Author Archives: Amber Villa

Ghost Story Collection 1

Amber Villa Story 1



My father’s family is very catholic and spiritual, so I knew they would be a good source for ghost stories.  My grandmother is always telling everyone stories of spirits, or saints meddling in our lives.  I remembered a story that my Grandmother often repeated because it highlighted a few of the motifs we’ve seen in class.

“One of my sisters, Flora, my favorite sister, passed away.  And then her granddaughter and her husband wanted to have – she was living in Clovis, New Mexico, where her children lived- and then her granddaughter and her husband wanted to have her buried in Wyoming, where they lived when her husband passed away.  So they had her cremated and on the way there…they stopped here in Colorado and they brought the urn in.  It was like real polished wood and had a brass on the front with the date of her birth and the date of her death.  And they put that on the table in the living room.  And anyway that night when we were all asleep, I just, I heard some music.  I thought, “Where is that music coming from?”  I woke up and then I looked at the clock and it said 12:19.  So anyway, I got up and went downstairs and the stereo had gone on by itself.  So then I turned it off and went back to bed.  And then the next morning, I remembered that she died on December 19, the time the music started playing.  And after that, that stereo would go on by itself when we had special company, but it always went on at that time of the night.  And so, I had my brother, Effrey, and his wife were here and then that music went on at night.  The next morning I asked them if they had heard the music.  He didn’t, but she did.  She said, “Oh yes, I heard some beautiful music playing.”  And I told her what had happened.  It kept doing that for quite a while and then it eventually stopped doing it anymore.  So, that was a strange thing that happened, but I felt her spirit was with us.  And that was a good feeling.”

                The first thing I noticed when I tried to collect this story from my Grandmother was her reaction to the word ‘ghosts.’  When asked if she knew any ghost stories, she quickly responded, “Oh no, I don’t like scary stories.”  Only when I proceeded to explain that I meant spirits as well did she mention this story.  This response to ‘ghosts’ or another specific word referring to them was seen in the research done on elderly women in England.

My family is very spiritual and believes that spirits are around us; rather they are family members or official spirits like saints.  My grandmother and her many sisters were very close and they were often visiting at her house.  The great aunt we saw most often was our Aunt Flora.  When she would visit, she and my grandmother would make tortillas and other foods while listening to music and singing and dancing around the kitchen. So not surprisingly, most of my family takes my grandmother seriously when she tells this story.   Interesting enough, most of them would not admit to believing in ghosts.  This shows that their beliefs on the afterlife may only be for certain functions.  My Grandmother believes the music was a sign that her sister was still visiting her even after her death.

This story is an interesting case because it is clearly a ghost story, but its told by someone that states their disbelief in ghosts.


Amber Villa

November 4, 2011


Los Angeles, CA

Ghost Story Collection 2

Amber Villa Story 2


Alright, so when I was in jail, when of my bunkies, he was telling me just the kinda stuff that happened around the jail.  And he said when he was first in there- probably like a week in there.  He couldn’t sleep one night and it’s like a big open area.   And he just, he looks up and he just sees, just a girl walk through the jail area.  So, he was pretty confused cause obviously like girls aren’t allowed in jail.  But, he thought maybe you know it was a guard or something.  He wasn’t sure.  So, he waited to hear if a door opened or close cause they’re really loud.  So when he saw her pass by, then he just like opened up his ears and waited.  And then sure enough nothing happened.  So he was really confused by it.  He was pretty sure that that it was a ghost.  And then I guess when he was talking to one of the guards about the situation, they said there was no way that anyone could have been in there and it had actually been a women’s jail back in the 60’s.  So, he was pretty convinced that what he saw that night was definitely a ghost, just based on the fact that he saw her for sure and nobody could have got in or out without the guards noticing you know.  So he told me that and honestly I was kinda freaked out about it cause that was like my first week in jail that he told me that.  So I was just kinda wondering if I was gonna see anything crazy like that but I ended up not seeing anything.  So it was just really interesting and you could tell he totally believed it.  So I didn’t know really what to make of it.”

When I called my grandmother asking if the family had any good ghost stories she directed me to my cousin explaining that he liked scary things.  This story is interesting because it is the typical ghost story in many ways.  First, it can serve as an initiation story for new jail mates.  The story focuses on a new inmate while its being told to a new inmate.  Second, this story takes place in the middle of the night when the inmate is having trouble sleeping.  Many ghost story are set during this liminal time when you’re not sure if you’re awake or dreaming.  Third, the story tell tries to convince you that it had to be a ghost because there was no other physical explanation for a women to be in the jail area.  Last, like many ghost stories, this story explains the ghost appearance based on past history.  According to the witness, that particular jail used to be a women’s jail in the 1960’s.  Prisons and jails are also popular backdrops in ghost stories.

The way in which this story shows the story teller’s reluctance to state his belief in ghosts while he simultaneously admits that he expected to see ghosts as well.







Amber Villa

November 2, 2011


Los Angeles, CA