Netflix’s series The Haunting of Hill House was inspired by the book of the same name by Shirley Jackson.
From ghosts and meddling staff to interesting decorating choices, the houses in these books make for great reading.
Tom Tom via Shutterstock
Between 30% and 50% of the population believes in ghosts – literature, philosophy and anthropology can explain why.
Dani, The Haunting of Bly Manor’s Governess.
Be they ghosts or her mind playing tricks? The uncertainty is the draw of the 1898 classic The Turn of the Screw.
These legends allow us to address our fears about the urban environment.
A crop circle in Switzerland.
The internet has allowed pseudoscience to flourish. Artificial intelligence could help steer people away from the bad information.
Ebenezer Scrooge is confronted by the apparition of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley.
Sometimes the unknown is more appealing than the truth – and it has kept ghost hunters in business for generations.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s Mitsukuni defies the skeleton spectre.
conjured up by Princess Takiyasha
Art Gallery of NSW
A new exhibition surveys the haunting Japanese traditions and beliefs that connect the supernatural with the everyday.
Halloween can also be a time of expression of cultural and social anxieties.
AP Photo/Richard Vogel
In the early 1970s, rumors about poisoned candy on Halloween led to mass paranoia. A historian explains why such fears emerge – and what, in reality, feeds them.
A Halloween ghost.
Ghost stories are often about the departed seeking justice for an earthly wrong. Their sightings are a reminder that ethics and morality transcend our lives.
Sleep paralysis and exploding head syndrome can help explain things that go bump in the night.
Detail of figures from the Dance Macabre, Meslay-le-Grenet, from late 15th-century France.
For medieval cultures, the dying process and death itself was a 'transition,' not a rupture.
The truth is out there...or is it?
Most religions are populated by an impressive cadre of ghosts, gods, spirits and angels.
The lychgate of the Camel’s Back Road Cemetery.
Are the the hauntings at Landour just practical fictions amidst the solitude of the hills?
The dead wait to be ferried across the River Styx.
The Souls of Acheron (1898) by Adolf Hiremy Hirschl
These days they are scary, but for the ancients, ghosts could be quite useful.
Paranormal or just plain ordinary?
The truth about the paranormal – just in time for Halloween.
Who you gonna call?
The idea of phantoms being comical is as old as ghouls.
If you're a celebrity, avoiding a life after death is possible but needs to be very carefully legally framed.
Did you hear that?
Rob and Stephanie Levy
Ghost hunters love to record and parse EVP – electronic voice phenomena – they say are messages from spirits. But perceptual psychology has scientific reasons for why what they're hearing isn't from the other side.
Kafka’s creepy descendent.
Watch The Shining after reading this and you may find that the Czech author haunts The Overlook Hotel just as much, if not more, than any of its regular spectral figures.