culture. Certainly, there is much more that can be said to help answer the question whether such creatures exist or not. The Catholic Paranormal Research Society’s interest in this particular subject is owed to the fact that a variety of paranormal phenomena occur due to demonic activity. The Church believes in the existence of demons, and has noted demonic manifestations occurring in various ways. Knowing this, demonic manifestations may include Vampirism. This may be demonstrated by means of comparing cases of Vampirism to the experiences and wisdom of the Church.

Why should Vampirism be any different from any other paranormal occurrence owed to demons? Some examples of ghost phenomena do include revenants (ghosts of a corporeal nature). The Patristic evidence reveals that ghost phenomena does not regularly occur as a result of the spirits of the dead, but as a result of demons imitating the dead. It becomes easy to recognize how demons use a persona other than their own in order to achieve their evil intentions. The Vampire can be easily recognized to yet another persona utilized by demons. Unfortunately, contemporary definitions do not define the Vampire as a demonic manifestation.

Moving beyond dictionaries and their brief definitions, there are numerous books exploring Vampirism. Such texts only provide a secular perspective. Some books even explore Vampirism through occult philosophies and theories. Some even describe the Vampire strictly as a mythical creature, while promoting the belief in “psychic vampires.” These books do not satisfy what a Vampire is. Most contemporary texts on the subject of Vampires serve to promote disbelief.

Definitions alone do not validate the existence of Vampires, but such definitions are owed to human experiences. Despite this aspect of language, modern day society attempts to set certain experiences aside as superstition. Today, there are practically no well known experiences that can attest to how a society defines Vampires as a reality. At various times throughout human history, the Vampire was defined through very real experiences. How something like the Vampire has been reduced to primitive superstition is owed to how contemporary definitions fail to include the broader range of details provided through humanities experiences. At one time, Vampirism was defined as a demonic manifestation. Today such a definition is at best an ambivalent implication to any modern day definition provided. Therefore, to answer the question presented at the outset of the article it becomes necessary to define Vampirism in a relevant way – namely, through some contemporary experiences, which do not reduce the Vampire to myth and legend.

The Highgate Vampire & The Vampire Hunters Handbook

There are two books worth exploring in order to satisfy the question in a relevant and worthwhile way. These two books are The Highgate Vampire, and The Vampire Hunter's Handbook, written by Bishop Sean Manchester. Both books are particularly dense in subject matter, which unfortunately cannot be fully explored here. Having examined some aspects of Bishop Manchester’s books, it is the hope of the CPRS to have people re-consider what it is they think they know about Vampires.

Bishop Manchester was chosen by the CPRS for various reasons. He is among the very few people who have publicly shared his experiences with real cases of Vampirism. Not only is Bishop Manchester a Vampire researcher, but was at one time a Vampire Hunter. The latter point makes his writings particularly intriguing. Also, he is a Christian; a Bishop of the [Traditional] Old Catholic Church. Although apart from the Roman Catholic Church, no one can doubt or refute his faith in Christ. This article is not concerned with denominational differences, or questioning the validity of his Church or anyone else’s. Instead, the CPRS is much more concerned with Bishop Manchester’s attention to Vampirism and the Christian perspectives he provides; a perspective that is far removed from today’s contemporary standards.

What should be stressed is that Bishop Manchester makes it very clear that the Vampire is not something which can be easily defined. In his book, The Highgate Vampire, Bishop Manchester presents various definitions in order to help describe what a Vampire is, based on his experiences. The problem, it seems, is how he attempted to reconcile his own personal experiences with what has been traditionally understood to Vampirism. Despite this, in one such definition he writes,

“The Vampire, then, is not strictly an evil spirit alone; nor is it an apparition. It has a body: its own body. A pariah, even among demons; a bloodsucking androgyne with foul appetites.” (The Vampire Hunter's Handbook)

The characteristics of a Vampire include qualities describing both a dichotomy of spirit and matter. He identifies a Vampire as much more than just an evil spirit. The Vampire “has a body: its own body.” In regards to the physical manifestation of evil, he also uses the word “androgyne.” He is not identifying the Vampire as both male and female, but as comprised of both body and spirit; corpse and demon, connected to one another in some strange way. What all this amounts to is what a Vampire truly is – the Vampire is a demonic manifestation. How so? In another section, he explains,

“A demon has no physical body of its own, yet nevertheless can possess a living person and, under certain circumstances, a dead body.” (The Vampire Hunter's Handbook)

This is not as outrages as it sounds. Of course, there are some individuals and groups who have held the opinion that the demonic possession of the dead is beyond the display of power of the devil. Bishop Manchester notes such objections he has studied, but through his experiences he leans towards the traditional explanations in order to show how Vampirism is indeed a demonic manifestation. The CPRS would like to include some considerations to Bishop Manchester’s views in order to help demonstrate how such defining qualities can be compared to what is known within the history of the Church.

