The Ghosts of Senate House is one part of a creative research project led by Sarah Sparkes. It serves as an archive for uncanny, apocryphal stories emanating from Senate House. These stories formed part of "a Magical library for the 21st Century" an archive of writings, recordings, artwork, artefacts, and other contributions, which was first shown at the University of London as part of The Bloomsbury Festival October 2011.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The London Ghost Conference

The Ghosts of Senate House are travelling to east London to take part in The London Ghost Conference
organised by London Fortean Society

London Ghosts Conference
27 October 2012 10.30am-6.00pm
Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4QH
£20 (plus 10% booking fee.)
Tickets from We Got Tickets.

London is a city with a ghost story on every street, from ancient spectres to haunted museums and theatres to contemporary ghosts in hospitals and tube stations.

The London Ghost Conferences is a day dedicated to talks covering many hauntings in the London. Our speakers include historians, parapsychologists, ghost hunters, occultists, Fortean researchers, folklorists, singers and artists each with their own idea on what London’s ghosts are and what they mean.

From the Victorian demon Spring-heeled Jack to the Enfield Poltergeist and from the ghosts of Southwark to what haunts Senate House and much more. The London Ghosts Conference is the ideal Halloween event for anyone fascinated by the mysteries of  ghosts and London.

The schedule is (hopefully not subjec to change):

Great Hall
10.30-11.30: Mike Dash - Spring-heeled Jack
11.30-12.30: Alan Brooke - The Haunted London Underground: What Lies Beneath?
12.30-1.00: Paul Cowdell - Ghosts in London’s hospitals and theatres 
1.00-2.00 Lunch
2.00-3.00: Mark Pilkington & Will Fowler - Vampires of London: A Cinematic Survey
3.00-4.00: Roger Luckhurst - The Priestess of Amen-Ra: The British Museum Mummy Curse
4.00-5.00: Sarah Sparkes - Ghosts of Senate House
5.00-6.00: Alan Murdie - The Enfield Poltergeist 

Courtyard Room
11.30-12.30: Rob Stephenson - Ghostly London In Your Mind and Under Your Feet 
12.30-1.00 : Spring-heeled Jane & The Upper Birth films by Mucky Puppets
1.00-2.00 Lunch
2.00-3.00:  Mario Lautier Vella – Like Home (An Illustrated Artist's Talk)
3.00-4.00:  John Fraser – Hunting London’s Ghosts: A fringe 'touristic' pastime or a serious pursuit?
4.00-5.00:  John Constable - Haunted Southwark 
5.00-6.00:  London Dreamtime - Night Walks

Newham Books bookstall and ASSAP stall.

Roger Luckhurst: The Priestess of Amen-Ra: The British Museum Mummy CurseThis talk will take us back to the Edwardian period, when stories about a cursed object in the Egyptian rooms of the British Museum began to circulate twenty years before Tutankhamen fever. The true story of how the object was acquired by the Victorian gentleman Thomas Douglas Murray in the 1860s and its adventures in London drawing rooms before arriving in the Museum in 1889 will be detailed. The cast of this odd story includes occultists, Egyptologists, theosophists, psychical researchers, stuffed Pekingese dogs and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 

Mario Lautier Vella – Like Home (An Illustrated Artist's Talk)
In 2009, artist Mario Lautier Vella discovered his home was haunted. Strange events prompted further investigation, resulting in new artwork that explores ideas around sensing and collaborating with the invisible as well as the uncanny domestic space.

Paul Cowdell: ‘The Grey Lady – and there IS a Grey Lady!’: ghosts in London’s hospitals and theatres. 
In a country that already has a reputation for ghosts, certain locations are especially notorious for being haunted. So common are hospital ghosts that one recent gazetteer of British ghosts listed them in a separate chapter, while theatre ghosts are such important indicators of a successful show that there’s a strong suspicion that some have been specially invented. Paul be talking about stories he was told during recent field research into contemporary ghost belief: he heard reference to older reported legends alongside unexplained personal experiences interpreted as ghosts. Paul will look at how the two types of story are connected in ghost reports from across the capital.  

London Dreamtime - Night Walks
A London ghost story with music from the moog and test oscilator inspired by Charles Dickens. 

Rob Stephenson - Ghostly London In Your Mind and Under Your Feet
The veteran and prematurely grey-haired survivor of many ghostly vigils around London will introduce the different types of hauntings reported in the metropolis.

John Fraser - Hunting Londons Ghosts: A fringe 'touristic' pastime or a serious pursuit'?'
Programmes such as Most Haunted have popularised ghost hunting like never before , but is this simply something new for thrill seekers to add to their 'bucket list' , or is it something that has a possible end goal and that should be taken more seriously? John Fraser was former Vice Chair investigatons of the Ghost Club and is currently on the Council of the S.P.R. He is the author of the book 'Ghost Hunting - A Survivors Guide' . 

Sarah Sparkes - Ghosts of Senate House

Sarah Sparkes will talk about “The Ghosts of Senate House”, a creative research project, which collects and archives tales of hauntings and other unexplained happenings, centred at Senate House, University of London and its immediate surrounds. Sarah is Research Fellow at the SAS UOL and also an artist and curator. Her talk will include examples of some of the stories collected by herself and Christopher Joseph as well as actual recordings she collected for the project. 
She will also illustrate how research material was developed into a collaborative, public artwork “The Magical Library Presents: Ghosts of Senate House” for The Bloomsbury Festival in 2011. Sarah Sparkes runs the “GHost” project which she initiated with Ricarda Vidal in 2008.

The Haunted London Underground: What Lies Beneath?

The London Underground late at night has a haunting atmosphere with its labyrinth of subterranean tunnels, passages and disturbed burial grounds. This talk draws on material from The Haunted London Underground (The History Press, 2008) and explores the various stories and accounts of supernatural activity.