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The Georgian Ghosts Project

About the Project

Welcome to the Georgian Ghosts Project! This is a project all about the history of ghosts in the eighteenth-century British Isles: the belief in ghosts and apparitions; the rise of ghost stories in literature; and the clash between enthusiasts and sceptics.

The project centres around a ghost story from late eighteenth-century Ireland, discovered by Dr Martha McGill at the Methodist Archive and Research Centre, Manchester. This previously unseen source – which we refer to as 'the Acteson manuscript' – offers a fascinating insight into the link between ghost beliefs and broader Georgian society. An annotated edition of the manuscript is currently awaiting publication in a scholarly journal, but an illustrated summary of the text can be found under 'The Story'.

Browse the webpage to explore the enchanting world of eighteenth-century ghost beliefs. You can begin with our poster on the early modern context of ghosts, or our podcast series, hosted by Dan and Eddie. There are also short articles on how ghost beliefs relate to the historical themes of print, religion, gender, and architecture. For the broader scholarship on ghosts, visit our detailed 'further reading' list of recommended books and articles.

Meet the Team

We are a team of undergraduate researchers at the University of Warwick, in collaboration with Dr Martha McGill and the Student Research Portfolio. See below to meet our members.

Luke Holloway

Luke Holloway

I’m a second-year History student at the University of Warwick. I joined the Student Research Portfolio to enhance my skills of writing, source analysis, and team work. For the webpage, I researched and wrote two blog posts, ‘Methodist Motives’ and ‘Spectres in Print’, in addition to preparing the 'Further Reading' list. I have also co-authored an academic article with Dr Martha McGill, which examines the Methodist context of the Acteson manuscript (currently under review by the Wesley and Methodist Studies journal).

Jessica Barton

Jessica Barton

My name is Jessica and I am a second-year History student at the University of Warwick. I joined the Research Portfolio Project to meet new people and to improve my research skills. It has been really rewarding to see this project evolve and all the different outputs we have created as a group. For the project, I investigated gender in the manuscript and produced an article of my analysis. I also created and illustrated the storyboard to represent the manuscript in a visual format.

Daniel Smith

Dan Smith

Welcome to the project! My name is Dan and I am a second year history student here at Warwick. I decided to get involved with this project partly to further my interests in early modern history but also to acquire core skills such as teamwork and research. My work has focused on the creation of a poster explaining early modern contexts, the production of a podcast introducing the project alongside Eddie (which you can spot above) and much more. I hope you enjoy exploring the project as much as we have constructing it!

portrait

Serena Gupta
Hello, my name is Serena and I am a second year student studying History of Art, BA. I happily got involved in the Student Research Project Art Portfolio because it is a great opportunity to get involved in teamwork with Warwick peers studying Humanities. I also wanted to get involved in a project out of my comfort zone, and a Georgian Ghost Story is just that. I have really valued the time spent with tutors and students who have welcomingly encouraged me to embark on further research, which subsequently improved my digital tools, story-telling, online content publishing and academic writing. I am contributing to the project by constructing two blog posts on the architecture of Cork, Ireland as it is the location mentioned in the archive manuscript our group is researching. One blog post involves the key historical architectural places in Cork. The other blog post explores how different genres of architecture in Cork can visually connote the inhabitants’ social standing. My blog posts aim to create atmospheric imagery to supplement my colleagues writing and podcasts based on the Ghost Story. My intention is to help narrate the story by providing an understanding of the location of Cork, Ireland and bring to life the people mentioned in the story by pushing forward a visual of their residence.
Martyna Wrona
Hi everyone! My name is Martyna and I am a first-year student of Politics and Global Sustainable Development. However, studying this course made me realize that my real passion and dreamt career is working as a graphic designer. That is why I've got involved in the Portfolio Project, as it enabled me to use my creative skills and create something with people from my University.
My contribution to the project is mostly the creative and marketing part. My aim is to support the project in a visual way, trying to create eye-catching content. Together with Serena, I have created a series of graphics showing cork and Georgian architecture. I have also created a poster explaining the phenomenon of Early modern Ghost Stories. In the future, I will work on developing our social media and sharing our amazing project with a wider audience!
Eddie
Eddie Kaye

Hello and welcome to our project! I am Eddie, a final year History and Politics student. I got involved with the Portfolio Project with the Arts Department because of my passion for public history and collaborative work. Academic history is fantastic in delivering new perspectives on our past, yet so often that isn't translated into popular knowledge. Public history serves to ensure that important research in history is shared with a wider audience.

My main focus in the project is the podcast, which I host with Dan. I hope to be able to use the platform to promote the fantastic research that has been going on with the project and pick apart some complex ideas in a digestible way.

Click on the video below to hear an introductory podcast on the project!