There is hardly an incident of the paranormal which does not describe a “spiritual” influence on the material – physical – world. What is thought to be paranormal is owed to the spiritual world intruding on the material world in an unnatural way. Demonic transgressions against the living have been well documented in cases of poltergeist activity, haunted locations, possession, etc. All such paranormal phenomena occurs as a result of the interaction between the spiritual and material world; the invisible and visible worlds. In the case of Vampirism, a corpse is still only a physical thing. Any demonic influence against the physical world can indeed include a corpse. Yet, Bishop Manchester mentions another quality of the Vampire in regards to the dead being possessed. In turn, what he describes can be compared to various experiences and records found in the Church. He writes,

“The cause of vampirism […] is a life of more than ordinary immorality […] The vampire is believed to be one who has delighted in blood and devoted himself during his life to the practice of diabolism…” (The Vampire Hunter's Handbook)

Here, it becomes obvious that a Vampire is a consequence of extreme immorality; a sinful life without repentance. The corporeal persona chosen by evil spirits are not as random as those found in ghost phenomena. Instead, when demons possess the dead there are specific circumstances which must be met in order for the condition of Vampirism to occur.

The corporeal persona – the corpse – is one which is akin to the evil of demons. Unlike the relics of saints through which the Holy Spirit sanctifies such earthly remains, demons gravitate to those closer in spiritual orientation to themselves. St. John Chrysostom’s homily on Lazarus the beggar can help clarify what is being stressed here.

“…it is the soul of those who live in sin that become demons! Not because the soul’s substance is altered, but because their disposition and will is the same as those of demons’ wickedness…”

Identifying the souls of sinners who are likened to demons, this one Patristic example lends itself to the possibility that demons not only gravitate to sinful souls, but to the corpses of damned souls. Again it must be stressed that if the Holy Spirit sanctifies the relics of saints, it is not entirely improbable for demons to utilize the physical remains of sinners; of those “of more than ordinary immorality.” In fact, Bishop Manchester notes this possibility where he stated:

“[…] if God can provide powers to make some of us saints, do you doubt that Satan also gives power to those he claims as his own?” (The Highgate Vampire)

Although he does not elaborate on this matter, there is even stronger evidence for this possibility in certain documents found in the Greek Orthodox Church. A nomocanon – a text of ecclesiastical laws – found at the Church of St. Sophia in Thessalonica Greece, describes various conditions of corpses which remain incorrupt. The text explains that certain sins can affect the condition of the dead. In all such examples provided by the nomocanon, the body exhibits an incorrupt state. Unlike the similar condition known to saints, the incorrupt state of these bodies is polluted both physically and spiritually. The corpse fails to be received by the earth. Even in death sin stains both the body and soul. Although separated from the soul, the body does not simply turn to dust. Sometimes what occurs is that the body remains in some unholy incorrupt state.

There have been cases known in a handful of hagiographies of saints who have encountered such corpses. St. Dionysius of Zakynthos was one such saint known to the Greek Orthodox Church. In one of his miracles, a concerned family approached him about their daughter who had died in a state of excommunication. Many years had passed but her body failed to decompose. They begged St. Dionysius to help their daughter, especially since the condition of her corpse caused them great anguish to know that she was a damned soul. The good saint told them to bring her body into the Church, and hold her upright. St. Dionysius prayed for the forgiveness of her sins. When the prayers for forgiveness were completed, the corpse dissolved to bones and dust.

