Dark Tourism: Ghosts and the Gothic Theatre of Victoria’s Heritage Sites

Leigh Scott Room, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

Public lecture

Gothic narratives and ghost tours in particular are increasingly deployed to draw visitors to heritage sites such as Melbourne Old Gaol, Castlemaine Gaol, Ararat Lunatic Asylum and other sites connected with traumatic pasts. In this lecture, Mary Luckhurst considers why the Gothic spin has such an effective appeal and what ghostly narratives both reveal and obscure. How does a ghost story operate and what performance techniques and narration do different heritage operators use? Why is the Gothic so prevalent in Victoria?

Professor Mary Luckhurst is a University of Melbourne theatre historian and co-editor of Theatre and Ghosts: Materiality, Performance and Modernity (2014), the first book to link theatre and performance with spectrality studies and cultural heritage.

The exhibition Dark imaginings: Gothic tales of wonder is showing in the Noel Shaw Gallery, Baillieu Library until 31 July 2018.

Free event: Further information and bookings

Image: Detail from Unknown photographer, [The Apparition] (England [?], 188- [?]), Special Collections