Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Summoning A Vampire

While serving a four years eight months prison sentence, David Farrant wrote an article for New Witchcraft magazine (issue 4), in which he states:

“In magic, blood is symbolic of the ‘life force’ or ‘spiritual energy’ which permeates the body and in this context is used in many advanced magical ceremonies. It would not be sacrilegious to compare this to the use of wine as symbolic of blood in the Catholic Communion. Accordingly, at approximately 11.45pm, I drew blood.”

His lengthy description of summoning up a “satanic force” is intended to be an open admission of his engagement in Satanism for the benefit of public consumption, not least the sensationalist press:

“We then lay in the Pentagram and began love-making, all the time visualizing the Satanic Force so that it could - temporarily - take possession of our bodies.”

Mr Farrant skirts around the alleged “invoking” ceremony of September 1971 at Highgate Cemetery in the account about his life which he self-published in 2001. In fact, he makes no mention of it. Closer to the time it was of prime importance; so much so, he reflected on those purportedly recent events from his prison cell in 1975 and wrote a rambling article which he then mailed to Brian Netscher, the editor of New Witchcraft.

Mr Farrant seems clueless about such things and retreats into his customary mumbo jumbo in order to offer a bogus veneer. He refers to his coven of twelve which he mysteriously calls the “Secret Order of the X.” Bishop Seán Manchester investigated David Farrant’s so-called “Order of the Black Moon” in the period following Mr Farrant's release from prison. At that time the bishop made every attempt to gain Mr Farrant's confidence. The "Order" was found to not exist and such photographs proffered to newspapers and occult magazines comprised of little more than willing dupes such as Victoria Jervis, Martine de Sacy, John Pope and whomever else he could enlist to pose before the black magic altar erected for that purpose in his home. His girlfriend of the moment would invariably feature as his “high priestess” which naturally always obliged her to disrobe while Mr Farrant retained the dignity of his satin dressing-gown which doubled as magical regalia. These young women knew less about witchcraft and the occult than did Mr Farrant. It made no difference because some of them quite liked the publicity. He also persuaded these females that such exposure would result in a modelling career. It never did, of course, and they soon went elsewhere. Only John Pope, considered to be unhinged by some who have met him, takes the occult seriously. Mr Pope, of course, is a self-proclaimed Satanist and practitioner of the black arts. He once claimed to be head of the United Temples of Satan. Pope also has a criminal conviction for sexual assault on a minor (a young boy named Blackwell). Mr Farrant threatened the witnesses in Mr Pope's sex case with black magic, and in 1997 he appointed John Pope as head of the "junior department" of the so-called "Highgate Vampire Society" created by Mr Farrant in the same year which, like his occult society, barely had a membership beyond himself and the self-proclaimed Satanist. These are factors that should be taken on board when considering his “Invoking the Vampire” article in New Witchcraft from which an excerpt follows..

“… those who had conducted these Rites were amongst the highest Adepts, for no amateur would be capable of performing the advanced Rite of conjuration … But most important here - and as I stated at that time - the fact that the Cemetery was being thus used by professional Satanists could have had a direct bearing on the frequently witnessed spectre. … It is therefore quite feasible that the Cemetery phenomenon was an evil entity that had been summoned as the direct result of a satanic ritual, or that the Satanists had succeeded in awakening the latter day vampire which had laid dormant for so long. At this stage it became apparent that our investigations could proceed no further on an academic level. I realised that the Forces we were dealing with were malignantly supernatural and so could only be treated by ‘magical’ means. Accordingly I consulted my associates in our Order and we agreed to conduct a magical ceremony whereby we could make psychic contact with the vampire. It is with a view to explaining the animosity and general misunderstanding that later followed this ceremony that I have decided to give some account of it now. Notwithstanding this, I still remain bound by the Oaths of my Grade as High Priest not to disclose certain incantations, the names and sigils used for conjuration and banishment, and the secret form of Ritual. (These are safe-guarded to protect them from misuse or ‘experimentation’ in the hands of the uninitiated).”[1]

Farrant does not explain why exactly it “became apparent” his “investigations could proceed no further on an academic level” or what his “Order” represented and why particularly a “magical ceremony” was required to make contact with the vampire. Perhaps he does not feel the need or inclination to explain such mundane things to the “uninitiated” reader of his article. The initiated of his “Order” remain anonymous. What is important is that Farrant had plenty of time to reflect on how he was going to present his beliefs, behaviour and view of the vampire phenomenon at Highgate Cemetery. He had been in custody since the beginning of 1974. These were the revelations everyone with an interest in him and his Old Bailey trials had been waiting to read. What follows, then, is his considered appraisal in his own hand:

“In September 1971, together with twelve members of the ‘Secret Order of the X’ [which Seán Manchester later learned he called the ‘Order of the Black Moon’], we met in Highgate Cemetery to conduct one of the most dangerous magical ceremonies in existence. … Such a task was by no means easy, for in magic darker forces are most potent when evoked to an earthly plane … For the sake of the uninitiated, and to allay any confusion which may arise over this point, a few words should be said here to explain the difference between White Magic and Black Magic … it should be understood that magic itself is neither ‘black’ nor ‘white’ - it is neutral. Further, magic is only a physical element through which ‘outside’ Forces may be evoked, not itself ‘active’ but only a channel through which such Forces may be brought into operation.

“We preferred the ‘communication’ ceremony of High Magic after having taken all these things and more into consideration. According to the magical requirements of this ceremony we ‘worked’ from within a specifically constructed pentogram [sic] (a five-pointed star) and constructed an adjacent (sealed) triangle in which the ‘apparition’ could appear. To the North of the Pentagram but within the Circle that enclosed it an altar was constructed on which most of the ritual objects were placed. These included a vessel of consecrated water, appropriate talismans each member would wear, ritual knives, and the sacred scrolls which contained the necessary form of Ritual. Candles and the corresponding elements of air, fire, earth and water were placed at the respective cardinal points of the Pentagram while the secret signs of evocation and names of God-forms were inscribed at strategic points on the Circle. The triangle was also ‘reinforced’ in like manner by placing a type of burning incense around it. When all was prepared the Ceremony commenced, timed so that the vital part would take place at midnight. The first part of the ceremony was dedicated to the symbolic anointing in oil of each participant [which, as far as can be ascertained, was just himself and Martine de Sacy] and the Calls and incantations necessary to summon forth the apparition. (For the annointment [sic] everyone present with the exception of the High Priest and Priestess, disrobed and remained naked throughout the Ceremony). These ‘Calls’ were made in strict accordance with the form of ritual and served two purposes: to dispel any unwanted elements which may have hindered the appearance of the demonic entity, and to open a channel of psychic force through which the entity could later materialize. When the preliminary part of the ceremony had been completed the actual evocation ritual then began. The intrinsic details regarding this part of the ceremony, however, must remain secret; suffice it is to say here that the entity (in its now omniscient form) was to be magically induced by the ritual act of blood-letting, then brought to visible appearance through use of the sex act. The act of sexual magic was in the ceremony performed by the High Priest and Priestess as being symbolic of total Unity, a ‘oneness’ of the masculine and female principles in magic and a necessary factor when an opposing Force has to be controlled. The act of blood-letting which immediately preceded this was perhaps the most crucial moment of all, for at this stage the invoked Force could now materialize aided by the ‘life-force’ symbolically released through the spilling of blood from the Priestess’s body. In magic, blood is symbolic of the ‘life-force’ or ‘spiritual energy’ which permeates the body and in this context is used in many advanced magical ceremonies. It would not be sacrilegious to compare the use of wine as symbolic of blood in the Catholic Communion. [It would be sacrilegious, however, to compare any of what Farrant is describing as remotely indicative of the Catholic Eucharist.]

“Accordingly, at approximately 11.45pm, I drew blood from the High Priestess by lightly pricking her breast. This blood was then sprinkled into the chalice into the chalice of Holy Water as a symbolic offering to a Deity.

“I now made the most important Calls with the Priestess. These summoned the Deity to our midst in a non-malignant form to ‘take over’ our bodies. When these Calls were over the Protector of the Circle (sometimes called the High Priest) continued to repeat the Holy Names of the Deity. I disrobed the Priestess and myself and, with consecrated blood, made the secret sigils of the Deity on her mouth, breast, and all the openings of her body. We then lay in the Pentagram and began love-making, all the time visualizing the Satanic Force so that it could - temporarily - take possession of our bodies. Suddenly the Protector was silent. The entity was present. We felt our bodies being ‘charged with Power’ and there was now a visual Force all over us.