Bishop Manchester describes something about the Vampire which can be compared to the examples of the nomocanon of the Church of St. Sophia, and the miracle of St. Dionysius of Zakynthos. From his book The Highgate Vampire, he describes the physical appearance of a Vampire, both before and after driving a wooden stake through its heart. Bishop Manchester writes,

“…the years of decay which had been eluded by her vampire sleep were returning almost instantaneously…” (The Highgate Vampire)

This was the description of a young woman named Lusia who became a victim of Vampirism. There is also another description noted among his experiences having some differences but owed to the same affliction recognized to Vampirism. He writes,

“I drove the sharpened point through the creature’s heart […] the body-shell caved in and quickly turned filthy brown which soon became a sluggish flow of inhuman slime and viscera.” (The Highgate Vampire)

The corporeal persona of the demon(s) exhibits an incorrupt condition. Following the impalement with a stake – a traditional form of exorcism for Vampires – the incorrupt condition of the body is restored to the natural state of death. The incorrupt quality recognized to Vampirism can be easily compared to the nomocanon, and especially to the miracle of St. Dionysius. In cases of Vampirism, the cause is owed to those who conduct “a life of more than ordinary immorality.” Such souls are likened to demons, as understood from the words of St. John Chrysostom’s homily. In turn, there is a condition which afflicts the body even in death. Following a form of exorcism, this condition has been known to be cured. However, Vampirism differs from the previous examples whereby the Vampire persona – the corpse – is possessed, and not merely afflicted by a sinful condition. Obviously the dead girl’s condition in the example of St. Dionysius is not a demonic manifestation, but it is an example of how sin turns people over to demons, both in body and soul. What Bishop Manchester describes is not only similar to these other experiences of the Church, but has a very strong and clear relationship. These relationships are important to keep in mind.
Much of what Bishop Manchester reveals about his experiences with Vampirism do indeed define the Vampire as a demonic manifestation. Unlike other demonic manifestations the Vampire is much more distinct thereby setting it apart from other forms of ghost phenomena. On this particular matter Bishop Manchester writes,

“The Vampire, then, partakes the dark nature and mysterious qualities of both revenant and demon, yet is distinct from each of these by a third trait which is a terrible lust for blood.” (The Vampire Hunters Handbook)

The essential defining quality of a Vampire is centered on its dreaded consumption of blood. Certainly, there are living creatures which draw sustenance from the blood of other living creatures, but do Vampires? There are no records in the history of the Church which describe fallen angels – demons – as requiring the blood of men or women to sustain themselves. The corporeal persona of the demon(s) is not a living thing in need of sustenance. Of course, the Vampire is undead. There is no absolute certainty about the biological qualities of such manifestations, except of course the spiritual forces compelling the dead to imitate the living. It may seem as though Bishop Manchester is suggesting a biological quality rather than a spiritual quality concerning blood, but this is not an accurate interpretation of his experiences. Elsewhere in his book, The Vampire Hunter's Handbook, he describes the impalement of a Vampire with a word of caution: “Blood might jet forth in every direction and it is advised that contamination is avoided at all costs.” Once again, a reader examining such a detail through the perspectives of popular culture may misunderstand what the warning actually speaks of. The biological quality is evident, but the caution he provides concerns something altogether spiritual. Consider what Bishop Manchester recommends as a treatment to any such contamination.

“Holy water should afterwards be used to wash away any splashes of blood. All antidotes like holy water and chrism, that have been blessed, will have a powerful effect against this malign supernatural entity.” (The Vampire Hunter's Handbook)

Ordinary water is not recommended to wash away any contaminated blood belonging to the Vampire. If the contamination were strictly biological Bishop Manchester would not have identified holy water, especially since soap and water would suffice. Having stressed the importance of washing away the contaminated blood with holy water it becomes obvious that he is identifying a spiritual pollutant – not something strictly biological. Of course, the blood is the physical transmission of the spiritual contamination. His experiences do not ignore this dualistic characteristic. However, the spiritual implications of Vampire blood and holy water reveal a very strong and clear indication that Vampirism is a demonic manifestation. For now it is important to also keep this detail in mind.

Thus far, the experiences belonging to Bishop Manchester have been very brief, but in the brevity of these examples, the details help to draw attention to the reality of Vampirism. Some of the most compelling examples demonstrating Vampirism as a form of demonic manifestation can be identified through each of the victims Bishop Manchester helped. Furthermore, the evidence shedding light on the question – do vampires exist? – can be realized through these victims. For the sake of brevity, three individuals will be presented here – Elizabeth Wodjyla, a woman known only as Lusia, and Jacqueline Beckwith. The incidents experienced by these three women were owed to certain unnatural disturbances in the Highgate cemetery, located in London, England.

