Gothicism/Ghost Stories in Nigerian Literature: Facts or Fiction? A Comparative Analysis of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto and Rems Umeasiegbu’s Ghost Stories

  • MS Ogene


The English and African novels have different traditions which include Gothicism and ghost lore. These sub-genres of Literature are attracting less attention from scholars due to their peculiarity in delving into such areas like the supernatural, the deserted and haunted buildings, the haunting shadows, the fanciful, the dead among the living, antiquities and other appurtenances that trigger off the feeling of fear and awe. This study examines the aspects of this sub-genre of Literature in Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto and Umeasiegbu’s Ghost Stories. It identifies that the common factors in these novels under analysis are setting and atmosphere that are predominated by mystery. The study establishes the view that the Igbo of Nigeria have a way of interpreting this mystery of ghosts quite different from the English. The study concludes that Umeasiegbu has championed a new literary sub-genre in Nigerian literature which is not strictly confined to folktale narrative techniques but is purely categorized as ghost lore.

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eISSN: 1595-1413