Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

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Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

SteveBrandon
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Use this thread to tell a ghost story, and discuss the genre of ghost stories.  It can be a local ghost story.  It can be a moment where you thought you saw a ghost or someone you know well thought they saw a ghost.  Go on to discuss why ghost stories remain so popular.  Why, for instance, is the ghost story part of camp entertainment, where the audience is primarily made up of children.  What does the popularity of ghost stories and their use in juvenile entertainment say about Poe's popularity?  Why does our society, built on the back of science and reason, continue to share and circulate ghost stories? What function do such stories serve for the individual and for society?  Why do kid's summer camps, where we teach kids the basic values of society, carve out a space for story telling around a fire and often tell ghost stories?

Here is the essential question to answer after you have told your story:

Why does Poe so often focus on death, ghosts, horror, and mystery as a means of achieving his literary ends?  [Hint: He addresses this question in his "The Philosophy of Composition," and his answer gets at the heart of the role such genres of literature play in society.  Answering this question will give you insight into the sublime.
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Jeromy Jones
The only experience I have with a ghost is a small one and I am still very skeptical about it. Walking down a corridor coming from the mall my girlfriend, Hannah, and I heard someone begin to walk behind us. There was a clicking, like the sound of heels against the ground, so I assumed there was simply some woman leaving the same time as we which would have been of no consequence. As we approached the door the clicking began to get closer to us, and Hannah swears she saw the reflection of a woman in the glass windows of the door. As we walked through the door I decided to be a gentleman and hold the door, however as we both turned around to see the person who had been walking behind us we were met by the sight of an empty, silent corridor. We both gave each other a chilling look and walked away very confused and unnerved.

I do not believe in ghosts and believe there must be some reasonable explanation for every ghost story out there, even mine. I feel the major reason ghosts remain a large part of our culture is that most people truly wish to believe in some sort of life after death. However, I think the ghost story is simply a form of entertainment, and the tradition of telling these types of stories dates back to the dawn of man. Before the written word there were story tellers who travelled around telling fantastic tales around fires. Ghost stories are merely our modernized form of this. There will always be those who will use ghosts to explain the unexplained, however, many times these stories must be seen as they are; stories. Poe knew that people love the thrill of a good horror story. By using his dark imagination, he was able to create vivid tales of terror unlike anything that had been seen before.
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Almira Dedic
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
Are ghosts real? Few years ago my husband and I were trying to relocate and find a little bigger house for us to start a family. We searched online and looked at houses that were for sale and came across a home that was very inexpensive but very big, exactly what we were looking for. One day we decided to go take a look at the house with our realtor, who is my friend Amy, it was around seven pm and it was starting to get dark outside.  We both loved this house that we saw online so we could not wait to see the inside and outside.  When we came to look at the house we saw that it was very isolated from other homes. We got out and looking through the window. When Amy tried to unlock the door it was open she opened it and let us in, we wanted to get a good look at it inside.  The house was very cold. We walked around for a few minutes and I said I was going to go get the camera. So I went back to the car and filmed the outside of the house. I was out front for about three minutes when my husband walked out the front door. He closed the door behind him and when he was going back in the house he stopped and turned to me and said. You need to come here now! So I did. He said Open the door, I wasn't sure what this was about so I did and when the door opened a very warm burst of air hit in the face like someone just put a heat fan in front of me. The house had gone from 50 degrees to 75 in five minutes. It felt like the heat had been on all day . The only thing I could come up with was that because the house was empty it had to be a something trying to welcome us. The house sold not too long after that. We did drive by on purpose a few times and saw that the home was on the market a lot of times in the eight years sense we looked at it. I thought there had to be something wrong with it sense people are not able to live in it for a long time. I did some research on it and found out that he home was built on the land where a small cemetery used to be long time ago. I just thought it was very interesting.  

I don’t believe in ghosts and I think the stories are so popular because of advertisement. Kids like them because it is something they want to experience and see. The ghost stories are not the same anymore because everything is computerized nowadays. The entertainment industries use the stories to play with the children’s minds. All they are trying to do is to get them to purchase things to make money. Edgar Allan Poe was very smart he had very large vocabulary. I think many times he used a word because of the way it sounded. Poe used some fairly obscure words that we may not be familiar with.


