Arguing for a more historicized approach to hauntological theorizing, this article explores the insights to be gained from urban ghost lore. Focusing on nineteenth-century Portsmouth, it uses ghost lore to penetrate the town's dominant narrative as the home of the Royal Navy. Through examining the ways in which ghosts variously informed a sense of community, tacitly subverting civic narratives whilst also resonating with key features of 'official' memory, this article argues for the existence of interpretative struggles over urban spaces, places and identities. in doing so, it seeks to highlight the potential value to historians of a developing 'spectral turn'.
- civic culture