Background: The Informant was backpacking in Yosemite with friends, and they heard this story from a member of the group they were traveling with.
Context:This ghost story was performed to an audience of one in a fraternity dining hall.
“In the early 1800s there was, like, a mining company that was out there in Yosemite. There was a big storm and one of the workers got left for dead there in the storm. And supposedly he became, like, a zombie named the ridge runner. If you’re walking in the valley you can see him and his fires. Apparently there used to be a lot of decapitated bodies in Yosemite. Like they would just be like ripped apart super weirdly, and people were like, “I don’t think animals could do that” so might have been like a serial killer, but they just blame it on the ridge runner.”
It can be very unnerving to go be exposed in nature, away from the comfort that four solid walls provide. This story seems to be playing off of these fears.