ghostbusting the hauntology under my bed

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Noa Rodman
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Feb 8 2018 19:07
ghostbusting the hauntology under my bed

I refuse to google what the term "hauntology" means, but it has something to do with ghosts. I don't know if postmodernists believe in ghosts (if not, why not?), but it's still widely believed, also among educated people. For example the Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso was a believer in haunted houses (wrote a book about it).
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The movie-trope about sleeping a night in a haunted house (to inherent it from a deceased relative) can easily be explained I think. The ghosts are a manifestation of the guilt/bad moral conscience of the inheritors.
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It must have something to do with the downtrodden situation of people, e.g. the superstitions of Jews in Eastern Europe (e.g. the dybbuk scene of the Coens' 2009 movie: A Serious Man).
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On youtube there are pretty convincing real videos of household-objects moving on their own though, which I don't immediately know the natural explanation for. But let's suppose most such reports are fantasy. What makes the (stories about) unexplained self-movement of banal objects so creepy? I think it has to do with the misery/banality/alienation of people's lifes, so that they can't even keep control over the most basic stuff (like closing a door).

btw, just saw a guy pissing on the side of the pavement, so I avoided passing him (waited like 20 secs with my back turned). When I looked again he was gone, nowhere to be seen in the street. Anyone experienced crazier shit?

Fleur
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Feb 8 2018 19:41

It's a word coined by Derrida in Spectres of Marx. It's a French pun. Not ghosts in the sense of things that go bump in the night.

Not my cup of tea but I'm not nostalgic about nostalgia.

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Noa Rodman
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Feb 16 2018 20:44

The spooky music instrument par excellence is the Theremin.

It was originally the product of Soviet government-sponsored research into proximity sensors. The instrument was invented by a young Russian physicist named Lev Sergeyevich Termen (known in the West as Léon Theremin) in October 1920 after the outbreak of the Russian Civil War.

News of the device travelled to Lenin, who summoned Theremin to his office for a personal demonstration. Lenin expressed enthusiasm for the instrument, hoping it would serve as a propaganda tool for his program of national electrification. (He was also pleased that after a short demonstration and some initial help from the inventor with positioning his hands, he could play Glinka's “Skylark,” a piece Lenin loved very much.)

Once Upon a Time in the West, played by Theremin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY7sXKGZl2w

The high-pitched tune in The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa" resembles a Theremin I think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phaJXp_zMYM

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Noa Rodman
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Apr 6 2018 22:30

Were ghosts ever scary? I find it difficult to recall a scary ghost story/film. Indeed the most famous ghost is Caspar the Friendly Ghost. Suspense nowadays seems to come from general "paranormal activity" stuff. The movie Ghost ship was just a repulsive blood-fest. And the saying "ghosting someone" means to ignore a person, i.e. being totally unimpressed with them. In the movie Poltergeist one hardly recalls any ghost. One of the scariest parts in the movie was the clown under the bed.

As a kid I think there is some objective reason to fear a monster under the bed. Bed constructions with an empty space beneath them were probably uncommon among the general population for most of history, let alone for children. If the blanket is so wide that it covers the sides of the bed, then one cannot see what is under the bed. If there were someone to hide in your room, it would be perfect to hide under the bed (e.g. cats do it, so why not an evil monster as well). The monster doesn't need to be big to harm the child, since a child is not strong. I think now most adults have beds without a large empty veiled space beneath, because they're low-quality beds etc., so that's why most adults are no longer scared about monsters under their bed, and not because they've outgrown their childhood fear. So when kids are afraid of a monster under bed, it is not because of capitalism/religious superstition, but objectively justified fear of simple potential danger.

Or has the child's fear some origin in the parents? In the Simpsons there was famously the episode where baby Bart was put in a super scary clown bed, or in another episode at a time when Bart learns that Sideshow Bob is out to get him and Homer storms into his bedroom masked with chainsaw. Other factors that could make children afraid of monster under the bed: Whether a child is allowed or not allowed by the parents to open the bedroom themselves (so to have potential escape from the darkness). Whether the parents ever scare the kid for fun, etc. Incidentally, do mothers ever scare their kids for fun, or is it always the dad who engages in this mischief?