Wednesday, 22 October 2014

'The Terror of London': Spring-heeled Jack and the Victorian Metropolitan Press



8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 29 January 2015
£3 / £2 concessions.
Advanced Tickets (10% booking fee).
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street

One of London's greatest monsters, Spring-heeled Jack has held the city's imagination in his claws since he first appeared as "a ghost, a bear, and a devil" right up to contemporary comics and internet radio dramas.

This talk explores Spring-heeled Jack’s appearances in and relationship to Victorian London. It considers his origins in the capital, and the way the metropolitan press gave life to a strange urban legend that went on to terrorise the rest of the country.

Dr Karl Bell is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Portsmouth. He has published on a variety of topics linked to magic and the supernatural in nineteenth-century Britain. He is the author of two books, 'The Magical Imagination: Magic and Modernity in Urban England' 1780-1914' (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and 'The Legend of Spring-heeled Jack: Victorian Urban Folklore and Popular Cultures' (Boydell and Brewer, 2012). The latter won the 2013 Katharine Briggs Award.


Each regular gathering starts with the Fortmanteau, our with our monthly round-up of fortean news stories from the month.  



'The Terror of London': Spring-heeled Jack and the Victorian Metropolitan Press event Facebook page

8pm (doors 7.30pm)

Thursday 29 January 2015
£3 / £2 concessions.
Advanced Tickets (10% booking fee).
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Stevyn Colgan: Mr Green and Mr Gray Cannot Visit us Today

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 27 November 2014
£3 / £2 concessions.
Advanced Tickets (10% booking fee).
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street


Given the bewildering variety of life on Earth – all stemming from one self-replicating molecule – can we really predict what life on other worlds is like? Maybe not. But we can imagine what it isn’t like
. In this entertaining talk you’ll hear about feuding gangs of scientists, film directors with less imagination than children, and the perils of concrete poo.

Stevyn Colgan, now a QI elf and a writer for Radio 4’s The Museum of Curiosity, has been involved with aliens for three decades. He’s held Jabba the Hutt’s face, helped sculpt creatures for Bruce Willis to shoot at and had a script accepted for Doctor Who in the 1980s.

Stevyn Colgan is one of the writers of the BBC TV series QI and the BBC R4

series The Museum of Curiosity. In a hugely varied half century (and a bit) he’s been, among other things, a police officer, a milkman, an illustrator, a folkie and a chef. He’s written briefing notes for Prime Minister’s Question Time and scripts for Doctor Who and Captain Scarlet, was part of the team that made Dippy the Diplodocus’s new tail and has worked on several Hollywood blockbusters. He’s been kissed by Princess Diana, hugged by Freddie Mercury, set on fire twice and stabbed once but not in the same day. He currently divides his time between writing, illustration and doing talks around the UK and USA.

His new book ‘Why did the policeman cross the road?’ is now available to pre-order via Unbound.co.uk


Each regular gathering starts with the Fortmanteau, our with our monthly round-up of fortean news stories from the month. 

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 27 November 2014
£3 / £2 concessions.
Advanced Tickets (10% booking fee).
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR
Bus / train / tube: Liverpool Street

SOLD OUT! Fortean London Halloween: Ghost, Witches and Demons

This event has now sold out! Many thanks to everyone involved and who booked!
Newham Bookshop will be running a small bookshop on the night. 

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 30 October 2014
£3 / £2 concessions.
Advanced tickets (10% booking fee). 
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Lurking on the night before Halloween, our October meeting has gathered a coven of the finest speakers on London ghosts, witches and demons as well as our own Scott Wood. Each talk will be 20-30 minutes.

Roger Clarke: Queen Victoria and the Child Medium
The Tale of Vicky’s Ticker:  Did a publican’s daughter from Shoreditch really channel spirits for Queen Victoria as a child?
Raised in a haunted house, Roger Clarke is best known as a film-writer for the Independent newspaper and Sight & Sound. He is the author of A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof.

