Building the Haunted House
A ghost is an amorphous thing, but a haunted house is a construction. The heavy urns, the veranda, the patterned carpet, the warm fireplace, the blue room, the library’s iron stairs: all make Eleanor Vance feel “like a small creature swallowed whole by a monster” in Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.
How do we make wicked houses come alive in prose? How do we guarantee their physical construction to envelop the reader’s mind? In this seminar, we will grasp the craft of building a haunted house in prose. We will read examples of “classic” haunted house stories, including Shirley Jackson and Edith Wharton, as well as, contemporary adaptions of a haunted house with Jamil Jan Kochai and Carmen Maria Machado. A haunted house would be nothing without its atmosphere, so we’ll also consider Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space and how perspective or mood influences a house.
In the final hour of the class, we will utilize a word bank and make our first attempt at writing the introductory description of our haunted house. This is a great class for anyone writing the mood of an unhappy or evil domestic space. All prose writers welcome.
This class will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood.
GrubStreet's space will be mask optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in-person.
Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.
For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.
Previous Students Say
- "Supportive Environment"
- "Inspired Me to Write More"
- Generate New Work
- In-Class Writing
- In-Class Reading
- Class Discussion
- Concept Development
- The Novel
- Short Fiction
- Personal Essay