Elizabeth Wodjyla- Elizabeth Wodjyla suffered from the effects of Vampirism on various occasions and in various ways. In the year 1967 A.D., the then 16 year old Elizabeth, along with her friend Barabara were walking by the north gate of the Highgate cemetery. It was late in the evening and according to Elizabeth, they witnessed what can only be described as the dead rising from their graves. Whether or not what Elizabeth and her friend beheld was owed to apparitions or revenants is not made known. To continue, not long after witnessing such a strange scene, Elizabeth began to be troubled by strange dreams or what she described as, “not a dream, but something higher than that […] I cannot awake because I feel I am awake” (The Highgate Vampire). Here, her consciousness has experienced something dream-like, but as she states, “not a dream.” Elizabeth’s wakeful nightmares consisted of a cold presence, which she believed was trying to enter through her bedroom window. In her own words she explained, “Something outside my window […] At first I think I see the face of a wild animal with glaring eyes and sharp teeth, but it is a man” (The Highgate Vampire). These dream-like disturbances eventually subsided, but returned in 1969. By this time Elizabeth was no longer living at home with her parents. Why would such a nightmare return? After questioning Elizabeth’s boyfriend, Keith Maclean, Bishop Manchester discovered that while she was living with her parents, the home contained many crosses and other religious objects. Now living on her own, Elizabeth kept no crosses in her home. In his wisdom, Bishop Manchester theorized, “It might well be that a cross, the symbol of the triumph of good over evil, afforded her the necessary protection to keep the intruding malevolent force at bay” (The Highgate Vampire). Bishop Manchester tested his theory by having Keith place various Christian symbols and other Vampire repellents around Elizabeth’s bedroom. He also instructed Keith to sprinkle holy water. According to Bishop Manchester, “Should she show signs of distress or anguish while she sleeps, it could well mean the force is nearby and trying to dominate her mind so that she will remove the impediments” (The Highgate Vampire). Keith discovered that Elizabeth would disturb the Christian symbols and other Vampire repellents during the day. He also recalled Elizabeth’s aversion to wearing the cross around her neck. Keith explained, “The cross around her neck definitely caused some consternation” (The Highgate Vampire). In particular, the aversion to Christian symbols help to identify her experiences as a demonic manifestation. His theories were correct, and Elizabeth did react to the Christian symbols whenever the evil force attempted to afflict her.

The nightmarish face at her bedroom window attempted to dominate her mind and body. Elizabeth was also troubled by what may be considered sleep-walking. However, Keith’s descriptions of Elizabeth’s sleep-walking episodes suggest something closer to demonic possession. He describes Elizabeth’s condition in a letter to Bishop Manchester: “some force of which her conscious mind is not aware, is controlling her […] I followed her outside the gate of the cemetery […] she was staring through the iron rails as if in a trance” (The Highgate Vampire). Once again, such behaviour is known in cases of demonic possession. The aversion to Christian symbols, her altered state of consciousness both are symptoms of demonic influences. What ultimately gives Elizabeth’s afflictions the distinction of being labelled “Vampirism,” were two enflamed puncture marks on her neck; her anaemic-like condition, along with other symptoms associated to Vampirism.

The similarities between demonic activity and Vampirism are not coincidental. Another example involved Elizabeth suffering from what Keith described as suffocation. During one of her wakeful nightmares, Keith found Elizabeth “gasping for breath, as if she had been almost suffocated” (The Highgate Vampire). During the Dark Ages the Church believed in demons identified as the Succubus and Incubus. One of the common traits belonging to such demonic manifestations is the act of laying on top of the victim, who in turn experiences a heavy suffocating weight. This experience has also been identified in cases of demonic possession. Collectively, what Elizabeth experienced has strong similarities to various forms of demonic activity. What this suggests is that Vampirism is a type of demonic manifestation.

Lusia - Another victim of the Highgate Vampire case was a young woman identified only by her first name, Lusia. Much like Elizabeth, she suffered from various disturbances in her daily life. Lusia’s sister, Anne, contacted Bishop Manchester in 1970 A.D. Anne explained that her sister had begun sleep-walking, among other strange problems. During one evening when Bishop Manchester was present, he found Lusia “with a vacant expression – staring out of her bedroom window […] Half an hour passed before she returned to her bed, totally unaware of our presence” (The Highgate Vampire). In one of Lusia’s sleep-walking episodes she went to the Highgate cemetery. Unlike Elizabeth who merely went as far as the north gate, Lusia entered the cemetery and into the catacombs. Anne explained that Lusia never had such problems like sleep-walking in the past. This suggested that she was being compelled by something other than her own free will.

