The Empty House: The Ghost of a Memory, The Memory of a Ghost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Sound is inherently uncanny. Literally invisible, it stealthily permeates our environment. This is why sound is horror culture’s most devious weapon: sudden thunderclaps, relentless heartbeats, or unexplained whispers can unnerve us more than anything visual. We comprehend how sound works, yet in our experience we tussle with sound’s immateriality through concepts of anamnesis or hauntology. Indeed, many pioneers of radio were beheld by their contemporaries in ‘occultist’ terms and Edison was terrified the first time his gramophone worked. From the wax fragments of Florence Nightingale speaking of [im]mortality to Leyland Kirby’s ongoing experiments in sound and dementia, audio recordings have captured voices, spaces and emotions. In so doing, the auditory profoundly changes our perception of time, reality and environment and renders us thoroughly haunted. After all, visual horrors are child’s play next to aural terror. For in our most vulnerable moments we can hide in the dark or shut our eyes, but we struggle to close our ears. This contribution features a short critical essay and the script and MP3 recording of an original, 13.5 minute audio play. The audio narrative explores the essay’s themes in a darkly comic tale of terror about an estate agent’s auditory experiences in an empty house.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2018


  • Radio Drama
  • Audio
  • Horror

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