Alas Poor Ghost
Gillian Bennett Utah State University Press, 1999 Library of Congress GR141.B55 1999 | Dewey Decimal 398.0941
In the rational modern world, belief in the supernatural seemingly has been consigned to the worlds of entertainment and fantasy. Yet belief in other worldly phenomena, from poltergeists to telepathy, remains strong, as Gillian Bennett's research shows. Especially common is belief in continuing contact with, or the continuing presence of, dead family members. Bennett interviewed women in Manchester, England, asking them questions about ghosts and other aspects of the supernatural. (Her discussion of how her research methods and interview techniques evolved is in itself valuable.) She first published the results of the study in the well-received Traditions of Belief: Women and the Supernatural, which has been widely used in folklore and women's studies courses. "Alas, Poor Ghost!" extensively revises and expands that work. In addition to a fuller presentation and analysis of the original field research and other added material, the author, assisted by Kate Bennett, a gerontological psychologist, presents and discusses new research with a group of women in Leicester, England.
Bennett is interested in more than measuring the extent of belief in other worldly manifestations. Her work explores the relationship between narrative and belief. She anticipated that her questions would elicit from her interviewees not just yes or no replies but stories about their experiences that confirmed or denied notions of the supernatural. The more controversial the subject matter, the more likely individuals were to tell stories, especially if their answers to questions of belief were positive. These were most commonly individualized narratives of personal experience, but they contained many of the traditional motifs and other content, including belief in the supernatural, of legends. Bennett calls them memorates and discusses the cultural processes, including ideas of what is a "proper" experience of the supernatural and a "proper" telling of the story, that make them communal as well as individual. These memorates provide direct and vivid examples of what the storytellers actually believe and disbelieve. In a final section, Bennett places her work in historical context through a discussion of case studies in the history of supernatural belief.
Pronghorn antelope are the fastest runners in North America, clocked at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour. Yet none of their current predators can come close to running this fast. Pronghorn also gather in groups, a behavior commonly viewed as a "safety in numbers" defense. But again, none of their living predators are fearsome enough to merit such a response.
In this elegantly written book, John A. Byers argues that these mystifying behaviors evolved in response to the dangerous predators with whom pronghorn shared their grassland home for nearly four million years: among them fleet hyenas, lions, and cheetahs. Although these predators died out ten thousand years ago, pronghorn still behave as if they were present—as if they were living with the ghosts of predators past.
Byers's provocative hypothesis will stimulate behavioral ecologists and mammalogists to consider whether other species' adaptations are also haunted by selective pressures from predators past. The book will also find a ready audience among evolutionary biologists and paleontologists.
In 1837 Representative Joseph J. Anthony stabs the speaker of the house to death during a debate about wolf pelts. In 1899 Hot Springs police shoot it out with the county sheriffs over control of illegal gambling. In 1974 President Richard Nixon resigns in part due to the outspokenness of Pine Bluff native Martha Mitchell. In this special print project of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, legendary cartoonist Ron Wolfe brings these and many other stories to life. Accompanied by selected entries from the encyclopedia, Wolfe’s cartoons highlight the oddities and absurdities of our state’s history. Seriously, you couldn’t make up this stuff.
Becoming Beside Ourselves continues the investigation that the renowned cultural theorist and mathematician Brian Rotman began in his previous books Signifying Nothing and Ad Infinitum...The Ghost in Turing’s Machine: exploring certain signs and the conceptual innovations and subjectivities that they facilitate or foreclose. In Becoming Beside Ourselves, Rotman turns his attention to alphabetic writing or the inscription of spoken language. Contending that all media configure what they mediate, he maintains that alphabetic writing has long served as the West’s dominant cognitive technology. Its logic and limitations have shaped thought and affect from its inception until the present. Now its grip on Western consciousness is giving way to virtual technologies and networked media, which are reconfiguring human subjectivity just as alphabetic texts have done for millennia.
Alphabetic texts do not convey the bodily gestures of human speech: the hesitations, silences, and changes of pitch that infuse spoken language with affect. Rotman suggests that by removing the body from communication, alphabetic texts enable belief in singular, disembodied, authoritative forms of being such as God and the psyche. He argues that while disembodied agencies are credible and real to “lettered selves,” they are increasingly incompatible with selves and subjectivities formed in relation to new virtual technologies and networked media. Digital motion-capture technologies are restoring gesture and even touch to a prominent role in communication. Parallel computing is challenging the linear thought patterns and ideas of singularity facilitated by alphabetic language. Barriers between self and other are breaking down as the networked self is traversed by other selves to become multiple and distributed, formed through many actions and perceptions at once. The digital self is going plural, becoming beside itself.
Franz Kafka: The Ghosts in the Machine adds an original critical framework to the work begun by Stanley Corngold and Benno Wagner in their monumental collection Franz Kafka: The Office Writings (2008). It is widely acknowledged that Kafka’s daytime occupation as a specialist in industrial accident insurance contributed in a significant way to his fiction.
Corngold and Wagner frame Kafka’s writings as cultural events, each work reflecting the economic and cultural discourses of his epoch. In pursuing Kafka’s avowed interest in the theory and practice of insurance, the authors view the two systems of his literary worlds—the official and the personal—as a “bundling” together of the various cultural accidents of Kafka’s time. The work of two of the leading scholars of the single most influential writer of literary modernity, Franz Kafka: The Ghosts in the Machine constitutes a breathtakingly original advance in the study of both the more famous and less well-known works of this enigmatic master.
“In the top corner of the window a pale, milky-white wisp is rising almost to the top of our ten-foot ceiling…. I am startled but not afraid…. Mostly, I am engrossed; I have never seen anything like this before (or since) and it fascinates me.”
Dennis Waskul writes these lines—about his first-hand experience with the supernatural—in the introduction to his beguiling book Ghostly Encounters. Based on two years of fieldwork and interviews with 71 midwestern Americans, the Waskuls’ book is a reflexive ethnography that examines how people experience ghosts and hauntings in everyday life. The authors explore how uncanny happenings become ghosts, and the reasons people struggle with or against a will to believe. They present the variety and character of hauntings and ghostly encounters, outcomes of people telling haunted legends, and the nested consequences of ghostly experiences.
