Victorian entertainment was not just music hall, dances and theatre; It was death, tales of the afterlife and communion with the undead. Spiritualism, mediumship and séance was wild, unregulated and utterly, literally unbelievable.
The Victorian era played host to huge questions concerning the very fibre of daily existence; the place of God within new scientific theories, the rights and capabilities of the women and the delineation between God and man. Particularly, the spirits of the dead, once the domain of Christ and heaven alone, were suddenly among us, ready to communicate.
Mediums delivered supposed messages from the deceased, comforted the bereaved and offered proof of life beyond death. But did you know that they also made live animals appear from thin air and allowed ghosts to walk among us? Throughout the 19th century, there are accounts of mediums levitating across cities, filling rooms with spirit flowers, dumping eels on the heads of sitters and sharing biscuits with ghosts.
Join Kate as she delivers a brief introduction to this bizarre and fascinating field. She will deliver stories on the most colourful mediums in history and impart the secrets of spirit contact… providing you own a white bedsheet and enough glow-in-the-dark paint!
Kate Cherrell is a PhD candidate and a regular lecturer in Victorian mourning practise, gothic literature and 19th century spiritualism. She edits the website BurialsAndBeyond.com, chronicling stories of cemeteries, ghost sightings, myths and tales of the stranger side of life.