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Art / Magic / Lore

 Art, magic, and folklore cross over and over again making new forms of creativity and lore. Join us at Conway Hall on 29 June 2024, for talks and discussions on making new traditions, art and magic, lost woman artists, radical Morris Dance, and much more. Talks include: Lucy Wright: Start A New Tradition Today! Kathryn Atherton: Mary Neal and the Suffragettes Who Saved Morris Dancing Jennifer Higgie: A Journey into Women, Art, and the Spirit World Amy Hale: Ithell Colquhoun: Landscape and Love Hayley Lock: An Altered Self Thomas Sharp: Circling The Square Mile Opening and closing rituals Hosted by Sarah Sparkes . Saturday 29 June 2024 Doors, coffee from 10.30 am Talks: 11 am - 6 pm (inc. breaks) £18 / £14 cons Advance tickets Conway Hall , 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Tube: Holborn Directions London Fortean's Mailing List Facebook event Lucy Wright: Start A New Tradition Today! Post-pandemic popular interest in folklore is at an all-time high, with more people than ever cho
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Conspiracy Theory and Culture

Join us and James Ball, Professor Chris French, Professor Karen Douglas, Brent Lee and Jonn Elledge for a deep dive into conspiracy theory and culture. The history, the people and the dangers of a conspiracy mindset Saturday 22 June 2024 Doors, coffee from 11.30 am Talks & Q&A:12 pm - 6 pm (inc. breaks) £18 / £14 cons / £10 online Advance tickets Conway Hall , 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Tube: Holborn Directions London Fortean's Mailing List Facebook event page Photo by Olof Nyman from Pexels Conspiracy Theory states that nothing is how it is reported, that everything you know is wrong, and that sinister forces are controlling everything for their own, dark motivations. Opposing this dark pantomime are the lone hero truth-tellers, from David Icke to Donald Trump, Alex Jones to the gnomic, anonymous Q.  Conspiracy thought has moved to the centre of society, bringing with it violence and terror and the removal of faith in conventional media and law. The concept of tr

The Supernatural on Trial

  Tuesday 30 April 2024 The Supernatural on Trial   The English Legal System is widely considered to be a bastion of intellectual probity, respectability and rationality, with no time for supernatural matters. However, people have always believed in strange and fantastical creatures, including witches, demons, aliens and ghosts. Their beliefs have led them to do strange and terrible things, from fraud to murder, and when they appear before the judge and jury, these motives and beliefs cannot be ignored. Instead, they must be subjected to the same harsh legal scrutiny as any other criminal or civil case. So join criminal barrister and ghost-enthusiast Naomi Ryan for a journey into this strange area of law in which the fortean meets the forensic, the bizarre is examined by barristers and the strange is investigated by the state, and learn about witches leaking war secrets, fairies stealing wives and ghosts solving their own murders. A certain demon mongoose might even appear. Venue: T

The Grand Illusion: Fighting the Nazis with the Occult

'...eclectic recruitment to the war effort, strange goings-on in Surrey and a ritual that allegedly took place in the New Forest in 1940 to repel Operation Sealion, Hitler’s plan to invade the British Isles.' Monday 15 April 2024 Doors 6.15 pm Talk & Q&A 6.30 pm - 8 pm £9 / £6 cons / £6 online Advance tickets Conway Hall , 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Tube: Holborn Directions London Fortean's Mailing List Facebook event page pentagram on a tree. St Bride's Ring Dun, Near Kingennie by stuart anthony on flickr Many of us are aware of the Nazi’s obsession with the occult (look no further than Indiana Jones, ‘Call of Duty Black Ops’, Hellboy etc). Less is known, however, about what the Brits did to exploit what they saw as a weakness in the German chain of command. In ‘The Grand Illusion’ Syd Moore turns her eye on this rather bizarre chapter of history. Her talk for the London Fortean Society will cover the research she undertook to write the novel, includin

Hidden Messages (that aren't really there)

  Tuesday 26 March 2024 Hidden Messages (that aren't really there)   One of the reasons we are successful as a species is our ability to recognise meaningful patterns in our surroundings, because of the way our cognitive systems work, particularly the interaction between bottom-up and top-down processing. But sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking we have perceived a meaningful message when, in fact, there is no such message there. Prof Chris French ’s light-hearted, interactive presentation illustrates the power of top-down processing in several contexts including electronic voice phenomena (EVP), reverse speech theory – and Satanic messages in rock music! Chris’s brand-new book The Science of Weird Shit , based on his years running the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths College, will be available.   Venue: The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street E1 7EX Door: 7.30 Start: 8pm Tickets (£5/£3)

Haunted London: Ghosts of The British Museum and Bloomsbury

 London is an old and haunted City; join us for ghost stories of central London. Noah Angell on ghostly sightings at the British Museum, Roger Luckhurst discusses a cursed object in the Egyptian rooms of the British Museum and Sarah Sparkes presents the hauntings and other unexplained happenings of Senate House. Wednesday 10 April 2024 Doors, books stall, and drinks from 6.15 pm Talks 6.30 pm - 9.30 pm £15 / £12 Advance tickets Conway Hall , 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL Tube: Holborn Directions London Fortean's Mailing List Facebook event page Noah Angell – Ghosts of the British Museum: A True Story of Colonial Loot and Restless Objects When artist and writer Noah Angell first heard murmurs of ghostly sightings at the British Museum he had to find out more. What started as a trickle soon became a landslide as staff old and new, from guards of formidable build to respected curators, brought forth testimonies of their inexplicable supernatural encounters. It became clear tha

Sleepers Awake!

Tuesday 27th February Sleepers Awake!   In this illustrated talk Prof Roger Luckhurst of Birkbeck, University of London, explores the puzzling history of states of unnatural sleep, anomalous conditions that have shadowed the rise of modern medicine since the late 18th century. Franz Mesmer’s claims to put patients into a state of suspended animation to treat their illnesses with “animal magnetism” caused a scandal in Paris in the 1780s, even before his student the Marquis de Puységur began to suggest that the artificial sleep of the trance state was associated with supernatural powers – mind-reading and clairvoyance. Such claims delayed the acceptance of what became known as hypnotism until the 1890s, but even then the early pioneers of medical hypnotism were associated with the Society for Psychical Research. More conventional medicine has tried to explore so-called “catatonic states”, yet the uncanny nature of artificial sleep has continued to puzzle doctors, right up to the curr