Saturday, 1 October 2011

Out Of The Shadows

The Exorcist: Out of the Shadows


Bob McCabe (Author)

Publisher: Omnibus Press: Re-issue edition (1999)

Bob McCabe is a movie buff who has written books about the work of Seán Connery and Terry Gilliam. He has also produced a rough guide to the comedy film genre. The Exorcist: Out of the Shadows, however, concerns itself with something much darker: the three films made about demonic possession in The Exorcist trilogy, but principally the first and by far the best of the three movies.

The 1973 horror film The Exorcist is probably one of the most effective ever made about demonic possession. Movie patrons and critics alike praise the film which is still considered to be one of the scariest ever made. The film is based on a William Peter Blatty novel, but the novel found its inspirations from a source based in reality, the exorcism of Robbie Mannheim.

Released around the time of The Exorcist's cinema re-release in the UK in 1998, preceding its long-awaited release on home video formats, it's an excellent overview of the making and release of this classic about the possession of a young girl. McCabe also includes small sections on the sequels, including Exorcist II: The Heretic, which is definitely very bizarre, and, of course, The Exorcist III.

Bob McCabe's The Exorcist: Out of the Shadows is an entertaining book about an interesting set of films.

In The Shadow Of The Vampire

In the Shadow of the Vampire:
Reflections from the World of Anne Rice


Bob McCabe (Author)

Publisher: Thunder Mouth Press: Re-issue edition (1997)
Award-winning documentary photographer Jana Marcus has always been drawn to the fringe. One of her earlier collections was entitled Midnight in Manhattan: A Decade of Subcultures and the Alternative Scene. Staying with that theme,  In the Shadow of the Vampire assembles portraits of and interviews with the devotees and acolytes of Anne Rice. And who are these people? Office administrators, translators, shop owners, students, and the more flamboyant (blood drinking vampiroids, assorted perverts, role-players etc).
"Her books allow people to think about their place in society and identify their feelings through her characters' exploration of unconventional lifestyles," she opines. "It is extraordinary how many people I've spoken to who had never read a book before they read an Anne Rice novel." It might come as a culture shock to think of Anne Rice as an inadvertent champion of literacy! As may be expected, the reflections are a mixture of the banal and the more provocative. The phenomenon of Anne Rice's celebrity is, after all, phenomenal. The enormity of her appeal has given birth to the annual Gathering of The Coven Ball in New Orleans, cinema films, an Anne Rice tour company, a perfume line, a Lestat wine, and T-shirts emblasoned with an MRI of Rice's brain. If all that leaves the reader colder than sleeping alone in a coffin, then Goth-types and vampiroids might want to pick up a copy for tips on wardrobe and make-up.  
Its easy to have preconceptions about this book, obsessed individuals and excessive make up immediately spring to mind. But this book is not like that. In fact this book is very touching. The people who have contributed in interviews and photographic portraits within this book represent a fair cross section of society. Their stories are told with feeling and honesty. Most write in some way about the way Anne Rice's books have reflected or have helped in some way with their lives. Many feel parallels with the loneliness or isolation of her vampire characters, but the message is not depressing for many more seem to have found a sense of belonging or uplift from the Anne Rice books. This book presents a range of characters to the reader with glimpses into each of their lives and finishes with a pictorial overview of the Memnoch Ball, New Orleans, annually held by Anne Rice.
This book also gives a partial glance into the world of Anne Rice fans. However, it may affirm or disprove the notion that her fans are all weirdos. The book features college students, accountants, writers, exotic dancers, make-up artists etc. While it features intriguing people from all walks of life, it is probably not an entirely accurate view of her fans. The book perpetuates a certain fan stereotype, as though reading Anne Rice makes you estranged from the rest of society.  
It has been noted by others that Anne Rice is mainstream. Admitting you are a fan is not a taboo like declaring you are a dominatrix. There are fans who never made it to the infamous Balls when they were still in progress; there are fans who have no interest in exploring New Orleans outside of the books; and there are fans who detest Goth subculture, but still devour every single book Anne Rice releases. It would have been a far more representative book had it featured a larger diversity of fans.
However, the book is still wonderfully constructed. The photographs are nothing short of superb, the fan accounts fascinating to read, and one really does walk away feeling that maybe those stereotypes are wrong.
"Photojournalist Marcus compiles the thoughts and moody, moony photos of a hundred attendees at Rice's annual Gathering of the Coven Ball. For every partygoer who enthuses about blood-drinking rituals, ten more thoughtfully grapple with Rice's work, persona, and commercialism (they're not thrilled with her Lestat-themed restaurant). This passionate subculture comes, if not quite alive, then certainly undead on the page." Entertainment Weekly

Friday, 30 September 2011

Klinger's Annotated Dracula

The New Annotated Dracula 


Bram Stoker Klinger 

Publisher: W W Norton & Co (2008)

Travelling through two hundred years of popular culture and myth as well as graveyards and the wilds of Transylvania, Leslie S Klinger illuminates aspects of Bram Stoker's gothic novel, including an examination of the original typescript with its shockingly different ending. He investigates the many subtexts - from the masochistic, necrophilic, homoerotic and dentophilic implications of the story to its political, economic, feminist, psychological and historical threads. Employing his literary detective skills, Klinger mines this 1897 masterpiece for nuggets that will surprise even the most die-hard Dracula student and enthusiast.

The New Annotated Dracula is a feature-packed presentation of Bram Stoker's original 1897 novel, presented in its unabridged version, together with 1500 notes, maps, illustrations, points of history and trivia, excerpts from Stoker's edited additional material. In brief, everything the Dracula acionado could want in a volume, including additional chapters on Stoker's life, information on TV and Film versions of the story etc.

The editor has applied his brand of detective work to the Victorian novel about vampires that has no equal, and his edition is an extension of Stoker's attempt to give a work of fiction authenticity by telling it in the form of letters, diaries and such like. Examining their often faulty chronology has given commentators much entertainment. The notes are quite informative. For example, the hair-raising arrival of the Russian ship Demeter in Whitby harbour with the dead Captain lashed to the wheel was based on a real-life (but less unpleasant) incident from 1885. Bram Stoker, who made little money from his vampire novel, would have been surprised, but surely pleased, if he could have known what an impact it has had on our culture.

