Young Ghosts

Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Rahman, Imad

Subject Headings

Apocalyptic literature


Young Ghosts is a post-apocalyptic horror novel written in the style of literary fiction. The story is broken into three acts, the first of which constitutes the following thesis. A critical introduction, describing the influences, aesthetic, and future designs of the work, precede the creative portion. This narrative plays out in the third week of a world-altering epidemic and is set in the modern day. At the center of the epidemic is a disease, unknown in origin, which kills only children. The Piper is the name given to the mysterious epidemic, noting its similarity to the minstrel/child abductor of fairy tale. The story's central characters are the Temple family: Chris, Carol, Darrien, and Brandi. Set in the fictional southwestern Ohio city of Arcadia, Young Ghosts focuses on the desperation of young father Chris as he watches death creep closer in. Already grown semi-estranged from his wife, Carol, Chris does all he can to save his two daughters, Darrien and Brandi, from the disease there appears to be no safety from. Throughout this struggle, the Temple family leans on the other young families populating the incredibly close-knit community of the Blue Pines sub-development. Almost all of these young families have children themselves. At the end of Act I, the madness bred by the inescapable disease finally infects the Blue Pines community. In this moment, the offering for salvation given by the strange Alister Vandermime, a scientist in his seventies, suddenly becomes a possibility