Tis the season! A Real Life Ghost Story

For experiment #3, I decided to do something a little more radical than my last two experiments. I will be writing a Ghost Story about the election of Donald Trump. It will focus on the deeper meaning behind a ghost story and what each character represents.

How to Write a Ghost Story:

In today’s society of technology and emphasis on the facts, we are in a era of reason. Great ghost stories are those that are deeper than skeletons and vampires. They play on our worst fears and have terror underneath the surface. As Roald Dahl defiantly stated, “The bet stories don’t have ghosts in them”. Ghost stories remind us that terror is just around the corner, and it can come in different shapes and sizes. The best ghost stories are those have the real chaos when no one is looking. It is the element of surprise that keeps us vigilant of the unknown.

Ghost writing goes between the psychological and physical. It is important for ghost writing to blur between reality and madness. The conventions of traditional ghost stories can vary, but often include chilling sounds, mysterious stains, and crime. Most importantly, atmosphere is critical for ghost writing. The mood, sounds, scents, and resonance all play crucial roles in setting the stage for the horror that will ensue. The idea that another presence or individual lies outside our conscience is what intrigues us. Good ghost stories never make someone laugh as well.

There exist numerous ways to properly formulate a ghost story. For my purposes, I will be constructing a ghost story that is in a short story format. First, I will set the stage describing the characters in a way so that is clear what/who they represent. Using descriptive jargon, I will describe the terror that is occurring and how it is affecting those in the community. The most difficult part when telling the story is to make sure the deeper meaning underneath is clear. When writing a ghost story, it is important to realize that you are not only creating the ghost, but you are crafting the way the reader encounters the ghost.

The drawbacks of this genre are that it can often alienate a larger audience. Younger audiences and families may not want to read a ghost story that plays on their fears. A general population may not want to intentionally be freaked out by a story they are reading. Additionally, not many individuals will read a ghost story in the middle of July. The typical audience for a ghost story would be young adults.

There are many ghost stories out there, spanning from just a few sentences to longer novel stories. One example accounts the story of a girl named Hannah. Living with her family and 4 siblings, she encountered frequent supernatural and scary events. From loud noises to doors closing rapidly, she felt terrorized in her home. When all of the family members finally discussed what was happening in the house, a mirror flew off the wall and shattered. On the back of the mirror, 666 was carved repeatedly along with the message “I am going to f—king kill you all.” Throughout it all, Hannah writes she still loved her home, and she tried to stop as many rumors as she can. This example highlights the major conventions of a ghost story: suspense, horror, and descriptive detail. The ghosts seem to haunt the family because they chose to live in the home, perhaps the ghosts were angry that the family “trespassed” into their home.


The Proposal

For this experiment, I will be writing a ghost story focusing on the election of Donald Trump. Once again, I will be expanding from the Facebook post I made during the election last November. The audience of this piece will be young adults who were affected by the election. The Trump like character will be represented by a ghost of yesterday’s past. When Donald Trump won the election, he emboldened many groups that were dormant for so long. When the KKK held their white nationalist rally at University of Virginia, it was a testament to the type of hate and hate groups Trump was able to embolden with the election. This ghost story will focus on the scariest moments of the Trump presidency, but they will be highlighted in an implicit way. This genre joins the conversation because so many individuals are scared by this presidency. Playing on the fears of many (unfortunately), I will turn real life events into a chilling story.


2 thoughts to “Tis the season! A Real Life Ghost Story”

  1. Sorry for the late comment.. I think that this is super cool and creative. What a radical and interesting change! I love how you thought incorporated non-fictional aspects into your fictional story. I think that this is very cool and is a way that you could help young adults process the events following the election. I think that if you were to fully realize this experiment you should consider how you could write this for a younger audience because I think that it would be a cool way to keep younger students informed and help them process the election as well.

  2. Hey Mira. This is an interesting perspective to add a bit of odd humor to the political nature of this topic that we all consider very serious. I’m really interested to see what this exactly looked like in your sketch draft, and how that’d turn out if you make this your realized project. Also, something that I think is a myth in a lot of fiction writing is things have to be outrageous, but you can just as well write entire truth at the baseline, not necessarily you have to write “outrageous” stuff to be creative. Which I think that resonates with your story since the baseline is a much more serious reality. Good job and good luck!

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