The illustrations, though interesting in themselves, however, are very poorly reproduced. This is a hefty tome, and the notes are informative for any scholar of Victorian literature. Less impressive are the essays on vampire films and subsequent literature which are little more than Klinger's personal taste and biased opinion. 
The editor's conceit of taking the text as a factual narrative is at first amusing, but for some will be found ultimately unsatisifying. Leonard Wolf's 1975 edition is vastly superior in this regard, and somehow has an impact and atmospheric effect which Klinger's more recent effort does not achieve.
Bram Stoker deserves to be taken more seriously as a writer in the Anglo-Irish tradition and a more precise approach to this great cultural influence is deserved. Klinger's edition will still appeal to many collectors.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Wolf's Annotated Dracula

The Annotated Dracula 


Bram Stoker Leonard Wolf 

Publisher: Crown (1975)

Leonard Wolf has been described as the world's most revered Dracula scholar. A native of Transylvania who left "the land beyond the forest" as a child, Wolf has taught and written about Bram Stoker's gothic masterpiece for decades. In 1975, he published The Annotated Dracula, which remains to this day the most elaborately annotated edition of the novel and has been the version found in  Bishop Seán Manchester's extensive private library since its publication.

The Annotated Dracula is a large book whose many illustrations and interesting notes are a pleasure to peruse. The text of Bram Stoker's Dracula is taken from the second printing of the first edition, with typos in tact. The annotations include over one hundred illustrations, drawings and monochrome photographs. Fifteen full-page drawings by the artist Sätty (Wilfried Podreich) are also featured. These are captivating expressionist interpretations of scenes from Dracula. All the illustrations are black and white.

Sadly, The Annotated Dracula has been out of print for some considerable time. Its latest incarnation is The Essential Dracula, a handsome softcover edition released in 2004. The Essential Dracula retains and, in some cases, augments the footnotes found in The Annotated Dracula, but dispenses with most of its illustrations, all of the Sätty drawings, and the Appendixes. For those who simply want the information contained in the notes, The Essential Dracula will suffice; though the notes border on microscopic and can be difficult to read. The Annotated Dracula, with its maps, charts, and abundant illustrations, is a far more elaborate edition.

Leonard Wolf was born in Vulcan, Transylvania. There are two villages named "Vulcan" in Transylvania. They are known in German as Wolkendorf bei Kronstadt (Vulcan near Braşov) and Wolkendorf bei Schäßburg (Vulcan near Sighişoara). Which, we must ponder, does Wolf hail from? Wolf is best known for his authoritative works on horror genre literature and film. He was the editor of The Essential Frankenstein and The Essential Dracula and technical advisor on the early 1990s films Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Wolf is also a much-published writer of poetry, fiction, social history, and biography, and a leading translator of literature. His writing in the horror genre has twice been honoured with the Anne Radcliffe Award for Literature. His most recent book as an editor is The World According to Itzik: Selected Prose and Poetry, a compilation of the works of folk writer Itzik Manger. Leonard Wolf lives in New York City.

A native of Transylvania who left "the land beyond the forest" as a child, Wolf has taught and written about Bram Stoker's immortal novel for decades. 

The Annotated Dracula is a large book whose many illustrations and fascinating notes are a sheer pleasure to peruse. In his introduction, the author takes the reader on a tour of the traditions and circumstances from which Dracula eventually emerged at the hand of Bram Stoker. He discusses Gothic Romance literature, the vampire literature that preceded Dracula, Eastern European vampire folklore, Vlad Tepes (the 15th century Wallachian Prince from whom Count Dracula takes his name), and, finally, the life of the novel's enigmatic author, Bram Stoker. Annotations in the form of margin notes are found on most pages of the novel. Wolf has included explanations for every imaginable allusion in the text, as well as interesting personal comments. The reader receives quite a history lesson just reading the notes. Some of the most intriguing notes include: recipes for the Romanian dishes on which Jonathan Harker dines, population demographics for Transylvania in the late 19th century, translations of old Mr Swales' dialect, explanations of Victorian figures of speech, and the particulars of Victorian typewriters that Mina employs so frequently. Reading straight through the abundant notes might prove a too much for the average reader because reading them while following the novel can prove distracting. They are nevertheless ideal for afcionados, enthusiasts and students concentrating on one chapter or passage at a time and ceratinly add to the enjoyment of the novel when absorbed in moderate doses.

The Appendixes contain maps of Transylvania, Europe, England and Wales, Whitby, London, and the Zoological Gardens in London, with places from the novel marked. A calendar of incidents charts the events of the novel from May to November 1887 (the year Dracula takes place) in coherent form. Students and aficionados may appreciate "Dracula Onstage," a chart of Count Dracula's appearances in the novel, with page numbers. There is a Selected Filmography that includes notable Dracula films, 1922-1974, including films featuring the Count Dracula character, not necessarily based on Stoker's novel. British, American, and foreign-language editions of Dracula from 1897 to 1973 are also listed. There is an Index for the novel that is helpful but not comprehensive. 
The marvelously sinister etchings by Satty (of Ramparts and the Berkeley Barb), this reprints Brain Stoker's deathless (undead?) story with copious annotations and informative illustrations make this an absolutely essential collector's item. Trivia such as what a yew branch looks like, or a trephining apparatus, or to know the Orient Express connections to Bulgaria before 1894, along with all the rest of the weird and wonderful additions, serve to make Leonard Wolf's The Annotated Dracula the best edition in existence.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A Vampire Tale

Carmel: A Vampire Tale  


 Seán Manchester

Publisher: Gothic Press (2000)

"We are transported into that fearful realm of supernatural evil peculiar to vampires as the author skillfully restores those near-extinct elements from yestercentury. At the centre is a story painfully real. It is the story of the holder of the name of the book’s title. Is she an actual person? Or merely a novelistic embellishment? Just as the case of the Highgate Vampire inspired much of this sequel to Stoker's Victorian vampire tale, so the person of book title's name inspired the persona of the main character. Based on some real events, the effect of CARMEL as a vampire tale will chill your blood. Here is a terrifying exploration into the nether world of the undead where the reader is found wandering betwixt Victorian tombstones as the original contagion spreads its venom in 20th century England. Do not fret - Transylvania is not forgotten." — Katrina Garforth-Bles (National Secretary, V.R.S.)
“Seán Manchester is the natural writer of any attempt to resume the story of DRACULA.” — Vincent Hillyer (author of Vampires)
“There is but one person who can write the definitive sequel to Stoker’s original masterpiece . . . one person who will imbue it with the same eerie atmosphere and remain true to the tradition . . . that author is Seán Manchester.” — Devendra P Varma (author of The Gothic Flame)
“This vampire tale is a most enchanting read. Seán Manchester’s style, imagination and sensibility makes CARMEL quite a jewel. Stoker has, at last, a literary heir worthy of writing a sequel.” — Sylvaine Charlet (authoress of Lits de Pierres)
“I felt I had to say how much I enjoyed CARMEL - easily the best vampire novel I have read since the original DRACULA. Absolutely enthralling. Tremendous atmosphere and a mounting tension that in my experience has only been equalled by Bram Stoker’s masterpiece. Congratulations! Congratulations!” — Peter Underwood (author of Exorcism! and The Vampire's Bedside Companion)

