Home » Festivals and Events » Ghosts and Murder – Haunting Tales by Charles Dickens on 31 October 2021

Ghosts and Murder – Haunting Tales by Charles Dickens on 31 October 2021

This Hallowe’en, the Charles Dickens Museum will present performances of three chilling tales by Charles Dickens, including a story that Dickens himself was afraid to perform. Livestreamed by candlelight, actor Dominic Gerrard, renowned for his one-man performances of A Christmas Carol, will bring the stories chillingly to life, as he makes his way through Dickens’s Georgian townhouse after dark.

In the notorious ‘Sikes and Nancy’, Nancy is followed at night over London Bridge, wrongly accused of betraying Sikes’ gang and confronted by Bill Sikes himself. Dickens’s brutal and tragic episode horrified his readers, shocked audiences whenever he performed it and still resonates powerfully today.

While passages from the novel featured in the hugely popular public readings that Dickens began in 1853, it was not until his 1868 farewell tour that Dickens introduced the brutal scene into his repertoire. Dickens was so concerned about the ferocious violence that he gathered a group of friends and critics to see him perform it, so he could view the effect on his audience.In the end, ‘Sikes and Nancy’ became Dickens’s most popular reading, and he revelled in its impact.

Among the other tales to be performed by Dominic Gerrard are The Ghost in the Bride’s Chamber, which follows a young traveller seeking shelter for the night. Arriving at an inn, young Arthur Holliday learns the horrifying truth of what lurks there. This is one of Dickens’s more rarely-performed ghost stories, packed with masterful suspense and humour.

And in The Signalman, a strange figure lurks at the mouth of a tunnel. Each time it appears, a terrible tragedy occurs on the line. Written only a year after Dickens himself survived the Staplehurst Rail Crash, the story finds the author grappling with his trauma, his conflicted feelings of fear and wonder at the new railways, and a desperate yearning to know in advance where danger lies.

Event Information

Ghosts and Murder – Haunting Tales by Charles Dickens

Date: 31 October 2021 at 6pm. Tickets: £15 per device via dickensmuseum.com

More! Oliver Twist, Dickens and Stories of the City

The Museum’s current special exhibition explores OIiver Twist in the house in which it was written. More! Oliver Twist, Dickens and Stories of the City reveals the characters, events, places and personal tales of triumph and tragedy that inspired and shaped the novel that made Charles Dickens a household name across the world. The exhibition’s run has been extended until 13 March 2022. Exhibits include a page from Dickens’s original handwritten manuscript, unseen letters from Dickens, sketches and illustrations of Fagin – on display for the first time – and the previously-unseen lockets exchanged by Dickens and his sister-in-law.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Charles Dickens Museum website here

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