Through these stories, Ghostly Encounters seeks to understand the persistence of uncanny experiences and beliefs in ghosts in an age of reason, science, education, and technology—as well as how those beliefs and experiences both reflect and serve important social and cultural functions.
From that cheerful puff of smoke known as Casper to the hunkiest potter living or dead, Sam Wheat, there is probably no more iconic entity in supernatural history than the ghost. And these are just recent examples. From the earliest writings such as the Epic of Gilgamesh to today’s ghost-hunting reality TV shows, ghosts have chilled the air of nearly every era and every culture in human history. In this book, Lisa Morton uses her scholarly prowess—more powerful than any proton pack—to wrangle together history’s most enduring ghosts into an entertaining and comprehensive look at what otherwise seems to always evade our eyes.
Tracing the ghost’s constantly shifting contours, Morton asks the most direct question—What exactly is a ghost?—and examines related entities such as poltergeists, wraiths, and revenants. She asks how a ghost is related to a soul, and she outlines all the different kinds of ghosts there are. To do so, she visits the spirits of the classical world, including the five-part Egyptian soul and the first haunted-house, conceived in the Roman playwright Plautus’s comedy, Mostellaria. She confronts us with the frightening phantoms of the Middle Ages—who could incinerate priests and devour children—and reminds us of the nineteenth-century rise of Spiritualism, a religion essentially devoted to ghosts. She visits with the Indian bhuta and goes to the Hungry Ghost Festival in China, and of course she spends time in Mexico, where ghosts have a particularly strong grip on belief and culture. Along the way she gathers the ectoplasmic residues seeping from books and film reels, from the Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto to the 2007 blockbuster Paranormal Activity, from the stories of Ann Radcliffe to those of Stephen King.
Wide-ranging, informative, and slicked with over fifty unearthly images, Ghosts is an entertaining read of a cultural phenomenon that will delight anyone, whether they believe in ghosts or not.
The Japanese have ambivalent attitudes toward death, deeply rooted in pre-Buddhist traditions. In this scholarly but accessible work, authors Iwasaka and Toelken show that everyday beliefs and customs--particularly death traditions--offer special insight into the living culture of Japan.
Making spirits visible has been a part of the theatrical experience since at least the sixteenth century. Instead of illusions, however, ghostly doubles in theatre are materially real and pervasive.
In Ghosts, Alice Rayner examines theatre as a memorial practice that is haunted by the presence of loss, looking at how aspects of stagecraft turn familiar elements into something uncanny. Citing examples from the works of Shakespeare, Beckett, and Suzan-Lori Parks as well as the films Vertigo, Gaslight, and The Sixth Sense, she begins by describing time as it is employed by theatre with multiple aspects of presence, duration, and passage. Suggesting that objects connect past to present through the sense of touch, she explores how props are suspended backstage between motion and meaning. Her final chapters consider the curtain as theatre’s means for attempting to divide real and imaginary worlds.
If ghosts hover where secrets—secrets of the past, secrets from oneself, secrets of life and death—are kept, then, according to Rayner, “theatre is where ghosts best make their appearances and let communities and individuals know that we live amid secrets hiding in plain sight.”
Alice Rayner is associate professor of drama at Stanford University and author of, most recently, To Act, To Do, To Perform: Drama and the Phenomenology of Action.
Through this vivid study, Jean-Claude Schmitt examines medieval religious culture and the significance of the widespread belief in ghosts, revealing the ways in which the dead and the living related to each other during the middle ages. Schmitt also discusses Augustine's influence on medieval authors; the link between dreams and autobiographical narratives; and monastic visions and folklore. Including numerous color reproductions of ghosts and ghostly trappings, this book presents a unique and intriguing look at medieval culture.
"Valuable and highly readable. . . . [Ghosts in the Middle Ages] will be of interest to many students of medieval thought and culture, but especially to those seeking a general overview of this particularly conspicuous aspect of the medieval remembrance of the dead."—Hans Peter Broedel, Medieval Review
"A fascinating study of the growing prevalence of ghost imagery in ecclesiastical and popular writing from the fifth to the fifteenth century."—Choice
“Failing schools. Underprivileged schools. Just plain bad schools.”
That’s how Eve L. Ewing opens Ghosts in the Schoolyard: describing Chicago Public Schools from the outside. The way politicians and pundits and parents of kids who attend other schools talk about them, with a mix of pity and contempt.
But Ewing knows Chicago Public Schools from the inside: as a student, then a teacher, and now a scholar who studies them. And that perspective has shown her that public schools are not buildings full of failures—they’re an integral part of their neighborhoods, at the heart of their communities, storehouses of history and memory that bring people together.
Never was that role more apparent than in 2013 when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced an unprecedented wave of school closings. Pitched simultaneously as a solution to a budget problem, a response to declining enrollments, and a chance to purge bad schools that were dragging down the whole system, the plan was met with a roar of protest from parents, students, and teachers. But if these schools were so bad, why did people care so much about keeping them open, to the point that some would even go on a hunger strike?
Ewing’s answer begins with a story of systemic racism, inequality, bad faith, and distrust that stretches deep into Chicago history. Rooting her exploration in the historic African American neighborhood of Bronzeville, Ewing reveals that this issue is about much more than just schools. Black communities see the closing of their schools—schools that are certainly less than perfect but that are theirs—as one more in a long line of racist policies. The fight to keep them open is yet another front in the ongoing struggle of black people in America to build successful lives and achieve true self-determination.
In the twenty years since its original publication, The Ghosts of Berlin has become a classic, an unparalleled guide to understanding the presence of history in our built environment, especially in a space as historically contested—and emotionally fraught—as Berlin. Brian Ladd examines the ongoing conflicts radiating from the remarkable fusion of architecture, history, and national identity in Berlin. Returning to the city frequently, Ladd continues to survey the urban landscape, traversing its ruins, contemplating its buildings and memorials, and carefully deconstructing the public debates and political controversies emerging from its past.
