Sunday, 20 March 2016

London Stone: Mystery and Myth

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Monday 13 June 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn.
Directions
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What is the London Stone, the dusty piece of stone in a derelict office block on Cannon Street? The remains of a Stone Circle? A druid alter stone? A Roman mile-stone?Part of a Ley Line? The Palladium of Troy?  

John Clark, for many years curator of the medieval collections at the Museum of London and now ‘Curator Emeritus’, has long been interested in the interplay between history, archaeology and legend in the story of London, from the works of Geoffrey of Monmouth to the burial of Boadicea under King’s Cross station. 

In this talk he investigates the ‘real’ story of London Stone, in Cannon Street, and the way in which myths have developed around it .


Doors 7pm. A small cash bar will be available for alcoholic drinks on the night.

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Monday 13 June 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn.
Directions
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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Snake Oil! The Golden Age of Quackery in Britain and America

7.45pm Thursday 26 May 2016
£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 nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw a proliferation of advertised medicines and health devices - some harmless, some strange and some downright fraudulent. 

Caroline Rance of the popular history of medicine website, The Quack Doctor, explores how patent medicine vendors attracted and retained customers, and how the medical establishment attempted to put a stop to their lucrative activities.

7.45pm Thursday 26 May 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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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

John Dee’s Life With The Angels

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Wednesday 11 May 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn / Directions.
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John Dee’s central lie about his life is still uncritically accepted: that under Queen Mary, like other Protestants, he had been persecuted. This talk will outline the true story, which shows how Dee’s angelic magic affected not only his own life but those of the most prominent Elizabethans who shared much of his ‘occult philosophy’.

Professor Glyn Parry is the author of The Arch-Conjuror of England: John Dee (Yale University Press, 2011)

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Wednesday 11 May 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn / Directions.
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OVERPOWERED! The Science and Showbiz of Hynopsis

7.45pm Thursday 28 April 2016
£4 / £2 concessions (
Advance tickets)
The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Facebook page

 
Hypnotism has fascinated people since the mid-1800s, when entertainers and medical professionals enthusiastically took up this Far Eastern practice. It inspires many questions, mostly of a personal nature such as: “Can I be hypnotised?” and “Will I lose control?”

Christopher Green tackles the (relatively) reputable aspects of the subject - brain imaging, clinical trials and hypnotherapy - alongside the smoke and mirrors of stage hypnosis. He has uncovered intriguing stories about the larger-than-life characters that inhabit the world of hypnosis. From Professors of Mesmerism to Princes of Necromancy, this book explores the different guises of hypnotism as portrayed by pseudo-scientists and showmen alike.

Christopher, who is trained in both hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis, examines the connections between stage hypnosis and hypnotherapy or, in other words, the point at which showbiz meets self-help and sleight-of-hand meets scholarly research.

His book is a "practical, personal, informative and entertaining, and fully illustrated with colourful source material from the archives of the British Library."

7.45pm Thursday 28 April 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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Designing Utopia: John Hargrave and the Kibbo Kift

London Fortean Society in partnership with Conway Hall present
Cathy Ross:  Designing Utopia: John Hargrave and the Kibbo Kift

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Wednesday 13 April 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn / Directions. 
Facebook event page

Cathy Ross, Honorary Research Fellow at Museum of London, has collaborated on the first detailed account of the remarkable British writer and artist John Hargrave and his three creations The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, The Green Shirt Movement for Social Credit and The Social Credit Party of Great Britain.

Combining art, politics and design to visually stunning effect, Hargarve and his followers created a maverick but uniquely English form of modernism. Emerging from the turbulence of the twentieth century, this colourful Utopian youth movement has strong resonances with the twenty-first-century world. Cathy Ross will discuss this fascinating organisation with us.

£5 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Wednesday 13 April 2016
7.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn / Directions. 
Facebook event page

Subterranea: Myths, Mysteries and Magic of the Underground World

London Fortean Society in partnership with Conway Hall present


Subterranea: Myths, Mysteries and Magic of the Underground World

£8 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Saturday 9 April 2016
2.30-5.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn / Directions
Facebook event page

We are all lying in the gutter but some of us are gazing at the sewers.  


Beneath our feet echoes another world of folklore, magic and the dead. Join the London Fortean Society for three talks on terra incognita: the world of tunnels, caves, caverns and underground labyrinths from English folklore to occult secrets to urban legends of the London Underground.



Urban Legends of the London Underground: Scott Wood

Just as fairy tales warn of the dangers of going in to the woods alone London’s urban legends are often horror stories about going alone down in to the London underground. Plague pits seethe beneath your feet in the most unlikely places, corpses ride on the tube and news of enemy bomb attacks are never further than a trip to the shops away. Some of these urban legends are older than they appear; others are new stories posing as history. Scott will tell these contemporary folk-stories, map them across London and then take them pieces of apart to show you what they’re really made of.

Scott is the author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube, a regular-ish writer for Londonist and co-organiser & host of the London Fortean Society.



Secret Tunnels of England: Folklore and Fact: Antony Clayton



So-called secret tunnels are a subject of perennial interest. Are there really labyrinths of hidden passageways under our ancient buildings, towns and cities, or are these tunnel tales another seam of England’s rich folklore?

Antony Clayton will attempt to sort fact from fiction in this illustrated talk. Antony is the author of the highly popular Subterranean City, Beneath the Streets of London, described as ‘a modern history masterpiece’. He has given talks on subterranean subjects at the British Library, the ICA, Bishopsgate Institute and Freemasons Hall.


The Occult Underground: Gary Lachman


Caves, tunnels, tombs and other subterranean spaces have held a fascination for mankind ever since we first became aware of such places.
Gary will look at some of the ways in which underground passages and places have played a part in our 'occult' understanding of the world, from our Neolithic ancestors using caves as 'sensory depravation chambers' in order to commune with the gods, to ideas of some powerful superrace living beneath the earth. These notes from underground will give a new perspective of what it means to 'go within'.


Gary Lachman is the author of more than a dozen books on the meeting ground between consciousness, culture, and the western inner tradition. These include A Dark Muse: The Dedalus Book of the Occult, Madame Blavatsky: The Mother of Modern Spirituality and The Quest for Hermes Trismegistus From Ancient Egypt to The Modern World. As Gary Valentine he was a founding member of the pop group Blondie.

£8 plus booking fee (Advance tickets)
Saturday 9 April 2016
2.30-5.30pm
Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Tube: Holborn / Directions
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Cthulhu and Contemporary Occultures

7.45pm Thursday 31st March 2016
£4 / £2 concessions (Advanced tickets)

The Bell, 50 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.
Train and Tube: Liverpool Street. Tube: Aldgate, Aldgate East
Facebook page
This event has sold out. We are very sorry and we hope to re-host it at a later date.