“When I was 12 or 13, one night I woke up to go the bathroom around 2 or 3 morning- you know, the witching hour. I cam back to bed, and was still fully awake- it usually takes me a little bit to go back to bed. I was alert. I was looking out my open doorway, which was lit only by the light of the nightlight in my bathroom coming out into the hall. Then I saw a figure walk out of one room, past my door, and into the next room. And it wasn’t, like, a dark, shadowy figure- it was very clearly a person, a person-shape. It wasn’t dark either, it was fair- more white and washed out than how an actual person would look in the dark. It looked white, and it was wearing some sort of clothes- nothing specific. I didn’t know what I saw at first, but my entire body just froze. I had never been so scared in my life. I just froze in my bed, and eventually was able to fall back asleep.”
My friend who told me this story also told me a lot about her mom’s beliefs, and it was interesting to hear them, and also see how they affected her own personal beliefs. Her mom is Chinese, but grew up in Vietnam. She is a strong believer in the supernatural, as well as the many superstitions that are common in her culture. One thing that I found particularly interesting is that her mom believes all young children can see ghosts up until a certain age, because they are still in the liminal early stages of life. Her superstitions were also interesting, a couple being that owls are an omen for death, and that if a cat jumps over a body at a funeral the body would sit up straight in its coffin. That latter one amused my friend who told me, and said she had asked her mom if she had ever experienced it, to which she replied that she hadn’t but didn’t want to take any chances by having cats at a funeral. It seemed like her mother’s, and grandmother’s as well, pronounced belief in ghosts actually caused her to be more skeptical for a while, not believing all the crazy stories they told her. However as she got older, and experienced the story she told me, as well as others, she began to accept it. She said that now she still doesn’t know if she believes some of the more out-there stories her mom has told her, or the superstitions. It was interesting to see the affect of prevalent ghost belief at home on someone who grew up in America (in Boston, Mass).