Monday, 27 November 2017

The Many Faces of Bigfoot: Manifestations of a Mystery

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Monday 27 November 2017
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn
Directions
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Cryptozoology, or “the study of hidden animals,” focuses both on creatures generally considered extinct but believed by some to still exist, as well as creatures of mythology, legend, and folklore that are purported to be based on a biological reality. It is this latter emphasis with which Dr. Floyd’s presentation is concerned in relation to what he terms “Bigfoot types.”

Observing some of the ancillary genres of cryptozoology, citing Bigfoot-types in various literary, artistic, architectural, and popular areas, and with particular interest in the European Wild Man and Green Man, the Native American Hairy Man, and even Nordic trolls and ogres, Floyd’s presentation pursues the idea that such creatures and their similars have appeared so consistently throughout the matter of western civilization as to indicate a biological reality as their origin.

David Floyd is Associate Professor of English at Charleston Southern University. He earned his first PhD in English from Stirling University in Scotland, and is currently pursuing a second doctorate, in Comparative Literature, through the University of Turku, Finland.

His literary research interests include Victorian culture and literature, especially genre fiction of the fin-de-siècle. His first book, Street Urchins, Sociopaths, and Degenerates: Orphans of Late-Victorian and Edwardian Fiction was published by the University of Wales Press in 2014, and examines orphans in gothic, island adventure, imperial, and children’s fiction.

David’s other research interests include Fortean subjects, particularly Bigfoot and other cryptids. He has presented at the 2015 Ohio Bigfoot Conference, the 2016 and 2017 Virginia Bigfoot Conferences, and 2017’s International Bigfoot Conference, and will appear in the upcoming documentary, Cultured Bigfoot.His main focus is the appearance the Bigfoot-type creatures in myth, legend, folklore, and literature throughout history, as well as the cultural function and societal importance of such creatures.

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Monday 27 November 2017
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn
Directions
Facebook event page

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Cage St Osyth: Media Frenzy or Haunting to be Taken Seriously?

7.45pm Wednesday 25 October 2017
£4 / £2 concessions (Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Facebook page

The Cage in St Osyth, Essex is a haunted medieval prison that has recently hit the headlines. “Essex's most haunted house: Could you last a night?” asked Essex Live. “A retired policeman claims to have captured a picture of a ghost carrying the body of a witch on a stretcher” spluttered the Mail Online.

The Cage was the local holding cell whose prisoners included the ‘Witch’ Ursula Kemp who was held captive there prior to her trial and hanging in Chelmsford. But Ursula may haunt the cage still.

This modern-day case particularly involved one woman, Vanessa Mitchell, who felt after several years of phenomena she could neither live there or responsibly let it for residential purposes. She rented it to paranormal groups for investigations.

John Fraser has completed a detailed report on this haunting with collected witness testimony from over two dozen local people and investigators. This talk discusses his findings and the truth of the phenomena behind the national headlines.

John Fraser is a member of the Council of the Society for Psychical Research, and has been’ Vice Chair Investigations’ of the Ghost Club – the two oldest groups in the country that study the subject. His topics of study have been as varied as hypnotic regressions and vampire folklore, as well as more conventional paranormal research.

His 2010 ‘Ghost Hunting, a Survivors Guide’ was one of the first UK books published about the subject since it re-popularisation. Since 2015 John has been working on an extended project of witness testimony regarding the well-publicised phenomena occurring at The Cage in St Osyth Essex, also assessing the validity of witness testimony in spontaneous ‘paranormal ‘cases.

7.45pm Wednesday 25 October 2017
£4 / £2 concessions (Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Facebook page

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Seeking British Bigfoot


7.45pm Thursday 28 September 2017
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

Facebook page

For the past two years Harry Rose has been working on a project exploring evidence the of Bigfoot in the UK; working with experts in the field and hearing of first hand encounters. He will be sharing some of the stories he has come into contact with and the images he has taken in recorded sighting locations.

Harry Rose is a photographer and researcher working at the British Journal of Photography. He has a keen interest in folk lore and mythology.

"I create work base on what is physical and tangible."

7.45pm Thursday 28 September 2017
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

Facebook page

Monday, 4 September 2017

My Life with the Alpine Time Travellers

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Monday 4 September 2017
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn

Directions
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My Life with the Alpine Time Travellers – or – Sun Ra, Damanhur and the search for new myths


In 2006 David Bramwell went to visit a community called Damanhur, living in the Italian Alps. It was to be the first of many visits and the start of a lifelong fascination with the place.

