National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version


Document Type



UReCA: The NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity:


Copyright @ by the author.


Like porch lights, mosquito bites, and last-minute glasses of sweet tea, ghost stories are an experience innate to the South after dark. Whether or not a person believes them, these tales have the ability to characterize houses, streets, even entire cities. For the citizens of Frenchman’s Bend in William Faulkner’s The Hamlet, convoluted stories of Antebellum and Civil War ghosts permeate the area. Distracted by the buried men of the past, the people of Frenchman’s Bend fail to realize that they themselves are living in one of the most sprawling, epic ghost stories ever to unfold in Mississippi: the story of the rise of Flem Snopes. As Snopes, a veritable living ghost, wreaks havoc on the town with his invisible, untraceable hands, Faulkner offers his readers a valuable truth: sometimes, the only way to see a ghost is to observe its effect on others.