The Supernatural Past Is Conjured Up in Smithsonian Channel's 'Mystic Britain'

Rick and Christina Gables
Smithsonian Networks

Smithsonian Channel is set to reveal the secrets of Britain’s most mysterious sites via a road trip mixing mysticism with very British humor. The new series, hosted by Clive Anderson, premieres Monday, August 5.

In this 10-part series, Clive along with anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota, explore the island’s ancient places and rituals.

©Smithsonian Networks

With Mary-Ann more than a match for Clive’s signature wit and irreverence, the pair travel the length of Britain to investigate the strange and sacred beliefs of its past, joining scientists, archaeologists and historians to look at the latest discoveries unearthing what ancient Britons did in the name of their beliefs and why.

In the series premiere, Witches and Demons, Clive travels to the ancient Church of St. Mary’s Troston, where the walls are scored with medieval demonic symbols.

©Smithsonian Networks

Mary-Ann tries her hand at spells and curses, learning why demons really weren’t very smart. Clive tries to understand why people 600 years ago truly believed that demons walked the earth doing the devil’s work.

The two discover that these evil creatures transformed into something very real and very human – witches. What drove such intense levels of superstition in our ancestors? And were people really practicing black magic?

Subsequent August episodes of Mystic Britain include:

©Smithsonian Networks

The Rollright Witch
Premieres Monday, August 12 at 9/8c

In  an  anonymous  field  next  to  a  busy  main  road,  Clive  visits one  of  the  lesser  known mystic locations in  Britain: The  Rollright Stones.  Some  of  the  ancient  stones  placed  at Rollright  are  twice  as  old  as  Stonehenge  and  the  Pyramids of  Egypt.

©Smithsonian Networks

Hadrian's Mystic Wall
Premieres Monday, August 19 at 9/8c

Clive  investigates  the  most  impressive  legacy of the Roman Empire’s 400-year  rule  in ancient  Britain: Hadrian’s Wall. Clive discovers  how  the Roman  legionaries  conquered the  known  world.

©Smithsonian Networks

The Revenants
Premieres Monday, August 26 at 9/8c

Clive visits the best-preserved medieval village in Britain, where a jumble of bones found 50 years ago has recently been discovered to carry the signature marks of violence.

Mystic Britain, Series Premiere, Monday, August 5, 9/8c, Smithsonian Channel