The municipality of London faced issues at the beginning of the 19th century. The churches at that time did not meet the burden of the dead and the Parliament legally allowed the establishment of private cemeteries. That was the basis for opening Highgate.
The architect who designed the cemetery was Stephen Geary. Over the years, buildings were built on the grounds, elaborate tombstones were erected, some of them large neo-Gothic style. These reflect the social and political history of Victorian London, London of the 19th century. The cemetery is full of trees, shrubs and flowers, growing almost without human contact. Many animals can be found here - butterflies and birds, hedgehogs, bats and foxes.
A hill at the height on 114 meters stands on the compound. Tombs, catacombs, burial estates and passageways were excavated and built into the ground. Of the famous structures on the hill is the Egyptian avenue – a passage inside the hill lined by burial chambers. This is designed in an Egyptian style inspired by the Valley of Kings near Luxor. Another structure is the Lebanon Circle – an avenue dug into the ground around an ancient Lebanese cedar tree with burial chambers in its walls.
Since its establishment, the cemetery has been managed by the London Cemetery Company. However, as the demand for burial declines, it became neglected due to a lack of funding. Since 1981, the cemetery has been managed by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, which rehabilitates and renovates the area.
Despite the pastoral green that surround the grounds, many people report graves surrounded by ghosts, supernatural powers, dark sounds and other strange activities that take place while they are in the cemetery.
One famous story is that of the vampire of the cemetery. This vampire is not from children stories but rather a phantom at a height of over two meters. He wears a long black robe and has penetrating red eyes. Legend has it that the vampire has been observed several dozen times in the cemetery since the 1960s.
According to rumors, the vampire was actually a nobleman who lived during the Middle Ages in Romania. His body was transferred to England sometime in the 18th century and he was buried in the grounds of the Highgate Cemetery. It was here that he dwelled for several decades until "resurrected" by a satanic sect that operated throughout the cemetery. Disturbingly, several bodies of foxes and other dead animals were found in the cemetery. Of course this can be dismissed by a notion that it is "nonsense", but the stories also spark fear in people who then go seeking out the vampire wandering among the graves. You can choose which response you prefer…