Friday, 5 March 2021

Jacqueline Beckwith

 

Unlike Elżbieta 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, 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 Elżbieta 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 my collection of testimonies to those compiled by Kiely and McKenna, vampirism is easily recognised as demonic to its core.

The aversion to Christian symbols and objects conditions were experienced by Elżbieta 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 Elżbieta, 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.

Elżbieta 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 Elżbieta and Lusia distinct from other forms of demonic manifestations are the bite marks on their necks, followed by loss of blood. Vampirism is made apparent 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 remains demonic to its core.


Thursday, 4 March 2021

Lusia

 


Another victim of the Highgate Vampire case was a young woman identified only by her first name, Lusia. Much like Elżbieta, she suffered from various disturbances in her daily life. Lusia’s sister, Anne, contacted me in 1970. Anne explained that her sister had begun sleep-walking, among other strange problems. During one evening when I was present, I 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 Highgate cemetery. Unlike Elżbieta who merely went as far as the north gate, Lusia entered the cemetery itself. Anne explained that Lusia never had such problems as 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 Elżbieta were many. Lusia also had an aversion to crosses and crucifixes. During her sleep-walk into the cemetery, she tore the cross from around her neck. There were also the “complaints of being suffocated while she slept” (The Highgate Vampire). She also bore two marks on her neck, like those found on Elżbieta. Here, the two women suffering from similar conditions – conditions comparable to demonic activity – demonstrate that their experiences were not isolated incidents. It would be easy to rationalise the experiences through psychology had there only been one victim. However, two women who did not know each other, fell victim to similar, almost identical, circumstances, and somehow they were connected by Highgate Cemetery.


Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Elżbieta Wojdyła

 


Elżbieta Wojdyła suffered from the effects of vampirism on various occasions and in various ways. In the year 1967, the then 16 year old Elżbieta, along with her friend Barabara, were walking by the north gate of the Highgate cemetery. It was late in the evening and according to Elżbieta, they witnessed what can only be described as the dead rising from their graves. Whether or not what Elżbieta and her friend beheld was apparitions or revenants is not made clear at this point. To continue, not long after witnessing such a strange scene, Elżbieta 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.” Elżbieta’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 Elżbieta was no longer living at home with her parents. Why would such a nightmare return? After questioning Elżbieta’s boyfriend, Keith Maclean, I discovered that while she was living with her parents, the home contained many crosses and other religious objects. Now living on her own, Elżbieta kept no crosses in her home. 

I theorised, “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). I tested my theory by having Keith place various Christian symbols and other vampire repellents around Elżbieta’s bedroom. I also instructed Keith to sprinkle holy water. 

“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 Elżbieta would disturb the Christian symbols and other vampire repellents during the day. He also recalled Elżbieta’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. My theory was correct, and Elżbieta did react to the Christian symbols whenever the evil presence attempted to afflict her.

The nightmarish face at her bedroom window attempted to dominate her mind and body. Elżbieta was also troubled by what may be considered sleep-walking. However, Keith’s descriptions of Elżbieta’s sleep-walking episodes suggest something closer to demonic possession. He describes Elżbieta’s condition in a letter: “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 are both symptoms of demonic influences. What ultimately gives Elżbieta’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 Elżbieta suffering from what Keith described as suffocation. During one of her wakeful nightmares, Keith found Elżbieta “gasping for breath, as if she had been almost suffocated” (The Highgate Vampire). 

The Church believed in demons identified as 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 Elżbieta experienced has strong similarities to forms of demonic activity. This suggests that vampirism is an aspect of demonic and sometimes corporeal manifestation.


Monday, 1 March 2021

Elżbieta Wojdyla


This is a veritable Who's Who by Seán Manchester that goes beyond what is already known to dig beneath the surface and list familiar names, the not so familiar, plus the downright obscure.


I begin this Who's Who of cameo entries with the first person I personally encountered who was enmeshed by the supernaturalism afoot at Highgate Cemetery that drew me into investigating the case. Her name is Elżbieta Wojdyla. I invite comments and questions on any of the entries I make.

Elżbieta Wojdyla and Barbara Moriarty, two sixteen-year-old students of La Sainte Union Convent (near Highgate, London), were walking home late at night after visiting friends in Highgate Village. 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.

Elżbieta Wojdyla 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."

A series of nightmares then began to plague Elżbieta Wojdyla; all with one thing in common: something was trying to enter her bedroom window at night. A deathly-pale face identical to the corpses leaving their graves appeared behind the glass pane on some occasions.

During the summer of 1969, I had a chance meeting with Elżbieta Wojdyla who appeared anaemic and listless. She was nevertheless anxious to get something off her chest. Now resident in an area not too far from the cemetery, she told me that her nightmares had returned with a vengeance. This time she was able to give a better description of the unwelcome spectre that haunted her nights, and, once again, I tape-recorded her words on a reel-to-reel machine:

"[It has] the face of a wild animal with glaring eyes and sharp teeth, but it is a man with the expression of an animal. The face is gaunt and grey."

Two weeks later, Elżbieta Wojdyla's boyfriend, Keith Maclean, contacted me and reported on further deterioration:

"[Her] condition has grown worse. ... She is withering away at such a rate that she is only just barely alive. ... She is being overcome by something."

I came to know Keith Maclean much better, but did not know him at all until Elżbieta Wojdyla introduced me to him in 1969.


Elżbieta Wojdyla can be heard speaking about her experiences at 2:36 on this video about the case:


Saturday, 23 January 2021

"Paranormal" Podcasters Ben and Pete

 

Listen to this risible podcast by two millennial dimwits called Ben and Pete, by clicking above. It could be Pete and Dud except for the fact that they, at least, were entertaining. But it's Ben and Pete. Ben is boring and ordinary. Pete's voice, however, is not dissimilar to E L Wisty (the Peter Cooke character).

“I have learned from my mistakes, and I am sure I can repeat them exactly.”

“As I looked out into the night sky, across all those infinite stars, it made me realize how insignificant they are.”

This unimaginably dull duo claim to operate from "a studio in a haunted pub near Oxford" that just happens to be named "Welch." The vintage image of the pub used on their heading no longer exists, and what replaces it is not called "Welch," an individual once loosely connected to a group that became the precursor of the Vampire Research Society (founded on 2 February 1970). 

People have been asking how is it possible for A Tale of Two Hunters to get so much monumentally wrong unless it is deliberate? With or without an agenda, it must be difficult to be factually incorrect for 99.9% of what one says in a podcast that lasts one hour and three minutes. The answer might be more prosaic, despite seemingly synchronistic allusions hither and thither on the general podcast elsewhere. The fact is that when you listen to Ben and Pete it is quite obvious they just don't care what they say. Couple that with a complete lack of professionalism, refusal to do any research of their own, and a reliance on utter garbage found on the internet, put there by equally incompetent individuals too young to have been around when the events were happening. Yet the events were reported at the time. This makes the claim that nobody showed up on Parliament Hill in 1973 inexcusable. In fact, one of the parties did turn up. It was reported in the Hampstead & Highgate Express, as well as elsewhere. And since when did Highgate N6 become Crouch End N8? The truth is that Ben and Pete simply don't care about the facts. They just want to talk amongst themselves whilst sneering and putting those they are talking about down; blocking the surviving person so he cannot see what they have published. It's rather pathetic and all too redolent of commentators today.