Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Creative Writing



Major Professor

Milton O'Neal Walsh

Second Advisor

Fredrick Barton

Third Advisor

Joanna Leake


This collection of short horror stories orbits around the concept of death, and how we perceive and experience it. When our shared cultural understanding of death has become severely warped, on both an individual and societal level, can we truly comprehend our own mortality? What happens when death becomes another product of the content mill: extraneous data to be scrolled past and consumed without thought? The horror of these stories comes not only from the threat of death or bodily harm, but from how malleable death can be. What should be the ultimate commonality amongst all living things has instead become hyper-individualistic; a consequence of one’s personal beliefs and values. In today’s world, death is simply a matter of opinion.

Together, these stories articulate the collection’s central question: when the nature of death cannot be objectively understood and collectively agreed upon, is it even real anymore?

What is death, actually?


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Available for download on Thursday, May 27, 2027