Thursday, May 10, 2007

Stranger Than Fiction

Coincidence is a funny thing. Many moons ago I wrote and published a story (Die, Lady Di), in which Britain's self-styled top vampire hunter, 'Bishop' John Salford, attempted to stake a now vampirised Princess Diana. In the course of the story, the Bish described his encounters with the seductive, scantily clad, undead ex-Royal. It turns out that back in 1998 (more than five years before I wrote my story), Britain's self-styled top vampire hunter, 'Bishop' Sean Manchester published a story in an obscure witchcraft magazine in which he eulogises the late Princess, describing a dream in which she appeared before him over a lake. Interestingly, 'Bishop' Manchester's Diana is a seemingly seductive and scantily clad being:

"A figure emerged slowly and purposefully directly in front of me. It was a beautiful young woman, attired in white from head to foot, surrounded by a shimmering blue aura that gave a silver appearance to her diaphanous apparel... She did not look shyly down, but straight at me with an intensity which fixed my gaze. Once she had arisen from the depths of the lake, she seemed to glide towards me. Then she remained still. Despite the opaque shroud of mist, I could see her face quite clearly. She smiled. Such a smile that I felt a peculiar intimacy and inner knowledge of her...Then she raised her arms and held out a cup filled with a red liquid. An enormous feeling of peace came over me...I felt the mist cover me with a veil of dampness."

Hmmm. A damp dream, eh?

As I say, a strange (and quite disturbing) coincidence. Whilst, of course, any resemblance between my fictional vampire hunter and 'Bishop' Manchester is entirely coincidental, it does seem strange that both have an obsession (it seems) with supernatural manifestations of Princess Diana. I must confess that, at the time I wrote the story, I had absolutely no inkling of Manchester's interest in her. Spooky! I'm greatly indebted to MondoSkepto who recently broke this morsel of news. Said site also has quite a few fascinating articles on other aspects of Manchester and the whole 'Highgate Vampire' fiasco of the late 1960s and early 1970s. They also have some interesting stuff about Manchester's one-time associate, now sworn enemy, David Farrant. It's all given me food for thought, and I suspect that John Salford's supernatural exploits might yet grace the pages of The Sleaze for a third time (he was last seen fighting Satan in Brighton in The Devil Comes Out). Perhaps it also time to look more closely into the activities of his one-time associate, now sworn enemy, Don Faddle...