Date of Award

Spring 4-27-2024

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Professional Writing


Department of English

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Erin Bahl

Second Advisor

Garrard Conley


There is something quintessentially human about ghost stories, yet particular regions tend to be more powerfully associated with haunted folktales than others. One of the regions is the southeastern United States. In fact, these oral traditions appear to have influenced the area's best-known literary subgenre: the Southern Gothic.

Why is the South considered haunted? Are there particular qualities in historical events that make them more likely to engender ghost stories? What makes the South's folkloric spirits so powerful that they appear even in modern literature? Most of all, what connects the region's history and folklore with the Southern Gothic? By examining traditional ghost stories local to Georgia, this study seeks to answer those questions.