“It’s scary here.” Haunted landscape as a research tool to look into post-expulsion landscapes


haunted landscape
post-expulsion landscape

How to Cite

Ćwiek-Rogalska, K. (2020). “It’s scary here.” Haunted landscape as a research tool to look into post-expulsion landscapes. Polish Journal of Landscape Studies, 3(6), 27–47. https://doi.org/10.14746/pls.2020.6.2


The article deals with the idea of “haunted landscape” as a research tool in analyzing post-expulsion landscapes. I propose a new perspective on analyzing narrations concerning expulsion and resettlements of lands where a drastic demographic change took place. I use existing research connected with the idea of Jacques Derrida’s hauntology, as well as other analytical sources dealing with folktales of different regions. As material for analysis, I propose various records from ethnographic research conducted in the Czechoslovak borderlands, stored at the Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, concerning the space of a “traditional house” and the new settlers’ views on their new home.



Arburg, Adrian von, and Tomáš Staněk. 2010. Vysídlení Němců a proměny českého pohraničí 1945—1951. Dokumenty z českých archivů. Díl I. Češi a Němci do roku 1945 [The Expulsion of Germans and the changes in the Czech borderlands 1945-1951. Documents from Czech archives. Part I. Czechs and Germans to the year 1945]. Úvod k edici Středokluky: Zdeněk Susa.

Bell, Michael Mayerfeld. 1997. “The Ghosts of Place.” Theory and society 26, no. 6: 813-836.

Benjamin, Walter. 1999. “Thesis on the Philosophy of History.” In Walter Benjamin, Illuminations, edited by Hannah Arendt, 245-255. London: Pimlico.

Bergland, Renée. 2000. The National Uncanny: Indian Ghosts and American Subjects. Lebanon: UPNE.

Briggs, Julia. 2015. “The Ghost Story.” In A New Companion to the Gothic, edited by David Punter, 176-185. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.

Černý, Bohumil, Jan Křen, Václav Kural, and Milan Otahál, eds. 1990. Češi, Němci, odsun: diskuse nezavislých historiků [Czechs, Germans, expulsion: The discussion of the independent historians]. Praha: Academia.

Davies, Owen. 2016. The Haunted: A Social History of Ghosts. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Derrida, Jacques. 2016. Widma Marksa, translated by Tomasz Załuski. Warszawa: PWN [English transl.: Specters of Marx, New York: Routledge, 1994].

Gordon, Avery. 2008. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Hetherington, Kevin. 2004. “Secondhandedness: Consumption, Disposal and Absent Presence.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2, no. 2: 157—173.

Holloway, Julian, and James Kneale. 2008. “Locating Haunting: A Ghost-Hunter’s Guide.” Cultural Geographies 15, no. 3: 297-312.

James, Montague Rhodes. 1929. “Some Remarks on Ghost Stories by Montague Rhodes James,” The Bookman, December: without page numbers.

López, Moreno E., and Blanco Z. González. 2014. “Ghost Cities and Empty Houses: Wasted Prosperity.” American International Journal of Social Science 3, no. 2: 207-216.

Maddern, Jo. 2008. “Spectres of Migration and the Ghosts of Ellis Island.” Cultural Geographies 15, no. 3: 359-381.

Marzec, Andrzej. 2015. Widmontologia: teoria filozoficzna i praktyka artystyczna ponowoczesności [Spectro-ontology: Philosophical theory and artistic practice]. Warszawa: Bęc Zmiana.

O’Callaghan, Cian, Mark Boyle, and Rob Kitchin. 2014. “Post-politics, Crisis, and Ireland’s ‘Ghost Estates’.” Political Geography 42: 121-133.

Pilar Blanco, Maria del. 2012. Ghost-Watching American Modernity: Haunting, Landscape, and the Hemispheric Imagination. New York: Fordham University Press.

Pilar Blanco, Maria del, and Esther Peeren, eds. 2013. The Spectralities Reader. Ghost and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory. London: Bloomsbury.

Punter, David and Glennis Byron. 2004. Gothic. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

Richardson, Judith. 2003. Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Rosenberg, Tina. 1995. The Haunted Land: Facing Europe’s Ghosts after Communism. New York: Vintage Books.

Sendyka, Roma. 2014. “Miejsca, które straszą (afekty i nie-miejsca pamięci)” [Places that scare (affects and non-places of memory)]. Teksty Drugie 1: 84-102.

Trafton, Math. 2013. The Ghostmodern: Revisionist Haunting in Turn-of-the-Century American Literature (1887-1910). Boulder: University of Colorado.

Tuan, Yi-Fu. 2013. Landscapes of Fear. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Weinstock, Jeffrey A. 2004. Spectral America: Phantoms and the National Imagination. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Wolfreys, Julian. 2001. Victorian Hauntings. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Žižek, Slavoj. 1999. The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Centre of Political Ontology. London: Verso.