Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. Dan Doll

Second Advisor

Dr Anne Boyd Rioux

Third Advisor

Dr. Patricia Austin


In the early 1980s, a particular kind of “tween” (children aged 10-14) ghost story emerged. Through examining multiple examples of tween ghost stories (such as Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn, Stonewords by Pam Conrad, and Time Windows by Kathryn Reiss), this paper illustrates the ways in which these stories are remarkably consistent in nature, and then investigates this sub-genre’s specific and consistent articulation of the struggle of moving away from childhood and into the teenage years. By using a ghost to create a situation so off balance (a ghost who is stuck, a protagonist who is in flux), the tween ghost story is uniquely and cleverly designed to help the protagonist navigate through the scary situation of growing up.


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