9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Best Read in the Daylignt in a Crowd, 1 July 2002
Author Sean Manchester is an interesting bloke, a Catholic priest of the Apostolic Church of Holy Grail who hunts vampires and is related to the literary giant Lord Byron. He even has some of Byron's romantic sensibilities and literary talent.
I was reading Highgate Vampire in the middle of the night alone and I began to hear every creak in the building and was looking over my shoulder for any sinister entities. Fictional horror accounts don't interest as much as one's that claim to be possibly real. This account seems real with all the newspaper accounts of the Highgate Vampire referred to in the book. Sometimes the account had a fictional feel to it, although I don't necessarily think that Manchester is stretching the truth.
The writing was fairly well done, although the account halfway is a factual investigation and halfway a gothic tale based on reality. If it would have been one or the other, I think the effect of the book would have been stronger. If it were wholly an investigation into the reality of vampires, it would have had more depth analytically. If it were a tale based on real events, it would have had more literary merit.
I thought it was a fascinating account since previously I thought vampires were just legend, but Manchester claims that they are something close to a familiar demonic spirit, which can act just like a previously alive person, but in reality is not the true spirit of that person.
Manchester offers information on how to handle vampires, (bring your holy water, incense, salt, garlic and silver crosses. It helps if your Catholic.) He warns though that amateur vampire hunters should not get involved unless they know a lot about hunting vampires first. Manchester talks about how a vampire must have a stake driven through its heart so that it will not keep biting victims and creating more potential undead.
Manchester has to deal with those who have taken the "left hand path", and deny the existence of vampires knowing full well that they exist, but wish to deceive the public into thinking that there is nothing to worry about, so they can continue their black arts.
Manchester is something of a atavistic romantic, hearkening back to the Middle Ages when people believed in vampires and had effective methods of dealing with them. He deplores this modern materialistic age that attempts to dismiss vampires as superstition when actually they can still exist and 'scientific types' are ignorant of the ways on how to deal with vampire epidemics. Such mysteries are hard for science to explain.
This is a good book for those wishing to explore the mystery of evil without getting caught up into the destructive lifestyle of the occult. A vampire, Manchester says, is a phenomenon that mocks the resurrection of Christ and his believers, giving a false, twilight life to a vampire that feeds on the blood of the living, rather than having received eternal life by the blood and crucifixion of Christ.