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

From Demons To Dracula

From Demons To Dracula: The Creation of the Modern Vampire Myth 


Matthew Beresford 

Publisher: Reaktion Books Ltd (2008)

From Demons To Dracula  is structured around a number of key periods and important events that have driven the evolution of the vampire legend throughout history. Matthew Beresford considers the importance of real-life sightings and genuine belief, historical figures, literary and cinematic portrayals, and contemporary sub-cultures, all of which have had some influence on the emergence of the instantly recognisable contemporary vampire, and the conventions we associate with it, like living in darkness, drinking blood, and aversion to religious items, particularly Christian symbols.

This exploration begins with the antiquity’s obsession with death rituals that include excarnation (the de-fleshing of the body), mummification, the building of cairns, placing coins on the eyes or in the mouth, and communal burial chambers. These practices, being closely linked with spiritual beliefs in existence after death, opened the way for the superstition that an improper or incomplete ritual may lead to a person becoming un-dead or a vampire. Beresford goes on discuss the vampire throughout the Middle Ages, focusing on the link between the vampire and the Devil since the evolution of Christianity as the dominant European religion. At this time, according to Beresford, conceptions of vampirism were closely related to issues of morality, and in repressing and undermining pagan and occult practices. Here then, the vampire becomes a symbol of evil and a heretical scapegoat of Christianity, linked to Judas Iscariot and his betrayal of Christ and immoral behaviour including aberrant sexual activities. This can be seen in the common belief that living an evil life or being excommunicated by the Church could lead to an exceedingly wicke person becoming a vampire.

The chronicle goes on to explore the emergence of the vampire in literature and cinema, and accounts for the most famous and impacting works in relation to our continuing enthralment of the vampire legend. Dracula, of course, is given significant attention, as is Vlad Tepes, the historical figure on whom Bram Stoker apparently based his demonic Count. Beresford is rigorous in showing a chronology of fictional development, looking at early poetry such as Dante’s Inferno and Beowulf, the first fictional depictions such as James Malcolm Rymer’s Varney the Vampire, then moving on to Stoker’s Dracula, and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Cinematic portrayals are also duly considered. Beresford's emphasis that cinema has played a key, if not the key role in the development of our modern conception of vampires, is central to his approach. He explores this cinematic evolution through Murnau’s Nosferatu, Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee’s portrayals of Dracula, through to The Lost Boys and the Blade franchise. Through these examples, Beresford illustrates how the vampire legend has been transformed over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, reflecting social and cultural conditions that allowed the vampire to evolve from a grotesque Victorian monster, as is the case in Nosferatu, to a beautiful, erotic and tragic being in Interview with a Vampire, to an action figure in Underworld.

While Beresford suggests that our modern day conception of the vampire has dissipated any real belief or fear of vampires as real threats, he goes on to explore contemporary examples of vampiristic activity such as sanguinarians who actively drink blood — though usually from a willing donor — and instances of genuine modern vampire fears as in the case of the Highgate Vampire. He asks whether it is "coincidence that both the Rev'd Montague Summers, who wrote two important works on the vampire in the 1920s, and the priest Seán Manchester, the self-proclaimed exorcist of the Highgate Vampire, the only modern case of a vampire scare in England, are or were devout believers in the vampire?" What he does not ask is why these two Catholics became "devout believers in the vampire," and whether this had anything to do with them each being personally confronted by such supernatural manifestations of demonic evil? Later he refers to Bishop Seán Manchester's and other people's assertion that "both Eastern and Western churches accepted the existence of vampires ... supported by the fifteenth century book Malleus Maleficarum" where vampirism is considered to be "one of the worst manifestations of the Devil."

An entire chapter is devoted to the bare bones of the Highgate Vampire case which is largely gleaned from Seán Manchester's bestselling account from which a quoted extract appropriately heads Beresford's offering. There is also some mention of interloping bandwagoneers, including "a gang of youths" arrested two days after "the Wessex Association for the Study of Unexplained Phenomena announced they would hold a vigil at the tomb of a suspected vampire" in September 1978 four years after the vampire had been successfully exorcised! and, unsurprisingly, David Farrant in whom Matthew Beresford constantly discovered "further contradictions in his story," that he "was arrested and jailed for five years in 1974 for tomb vandalism" and "the fact that Manchester was never in trouble with the police, even though according to his accounts it was he who performed exorcisms, gained entry to graves and tombs on several occasions and ultimately destroyed the vampire," concluding "it is therefore difficult not to take Manchester's side in the proceedings." 

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Browning Version

The Vampire: His Kith & Kin | A Critical Edition 


Montague Summers John Edgar Browning 

Publisher: Apocryphile Press (2011)

In all the dark pages of the supernatural there is no more terrible tradition than that of the Vampire, a pariah even among demons. Foul are his ravages; gruesome and seemingly barbaric are the ancient and approved methods by which folk rid themselves of this hideous pest. The tradition is world-wide and of the greatest antiquity. How did it arise? How did it spread? Does it indeed contain some vestige of truth, some memory of savage practice, some trace of cannibalism or worse? These and similar problems inevitably suggested by a consideration of Vampirism in its various aspects are fully discussed in this work which may not unfairly claim to be the first serious and fully documented study of a subject that in its details is of absorbing interest, although the circumstances are of necessity macabre and ghastly in the highest degree. Included in this critical edition are the authoritative text, rare contextual and source materials, correspondence, illustrations, as well as Greek and Latin translations. A biographical note and chronology are also included. The latest edition of Montague Summers' very first literary foray into the world of the undead (published by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner in 1928)  is edited by John Edgar Browning with an Introduction from Rosemary Ellen Guiley (Vampires Among Us, 1991; The Complete Vampire Companion, 1994; The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters, 2004/2011; Vampires, 2008), and an Afterword by Carol A Senf (The Vampire in Nineteenth Century English Literature, 1988). A Foreword is offered by J Gordon Melton (The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead, 1994/1999/2011).