In this compelling work, Brian Ladd examines the ongoing conflicts radiating from the remarkable fusion of architecture, history, and national identity in Berlin. Ladd surveys the urban landscape, excavating its ruins, contemplating its buildings and memorials, and carefully deconstructing the public debates and political controversies emerging from its past.
"Written in a clear and elegant style, The Ghosts of Berlin is not just another colorless architectural history of the German capital. . . . Mr. Ladd's book is a superb guide to this process of urban self-definition, both past and present."—Katharina Thote, Wall Street Journal
"If a book can have the power to change a public debate, then The Ghosts of Berlin is such a book. Among the many new books about Berlin that I have read, Brian Ladd's is certainly the most impressive. . . . Ladd's approach also owes its success to the fact that he is a good storyteller. His history of Berlin's architectural successes and failures reads entertainingly like a detective novel."—Peter Schneider, New Republic
"[Ladd's] well-written and well-illustrated book amounts to a brief history of the city as well as a guide to its landscape."—Anthony Grafton, New York Review of Books
Ghosts of Chicago: Stories
John McNally Northwestern University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS3563.C38813G56 2010 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Chicago is famously a "city of neighborhoods" that somehow balances metropolitan and parochial life. In the seventeen vividly rendered stories in Ghosts of Chicago, John McNally likewise captures the poignancy of both the shared experiences of a city and the interior details of his everyday characters.
While McNally resurrects Chicago icons and institutions—including John Belushi, Walter Payton, and Richard J. Daley make appearances, and WGN’s "Creature Features" and a morning show for children featuring a silent goose are settings-- he is ultimately interested in the human condition, whether it’s railroad mogul George Pullman remembering his greatest triumph or the host of Romper Room experiencing her own awakening during the sexual revolution.
Other stories tell of everyday people who must confront their own private ghosts—an accountant who falls in love with a woman who is in love with a man on death row; the son of a realtor who discovers his father’s secret life; a memoirist whose dark night of the soul leads him on a journey from which he may never return.
McNally may be writing about Chicago—in the words of a Chicago Sun-Times reviewer, "He may have physically left Chicago, but the city has never left him"—but like Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha or Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, the stories in this book transcend place.
Drift down the Colorado River through Glen Canyon and explore the people and places that encompass the history of this majestic canyon before it drowned in the rising waters of Lake Powell.
Author Gregory Crampton led the historical investigations of Glen and San Juan Canyons from 1957 to 1963 under contract with the National Park Service. The objective was to locate and record historical sites that would be lost to the rising waters of the reservoir. This book records that effort.
First published in 1986, this edition has been revised to include several new “ghosts” of Glen Canyon, including a never-before-published foreword by Edward Abbey. It also showcases stunning color photographs by Philip Hyde and includes hundreds of black-and-white photographs taken by the original salvage crews.
This informative guide to the historic treasures of Glen Canyon includes numbered maps keyed to each location. It is a book for both the armchair traveler and the lake enthusiast eager for a journey through the past to a place few had the privilege to know.
In this illustrated examination of the Lindbergh kidnapping case, Jim Fisher seeks to set the record straight regarding Bruno Hauptmann's guilt in "the crime of the century."
In February 1935, following a sensational, six-week trial, a jury in Flemington, New Jersey, found German carpenter Hauptmann guilty of kidnapping and murdering the twenty-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Although circumstantial, the evidence against Hauptmann—the handwriting on the ransom notes, the homemade kidnapping ladder, Colonel Lindbergh's money found in his garage, his matching the description of the man who accepted the ransom payoff in the Bronx cemetery, his inability to prove an alibi, and his incredible explanation of his possession of the ransom money—was overwhelming, leaving few to doubt his guilt. After a series of appeals and stays, Hauptmann died fourteen months later in the electric chair. A confession would have spared him the death sentence, but Hauptmann chose to die maintaining his innocence.
It was not until the mid-1970s that revisionists began to challenge the conventional wisdom in the case: that Hauptmann was the lone killer. Revisionist books and articles appeared, as did plays, TV shows, and a movie, all portraying Hauptmann as the victim of a massive police and prosecution frame-up.
At this point, the focus shifted from the evidence to the conduct of the police. By the 1980s, most people familiar with the case were convinced of Hauptmann's complete innocence. Many denied the murder, believing that the Lindbergh baby remained alive. Several men claimed to be the firstborn son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, one of whom sued to claim his share of the Lindbergh estate after Charles Lindbergh's death in 1974.
Another group held that the kidnapping was an elaborate hoax to cover up the murder of the baby by his parents. Anna Hauptmann¹s series of federal lawsuits against New Jersey and others in the mid-1980s fueled further interest in the case. Although Hauptmann's widow lost all of her lawsuits, she had won the hearts and minds of the American people before her death at the age of ninety-four.
Former FBI agent Fisher discusses the hard evidence, such as the ransom notes and the wood of the kidnapping ladder. He analyzes and debunks the various revisionist theories and presents new evidence that, coupled with the undisputed facts, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hauptmann was guilty as charged: he kidnapped and murdered the infant son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh.
Who won the first Daytona 500? Fans still debate whether it was midwestern champion Johnny Beauchamp, declared the victor at the finish line, or longtime NASCAR driver Lee Petty, declared the official winner a few days after the race. The Ghosts of NASCAR puts the controversial finish under a microscope. Author John Havick interviewed scores of people, analyzed film of the race, and pored over newspaper accounts of the event. He uses this information and his deep knowledge of the sport as it worked then to determine what probably happened. But he also tells a much bigger story: the story of how Johnny Beauchamp—and his Harlan, Iowa, compatriots, mechanic Dale Swanson and driver Tiny Lund—ended up in Florida driving in the 1959 Daytona race.
The Ghosts of NASCAR details how the Harlan Boys turned to racing cars to have fun and to escape the limited opportunities for poor boys in rural southwestern Iowa. As auto racing became more popular and better organized in the 1950s, Swanson, Lund, and Beauchamp battled dozens of rivals and came to dominate the sport in the Midwest. By the later part of the decade, the three men were ready to take on the competition in the South’s growing NASCAR circuit. One of the top mechanics of the day, Swanson literally wrote the book on race cars at Chevrolet’s clandestine racing shop in Atlanta, Georgia, while Beauchamp and Lund proved themselves worthy competitors. It all came to a head on the brand-new Daytona track in 1959.
