By Emily Vidas
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Over the recent years, the interest in ghosts and paranormal activity has increased significantly. Camden County College is now offering a five-week mini-course on the Blackwood campus called Haunted: A History of Ghosts in Literature and Pop Culture. The course, beginning Nov. 6, examines ghosts and spirits in literature and pop culture from ancient origins to modern representation.
Every week will feature different topics. The mini-course started off with a look at ancient myths and legends about ghosts and spirits. The second class, on Nov. 13, The Silent Visitors, will discuss stories of ghosts, both malevolent and benign, as lingering presences and omens of strange events. Week three, The Ghosts Within, on Nov. 20, will discuss possession and the ghosts that refuse to leave, and how that concept has evolved in literature. A session on haunted houses is scheduled for Nov. 27 and a session on ghosts and spirits in film and television is set for Dec. 4.
Professor of the course, Peter Woodworth, believes ghosts are universal. “There are ghost stories in every culture,” he states, “which makes it fun to teach since it is such a common ground.” Woodworth began teaching this course after teaching several other courses for the Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility and enjoying the opportunity to teach extremely focused and specialized courses.
This haunted mini-course is intended to appeal to a broad section of the student population, in light of box office hits like “Paranormal Activity” and hit television shows like “The Long Island Medium.”
Woodworth believes this course is beneficial to students because of the good that can come from it. “Learning where ghost stories come from and the common flourishes associated with them will be helpful in analyzing other stories they encounter out in the world,” he says. He hopes students will leave this course having acquired a deeper understanding of the roots of ghost stories and afterlife mythologies, as well as a sense of some of our deepest fears and how we express them.
For $25, you can register to attend the course. Sessions are held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Room 105 of Madison Hall.