This story, collected on November 11, 2013, comes from my roommate and is an account of his father’s encounter with the supernatural world in his early child hood. My roommate, Wei Dong, has lived in the United States for less than three months and thus speaks very poor English. When collecting the story, and in everyday conversation for that matter, it is clear that a lot of what Wei Dong wishes to communicate is lost in translation. Oftentimes I had difficulty understanding what he was trying to say and as a result the story does not read very smoothly.
Okay… so… The time is maybe forty years before and you know my father lives in the China countryside and there is a lot of the mountains and trees and forest things and one day it was… it was… My father was maybe six or seven years old and my father’s mother is my grandmother want my father to cut the trees. Do you know what I mean? To cut the trees? [Me: Cut them down?] Yeah cut them. Cut them down and fire them. [Me: Fire them?] [Wei dong makes some non-transcribable sound of agreement] [Me: What do you mean? Burn them?] Yeah burn them. Bring the trees to home and burn them. [Me: Okay] Alright. And that was a day is almost dark. The sky is almost dark and my father finished his work and he has a lot trees on his back. He just walk along the mountain’s road. It’s not a real road. Its just a road on the mountain. And he saw a light on his right or left… I forgot that. Its just a light. The light is jumping. Like this… jumping… yeah [He makes an up and down motion with his hand.] The light is jumping so my father is so… um… interesting about what’s that. He then follow that light and the light go just jump to the… um… that… that place… uh… that people died… the people in the countryside they always put the died people in that place. [Me: Oh, like a graveyard?] Oh yes, a graveyard. And he saw man in a [incomprehensible.] [Me: In a what?] In a [incomprehensible– sounds like shuttle] [Me: In a shuttle?] Yeah in a shuttle. [Me: What do you mean?] I mean my father can’t saw his face. But this man’s face to my father like I said but he can’t see. [What do you mean he is in a shuttle though?] Just a man stayed face to you… [Me: Yeah…] and my father can’t see his face. [Me: Oh shadow] Yeah [Me: Oh okay] And this man just sit. And my father said he feel this man is look at my father. My father is so scared and then… he go home. He run to home. That’s umm… [Me: That is a ghost story. That’s trippy.] That’s trippy? No its just… I think it’s a ghost story.