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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

SteveBrandon
Administrator
As Poe says in his "Philosophy of Composition," he believed that how a word sounds was very important and that some sounds invoke specific emotions.  He refereed to such words in his ideas about onomatopoei--literally words whose sounds make you feel their meanings or the emotions associated with them. 

Especially in his poetry but also to a degree in his fiction, Poe used a sophisticated combination of Gothic horror, repetition of specific sounds, rhythm, and nostalgia (especially for lost love) to invoke a sense of loss, grief, longing, and dread.  All this was an attempt to get his readers to remember their own nostalgia for times when they felt the intense emotions surrounding their own experience of the sublime and shared a longing for such times but also a dread of how such intense emotions can overwhelm. 

Poe did have an extensive vocabulary, but this was true of many of his readers.  At the time, educated readers had been exposed extensively to Latin, and one of the reasons people read was to  show off their knowledge and exposure to literature and the other finer things in life.  

In your own reading, you can us the audio files to hear some of the repeated sounds and rhythm of Poe's writing.  Here, don't try to understand every word with your head; instead, listen and try to figure our how you feel or what Poe was trying to get his audience to feel.  You can also read the texts online.  Many students find that when they read online, it is easier to highlight, copy and look up a word or idea with which they are unfamiliar.  In this way, online research can take the place or supplement the annotations one finds in a good anthology, like the Heath.  

One thing to remember is that all the reading of the time was not meant to be easily read and consumed; instead, most of the literature was meant to be read slowly and--in the case of the Romantics--read for the emotions it invoked.  Often, works such as Poes would be read out loud, so that they could be shared with others.  Think of reading Poe in a much darker room, lit only by candle or lantern and a flickering fire.  You read out loud with others present and then talk after about the piece.  Remember, this was before the net, before TV, before record players, and before radio.  Reading, story telling, making one's own music, and games were primary means of middle and upper class entertainment.  One gathered around the dinner or the fireplace to linger over conversation and such entertainment as reading, talk, or singing together.  Hence, one wasn't in as much of a hurry to get through to get to other forms of entertainment or to other duties.  Literature was meant to be read slowly and multiple times and to reward these ways of reading.

Steve   
Stephen Brandon, PhD
Associate Professor, Composition and Rhetoric
J. Sargent Reynolds Community College
Richmond, VA 23221
[hidden email]

Often the accurate answer to a usage question begins, "It depends." And what
it depends on most often is where you are, who you are, who your listeners
or readers are, and what your purpose in speaking or writing is.
-Kenneth G. Wilson, usage writer (b. 1923)


On Sat, Sep 4, 2010 at 10:23 PM, Almira Dedic [via General Assembly Discussion Forum, Fall 2010] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Are ghosts real? Few years ago my husband and I were trying to relocate and find a little bigger house for us to start a family. We searched online and looked at houses that were for sale and came across a home that was very inexpensive but very big, exactly what we were looking for. One day we decided to go take a look at the house with our realtor, who is my friend Amy, it was around seven pm and it was starting to get dark outside.  We both loved this house that we saw online so we could not wait to see the inside and outside.  When we came to look at the house we saw that it was very isolated from other homes. We got out and looking through the window. When Amy tried to unlock the door it was open she opened it and let us in, we wanted to get a good look at it inside.  The house was very cold. We walked around for a few minutes and I said I was going to go get the camera. So I went back to the car and filmed the outside of the house. I was out front for about three minutes when my husband walked out the front door. He closed the door behind him and when he was going back in the house he stopped and turned to me and said. You need to come here now! So I did. He said Open the door, I wasn't sure what this was about so I did and when the door opened a very warm burst of air hit in the face like someone just put a heat fan in front of me. The house had gone from 50 degrees to 75 in five minutes. It felt like the heat had been on all day . The only thing I could come up with was that because the house was empty it had to be a something trying to welcome us. The house sold not too long after that. We did drive by on purpose a few times and saw that the home was on the market a lot of times in the eight years sense we looked at it. I thought there had to be something wrong with it sense people are not able to live in it for a long time. I did some research on it and found out that he home was built on the land where a small cemetery used to be long time ago. I just thought it was very interesting.  

