I asked a question here on whether the practice of creating a 'Ghost Wall', a practice presented in historical fiction, and in some sources as a historical fact has any historicity to it, or whether it is purely a literary trope.

The question seems to have caused some confusion as to what I'm asking for and whether the question belongs in the History Stack Exchange altogether; as of writing it's been fairly evenly upvoted and downvoted.

So, how could I have proposed this question in a way that wouldn't have caused these issues?

  • 3
    I share your confusion. I thought the question was clear, well researched & pertinent. I am glad you asked here, and look forward to the answers. At the moment, my money is on "members needed more caffeine". <grin>
    – MCW Mod
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


As I didn't downvote and as I am unable to read people's minds I can not give a precise reason for the votes.

What I can give is a suggestion for a possible improvement:

The question took historical fiction and gave numerous examples of how the concept has been used. It seems to be a popular one.

When I read a question on HistorySE I like to see the effort an asker made in his own research into the topic documented. That has been done in this question as I just wrote.
With one caveat: there is no evidence for researching this into the non-fictional history part.
It may be that some misread this as purely speculative asking for confirmation from some nonsensical fantasy novels or games.

Looking or scientific evidence in this case is not easy googling and an emphasis on "tried and failed" or "this seems strange" would have calmed my mind, I had been so overly critical as I just speculated some might have been.

In other words:
The question came from historical fiction, which is fine, but may have been a bit lacking in documenting prior research into the actual problem domain, which is historical research. That is in this case a minor problem in my view. But can be a much bigger one in some other questions.

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    Thank you, I do mention doing a survey of Aldhouse-Green's (Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University) work as she is a prominent writer on Iron Age religion and ritual, I should have expanded on this though as reading over I can imagine someone assuming she's another fiction author. Of course, as I mention I didn't find anything, which is difficult to expand on. Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 13:29
  • @CharlieTizzardÓKevlahan Also my guess. It's just too close and unprominent after Moss (that book is reviewed as "she also does non-fiction" but is another novel) Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 13:48

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