Editors' Note

by Leah Richards and John R. Ziegler

Note: Page numbers from the print version are indicated in brackets and should not be considered part of the text of the article. 

[page 7] Welcome to Summer 2023! To start, some updates: 

Upcoming: This fall, we are delighted to bring you a special issue, edited by Edmund P. Cueva and Nadia Scippacercola and featuring essays from scholars around the world on William Friedkin’s The Exorcist for its 50th anniversary. Perfect reading for Spooky Season, and we’ll have the issue online in October.

 And now, for this issue, which begins with Stephen Olbrys Gencarella’s “The Field of Spookiness: An Historical Survey,” written in response to Joshua B. Tuttle’s 2020 article on the Spooky. To extend this essential conversation, Gencarella considers American uses of the term beginning in the early 19th century and peaking around the Spiritualism movement, legerdemain, and—what we call Goth Advent here at Supernatural Studies HQ—the Halloween season. Next, we have Nowell Marshall’s “Inverting Lovecraftian Racial and Sexual Monstrosity in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water,” which looks at how del Toro’s modern fairy tale challenges the white supremacy and misogyny that is foundational to Lovecraft’s manufactured lore of the Deep Ones. The third essay in this issue is Erin Louttit’s “Haunted by History: Grant Allen and the Incursion of the Gothic Past,” which brings the science writer firmly into the realm of Gothic short fiction. The final article, Terry W. Thompson’s “Maia Agonistes: The War of the Months in M. R. James’s ‘The Ash-Tree,’” looks at the significance of March and May in a lesser known story from the prolific ghost story author. 

As with our last issue and, we hope, ushering in a trend, we also have two poems by Aaron Pinnix, one shaped by place (semi-rural eastern Connecticut) and the other by time (still-not-post post-pandemic). [page 8]

We hope that you’ve had a chance to check out our special issue on the work of Jordan Peele, guest edited by Dr. Chesya Burke. We and our guest editors have faced some delays, but the Twin Peaks: The Return special conference issue will be out in 2024. And finally, the Supernatural Studies conference is back! We’ll be at Marist College in the Hudson River Valley and, although it will be early spring, we anticipate headless horsemen or something. 

We cannot remind you to follow us on Twitter, or even on X, because we rats deserted the rapidly sinking S.S. Elon-Musk-Ego-Project. You can find us on Facebook, but we think we’re kind of done with social media. Join us in person at Marist this spring or at future conferences instead! 

As always, stay spooky, fiends! 

Leah Richards, Ph.D. 

John R. Ziegler, Ph. D. 

Executive Editors

MLA citation (print): 

Richards, Leah, and John R. Ziegler. "Editors' Note." Supernatural Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Art, Media, and Culture, vol. 8, no. 2, 2023, pp. 7-8.