Monday, 17 September 2018

Unexplained Podcast presents: The Hexham Heads

Summer 1971, in the small north-eastern Market Town of Hexham in England. Two young boys are digging about in the garden when they discover a pair of strange heads, formed of an unknown substance.

7.15pm Wednesday 14 November 2018
£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn
Directions
Facebook event page


After bringing the heads into their home, a series of peculiar events ensues: The heads seem to move themselves around the room and strange creatures are witnessed stalking the homes of anybody that houses the bizarre artefacts.

Despite a number of prominent academics having attempted to identify their provenance, none could provide a definitive answer. Were they, as some believed, of a pagan, Celtic origin; ancient idols worshipped by an obsessive Cult of the Head? Or were they merely remnants of crudely made dolls, gifted to a young daughter by her doting father?

Join Richard MacLean Smith, creator of the ‘world’s spookiest podcast’ Unexplained as he takes you on an atmospheric journey through this extraordinary tale. And dare to ask the question, does it matter if something is real or not, if we believe it enough to be so? 

Richard’s book Unexplained will be available on the night.

7.15pm Wednesday 14 November 2018
£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn
Directions
Facebook event page

Twenty-first Century Ghosts

I immediately knew it was someone in spirit form, because I could see my favourite poster of Michael Jackson right through her body.”

7.15pm Tuesday 30 October 2018
£7 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn
Directions
Facebook event page

Halloween 2018 and the world is still haunted. Join the London Fortean Society for two talks on contemporary ghost story collecting from haunted homes to Senate House and beyond.


Caron Lipman – Living with Ghosts

How does it feel to live in a ‘haunted home’? How do you negotiate living in a home which might be ‘co-habited’ by the strangest form of stranger?

Geographer Dr Caron Lipman decided to find out through a series of interviews with inhabitants of ‘haunted homes’ in England and Wales – all of whom had experienced some form of ‘uncanny’ event

Caron will offer some examples and insights from her case studies, describing how such experiences are interpreted, how far the experience of uncanny events challenges existing beliefs (or non-beliefs) in ghosts, and what these events reveal about the domestic interior.

Sarah Sparkes – The GHost in the story

I immediately knew it was someone in spirit form, because I could see my favourite poster of Michael Jackson right through her body.”

Artist, curator and ghost enthusiast Sarah Sparkes talks about some of the fascinating, contemporary ghost stories she has collected and archived at London’s Senate House, Liverpool and Taiwan.

Sarah Sparkes leads the visual arts and creative research project GHost. She was recently awarded Arts Council funding for her project to archive Liverpool ghost stories. Her artwork The GHost Formula, 2016, commissioned by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) recently toured to NTMoFA (National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts) as part of the exhibition No Such Thing As Gravity curated by Rob la Frenais. Sparkes has lectured widely on ghosts, GHost and the ghost hunter Harry Price.

The Ghost Tide exhibition, which she co-curated with Monika Bobinska is at Thames-side Studios Gallery in Woolwich from October 20 – November 3.


7.15pm Tuesday 30 October 2018
£7 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn
Directions
Facebook event page

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe Live

7.15pm Saturday 20 October 2018
£20 / £15 concessions plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn
Directions
Facebook event page


Join the presenters of The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast for their one-off London show. Steven Novella, along with 'Skeptical Rogues' Bob Novella, Jay Novella and Evan Bernstein explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies and conspiracy theories (anti-vaccines, homeopathy, UFO sightings, and many more.) 

They'll help us try to make sense of what seems like an increasingly crazy world using powerful tools like science and philosophy. 

In what promises to be a fascinating and entertaining evening, come and hear tips and tricks on how to see through the fake news and media manipulation in our increasingly confusing world.

Copies of THE SKEPTICS’ GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE book will be on sale at the event, which will followed by a signing.

'A fantastic compendium of skeptical thinking and the perfect primer for anyone who wants to separate fact from fiction.' 
Richard Wiseman, author 59 Seconds

'A terrific book for anyone who wants a better understanding about the world around them and an essential guide to navigating modern life. THE SKEPTICS' GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE will help readers recognize pitfalls in reasoning, combat bad arguments and avoid superstitious thinking.' — Simon Singh, author of The Code Book and Fermat's Last Theorem

'Thorough, informative, and enlightening... If this book does not become required reading for us all, we may well see modern civilization unravel before our eyes.' 
Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

7.15pm Saturday 20 October 2018
£20 / £15 concessions plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn
Directions
Facebook event page

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Concealed and Revealed: Magic in the post-medieval home?

7.45pm Thursday 29 November 2018
£4 / £2 concessions
This event has sold out! Thank you to everyone who  has booked, we shall attempt to rebook Ceri as early as possible for this fascinating talk. 
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East


Post-medieval houses yield many mysterious finds. Old shoes up chimneybreasts; garments secreted away in roofs; mummified cats bricked up in walls. It is probable that these objects were deliberately concealed during the 18th and 19th centuries. though researchers do not know the beliefs or motivations behind this. 

