The Forensic Supernatural: Knowledge, the Supernatural and the Psychic Detective
The recent spate of film, television and popular-literary texts focussing on the ghostly and the supernatural invites the question: why this? And why now? Moreover, the form that such narratives often take closely resembles, if indeed is not identical with, the detective story. Such narratives include Medium, Psychic Detectives and The Ghost Whisperer; moreover, TV series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel, movies such as the Harry Potter series, and romanticised and often humorised vampire novels such as MaryJanice Davidson’s and Charlaine Harris’ series often draw on the trope of the detective summoned to investigate a mystery of some kind.
This paper investigates this particular formulation of the supernatural tale in terms of its historical provenance, and in relation to recent historical events which may have shaped its contemporary manifestation.
Keywords: Supernatural, Psychic, Detective, Film, Television, Popular Literature, Popular Culture
Prof. David Buchbinder
Professor, Humanities, Curtin University of Technology
Dr Ann Elizabeth McGuire
Senior Lecturer, Creative Industries, Curtin University of Technology