The Harlan Boys’ long careers and midwestern racing in general have largely faded from memory. The Ghosts of NASCAR recaptures it all: how they negotiated the corners on dirt tracks and passed or spun out their opponents; how officials tore down cars after races to make sure they conformed to track rules; the mix of violence and camaraderie among fierce competitors; and the struggles to organize and regulate the sport. One of very few accounts of 1950s midwestern stock car racing, The Ghosts of NASCAR is told by a man who was there during the sport’s earliest days.
In Ghosts of Organizations Past, Dan Ryan asks, “Why are urban communities such hard places to implement community improvement programs?” Looking at New Haven, Connecticut, and a now-defunct program called Fighting Back, which was created to build community coalitions against the abuse of alcohol and other drugs, Ryan shows how the normal properties of organizations generate apparent pathologies. He shows how the “ghosts,” or artifacts, of past organizations, both inhibited and enhanced Fighting Back's chances of success.
Ryan draws on concepts from the study of organizations, social capital, and social networks to re-think questions such as “What kind of thing is a community?” and “Why is it so difficult to build community initiatives out of organizations?” He provides a social organizational explanation for problems familiar to anyone who has been involved in community programs, issues that are usually understood as personal incompetence, turf wars, greed, or corruption.
Ghosts of Organizations Past describes the challenges of using organizations to create change in places in dire need of it.
The question of what caused the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) is the central focus of modern Spanish historiography. In Ghosts of Passion, Brian D. Bunk argues that propaganda related to the revolution of October 1934 triggered the broader conflict by accentuating existing social tensions surrounding religion and gender. Through careful analysis of the images produced in books, newspapers, posters, rallies, and meetings, Bunk contends that Spain’s civil war was not inevitable. Commemorative imagery produced after October 1934 bridged the gap between rhetoric and action by dehumanizing opponents and encouraging violent action against them.
In commemorating the uprising, revolutionaries and conservatives used the same methods to promote radically different political agendas: they deployed religious imagery to characterize the political situation as a battle between good and evil, with the fate of the nation hanging in the balance, and exploited traditional gender stereotypes to portray themselves as the defenders of social order against chaos. The resulting atmosphere of polarization combined with increasing political violence to plunge the country into civil war.
Questions traditional assumptions about power and agency in slave women's everyday lives.
Through their open defiance, women like Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth had a significant impact on the institution of slavery. But what of the countless other women who did not commit public or even private acts of resistance? Are their stories worthy of our attention? While some scholars imply that only the struggle for freedom was legitimate, Jenny Sharpe complicates the linear narrative-from slavery to freedom and literacy-that emerged from the privileging of autobiographical accounts like that of Frederick Douglass. She challenges a paradigm that equates agency with resistance and self-determination, and introduces new ways to examine negotiations for power within the constraints of slavery.
In Ghosts of Slavery, Sharpe introduces a wider range of everyday practices by examining the lives of three distinctive Caribbean women: a maroon leader, a mulatto concubine, and a fugitive slave. Through them she explains how the diasporic experience of slavery enabled black women to claim an authority that they didn't possess in Africa; how concubines empowered themselves through their mimicry of white women; and how less-privileged slave women manipulated situations that they were powerless to change. Finding the highly mediated portrayal of slave women in the historical records limited and sometimes misleading, Sharpe turns to unconventional sources for investigating these women's lives. In this fascinating and historically rich account, she calls for new strategies of reading that question traditional narratives of history, and she finds alternative ways to integrate oral storytelling, slave songs, travel writing, court documents, proslavery literature, and contemporary literature into black history.
Ultimately, this layered approach not only produces a more complex picture of the slave women's agency than conventional readings, it encourages a more nuanced understanding of the roles of slaves in the history of slavery.
Jenny Sharpe is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Allegories of Empire: The Figure of Woman in the Colonial Text (1993).
The first monograph to investigate the poetics and politics of haunting in African diaspora literature, Ghosts of the African Diaspora: Re-Visioning History, Memory, and Identity examines literary works by five contemporary writers—Fred D’Aguiar, Gloria Naylor, Paule Marshall, Michelle Cliff, and Toni Morrison. Joanne Chassot argues that reading these texts through the lens of the ghost does cultural, theoretical, and political work crucial to the writers’ engagement with issues of identity, memory, and history. Drawing on memory and trauma studies, postcolonial studies, and queer theory, this truly interdisciplinary volume makes an important contribution to the fast-growing field of spectrality studies.
The Ghosts of the Avant-Garde(s) offers a strikingly new perspective on key controversies and debates within avant-garde studies, arguing for the importance of reopening pivotal controversies and debates in avant-garde studies and challenging pronouncements of the “death of the avant-garde” that tend to obscure the diversity and plurality of avant-garde gesture and expression.
James M. Harding revisits iconic sites of early 20th-century performance to examine how European avant-gardists attempted—unsuccessfully—to employ that discourse as a strategy for enforcing uniformity among a politically and culturally diverse group of artists. He then takes aim at historical and aesthetic categories that have promoted a restrictive history and theory of the avant-garde and narrow readings of avant-garde performance. Harding reveals the Eurocentric undercurrents that underlie these categories and urges a consideration of the global political dimensions of avant-garde gestures. His book will interest scholars of theater and performance, art history, and literary studies, as well as those interested in the relation of art to politics in various historical periods and cultures.
Michael Norman University of Wisconsin Press, 2017 Library of Congress BF1472.U6S36 2017 | Dewey Decimal 133.10977
A fleeting figure dressed in a white party dress roams the streets of southwest Chicago. A long-dead Iowa college student treads the staircase in an old building. A ghostly, plaid-shirted workman plays peek-a-boo with a ticket seller in a Minnesota theater. A phantom wolf prowls Ohio's Jackson and Pike Counties.
For decades, journalist Michael Norman has been tracking down spine-tingling tales that seem to arise from authentic incidents in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin. In Haunted Heartland he offers more than eighty entertaining, eerie stories. Are they true in the world that we know, or only in a dark vale of twilight?