Dr Ceri Houlbrook, Researcher in Folklore and History at the University of Hertfordshire, explores the many educated guesses have been made, and how such objects are viewed and treated today, once the concealed is revealed

7.45pm Thursday 29 November 2018
£4 / £2 concessions 
This event has sold out! Thank you to everyone who  has booked, we shall attempt to rebook Ceri as early as possible for this fascinating talk. 
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

Where the Light Gets In: The Occult Roots of Computing

Cyberpunk has unexpectedly occult roots; virtual and augmented reality enable the supernatural and the mythic within science fiction; and personal computing is built on 1960s psychedelic utopianism. 


THE GLITCHED RAINBOW HEAD OF PHILIP K DICK by TORLEY on flickr


Tuesday 6 November 2018
8pm (doors 7.45pm)
£5 / £2 concessions (advance tickets)
The Miller, 96 Snowsfields, London Bridge, London SE1 3SS
Tube & Rail: London Bridge
Tube: Borough
Event Facebook page

Al Robertson will talk about how the weird pervades modern technology, as a jumping-off point for a discussion about how myth, magic and unreason might force themselves into the futures we’re all building.


Al says "I’m a writer, poet and occasional musician. I’ve published two novels with Gollancz. My first book, Crashing Heaven is about an accountant of the future, a psychotic virtual ventriloquist’s dummy and the sentient corporations who are persecuting them both. It was followed by a stand-alone sequel, Waking Hell, in which the past attacks and only a dead estate agent can save us."

Tuesday 6 November 2018
8pm (doors 7.45pm)
£5 / £2 concessions (advance tickets)
The Miller, 96 Snowsfields, London Bridge, London SE1 3SS
Tube & Rail: London Bridge
Tube: Borough
Event Facebook page

Margaret Murray and Modern Witchcraft: good, bad, and speculative histories

7.45pm Thursday 25 October 2018
£4 / £2 concessions (advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East


Margaret Murray isn't angry, she's just disappointed.
For the last 20 years or more, modern Witches have been involved in a project of historical revisionism. They’ve rejected the claims made by Margaret Murray, and borrowed by Gerald Gardner, that modern Witchcraft is a direct continuation from an archaic pan-European fertility cult. Instead, they follow the arguments of historians that Murray’s work was heavily flawed; for some her work provides a valuable foundation myth, while others prefer to reject it altogether in search of more realist histories.

However, Murray’s arguments are also intricately woven into histories and practices of modern Witchcraft, and continue to be interpreted as histories of Witchcraft are rewritten and shaped over time.

Anthropologist Dr Helen Cornish of Goldsmiths College shows how responses to Murray’s work since the turn of the millennium help us consider what counts as history (good, bad, speculative or otherwise) as well contemporary Witchcraft.

7.45pm Thursday 25 October 2018
£4 / £2 concessions (advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

Seeking the Almas and Other Unknown Animals

Shortly after, something passed by the door, blocking out the light momentarily. Whatever it was, it stood on two legs and was large enough put the 7-foot door in the shade.

Tuesday 2 October 2018 
8pm (doors 7.45pm)
£5 / £2 concessions 
Advance tickets are now off sale - please pay on the door! Thank you!
The Miller, 96 Snowsfields, London Bridge, London SE1 3SS
Tube & Rail: London Bridge
Tube: Borough
Event Facebook page

Richard Freeman is the Zoological Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology. A working cryptozoologist he has hunted creatures such as the Tasmanian wolf, the yeti, the giant anaconda, the orang-pendek, the Mongolian death worm and the almasty. 

In this talk he will introducing the study of mystery animals and speaking about his latest expedition, tracking the almasty: relic hominins in the mountains of Tajikistan.

The 7-foot door of the room was open an inch or two and starlight from the clear night was pouring in. At around 2.30 in the morning Adam and I heard a deep, guttural vocalisation; the nearest phonetically that I can write this is ‘bub-ub-bub-bub.’

“Did you hear that?” I whispered.

Adam nodded solemnly. Shortly after, something passed by the door, blocking out the light momentarily. Whatever it was, it stood on two legs and was large enough put the 7-foot door in the shade. It seemed to be walking along the veranda.

“Did you see that?” I asked

“Something is on the veranda,” said Adam.

Richard Freeman writing on his previous almasty expedition

Tuesday 2 October 2018 
8pm (doors 7.45pm)
£5 / £2 concessions
Advance tickets are now off sale - please pay on the door! Thank you!
The Miller, 96 Snowsfields, London Bridge, London SE1 3SS
Tube & Rail: London Bridge
Tube: Borough
Event Facebook page