The Skeptic and the Spook in the ‘X-Files’ Christmas Special

Written by Brittany Means

The episode “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas” (1998) of The X-Files is one that stands out from other episodes in that it is both a Christmas special and one in which the two agents actually encounter the monster of the week without any question as to whether or not it is truly supernatural. One particularly important theme is that both characters are forced to face their hypocrisy. The characters and their relationships are developed significantly.

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The Social Function of Haunted

Written by Jordan Meyer

It seems that we often use haunting to discuss our culture’s social mores and taboos. For example, scholars Colleen Boyd and Coll Thrush theorize that stories of haunting associated with Native Americans are really a means of discussing the social shame held by those who have benefitted from the oppressions of the past. Without directly discussing this shame, however, non-native Americans share ghost stories associated with these indigenous peoples, thus becoming haunted by their own shame.

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Ghostly Language in Lovecraft and James

Written by Rebekah Hobbs

Since the evolution of the genre, Gothic writers have employed subtle language cues to create a sense of uncanniness. In the Western tradition, an unnatural use of language often proves that something is not as it should be, that the reader has cause for alarm. In “The Tomb” (1922), H.P. Lovecraft creates uncanny effects with references to ancient languages and texts and a general knowledge of things that should have receded from the collective unconscious long ago. In The Turn of the Screw (1898), Henry James achieves haunting effects within the structure of the narrative itself by writing in a way that summons more questions than it answers.

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‘The Shadow in the Corner’ And the Haunted Nature of Social Class

Written By Rachael Heffner

Society has an obsession with being scared. We constantly look for scary movies that are playing at the theatre or a haunted house to go to in the middle of October, desperate for that next scare. In E.J. Clery’s book, The Rise of Supernatural Fiction, she explores the correlation between the supernatural and consumerism. In her study, Clery concludes that when it comes to consumerism, the upper class sets the standard. The upper class is known for having a higher education, too; therefore, middle and working class members may conclude that whatever the upper class is known to believe or study must be true.

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Duality in Theatre: A Benevolent Kind of Haunting

Written By Malorie Palmer

In Alice Rayner’s article “Double and Doubts,” she grapples with the idea that the theatre provides a haunted experience. “Theatre, in all of its aspects, uniquely insists on the reality of ghosts,” Rayner explains, positing that ghosts are not merely a fictional element in theatre.  Rather, in each of its facets and faces, one can find means to believe that theatre itself is haunted, as the actors work within the constraints of the perceptions and expectations of the audience, the playwright, and even themselves. The actors have a basic format to follow or an expectation to live up to that is based on the knowledge they and their audience already have. To briefly summarize and focus this broad idea, we can take a look at the well-known Shakespearian work, Romeo and Juliet.

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