Subterranea: Myths, Mysteries and Magic of the Underground World
Beneath our feet echoes another world of folklore, the occult and the dead. Join the London Fortean Society for three talks on terra incognita: the world of tunnels, caves, caverns and underground labyrinths from English folklore to occult secrets to urban legends of the London Underground and find out if, in fact, there are there really any labyrinths of hidden passageways under our ancient buildings, towns and cities, or are these tunnel tales just another seam of England’s rich folklore?
Urban Legends of the London Underground: Scott Wood
Just as fairy tales warn of the dangers of going into the woods alone London’s urban legends are often horror stories about going alone down into the London underground. Plague pits seethe beneath your feet in the most unlikely places, corpses ride on the tube and news of enemy bomb attacks are never further than a trip to the shops away. Some of these urban legends are older than they appear; others are new stories posing as history. Scott will tell these contemporary folk-stories, map them across London and then take them pieces of apart to show you what they’re really made of.
Scott is the author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube, a regular-ish writer for Londonist and co-organiser & host of the London Fortean Society.
Antony Clayton will attempt to sort fact from fiction in this illustrated talk. Antony is the author of the highly popular Subterranean City, Beneath the Streets of London, described as ‘a modern history masterpiece’. He has given talks on subterranean subjects at the British Library, the ICA, Bishopsgate Institute and Freemasons Hall.
The Occult Underground: Gary Lachman
Caves, tunnels, tombs and other subterranean spaces have held a fascination for mankind ever since we first became aware of such places.
Gary will look at some of the ways in which underground passages and places have played a part in our ‘occult’ understanding of the world, from our Neolithic ancestors using caves as ‘sensory deprivation chambers’ in order to commune with the gods, to ideas of some powerful superrace living beneath the earth. These notes from underground will give a new perspective of what it means to ‘go within’.
Gary Lachman is the author of more than a dozen books on the meeting ground between consciousness, culture, and the western inner tradition. These include A Dark Muse: The Dedalus Book of the Occult, Madame Blavatsky: The Mother of Modern Spirituality and The Quest for Hermes Trismegistus From Ancient Egypt to The Modern World. As Gary Valentine he was a founding member of the pop group Blondie.