Jessie Childs: Beware the Foul Fiend: An Elizabethan Exorcism in Hackney
Award-winning historian Jessie Childs tells the true story of a horrific exorcism performed on a young chambermaid by a group of fugitive priests in a house in Hackney in 1586.
Jessie Childs won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography with her first book Henry VIII's Last Victim: The Life and Times of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. She has written and reviewed for the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Literary Review. Her new book is God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith In Elizabethan England.

Deborah Hyde: The Witch of Eye
Nearly six hundred years ago in Smithfield, London, a commoner was burned alive as punishment for practising the dark arts. But the case of Margery Jourdemayne is interesting for so many more reasons than the obvious ones. We'll look at this fifteenth century upstart to find out what Margery's case said about society, the power of the Church and our own preconceptions of what witches should look like.
Deborah Hyde is editor of The Skeptic magazine and writes about belief in the malign macabre at Jourdemayne.

Scott Wood: Ghosts and Demons of the City
The City of London, Borough and Spitalfields have a dark history of walking corpses, demonic images and ghostly visitations. Scott Wood marks the local ghosts and ghouls on to the map.
Scott is the host and co-organisor of the London Fortean Society, the Fortean Londonist and the author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube.

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 30 October 2014
£3 / £2 concessions.
Advanced tickets (10% booking fee).
The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

Friday, 1 August 2014

Cat Vincent: The Slenderman

7.30pm for 8pm  Wednesday 8 October 2014
£3 / £2 concessions

The Bell,
50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train & Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East



Slenderman
The Slenderman: born barely five years ago in an online Photoshop competition, this faceless creature's mythology rapidly spread across the internet, inspiring video series, Alternate Reality Games, stories... and nightmares.

Earlier this year, its influence may have led to the attempted murder of
a child by other children. A creature of pure fiction, drawing blood.

Cat Vincent takes a look at the origins, evolution and implications of this most modern of monsters. Cat is currently a regular columnist at Spiral Nature (a series called ‘The Hype’) contributing editor to The Daily Grail, and have been published in two volumes of their Fortean journal Darklore.

Paolo Viscardi: Interpreting the Unusual

8pm (doors 7.30pm)
Thursday 25 September
2014
£3 / £2 concessions.

The Vaults Bar, Dirty Dicks, 202 Bishopsgate, City of London EC2M 4NR

From aliens and monsters to ghostly paintings, we interpret the unusual in our


Slender-ish Man
world according to what we find familiar in our culture. Explore some examples and explanations of the weird and wonderful that may say more about our society and our brains than about the supernatural.

Paolo is a natural history curator at the fantastic Horniman Museum, responsible for the fossil and bone collections. There may well be bones. His personal blog is Zygoma.


The London Urban Legends Walk

£3 / £2 concessions
Thursday 28 August 2014
7.30pm
Meet at the Spike on the south side of London Bridge.


Join London Fortean Society host and author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube Scott Wood for more stories from the City and the East End stopping off at sites of ghosts, lost tube stations, witchcraft, the false history of 'London Bridge is Falling Down', why Jack the Ripper may just be an urban legend and of London’s most bigoted monument. 

Meet 7.30pm on the south-side of London Bridge by the big concrete spike.
Walk ends at the haunted Bell pub, Middlesex Street E1

6 August 2014: Charles Fort's 140th Birthday


The naïve and the pedantic and the bizarre and the grotesque and the sincere and the insincere, the profound and the puerile.
The Book of the Damned

An (even more) informal gathering (than usual) to celebrate the birthday of Charles Fort, the american writer who inspired the idea of being fortean. (Although others coined the term and started all the societies.)

Beginning at 7.30pm on Wednesday 6 August outside 39A Marchmont Street, Fort’s home in London, with a reading and toast (ale and cheese optional).

Followed by a drink in his honour at the Marquis Cornwallis on Marchmont Street, a "Bloomsbury pub of grandiose proportions".

All forteans and friends welcome.

I am a collector of notes upon subjects that have diversity—such as deviations from concentricity in the lunar crater Copernicus, and a sudden appearance of purple Englishmen—stationary meteor-radiants, and a reported growth of hair on the bald head of a mummy—and "Did the girl swallow the octopus?
Wild Talents