The Institute of Civic Cultures was founded in 2020 by Garamond Gickity, a scientist from Marsh Gibbon, Buckinghamshire, England. The Institute, then a university-funded research project, began as a collaborative effort with Gickity’s colleague and friend Zor Butter, operating from Butter’s Cheltenham flat. The initial agenda of the Institute was to assemble reports of supernatural incidents and ghost sightings across the United Kingdom. Gickity and Butter compiled a series of large-scale annotated maps, which were pasted on the walls of their living room and said to 'strike fear' into the hearts of their visitors. Tragically, the entirety of their work was destroyed in a fire in August 2021.
Zor Butter’s flat was irreparably damaged in the flames, which as confirmed in a statement by the Fire Brigade, were a result of ‘an an-anarcho-arsonist prank’ (sic). Gickity and Butter soon after moved to London and established the Institute of Civic Cultures in a run-down office in the borough of Lewisham. So began their research, which initially focused on the whole of London, with no attempt to divide projects into local foci. The scope of the research, however, was deemed too broad by associated critics and the boundaries of their findings were restricted to the outermost limits of Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich, collectively. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the ICC’s research and findings take place in Deptford, where Gickity and Butter spend most of their time, and where the folklore is considered richest.