Koven, Mikel (2007) Most Haunted and the Convergence of Traditional Belief and Popular Television. Folklore, 118 (2). pp. 183-202. ISSN 0015-587X
Koven 2007 Most Haunted.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (187kB) | Request a copy
LivingTV's flagship series, Most Haunted, has been haunting the satellite network since 2002. The set-up of the series is straightforward: a team of investigators, including a historian, a parapsychologist, and "spiritualist medium" Derek Acorah, "legend-trip," spending the night at some location within the United Kingdom that is reputed to be haunted, with the hopes of catching on video concrete proof of the existence of ghosts. However, unlike other reality television or true-life supernatural television shows, Most Haunted includes and addresses the audience less as a spectator and more as an active participant in the ghost hunt. Watching Most Haunted, we are directed not so much to accept or reject the evidence provided, as to engage in the debate over the evidence's veracity. Like legend-telling in its oral form, belief in or rejection of the truth-claims of the story are less central than the possibility of the narrative's truth - a position that invites debates about those truth-claims. This paper argues that Most Haunted, in its premise and structure, not only depicts or represents legend texts (here ghost stories), but engages the audience in the debates about the status of its truth-claims, thereby bringing this mass-mediated popular culture text closer to the folkloristic, legend-telling dynamic than other similar shows.
Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||popular television, supernatural, ghost stories, legend-telling|
|Subjects:||G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore|
|Divisions:||Academic Departments > Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts|
|Depositing User:||Janet Davidson|
|Date Deposited:||24 Apr 2008 07:54|
|Last Modified:||14 Jul 2016 09:53|
Actions (login required)