The similarities between Lusia and Elizabeth were many. Lusia also had an aversion to crosses. During her sleep-walk into the cemetery, Lusia tore the cross from around her neck. There were also the “complaints of being suffocated while she slept” (The Highgate Vampire). Lusia also had two marks on her neck, like those found on Elizabeth. Here, two women suffering from similar conditions – conditions comparable to demonic activity – demonstrate that their experiences were not isolated incidents. It would be easy to rationalize the experiences through psychology had there only been one victim. However, two women who did not know each other, fell victim to similar circumstances, and somehow the Highgate cemetery was connected.

Jacqueline Beckwith – Unlike Elizabeth or Lusia, Jacqueline Beckwith did not suffer from aversion to crosses or suffocation during her sleep. Her testimony, although different, has some similarities to the previous victims. In her testimony provided to Bishop Manchester, Jacqueline recalls how she “was drawn into the old graveyard [Highgate cemetery] alone on some occasion and experienced the sensation of being mentally directed by unseen eyes” (The Highgate Vampire). The trance-like sleep-walk experienced by Elizabeth and Lusia was similar to Jacqueline’s strange compulsion to enter the cemetery.

During one particular night Jacqueline recalls being awakened by an icy cold grip. She described being “paralysed with sheer terror” (The Highgate Vampire). The unseen intruder had left her with a wound on her hand, which left her bleeding. The wound looked as though it may have been caused by “long fingernails or sharp teeth” (The Highgate Vampire). The previous two victims differ from Jacqueline. She could recall her unexplained allure into the cemetery, and the attack in the night. She was conscious of her experiences.

The phenomena surrounding the Highgate Vampire truly fall in line with what is known about demons. In their book The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession and Exorcism, co-authors David M. Kiely and Christina McKenna record various forms of demonic activity. By comparing some of the phenomena between Bishop Manchester’s collection of testimonies to those compiled by Kiely and McKenna, Vampirism is easily recognized as demonic to its core.

The aversion to Christian symbols and objects conditions were experienced by Elizabeth and Lusia. In one chapter from The Dark Sacrament known as The Pit Beneath The Heathstone, the demonic manifestation directed its hatred towards Christian symbols and objects: “The repeated hurling of the Bible onto the floor, the broken crucifix […] the Sacred Heart being dashed to the floor. All these things pointed to the likelihood that an evil spirit [demon] was at work.” The aversion and hostility towards Christian symbols and objects is perhaps the clearest expression of demonic activity.

The trance-like conditions experienced by Elizabeth, Lusia, and Jacqueline can also be compared to the demonic assaults described in The Dark Sacrament. In the chapter Heather: A Case of Ancestral Evil, the young woman, Heather, was struggling to overcome powerful demonic assaults. During one incident her boyfriend Joe noted, “She seemed in some kind of trance.” The trance-like condition experienced during demonic molestations is closely associated to cases of possession. Here, the victim loses part or all of their bodily and conscious control.

Elizabeth and Lusia also experienced suffocation. Not surprisingly, The Dark Sacrament identifies this same phenomenon in the chapter entitled, The House Wife And The Demon Dubois. The victim of this particular case was a woman named Julie. During the night she was violated in various ways. During one episode “she felt a man’s body pressing down on her […] almost suffocating her.” Elsewhere, Julie was attacked by an unseen hand, similar to the assault experienced by Jacqueline in The Highgate Vampire. In this case, Julie experienced a hand “tightening about her throat; she could barely breathe.”

Regardless of how demonic manifestations occur, the phenomena are strikingly similar. What makes the experiences of Elizabeth and Lusia distinct from other forms of demonic manifestations are the bite marks on their necks, followed by loss of blood. Vampirism is made distinct by this one circumstance thereby distinguishing itself from other forms of demonic manifestations. What should be kept in mind is that although other varieties of demonic activity do not include the distinctive bite wounds on the neck, Vampirism is still demonic to its core.

Some determined and stubborn individuals may argue that Vampirism was not a factor, and may even concede to the fact that the Highgate Vampire case was owed to demonic activity. It should be stated that Bishop Manchester’s books provide numerous examples of evidence which are not included here. Vampirism is distinct in its peculiar traits, but ultimately owed to demons. All the CPRS is attempting here in this article is to point out how Vampirism is indeed demonic, and therefore real. How a Vampire is defined is essential to accepting the reality of such paranormal activity.