I don’t believe in ghosts and I think the stories are so popular because of advertisement. Kids like them because it is something they want to experience and see. The ghost stories are not the same anymore because everything is computerized nowadays. The entertainment industries use the stories to play with the children’s minds. All they are trying to do is to get them to purchase things to make money. Edgar Allan Poe was very smart he had very large vocabulary. I think many times he used a word because of the way it sounded. Poe used some fairly obscure words that we may not be familiar with.







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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Rapeepan Inhar
In reply to this post by Jeromy Jones
Good story.  I like what you said about ghost stories creates the vivid mood in the reader.  Even though I don’t believe in ghost stories, I think that when people watch scary movies their mind gets distracted or disturbed, or frightened.
It’s interesting how you said you saw a little ghost.  This here tells me  that you the reader may like to have imagined what we want to know or feel when we hear ghost stories.  I had a similar experience while driving to Pennsylvania.  There are several ghost museums in Gettysburg.  While my friend and I were driving through the battlefield of Gettysburg - this is where most generals and soldiers were killed in the late 1800’s - I swear I saw 3 ghosts.  I saw 2 generals and a lady.  I assumed that this was the wife of one of the generals.  Good point on how you said ghost stories creates a vivid mood for the reader.  For me it makes me excited because I like to imagine that I am frightened.  This creates a mixed mood for me.  Do you know if this is psychological or what?
Rapeepan
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Alex Smith
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
My ghost story happened about six years ago at Schotchtown, which was the home of Patrick Henry for ya'll that didn't know.  I was in Boy Scouts at the time and we were camping over night there.  We were out in the field playing capture the flag during the night.  A few of my friends and I were standing right in the middle of the field and all of a sudden we saw a man riding on a white horse through the field and the horse jumped over the wooden fence and disappeared.  I've seen a few more ghosts at Scotchtown but that was the most interesting one out of all of them.  

I think poe focuses more on ghosts, death and horror because he likes to be original, not telling the same type stories over and over.  He knows that people get a thrill out of a good ghost story or a scary story.  I think Poe likes them because they show a lot of good emotions through it and uses a good variety of words to use in them.  
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Sharice Morris
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
I dont really know if its a ghost in my house or anything but everytime I go in the kitchen and be standing at the kitchen sink and turns on the water I always hear like a bell ring. When I told my mom about it she just looks at me like I'm crazy and says I'm just hearing things. But it happens almost everytime that I cut the water on. We also always have doors that shut when no ones in the room. My friends will ask what was that and I just say I dont know probably a ghost. They have never tried to hurt me or anything so if they are real and are in the house I dont bother them.

Our society continues to talk about experiences and situations where they cant be explained even though we rely on science for the answer to everything because there are some situations that we cant explain. We can not find a way that science backs up why somethings happen.

Ghost stories have be told to younger kids a lot at camp fires and things like that because little kids are more gullible and they believe almost everthing that they hear.
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Erin Edwards
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
There is a place named Powhatan, a small town in central Virginia where people work. The employees have seen and heard many strange things and felt very uncomfortable feelings. The strange thing is multiple employees  have seen and heard these things.

Several people have come in to the building in the morning to open and heard the radio full blast when they know that it was off the night before. Another woman opened on a different morning, and when she walked in the door she heard a splashing sound coming from one of the bathrooms. When she went back to the bathroom to see what was happening she found no one in the bathroom, the faucet on and water all over the walls, ceiling and floor.

At break time during the middle of the day when all is silent some women have see the kitchen door that leads outside open by itself. While sitting in the front room during quiet time people have heard running around in the back room, but they got up to find out what the sound was and there was no one back there.