John Edgar Browning (born 14 October 1980 in Nashville, USA) is a PhD. student and Arthur A Schomburg Fellow in the American Studies Department at The State University of New York at Buffalo. He has contracted and co-written eight books, including Draculas, Vampires, and Other Undead Forms: Essays on Gender, Race, and Culture (Scarecrow, 2009); Dracula in Visual Media: Film, Television, Comic Book and Electronic Game Appearances, 1921–2010 (McFarland, 2010), The Vampire, His Kith and Kin: A Critical Edition (Apocryphile Press, 2011), and Speaking of Monsters: A Teratological Anthology (Palgrave Macmillan, contracted and forthcoming); chapters for Asian Gothic: Essays on Literature, Film, and Anime (McFarland, 2008), The Encyclopedia of the Vampire (Greenwood, 2010), Nyx in the House of Night: Mythology, Folklore and Religion in the PC and Kristin Cast Vampyre Series (SmartPop, 2011), and Schooling Ghouls: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Pedagogy of Horror (accepted and forthcoming); plus articles for various journals, including Film & History, Horror Studies, Studies in the Fantastic, and Dead Reckonings: A Review Magazine for the Horror Field. Additionally, he has spent nearly two years conducting an ethnographic study of persons living in New Orleans who self-identify as vampire, a project that has become the focal point of his doctoral dissertation.
"Although published too late to help Professor Van Helsing defeat Dracula, every modern vampire-hunter needs Summers's seminal compendium of folklore and mythology. Browning's critical edition, with commentary by leading vampirologists and rich biographical material, is a treasure-trove for students and scholars alike!"   — Leslie S Klinger, editor, The New Annotated Dracula

"Summers's extensive albeit curious research on vampires has long been a classic in the field, and it's exciting to see it being rescued from oblivion, as well as framed by such a renowned yet diverse group of scholars."    — Katherine Ramsland, The Science of Vampires

"This new edition cannot be recommended too highly to anyone with the faintest interest in Montague Summers or the origin of vampires."   — Nigel Suckling, Book of the Vampire




Peter Underwood 

Publisher: Robert Hale (1990)

Exorcism!  is an investigation of the truths and myths behind an age-old ceremony. Throughout history, the practice of exorcism has been used for the purpose of driving out evil spirits and demons thought to possess human beings and the places they inhabit. But there are more startling instances where exorcism has been used: to cure a trawler that seemed to be cursed; to expel demons from Bram Stoker's black "vampire" dog; even to rid Loch Ness and the Bermuda Trinagle of their evil ambience. Peter Underwood explores this frightening ritual in relation to witches, vampires and animals, while his far-flung researches have unearthed dramatic cases in Morocco, Egypt, South Africa and the United States, as well as the British Isles where chapter six returns to the familiar case of the Highgate Vampire. Peter Underwood explains on page 139:

"When I was researching The Vampire's Bedside Companion in 1974, Seán Manchester, president of the British Occult Society [dissolved two year's prior to the publication of Exorcism!] and something of an expert on present-day vampires was kind enough to contribute a chapter and I will paraphrase his remarkable story of the Highgate Vampire [up to and including the failed exorcism attempt in the summer of 1970]." 

The book contains a striking full-page photograph of Seán Manchester wearing a Transylvanian fur hat and accompanying Eastern European attire suitable for a cold winter's night with an array of crucifixes spread out before him.

The photograph on the dust jacket (see above) shows an exorcism in Grimsby in 1981.

Peter Underwood had been president of the Ghost Club (latterly known as the Ghost Club Society) since 1960 and has probably heard more first-hand ghost stories than any man alive. Long-standing member of the Society for Psychical Research, the British Occult Society (1860-1988) and Vampire Research Society, he had lectured, written and broadcast extensively. He took part in the first official investigation into a haunting and was present at numerous exorcisms. Peter Underwood (born 1923) sadly died in the winter of 2014.

Exorcism! offers some thought-provoking insights into a mysterious and powerful phenomenon, and the book's nine chapters covering this topic make for some fascinating reading.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Infernal World Of The Undead

 The Highgate Vampire: The Infernal World of the Undead Unearthed at London's Highgate Cemetery and Environs  


 Seán Manchester

Publisher: Gothic Press (1991)

This is the definitive account of the UK’s best documented contemporary vampire case written by the man who led the only investigation into the spectral hauntings, nightly visitations, demonic disturbances and blood-lettings at Highgate Cemetery and environs. Spectres rising from tombs, ghostly manifestations in moonlit lanes, nocturnal attacks on people and animals, corpses drained of blood — almost everyone has heard tales of the Highgate Vampire. Only this book offers the full and unexpurgated account written by the man who was at the epicentre of the official investigation into these mysterious and terrifying happenings. Illustrated with case file photographs from the author's own archive plus line drawings inspired by the recorded history, this revised and handsomely updated edition in hardback has already become a collectors' item. Copies are signed by the author. This enlarged edition stands as the last word on the case by the man who investigated it from start to finish.

“Ever since I became aware that Highgate Cemetery was the reputed haunt of a vampire, the investigations and activities of Seán Manchester commanded my attention. I became convinced that, more than anyone else, he knew the full story of the Highgate Vampire.” — Peter Underwood, ghost hunter & author, The Ghost Club Society, London, England

“I am very impressed by the body of scholarship you have created. Seán Manchester is undoubtedly the father of modern vampirological research.” — John Godl, paranormal researcher and writer, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

“Seán Manchester is to be congratulated on this fine piece of research work which I confess to enjoying to the extreme.” — Professor Devendra P Varma, vampirologist & author, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

“Seán Manchester is the most celebrated vampirologist of the twentieth century.” — Shaun Marin, reviewer and sub-editor, Encounters magazine, England

“A most interesting and useful addition to the literature of the subject.” — Reverend Basil Youdell, Literary Editor of Orthodox News, Christ the Saviour, Woolwich, England

