London’s Highgate Cemetery offers some of the finest funerary architecture in England. The cemetery was first opened in 1839 by a private company hoping to turn it into a profit and became one of London’s most high profile places to be buried. By the mid-20th century, the idea of a for-profit cemetery had lost its luster and Highgate was largely left abandoned, with nature reclaiming much of the land. Now, you might imagine ghosts would be a typical sight here, but there’s something even more frightening that is said to be lurking amongst the tombstones…a vampire.
In the 1970s, trespassers were regularly slipping into Highgate Cemetery at night and it wasn’t long before rumors of Satanism and occult activities circulated. Then came sightings of a “floating” man in a Victorian suit and top hat gliding through the cemetery. Catching the attention of the local newspapers, numerous vampire hunts began to take place and as curious visitors flocked to the once forgotten cemetery, so too did reports of people being mesmerized by a strange figure with burning red eyes. The vampire panic didn’t last long, however, and interest in the nocturnal creature dissipated until it was largely forgotten. Today, sightings of the vampire still occasionally trickle in, so if you are thinking of taking a stroll around this beautiful cemetery, it’s worth keeping a watchful eye out for a man with a hypnotic gaze, lest you find yourself the victim of the Highgate Vampire.