In a separate incident, a woman was sitting in the back room by herself when suddenly she heard multiple women conversing and clapping, yet no one was there upon investigation. Additionally, there was a different woman sitting in the same back room facing the hallway where the kitchen door and bathroom door are directly across from each other. Suddenly, she looked up and saw an old man walk from the kitchen door to the bathroom door and then he just disappeared.

One evening, after this place had closed, one of the employees decided to stay and get a workout in. She was in the middle of her workout when suddenly, she heard a woman scream from the back of the building “I’m coming!” This particular woman had heard these stories, but never actually experienced this type of situation herself. It made her nervous, so she grabbed her stuff and ran out of the building very quickly. After she ran out of the building, she realized she forgot to lock up, and when she turned around she saw an old woman, who she had never seen before, standing in the doorway yet she was the only one in the building just before.

As one can see, many a strange and unusual thing has happened in this building. I myself have never actually seen or heard anything unusual. But, every other employee, even the owner has experienced something strange. Now, let me reveal to you the business that is held in this scary, mysterious place, is in fact a daycare. Funny thing is, before it was a daycare…it used to be a funeral home.

I believe that ghost stories such as this are popular because it makes you feel unsure of your surroundings and almost give you some type of a natural high. Since the women that I work with have told me the stories about the building I have been very uncomfortable and looking around for things so I can tell my own story. Now, I do not like to be in certain rooms by myself because of the stories that I was told that took place in these rooms.
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Rachel Crosby
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
My only experience with ghosts took place in Dublin, Ireland. It was kind of cliché because it took place at a moment when you would expect to see or experience ghosts. I took a ghost tour that took you around to some of the ‘most haunted’ places in the city. One of the places that the tour took us was a haunted grave yard where a church once stood. They told us stories of things people have claimed to see in the spot and the history of the area including grave robbers. While listing to some of the stories I experienced the prickly feeling on the back of my neck that so often accompanies ghost stories. I brushed it off to being in the moment and being ‘too into’ the story. It was not until later that night, alone in my hotel room, when I was looking through the pictures that I took that I saw what the guide described as an orb. It was there very plain, green, and kind of misty inside. I knew that the green floating ball was not there when I took the picture, but it had shown up very clear in the picture. I took a lot of pictures while in Dublin and even a lot of pictures that night in the grave yard, but that was the only picture that had the perfect green orb. It was an experience that left me wondering, what if ghosts exist? It definitely left me wanting to know more about the history of the church structure that had long before been destroyed.
        I think ghost stories remain so popular because they are passed down from generation to generation. New stories are constantly being written and told. I think the primary audience of ghost stories is children because children are still at the age where they believe in things adults primarily write off as non-existent. For example, it is easy for a child to believe in ghosts and not adults because adults know that there is no logical or rational reason or proof that ghosts exist. The existence of ghosts has never been proven so its hard for an adult to believe in them whereas children believe in lots of things like Santa Clause and the tooth fairy that have no been proven or can not be seen, so it is not a foreign concept for them to believe in the existence of ghosts.
        I think Poe often focuses on death, ghosts, horror, and mystery as a means for achieving his literary ends because these concepts evoke the ultimate emotions. The concepts often evoke a multitude of emotions such as grief, fear, horror, suspense at the same time thus leading the reader to a sublime experience.    
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Rachel Crosby
In reply to this post by Erin Edwards
Erin, wow, I would have to say that i would not want to be in any rooms by my self either if I had herd stories of things that had happened their. I would not be looking for things to happen. I like things in the norm. I would not want my own stories. It is strange for a funeral home to become a day care, talk about a difference of emotion. Funeral homes are full of grief, day cares should be full of happiness. The is definitly a conflict of emotions.
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Rachel Crosby
In reply to this post by Alex Smith
I think many historical places are filling with sightings of ghosts. It is funny that with all the very real accounts that people claim to have with ghosts that their existence can not be proven.
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Rachel Crosby
In reply to this post by Rapeepan Inhar
Rapeepan,

I used t drive through Ghettysburg on a regular basis on the way to New York. The one stretch og highway allways made me feel uneasy. It's almost like you can still feel the emotions from those that fought and died in that battle. I would have to day that it is dfinitly psychological though as there is no other rational proven explination.
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Kelsey Glasco
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
Wow, it sounds like some of ya'll have had some interesting experiences with ghosts.  I do not recall a time where I thought I was in the presence of a ghost or spirit as some like to call them.  I have had friends who have seen ghosts or the spirit of a relative.  I occasionally will hear a strange noise if I am home alone but I never assume that it is from a ghost.  I wouldn't mind experiencing something like that as long as I am not by myself and I don't get totally freaked out.  