Michael Norman University of Wisconsin Press, 2011 Library of Congress BF1472.U6S37 2011 | Dewey Decimal 133.109775
Grab a cozy blanket, light a few flickering candles, and enjoy the unnerving tales of Haunted Wisconsin. Gathered from personal interviews with credible eyewitnesses, on-site explorations, historical archives, newspaper reports, and other sources, these scores of reports date from Wisconsin’s early settlement days to recent inexplicable events.
You’ll read about Wisconsin’s most famous haunted house, Summerwind; three Milwaukee men who encountered the beautiful ghost of National Avenue; a phantom basketball player; a spectral horse that signaled death in the pioneer era of the Wisconsin Dells; a poltergeist in St. Croix County who attracted a crowd of more than three hundred spectators; the Ridgeway Ghost who haunts the driftless valleys of southwestern Wisconsin; a swinging railroad lantern held by unseen hands; the Ghost Island of the Chippewa Flowage; and many others. Are ghosts real? That’s for you to decide!
Now available in a Third Edition with updates and several new accounts, Haunted Wisconsin remains a favorite collection of unexplained midwestern tales, enjoyed by readers of all ages.
Ghosts and other supernatural phenomena are widely represented throughout modern culture. They can be found in any number of entertainment, commercial, and other contexts, but popular media or commodified representations of ghosts can be quite different from the beliefs people hold about them, based on tradition or direct experience. Personal belief and cultural tradition on the one hand, and popular and commercial representation on the other, nevertheless continually feed each other. They frequently share space in how people think about the supernatural.
In Haunting Experiences, three well-known folklorists seek to broaden the discussion of ghost lore by examining it from a variety of angles in various modern contexts. Diane E. Goldstein, Sylvia Ann Grider, and Jeannie Banks Thomas take ghosts seriously, as they draw on contemporary scholarship that emphasizes both the basis of belief in experience (rather than mere fantasy) and the usefulness of ghost stories. They look closely at the narrative role of such lore in matters such as socialization and gender. And they unravel the complex mix of mass media, commodification, and popular culture that today puts old spirits into new contexts.
Jeffrey was the resident apparition in the Selma, Alabama, home of nationally-known folklorist Kathryn Tucker Windham and the inspiration for Windham’s best-selling collection of macabre tales that reveal two hundred years of Alabama’s ghostly secrets, 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey. One of the most popular books ever published in the state, generations of Alabama children and students have been thrilled and chilled by Windham’s spectral legends.
Following the overwhelming success of 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey, Windham and Jeffrey began to journey across the South assembling a second collection of ghastly tales that repeat Windham’s winning combination of traditional folklore, Southern history and culture, and family-friendly story-telling. In Jeffrey Introduces 13 More Southern Ghosts, Windham’s disembodied friend roams the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida to recall thirteen more timeless, spine-tingling tales of baneful and melancholy spirits that spook the most stoic heart.
Opening this volume is “The Girl Nobody Knew.” One midsummer night in the genteel Kentucky mineral spring resort of Harrodsburg, a beautiful lady arrived at the town’s grand hotel. The belle danced late into the night with the town’s smitten gallants only to expire suddenly with the notes of the last quadrille. The spooked residents of Harrodsburg guard a grave you can see to this day. Readers then visit the world-famous Bell Witch of Robinson County, Tennessee. Jeffrey also makes his first trip to old New Orleans to reveal a revenant in residence on Royal Street before continuing his ghostly progress across Dixie.
This new edition returns Jeffrey Introduces 13 More Southern Ghosts to its original format in jacketed cloth full of original, black-and-white illustrations in a handsome keepsake edition perfect for gift-giving and for families, folklorists of all ages, and libraries.
Accompanied by her faithful companion, Jeffrey, a friendly spirit who resided in her home in Selma, Alabama, Kathryn Tucker Windham traveled the South, visiting the sites of spectral legends in Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee, among other places. In Jeffrey’s Latest Thirteen: More Alabama Ghosts, a sequel to her landmark Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey, Windham introduces readers to thirteen more of Jeffrey's ghostly acquaintances, each with the charm and universal appeal that has created hundreds of thousands of Jeffrey fans.
Among the other hair-raising tales in this collection, Windham spotlights the apparitions of academia. From the three Yankee soldiers who haunt the University of Alabama’s Civil War–era Little Round House to the Confederate soldier who resides in the University Chapel at Auburn University, Alabama’s institutions of higher learning seem to have more than a few paranormal pupils.
Photographs of the sites about which Windham writes are one of the best-loved features of her series of “Jeffrey the Ghost” books. Jeffrey’s Latest Thirteen features the image of a beautiful child who, though not photographed in life, reappeared long enough to be photographed with his bereaved father's borrowed camera. Bewitched readers will find the startling photograph of the child in the next-to-last chapter, just pages before he book’s photograph of Windham’s own spectral muse, Jeffrey.
This commemorative edition returns Windham’s thrilling classic to its original 1982 keepsake quality and includes a new afterword by the author’s children.
For thirty years David G. Campbell has explored the Amazon, an enchanting terrain of forest and river that is home to the greatest diversity of plants and animals to have ever existed, anywhere at any time, during the four-billion-year history of life on Earth.
With great artistic flair, Campbell describes a journey up the Rio Moa, a remote tributary of the Amazon River, 2,800 miles from its mouth. Here he joins three old friends: Arito, a caiman hunter turned paleontologist; Tarzan, a street urchin brought up in a bordello; and Pimentel, a master canoe pilot. They travel together deep into the rainforest and set up camp in order to survey every woody plant on a two-hectare plot of land with about as many tree species as in all of North America.
Campbell introduces us to two remarkable women, Dona Cabocla, a widow who raised six children on that lonely frontier, and Dona Ausira, a Nokini Native American who is the last speaker of her tribe's ages-old language. These pioneers live in a land whose original inhabitants were wiped out by centuries of disease, slavery, and genocide, taking their traditions and languages with them. He explores the intimate relationship between the extinction of native language and the extirpation of biological diversity. "It's hard for a people to love a place that is not defined in words and thus cannot be understood. And it's easy to give away something for which there are no words, something you never knew existed."
