Legends

The Ghost Around the Bend

Background:

My informant is a twenty-one-year-old college student in Boston, Massachusetts. She is studying to be a nurse and has worked in the emergency room at both Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Performance:

“I heard this from my boyfriend at the time…I was seventeen and he was twenty-one. He was a volunteer fireman when he wasn’t doing construction. Cops and firemen know each other, like, pretty well in Essex County. Uh…I can’t remember if he said that he like heard this from someone or if he was there or what it was, but I remember the story wicked well…so I guess there’s this one road in Essex with a really sharp bend or curve in the road and people get in accidents there all the time…every time the police show up they just get really quiet when people tell them how it happened because they all have the same story about seeing a little kid chase a ball into the road and like flipping their cars trying to like, uh, get out of the way or something….anyway, I guess that some kid was hit by a car there in the 70’s or something. I guess it’s some, uh, like, big open secret, you know? Like all of the cops know about it but normal people don’t until they get in the very same accident.”

Thoughts:

This is a classic ghost story with a clear causal narrative. The child was hit by a car, and now car accidents that happen on that same road are attributed to the child’s death. The added details about it being an “open secret” amongst first responders adds a layer of legitimacy that may otherwise be missing; the police are meant to be inherently trustworthy, thus if they insist the story is true, we must also believe it.

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