Ghost stories remain so popular because movies show people telling ghost stories and it was always a tradition to tell a ghost story at a campfire.  It is just one of those things that groups of people like to do to get a scare out of others.  I think that Poe really enjoyed scaring people with his stories, and all the ones that I have read have disturbed me.  I have never really understood what he could be thinking about when he writes the things that he does.  I think that it is healthy for people to continue to tell ghost stories because it is fun to use your imagination or even tell a scary story about something that has happened to you.  By telling ghost stories at camp, it allows the children to get creative and use their imagination.  As long as no one takes it too far, there is nothing wrong with telling such stories.  Poe focused on horrific things because he had a way of bringing our minds into a world that no one could imagine.  His writing is so popular because people liked the way that he had your heart beating every time you read something that he has written.  I think that the story that got to me the most was "The Fall of the House of Usher".  The way he vividly described the heart beating between the walls was enough to get me frightened.
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Lucy Roberts
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
My attempt at creating a ghost story

        It must have been my strange attraction to it eyes. Yes, its eyes. They had some sort of spell on me. If it wasn’t for those eyes I would have never let it follow me home that day. What I am referring to it had a name; her name was Rosie after my late mother. My step father said I was mad for bringing that mutt home but who is one to say she is a mutt. I viewed her as my only friend, she and I were outcasts but found a home within each other.  After the first night together I that I realized the dog was mad. I believe I first came to this realization when she asked me if I could share my little bit of steak I acquired as dinner while making dinner for my stepfather. Thankfully the excessive amounts of alcohol he didn’t notice the small bit missing out of the cut. But she was my new friend and I could tell she was just as hungry but if not more. From that night on we spent a lot of time together the first two months and usually I never took anything she said serious due to her state being a dog.  Usually her of the now opinions never rendered importance until that sunny afternoon on the way to pick up groceries. She implied that there was something wrong with the relationship between my father and me. I at first laughed and said she was nuts to think that I would be next.  How could I be next?  But those ember eyes, they tricked me. They tricked me into believing I would die by the same merciless hands of my step father’s.  The hands which took the life of my mother and had destroyed any aspect rendered good I had. Those ember eyes, they were the first real thing I have to compare to love since the death of my mother.  So it was from there she presented me with a plan. At first I wanted nothing to do with the plan or the dog itself. I was even witnessed by a women yelling aggressively and kicking the dog she warned about laws animal cruelty but in my head the dog deserved ever last bit after imposing my step father’s murder. After the disagreement we walked home silently. I made dinner for my step father as usual. After sometime after the meal was served Rosie said she had something to confess.. All of a sudden a loud crashing of plates sounded from the kitchen; there to my surprised laid my dead step father it had killed him. I ran towards her and proposed that the poison used was the only sure way to avenge my mother’s death. In state of my fear I ran out the house until my legs were unable to move any further. Here in the ally where I had found Rosie I rested and began to sob. This brought attention to a man walking by he asked me what was wrong and due to my uncontrollable sobbing he was unable to understand to what I was saying. Or could be the fact what I was saying didn’t seem to make much sense. The man seemed to notice something under my jacket Hearing the man on the phone relay information to authorities would make it sound as if I was crazy. When I went into custody of the police for the necessary questioning the death of my step father they seem to ignore the fact that Rosie was in fact the culprit behind my fathers death and to most surprise the state of my mother. They were insane to think she was alive, the fact they called me emotionally unstable angered me. Rosie where is she? She will explain everything. “Charles” the detective said Rosie walked out on you when you were three. As for a dog, there was a small stuffed dog found in your home lying beside the bottle of the agent believed to have poisoned your step father.
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Anna Olihnenco
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
I think people continue to return to ghost stories as a form of entertainment because it allows the mind to create an atmosphere of uncertainty in the unseen. The paranormal transcends all comprehension and rejects the use of our senses to offer explanation. There is just something unique and riveting offered in sitting in a dark room with mere candlelight creating dancing shadows on the walls while we listen to or read a horror story. The human fascination with the uncertainty that exists in darkness is a prevailing characteristic that is fed by the recitation of horror stories. The adrenaline rush that sets in as our imagination is permitted to go wild is what keeps this tradition alive. We are "sensible" creatures who endeavor to explain everything in logical terms because we are “too intelligent” to believe in absurdity of ghosts and fairytale creatures. In time, logic becomes dull because of the absence of adrenaline in rationality, and while some resort to skydiving to satisfy this hankering, others have recourse to the less dangerous form of escapism from the monotony--ghost stories. It all comes down to seeking a natural "high" that is acquired with the release of the hormone epinephrine when we are frightened. The inability to predict horror is what makes it all the more exciting to the audience. Poe was able to tap that unforeseeable dynamic offered by ghost and horror stories in order to create literature that is not generic in its plots. Horror stories are a separate genre within which there seems to be more stylistic freedom as the author is permitted to create an open ending, leaving it up to the reader to decide the fortunes of the main character. Elaborate explanations are not always essential in writing an engrossing and chilling horror story because the mind of the reader is given the task of adding the sublime details. Poe brought life to an alternative literary style that satisfied the needs of his audience to experience terror in a controllable environment.

