Sensations and representations of space: About haunted houses, spaces, places and non-places

Bidragets oversatte titel: Sansninger og repræsentationer af rum: Om hjemsøgte huse, rum, steder og ikke-steder

    Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


    Based on my fieldwork on haunted houses in Denmark today, this paper deals with the gap between sensations and representations of space in connection with haunting. As the sensation of haunting is characterized by certain spatial anomalies, it gives reason for a series of questions posed by the haunted person about space as it is represented in everyday life. Furthermore these questions give rise to an analytical discussion about the way the empirical material concerning socio-spatial formations is represented by the anthropologist collecting the stories, and about how to address those aspects of space that are beyond planning and design. The way we theorize about peoples representations of their physical surroundings are high lighted through the matter-out-of-place-example of haunting, questioning the explanatory impact of concepts such as space, place and non-place. The haunting is typically described as personal and intense sensations that that are isolated from the person’s social context. It occurs over rather small stretches of space and in certain places, and does not follow a person outside certain houses or areas, pointing to a confinement to certain places. This is referred to by idioms such as ‘echoes in the walls’, or ‘tied to the room’. The haunting is only partial: things move without a mover, sounds are heard without a source, shadows are seen without a body, you are touched on the back by nobody, a kiss is tasted with no one kissing, or there is a strong smell of a drunkard with nobody present. While subject to these sensations, the person is usually very much aware of his/her sensations of the surrounding physical location. Afterwards the person usually wonders about the gap between the way space is represented and the sensation of space haunted by a ghost. This gap gives rise to the discussions addressed in the paper.
    Bidragets oversatte titelSansninger og repræsentationer af rum: Om hjemsøgte huse, rum, steder og ikke-steder
    Antal sider10
    StatusUdgivet - 2013


    • space
    • place
    • non-place
    • spacehaunting
    • anthropology
    • design
    • representation
    • sensation
    • in-between categories

    Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

    • Nej