Artist’s Statement: I don’t believe in ghosts. Even as a child, the idea of a subtle image appearing where and when it shouldn’t, a voice without a body seemed almost silly to me. The very notion of the paranormal was an idea that I quickly denied. However, despite my lack of faith in the restless dead, I found ghost-like features emerging throughout my adolescence. I found these features in my still very much alive grandmother. Within “Ghosts,” I explore my estranged relationship with my grandmother while juxtaposing the narrative with the history of the West Virginia State Penitentiary. In doing so, I find the idea of ghosts is more complicated than I had previously imagined, and perhaps the reason I can’t find them is because I lack the desire to do so.
Hannah Kittle recently graduated with her Master’s in English at Marshall University where she held a position within the program as a Teaching Assistant. Kittle resides in Williamstown, West Virginia where she is currently the Crime and Courts Reporter at the Marietta Times and manages her business in photography of five years. She emphasizes in creative nonfiction, and more recently, the video essay. You can see Kittle’s previous work in the 21st issue of the Drunken Boat and in the 2017 edition of Lalitamba, both of which runs with her theme of examining family to better understand herself.