Legends
Narrative

The Woman With The Purple Dress

This piece was performed by a USC student I work with whose hometown is Salt Lake City, Utah. They originally heard this story from their friends in Utah, where it is used as a ghost story in order to scare people.

“The story of the woman with the purple dress. There was an old train station down in Utah and the building is still there… supposedly haunted by this woman in a purple dress and the story is this: she was waiting for her train and it was a cold day out and she was wearing this purple dress with no jacket or sweater or anything.

And so the conductor says, ‘Well, here i have an extra jacket. I’ll give it to you, let you borrow it. I’ll come by your place later. Your house is on the train stop or whatever…. And I’ll get it from you’

She says, ‘Thank you so much’ ”

‘So, what’s your name?’

She gave him her name and she was on her way with the jacket. A couple days later the conductor went to get his jacket. He couldn’t find it. He went to the address that she gave him and he couldn’t find the woman. He went to this little grave area out by, like a family gravesite, like a farm house and there was family grave site. He went to the grave and noticed that the woman’s name was on the grave stone. So, supposedly it’s still haunted by her.”

This folklore sounds a lot like a “friend of a friend” story, since my co-worker couldn’t remember specific details, like the name of the station or where exactly it was located, but he had heard the story from a friend. The details that are passed from person to person, like the color of the woman’s dress, feels very arbitrary, but probably helps make the story sound more legitimate.

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