The Last Interview
given by the Right Reverend Seán Manchester
about the Highgate Vampire case (1969-1982).
Bishop Seán Manchester’s spoke for over two hours as three cameras recorded the historic occasion for posterity on the forty-first anniversary of the first time he brought to public attention the existence of a contagion at Highgate. The Hampstead & Highgate Express, 27 February 1970, filled its front page with his startling revelations, albeit misquoting him and misrepresenting another exorcist, Reverend Christopher Neil-Smith, in their article written by editor Gerald Isaaman. Since then the bishop has contributed to hundreds of interviews and television documentaries about his mysterious investigations spanning a period of no less than thirteen years. Now he feels that everything there is to say about the case has been said. He finds himself answering the same questions he was being asked four decades ago, and while Bishop Manchester fully understands the enduring fascination the case holds ─ he wrote his book about his experiences to satisfy this need ─ the time has now come to draw a line under the topic.
Despite that day in February 1970 becoming a defining moment in his life, the bishop believes enough is enough and wants no longer to talk about it. In an opening chapter of The Highgate Vampire back in the previous century he wrote:
“The reality I once experienced exists no longer and although its memories are the most potent that I possess, they now seem so far away ─ possibly because next to the hunger to experience a thing, there is no stronger hunger than to forget.”
Bishop Seán Manchester, an opponent of the suffocating influence of modernism and the dictatorial liberal elite in both secular and ecclesial life, will continue to make broadcast contributions where it is in the public interest or where an opportunity to address an injustice arises. He will not, however, be willing to contribute any further media interviews about the incidents he investigated from 1969 to 1982 known as the Highgate Vampire case. His final interview was broadcast on television at 8.00pm Pacific Time / 11.00pm Eastern Time on Richard Syrett’s The Conspiracy Show (Vision TV) on 1 April 2011. Also included in the programme were paranormal commentators Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Joe Nickell and Neil Arnold.
Seated in the chapel dining room at his private retreat, Bishop Seán Manchester gives his last interview.
All photographs are copyright © +Seán Manchester, 2011.