Reading and Writing about

Ghost Stories

Rhetoric 102-3 and 102-6

Fall 2005

Dr. Lowell T. Frye


(James McBryde, original illustration for "'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad,'" in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary [1904], by M. R. James)

During the fall of 2005, students in these two sections of Rhetoric 102 have been reading and writing about ghosts and ghost stories. We have read many British and some American ghost stories from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. We have touched on the work of such masters of supernatural fiction as Algernon Blackwood, Elizabeth Bowen, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, A. S. Byatt, F. Marion Crawford, Amelia Edwards, Henry James, Montague Rhodes James, Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, Edith Nesbit, and Bram Stoker.

The emphasis in Rhetoric 102 is on persuasion, style, and research. The ghost stories have provided us with a subject on which to engage our rhetorical skills. For the final project of the semester, students have read a selection of ghost stories by one author and conducted research into the life and writings of that author. Armed with ideas and information, the students have designed, written, and published a web essay that displays the fruits of their research and writing in several web pages. In addition, each student has posted two essays written earlier in the semester, one exploring the nature and appeal of ghost stories, and one devoted to some aspect of the stories of M. R. James

Below is a list of students and the particular author each one has studied for this final project; each name is a link to that student's website. In addition, I have provided links to two additional pages, one that lists all the essays about the nature and appeal of ghost stories, and one that lists all the essays about M. R. James.

Acknowledgments: Neither I nor my students would have been able to construct our websites without the expertise and patience of Chandra Gigliotti-Guridi, Instructional Technologist & Assistant Director of the Library; Cheryle Dixon, College Webmaster; Mike Timma, Instructional Technology Assistant; and Ben Chambers and Everett Gardner, Student Instructional Technology Media Assistants. Thanks to all of you for your help.

Lowell T. Frye

December 2005




Ghost Story Writer


David Cameron

Bram Stoker

Robert Chambers

E. F. Benson

Alex Elkins

Algernon Blackwood

Patrick Gates

Elizabeth Bowen

Jason Hall

Amelia Edwards

Andy Lawrence

W. W. Jacobs

Franklin Massie

Rudyard Kipling

Shawn Middlebrooks

Sheridan LeFanu

Taylor Springer

Arthur Gray

Will Taylor

E. Nesbit

Meredith Townsend

M. E. Braddon

Justin Velasco

Henry James

Brock Ward

Arthur Quiller Couch


Essay # 3: The Nature and Appeal of Ghost Stories

Essay # 4: The Ghost Stories of M. R. James