HAUNTED BLOOMSBURY – Spiritualism and Ghost Stories in WC1 An Audio Guided Tour and Map Book with Dr Romany Reagan
ABOUT Take a journey through darker Bloomsbury as your tour guide Dr Romany Reagan leads you through the occult pathways and hidden histories of this birthplace of British Spiritualism.
The Victorians were fascinated by a wide range of phenomena that might loosely be termed the ‘occult’. In their search for meaning in their mortality during an increasingly secularised age, interest in Spirituality and connections ‘beyond the veil’ touched almost every aspect of Victorian life, from scientific study to literature. Tracing Spiritualism’s lines of origin, we’re driven through these occult pathways into the heart of Bloomsbury. Join your tour guide, Dr Romany Reagan, for an evening stalk of gothic intrigues and Victorian ghosts.
WHAT YOU GET – An A5 full colour map and guide book – Each book comes with a download or streaming code so that you can take your tour at any time alone or with a friend
Throughout history, using legend and lore, we have sought to understand this night-time adventure. Witches have been condemned as the conjurers of nightmare sleep paralysis and faeries blamed for time loss or sleep-walking; we convince ourselves that ghostly spirits visit us at night with messages of hope or portents of danger.
In this illustrated lecture, Dr Romany Reagan will explore the creatures and meanings that fill our dreamscapes, from mediaeval British horrors to 19th-century curiosities and theories—and how these nocturnal happenings can play out in our waking lives.
Dr. Romany Reagan is an Arts Council England-funded research fellow with Museum of the Home, studying the hidden histories of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, from mediaeval cunning women and herbal witchcraft to 19th-century feminist botany. Her research has explored the layers of heritage within Abney Park cemetery and an occult literary heritage of London’s Stoke Newington area, as well as ‘earth mystery’, psychogeography and folklore, legends and lore from the British Isles.
This event is part of the Museum of the Home’s Festival of Sleep, running from June through September 2022.
Romany found Andy under a tree on Hampstead Heath at an ‘Alternative Picnic’ and a year and a half later they were engaged. Their wedding concept was inspired by rich fabrics, autumnal colours and the history of their venue, The Charterhouse in London.
This event marks the beginning of our Winter Festival as we all prepare our homes for the coming winter. As well as experiencing our galleries after hours, this Night In has a workshop, talks and music for all things magical.
Visit our home protections charms workshop with Dr Rebecca Beattie
Attend talks on witchcraft and folklore with Dr Christina Oakley Harrington and Dr Romany Reagan
Try our bespoke ‘hedge witch’ cocktail bar
Enjoy delicious food with cheese toasties from Grate & Grill and vegan/gluten free salads and fritters from Dorothy’s Deli
Dance to a DJ set by DJ AndyRavenSable and a live musical performance by ‘broken folk’ band the Lunatraktors
North London has quite a gothic pedigree. From Bram Stoker’s Lucy Westenra stalking Hampstead Heath to Stephen King’s terrifying Crouch End ‘Towen’, an otherworldly atmosphere lingers here. The region has captured the imagination of writers through the ages, casting the area as both friend and foe.
William Blake felt uneasy in North London. Shortly before his death, in a letter to painter and friend John Linnell, Blake said: “When I was young, Hampstead, Highgate, Hornsey, Muswell Hill, and even Islington, and all places North of London, always laid me up the day after and sometimes two or three days.” It is rather strange that he kept going back, if these persistent physical ailments always followed the journey. Perhaps there was something about the otherworldliness of North London that drew Blake almost as a siren call.