“This book will certainly be read in a hundred years time, two hundred years time, three hundred years time in short, for as long as mankind is interested in the supernatural. It has the most genuine power to grip. Once you have started to read it, it is virtually impossible to put it down.” — Lyndall Mack, Udolpho magazine, Chislehurst, England

Elizabeth and Barbara, two sixteen-year-old students of La Sainte Union Convent, were walking home late at night after visiting friends in Highgate Village in early 1967. Their journey took them down Swains Lane which intersects Highgate Cemetery, a Victorian graveyard in two halves on a steep hill. These intelligent students could not believe their eyes as they passed the cemetery's north gate at the beginning of their downward path between the two graveyards. For there before them, amongst the jutting tombstones and stone vaults, the dead seemed to be emerging from their graves. The two schoolgirls walked in eerie silence until they reached the bottom of the lane. Here they spoke for the first time, having finally found their voice, and confirmed they had both experienced the same terrifying scene. So frightening was their experience that Barbara would not talk about it again. Elizabeth, however, gave the author her account some months later. It was tape-recorded and can be heard in a television film documentary about the Highgate Vampire case. Elizabeth recounted: "We both saw this scene of graves directly in front of us. And the graves were opening up; and the people were rising. We were not conscious of walking down the lane. We were only conscious of this graveyard scene." Demonry later took hold on Elizabeth where her elocuted and very attractive feminine voice would suddenly erupt into a distorted masculine sound, deep and harsh, that issued threats. Her boyfriend, Keith, recalled this phenomenon in an interview he gave for a documentary (True Horror: Vampires distributed by Discovery Channel) which DVD also includes archive recordings of Elizabeth speaking about her vision and the punctures on her neck.

The revised and updated edition was preceded by the first edition in 1985, which was published in paperback by the British Occult Society. Rare new copies can be obtained from Amazon. Its front and rear covers appear below:

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Amazing World of Vampires

The Vampire's Bedside Companion: The Amazing World of Vampires in Fact and Fiction   


Peter Underwood 

Publisher: Leslie Frewin Books (1975)

The Vampire's Bedside Companion is a riveting compendium of new facts and fiction on the undying' theme of vampirism.

Here is a new theory on the genesis of Dracula (surely literature's most compelling and macabre figure?); thoughts on allusions to vampirism in Wuthering Heights; first-hand experience of vampires in Highgate and Hampstead, London, by Seán Manchester who renders the first account of the Highgate Vampire in print up to and including his attempted exorcism in the summer of 1970; publication for the first time of the story of a fifteenth-century vampire protection medallion that Montague Summers presented to the author; an account by Professor Devendra P Varma, Dalhousie University, of a visit to Transylvania  — The Vampire's Bedside Companion contains these and a wealth of other hitherto unpublished material on a subject that is of enduring interest: the vampire legend.

To many people, vampires are creatures only of legend and fantasy with no reality outside the pages of books. Others, who have studied the folklore of many countries and the continuing reports of vampirism, maintain that there is extensive evidence not only that vampires once existed but that, in fact, they still do exist. In this fascinating book the author, himself an acknowledged expert on these occult matters, presents true accounts of vampire infestation in England, America, Ireland, Hungary, China and France. Records of vampires and vampirism are, he claims, as old as the world and as recent as yesterday.

Four new, exciting and authentic vampire fictional stories by Peter Allan, Crispin Derby, Richard Howard and James Turner complete this compelling companion for dark nights, solitude and howling winds!

Illustrated with many striking photographs, The Vampire's Bedside Companion also con­tains original and evocative drawings by Geoffrey Bourne-Taylor.

In the following year, Coronet published a paperback edition. Its front cover appears below:

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Vampirological Guide


The Vampire Hunter's Handbook: A Concise Vampirological Guide   


Seán Manchester

Publisher: Gothic Press (1997)

"This book is not about fictional vampires of the Bram Stoker’s Dracula genre, but real life blood sucking monsters. It should also be pointed out that there is a long tradition of people who hunt down and kill vampires. This book is not for the faint-hearted, or those people who live alone in rambling houses located on deserted moors." — Shaun Marin (Encounters magazine)

"Seán Manchester is, unsurprisingly, very well read in both classical and more recent sources on vampires and vampirism, and cites them with great authority while taking the reader through a brief tour of vampire lore and mythology. This is a book I’d recommend to anybody with an interest in the author or vampires. The parts which deal with vampires are obviously based on years of substantial research and personal experience." — Joe McNally (Fortean Times magazine)

The vampire has been defined down the ages as an accursed body which cannot rest in the kindly earth, but nightly leaves its grave to prey on sleeping men and women through whom they are believed to maintain a semblance of life by sucking thence the warm blood of such victims while they sleep. Sir James Frazer in the second volume of his work The Fear of the Dead in Primitive Religions (1934) is in no doubt that vampires are “malicious ghosts who issue from their graves to suck the blood of the living, and stringent measures are deemed necessary to hinder or arrest this horrible proceeding.”

They are, of course, demonic. In certain circumstances (though these are few and far between) those who expire from the parasitic undead's visitations and quaffing of their life-blood will themselves be at risk of becoming undead in their turn. This does not occur where the person is in a state of grace; where any mortal sin that stains their soul has been absolved. And by no means are the great majority of victims destined to return as undead. It would seem that those who become undead in this way are fewer than might be imagined. This nevertheless remains an enigma where probable candidates are those who have led a life of more than ordinary immorality and unbridled wickedness; where the individual has possessed a surfeit of selfish passions, evil ambitions and cruelty. Such undead, however, are thought to be those who have delighted in blood and devoted themselves during their life to the practice of diabolism and the black arts. Thus an undead is more likely to result from exceedingly base and cruel actions; especially where devil worship and devotion to the black arts has occurred.

The supernatural agency is demonic and, whilst human beings cannot actually transform into demons themselves, they may be possessed by them, and thus appear transformed. In the case of contamination followed by expiry of a candidate there exists the possibility that their malevolence sets in action forces which might prove powerful for terror and destruction even beyond the grave. It is hardly to be supposed that such persons would rest undisturbed while it is less difficult to contemplate the existence of this hideous life in death where the demonic is extant and seemingly manifests itself as a corporeal form. The smallest drop of blood can be employed by a demonic entity, enabling the wraith to form in a tangible manner. Such revenants are attracted to blood which allows them to effect their purpose. The ancient Israelites would not eat the blood of any flesh at all, because the life of the flesh is in the blood. The Hebrew word that translates as “life” in Deuteronomy 12: 23 (“Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life”) also signifies “soul.”