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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Alex Chenault
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
It was one night, oh, maybe two years ago, that I was in a deep slumber house sitting for my parents. I awoke abruptly for some reason, but couldn’t recall why, or even figure out what woke me up. I happened to catch a glimpse of the clock and it read 3:37.  I simply brushed it off like it was nothing and fell back into my slumber. I woke the next day early, for I had to be at work at an entirely ridiculous hour. I went about my day as I regularly would and never once thought about the incident that had occurred the night before.

It was around ten o’clock or so and I was tired again so I locked up, for I was still home alone, and poured myself into bed. Once again, for the second consecutive night I awoke abruptly, this time I was able to gather myself enough to obtain some type of grasp as to what it was. I heard a sound, like that of an angry, rabid dog; that is what woke me. Also I heard a sound coming from downstairs, it sounded like something I had heard before, like an old, rusted swing, which has that obnoxious creaking sound. I ran downstairs to see what it was and on my way out of my room I looked at the clock, once again, it read 3:37.

I got downstairs to find that no one was there, no dog, not even mine. There was nothing. I peeked my head around the corner because I still heard the creaking, except now it was much louder. I looked around the corner to find that the chandelier above my dining room table was rocking back and forth quite violently. I was able to convince myself that it was the cat, which I remembered letting in the house earlier that evening. I had repressed my fear enough to fall back to sleep, however I couldn’t figure out what that sound was which woke me.

The next day went by again, as I recall it went by incredibly fast. I went home again after work and taking care of a few errands I had to run. I was truly dreading going to sleep that night, for I had never come up with an explanation of what that sound was the night before. Nevertheless I went to bed around ten again. This night was about to be the worst night of my life; I had no idea what was in store for me. I was once again awoken abruptly. It was that same sound, that of an angry, rabid dog, except now I swear it was on the floor right beside my bed. Just as I was able to gain my first breath after waking, my blanket was ripped furiously off of my bed and out my door, which slammed and locked behind it. I then was paralyzed with fear, the hair on the back of my neck stood strait up, I’m certain it was sharp enough to hurt if you were to touch it. I then heard a nasty breath coming from behind me, it sounded like a person whom had smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for twenty years. It was breathing…in and out, in and out. Still paralyzed with fear, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breath, scream, flinch, nothing. It was then I felt whatever this thing was breath on the back of my neck ever so gently. I let out an ear bursting scream that you would never be able to forget, so loud that my ears were ringing immediately after doing so, it was the most terrifying fearful scream I hope no one has to ever witness.

