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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Visual Evidence (Ghosts - the Evidence of Spirits) Public Lecture series : The Wild Hunt: ghosts, goddesses and witches in medieval Europe

16th February 2016, 18:15, Room ER140, Elvet Riverside Building, Professor Ronald Hutton (University of Bristol)

The Wild Hunt is a phenomenon which looms large in the modern Western consciousness, both in works of fiction and in those of history; and in the latter it has recently achieved a special importance as one of the building blocks of the idea of the witches' sabbath. It is generally viewed as a nocturnal cavalcade of ghosts and fairies, led by a supernatural male or female figure and derived from pagan antiquity. This lecture aims to answer the questions of where this idea comes from, how much it corresponds to actual ancient and medieval belief, and how much it did contribute to the concept of the witches' sabbath.

The project consists of three separate, but complementary strands: a lecture series, an exhibition on ‘Ghost Stories’ held in October 2015 at the Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre; and a one-day workshop to take place at the IAS on 23 February 2016. Lectures will be held fortnightly on commencing 13 October at 6:15pm in Elvet Riverside 140. Lectures and the exhibition are open to all, though attendees at the opening event of the exhibition will need to register in advance.

For more information on this series of events, please click on this link.


This lecture is free and open to all.

Map - Elvet Riverside is denoted as building No. 25

Contact for more information about this event.