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Booking information

Tickets: £5. Over-18s only. Book tickets online up until 2.30pm on 13 October. After 2.30pm tickets will be available to buy on the door.

About this event

Magic’s many shapes and forms are only revealed at night. As the sun sets, join us for an evening of sorcery, folklore and mystery throughout the Museum.

Encounter magical films, dance and music, take a candlelit tour with Annie Horniman who will share secrets about her occult circle, and discover the power of wands with Philip Carr Gomm, Chosen Chief of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. You can also marvel at the Horniman’s full collection of English charms – and bring along your own version to help us curate a new display.

'The Kingdom of Paul Nash'
Film with live score by The Cabinet of Living Cinema

An artist washes up on a mysterious island after a devastating flood. Soon the island’s ‘genius loci’ or magical spirit begins to reveal itself. 'The Kingdom of Paul Nash' is an illustrated ballad, a fable, a celebration of song, love and surrealism, by the musicians of the Cabinet of Living Cinema.

'She Who Walks'
Dance and music by Denise Rowe

During the Middle Ages, women were persecuted for their connection to the land during ‘witch hunts’. In remembrance of these wise women, choreographer and artist Denise Rowe presents 'She Who Walks', a music and dance piece exploring female ancestry and the female body in relation to the landscape. Before the performance, hear live music from the 'She Who Walks' musicians, and make little red dolls in honour and remembrance of the shared heritage of these women.

Charmed England

Explore England’s history of magic through the Horniman’s collection of English charms.

  • Come and marvel at dried moles’ feet, peer through a hagstone to spot a witch or learn about elf darts. 
  • Discover what research has revealed about A.W. Rowlett, the old English wizard or ‘cunning man’ who collected many of our charms. 
  • Experience a specially commissioned work by artist Martha McGuinn and immerse yourself in a sound installation created by artist and researcher Rachel Emily Taylor. 
  • Hear about the sorcerer’s wand from Philip Carr Gomm, Chosen Chief of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. 
  • And please bring your own charms along. We’d love to hear what they mean to you.

Opera by Gestalt Arts

Old English cunning folk often used animal parts to create curative charms to ward off a range of ills. But what happened to the animals they left behind? Join Gestalt Arts in the lofty heights of the Natural History Gallery for an operatic performance installation, which will see the instruments of the Horniman's handling collection transformed through electronic composition. In Feet, a new piece inspired by the most curious charms in the Horniman's possession, we hear the story of a rock dove who suffered an unfortunate fate at the hands of human superstition, leaving her without her feet...

Storytelling by Olivia Armstrong

Meet Annie Horniman in the gardens at dusk and go on a candlelit tour with Frederick Horniman’s most enigmatic daughter. Discover how she contributed to the creation of the occult society the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and find out why the Horniman is the home of dark spells and magical thought.

Film screenings by MASH Cinema

MASH Cinema present a special selection of international short films, documentaries and animation, inspired by our Magic Late. Expect to be amused, entertained, shocked and bewildered.

Tours by Emma-Louise Nicholls

Join our curator of Natural History to discover how tribesmen transform into crocodiles, how tortoises can summon spirits, and why talking to an ox skull is better than finding a four leaf clover. These gallery tours will transport you to a world of traditions, rituals and magic.

Food and Bars

Enjoy food and drink at The Horniman Café, street food stalls on the Conservatary Terrace and bars throughout the Museum.