The examples explored here in this article are by no means complete. There are many other incidents accounted for by Bishop Manchester. The examples presented here leave no doubt that Vampirism is a demonic manifestation, although very distinct from other varieties of demonic activity.


Having made use of various Christian symbols and objects Bishop Manchester was able to recognize the circumstances as cases of Vampirism. More importantly, he was able to recognize Vampirism as demonic.

“The true vampire is, and always has been, a demonic entity identified by its ability to manifest as a cadaveribus sanguisugis – a bloodsucking corpse.” (The Vampire Hunter's Handbook)

If Vampirism is not a demonic manifestation – as popular culture suggests – holy water, crucifixes, and so forth would have been ineffective. Bishop Manchester placed his faith in those things belonging to Christ’s Church. Consider his words where he states: “The blessing ‘charges’ the antidote [e.g. holy water] and this essence, identified by the form of the blessing, is infused into the elements of the item being employed” (The Vampire Hunter's Handbook). The “essence” identified here is the Holy Spirit. What this reveals is that the Holy Spirit was active through such Christian symbols and other materials. In other words, the reality in the existence of God presents itself, but this is implicit throughout his experiences. These same Christian materials were used to help identify and treat the victims of the Highgate Vampire. It was these Christian materials, which exposed Vampirism as demonic. Vampires do not exist as spirits or corporeal manifestations distinct from demons. As stated elsewhere, the Vampire is a demonic persona.

Some people may argue that demons do not exist. The very same people may also argue that Bishop Manchester’s experiences were defined according to his Eurocentric and Christian perspective. Therefore, his definition is considered biased by his detractors. Most certainly he acquired a foundation of knowledge through various texts and records directly or indirectly associated to the Church. At the very least, the literature he explored does have Christian points of view. He does not fail to mention such literature in his books, and nor does he exclude the fact that these sources helped him understand his experiences. In terms of Bishop Manchester’s experiences, what is abundantly clear is how he put the information to the test. In turn, he could only concede to the truth.

Disbelievers may also argue that humanities experiences dictate that Vampires – or demons – are not real. Therefore, the inclusion of terms, such as, “folklore” and “myth” do define Vampires as superstitious occurrences in humanities experiences. This also suggests that Bishop Manchester and his experiences are not real, and that he is not telling the truth! The CPRS’s response to such charges is based on a few considerations. First, he has endured decades of ridicule and contempt from numerous groups and individuals. Secondly, he is constantly misrepresented and misquoted. Thirdly, he is intentionally suppressed by so-called expert "Vampirologists." Bishop Manchester remained firm in his testimony despite the adversity he has faced. Keeping these considerations in mind, most certainly he would have been exposed by such diverse and hostile groups and individuals. Yet, he has never been exposed as a fake for one simple reason; he is telling the truth.

His experiences only strengthened his faith, whereby he entered holy orders. His calling was not motivated as a gimmick to promote his views. The fact that he became a priest later in life demonstrates this point. Otherwise if his calling to Holy Orders was a gimmick, why did he not become a priest during the Highgate Vampire incident? His calling was a consequence of having discovered spiritual truth in Christ. The CPRS believes this is the underlying issue explaining why people refuse to accept his experiences, and definition of Vampirism. It is not the reality of Vampires that disturbs people. The disbelief in Bishop Manchester’s experiences and definition of Vampirism occurs solely because it illuminates the truth; God does exist!

Demonic manifestations occur in a variety of ways, and can be identified to most genuine cases of the paranormal. While popular culture may not be concerned in promoting the possibilities found in the Christian faith, the Church is always concerned and aware. Consider the words of Fr. Ignatius who questions the variety of demonic manifestations:

“The incubus and succubus – are they simply myths? You know, there is the great danger in this enlightened age of ours to relegate all such ideas to the ignorance of the Middle Ages. Satan has managed to get himself out of the picture very well in these modern times of ours […] He can take on many implausible forms, so why not that of the incubus?” (The Dark Sacrament)

In the truth of Fr. Ignatius’ words no Christian can simply exclude the possibilities under which demonic manifestations can – and do – occur. No one can ignore the evidence presented in Bishop Manchester’s books concerning Vampires. Both The Highgate Vampire and The Vampire Hunter's Handbook are highly recommended by the CPRS. The article could have been limited to a simple book review, but such a review would have failed to stress the importance of his works. Essentially the CPRS could not ignore what Bishop Manchester wished to share with others: Vampires do exist!

