MA (Master of Arts)
Date of Award
Committee Chair or Co-Chairs
Joseph D. Sobol
Delanna Kay Reed, Edward J. Dwyer
The ghost story concert is a popular modern form of presenting ghost stories to ticket buying audiences and is one of the last stomping grounds of the oral tradition. Attendees come to be scared but not terrified. Tellers employ humor to release tension during the tale. When does humor release tension while maintaining the momentum of the story? When does the humor employed deflate it into a comical tale and diffuse suspense altogether?
In an effort to answer these questions, four variants of a single story, Tailypo, were analyzed for the presence of tension and humor inducing stimuli employing Rothbart's diagram of Schematic Representation of Affective Response to Sudden, Intense, or Discrepant Stimulation. Rothbart's model has previously been applied to affective response to horror film; here it has been applied to oral storytelling.
Thesis - Open Access
Bentley-Edwards, Melissa Ann, "Laughing in the Shadow: The Role of Humor in Ghost Story Telling." (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2201. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/2201
Copyright by the authors.