My informant is my father, he is 55 years old and he is born and raised in California. He has traveled a lot in his life as he was in the navy for some time and comes from a long line of people who are from Texas and other places. He decided to tell me about a ghost story that he experienced as a kid while he was visiting his grandmother and this is what he said:
Dad: “When I was about 10 years old, I used to take a trip to Texas every summer. I would fly to Dallas to visit my grandmother, and eventually make my way to Marshall, where my cousins lived. One year, while I was sitting on the couch in Marshall, the rotary dial phone started dialing by itself. It was like someone was using the phones without actually touching it. “
Me: “Was this the first time something like this has happened to you?”
Dad: “Another strange occurrence happened when my cousin and I overheard my aunt talking to someone in her room. But when we went to check, no one was there except for my aunt, who seemed startled to see us. We noticed that there was an indention in the mattress as if someone had been sitting there next to her, but it disappeared as soon as we entered the room. “
Me: “How did this make you feel?”
Dad: “These unexplained events left us puzzled and wondering what could have caused them”
In my analysis, the story that was told to me from an experience my dad had could be considered a memorate. By definition, a memorate is an oral narrative from memory relating a personal experience or a personal narrative involving an encounter with a supernatural being. Although this encounter was unexplained, many supernatural encounters can be unexplained. Additionally, because this happened in Texas, I believe Texas is filled with a lot history and it could be common to experience these types of things there. In terms of folklore, in an article from the Journal of Folklore Research by Ulo Valk, titled “Ghostly Possession and Real Estate: The Dead in Contemporary Estonian Folklore,” Valk elaborates on ghosts as a way to “provide meaning in a chaotic social environment”. Although this interpretation may not make complete sense, it creates an opening for further exploration on the subject of ghostly encounters like this one that happened to my father. As mentioned in this article, ghosts want to maintain traditions and culture, so maybe this space was special in some way.