The person who was at the epicentre of the Highgate Vampire investigation from start to finish was Seán Manchester. He was president of an occult investigation team within the British Occult Society who, probably as a consequence of the quickly unravelling Highgate case, founded the Vampire Research Society on 2 February 1970. The VRS has always maintained its integrity with high quality membership comprising clergy, scholars, academics, professional researchers and authors of the paranormal, which he purposely kept to a relatively small number, as with most specialist organisations, despite the incredible public fascination the topic still holds to this day. The VRS at no time sought to be a subscription club and membership over the last two decades has been only by invitation. Nobody, therefore, is better placed to comment on the wampyr believed to have once walked in Highgate. Seán Manchester was recently asked (on the internet) why he ever hunted vampires in the first place and continues to exorcise them when found to this day. His answer (edited for reasons of space) follows. In it he speculates about the supernature of the wampyr ...
"First, I am a Christian and therefore commanded to drive out demons (see Mark 16: 17) of which the vampire is a variant.
"Second, I am an exorcist who specialises in vampirology, a sub-branch of demonolatry, whose task is to cast out demons.
"Third, there is a dearth of exorcists willing to engage in this particular ministry. The only true exorcists I know are Christian. There are those I would not classify as true exorcists whose employment of the word 'exorcism' is unrecognisable to a Christian exorcist. This looser application can embrace activities such as banishment rituals using ceremonial magic which efficacy I cannot vouchsafe to have practical effect. For a Christian the authority to cast out demons requires at least baptism into the Christian faith. Catholics, and some other major denominations, require priests to perform major exorcisms and only then with the permission of the diocesan bishop.
"We are each limited within the constraints of our particular discipline. A Catholic priest, for example, must have permission from his bishop in order to carry out a major exorcism. Minor exorcisms in certain circumstances may be carried out by priests and laity alike without consent. Though the sacraments are not corrupted by a tainted priest, and are still valid despite the medium through which they are provided, the exorcism rite will probably not meet with much success when a corrupt person attempts the traditional formula. Indeed, it might prove extremely dangerous for someone thus tainted to attempt an exorcism. Though exorcism is not a sacrament itself, the use of the Blessed Sacrament (the Host) might be applied in certain situations. The efficacy of the Host will not be lessened by the priest's degree of corruption provided the intent of the exorcist is genuine. The bishop does not select priests for exorcism. Those who are called to the exorcism ministry already exist. If, however, they are under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, permission must be sought by any priest who is an exorcist to execute the major rite, but not the minor or smaller exorcism ritual.
"The vampire of history is a contradiction in itself, an oxymoron, a non sequitur, or as the French would say je ne sais quoi, meaning the subject matter is indefinable; it cannot be described or conveyed in a manner readily understood. Today's secular mind finds no apparent reason for the vampire's existence. The exorcist, however, must remember that although the vampire is supernatural and originates from the ranks of fallen angels, it is simultaneously a physical entity which is capable of death and destruction. It is this unearthly combination of the corporeal and the demonic which instils such dread where the vampire is concerned. The term 'undead' is certainly applicable, but what does that mean? If the vampire is sentient then why use 'undead'? What a curious word to describe a revenant. Yet we know these vampires are not living people, but neither are they God's true dead. The Devil's undead is perhaps a term more apt than we might at first imagine. Certainly no other description can come as close to conveying the meaning of this phenomenon. Perhaps the vampire's ingestion of blood into the living cadaver is similar to the manner by which the vampire bat is able to ingest blood and obtain nourishment from it? No doubt there is some level of nourishment to be obtained from blood, but most people if they ingest more than a mouthful will vomit. There are proteins and iron to be found in blood and perhaps that is what nourishes the physical aspect and enables the wraith to remain as a corporeal manifestation? The biological aspects of vampirism notwithstanding, how does one explain the immediate and rapid deterioration of the corpse once exorcism has taken place? It will fall apart and decay as do other corpses, from a few days to many years according to its true age, once the stake has impaled the undead heart. It collapses into a pile of dusty bones where centuries have elapsed. As I attempted to explain in interviews with the American broadcasters Art Bell and George Noory a few years back, it would seem that time catches up with the vampiric wraith at the moment of its destruction. It returns into what it always was and ought to have been. Impaling the heart is sufficient in and of itself to end the pollutions of the vampire, more so if cremation follows, but the real danger with these undead is that they are totally evil and, of course, biocidal. They should not be compared with vampire bats who take a few drops and move on. Vampires are evil and a potential threat to human life. They are a form of Antichrist and should be dealt with accordingly."