In elegant prose that enchants and entrances, Campbell has written an elegy for the Amazon forest and its peoples-for what has become a land of ghosts.
When did the West discover Chinese healing traditions? Most people might point to the "rediscovery" of Chinese acupuncture in the 1970s. In Needles, Herbs, Gods, and Ghosts, Linda Barnes leads us back, instead, to the thirteenth century to uncover the story of the West's earliest known encounters with Chinese understandings of illness and healing. A medical anthropologist with a degree in comparative religion, Barnes illuminates the way constructions of medicine, religion, race, and the body informed Westerners' understanding of the Chinese and their healing traditions.
Drawing from a rich corpus of art works, including sarcophagi, tomb paintings, and floor mosaics, Patrick R. Crowley investigates how something as insubstantial as a ghost could be made visible through the material grit of stone and paint. In this fresh and wide-ranging study, he uses the figure of the ghost to offer a new understanding of the status of the image in Roman art and visual culture. Tracing the shifting practices and debates in antiquity about the nature of vision and representation, Crowley shows how images of ghosts make visible structures of beholding and strategies of depiction. Yet the figure of the ghost simultaneously contributes to a broader conceptual history that accounts for how modalities of belief emerged and developed in antiquity. Neither illustrations of ancient beliefs in ghosts nor depictions of afterlife, these images show us something about the visual event of seeing itself. The Phantom Image offers essential insight into ancient art, visual culture, and the history of the image.
Judith RICHARDSON Harvard University Press, 2003 Library of Congress BF1472.U6R54 2003 | Dewey Decimal 133.1097477
The cultural landscape of the Hudson River Valley is crowded with ghosts--the ghosts of Native Americans and Dutch colonists, of Revolutionary War soldiers and spies, of presidents, slaves, priests, and laborers. Possessions asks why this region just outside New York City became the locus for so many ghostly tales, and shows how these hauntings came to operate as a peculiar type of social memory whereby things lost, forgotten, or marginalized returned to claim possession of imaginations and territories. Reading Washington Irving's stories along with a diverse array of narratives from local folklore and regional writings, Judith Richardson explores the causes and consequences of Hudson Valley hauntings to reveal how ghosts both evolve from specific historical contexts and are conjured to serve the present needs of those they haunt. These tales of haunting, Richardson argues, are no mere echoes of the past but function in an ongoing, contentious politics of place. Through its tight geographical focus, Possessions illuminates problems of belonging and possessing that haunt the nation as a whole.
Table of Contents:
1. "How Comes theHudson to this Unique Heritage?" 2. Irving's Web 3. The Colorful Career of a Ghost from Leeds 4. Local Characters 5. Possessing High Tor Mountain
Epilogue: Hauntings without End
Reviews of this book: The author traces changing versions of several ghostly tales that mutated over time to reflect local conditions and controversies as well as national political issues like abolitionism. Richardson shows that, thanks to the Hudson Valley's long history of settlement, the 'legendizing impetus' created by Washington Irving, and the area's established position as a tourist destination, it inspired at least three sometimes overlapping traditions of hauntings: the 'aboriginal' Dutch and Indian hauntings, the Revolutionary War hauntings, and industrial hauntings, which are traced in Maxwell Anderson's High Tor (1937) and T. Coraghessan Boyle's World's End (1987). --J. J. Benardete, Choice
Possessions is a rare and brilliant book that seamlessly combines history and literature--revealing how richly they can support one another. It is a great pleasure to read: both fluent and profound. --Alan Taylor, author of American Colonies and William Cooper's Town
This is a lively, well-written, and engaging interdisciplinary study. Richardson pursues two main goals: probing in considerable detail a body of early national folklore and its modern revivals and testing some more general notions about the uses to which such lore is put in the periods when it is recovered, reshaped, and reinvigorated. It is smart without being condescending, locally inflected without exhibiting the least bit of piety - and, I think, quite suggestive for scholars looking at other domains far beyond the Hudson Valley. She gives us a way of understanding how the "local" has figured in the cultural construction of Americanness. --Wayne Franklin, author of Discoverers, Explorers, Settlers and The New World of James Fenimore Cooper
Just exactly where do we find the supernatural in the contemporary world? It’s both pervasive—everywhere—and specific—a particular somewhere. Otherworldly traditions and stories still spread through oral narration. They pervade mass media and the digital world and often form the stuff of hypermodern folklore<m>the stew of folk, popular, consumer, and digital culture that constitutes much of contemporary life. People also imbue specific places—from the local haunted house or cemetery to whole towns or cities—with supernatural manifestations or significance.
Putting the Supernatural in Its Place explores zombies, vampires, witches, demented nuns, mediums, and ghosts in their natural (and unnatural) habitats while making sense of the current ubiquity of the supernatural on the Internet, in the movies, in tourism, and in places like New Orleans. This unique study of how we locate the supernatural sheds light on why certain sites and their stories captivate us and shows how pondering the supernatural can bring a better understanding of the places we create and inhabit. Each chapter is authored by a noted folklorist who examines the supernatural as it appears “in place.” Among the locales are Salem, Massachusetts; Lily Dale, New York; and Internet fan sites for the Twilight movies and the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Supernatural places have the potential to alter perceptions of reality—sometimes enchanting, sometimes terrifying, and sometimes even schooling those who experience them. Ultimately, the authors demonstrate that, culturally speaking, the supernatural’s place is important and not trivial.
Employing rootedness as a way of understanding identity has increasingly been subjected to acerbic political and theoretical critiques. Politically, roots narratives have been criticized for attempting to police identity through a politics of purity—excluding anyone who doesn’t share the same narrative. Theoretically, a critique of essentialism has led to a suspicion against essence and origins regardless of their political implications.
The central argument of Queer Roots for the Diaspora is that, in spite of these debates, ultimately the desire for roots contains the “roots” of its own deconstruction. The book considers alternative root narratives that acknowledge the impossibility of returning to origins with any certainty; welcome sexual diversity; acknowledge their own fictionality; reveal that even a single collective identity can be rooted in multiple ways; and create family trees haunted by the queer others patrilineal genealogy seems to marginalize.
