Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Everything You Know About Science is Wrong

7.45pm Thursday 30 March 2017
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
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Think that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light? That Darwin was the first to put forward a theory of evolution, or that Watson and Crick discovered DNA?

Former scientist and editor-at-large of Londonist Matt Brown picks apart some of the best known 'facts' about science, drawing on his book Everything You Know About Science is Wrong. Find out why your kettle never boils at 100 degrees, how no astronaut has ever experienced zero gravity, and several reasons why you may not be who you think you are.

7.45pm Thursday 30 March 2017
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
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The Spirits of Crossbones Graveyard

7.45pm Thursday 26 January 2017
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

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Cross Bones Garden of Remembrance by Garry Knight (Creative Commons)

Every month, an iconoclastic group of Londoners gather at a site in Southwark known as Crossbones Graveyard to commemorate the souls of mediaeval prostitutes believed to be buried there – the “Winchester Geese”.

This is a pilgrimage site for self-identified misfits, nonconformists and contemporary sex workers who leave memorials to the outcast dead. The ritual interpretation of the history of the site has struck a chord with many who feel alienated in present-day London.

Oxford anthropologist Professor Sondra L Hausner looks at the historical practices of sex work, the relation of the Church to these professions, and their representation in the present, arguing that ritual is a way of creating the contemporary world by mobilising stories of the past.

7.45pm Thursday 26 January 2017
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East

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Monday, 7 November 2016

British Witchcraft Documentaries of the 1970’s

Witch!
£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Monday 23 January 2017
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn
Directions
Facebook event page

Gary Parsons will be discussing the documentaries made at the height of the British witchcraft revival in the early 70’s looking at how these films came into being within a cultural context and the reason for their sudden decline. The talk will be illustrated with clips from the films discussed.

Gary Parsons is a MA Graduate in film from Goldsmiths College London and an independent filmmaker.

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Monday 23 January 2017
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn
Directions
Facebook event page

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Religion and Ritual by the River: Archaeology in the Inter-Tidal Zone

7.45pm Thursday24 November 2016
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East


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Nathalie Cohen works for the Thames Discovery Programme at MOLA, Museum of London Archaeology. Tonight she explores aspects of interaction with the River Thames over time, from prehistory through to the present day, by examining evidence recovered during archaeological investigations on the foreshore by the Thames Discovery Programme and others.

7.45pm Thursday24 November 2016
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East


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Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Haunted Landscape: British Folklore, Ghosts and Magic

£20 / £16 concessions plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Saturday 19 November 2016
10am - 5.30pm

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn

Directions
Facebook event page
Book stall by Newham Bookshop and Strange Attractor.




As the days darken the London Fortean Society explores the folklore, ghosts and curses of the British Isles with the one-day symposium The Haunted Landscape. Authors, experts and researchers discuss ghosts, strange beasts and magic.

From a talking mongoose to soul birds, moving megaliths in the landscape to witch marks in old buildings; to fairy lore and ghosts. Join us at Conway Hall to learn that the green and pleasant land we abide in has a dark, strange and chilling other side.

Whatever Happened to the Headless Ghost?
Once the headless or Acephalous Ghost was a staple of stately home haunts, and now is never seen. Where might the idea have originated in British folklore? And why do we no longer need to see them?

Roger Clarke grew up in a haunted house and was educated at Oxford University before becoming a film journalist for The Independent. His book 'A Natural History of Ghosts' was published to wide acclaim in 2012 and has this year been translated into Spanish and Japanese, as well as being published in three formats in the USA.

Goaty McGoat Face
Baphomet by Sara Hannet
The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
The Museum of Witchcraft was founded in Boscastle, Cornwall in 1960.  It explores British magical practice, making comparisons with other systems of belief, from ancient times to the present day. Photographer Sara Hannant and museum director Simon Costin reveal highlights from their forthcoming book ‘Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic’.


The Haunted Shores of England
Sophia Kingshill, author of The Fables Coast and Mermaids, takes a coastal survey of marine spectres, phantom ships, soul birds, and controversial creatures. The coastline of the British Isles plays host to an astonishingly rich variety of local legends, customs, and superstitions.

Druids, Dancers and Devils: The Folklore of Britain's Megaliths
Archdruid's palaces, ancient British racecourses, and countrygirls who danced for too long: this paper will trace the origins of the fascinating folklore that relates to Britain's megalithic monuments.  Joanne Parker is a Senior Lecturer in Victorian Literature in the Department of English at the University of Exeter. Her publications include Britannia Obscura: Mapping Hidden Britain and Written on Stone: The Cultural History of British Prehistoric Monuments.


