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THE MYSTERY OF HIGHGATE CEMETERY

By Games Master

Highgate Cemetery - one of the most haunted and mysterious places in London, and with good reason.

In the early 1800’s the city’s population topped the 1 million mark and, despite a high death rate, it's still growing. Graves crammed between shops and outside taverns.

Undertakers dressed up as clergymen to perform illegal ceremonies. Many people were buried in shallow graves and quickly covered with lime. The stench and diseases... horrific.

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Parliament decided that seven private cemeteries would be built in the countryside around London.  (They're known as “The Magnificent Seven.”)  The third cemetery, dated 1839, Highgate.

However, he architect and builder turned Highgate into an eternal oasis of peace.  Everybody who anybody wanted to be buried there. 1854, the place packed, and they bought another 20, adjoining acres.

The turn of the 20th century, the cemetery’s fortunes waned.  World War I decimated the staff, and the end of World War II the cemetery had all  abandoned.  

Furthermore, In 1960 the gates to Highgate Cemetery - close, pristine landscaping become lush jungles, and buildings tumbled in on themselves.  Studios used the grounds to shoot horror movies.  And the rumors and rituals began . .


Stories of men dressed in dark robes, practicing dark rituals, surface. Ghosts and ghouls haunted the alleyways around the graveyard.  People reported seeing red-eyed demons, staring at them through the fence.

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Additionally, there the Highgate Vampire.  The vampire, said to be a medieval nobleman who practice black magic in Romania.  

His coffin brought from Europe to England in the 18th century, and his cult-like followers bought him a house in the West End. 

He buried at the site that eventually became Highgate Cemetery.  He slumbere peacefully until, according to reports, Satanists perform a ritual at the cemetery.  It woke him up.

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The Highgate Vampire said to be a tall, dark figure that glides through the cemetery.  His presence frequently announced a sudden drop in temperature.  He has also caused clocks and watches to stop. 

Whichever, He terrifies all animals in his vicinity, and he’s blamed for scores of dead foxes on the cemetery grounds.

The Highgate Vampire has a hypnotic stare and bone-chilling effect on all who have encountered him, especially those foolish enough to spend the night in the cemetery.

The Highgate Vampire- just the tip of the supernatural iceberg.  The problems with the dead started during Victorian times with exploding coffins. Highgate Cemetery do got a series of tombs built for those who wanted to be buried above ground.

Furthermore, Regulations at the time required tombs to be encased in lead to prevent “miasma” leaking out.  As the bodies decomposed in their hermetically sealed tombs, the buildup of gases caused some coffins to explode.

The solution to drill a small hole in the coffin, place a pipe in it, and light a match so the gasses could burn off “hygienically.”  Though the cemetery done burning off gasses, there still problems, including heart-stopping banshee wails.


Spectral faces float around the place.  A ghostly cyclist wanders the grounds, as does the floating ghost of a nun.  However, Some spirits such regular visitors that the locals have named them.

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Today, 170,000 people buried at Highgate Cemetery in 53,000 graves on 37 acres. Plots still for sale, subject to government restrictions. 

It continues to be a popular place for enthusiasts of the occult, paranormal, and vampires. It also hosts the graves of some of history’s most well-known figures, including Karl Marx, Malcolm McLaren, and George Michael.


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