At this late night LiveFriday we conjured up an evening of wizardry, witchcraft and wonderment.

To celebrate our 2018 exhibition Spellbound: Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft, we discovered magicians, illusionists and astrolabe demonstrations, heard about magic and medicine, star-gazed with astronomers, experimented with face distortion, and much more.

What we enjoyed on the night:

  • The 'Three Old Crones' wandered the museum performing rituals and telling the future. 
  • Enjoyed a Halloween Silent Disco. 
  • Discovered how the Ancient Romans put spells on their enemies, and wrote our own curse tablets to dedicate to the Goddess Sulis in our enchanted fountain.
  • Journeyed back to October 1898 with Egyptologist and cultural historian John J Johnston for a rare and detailed recreation of a public mummy unrolling.
  • Encountered witchfinders roaming the museum looking for the mark of the Devil and witnessed the accused’s trial as old grudges resurface with claims of dark deeds.
  • Weaved a spell of love with artist Amanda Beck.
  • Visited the Love Bridge and designed our own padlock (as seen in the Spellbound exhibition).
  • Bought some magnificent witch robes, cloaks, and hats, at Madam Audrey’s Robes for all Occasions
  • Experienced incredible magic as The Magic Circle Stage Magician of the Year Edward Hilsum performed some incredible tricks. 
  • Explored our Spellbound exhibition in an after-hours private view.

The Ashmolean once again opened its doors 7–10.30 pm, giving you the opportunity to experience the Museum and see the collections after hours. Interactive events included theatrical performances, creative workshops and lively talks. The Rooftop Dining Room and Crypt Café were open all evening.


The Ashmolean would like to thank the exhibition sponsors for their generous support.

Bagri Foundation
University of East Anglia








The Bagri Foundation  |  The Wellcome Trust  |  University of East Anglia

The Spellbound Magic Circle: Philip & Jude Pullman; Dasha Shenkman OBE, HonRCM; and others who wish to remain anonymous

The Patrons of the Ashmolean

The research on this subject under the title “Inner Lives: Emotions, Identity and the Supernatural, 1300 -1900” was generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the University of East Anglia. Click here to find out more about the research.