This study analyzes various reasons why some Americans find the subject of ghosts and ghost hunting so fascinating. A recent poll suggests that nearly half of Americans believe in ghosts. Thousands of ghost hunting societies exist in which members try to find proof of a supernatural world. Hundreds of films featuring paranormal elements have been released over the past few decades. The prevalence of this subject warrants further investigation regarding its appeal. Ghost stories have been passed down from one generation to the next for millennia in literature and by word of mouth. There have been accounts of ghosts haunting homes and families all over the world. Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne introduced the American horror story, which is characterized by themes that strike Americans where they care most. These stories transgressed from literature into film and television where they began reaching widespread audiences and continue to exist and thrive today. However, for as long as there have been people interested in ghost stories, there have been those interested in ghost hunting. This hobby became widely popular in the late twentieth century when popular films made it acceptable to discuss the possibility of a haunting in the home. Reality television then showed that anyone could be an investigator. Even though the topic of ghosts can be frightening and disturbing to some, others find ghost stories and ghost hunting very appealing. The purpose of this study is to understand the motivations of these investigations and the attraction to these tales. Over the course of this research, two interviews with local ghost hunters were conducted to understand their unique perspective on the subject. Further, public forums were analyzed to determine popular opinions regarding these appeals. Psychologists have proposed various theories regarding the appeal of ghosts in popular media, which provides a theoretical framework for the public opinions gathered from the forums. There is very little research regarding the motivations of ghost hunting, which is alarming. Many people have decided to dedicate their lives to this hobby, so why has so little research been conducted on the subject?
- A Haunting in America: An Analysis of Contemporary American Popular Culture's Fixation with Ghosts
The date the item was original created (prior to any relationship with the ASU Digital Repositories.)
Collections this item is in