How does it feel to live in a ’haunted home’? How do people negotiate their everyday lives with the experience of uncanny, anomalous or strange events within the domestic interior? What do such experiences reveal of the intersection between the material, immaterial and temporal within the home? How do people interpret, share and narrate experiences which are uncertain and unpredictable? What does this reveal about contested beliefs and different forms of knowledge? And about how people ’co-habit’ with ghosts, a distinctive self - other relationship within such close quarters? This book sets out to explore these questions. It applies a non-reductive middle-ground approach which steers beyond an uncritical exploration of supernatural experiences without explaining them away by recourse only to wider social and cultural contexts. The book attends to the ways in which households in England and Wales understand their experience of haunting in relation to ideas of subjectivity, gender, materiality, memory, knowledge and belief. It explores home as a place both dynamic and differentiated, illuminating the complexity of ’everyday’ experience - the familiarity of the strange as well as the strangeness of the familiar - and the ways in which home continues to be configured as a distinctive space.
Dr Caron Lipman is Research Fellow at the School of Geography, University of London, UK.
’Most people have heard of ghosts: popular culture is full of them. Many people will know of someone who has seen a ghost or had a ghostly experience. Sometimes, people feel haunted, whether by tragedy or by a sense of loss. But, for a few, paranormal activity is normal activity. People do not just live with ghosts as a cultural or metaphorical or emotional figure: they actually live with ghosts. In this extraordinary book, Caron Lipman deals with extraordinary phenomena in ordinary life, in the home. Rich in testimony, ever sensitive to people’s experience, she reveals how the people who live with ghosts learn to accommodate them - and how, consequently, we all deal with strangers and strangeness in our lives.’ Steve Pile, The Open University, UK ’What does it mean to share your home with a ghost? Caron Lipman’s answers to this question are thought-provoking and insightful. Foregrounding people’s own experiences and beliefs in her exploration of the uncertain boundary between material and immaterial geographies, she challenges much current thinking about home and subjectivity in this highly original and beautifully written book.’ Ann Varley, UCL (University College London), UK 'Large portions of this book, especially the interviews with the experients, will be of great interest to students of folklore, and should be of interest to psychical researchers and one often gets the sense that there are important insights here'. The Magonia Review of Books