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Halloween Special: Ghosts, Zombies and Vampires!

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Time 10:30
Date 26/10/13
Price £10

Centre for Inquiry UK, The Skeptic magazine and Conway Hall Ethical Society present a Halloween special.

The facts behind the fear- featuring Deborah Hyde on vampires, Chris French on ghosts, Frank Swain on zombies and Scott Wood on London ghosts.

Deborah Hyde: Vampires

"The Vampire has fascinated Western Europe from the early 1700s, but the tradition was a real part of Eastern European lives for a considerable time before that. In the last three centuries, the icon has been taken up by art of all kinds - literature, film and graphics - and it has had a lasting effect on fashion and culture. But what is the authentic story behind tales of the predatory, living dead and can we understand a little more about being human by studying these accounts? We will look at recent attempts to understand the folklore and try to work out how an Eastern European ritual made its way to late nineteenth century New England, USA. 

Chris French: The Psychology of Ghosts and Hauntings

This talk will consider a number of factors that may lead people to claim that they have experienced a ghost even though they may not in fact have done so. Topics covered will include hoaxes, sincere misinterpretation of natural phenomena, hallucinatory experiences and pareidolia (seeing things that are not there), the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, the possible role of complex electromagnetic fields and infrasound, photographic evidence, EVP, and the role of the media.

Frank Swain: Zombies

Ever wanted to make your own army of undead servants? Join author Frank Swain as he reveals 300 years of reanimation and mind control experiments. You learn the tricks, techniques and toxins that everyone from clandestine government scientists to crazed basement obsessives have used in their quest to raise the dead and enslave the living. Frank Swain writes and talks about science. His first book, HOW TO MAKE A ZOMBIE, if out now from Oneworld. Frank has a history of making zines, being a filthy scenester, stage-managing burlesque shows, climbing buildings, harrying his betters, arguing the toss and generally being a force for good.

Scott Wood: Ghosts of London

In London you are never more than ten feet from a ghost story. Ghosts have been an enduring part of London’s history, folklore and media and it seems that nothing of note can take place in the city without planting new ghosts. Scott Wood, of the London Fortean Society and author of the forthcoming Urban Legends of London: The Corpse on the Tube examines how ghosts and London ghost stories have changed through time, from early modern revenants on Bankside to the Greenwich spooks that disturbed Lady Gaga. What do we talk about when we talk about ghosts?