So long as humans have existed, so have ghost stories The very earliest human civilizations known to man left behind etchings believed to depict spirits Today, nearly 32% of Americans believe in Ghosts.
The word “ghost” is often incorrectly applied to a variety of supernatural occurrences. Most “ghosts” are classified as one of three types: demons, ghosts, or poltergeists.
Sometimes known as “unclean spirits.” The tangible presence of Satan on earth. Malicious intent to lure men away from God and into damnation.
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
Sometimes called “specters” or “spirits” When an incredibly traumatic or emotional event occurs, some believe it is imprinted on the environment. The tragedy repeats itself or beckons to end the suffering These ghosts are frightening, but harmless. Usually seen and heard, but not felt.
Name translates to “noisy spirit.” Poltergeists haunt a person, not a location. Some believe poltergeists are manifestations of unknown human powers. They are destructive and sometimes violent. Are known to cause physical harm, move objects or people, and destroy things.
Already home to Edgar Allan Poe and the Blair Witch, Maryland is known for a few other hauntings.
Former St. Mary’s seminary Destroyed by fire and abandoned in 1972 Myths persist that former seminarians dragged virgins to the seminary to rape and murder them. Since being abandoned, the property’s owner has kept the property closed off, but many claim to have seen and heard mysterious things at night in the woods around the house.
Statue on the grave of WWI general Felix Agnus Story’s origin is that a sorority girl spent the night in the statue’s arms as a bet and was found dead the next morning. Rumors for decades surrounded statue that, if one sat on its lap at midnight, its eyes glowed red as you would feel mysterious fingers crawling over you. The family donated the statue to the Smithsonian after vandals repeatedly damaged it.
Built in 1745, it was the largest house in America at the time Rumors persist of mysterious noises within the house such as footsteps and whispered talking; the most famous of which being the sound of a chandelier crashing to the ground, only to be found still hanging when entering the room. These are evidently frequent occurrences.
Paranormal: something that exists outside of science’s ability to explain PARA - NORMAL Latin for “outside” or “contrary” Latin for “common” or “general”
Grew in popularity as a legitimate study in the early 20 th century Because paranormal research involves identifying and observing the often intangible, participant- observation is the dominant method of study. Participant-observation requires that the scientist subject himself to the subject in order to acquire anecdotal qualitative evidence about it.
Ockham’s Razor (1852) suggests that the simplest explanation with the fewest assumptions is usually the correct one. Is the basis of most modern scientific inquiry. Pataphysics (1893) views each event in the universe as completely unique, subject to no laws but its own. Such philosophy becomes justification for much paranormal research.
What Does Any Of This Have To Do With Hill House?
A.1899, Sigmund Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams published. First prominent psychologist to explore human action as manifestation of subconscious. B.1913, John Watson’s Psychology as Behaviorists View It is published. First prominent psychologist to suggest all human behavior is dictated by responses to pleasure or pain. C.By the 1950’s, study of psychology in America becomes predominate direction for American scholars D.1959, Haunting of Hill House is published. Novel is profoundly influenced by popular psychological advancement of the time I. Historical Context
A.Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) B.Predominant author of modernist literature, befriended many of her contemporary writers C.Popular and well-read, she suffered from a variety of psychotic conditions and took many experimental drugs to treat chronic depression D.Died grossly overweight at the age of 49 in Connecticut II. About the Author
A.The difficulty of discerning between reality and imagination B.The ceaseless search for identity that is inherent in humanity C.The consequences of loneliness and isolation III. Major Themes of Novel
“Journeys end in lovers meeting” Conscious Subconsci ous Explainab le Supernatu ral Hill Hous e
A.Hill House itself is most dominant symbol in the novel – represents each individual’s psyche. B.Alliterative quality of “Hill” and “Hell” is deliberate C.“Geometry” of house implies modernist values – people are not predictable, all the same. Individual perspectives vary D.“rooms within rooms” – novel is not a matter of things that don’t exist so much as of things people don’t want to see or admit - subconcious IV. House as Metaphor
The most important question to ask about the novel: