Ghostly Leeds tale tells its own story

Steve Manthorps installation, The Haunted Dolls House.
Steve Manthorps installation, The Haunted Dolls House.
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A month-long celebration of the ghost story will cast a spectre in Leeds and Ilkley this autumn.

The Haunting: Ghosts of Every Shade, which runs from October 7 to November 7, includes nine free events, new commissions, performances, master classes, workshops and Ghostly Trails in The Leeds Library.

Presented by cultural agency Alchemy and The Leeds Library in association with Ilkley Literature Festival and Leeds International Film Festival, The Haunting delves into the perennial appeal of the ghost story in a month-long programme in Leeds and Ilkley.

Writers Simon Armitage, Imtiaz Dharker, Rommi Smith and John Siddique explore the studies of ghosts and hauntings through poetry, performance, visual arts, soundscape, dance, vocals and film.

Nima Poovaya-Smith, director of Alchemy, said: “The Leeds Library provides a wonderfully historic setting in the heart of Leeds and an inspirational source of stories, through its diverse collections, for visitors. Experience Steve Manthorp’s exquisitely detailed and unsettling The Haunted Doll’s House, based on M.R. James’s classic ghost story of the same name and explore Adele Howitt’s ceramic series which responds to Edith Wharton’s quietly terrifying story, Pomegranate Seed.”

The Haunted Doll’s House and Pomegranate Seed are part of Ghostly Trails which include sketches, paintings and objects. Those passing the library can enjoy a window installation curated by Steve Manthorp. Visitors to The Haunting Digital Platform will find readings by Simon Armitage, artists musing about their work and virtual exhibitions. Other highlights include poetry master classes by Simon Armitage and Rommi Smith, installations by artist Zareena Bano and a Halloween workshop.

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