Exploring the Haunting Reality of Paranormal Encounters
Reports of paranormal experiences—events and situations seemingly beyond scientific explanation—vary tremendously, but are often associated with ghosts, haunted houses, and otherwise eerie circumstances. There exist both classic and modern texts on ghosts and haunted or possessed people, places and spaces; many of them offer discussions of traditional ideas regarding such phenomena or utilize now-outdated research in highly academic and technical ways. A very different approach is offered here in easily understood reviews provided by a leading-edge research program devoted to increasing the understanding of who has ghostly experiences and why.
Please note this will be a live event starting at 8pm (BST) via Zoom.
Time: Sep 14, 2021 07:30 PM London
Meeting ID: 856 1616 1921
Planet Of The Mystery Apes: A Global Look At Unknown Primates
From the early 20th century on, stories of unknown primates have been a popular culture staple in English speaking countries, with the Yeti and Sasquatch getting media interest in the 1920s and Bigfoot in the 1950s. These creatures remain the best known examples of the phenomenon to this day. However, similar creatures have been reported from all around the world. In this talk, I’ll look at reports of these creatures globally, from the Almasty of Central Asia to the Yowie of Australia, and share some thoughts on what they represent.
7.30pm (BST), live via Zoom
Mark Norman will be talking on
BEYOND THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
Apparitions of spectral Black Dogs have been reported across the United Kingdom (and indeed the rest of the world) for nearly 1,000 years and yet, most people know very little about this motif outside of the pages of one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most loved Sherlock Holmes tales.
Drawing on his archive of over 1,000 sightings, reports and traditions relating to Black Dogs (the largest archive in the UK of this material), folklore author and researcher Mark Norman takes us through the different types of animal found in British folklore ad what their significance is.
Mark is the creator and host of The Folklore Podcast (a globally listened to podcast which has been downloaded over 1.25million times since its launch in 2015) and the curator of The Folklore Library and Archive
– a new large-scale project designed to protect and preserve folklore records for future research. He is the author of Black Dog Folklore (Troy Books, 2015), Telling the Bees and other Customs (The History Press, 2020), the forthcoming ‘Dark Folklore’ (The History Press, 2021) and ‘The Folklore of Devon (University of Exeter Press, 2022) and contributing author to various books, magazines and websites.
7:30 PM British Summer Time
PM via Twitter or email Gordon for the password!
Update : Cancelled! Sorry!
Zooform Phenomena are the most elusive, and least understood, mystery `animals`. Indeed, they are not animals at all, and are not even animate in the accepted terms of the word, but entities or apparitions which adopt, or seem to have (quasi) animal form. These arcane and contentious entities have plagued cryptozoology – the study of unknown animals – since its inception, and tend to be dismissed by mainstream science as thoroughly unworthy of consideration. But they continue to be seen, and Jonathan Downes – the Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology – who first coined the term in 1990, maintains that many zooforms result from a synergy of complex psychosocial and sociological issues, and suggests that to classify all such phenomena as “paranormal” in origin is counterproductive, and for researchers to dismiss them out of hand is thoroughly unscientific.
The next Edinburgh Fortean Society meeting will be an online, live, social meeting on Tuesday the 13th of April at 7.30pm (BST).
Come along and have a chat and find out about future plans and indulge your Fortean social life!
Email Gordon or DM us on Twitter for the meeting ID and password.
In conjunction with the London Fortean Society, Scott Wood will be talking on Urban Legends.
People share urban legends a lot, be they tiny rumours or full blown horror stories, but where do these stories come from and what do they represent? Using three examples of urban legends Scott Wood considers ways of how urban legends are formed and their meaning with stories of the helpful terrorist, the dead body on public transport and the hidden insult. There may be swearing. Urban legends are pieces of cultural ephemera that are also narrative demonstrations of society’s concerns, prejudices and rational blind spots. Urban legends are our contemporary folklore – coarsely humorous, cruel, bigoted and endlessly fascinating.
Scott is the author of London Urban Legends: The Corpse on the Tube and the co-founder of the London Fortean Society.
This talk will be presented live via Zoom and then archived on Youtube.
Dr Jack Hunter will be talking on
Organicism and Psychical Research: Where Mushrooms and Mediums Meet
As much as parapsychologists have employed physics and technological metaphors to understand psychical phenomena (spiritual telegraph, waves, forces, and so on), other researchers have also drawn from organismic and biological models in their efforts to ‘matter the paranormal’ through the language of science. Historical examples include Franz Anton Mesmer’s (1784-1814) notion of ‘animal magnetism’ as a subtle fluid that flows through and connects all lifeforms, and which may be manipulated for all manner of therapeutic purposes. Biologist and psychical researcher Hans Driesch (1867-1941) offered a vitalist interpretation of parapsychological phenomena, and Rupert Sheldrake’s ‘New Science of Life’ (Sheldrake, 2009) is a more recent example of this trend. Even the term ‘ectoplasm’ – referring to a mysterious semi-physical substance exuded from the bodies of entranced mediums in Victorian séances – is derived from cellular biology and the research of the physiologist Charles Richet (1850-1935). Both organicist and mechanist interpretations of psychical phenomena are expressions of the same impulse to fit the paranormal into the established frameworks of the hard sciences. Drawing on examples from my own fieldwork with a mediumship development circle in Bristol, this presentation makes the case that an organismic framework might shed new light on the kind of spirit communication that takes place in mediumship development circles, where the paranormal is ‘mattered’ through the biology of the physical body.
Dr. Jack Hunter
is an anthropologist exploring the borderlands of consciousness, religion, ecology and the paranormal. He is a tutor with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and teaches on the MA in Ecology and Spirituality and the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. He is also an Access to Higher Education lecturer in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Newtown College. He lives in the hills of Mid-Wales with his family.
Steve Jones : Tales from the Haunted Bathrooms
Toilets and bathrooms are among the most haunted places in buildings. Steve will tell tales of the dead man in the gents’, the phantom groper of Wakefield, his strange experience in Newark and other tales that may make you in need of a bathroom yourself!
Steve founded and runs the Wakefield Pagan Moot, organises the West Yorkshire Pagan Meetup, is the West Yorkshire representative for the CFZ and from 1998 to 2019 was the UK’s only openly pagan magistrate. Steve’s interests include folklore, forteana, paganism and the paranormal. He has appeared on local and national TV and spoken at several fortean events.
Online at YouTube from 7.30pm
The next meeting of the Edinburgh Fortean Society is our traditional Christmas meal / drinking session. Don’t worry, its not a video on Youtube of Gordon drinking and eating! It’s a Zoom meeting so we can all join in – be prepared with a question to test your fellow Forteans with!
Tuesday the 8th of December at 7.30pm (GMT)
Where : Zoom
Starts : Dec 8, 2020 07:30 PM London
Email gordonrutter at gmail.com for the Meeting ID and passcode.