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us6wtIIcYpU

Tamás Ország

Dear Bishop Manchester, Forgive me if this question has already been covered in your books, which I have recently bought, but have not yet started on. The immediate question that springs to mind on reading about the Highgate Vampire is what was his name? Were you able to ascertain his identity and were you able to research his background? How old he was? Who was he before he was infected? Many thanks in advance. Alan.

The identity of the Highgate Vampire is dealt with on pages 50-51 of the Gothic Press edition of The Highgate Vampire book.

My text speaks of "a mysterious nobleman from the Continent who arrived in the wake of the vampire epidemic which had its origins in south-east Europe."

The conjecture that he might be Eastern European is therefore most probable.

Above is a circa 1870s photograph of the Russian immigrant known variously as Mikhail Oleg Ostrog, Bertrand Ashley, Claude Clayton (Cayton), Dr Grant, Max Grief Gosslar, Ashley Nabokoff, Orloff, Count Sobieski, Max Sobiekski etc, possibly from the Kiev region of Russia, but by no means a nobleman, who settled in the East End area of London in the 1860s. His name has been put forward by some searching for the identity of the Highgate Vampire. It is rumoured without any clear evidence that Mikhail Ostrog moved to the Highgate area of London in the 1890s, but there is no mention made of him after 1904. Mikhail Ostrog was under investigation by the Russian authorites for what we would describe today as a series of vampiric murders. Mikhail Ostrog was also investigated by the fledgling Metropolitan Police service over a series of murders that bore all the hallmarks of vampiric attack in the Greater London Area. Mikhail Ostrog was introduced to the public in Donald McCormick's The Identity of Jack the Ripper (1962). From that time little was known until recent research by D S Goffee revealed a wealth of information on his criminal career. This information was published in the October 1994 issue of Ripperana, "The Search for Michael Ostrog." Phil Sugden also covers him as a suspect in The Complete History of Jack the Ripper (1995). Numerous people have drawn a comparison between the Highgate Vampire and "Jack the Ripper" in the past, which, while worthy of investigation, simply does not pan out.

Physical Description of Mikhail Oleg Ostrog:

Five foot, eleven inches in height.

Dark brown hair.

Grey eyes.

Often dressed in a "semi-clerical" suit.

Had a scar on right thumb and right shin

Had numerous flogging marks on his back.

Two large moles on right shoulder, one on the back of his neck.

Described as a Russian, Russian Pole, and a Polish Jew at various times.

Source: http://www.casebook.org/suspects/ostrog.html
The name Tamás Ország was presented as a much more likely candidate by those of us researching the matter in the previous century. The similarity between the surnames Ország and Ostrog is striking, but Ország originated from Hungary, not Russia, and I personally remain unconvinced that Mikhail Ostrog is a potential candidate. The identity, history and origin of the Highgate Vampire is considerably more intriguing and mysterious than a common criminal and homicidal maniac who some have tried to link to the "Ripper" murders.

The vampire's appearance in the putrid chamber of its tomb at Highgate Cemetery in August 1970 to its extirpation in the grounds of the neo-gothic derelict mansion in early 1974 is one of a heavy form, gorged and stinking with blood with eyes glazed and staring horribly, glinting with the red fire of perdition. This great leech possessed sallow, parchment-like skin beneath which a faint bluish tinge could be discerned; the colour of a three-day old corpse. It had black hair and eyebrows that were especially heavy and joined across the bridge of an aquiline nose. The mouth betrayed thin, cruel lips which drew back, almost in a snarl, to reveal sharp teeth where lodged congealed gouts of discolouring blood, the offal of the previous night's feast. Some witnesses describe a tall figure with a hideous countenance. All remark upon the eyes which burned like hot coals in a face so frightening it paralysed them in their tracks. There was also the unbearably fetid stench that accompanied this presence, rank with corruption and the stench of the charnel, which indicated an undead rather than an apparition.

The last moments, some of which were captured by a 35mm camera, reveal the same "burning, fierce eyes beneath black furrowed brows staring with hellish reflection. Yellow at the edges with blood-red centres, unlike anything imaginable. Flared nostrils connected to a thin, high-bridged nose. The mouth still set in its cruel expression with lips drawn far back as if unable to contain the sharp, white teeth." (The Highgate Vampire, pages 85, 86 & 142.)