The following personal narrative was told to me by my friend from Saint Louis, age 19, he shall be referred to as N. He his of Italian ethnicity, but both his parents were born in Canada, however N was born and raised in Saint Louis.
Text: I don’t remember doing this, but my mom always told me a crazy story about me. One weekend, my neighbors were gone and my mom and I went over to their house to feed their cat and take the trash out. I was only about 6 years old. Anyway, according to my mom, we walked into the house and I started staring at the couch. My mom didn’t understand why, but I kept looking at the couch and eventually pointed to the spot I was looking at and said “Mom, there’s an old lady sitting right there.” My mom told me that this was not true and tried laughing it off. But I was insistent, and kept telling my mom that there was an old woman sitting right there. My mom began to get concerned, and she grabbed me and we ran out of the house. When the neighbors returned, my mom told them that I had apparently seen the ghost of an old lady sitting at the house. The neighbor started crying. My mom didn’t know this, but our neighbors were gone that weekend at the funeral of one of the neighbors mother. Apparently the neighbors mother had always sat on the couch watching TV, and the neighbors were comforted by the fact that their mother was still doing this, and that she has passed on to a better, happier life.
Context: This story was told to me by my friend N, who is 19 years old and while Canadian, has lived in Saint Louis most of his life. N described to me that his mom often tells him this story, but N himself has no recollection of it, as he was only 6 at the time of this event. However, because N trusts his mom, N believes this story fully, and believes in ghosts and the supernatural because of it. N remembers this story because it is crazy to him that he saw a ghost and doesn’t remember it. N said he doesn’t know what to think of this event. He doesn’t know whether or not to think it’s scary and freaky that the ghost of a dead grandparent was at the house when nobody else was there, or whether to think it was comforting that our ancestors are watching over us.
Analysis: This piece of folklore was especially interesting to me. Usually when I hear a ghost story, it is a distant story of someone who I didn’t know who had seen a ghost, which makes it pretty easy for me to pass off and not believe it. But, since this story came from and occurred to a friend of mine, who I know and trust, it made it hard to pass off as some random ghost story and made it much more believable and realistic. I think this memora is important to N because it is a really cool story that people are always interested by. It goes to show people’s fascination with the supernatural, as well as the social and conversation the develops from sharing stories and folklore. It also shows how reliant people are on folklore from their parents or elders. N has no recollection of this event, but because his mom told him it happened, he believes in supernatural and ghosts, showing just how much influence our parents and other older individuals can have in our thinking. Also, the fact that this happened to N when he was a young child is also very important. It demonstrates the idea that children are pure and innocent, and more liable to believe in the supernatural. The final thing this folklore shows us is the idea of ancestors looking over us and the idea of a friendly ghosts, contrary to the frequent scary and evil ghosts seen in movies.