Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2776307
 


 



Ghostly Tales of Law and Justice: Courthouse Hauntings


Kurt X. Metzmeier


University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Nancy Vinsel


Independent

Roberto Campos


Independent

2011

4 Unbound: Annual Review of Legal History & Rare Books 47 (2011)

Abstract:     
Drawn from some thirty collections of folk tales about ghosts, this paper is an effort at collecting and characterizing ghost stories related public buildings associated with the law, primarily courthouses and jails. By far the most common law-related ghost story involves the hauntings of courthouses, with most of these stories falling under the general motif that folklorist Stith Thompson calls "ghost haunts place of great accident or misfortune," although many of these haunting stories also touch on other themes, including the mentioned "ghost returns to reveal murder" and the "ghost re-enacts scene from his own lifetime" motifs. Another closely related class of haunting story involves the gloomy building where the legal-process often ends: the jail or the prison. Finally, the research turned up one type of ghost story that perhaps deserves its own motif, "ghost haunts law school," although many law students would likely argue that it fits well in the existing category for "places of misfortune."

Number of Pages in PDF File: 11

Keywords: folklore ghost tales haunted jails prisons courthouses


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Date posted: May 6, 2016  

Suggested Citation

Metzmeier, Kurt X. and Vinsel, Nancy and Campos, Roberto, Ghostly Tales of Law and Justice: Courthouse Hauntings (2011). 4 Unbound: Annual Review of Legal History & Rare Books 47 (2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2776307

Contact Information

Kurt X. Metzmeier (Contact Author)
University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )
Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

Nancy Vinsel
Independent
No Address Available
Roberto Campos
Independent ( email )
No Address Available
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