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CLHG Talk: Things That Go Bump in the Night- When Skeptics meet the Supernatural

Please come and join us if you dare and have survived Halloween for a special spooky CLHG talk.

Skeptics Chris French and Deborah Hyde will be discussing all things that go bump in the night but will mainly concentrate on two of our favourite supernatural beings ghosts and vampires.

CLHG apologise for this favouritism to witches, werewolves, elves, fairies, goblins, and a multitude of gods and ghouls, you just need to get yourselves better PR and more sightings.

Door at 6.30 pm for talk at 7.00 p.m.

Please arrive early to have a glass of wine from our CLHG Charity Wine Bar find your seat and chat with other members or strange beings.

Donations to the wine bar will go to the Alzheimer's Society Chris & Deborah's chosen charity.

All our talks are open to the general public and all supernatural beings and free to attend but we ask those who can to make a donation of what they can afford to cover the costs of room and equipment hire and help keep our talks free to all.

Opinion polls repeatedly show relatively high levels of belief in ghosts even in modern Western societies. Furthermore, a sizeable minority of the population claim to have personally encountered a ghost. This talk will consider a number of factors that may lead people to claim that they have experienced a ghost even though they may not in fact have done so.Topics covered will include hoaxes, sincere misinterpretation of natural phenomena, hallucinatory experiences and pareidolia (seeing things that are not there), the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, the possible role of complex electromagnetic fields and infrasound, photographic evidence, EVP, and the role of the media.

The Vampire has fascinated Western Europe from the early 1700s, but the tradition was a real part of Eastern European lives for a considerable time before that. In the last three centuries, the icon has been taken up by art of all kinds - literature, film and graphics - and it has had a lasting effect on fashion and culture. But what is the authentic story behind tales of the predatory, living dead and can we understand a little more about being human by studying these accounts? We will look at recent attempts to understand the folklore and try to work out how an Eastern European ritual made its way to late nineteenth century New England, USA.

Deborah Hyde writes, speaks internationally and appears on broadcast media to discuss superstition, religion and belief in the supernatural. She uses a range of approaches and disciplines from history to psychology to investigate the folklore of the malign and to discover why it is so persistent throughout all human communities and eras. She is currently writing a book 'Unnatural Predators'. She is also a film industry makeup effects production manager who gets on the wrong side of the camera from time to time. She is the current editor of the Skeptic Magazine

Professor Chris French is the Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. 

He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, as well as being a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and a member of the Scientific and Professional Advisory Board of the British False Memory Society. He has published over 100 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics within psychology. His main area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. He frequently appears on radio and television casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims, as well as writing for the Guardian and The Skeptic Magazine which, for more than a decade, he also edited. His most recent books are Why Statues Weep: The Best of The Skeptic, co-edited with Wendy Grossman and Anomalistic Psychology, co-authored with Nicola Holt, Christine Simmonds-Moore, and David Luke. His next book (co-authored with Anna Stone) is Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience

Follow him on Twitter: @chriscfrench

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  • Ada

    These well-presented talks helped to confirm my dislike of all superstitious beliefs, especially those found within religions. My thanks to the committee for organizing this timely event.

    November 2, 2013

  • Jean W.

    Really enjoyable evening...especially as I won a set of fangs!
    Looking forward to the next meetup.

    November 2, 2013

  • Ian S.

    Thanks, really enjoyable presentations.

    November 2, 2013

  • terence f.

    A opaked hall enjoying two of the talks from laqst Saturday in a lightly shorter format. Evceweryone was enthralled by the content.

    November 1, 2013

  • Ricardina

    I am really looking forward to it!

    September 16, 2013

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