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The Business of Captivity
The Insanity Defense and the Mad Murderess of Shaker Heights
Truth and Truthfulness
The Field Researcher's Handbook
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"I Hear America Singing"
Uncovering History
Dick Cole’s War

Haunting ExperiencesHaunting Experiences

Ghosts in Contemporary Folklore

Diane E. Goldstein, Sylvia Ann Grider and Jeannie B. Thomas

Brian McConnell Book Award from the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research

Narrated by Cynthia Wallace

Available from Audible

Book published by Utah State University Press

Ghosts and the supernatural appear throughout modern culture, in any number of entertainment, commercial, and other contexts. Popular media's commodified representations of ghosts can be quite different from what people believe about them, based on tradition or direct experience. Belief and tradition and the popular or commercial nevertheless continually feed off each other. They frequently share space in how people think about the supernatural. In Haunting Experiences, three well-known folklorists broaden the discussion of ghost lore by examining it from multiple angles in various modern contexts. Diane E. Goldstein, Sylvia Ann Grider, and Jeannie Banks Thomas take ghosts seriously. They draw on contemporary scholarship that emphasizes the basis of belief in experience and the usefulness of ghost stories. And they look closely at the narrative role of such lore in matters such as socialization and gender. Together, they unravel the complex mix of mass media, commodification, and popular culture that today puts old spirits into new contexts.

Diane E. Goldstein is an American scholar of folklore, professor at Indiana University, and current president of the American Folklore Society.

Sylvia Ann Grider is the editor of Let's Hear It: Stories by Texas Women Writers

Jeannie B. Thomas teaches courses in Folklore at Utah State University and was Director of the Folklore Program at Utah State University from 2003-2008.


“Three leading folklorists have teamed up to produce a much-needed volume examining ghostlore from a variety of perspectives. While supremely folkloric in topic, ghostlore in the US has never had such a thorough folkloristic treatment… The writing is grounded in scholarly research, fieldwork, and theory, but the writers' clear presentations make this work accessible equally to casual readers, undergraduates, and seasoned professionals. With excellent writing, complete scholarship, thorough research and citations, and expansion of its field, Haunting Experiences is a necessary addition to any cultural studies library. It fulfills the fundamental scholarly pursuit: enriching the knowledge base. Summing Up: Highly recommended. ”


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