Calvariae Disjecta

The many hauntings of Burton Agnes Hall

One of the most ubiquitous English ghost stories, The Screaming Skull of Burton Agnes Hall, is a fine example of the persistence and reiteration of a popular narrative over many years.

Drawing from decades of research, artist Robert Williams re-presents references to the story from more than 100 popular sources that extend across more than 150 years.

The project, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Hilmar Schäfer, echoes the transmission of the story as quoted text, oral tradition and downright plagiarism, as it draws together many references across time to a story that tells us as much about cultural and historical representations, as it does a lurid tale of murder, grave-opening, and screaming skulls.

Contributors to the project include artist James Brook, artist and writer Dr.Kate Briggs, and cultural sociologist Dr. Hilmar Schäfer. Robert Williams is Professor of Fine Art at the University of Cumbria Institute of the Arts.

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