A menagerie of the macabre descends upon Brompton cemetery this October for London’s Month of the Dead.
Now in its fifth year, the 30-day event is co-curated by Suzette Field and Stephen Coates and boasts 40 talks, workshops and exhibitions themed around our demise.
Visitors to Brompton cemetery can take part in a séance, enjoy a lecture on body farms or be serenaded by theremin within the chapel and the graveyard’s majestic grounds.
A Curious Invitation founder Suzette Field, 40, believes that investigating our own mortality enables us to fully embrace life. The taxidermist said: “London Month of the Dead (LMOD) is a month of enlightening talks on the subject of death in hopefully a medium where people are made aware of their own mortality and I believe people can lead a better life that way.”
She added: “The subject is absolutely huge, it’s there in history, it’s there in art, so it has a lot of interests and a lot of appeal.”
Antique Beat founder, Stephen Coates, 44, concurs, explaining the purpose of LMOD is to inform and to entertain, making death less of a scary prospect. He said: “There’s a huge amount of interest in the subject and a definite movement to bring death out of the shadows and make us feel more comfortable with it.”
As one of London’s Magnificent Seven cemeteries, Brompton is steeped in history, dating back to 1840 and is rumoured to house a time machine, secreted in the Courtoy Mausoleum.
The chapel, which is set atop the cemetery’s catacombs, has recently been restored to its former glory and provides the perfect atmosphere for LMOD’s candlelit concerts.
Four of the other famed cemeteries will host events including taxidermy workshops, gothic puppet shows and talks on necromancy.
Patrons of the posthumous can also partake in exclusive views of the Museum of London’s ancient bone archive and a guided tour of Egyptian artefacts at the Petrie Museum.
Since its debut in 2013, the funereal festival has gained a loyal fan base, with visitors travelling from as far as America to attend events and quaff the gin cocktails, made according to a recipe from Dickens’ Great Expectations.
Londoners with a penchant for what lies behind the mortal veil can find out more here.
Feature image from Friends of Brompton Cemetery, with thanks. Photo by Robert Stephenson.
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