Danny-robins
Danny Robins
Chris-french
Christopher French
Deborah-hyde
Deborah Hyde
Stephenlaw
Stephen Law

Into the Uncanny

Danny Robins, Christopher French and Deborah Hyde chaired Stephen Law

Saturday, 16 March 2024

12:00pm

1 hour

Sheldonian Theatre

£8 - £15

Playwright and BBC podcaster Danny Robins, anomalistic psychologist Professor Christopher French and sceptic and cultural anthropologist Deborah Hyde debate whether ghosts are real or simply a product of the human mind. 

The ghosts of today don’t live in castles or stately homes, they’re in normal houses and workplaces, witnessed by ordinary people like us. Now we just need to figure out what they are – the dead returning from ‘the other side’? Or the product of that equally mysterious location, the human mind?

Robins says he is a sceptic who wants to believe. His award-winning BBC podcasts, Uncanny, The Battersea Poltergeist and The Witch Farm, and his hit West End play 2:22 - A Ghost Story, have made him ‘the UK’s go-to-ghost guy’, and he’s on a mission to try to solve this greatest of all mysteries – is the impossible possible?

French is professor emeritus in anomalistic psychology, Goldsmiths. He researches the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. French appears frequently on radio and television (including Haunted Homes) casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims. His most recent book is The Science of Weird Shit: Why Our Minds Conjure Up The Paranormal.

Hyde is a British sceptic, folklorist, cultural anthropologist, Ufologist, fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and was editor-in-chief of The Skeptic. She writes and lectures extensively about superstition, cryptozoology, religion and belief in the paranormal, with special regard to the folklore, psychology and sociology behind these phenomena. Hyde is known as a ‘vampire expert’.

Discussions are chaired by Dr Stephen Law, a philosopher and academic, author of bestselling introductions to philosophy for adults and children, editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy Journal Think, and the festival’s major projects director.

Owen Mumford Ltd are supporters of the festival’s science and medicine programme and the festival’s annual award for science and innovation.

Owen Mumford logo

 

The Telegraph Festival media partner University of Oxford Netflix European Union Supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the UK Cultural Relations Platform Supporter of the festival's Voices of Europe programme Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine and annual science and innovation award Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Oxford Mathematics Spanish Embassy The Spanish Embassy: supporters of the programme of Spanish literature and culture Cervantes Institute, London The Cervantes Institute, London Italian Embassy The Italian Embassy: supporter of the programme of Italian literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner International Literary Properties Festival literary heritage partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels Festival hotel Old Bank Hotel Five-star hotel partners of The Oxford Collection Old Parsonage Hotel Five-star hotel partners of The Oxford Collection Jim Mellon John Roberts Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture Tim and Marion Stevenson Martin and Elise Becket Smith Miles Young Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Carole and John Allen David Isaac Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Anna Hunter Rhys and Kerry Phillip Exeter College Exeter College: college home of the festival. Founded 1314 New College New College founded 1379 Worcester College Worcester College founded 1714 Lincoln College Lincoln College founded 1427 St Cross College St Cross College founded 1965 Trinity College Trinity College founded 1555 Magdalen College Magdalen College founded 1458 Critchleys Accountants to the festival Pasture to Plate Compassion in World Farming Human Ecology Project MACROVegan Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Sponsor of the EBRD Literature Prize since 2018 ROOMS Georgia's leading lifestyle hotel brand since 2012. Supporters of the programme of Georgian literature and culture Jewish Book Week Partner of Oxford Literary Festival Foodbuy Thje Menu Partners Institute of Hospitality Goldmoney Properties Project People Oxford Brookes University Oxford International Centre for Publishing Confucius Institute Pusey House British Academy Festival academic partner Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Oxford United Football Club Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design Paul Bloomfield Ltd University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Conference Oxford Felicity Bryan Associates CAV Oxford The Sheldonian Theatre Oxford University Images Oxford University Images Oxford University Department for Continuing Education Force4Good Consultancy Corporate communications OX magazine Ox in a Box K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography The Litmus Partnership Schoolreaders Windrush Group James Currey Society

The Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

The Telegraph Festival media partner University of Oxford Netflix European Union Supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the UK Cultural Relations Platform Supporter of the festival's Voices of Europe programme Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine and annual science and innovation award Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Oxford Mathematics Spanish Embassy The Spanish Embassy: supporters of the programme of Spanish literature and culture Cervantes Institute, London The Cervantes Institute, London Italian Embassy The Italian Embassy: supporter of the programme of Italian literature and culture The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner International Literary Properties Festival literary heritage partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels Festival hotel Old Bank Hotel Five-star hotel partners of The Oxford Collection Old Parsonage Hotel Five-star hotel partners of The Oxford Collection Jim Mellon John Roberts Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture Tim and Marion Stevenson Martin and Elise Becket Smith Miles Young Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Carole and John Allen David Isaac Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Anna Hunter Rhys and Kerry Phillip Exeter College Exeter College: college home of the festival. Founded 1314 New College New College founded 1379 Worcester College Worcester College founded 1714 Lincoln College Lincoln College founded 1427 St Cross College St Cross College founded 1965 Trinity College Trinity College founded 1555 Magdalen College Magdalen College founded 1458 Critchleys Accountants to the festival Pasture to Plate Compassion in World Farming Human Ecology Project MACROVegan Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Sponsor of the EBRD Literature Prize since 2018 ROOMS Georgia's leading lifestyle hotel brand since 2012. Supporters of the programme of Georgian literature and culture Jewish Book Week Partner of Oxford Literary Festival Foodbuy Thje Menu Partners Institute of Hospitality Goldmoney Properties Project People Oxford Brookes University Oxford International Centre for Publishing Confucius Institute Pusey House British Academy Festival academic partner Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Oxford United Football Club Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design Paul Bloomfield Ltd University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Conference Oxford Felicity Bryan Associates CAV Oxford The Sheldonian Theatre Oxford University Images Oxford University Images Oxford University Department for Continuing Education Force4Good Consultancy Corporate communications OX magazine Ox in a Box K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography The Litmus Partnership Schoolreaders Windrush Group James Currey Society