This talk will investigates some of the spooky artefacts found in, and ghostly tales centred around, Britain's churches. From the ranks of macabre funeral effigies lurking in Westminster Abbey to the flaming black hellhounds of Suffolk, from human hearts hidden in pillars to sightings of ghostly monks, this lecture promises to be a tour of the truly creepy. Learn how you can hear the faint patters of Yorkshire drummer boys and the notes of Scottish pipers emanating from long-sealed tunnels, how a Welsh churchyard harbours an especially terrifying Halloween tradition, and how spectral nuns wander and ethereal voices twitter around a ruined church found in an ancient henge. The talk will also examine the historical, social, psychological, cultural and mythological backgrounds to these legends and make tentative suggestions as to how they might have arisen.
David Castleton is the author of 'Church Curiosities: Strange Objects and Bizarre Legends' (published by Shire). He's also a novelist and the winner of the 2019 Go Gothic Short Fiction Prize. On his popular blog 'The Serpent's Pen', he explores the gothic, folklore, fakelore, the obscure and quirky, and the darker reaches of literature and the arts. You can purchase the book through our online store.