Informant: K S is a junior at UCSB who is majoring in Political Science. He was born and raised in Japan, and has recently moved to the U.S. in 2016. Him and his family do believe in ghosts. His story takes place near his apartment complex in Japan. His apartment complex is also situated near a temple.
KS: “Well when I used to live in Japan, like before coming here for college, I lived with my family in a complex with three other families. I lived with my mom, dad, and little sister. The three other families were an elderly couple, a young single man, and another married couple with no kids. So one day I was walking back home from school and I saw a little girl standing in front of my house and waving at me. I thought it was my sister so I waved back. I was going to catch up with the girl but she walked inside the complex before I could say another word. When I got into the house looking for whom I’d thought to be my sister, I couldn’t find her. I asked my mom, who was cooking, where my sister was and she said that she hasn’t come home yet. So the girl just came into my house and disappeared, because when I asked the other people who lived in the same complex, they said they had never seen or heard a girl walk in. I have no idea who the girl was, or where she went, or why she was there. ”
Impact on KS:
“I don’t know, I mean it was pretty whatever. I’d just assumed the ghost girl used to live in my complex before she died. Although this is my only ghostly experience, I didn’t find it scary or shocking or anything. I told my family about it and everyone was like really casual about it. It’s actually really interesting how my friends here think seeing a ghost is scary, I mean not all ghosts are harmful or scary ya know.”
His story reminds me of the stories discussed in class about the ghostly visitations seen by middle-aged New England women, because his encounter was harmless. Also when he was telling the story, he told it very casually as if seeing ghosts wasn’t something that occurred once of twice. What I found interesting was that, as discussed in class, cultural backgrounds could impact one’s ghost belief. KS and his family members are examples of how Eastern cultures have a higher belief in ghosts than Western cultures. In relation to his story, I think that maybe the ghost girl had something to do with the temple because the temple represents a spiritual place where people would pray to their dead ancestors.