Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A Vampire Medallion


I received a lovely long letter today from my dear friend Peter Underwood, much of it too personal to share, but the intriguing part I certainly can. The letter was accompanied by the latest Journal of the Society for Psychical Studies, of which Peter is Honorary President, a signed copy of his latest book, and something in a mysterious small box of some considerable age, which, after I opened it, quite took me aback. What I found inside is referred to in a chapter of the anthology Peter and I collaborated on four decades ago which emerged as The Vampire's Bedside Companion (1975). The chapter is titled "A Vampire Talisman."

Peter mentioned the contents of the mysterious box only in passing, relegated to a PPS at the foot of his recent letter where he wrote: "I think it is time you had the vampire protection medallion."

The first edition of the 1975 anthology, in common with the second edition of The Highgate Vampire, is dedicated to the memory of Montague Summers followed in The Vampire's Bedside Companion by the inscription: "in the hope that he will forgive me for revealing some of the secrets of the Vampire Medallion - and I shall not regret it."

Appropriately enough, the chapter about the medallion is immediately followed by two chapters recounting the Highgate Vampire happenings and my investigation up to and including discovery of the vampire tomb in the summer of 1970. The full account would not be revealed until after the case was closed.

Peter describes the medallion in the book as containing "lettering in what could be old Slavonic, or Romanian, which incorporated both Roman and Cyrillic characters," and informs that Montague Summers "blessed it for me." The old vampirologist and priest died suddenly soon afterwards in 1948.

Peter was investigating a case of vampirism at the time and "found Summers tremendously helpful with knowledgeable advice. But all my efforts to countermand my vampire had no effect and some weeks after my initial visit I was back talking to him again. This time he brought out a brass medallion which he said had great power against vampires and evil spirits. He said he did not expect to have any further use for it but he wanted it to be in the possession of someone who could use it whenever the necessity arose. He believed completely in the supernatural vampire and had no doubt whatever that I would be called upon to use the talisman many times during my lifetime."

I had been informed by Peter some time back that the medallion passed to him by Montague Summers would one day be mine and that he had made a provision in his Will to that effect. Clearly he now feels that any benefit afforded by this curious object should be in my possession during the darkening days ahead. I am both overwhelmed and grateful, as there remains much work to do in this fearful realm in the winter of my life.

I have received several requests from friends, colleagues and other interested parties, eg vampire researchers etc, to view the medallion.

This can be arranged by appointment.



  1. I would be most interested to know whether you have any thoughts about the symbols and lettering on this medallion and, if so, would you share them? The provenance and background of such items is always of interest.

  2. It is too soon for me to engage in any meaningful research, but, given the item was employed for protection by Montague Summers during some of his investigative forays into that nether region of vampire contagion, I can only assume they assist in that ambition. Certainly nothing untoward afflicted Peter Underwood in all the years he had the medallion.

    1. Some sources claim that you are a vampire hunter. Is this true?

  3. I am a vampirologist and exorcist.

    Whilst I eschew the term "vampire hunter" it is undeniably true that I have encountered and exorcised predatory wraiths and demonic entities in corporeal form. Such manifestations are commonly referred to as vampires and the pursuit of them puts me technically in the category of what might vulgarly be termed a vampire hunter.

  4. Odd that you chose not to post my comment here, vampire hunter.

  5. That might be because (a) you are anonymous, and (b) you address me as "vampire hunter." See my previous comment.


  6. Dear Bishop Sean Manchester,

    I am a grandson of the late Peter Underwood, and am currently finishing constructing a website dedicated to his life and work.

    It will be a scrolling biographical chronology of his life. A timeline of significant moments and events, illustrated with images, audio and video.

    Having come across your intriguing post of Tuesday the 25 June 2013, 'A Vampire Medallion', it now strikes me as an a potential moment to include within the timeline.

    Particularly because it would of course occur late in the timeline - a year before his passing.

    Earlier in the timeline reference has been made to the whole 'Highgate Vampire' affair, but only in the most general way.

    But it would be most interesting to introduce you later in the narrative, in a way which recalls an earlier stage in Peter's life.

    It would be great to be able to have the opportunity to include you in this future online chronological biography of Peter's life. To have your permission to mention this 'handing over' of the medallion. And to be able to use a couple of the images from the aforementioned 2013 blog post, and of course credit you accordingly.

    However you may of course prefer not to be included. It is just a thought. An idea. I wouldn't want to drag anyone into the narrative if they didn't feel comfortable with being included - for whatever reason.

    So anyway if you have any thoughts or ideas about this proposed idea, please feel free to let me know.

    Warmest wishes,

    Adam Underwood

    1. We have now spoken privately about your project. I shall, of course, assist in any way possible to preserve the memory of your grandfather (and my friend and colleague of many years) Peter Underwood.

  7. are those ture? can you send sicretly to me the most have evil power medalion so that i can continue your purpose, who knows something may happen to you coz of your age, it will be safe for me and i will do it also search for someone whose brave to guard it when i grow old too...

    1. Should anything happen to me, such items will be taken into the care of the VRS.

      I am probably more empowered now than ever I was as a young man to defeat supernatural evil. The most important weapons in the armoury for this purpose are faith, knowledge and wisdom. The latter two only come with age.