If there’s one thing that we can’t resist in the Being Human office it’s an opportunity to gather together to play tricks, dress outrageously, tell stories and generally scare each other silly. No surprise then that we are all big fans of Halloween!
Our ‘hope and fear’ themed programme provides lots of opportunities for thrills, chills and supernatural encounters with everything from ghosts to Egyptian demons. As a Halloween treat we thought we’d pull some choice morsels out of our bubbling cauldron of festival delights, and take you on a tour to the spookiest corners of the Being Human programme.
Read on… if you dare!
Ghost stories old and new
The first stop on our ‘haunted humanities’ tour of the UK takes us to Dundee. As part of a series of events celebrating the 150th anniversary of H G Welles, our hub in Scotland will be hosting a Martian autopsy conducted by forensic scientist Sue Black which puts an other worldly visitor under the knife to explore the overlaps between literary imagination and scientific practice.
After that, let’s hop over to Queen’s College Belfast for Telling stories of hope and fear at ‘year’s end’. Based on research into the shared experience of telling and watching stories of the supernatural at Halloween and Christmas, this event will invite people into the Gothic Vaults beneath Queen’s to share old stories and write new ones.
Continuing the ghost story theme, our next stop takes us to Liverpool. Modern ghost stories asks why – in the twenty first century – we are still drawn to one of the oldest forms of human storytelling. This event will host a screening of ‘Holmewood’, a ghost story inspired by the landscapes of the North West and the writing of M R James.
Demon stations and digital devilry
Moving on to Yorkshire, Sheffield Hallam University would like to cordially invite you to a haunted house. Dalton Manor is a remote house situated in the North Yorkshire Moors and discoverable via WALLPAPER, an interactive and immersive virtual reality experience on display throughout Being Human 2016.
In Wales, meanwhile, Swansea University are beckoning you towards their ‘Demon Stations’. Part of a series of events themed around ‘Dreams, Demons and Discovery’ – Heroes and villains: drawing your dreams and demons is a day of craft activity that will invite you to explore your own demons and compare them to those conjured by the world of Egyptian mythology.
Crossed bones and phantasmagorias
Heading south, we can stop off in London for Hope and fear in Crossbones Graveyard – an urban shamanic ritual in a reclaimed garden of remembrance, before heading down towards our ‘festival hub’ in Exeter.
Here we come full circle, with an event delving into the origins of Halloween itself. Performed twice during the festival, the University of Exeter’s Hollantide phantasmagoria will celebrate the English season of mystery and the supernatural in style with a mix of Gothic storytelling, medieval music and special effects, and (lots of) traditional drinks.
So concludes our ‘haunted humanities’ tour of the Being Human ‘Hope and Fear’ programme. There are so many more events that we could have picked out, from Gothic chills at Edge Hill University to Slavic tales of Wonder and Dread in Exeter. Nonetheless we hope that this brief broomstick ride through our spooky highlights is enough to get your imagination going.
And we hope that it didn’t scare you… Too much!