Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories/Film Locations

swains_lane_1920sOne of the inspirations for the film is the area around Hampstead, in particular, the notorious Swains Lane in nearby Highgate which is said to be haunted.
Around midnight one night we were walking down Swains Lane. There was no-one on the street and it was really spooky. Suddenly, behind us, we heard the sound of horses hooves. We looked round, there was no horse, no rider, nothing. We looked at each other, we all heard it. To say it gave us the creeps is an understatement.
Swains Lane runs alongside Highgate Cemetary. As you
 walk down the street you can see into the graveyards with its eerie old railings, gravestones and statues. In the film, Kelly is tormented by nightmares. In one, Kelly runs down Swains Lane, horses’ hooves pounds the old road behind her while from the graveyard people yell and shout like an angry mob.

THE HIGHGATE VAMPIRE

swains_lane_mapIn 1963 two 16 year old convent girls were walking home at night after having visited friends in Highgate Village. Their return journey took them down Swains Lane past the cemetery. They could not believe their eyes as they passed the graveyard’s north gate at the top of the lane, for in front of them, bodies appeared to be emerging from their tombs.

Another incident, some weeks later, involved a couple who were also walking down Swains lane. The lady recorded glimpsing something hideous hovering behind the gate’s iron railings. Her fiancé also saw it, and both stood frozen staring at it for what seemed like several minutes. Its face bore an expression of absolute horror.


Hampstead and the area most of the filming took place

spaniardsSoon others sighted the same phantom as it hovered along the path behind the gate where gravestones are visible either side until consumed in darkness. Some who actually witnessed the spectral figure wrote to their local newspaper to share their experience.
Discoveries were made of animal carcasses drained of blood. Very soon the spectre was being described as a vampire.
The area is rich with stories of ghosts, witches, murders, robberies and hangings. More of these later but first, here’s a tale of buried treasure.