Highgate has to be one of the most famous cemeteries in the world.
The western side of the cemetery was opened in 1839 and the eastern side in 1854.
The west side of the cemetery was closed in 1975 due to it becoming financially
unviable, this is when the "Friends of Highgate Cemetery" was formed (F.O.H.C) to help preserve and maintain the historic
buildings and vaults. Unfortunately FOHC was very limited as to what it could do until 1981 when the freehold of both parts
of the cemetery was acquired.
The Friends of Highgate Cemetery are now a limited liability company who with help
from English Heritage and the Manpower Services Commission as well as paying members and volunteers, are dedicated to the
restoration and preservation of the entire cemetery.
The Darker Side
The late sixties and early seventies saw a darker side to the cemetery emerge.
The fact that Bram Stoker took inspiration for Dracula from his regular visits to eat lunch among the tombs and vaults, may
have a bearing on it, but later research concluded the existence of the HIGHGATE VAMPIRE as far back as the Victorian period.
Although today the FOHC prefer not to talk about this period of history for
fear of portraying the "wrong type of reputation". The fact remains that there were some very strange and sinister happenings
which have become world renown.