“The Priestess then had an orgasm which lasted six to seven minutes. I too experienced orgasm during this time which lasted over a minute. (I refer to actual ejaculation not the period approaching climax). The Ritual had worked. I had many strange visions during intercourse and so did the Priestess, but these could never be explained. But most importantly, our bodies had been magically ‘offered’ and used by a tremendous outside Force which could now be materialised to visual appearance in the triangle prepared. The Priestess now lay in the Pentagram staring fixedly toward the triangle while I arose to begin the Commands of manifestation. At this stage the Pentagram turned icy cold and felt as though some ‘warm power’ had suddenly left it. The fire in the triangle was obliterated by a misty ‘smoke’ and simultaneously the candles went out. … I suddenly looked up and at the top of the hazy form I saw two eyes meeting my gaze. … When I saw and felt the tremendous Power which emanated from the two demonic eyes, I went cold and began to lose all sense of my physical being and my faculties. I couldn’t speak, though I received a clear message from some distinct ‘voice,’ and I think fear first came after this when I realized how difficult the demon would be to control, and realised we might never leave the Circle.
“It was rather like having a vivid dream and not being able to control it though one knows the inevitable outcome. … This ceremony performed in Highgate Cemetery finally proved beyond doubt - at least as far as most psychic investigators are concerned - that the majority of sightings and stories relating to the phenomena there were true. Unfortunately, however, such proof will rarely be acceptable to the hardened sceptic; but we had at least succeeded in establishing to our own satisfaction not only that the Highgate Vampire did exist, but the very nature of the phenomenon and those factors which had primarily caused its existence. … With the usual precision of Fleet Street I became an ‘Evil High Priest of Black Magic’ while the phenomenon was again reinstated as a blood-sucking ghoul that might have escaped from some Hammer horror film. Ironically (concerning the latter) the Press Media for once may have been closer to the truth than they originally intended.”

Martine de Sacy poses for David Farrant in the 
defiled Highgate Cemetery mausoleum in 1971.
How much of “Invoking the Vampire” is fantasy and how much is fact? Only two people have the answer. We have read the relevant portions of David Farrant’s account. Martine de Sacy, three years after the alleged ceremony in which she is supposed to have participated, featured in a major Sunday newspaper:

“Au pair Martine de Sacy has exposed the fantasy world of David Farrant, self-styled high priest of British witchcraft, for whom she posed nude in front of a tomb. Farrant was convicted last week by a jury who heard stories of Satanic rites, vampires and death-worship with girls dancing in a cemetery. Afterwards, 23-year-old Martine said: ‘David didn’t do these ridiculous things in the cemetery for sex, I assure you. He was a failure as a lover. In fact, I think his trouble was that he was seeking compensation for this. He was always after publicity and he felt that having all these girls around helped. I’m sure the night he took me to the cemetery had less to do with occultism than his craving to be the centre of something. … I don’t think David’s occultism was serious. He was just dabbling in it for the sense of self-importance. He was immature, irresponsible. I see that now’.”[3]

In Bishop Seán Manchester's view, David Farrant probably managed to attract something demonic through his constant dabbling with things he clearly had little understanding in. It governed the remainder of his life and sent him on a tragic course which bore a negative influence on almost everyone who came into contact with him. Whether it happened in Highgate Cemetery in September 1971 or the derelict house possessed of an evil presence in December 1973 is impossible to determine. Bishop Manchester believes it was probably both. The description of the vampire - described by Mr Farrant as a “hazy form” out of which “two demonic eyes” gazed - bears no resemblance to what he originally claimed he had seen in early 1970 when interviewed on television, and is much closer to experiences described in Bishop Seán Manchester's book, eg “a shrouded thing was materialising before our astonished gaze … an evil-smelling mist [out of which protruded] yellow eyes with blood-red centres.”[4] Evidence confirms that David Farrant’s original reports to his local press were bogus, of course, which makes it all the more interesting when we learn of a very different phenomenon in his article penned five years later. Did he really see the “hazy form”? Probably not.

People who knew him remarked that David Farrant was not the same person after his release from prison, and would attribute this to his being in jail; not least having to share his cell with an axe murderer for some of that time. Something had certainly happened to alter him, but Bishop Seán Manchester believes it occurred prior to his arrest and incarceration, and he was by no means the only one to consider Mr Farrant possessed. The best known exorcist at the time was the Reverend Christopher Neil-Smith. This Anglican vicar of St Saviour’s Church, Hampstead, visited the prison in question early on to “drive out the evil of David Farrant.” But, despite the priest's best efforts, the evil remained, intensified and indeed spread.

[1] “Invoking the Vampire” by David Farrant (New Witchcraft, issue 4, 1975, p36).
[2] “Invoking the Vampire” by David Farrant (New Witchcraft, issue 4, 1975, p36-38).
[3] “Casanova Witch A Failure As Lover” by Peter Earle, News of the World, 30 June 1974.
[4] The Highgate Vampire by Seán Manchester (Gothic Press, 1991, p136-137).