*I personally do not believe in ghosts and do not know anyone with a personal account to write about. I also did not want to simply tell a story that had already been written by someone else. This story is entirely fictional and is design solely for the reader’s entertainment.

        Ghost stories are very popular and have been for quite some time. There are many different/ types of stories. Some stories discuss ghosts that can bee seen, some can’t be seen, some ghosts are nice, some are demonic, etc. The list goes on and on. They are particularly popular with children. I believe that this is the case because they are such easy targets. They are usually the most entertaining audience to tell a story like this to because they get terrified and it is sometimes quite funny for the person or persons telling the story. I believe that these stories are popular at camps because they children are usually there with many friends, and they have each other so they to become too frightened. I think it is good to be scared sometimes; it helps one face his own mortality. Being scared about fictional things is also good practice for the real world. There are times when life scares you, not like that of fictional ghost stories, but with making ends meet or losing your job, etc. It helps to know how to deal with fear.

        Poe uses sadness and death in his poems and stories to create a sense of melancholy. He believes that it brings the reader into the story. Everyone has experienced something sad or scary in his or her life so he (Poe) tries to bring you back to that experience. He believes melancholy is the perfect tool to convey a theme in a poem or story. Usually when you are sad or frightened you are vulnerable or susceptible to doing or believing something, it is usually when one is at his weakest state.
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A Ghost Story

Emmanuel Ihejirika
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
It was the year that I turned 9 years old, that my grandparents died. Amidst all of the commotion of arrangements to clean out their belongings from the old house, I knew that my brother and I would be called upon to assist. I was that child who was mortified by darkness and the thought of supernatural presence. I was and still am the biggest scaredy-cat you'd ever know. But, this particular evening, my brother and I were cleaning out the attic from my grandparents house. It was here that I stuck to my brother (then, 6 years old) like velcro. No way was I going to be left alone. The attic creeped me out, as it was filled with old relics, antiques, and heirlooms. The air was stale and moldy, as the dim light was clouded by dust. To find old masonic belongings creeped me out even more, being that I was only told that it was like a cult. I tried to keep my mind and eyes off of the back of the attic, where stood a rack with an old suit and wedding dress hanging on it. As I can recall, the was it hung in the distance, appeared as if a silhouette of 2 people in them.
As it got late, and the cleaning was almost complete I found some old records in the attic. My mom said that I could keep as many as I wanted. I had quite a fascination with vinyl at the time and  was baffled by the size and weight of the old ones. In fact, I was so baffled, that my brother had left me in the attic alone. In finding that out, I panicked, glancing to the back of the attic, where I saw the wedding dress and suit dancing on the hangers. Needless to say, in the next instant, records were broken and left behind. I took two steps and flew the remaining way down that ladder- never to go into any attic ever again.
Ghost stories are popular for entertainment and the fact that a good ghost story is timeless. I believe the stories are still being circulated and written because it can be used as a form of expression and it is also a true showing of skill as the creator. As Poe highlighted, a well crafted story has many important elements to be a good one. The goal with scary stories, is to provoke that emotion which may be quite sublime to experience- using words, plots (method) and descriptions (effect). It is often said that Poe chose to do such stories because he had a depressing life, and the re-occuring theme of women and death in his poems- are parallel to his own life.    
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Re: A Ghost Story