The undead partakes of the dark nature and mysterious qualities of both revenant and demon. The exorcist must always be mindful of these alarming characteristics - not least the undead's terrible blood lust — and must never go unprotected when putting himself at risk during operative field work. Manifestation via the blood is the undead’s means of metamorphosis into a form often indistiguishable from a corpse. Since the undead do not exist in time — they dwell in what is described as "anti-time" - they will cast no shadow, nor will their reflection be seen in a mirror or water’s surface. The crucifix symbol itself is utterly abhorred by them, and indeed all forms of evil. The object and what it is made of does not possess any power, yet it is so strongly symbolic of the triumph of good over evil that it alone repels evil and whatever is an emissary of evil. However, when employed by a person the intent and faith of the person employing it is paramount. This might seem like a paradox. Christian items and holy places utterly repel evil people who oftentimes delight in their sacrilege. Likewise supernatural evil shuns these holy items.

It is indubitably unwise for these sacred symbols to be adopted as mere fashion accesories. Similarly, of course, it is unwise in the extreme for diabolical symbols to be adopted and worn. So the power of the crucifix exists, but will be magnified one thousandfold when supported by faith. Exorcism does not "kill" the demonic agent. It rids our sphere or dimension of the supernatural predatory wraith. The corporeal host once exorcised obviously returns to its true state and is no longer plagued by the apparent supernatural ability to manifest as though it were living.

“Whether we are justified in supposing that cases of vampirism are less frequent today than in past centuries, I am far from certain. But one thing is plain — not that they do not occur, but that they are carefully hushed up and stifled.” — Montague Summers (The Vampire in Europe, 1929).

Friday, 29 July 2011

BBC's "24 Hours" - 15 October 1970

An alarmingly abridged version of BBC television's 24 Hours programme has been uploaded onto YouTube by David Farrant. It reveals the bandwagoneer contradicting virtually everything he nowadays claims about his arrest at Highgate Cemetery while he was prowling amongst the tombs on the night of 17 August 1970 and exposes him as a revisionist at best and a liar at worst. His addiction to publicity makes anything which includes him to be suitable for dissemination, even when it exposes his contradictory claims. The bulk of the original programme focussed, of course, on Bishop Seán Manchester's investigation into the mysterious case of the Highgate Vampire at its inception. Mr Farrant obviously does not want anyone seeing this material and has therefore deleted all the footage where Bishop Seán Manchester features and also all reference to the British Occult Society, an organisation to which Mr Farrant owed no connection whatsoever despite his fraudulent claim to the contrary in the years that followed. Some of the material showing Bishop Seán Manchester deleted by Mr Farrant appears above in the Italian language version of a Discovery Channel programme's inclusion of the original 1970 television footage. Mr Farrant's highly selective version of the programme appears below.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Post Script

“I have spent most of my life studying accounts of vampirism, and have indeed visited Highgate Cemetery on numerous occasions. How it has changed over the years! I am interested in research into any accounts of actual vampirism, from the writings of Dom Augustine Calmet through to modern day accounts. I have a copy of The Highgate Vampire [by Seán Manchester] which I found very interesting. I remember the events at the time they happened and the various newspaper reports. It was then that I first came across the name ‘David Farrant.’ I met him once in a pub near Highgate and found him to be a compulsive liar and there was something shifty about his mannerism. I have since warned many people to stay clear of him.” — Andy Pryce, Paranormal Researcher, (19 February 2001)

"Mr P J Bucknell, prosecuting, said Mr Farant had painted circles on the ground, lit with candles, and had told reporters and possibly the police of what he was doing. 'This appears to be a sordid attempt to obtain publicity,' he said." — Hampstead & Highgate Express, 24 November 1972

“But for the results of his actions, this scruffy little witch could be laughed at. But no one can laugh at a man who admits slitting the throat of a live cat before launching a blood-smeared orgy. Or at a man who has helped reduce at least two women to frightened misery.” —  Sue Kentish, News of the World, 23 September 1973

“The wife of self-styled occult priest David Farrant told yesterday of giggles in the graveyard when the pubs had closed. ‘We would go in, frighten ourselves to death and come out again,’ she told an Old Bailey jury. Attractive Mary Farrant — she is separated from her husband and lives in Southampton — said they had often gone to London’s Highgate Cemetery with friends ‘for a bit of a laugh.’ But they never caused any damage. ‘It was just a silly sort of thing that you do after the pubs shut,’ she said. Mrs Farrant added that her husband’s friends who joined in the late night jaunts were not involved in witchcraft or the occult. She had been called as a defence witness by her 28-year-old husband. They have not lived together for three years.”The Sun, 21 June 1974

“All he talked about was his witchcraft. He was very vain.” — Julia Batsford (ex-girlfriend quoted in the Daily Mail) 26 June 1974

“I cannot believe for one moment that he is a serious student of the occult. In fact I believe him to be evil and entirely to be deplored.” — Dennis Wheatley, Daily Express, 26 June 1974

“I think he’s crazy.” — Canon John Pearce Higgins, Daily Express, 26 June 1974

“The jury were shown folders of pictures of naked girls and corpses, and told about a black-clothed altar in Farrant's flat with a large drawing of a vampire's face. When questioned, Farrant said: 'A corpse was needed to talk to spirits of another world'.” — George Hunter & Richard Wright, Daily Express, 26 June 1974

“The judge [Michael Argyle QC] said any interference with a corpse during black magic rituals could properly be regarded as a ‘great scandal and a disgrace to religion, decency and morality’.”   The Sun, 26 June 1974

“Judge Michael Argyle QC passed sentence after reading medical and mental reports. He said that Farrant — self-styled High Priest of the British Occult Society [sic] — had acted ‘quite regardless of the feelings of ordinary people,’ by messing about at Highgate Cemetery.” Hornsey Journal, 19 July 1974

“The programme [for the Fortean Times Convention 1996] came up with ‘His investigations had far reaching and disturbing consequences’ which I said meant he’d been arrested a lot. Strangely enough, this is more or less what he said. God, I felt old being the only member of [my] group who could remember this nutter being arrested every few weeks.” — Maureen Speller (April 1996)

