There have been over 200 vampire sightings in the UK during the past 100 years (more than Transylvania), one of the most famous examples being the Highgate Vampire (although the British occultist David Farrant who was present during the numerous vampire hunts of the 1970s claims that the spirit roaming the cemetery was more demonic in nature rather than a vampire, whereas Seán Manchester claims it really was a vampire, and even managed to photograph the vampire as it finally got staked).
In David Farrant best selling book on the subject, Beyond the Highgate Vampire, David claims that ley lines, may be an important factor that has been left completely out of the Highgate equation. These lines, he says, can actually transmit psychic energy along their course and enable the vampire to materialise when the right conditions prevail. One such ley line, he points out, apparently begins in the middle of Highgate Cemetery at a large circle of tombs called the Circle of Lebanon, crosses through the Flask and Ye Olds Gatehouse pubs (both ancient pubs only yards from Highgate Cemetery); traverses a large block of council flats known as Hillcrest (themselves built upon the site of an ancient nunnery) and passes through an old Roman Settlement a quarter of a mile or so away in Highgate Woods which is marked by an old beech tree.
For without exception, all the locations on the Highgate ley line, were reportedly haunted by a ’tall black figure’ which, even when it was not actually seen, it caused dramatic drops in temperature, clocks to simultaneously stop, objects to fly from shelves or mysteriously shatter, and which also had a dramatic effect upon animals in it’s immediate vicinity.
Other sightings in the UK:
AlnwickCastle (Northumberland) - During the 1100s, a vampire that once frequented this castle, a one time lord of the estate, lived underneath it and would emerge at night to attack the local villagers. An outbreak of plague was also attributed to the unholy creature, and this resulted in the villagers digging the monster up from its shallow grave and burning it.
Blandford Forum (Dorset) - (1800s) a corrupt manservant who stole thousands of pounds from his employer, William Doggett finally killed himself, and now drives his phantom horse and carriage along this area. One local story says he returned as a vampire; after his body was exhumed many years after his death (from St Mary’s Church in Tarrant Gunville) it was found to be uncorrupted, with a rosy tint to the cheeks.
Croglin (Cumbria) - In 1875, an old house had been rented out to a woman and two brothers, Amelia, Edward and Michael Cranswell. During one summer, Amelia was trying to sleep when a strange creature appeared at her window and began picking out the lead surrounding one of the window panes with a long fingernail, then removing it and putting its hand through the resulting gap to undo the window latch and let itself in. It was described as having a brown face and flaming eyes. The vampire bit her in the throat. When her brothers came into the room, the monster was gone. While one brother tried to help his sister, the other went after the creature. After a trip to Switzerland, the three returned to Croglin Grange and the creature returned again. The brother shot it in the leg and was able to track it down to a vault in the local cemetery. They waited until the next day to enter the vault, where they found the body of the vampire, with a fresh wound to the leg, resting inside a coffin. They then burned it.
Lochmaben Castle (Scotland) - During the early 1990s, Tom Robertson investigated the woods after hearing stories that animals had been found drained of their blood. He encountered a tall figure dressed in sacking with a hood over its head, which black eyes and grey face. The creature leapt into a tree and swung away. Eight years later Robertson went looking for the creature again, finding it and taking a couple of photographs.
From my experience, vampires who have been around longer tend to look more naturally human in appearance, particularly if the spirits have gained enough energy to materialise in a fuller form. It is noted within folklore that vampires first start off as dark blobs or shadows before developing into a humanoid form. Being around vampire spirits can cause bruising on the skin, particularly on the neck if they “feed” on you. Vampire spirits are definitely ones that are more fond of physical contact, and it can be common for them to assault you (either sexual or physical violence), depending on the individual spirit. Vampires are fond of crystals that aid in blood disorders or circulation, particularly if they are dark red. If you work with vampire spirits it is better to use these as offerings rather than blood itself, which can pose all sorts of dangers - the biggest one being giving the vampire enough power to materialise physically for longer states of time, and moreover, power over you and your body.
On this day in music history: April 8, 1977 - “The Clash”, the debut album by The Clash is released. Produced by Mickey Foote, it is recorded at CBS Studios in London and National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, UK from February 10 - 27, 1977. The self-titled debut release by the iconic British punk band is recorded in just two and half weeks, at a cost of only £4000 ($6698.40 USD currently). Many of the songs are written while The Clash are living in a council flat in NW London being rented by Mick Jones’ grandmother. The album quickly establish the band in their home country and earn them a loyal fan base, featuring several songs that become standards in the bands repertoire including “White Riot”, “Career Opportunities”, “Remote Control”, and “I’m So Bored With The USA”. In spite of its UK and European success, CBS Records initially passes on the releasing the album in the US, calling it “un-commercial” and “not radio friendly”. It still finds a sizable audience in the United States when record stores begin importing UK copies of the album, selling an impressive 100,000 copies before it is picked up for domestic release by Epic Records in July of 1979, after the release of their second album “Give ‘Em Enough Rope”. However, the US version differs from its UK counterpart, replacing the tracks “Deny”, “Cheat”, “Protex Blue”, “48 Hours”, and “White Riot (original version)”, with “Clash City Rockers”, “Complete Control”, “White Riot” (re-recorded version), “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais”, “I Fought the Law”, and “Jail Guitar Doors”. The initial US pressing also comes packaged with a bonus 7" single featuring the tracks “Groovy Times” and “Gates Of The West”. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1999, and on 180 gram vinyl. Another vinyl reissue is released in 2010 that includes the bonus 7". A numbered limited edition version pressed on split blue and white vinyl is released in the US for Black Friday Record Store Day in November of 2015. “The Clash” peaks at number twelve on the UK album chart, number one hundred twenty six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
I live in England, and my flat is owned by a Housing Trust, meaning it’s a rented public property (Basically a council flat). I moved in last November and the first thing I did was to go and meet my downstairs neighbour.
