Audio

Haunted Bloomsbury—Audio Walk Tracing Spiritualism, Ghost Stories & the London Occult

By Romany Reagan

Whether it was considered an intellectual pursuit, a genuine religious order, a feminist flag, or just a grand excuse for a gin-soaked party, Spiritualism was a crucible where many of the conflicting and newly forming ideas of the late Victorian era brewed and clashed. At one point it was the domain of the intellectual elite, who held literary salons discussing Swedenborg and Blake. At the other extreme it was reverse colonialism gone mad, with female liberation, drunkenness—and worst of all Americanness—running rampant through England. 

The Victorians had long been fascinated by a wide range of phenomena that might loosely be termed the ‘occult’; and earlier manifestations of interest in spirituality had made their mark during the first half of the 19th century. Tracing Spiritualism’s lines of origin, we’re driven through these occult pathways into the heart of Bloomsbury. Button your greatcoat and steel your nerves as your tour guide Dr Romany Reagan leads you on an audio journey through the Bloomsbury backstreets into a landscape of gothic intrigues and Victorian ghost stories.

Audio Walk: Abney Rambles – Thoughts on Mourning

Audio download link: Thoughts on Mourning

For this walk, enter Abney Park Cemetery from the wrought-iron gates entrance on Stoke Newington Church Street.

This audio walk is a meditation on modern versus Victorian mourning practices. Interweaving quotes from then and now, with stories, the walk is set to the music of The Black Heart Procession, with exit music ‘Dance While the Sky Crashes Down’, by Jason Webley.

When completed, please take the time to fill out my short survey

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CGRML3B

Audio Walk: Abney Rambles—Love, Wrath, Death, Lions: A Performed History of Frank & Susannah Bostock

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Photo by Romany Reagan, Abney Park Cemetery

For this walk, enter Abney Park Cemetery from the Neo-Egyptian gates entrance on Stoke Newington High Street.

Audio Download Link: Abney Rambles – Love, Wrath, Death, Lions – A performed history of Frank & Susannah Bostock

This audio walk is the performed life story of Frank and Susannah Bostock, a famous travelling circus and menagerie couple, buried in Abney Park Cemetery. Frank was a famous lion tamer, and the Bostocks were part of the founding members of Dreamland Amusement Park, Coney Island, New York.

This walk is a love story, but not a simple one.

When completed, please take the time to fill out my short survey

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CGRML3B

I would like to thank my cast for the generous donation of their time and performances!

Cast:

Frank Bostock: Professor Richard Dennis

Susannah Bostock: Sam Edwards

Thomas Dyson, attorney: Gavin Kelly

Times journalist: Ronan Shields