"Our enemies should not be the people of this world, but rather the spirits of evil that have entered this world. He is a lost soul who has very likely attracted something spiritually malevolent early in his life which has ever since influenced him and darkened his thoughts. I first met him four decades ago when he contacted his local newspaper after making vague claims about an apparition he had sighted. It soon became clear he was more interested in the limelight than anything genuinely paranormal. He also developed a fascination with me which quickly turned into an obsession — by which time he had taken to emulating me to no small degree. When I distanced myself a few months later, he turned unpleasant and court cases ensued. This was followed by his fraudulent adoption of my title and the name of the research society I then presided over. Things began to spiral downwards at an alarming rate as he turned to what ostensibly appeared to be diabolism, but in truth was just further attention-seeking for the sake of the media. I prefer to deny this man the oxygen of publicity where I am concerned and advise others to do the same. Those who feel enraged by his behaviour should remember he is still one of God's creatures, and if possible they should pray for him. Pray for his state of mind and endangered soul. Otherwise, please just ignore him." — Bishop Seán Manchester (November 2009)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Last Post

The owner and administrator of the Supernatural World forum today announced:

"After much consideration I have decided to close all Highgate-related topics permanently. I've taken in to account several factors which I feel have left me with no other option.

"My main concern is the impact these topics are having on the site's appeal to visitors and current members. Many members clearly have issues with the way these topics have dominated proceedings for well over 6 months now. When there is a negative impact in this way it's important I heed the warnings and take the appropriate course of action.

"I also believe that after all these months there has been no real progression in the discussion, the dialogue continues in a repetitive manner and seems to be heading nowhere. I would also add that the amount of administration these topics have required is not acceptable. The number of complaints I've received is more than any other topic in the 8 years this site has been online. Granted the vast majority have come from the Manchester camp, but still, the amount of attention these topics have required has meant the rest of the site has suffered.

"One aspect that has concerned me is the obsessive manner with which certain individuals carry themselves. I feel this obsession is unhealthy, particularly when you take in to account that certain individuals have never met the two men in question. I feel this had led to some very strong comments and views which can only end in disaster.

"All the topics are now closed but will remain open for visitors and members to read.

"I'd like to thank those who have participated in the Highgate forum and would hope you continue to contribute to other forums on the board."

The above announcement was signed by "Phen" (aka "Phenomenon" aka Brendan Kilmartin).

None of the topics about Highgate Cemetery and related matters, however, remained open for visitors. Even ordinary members could not access the pages unless carefully vetted and personally approved by Brendan Kilmartin who is somewhat economical with the truth where these controversies arise. Mr Farrant and his handful of hangers-on, moreover, continued to post on the hidden forum pages after Mr Kilmartin's public declaration, but, of course, without any opposition. Bishop Manchester, needless to say, continues to be a prime target for abuse and misrepresentation from the usual offenders.

Out of the three members posting rebuttal comments in support of Bishop Manchester, only one remained. The others had been banned. One because he asked for a temporary ban to be made permanent. He is not an acquaintance of Bishop Manchester. The other because Mr Kilmartin suspected him of alerting Bishop Manchester to infringement of the bishop's copyright which led to a legal DMCA notice being served and the stolen material subsequently being removed. He was banned on the vague suspicion that he assisted in the removal of illegally uploaded images. Veritas alone remained free to post refutation and balancing statements. Although known to the bishop, Veritas had not once complained to the moderators over the vitriolic and frequently defamatory comments aimed at Bishop Manchester and anyone sympathetic to him. Veritas ceased posting on the Highgate forum in the previous month, having commented that the arguments were largely circular, repetitive and obsessive. Anthony Hogg and David Farrant are the worst offenders when it comes to compulsive, repetitive posts. They have been exchanging comments that go nowhere for most of this century. This fruitless exercise has served to bore everyone and muddy the waters when it comes to examining the bare bones of the Highgate matter. Veritas' penultimate post on the Highgate forum observed: "The bottom line is that Farrant hates the truth. He cannot abide it. He will say and do anything to cover it up, but always without example, evidence or proof of any kind."

No surprise when the last member to post anything on the forum was found to be Anthony Hogg. He had posted no less than one thousand and sixty-nine times! In fact, Mr Hogg was the very last person to post comments on seven of the Highgate forum's topics before closure stopped him in his tracks.

Ironically, David Farrant was well and truly on the ropes when the final curtain came to anyone not sympathetic to him. Cú Chulainn had unintentionally hung his friend out to dry by uploading an article he had found (on public library microfilm) from the Hampstead and Highgate Express, 15 October 1971,  which reveals Mr Farrant using a Catholic crucifix and Christian bible to defeat vampires with attributed quotes to confirm this. Those who had been going along with Mr Farrant's latter-day denials about such things suddenly found they had egg on their face. David Farrant also admitted in the article that, as well as Christian symbols and a bible, he armed himself with garlic to ward off "the king of the undead" (another quote directly attributed to him by the Hampstead & Highgate Express newspaper).

The final "open" post to appear on the Highgate forum was also a real humdinger. Anthony Hogg had disovered some of David Farrant's trial testimony online, and wondered what Cú Chulainn (real name Redmond McWilliams who describes himself on Brendan Kilmartin's forum as "Roman Catholic" but gives "Agnostic" as his religion on Facebook where he declares himself to be in a homosexual relationship) might make of Victoria Jervis' revelations under oath when called as a witness. He offered two quotes from her court testimony:

Victoria Jervis and David Farrant's arrest in 1972.

"I have tried to put most of what happened out of my mind. The false letters I wrote to a local paper were to stimulate publicity for the accused. I saw him almost every weekend in the second half of 1972 and I went to Spain with him for a fortnight at the end of June that same year. I was arrested with him in Monken Hadley Churchyard. That incident upset me very much. Afterwards, my doctor prescribed tranquilisers for me."

Facing Mr Farrant in court to address him, Miss Jervis added:

"You have photograhed me a number of times in your flat with no clothes on. One photograph was published in 1972 with a false caption claiming I was a member of your Society, which I never was."

On another occasion, she recalled, she'd written psuedonymously to a local newspaper at Mr Farrant's request "to stimulate publicity for the accused."

No response was forthcoming from Cú Chulainn (Redmond McWilliams), David Farrant or anyone else. The forum appeared to choke on its own revelations and abruptly stumbled into an abyss. Brendan Kilmartin, a Facebook friend of David Farrant and Jamie Coster (Mr Farrant's eldest son, now calling himself "Jamie Farrant"), closed the Highgate forum to visitors and regular members within a couple of days.

