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The Ghosting Of The Hudson Valley Dutch

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Chapter Summary

Dutch colonial settlement contributed to Hudson Valley haunting in part because the Dutch brought to the region their own culture, which included supernatural figures and ghostlore. More broadly, though, and more problematically, as Dutch history in the region came to be obscured by subsequent waves of settlement and historical changes, the Dutch themselves came to be figured as ghostly. Starting from the pioneering tales of Washington Irving, and moving on to a deluge of regional writings in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this chapter explores how the Dutch have featured in the haunting of the Hudson Valley, and how hauntedness has shadowed the construction of Dutchness in America. From Irving's time forward, tales of haunting seemed to privilege the Dutch as native spirits of place, to situate them at the very core of historical memory in a region that itself occupied a central place in American culture.

Keywords:American culture; Dutch ghostliness; Hudson Valley haunting; Washington Irving



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