Damanhur, a 600-strong community, had built the world’s most extraordinary piece of outsider art: an underground temple the size of St Paul’s Cathedral, one of the great architectural wonders of the modern world. The Damanhurians also named themselves after plants and animals, claimed to have taught a rubber plant how to sing and even built a fully-functioning ‘time machine’. Another case of a deluded cult? David didn’t think so.

After many visits (and a Radio 3 documentary), David finally thinks he’s figured Damanhur out. He believes that the Damanhurians have created something important and essential in the 21st century. And the time machine is only a tiny part of it.

What links this extraordinary community with the jazz musician Sun Ra? Is the time machine real? Who is Gorilla Eucalyptus? To find out, come to this talk, complete with astonishing images of the Temples of Humankind, singing plants and of course the community’s time machine.

David Bramwell is a co-author of The Odditorium: The tricksters, eccentrics, deviants and inventors whose obsessions changed the world, and author of two travel memoirs: The No9 Bus to Utopia and The Haunted Moustache. He has toured the UK with two award-winning one-man shows, made radio programmes for the BBC on themes ranging from Ivor Cutler to river goddesses with Alan Moore, and won a Sony Award for ‘best feature’ in 2012.

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Monday 4 September 2017
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn

Directions
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Friday, 4 August 2017

Charles Fort's 143rd Birthday in London

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

A gathering to celebrate the 143rd birthday of Charles Fort, the American writer who inspired the idea of being fortean. 


I shut the front door upon Christ and Einstein, and at the back door hold out a welcoming hand to little frogs and periwinkles.
Charles Fort - Lo!

Meet us at 7.30pm on Sunday 6 August outside 39A Marchmont Street London WC1N 1AP, Fort’s home in London, with a reading and toast. We'll then have a drink in his honour at the nearby
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?
Charles Fort - Wild Talents

Monday, 19 June 2017

We're All Gonna Die: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint

7.45pm Thursday 27 July 2017This event is sold out. Sorry. We shall try and book Andrew the next time he is in the UK.
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street.
Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

Facebook page

Viva La Muerte! Santa Muerte, Folk Saint and Holy Personification of Death, Healer and Protector.

The leading expert on the fastest growing new religious movement in the Americas, Dr. Andrew Chesnut will explain how Mexican folk saint, Santa Muerte (Saint Death), has gone from only a few thousand devotees in 2001 to some 12 million today.

Andrew is Professor of Religious Studies and holds the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. He authored the first and only academic book in English on the Bony Lady, Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte, the Skeleton Saint (OUP, 2012). 

7.45pm Thursday 27 July 2017
This event is sold out. Sorry. We shall try and book Andrew the next time he is in the UK.

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

Facebook page

Conspiracy Theories are for Losers

£5 This event has sold out. We are sorry, please contact Conway Hall to join the waiting list.
Thursday 20 July 2017 7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn

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Americans have believed in conspiracy theories since before the United States united. A ceaseless array of conspiracy accusations have demonized witches, Freemasons, foreigners, red coats, black helicopters, Mormons, Muslims, Jews, fifth columns, the government, and more recently, Vladimir Putin. The common assumption is that conspiracy theories are nothing more than the delusions of paranoid minds trying to make sense of an ever more complicated world. However, the evidence tells a different story.

In this talk, Professor Joesph Uscinski will show that conspiracy theories follow a strategic logic: they are tools used by the powerless to attack and defend against the powerful. Conspiracy theories must conform to this logic, or they will not be successful. In this way, conspiracy theories are for losers.

Professor Uscinski will highlight his analysis of more than a hundred years of data taken from newspapers, surveys, and the internet. The surprising findings address the following questions: Who believes in conspiracy theories and why? Why are some conspiracy theories more popular than others? What are the dangers of conspiracy theories? Are conspiracy theorists prone to violence? How did conspiracy theories affect the 2016 presidential election? What can conspiracy theories in the United States tell us about conspiracy theories in the United Kingdom?

Joseph Uscinski is associate professor of political science at University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL and co-author of American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford, 2014).

£5 This event has sold out. We are sorry, please contact Conway Hall to join the waiting list.
Thursday 20 July 2017 7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn

Directions
Facebook event page