When Veritas had earlier commented "Bishop Manchester upholds what is found in Corinthians 6: 9-11, Romans 1: 25-27 and 1 Timothy 1: 8-10" in response to Cú Chulainn (himself an active homosexual) falsely claiming that homosexual acts are acceptable for Christians, even Roman Catholics like himself, Brendan Kilmartin piped in with "I find your view of homosexuality sickening to the core!" Adding: "Fortunately for you Veritas you are not sat on a neighbouring stool in my local, if you were, and you muttered such horse crap in my earshot I'd introduce you to the back of my right hand."

Such rhetoric was a familiar tool in dealing with certain topics raised on the forum, and David Farrant flunkies such as Rob Milne are a dab hand at reeling-out libellous insult laced with threats of violence. Mr Farrant's eldest son (born in November 1967) also indulges in vulgar language and not-so-veiled threats. Jamie Coster aka Jamie Farrant had stayed out of the picture for over four decades before deciding to seek out his deviant father to the chagrin of the rest of his family.

Veritas commented:

"After forty years of managing to avoid Farrant's curse, Jamie Farrant (chatty.gef) has finally had the sins of the father visited upon him. Now approaching forty-four, he seems every bit as reprehensible as the man whose poisonous legacy he continues by colluding in a vendetta almost as old as himself. Jamie Farrant suddenly sought out his father and decided to change the surname, which had served him for the best part of four decades, from 'Coster' to 'Farrant.' And if anyone objects to me mentioning names, I also object to perfectly innocent people from the past being identified on this forum by Farrant, Vallicrus, Milne and others of that ilk. The guilty parties seem to think that because Farrant has done this elsewhere on the internet they are allowed to do the same and name in full people who do not engage in any of these conversations and are only being maligned by Farrant because of a connection they might have, currently or historically, with Bishop Manchester."

Della Vallicrus and Tony Sheridan are a couple of sock puppets who, even if they existed in their own right, have no substance or indeed friends beyond David Farrant and some of that  small clique which swarm like flies around him. Cú Chulainn aka Redmond McWilliams does exist and has visited David Farrant at his north London hovel on various occasion, as has Mr Farrant visited Mr McWilliams at Morden in Surrey.

Veritas, in his last post on the forum, had this to say about Cú Chulainn (Redmond McWilliams):

"Cú Chulainn hypocritically talks about 'love and compassion for your fellow man' a matter of hours after suggesting to the administrator that I should be banned from the forum. His claim that Farrant's dubiously truncated press cutting is pukka, and much else besides to provide alibis for his friend, leaves me in little doubt that he has an agenda not so very far removed from that of Farrant. That he is out to blacken the name of Bishop Manchester is as plain as day. He tries to dress his smear campaign with a veneer of reason, but it quickly peels off upon inspection. He might not be as harsh and as gruff as Farrant and son, but he is patently batting on their team. He sought out Farrant and visited him at his Muswell Hill abode. This he might say is because of his interest in the subject. Yet he has at no time sought out Bishop Manchester, and, even though he repeats the taunts of Jamie Farrant regarding the bishop's ministry, has not seen fit to contact him by any means whatsoever."

In his last forum post, Veritas further observed:

"David Farrant has been obsessed with it for over forty years, and Anthony Hogg has been compulsively posting about it on the internet for most of this century. Both do so on an almost daily basis; sometimes lasting for hours on any given day. They do not just post about it here, but also on other people's forums and on their own blogs and boards There is something unhealthy, abnormal and decidedly dark about obsessiveness at this level. It is verging on what might be described as a psychotic disorder. I have contributed over the last few weeks, and again briefly before Christmas last year, but there is nothing left to say because all I find are people like Hogg repeating misconceptions which have already previously been addressed. Nobody is going to allow themselves to be subjected to the sort of cross-examination Hogg would like to exact, and he is never going to be satisfied with an answer given by either camp. So discussions enter a vortex and merely end up going in never-ending circles. I want no part of that exercise as I do not feel the compulsion shown by some here to keep going round in circles for the remainder of their lives. Farrant will always keep plugging away at his propaganda because he feels compelled to attack Bishop Manchester at every available opportunity despite the fact that the bishop now ignores him and no longer gives interviews on the topic which links them in the minds of some people."

On the day before Brendan Kilmartin closed down the Highgate forum to visitors and existing members not part of the anti-Bishop Manchester clique, David Farrant published on his blog the latest photograph of himself. In it he is wearing yet another anti-Bishop Seán Manchester T-shirt whilst clutching an unlit cigarette in his crippled left hand. He had been invited to a fancy dress party, he claimed, and the T-shirt was the best he could come up with. Mr Farrant's "best" has always turned out to be his worst. There is a bubble coming out of the depiction of the bishop on the T-shirt, which says: "I curse thee, Farrant!" Nothing could be further from the truth, which is precisely why the most sympathetic and charitable quote sock puppet Della Vallicrus could come up with on her Supernatural World forum signature is something written by Seán Manchester in the first edition of The Highgate Vampire, which states:

"In all the years I have known David Farrant, I have found not a single shred of evidence to suggest that the least of these things are true. I do not believe that he has ever partaken in a real black magic ceremony, nor do I believe that he is capable of harming an animal, not even for publicity. Of the charges relating to graveyard damage I believe him to be innocent also."

These words appear at the foot of every comment posted by the person using the nomenclature Della Vallicrus. David Farrant never posed any real threat to animals, even if he falsely claimed he sacrificed them in witchcraft ceremonies (solely for the sake of attracting media attention), and the dead had nothing to fear from this man whose asinine nocturnal antics in graveyards, as attested by his wife under oath, were merely for a "for a bit of a laugh and a joke" and, of course, the thing he is addicted to more than booze and fags — publicity.

The damage Farrant inflicted has always been on the living who fell victim to his depraved behaviour, sick pranks, charlatanry and insatiable lust for fame. Instead of becoming famous, David Robert Donovan Farrant became infamous in the worst way imaginable and his name has now become synonymous with fakery, falsehood and foolishness.

David Farrant wearing his anti-Bishop Seán Manchester T-shirt.

Blasphemous parody and poor imitation of Bishop Seán Manchester.

Where the only spirit is whiskey and the only incense is cancerous smoke.