Raleigh Kaye
I live in a house that was built about 90 years ago.  My landlord's family built several houses side by side and lived in them for many years before deciding to rent them out.  While I've never really encountered an actual ghost in my house, I have experienced a lot of freaky stuff.  I've lived here for about ten years now, and I started noticing it a couple years after moving in. At night, specifically during the winter, I would hear what sounded like someone dragging a wooden chair across a wooden floor in my attic.  My attic isn't so much an attic as it is a crawl space, so the likelihood of anyone being able to stand up there is impossible.  My parents, my sister and myself on separate occasions have heard what sounds like all of our dishes falling off the shelves and crashing onto the floor, a noise that can't really be a figment since it's so loud.  Other little things have happened, like things flying past one window but not appearing in the window right next to it, objects falling over and rolling or things swaying unnaturally. Other times, I've been in the shower and it suddenly become extremely cold in the bathroom and the shower curtain will move when the vent isn't on.  I don't know if anything of these things mean I have a ghost.  I believe in them, but I don't know if my house is haunted.  It is extremely old and I'm sure older family members of my landlord lived and died here.  That's the extent of my ghost story!
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Michelle Herndon
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
I, myself have never experienced the paranormal. On the other hand my sister believes she has. When we were younger, growing up we were baby-sat by a neighbor down the road. She had a family of her own, a husband, two sons, and twin girls. All of us were around the same age, only a couple years difference. There was this one time my sister slept over with the twins and this is the night she experienced the paranormal. The twins bedroom was located up stairs, the only room upstairs besides their parents' which was right across the hall. My sister had woken up during the night to use the bathroom or get a drink from the kitchen downstairs. When she was making her way back to the twins room she saw something, more like someone at the top of the stairs. If I recall correctly, she tried talking to the person, thinking it was on of the twins or their parents. When there was no reply my young sister then became overwhelmed with fear. She ended up running into one of the sons rooms and preceded to wake him, because of this fright. Apparently, their house was "haunted", and I forget the story behind it. Needless to say, my sister never slept upstairs during sleepovers at their house ever again.

Ghost stories and even shows and movies are very popular. So you ask, why does our society, built on the back of science and reason, continue to share and circulate ghost stories? I say, because they are entertaining. The stories make you think. There are many undiscovered treasures and interesting findings that have yet to be unveiled. Anything is possible right? Overall, I believe story telling is for the imagination. If it's not possible in real life, then it's possible in my imagination. These stories also give hope for an after life and a believe in something that isn't necessarily real but you still believe in it.  

Why does Poe focuses on death, ghosts, horror, and mystery as a means of achieving his literary ends? Each subject in the sentence preceding this one are usually very mysterious and unknown to people. Suspense is a good word to describe it. Death is not always predictable, ghosts don’t just show up when you call out there name, horror could be right around the corner and you’d never know, and mystery will always be a mystery. These topics allow Poe to keep the reader interested and his choice of vocabulary and sentence structure support his goal.
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Re: Discussion, Week Two: Tell a Ghost Story

Thiago Ogibowski
In reply to this post by SteveBrandon
As many of my classmates, I only have a single ghost story to tell, thankfully. First, I lost my grandfather of cancer sixteen years ago, he suffered a lot and he gave up on life, he was young and he had enough emotional and financial support from our family. In the other hand, he must have thought that he had done enough for our family and decided to go to a better place. As result, after his death he left one of his apartments to me and my brother, which we moved in together a couple of years after my grandfather's death. Me and my brother were really young and we decided to buy a puppy because we always wanted to have one but our dad didn't allow us because we lived in an apartment. In fact, we bought a puppy and three weeks after some weird things started to happen in our apartment. People usually say that babies and animal are very sensitive to the paranormal and this thesis proved itself real a couple of weeks after we bought our puppy which was called Penelope. My family is very spiritual, my mom does believe in reincarnation and life after death and she also said that many times she felt the spirit of my grandfather in our apartment. As result, one night me and my brother were hanging out at the living room and we heard Penelope barking inside of the room which my grandfather used to sleep, which now was our study room. Penelope was freaking out running around like somebody was chasing her, she was very aggressive and the only way that me and my brother found to make her stop was closing the door. After that, Penelope would not feel really comfortable in the study room, she was always very cautions to come in. As consequence, my mom decide to take Penelope to live with her and my mom took her to work with her everyday. Now comes the most scary part of my story, my family owns a huge piece of land with different factories on it and my grandfather's old office still the same way that he left. Whenever my mom brought Penelope in his office and Penelope saw a big picture of him behind his desk, she freaked out again and ran away very scared and upset. In conclusion, I prefer not to believe in the paranormal because I'm very scared of it, but in this case it made me change my point of view and understand that there are many things that can't be explained by the science.
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