THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY
A torchlit walk through the cemetery and Magic Lantern Show with Kevin Varty
On Sunday the 29th October 2017 at 7:30 pm

' Astonishment seized me. My bones shivered within me. My flesh trembled over me. My lips quaked. My mouth opened. My hands expanded. My knees knocked together. My blood grew chilly, and I froze with terror.'

The magic lantern is believed to have been invented by Dutch polymath Christiaan Huygens in the seventeenth century. Samuel Pepys reports having attended a demonstration of one in his diary for 1666. The early itinerant lanternists or “gallantry showmen” would set up stall in wayside inns or at country fairs, projecting eerie visions of demons, skeletons and phantoms, which could be utterly terrifying for audiences who had never before seen any form of technology. In the Victorian age with its obsession with the Gothic and spiritualism whole theatres were devoted to magic lantern shows, where magicians would conjure up ghosts and seemingly raise the dead.

For London Month of the Dead 2017, lanternist Kevin Varty will summon up this art of illusions with his 19th Century Magic Lantern in the Anglican Chapel. Watch and quake as skeletons waltz across the wall and nuns bleed to their death despite a life of virtue.

Tickets £15 including a Hendrick's gin cocktail. Please click here to buy.

Travel advice to the Dissenters' Chapel - During the day guests can walk through the cemetery to get to the chapel but at night the main cemetery gates on the Harrow Road will be closed and the only accessible entrance is on Ladbroke Grove. Previously the address for this entrance was 364 Ladbroke Grove but this number has now been updated to 391.

The two closest underground stations are Ladbroke Grove (Hammersmith & City or Circle Line) or Kensal Green (overground and Bakerloo Line). From Ladbroke Grove station there are several buses you can take to the Dissenters which include either the 28, 52 or 452. It's best to get off at the Sainbury's bus stop and then it's a short walk down Ladbroke Grove to the entrance to the Dissenters' Chapel.

 

 

The Dissenters' Chapel, Kensal Green Cemetery, London. Ticket includes tour of the catacombs.