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Celebrate the darker corners of Portsmouth’s imagination

This Halloween sees the return of Portsmouth DarkFest, a creative and cultural festival exploring all things dark, supernatural, and sinister.

DarkFest celebrates the fantastic wealth of Portsmouth’s creative talent.

Inspired by the Supernatural Cities project at the University of Portsmouth, and working in close collaboration with the city’s creative communities and cultural organisations, the festival brings together artists, writers, performers, academics, storytellers and musicians to explore ghost stories, urban legends, crime, horror and hidden histories.

Celebrating the fantastic wealth of Portsmouth’s creative talent, there will be over 30 events include storytelling, live music and performances, public talks, ghost walks, film screenings, plays, immersive experiences, art exhibitions and crime writing workshops.

Highlights of DarkFest 2018 include:

This year’s festival also includes art and writing workshops, spoken word performances, film screenings, public talks on subjects ranging from true crime to spiritualism, immersive ghost stories and even a paranormal investigation of Fort Widley on Portsdown Hill.

Now in its third year, DarkFest fosters collaboration, supports new events, and gives local writers and artists a platform to share their work with the public. The festival is organised by a committee of volunteers from the city’s creative community, supported by staff from the University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries.

Dr Karl Bell, director of the Supernatural Cities research project and co-organiser of DarkFest, said: “Halloween is the one time of year when we really allow ourselves to talk about things dark and supernatural. DarkFest continues that imaginative engagement. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic wealth of creative talent that we have in Portsmouth.

Organisations and venues involved in this year’s programme include Aspex Gallery, T’Articulation, The Front Room, Groundlings Theatre, Portsmouth Film Society, Dark Encounters events, Southsea Castle and the Kings Theatre.

The festival runs in venues across the city from 19 October to 11 November and all events are open to the public. Please visit the DarkFest website or Facebook for full listings and event details –

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