Did you know that Herr Dobler, Wizard of the World, appeared at the Victoria Hall in Belfast in 1883? Did your granny ever try Dobbin’s Blood Purifier, only available at Dobbin’s Chemist, North Street? And did you hear about the arrest of Jack the Ripper in Memel Street in Belfast in 1888?
Welcome to Weird Belfast, a miscellany that revels in the strange, miraculous, superstitious and uncanny side of Belfast. This is a history of the city that has never been told before – there are ghostly goings-on and accusations of witchcraft; scientific advances and ‘miracle cures’; heinous murders and tragic suicides; and spectacular appearances from The Magnetic Lady and the renowned Blondin, ‘King of the Tight Rope’.
Drawing on newspaper articles, ballads, playbills and advertisements as well as anecdote, hearsay and rumour, this is a vivid and endlessly fascinating account of the weird and wonderful and wonderfully weird in Belfast.
The Key of Hell
Listen below to The Key of Hell performance based on an extract of Weird Belfast by Reggie Chamberlain-King.