Profs & Pints Nashville: Wicked Games-SOLD OUT

By Profs and Pints (other events)

Wednesday, June 12 2024 6:30 PM 9:00 PM CDT

This talk has sold out in advance and NO door tickets are available.

Profs and Pints Nashville presents: “Wicked Games,” on the folkloric roots of play that explores the occult, with Cory Thomas Hutcheson, folklorist, lecturer at Middle Tennessee State University, and author of New World Witchery: A Trove of North American Folk Magic.

Did you grow up afraid of “Bloody Mary”? Was there an abandoned house in your hometown that everybody knew to be home to late-night Satanic rituals? Did you and your friends fold little paper fortune-tellers that you asked whom you might marry or how many children you might have?

If so, you also have participated in a folklore tradition that dates back more than three centuries in the United States alone.

Come learn more at the perfect talk for sleepover and summer camp season, a look at the history of the scary games and rituals that have long fascinated us, regardless of whether we’re huddled around a campfire or a computer screen. Your guide on this spooky scholarly journey, Dr. Cory Thomas Hutcheson, is an author and folklorist who has collected examples of occult play from early North American history through the contemporary digital age.

Reprising an excellent talk he gave last summer, Dr. Hutcheson will discuss how people--especially teenagers, young adults, and others in transitional phases of life—have a fascination with the occult, the unknown, the mysterious, and the forbidden. He’ll offer insights into what motivates our ongoing use of wicked games, and he’ll explore the relationship between play, performance, and the testing of the limits of the rational world.

Summoning up history and folklore, he’ll describe how girls in colonial Salem cracked an egg into a glass of water to divine some hint of the identity of their future husbands—an incident that helped give rise to Salem’s infamous witch hunts. You’ll learn the historical connections between Ouija boards and the White House. And you'll hear about contemporary rituals like the Midnight Man, Charlie Charlie, and Sara Sarita, and see how these games have found a new home online and in entertainment.

It will be about as much frightening fun as you can have without a flashlight under your chin. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)

Image: Ouija board use as depicted by Norman Rockwell on the cover of the May 1, 1920 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.