A Mongoose in the Landscape
In 1931 the inhabitants of an isolated Isle of Man farm began to report extraordinary phenomena. The Irving family claimed that a small animal had appeared to them, manifesting speech, clairvoyance, invisibility and other extraordinary powers. What became known as the Gef the Talking Mongoose case swiftly became a media sensation – the subject of psychic investigations, court cases, and books – yet is now largely forgotten.

Christopher Josiffe is the author of a forthcoming book on Gef the Talking Mongoose from Strange Attractor Press.


The Blackley Boggart and its distant cousins
This talk will explore the folklore of the Boggart, defined by Katharine Briggs as a 'mischievous Brownie', most common in Lancashire and Yorkshire. It will focus primarily on the playful - and, at times, malicious - namesake of Boggart Hole Clough, an inner-city park in Manchester, tracing the folktales surrounding it from the 1820s to the present day, and setting them within the context of countrywide Boggart traditions.

Dr. Ceri Houlbrook is a folklore archaeologist, whose primary interests include the materiality of post-medieval magic and ritual, contemporary folkloric practices, and the heritage of deposits and assemblages.

Fairy Gold
Who wouldn’t be tempted by fairy treasure? The bold thief succeeds, sometimes, while the schemer is outwitted; the miser is punished, and the industrious rewarded. In hollow hills and beneath old trees the gold awaits, only to become dry leaves in the wrong hands. Unvalued by its owners, it exists only as the instrument of their power over mortals. How different from our own currency...
Jeremy Harte is a researcher into folklore and archaeology, with a particular interest in sacred space and tales of encounters with the supernatural. He is the author of English Holy Wells: A sourcebook and Explore Fairy Traditions.

Cultural anxieties and ritual protection in high status early modern houses
Recent archaeological work at the Tower of London and Knole, Kent has shown that the fear of evil, instilled in ordinary people during the early modern period, was expressed through the creation of ritual protection marks and spiritual middens intended to defend buildings from malignant forces.
James Wright is a doctoral student at the University of Nottingham. He specialises in record-ing and analysing historic standing buildings.


£20 / £16 concessions plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Saturday 19 November 2016
10am - 5.30pm

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn

Directions
Facebook event page
Book stall by Newham Bookshop.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Peckham Ghost Trail

This is not actually the Peckham Ghost
Sunday 30 October
2.30-5pm
This event has sold out. We are very sorry and we hope to re-host it at a later date.
Meet at Honor Oak Station, 82 Honor Oak Park, Honor Oak Park SE23 1EB

Follow in the footsteps of the Peckham Ghost, a mysterious masked figure intent on terrifying Victorian south London in strange and unusual ways.

On the way from Honor Oak hear of the ghosts and legends of Peckham, One Tree Hill, Nunhead Green reservoirs and the undead bank clerk of Nunhead Cemetery.

Meet your guide at Honor Oak Station at 2.30pm, this Halloween walk ends at Nunhead Green at approximately 5pm.

Your guide is London Fortean Society host Scott Wood. Scott is the host of the London Fortean Society, a regular writer for Londonist and the author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse of the Tube.

This walk is just over 2 hours long with regular breaks, some steep climbs and some stony ground.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Ghosts and Monsters of Smithfield Walk

The (sort of cute) Black Dog of Newgate
Saturday 29 October 2016
6.30pm - 8pm(-ish)
This event has sold out. We are very sorry and we hope to re-host it at a later date.

Meet at Farringdon Station, Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6BY


Clerkenwell and Smithfield EC1 are steeped in history, soaked in blood and crawling with ghosts. Meet at Farringdon station for a walk that includes a gut-wrenching phantom black dog, haunted plague pits, hungry ghosts, poltergeists, haunted pubs, subterranean folklore and the devilish secret of Bleeding Heart Yard.

This Halloween walk is almost circular and covers legends and monsters of Smithfield Market, Cock Lane, Newgate Prison, St Bartholomew’s church and hospital and much more.
This almost circular guided walk will take around 1 1⁄2 hours and ends near a number of pubs for those wishing to continue the discussion.

Your guide is London Fortean Society host Scott Wood. Scott is the irregular writer of Fortean London for Londonist and the author of the forthcoming London Urban Legends: The Corpse of the Tube.