Aunt’s Ghost Story about Sleeping Boy


  • collected on 03/23/2024
  • Genre: Memorate
  • Language: English
  • Nationality: Mexican-American
  • Relationship to Informant: Friend
  1. Text 
    1. Summary: 
      1. The Informant’s aunt grew up in rural Mexico with a big family. One night, she woke up because she felt someone in her bed. When she opened her eyes, she saw a little boy sleeping next to her and assumed it was her little brother. In the morning, she noticed her little brother sleeping in his own room and wearing different clothing. When she asked her brother why he slept in her bed, he told her that he hadn’t done that. 
    2. Direct transcription of folklore:
      1. “So, my aunt Liz (pretty sure this was Liz) was 15 and they were living in this old house in the middle of the country. One morning – actually the middle of the night – she woke up because she felt someone in her bed. So she woke up and turned around, and it was a little boy. At first, she was like ‘what the h***’ because my dad’s family has three boys and two girls. So, at first she was like, ‘Oh, George, what are you doing here?’ Then she really looked at him, and she was like ‘oh my God, that’s not George.’ I can’t remember if she like went back to sleep …. no, no, no … Okay, so what happened was she saw the boy and she was like ‘oh, it’s George’ because the little boy had his back turned to her. So then she fell asleep and woke up. Then she went and saw that George was sleeping in his own bed. He was also wearing something completely different than the boy she saw that night. So she was like ‘what happened last night? Why did you come sleep in my bed?’ and he was like ‘I didn’t, I was here the whole night.’”
  2. Context 
    1. Informant is a USC student in her early 20s who was born and raised in the Sacramento Valley. This ghost story was told to her by her aunt, and it has become an oral tradition in her family. 
  3. Analysis 
    1. The ghost in this story is a little boy who sleeps in a young girl’s bed. Since the boy is very peaceful and doesn’t intend to scare her, it can be seen as an innocent soul looking for a family connection. This suggests cultural values of family and community acceptance. It also suggests the perspective that ghosts can be non-harmful, which indicates an open mind to the spiritual world.