Greek American Ghost Memorate

Text: The informant lived in a small apartment in the Bronx. Due to the neighborhood’s known risks, his mother would meticulously lock the door, a practice the informant deemed necessary yet somewhat excessive. Over 33 years, the informant remembers the door never being left unlocked or open without explicit reason. He recalls even if he was moving back from college, his mother would lock the door in between each trip. However, the day his father passed away the informant discovered the door wide open twice, despite no signs of a break-in or any items being disturbed or stolen. The informant also explains there is an old Greek tradition that he heard about from friends that when someone dies, a male family member has to stand outside of the house for a while to prevent the soul from returning to the house.

Context: The Informant experienced this in 2001. He believes that his dad did come back into the house. He viewed it as a good thing though, somewhat contradictory to the original belief that you had to stop it from happening. Instead he took comfort in it. The informant is Christian and believes the spirit stayed around for a bit just to impart good byes to his family. 

Analysis: I think this piece reflects the strong religious belief in the afterlife among the greek population, Christianity is one of the defining parts of their culture, though this story isn’t really christian though it still reflects the belief in an afterlife. I attribute the story, in part, to the Mysticism inherent in the religious beliefs of Greek Orthodoxy. I think you can also gleam the traditional gender roles from this story as well, with the aurdmian of the house required to be male, