Tuesday, March 25, 2008

High Gate Cemetery

High gate Cemetery is most famous for one particular resident and he was the reason I pitched up on a cold and grey Easter Sunday .
Love him or hate him, he's an influential figure from history and worth a look.
In decades past, busloads of the faithful from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe made the trek to North London to pay homage. Though out of favour in today's world, someone is keeping the shrine immaculate. Given he's the most famous pile of bones in the place and the reason people shell out £3 to get in, I guess making his resting place easy to find is sensible.
Karl as a money making attraction.
Delicious irony.In marked contrast to Mr Marx's spot, the rest of the place is overgrown and shambolic.
This Victorian graveyard is pretty much full of folks who don't have any surviving relatives to clean away the relentless march of time.
It's atmospheric and a bit spooky.
A great setting for a horror movie and for a time in the 1970's and 80's it was a central focus of various occultists and nut bars.
Reputedly the home of the "Vampire of High Gate" the cemetery briefly became a sensation and is still the subject of various crackpot websites.
For a jaw dropping, silly version of the story go here.
For a less self indulgent and grandiose version of events go here.
Karl's ideas played no small part in the welfare state 2 decades ago. The UK was a wannabe socialist paradise characterised by labour strikes, unions unashamedly quoting Das Kapital and massive unemployment. People had lots of time on their hands and were able to go off chasing ghouls in the night, returning at dawn to collapse in their council flats well fortified with the excitement of monster hunting (and probably gallons of cider).
It's maybe a bit harsh to blame this particular brand of Brit eccentricity on Mr Marx but it provided me with a nice little squaring of the circle. As I said earlier the place does have a bit of atmosphere. Scared yet?
That's it from Vampire central.
Love
T

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Peaceful pictures.

Anonymous said...

Vampires are real.
Mock them at your peril.

Terry said...

Well given you dropped this little gem of a comment on me during daylight hours I can only assume you are not one.
I suppose you have some bloodthirsty pals?

Anonymous said...

everto of orbis terrarum mos unus dies orior oriri ortus iterum

Terry said...

Latin huh?
Something about demons rising?
well all I can say is:
take vestri medication quod adepto nonnullus somnus

Comrade Igor said...

Its wonderful to see that Karl is still front and center and has pride of place in his last place of rest regardless of your Bourgeois musings.
"Workers of all Lands Unite"

Terry said...

It never ceases to amaze me which posts prompt people to comment.
Who would have guessed that a trip to a cemetery would create such excitment?

Anonymous said...

As always very interesting pics. Your history might be a bit off though, two decades ago Margaret Thatcher had already been Prime Minister for a decade.
The Cemetery is a great place, a little more reading of the stones and you would have seen Herbert Spencer right opposite Karl Marx. Regardless of the spelling, Marx and Spenser close together always brings a smile.
And George Eliot is right around the corner from them both..