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Swains Lane

This steep and unforgiving lane, practically vertical in places, separates the East and West cemeteries at Highgate. It takes its name from the pig herders who from at least the 1300s used it to drive swine from the higher ground above Highgate down to Smithfields Market.

A high stone wall encloses Highgate Cemetery West on one side, and other walls and fences border the East Cemetery, giving the lane a claustrophobic feel. At night it is dimly lit, and eerily silent, so perhaps it is unsurprising that many apparitions have been encountered here over the years.  It is here that the tall dark figure which many call the ‘Highgate Vampire’ has been seen on scores of occasions. Have you seen it too?

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