10 Rapid-Fire Questions with Dr. Suzette Mayr on Haunted Houses

She’s taught the course on the subject and has thoughts on vengeance, vulnerabilities and the literary history of hauntings.

Videography by Haley Martin

They can be inhabited by ghosts or sentient spaces where the creep-factor is built into the bones of the house. Either way, haunted houses make safe spaces scary. They’ve been around long enough, at least in fiction, for the University of Calgary’s Department of English to develop a course on haunted houses.

Dr. Suzette Mayr, BA’90, PhD, has instructed that course, which makes her well-versed in the topic. The award-winning novelist answers questions about haunted houses throughout fiction and in her own life. Yes, she believes in ghosts. No, she hasn’t seen one. Yes, she walks quickly through a particular university stairwell to make sure it stays that way.

Dr. Suzette Mayr is a poet and a novelist. Her latest novel, The Sleeping Car Porter, was released in Fall 2022 and is the winner of the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize
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