The roots narratives explored in this book simultaneously assert and question rooted identities within a number of diasporas—African, Jewish, and Armenian. By looking at these together, one can discern between the local specificities of any single diaspora and the commonalities inherent in diaspora as a global phenomenon. This comparatist, interdisciplinary study will interest scholars in a diversity of fields, including diaspora studies, postcolonial studies, LGBTQ studies, French and Francophone studies, American studies, comparative literature, and literary theory.
This fascinating new book by Chun-shu Chang and Shelley Hsueh-lun Chang follows the career, times, and ideas of P'u Sung-ling (1640-1715) and focuses its discussion on his magnum opus, Liao-chai chih- i, or Tales of the Unusual from the Studio of Deliberation and Musing. P'u lived through the turbulent period of Ming-Ch'ing dynastic transition in the seventeenth century and he aspired, as did millions of young men of his time, to pass the Imperial Civil Service Examinations necessary for securing a government position.
While P'u did not attain his goal of becoming a statesman, having failed exam after exam for fifty years, he was not impeded in his intellectual and literary pursuits. When he died in 1715, he left a body of work including over 500 essays, 1,295 poems, 119 lyrics, 18 encyclopedias and handbooks, 20 operas, 100 folk songs, and 500 short stories. He went on to become one of the most well-known scholar-writers and the best known short-story author in Chinese history. The 500 stories in Liao-chai chih-i, which P'u composed in his self-styled capacity as historian, had the most lasting influence of any single work on the shaping of popular consciousness in China.
Following the life and literature of one man, this study sets out to detail the history of the Ming-Ch'ing dynastic transition in the East Shantung region. It is based on an exhaustive exploration of contemporary Chinese historical and literary sources, including local histories, clan and family records, autobiographical and biographical materials, folklore, essays, poems, and plays: in short, the entire range of literary sources. Using a comprehensive historical approach, the authors cover a broad array of issues relevant to the topic at hand.
Redefining History is an important source for the study of Chinese history and literature and comparative historical studies. It will also appeal to people interested in the relation between history and literature, issues of gender and class, race relations, biographical studies, and popular culture movements.
Chun-shu Chang is Professor of History, University of Michigan, and Honorary Professor of Chinese History, China. Shelley Hsueh-lun Chang is Visiting Associate Professor of History and Research Associate, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan.
When Charles Montgomery was ten years old, he stumbled upon the memoirs of his great-grandfather, a seafaring missionary in the South Pacific. Twenty years later and a century after that journey, entranced by the world of black magic and savagery the bishop described, Montgomery set out for Melanesia in search of the very spirits and myths his great-grandfather had sought to destroy. In The Shark God, he retraces his ancestor’s path through the far-flung islands, exploring the bond between faith and magic, the eerie persistence of the spirit world, and the heavy footprints of the British Empire.
In the South Pacific, he discovers a world of sorcery and shark worship, where Christian and pagan rituals coexist and an ordinary day is marked by confrontations with America-worshiping cult leaders and militants alike. A defiantly original blend of history and memoir, anthropology and travel writing, The Shark God is ultimately a tale of personal and political transformation.
“The Shark God, a travel story as dark and twisted as one might ever wish to hear . . . reaches a superb climax with some apocalyptically page-turning scenes.”—Guardian
“A fascinating account of the drama of Melanesian life.”—Times Literary Supplement
“With exquisite writing, Montgomery lovingly captures the beauty and the horrors, the mysteries and the shams of the people and places he visits.”—Publishers Weekly
“A very real and memorable talent. . . . The endurance [Montgomery] displayed on his travels was admirable, the adventures he survived were tremendous, and the quality of his prose seems matched only by the wisdom of his observations.”—Simon Winchester, Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Spirits and Wine
Susan Newhof University of Michigan Press, 2011 Library of Congress PS3614.E585S65 2011 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
It's a mystery and a ghost story, all wrapped up in one.
A newly married couple buys an old house in a small lakeshore town in West Michigan and finds it haunted by the dramatic secrets of its past inhabitants. As the couple settles in, disturbing events prompt them to investigate who those residents were, what happened to them, and why one spirit remains active. Could the Spanish influenza epidemic in the region, which resulted in the deaths of an unprecedented number of young, healthy adults in Michigan and elsewhere in 1918---19, and the resulting slew of orphans, have something to do with the spirit now haunting their house?
They are determined to discover the truth about their house, even if it jeopardizes their own safety.
System of Ghosts
Lindsey Tigue University of Iowa Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3620.I485A6 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
In System of Ghosts, Lindsay Tigue details the way landscape speaks to isolation and personhood, how virtual and lived networks alter experience. She questions how built environments structure lives, how we seek out information within these spaces, and, most fundamentally, how we love.
Rooted in the personal, the speaker of this collection moves through society and history, with the aim of firmly placing herself within her own life and loss. Facts become an essential bridge between spatial and historical boundaries. She connects us to the disappearance of species, abandoned structures, and heartbreak—abandoned spaces that tap into the searing grief woven into society’s public places. There is solace in research, one system this collection uses to examine the isolation of contemporary life alongside personal, historical, and ecological loss. While her poems are intimate and personal, Tigue never turns away from the larger contexts within which we all live.
System of Ghosts is, at its core, an act of reaching out—across time, space, history, and across the room.
One of the best-known and widely shared books about the South, Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey has haunted the imaginations of generations of delighted young readers since it was first published in 1969. Written by nationally acclaimed folklorists Kathryn Tucker Windham and Margaret Gillis Figh, the book recounts Alabama’s thirteen most ghoulish and eerie ghost legends.
Curated with loving expertise, these thirteen tales showcase both Windham and Figh’s masterful selection of stories and their artful and suspenseful writing style. In crafting stories treasured by children and adults alike, the authors tell much more than ghost tales. Embedded in each is a wealth of fact and folklore about Alabama history and the old South. “I don’t care whether you believe in ghosts,” Windham was fond of saying. “The good ghost stories do not require that you believe in ghosts.”
