“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.
November 2, 2011
Los Angeles, CA