Legends
Narrative

Contemporary Legend – Ghosts – Texas

Contemporary Legend – Ghost Story

“My dad lives in a big, old house in the country outside of Austin, Texas. The house was built in the 1850’s, and sits on fifteen acres of land that are pretty much in the middle of nowhere. After we moved into the house, nothing happened for a while, but one night it was storming really bad. I remember it very vividly. The roof was made of metal, so the sound of the rain scared me. I went downstairs and slept on the couch because it was closer to my older brother’s room, and because the TV was on. I even remember what was playing on TV, it was a marathon of that movie ‘Teaching Ms. Tingle.’ Anyway, besides the point. I fell asleep, and for some reason I woke up in the middle of the night.. and kneeling right in front of my face on the floor in front of the couch was a little boy.. around 12. He was transparent, had messy clothes and hair, and was wearing overalls.. he looked like a farm boy. I rubbed my eyes thinking I was imagining it, but he was still there. After a few seconds, he slowly vanished. Not believing what I saw, I fell back asleep eventually. After that, we began hearing noises all over the house on a regular basis. Doors rattled, stations would change by themselves on the TV, and sometimes we could hear an office chair rolling around upstairs. The creepiest thing was when you could hear somebody walking down the stairs, but nobody was there. My whole family heard these things… even my dad got spooked a few times and searched the house with a gun, thinking there was a burglar. One night when he was home alone, he says all the sudden all the doors in the house starting rattling and sounded like somebody was beating on them. Sometimes my sister would see the boy standing at the top of the stairs by her bedroom door. All this was fine.. we accepted that the house was haunted… but then we met an old man who knew the family that used to own the house.. he said he played there as a child. Anyway, he told us that a young boy and an older woman with a bun of gray hair haunt the house. He said this without us saying anything about the house being haunted.. and he basically confirmed that a young boy haunted the house. There was also this one time when a little girl was at our house and we thought she was talking to herself… when her mother asked who she was talking to, the little girl said that she was talking to the boy standing next to her… but there was nobody standing next to her!”

This story describes the supposed haunting of the informant’s house in Texas. She was extremely effective at telling me the story, and was very believable. I honestly believe that she wholeheartedly believes that this house is haunted. It is freakishly believable, and I have a hard time disbelieving myself. That being said, the story serves a very important social purpose for the family. They often host parties with hundreds of people, and everybody knows this story. I spent a lot of time with the informant growing up, and she often told these stories to groups of friends, and usually at night in a creepy setting. The story provides a very strong case in support of belief in ghosts in general, especially considering the story from the old man, who allegedly was unfamiliar with the family’s firsthand experiences in the house. Although this story began as a personal story within this family, it has expanded to the small town community around them and has become somewhat of a local legend. It is also interesting that this legend exists in such an old house and in such a rural area that is not inhabited by many people. In some ways, it seems to reflect how much of folklore stems from human uncertainty and the unknown.

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