Firstly, I apologise for neglecting this blog so badly. I was quite surprised to see that literally the only post I made in 2016 was a WordPress-generated “year in review” for 2015. Shocking.
To be fair though, I hadn’t disappeared completely—if you’re familiar with my website, Vamped, you’d know I was still making sporadic posts there. Some highlights:
- Establishing the true publication date of Robert Southey’s poem, “The Old Woman of Berkeley”
- Issuing my first press release—a public plea for victims of the Highgate Vampire to step forward (which actually did get press coverage)
- My exclusive interview with “long-lost” vampirologist, John L. Vellutini, the editor and main writer of the Journal of Vampirology (1984–1990)
This year, I’ll endeavour to make more posts for this blog and for Vamped. Both sites will also be undergoing some major overhauls. My aim with this blog, in particular, is to both return it to its “diary” roots and to restructure it as a proper personal site.
Although I love writing for Vamped, and serving as its Editor-in-Chief, I also need an outlet purely for me and my vampiristic delvings. That said, expect some cross-promotion.
Exhuming the Vampire
Apart from that, I have many more things up my sleeve and things I want to do. For instance, I’m planning on ramping up my investigations in the Highgate Vampire case. I feel like I’ve spent years dawdling with it (mainly through my blog, Did a Wampyr Walk in Highgate?) rather than cohesively investigate it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of lots of the things I’ve uncovered and written about, but what’s the end game? It’s gotta lead somewhere.
My plan, for many years, has been to write a book about the Highgate Vampire case (something that has also been suggested to me). After all, it’s a more productive form of utilising knowledge gained rather than confine it to blog posts and whatnot. The main hurdle to achieving this goal is access to relevant materials. I’ve actually drafted a bibliography of materials I would like to get which is presently 17 pages (!) long. It’s been compiled from various books, websites and blogs; a good chunk of the citations are incomplete.
So, if you’re interested in being a Highgate Vampire research assistant—or know someone who might be able to help—then feel free to contact me by email.
Another Trip to Texas?
On October 31, 2015, I attended (and helped plan) There Are Such Things! Vampire Studies Symposium 2015 at North Central Texas College. I answered questions from the audience at the end of the presentations. I had a great time—it was especially inspiring to meet and hang out with authors like Michael E. Bell and J. Gordon Melton; people whose works have helped inspire my own vampire interests.
Well, this year, there’s going to be another vampire symposium at the college. This one will concentrate on Dracula. The World Dracula Day Symposium 2017 will be held on May 26. Registrations are now open. Like the previous symposium, Vamped is also getting behind it.
I would love to attend, but there are a few hurdles: taking time off from work and expenses are the biggies. It’s not cheap for me, an Aussie, to fly to America and get accomodation! Not to mention time-consuming; it took me 17 hours to get there last time.
Our dollar’s also pretty piss-weak at the moment, too. That doesn’t help. In the meantime, I’m still umming and ahhing about it, so we’ll see.
End of Year Finds
For the last day of 2016, I popped into Wayward Books, Kensington, in search of non-fiction vampire books. Although I didn’t find any, I did find two of relevant interest.
The first was Peter Underwood’s No Common Task: The Autobiography of a Ghost-Hunter (1983), which I picked up for $18. I was alerted to the book’s vampire connection a little while ago by Redmond McWilliams, founder of The Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation Society Facebook group—so seeing Underwood’s book in the shop was quite a pleasant surprise, as it’s not exactly easy to come by.
The book’s vampire connection, and it’s a doozy (albeit a relatively short one), stems from a chapter in Underwood’s anthology, The Vampire’s Bedside Companion (1975). I’ll expand on that in another post. But let’s say it leaves a certain vampire hunter with egg on his face.
The other book I came across was a reprint of Kyriacos C. Markides’ The Magus of Strovolos (1985). I have seen it mentioned a couple of times in conjunction with a supposed case of psychic vampirism. The only reason I didn’t get it then and there, is because it was a reprint (I’m a sucker for first editions). I might revisit that decision for this books’ sake.
Last, But Not Least
I want to thank my readers and the recent followers who’ve added this blog to their list, despite no new content in a year. Much appreciated! I certainly hope to make this year worth your while. To all, a Happy New Year!
- the only post I made in 2016: Anthony Hogg, “2015 in Review,” The Vampirologist (blog), January 1, 2016, accessed January 1, 2017, https://thevampirologist.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/2015-in-review/.
- Establishing the true publication date of Robert Southey’s poem: Anthony Hogg, “Which Year Was the Witch/Vampire Poem, ‘The Old Woman of Berkeley,’ Published?” Vamped, February 6, 2016, accessed January 1, 2017, http://vamped.org/2016/02/06/year-witchvampire-poem-old-woman-berkeley-published/.
- a public plea for victims of the Highgate Vampire: Anthony Hogg, “If You Were Bitten by the Highgate Vampire, We Want to Hear from You,” Vamped, February 27, 2016, accessed January 1, 2017, http://vamped.org/2016/02/27/if-you-were-bitten-by-the-highgate-vampire-we-want-to-hear-from-you/.
- exclusive nterview with “long-lost” vampirologist: John L. Vellutini, “Interview with John L. Vellutini, Editor of the Journal of Vampirology,” interview by Anthony Hogg, Vamped, September 20, 2016, accessed January 1, 2017, http://vamped.org/2016/09/20/interview-with-john-l-vellutini-editor-of-the-journal-of-vampirology/.
- Registrations are now open: “World Dracula Day Symposium 2017,” North Central Texas College, accessed January 1, 2017, http://www.nctc.edu/dracula.