A couple of years ago, the informant was living back home in Torrence, Los Angeles. He would stay up in the living room studying, and when it got late, he would often see a shadow in the corner of his eye. At the time, he would tell himself that it was just late, he was tired, so it was probably nothing. Eventually, he would start seeing things during the day such as a little girl. The informant states that he believed the shadow was a random manifestation, but the girl he would actually see as a manifestation of other objects, so he would see a girl made up of clothes on a chair. It kept happening more and more frequently, so he began to get suspicious. He told his sister about it, and she said she was seeing the same thing, so they asked their whole family living at the house and everyone said they saw it too. What caused the family to really freak out is that his little cousin living there had told her mom that a little girl had grabbed her arm. She was only five years old, so she would not have come up with this story.
One night, his uncles and grandma came over and asked him about what he had been seeing, and all they said was, “Yeah that’s how that happens”. They said in Mexico, it’s a common thing to see where the black shadow is an evil spirit, and the girl wasn’t actually evil but was his slave, so the girl was a lure to get people alone in rooms. The informant was completely freaked out after that as they told him not to be in a room alone, he always had to have the lights on and they even brought a priest over to bless the house. One night, he was sleeping in bed when he woke up with his heart racing and he did not know why. He did not have a nightmare so he woke up with his eyes closed as he did not want to open his eyes. He knew that he would see something, as he was laying in bed extremely scared, and did not move. Eventually, he did look and saw the shadow of a man sitting on the chair. This time was different because previously the shadow would just be a fast blur, but this time he was just sitting in the chair as he stared at it. It started walking towards him so he closed his eyes and fell back asleep.
The informant explained that his grandpa’s side of the family was accused of being witches. His family believes that someone had placed a curse on an ancestor, and it had passed down so this haunting was taking place in their house. His uncle also suggested that the reason he had been seeing it more and more was that it was getting closer to Halloween, so after Halloween, nothing would be seen again. The informant did believe it because he was experiencing it first hand but states that his family doing things such as bringing a priest solidified or confirmed his belief that it was real. Looking back on it, he no longer believes it now, as he would explain it by tiredness. Additionally, he states that other people in his family started claiming that they saw things once he said it, so everyone else believed it as well or their minds would trick them into believing it.
This legend is that of a ghost story. It seems that much of this legend stems from fear and history. Other ghost stories tend to have a specific factor that leads to the creation of these stories and in this case, the ghost story comes from the informant’s past beliefs of ancestors indulging in witchcraft and confirmation bias. Once the informant had explained his situation to others, they also began to see the same thing which comes from confirmation bias. They are expecting to see ghostly things in their house, so any small instance of a blur or shadow immediately becomes a potential ghost or demon in their mind in order to confirm their beliefs. Additionally, once the informant was told by his family of his past, and of the same legend happening so commonly in Mexico made the informant begin to see these things more frequently. The more fear he held, the greater the legend became, and as soon as someone confirmed the information about the potential reality of what he was seeing, it became real.