Our flats are an old house, converted into flats. We both get a front door and our own front (and back) gardens. I have the upstairs flat, meaning I get a little downstairs storage space and then a nice upstairs flat & a gate into my back garden. Downstairs flat doesn’t have inside storage space, but they get two sheds in the back garden and a back door. My flat is directly atop theirs even though our doors are side by side.
Anyway! I move in and go and say hello to my neighbours. I introduce myself, explain that I have TV/Music on every hour that I’m in (for mental health reasons I can’t sit in silence) and of course I’ll try and keep it quiet, but this is a new flat, noise levels will be different to where I last lived and if it’s too loud, just come bang on my door and I’ll naturally turn it down.
My neighbour [We’ll call her Charlotte from now on] smiled and nodded and assured me that it’s fine, they’re a little loud too and the same goes for if they keep me up.
Summary: In 1945, the prison camp of Ettersberg is bombed from altitude. In 2009, Peter Grant graduates university with a bachelor’s degree in architecture.
It’s a magical new world.
Characters: Peter Grant, Thomas Nightingale, Beverley Brook, Lesley May, Jaget Kumar, Abigail Kamara, Sahra Guleed, but everyone ever in the books is in this okay you think I’m joking but I’m really not
Ratings etc: T, Peter Grant/Thomas Nightingale, past Thomas Nightingale/David Mellenby, mentioned Lesley May/Zach Palmer, mentioned Beverley Brook/Minor Canon Character.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL, IT’S HERE. My ridiculous thesis-length council flat story that started out as “but what if they all lived in council flats, wouldn’t that be funny?” and ended up…somewhere else. Where everyone still lives in flats, to be fair.
stardust-rain and maple-clef did most of the beta-reading on this one and they deserve a big share of the credit, trust me on this. They are the best.
Finally: yeah, I know, this is just the first part. The story ended up falling fairly naturally into four parts, and, you know, ninety-two thousand words, so I’ll be posting one every couple of days, rather than the lot at once. If you want to wait and read it all at one sitting, then you won’t have to wait long, and if you prefer your fanfic in slightly more manageable chunks, that’s the way you’re going to get it!
“Standing on a large tripod and lurking conspicuously in the window of Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock’s dining room is an enormous telescope. At face value, it is hardly surprising. As a leading space scientist and Sky at Nightpresenter, it would have seemed curious if she didn’t own such a socking great instrument. But as we talk in advance of her gig at the Observer Ideas Festival, I realise this telescope is no passing nod to a day job. Aderin-Pocock grew up with telescopes, and the telescopes have grown up with her.
“When I was young we were living in a council flat. We didn’t have much money [so] I saved up some money and I got a telescope,” she says as I glance enviously at the tripod. “But it was really not very good. It suffered from something called ‘chromatic aberration’ which means that as you look through it, the light coming through gets split up into different colours.” It was a disappointment to a youngster desperate to look beyond the glare of the capital and gaze into the depths of the night sky. But then she spotted an advert for telescope-making classes in Camden, north London. Turning up to investigate, she encountered a curious scene. “There were lots of middle-aged blokes – they had large slabs of glass and they were just grinding away,” she laughs. Bizarre or not, the following week she joined their ranks.
What followed was yet more tinkering – motors, some software, a sprinkling of electronics – and before long the telescope could not only gather light from distant stars, but track them, too. It was the start of a career that has led Aderin-Pocock to work on a host of big-budget projects that veritably groan under the weight of their auspicious capitals; the James Webb space telescope, the Gemini Observatory and the European satellite ADM-Aeolus among them.
In an era of vague ambitions and chop-change plans, it’s not very often you meet someone who has always known what they wanted to do and is, pretty much, doing it. I say ‘pretty much’ because, to be fair, Aderin-Pocock isn’t quite living the dream of her youth which was, ambitiously, “to go and visit the Clangers”.
But, in shooting for their extraterrestrial abode, she landed among the stars: the instrument she built for the Gemini telescope in Chile, a spectrograph carefully constructed in the bowels of University College London, allowed scientists to analyse the light from these fiery bodies and gain insights into numerous properties, including the chemical reactions taking place deep inside. Getting up close to far-flung celestial bodies might be her jackpot, but as she tells me, peering at them from terra firma comes a close second. And while visiting pink mice on a far-away planet might conceivably have had its perks, there’s no doubt Aderin-Pocock’s world is an exciting alternative………..”