The Lost Photos of Highgate Cemetery West

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve landed myself in the final scenes of Wake the Dead. Since a lot of the story takes place at Highgate Cemetery West, I’ve been gingerly poking around my archives to find new inspiration for the setting to avoid getting stale. In the process, I managed to unearth a bunch of photos from my last trip to London in 2012 — many which I’d totally forgotten about. I tend to shove everything into iPhoto and sort things “for later,” then that’s it. “Later” I totally forget about the images and end up googling anyway.

I use two cameras usually — a primary and my iPhone as a backup. It appears that I parsed the photos from the camera but not my cellphone, so finding these shots was a bit of a surprise. They are a bit gritty, but they do the job conveying the green and gold and rich shadows that play among the tombs.

Highgate is an interesting place because of a few reasons: it’s a supernatural hotspot, is attributed with at least five different hauntings, and is home to a vampire legend largely inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula. There have been reports of necromancy and black magic, and several disinterments over the years. It’s also been suggested that a leyline runs through it, which, if you’re familiar, basically turns the place into a battery for occult activity.

The physicality of the location has also provided a perfect setting: A Victorian cemetery, its kept in a state of “managed neglect” which essentially means that many of the tombs and gravemarkers are overrun by verdure. It’s dangerous in places because if you stray from the path, there’s a high chance you’ll snag an ankle on a felled marker that’s been overtaken by ivy or creeper.

It’s lush, it’s quiet, and it functions as a nature preserve for small animals.

Feel free to make use of the images on this page. I’m happy to share.

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