Millions of readers cherish memories of being chilled as teachers and parents read them unforgettable stories like “The Unquiet Ghost at Gaineswood,” about the ghost of Evelyn Carter, who fills this Demopolis antebellum mansion with midnight musical lamentations because her body wasn’t returned to her native Virginia, and “The Phantom Steamboat of the Tombigbee,” about the wreck of the steamboat Eliza Battle, which caught fire on the way to Mobile and sank one February night in 1858. People who live along the river say the flaming steamboat wreck still rises on cold nights, its cotton cargo blazing across the waves while its terrified survivors cry for help from the icy water.
The title’s “Jeffrey” refers to a friendly ghost who resides in the Windham home and who served as Windham’s unofficial collaborator in this work and the subsequent books in this popular series, all of which are now available in high-quality reproductions of their spooky originals.
Petrifying the Peach State, hosts of haints have beset the state of Georgia throughout its storied history. In Thirteen Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey, best-selling folklorist Kathryn Tucker Windham, along with her trusty spectral companion Jeffrey, introduce thirteen of Georgia’s most famous ghost stories.
Windham won hearts across the nation in her regular radio broadcasts and many public appearances. The South’s most prolific raconteur of revenants, Windham, giving new meaning to the phrase “ghost-writer,” does more than tell ghost stories—she captures the true spirit of the place.
Evoking Georgia’s colonial era, “The Eternal Dinner Party” explains why the sounds of an elegant dinner soirée still waft from the grove of Savannah’s Bonaventure estate. At the onset of the Revolution, the Tattnall family abandoned Bonaventure and slipped away to England. Young Josiah Tattnall eventually returned to fight in the Revolution, restored Bonaventure, and later became Georgia’s governor. One holiday eve, when the mansion was bedecked with magnolia and holly and crowded with visitors, a fire too large to control swept through the old house. Tattnall, exhibiting his cool head and impeccable manners, ordered the massive dinner table carried out to the garden where he enjoined his holiday revelers to continue their stately meal. The melancholy strains of Tattnall’s dinner guests still echo through Bonaventure’s ancient oaks on moonlight nights.
In “The Ghost of Andersonville,” Windham takes visitors near the woebegone Confederate prisoner-of-war camp. A plaque there still recounts the tale of Swiss immigrant and Confederate captain Henry Wirz. Convicted—many thought wrongly—of war crimes, Wirz’s restless ghost still perambulates the highways of south Georgia. Writing for the Georgia Historical Commission, Miss Bessie Lewis quips in her preface to this beloved collection, “Who should be better able to tell of happenings long past than the ghosts of those who had a part in them?”
A perennial favorite, this commemorative edition restores Thirteen Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey to the ghastly grandeur of its original 1973 edition.
For as long as Mississippi has existed (and then some), flocks of phantoms have haunted the mortal inhabitants of the Magnolia State. In Thirteen Mississippi Ghosts and Jeffrey, best-selling folklorist Kathryn Tucker Windham, along with her trusty spectral companion Jeffrey, introduces thirteen of the state’s most famous ghost stories.
Although stories about Mississippi’s spirits seemingly outnumber the ghosts themselves, Windham observes that “Southern ghost tales are disappearing because people no longer sit around on the porch on summer nights and tell stories. The old folks who grew up with these stories are dying now, and the stories are dying with them.”
Fortunately for us, Windham was a writer dedicated to preserving these tales in print. The veteran author spent many years tracking down these stories and chronicling the best ones. From the ghost of Mrs. McEwen still wearing her beloved cameo pin and keeping a watchful eye over Featherston Place, her home in Holly Springs, where, she swore, she would stay forever, to the ghostly visage fixed permanently on the bedroom window pane of Catherine McGehee, who searched the horizon ardently for her unrequited love to come to her as promised at Cold Spring Plantation in Pinckneyville, Windham’s stories cover the breadth and depth of Mississippi—at times more moonlight than magnolia.
An enduring classic, this commemorative edition restores Thirteen Mississippi Ghosts and Jeffrey to the ghastly grandeur of its original 1974 edition.
In Thirteen Tennessee Ghosts and Jeffrey, beloved and best-selling folklorist Kathryn Tucker Windham presents a spine-tingling collection of Tennessee’s eeriest ghost tales. Accompanied by her faithful companion, Jeffrey, a friendly spirit who resided in her home, Windham traveled from the mysterious muds of Memphis to the haunted hollow’s of east Tennessee to collect the spookiest collection of Volunteer State revenants ever written.
In these perennial favorites, Windham captures the gentle folk humor of native Tennesseans as well as fascinating facts about the state’s rich history. In “The Dark Legend,” Windham recounts the story of explorer Merriwether Lewis, who met an untimely end on the Natchez Trace 1809 and whose spirit, it is said, still treads through Tennessee’s forests. Windham also visits central Tennessee’s Chapel Hill, where people who know the town say those who stand on the train tracks on dark, lonely nights can often see a disembodied light floating along the tracks. Neighbors say it’s the ghost of a headless flagman who returns to cavort with night-time guests.
High in Tennessee’s Appalachian mountains, Windham encounters Martin, the phantom fiddler of Johnson County. Legend has it that in life Martin’s musical skills so mesmerized the snakes of the Stone Mountains that they would slither from their dens to listen tamely to his fiddling. Intrepid visitors to the rocky tops of northeast Tennessee’s mountains say you can still hear Martin’s ghost fiddling in the hollows.
This handsome, new commemorative hardback edition returns Windham’s suspenseful classic to its original keepsake quality and includes a new afterword by the author’s children.
The Uncanny Child in Transnational Cinema illustrates how global horror film depictions of children re-conceptualised childhood at the turn of the twenty-first century. By analysing an influential body of transnational horror films, largely stemming from Spain, Japan, and the US, Jessica Balanzategui shows how millennial uncanny child characters resist embodying growth and futurity, unravelling concepts to which the child's symbolic function is typically bound. The book proposes that complex cultural and industrial shifts at the turn of the millennium resulted in these potent cinematic renegotiations of the concept of childhood. By demonstrating both the culturally specific and globally resonant properties of these frightening visions of children who refuse to grow up, the book outlines the conceptual and aesthetic mechanisms by which long entrenched ideologies of futurity, national progress, and teleological history started to waver at the turn of the twenty-first century.