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Jourdemayne, the Witch of Eye

Jourdemayne was burned at Smithfield in London for witchcraft in 1441. Friend to the eminent and educated of her time, she was sought by many for her knowledge of dark matters.

Jourdemayne writes about …

... belief in the supernatural: what and why; where does it lead us? She also occasionally suffers from mission creep. Sorry.

I am editor of …

The Skeptic is the UK’s only regular magazine to take a critical-thinking and evidence-based approach to pseudo-science and the paranormal.

The latest issue:

Quotes & Testimonials

"Everyone's favourite skeptical witch, Jourdemayne, with superbly written thoughts on superstition, religion and the human condition"
Crispian Jago

"My two favourite bloggers ... are Petra Boynton and Jourdemayne ... Jourdemayne draws her insights from a different background: profound historical knowledge of the extraordinary things people have believed in. She then uses this to contextualise more contemporary matters."
Jack of Kent

"... the erudite and charming Jourdemayne ..."
Jack of Kent

"This is brilliant - must read"
('Priests, Pederasts & Privilege')
David Colquhoun

The Anglian Wolf Society

I support the work of The Anglian Wolf Society, which operates a sanctuary for wolves in North Bedfordshire. Its aims are to:

• educate and inform the public about wolves
• promote and support wolf conservation
• give people who would like to study or work with wolves the chance to do so

Please visit their site and donate if you can. You can even visit, and learn more about these wonderful and often misunderstood animals.

Contact, Media & Speaking


If you’d like to contact me, please email:



I may be able to help with commentary on the following:

• the folkore of the macabre
• religion
• superstition
• vampires
• werewolves
• ghosts & hauntings
• witches, witch-hunting and witch-persecution (including modern examples)
• the supernatural
• why people believe in the above
• history of all of the above

Just contact me with your brief and I’ll get back too you as soon as poss.

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Speaking and Talks

I speak once or twice a month on facets of the macabre supernatural. Past venues/promoters include QEDcon, Skepticon, Ratio2013, The Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, The Ghost Club, South Place Ethical Society, The Fortean Society, Edinburgh Skeptics on the Fringe Festival and The Barbican among many others.

Each talk lasts around an hour, has light-hearted and entertaining elements, and can be fitted into a programme format eg. after-dinner.

Heresy to Witchcraft

Witchcraft became big news in the 16th and 17th centuries. Torrents of learned discussion turned to action, and the corpses piled high.

But where did the legal infrastructure for such a mass persecution arise? Had this power already been tested and used? Deborah will discuss totalitarianism, paranoia and yearnings for empire in the making of a very bloody delusion.

The Natural Historie of the European Werewolf

The werewolf is a very familiar motif from horror, but sixteenth and seventeenth Europeans understood several concepts to fall under the ‘werewolf/lycanthropy’ category.

Join me for a talk about murderers, scapegoats and witches in which we’ll find out who is worse – man or beast.


Have you been naughty or nice?

St Nicholas may bring good children rewards, but he has a companion who has different clients. Discover this central European tradition whose popularity is rising again.

Close your eyes and wish for gifts … if you dare.

Interview with a Vampire Expert

The Vampire has fascinated Western Europe from the early 1700s, but the tradition was a real part of Eastern European lives for a constiderable time before that. The archetype has been taken up by art of all kinds, but what is the authentic history behind the tales of the predatory, living dead?

We will look at recent attempts to understand the folklore and try to work out how an Eastern European ritual made its way to late nineteenth century New England.

Unnatural Predators: the Folklore of Fear

Fear of predatory supernatural entities has been found in all eras and cultures. Why should these ideas be so stable across time and space, and what can this tell us about being human? Among other questions, we’ll ask: why do ghosts live in electric clocks; why do vampires visit in autumn; and do dogs believe in ghosts?

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I’m happy to debate on the above topics from a skeptic viewpoint. Recent Examples:

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