Ghosts and Television

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      This chapter explores the ghost story on television, and particularly the tensions between the medium and the genre. Television has long been seen as a nearly-supernatural medium, an association that the very term 'medium' enhances. In particular, the very intimacy of television, and its domestic presence, have led to it being considered to be a suitable and effective venue for the ghost story, while at the same time concerns have risen over it being too effective at conveying horror into the home. The ghost story is thus one of the genres where the tensions between the medium's aesthetic possibilities and desire for censorship can be most clearly seen. As such, there is a recurring use of the ghost story in relation to different techniques of special effects and narrative on television, some more effective than others, and the presence of the ghost story on television waxes and wanes as different styles become more or less popular, and different narrative forms, such as single play or serial or series, become more or less dominant. Drawing on examples primarily from a British and US context, this chapter outlines the history of the ghost story on television and demonstrates how the tensions in presentation, narrative and considerations of the viewer have influenced the many changes that have taken place within the genre.
      Scopus record Ghosts and Television
      Original languageEnglish
      Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook to the Ghost Story
      EditorsScott Brewster, Luke Thurston
      PublisherRoutledge
      Pages378-387
      Number of pages9
      ISBN (Print)9781138184763
      StatePublished - 16 Oct 2017

        Research areas

      • Television, Ghosts, Horror, Cultural history, Television History

      ID: 31282310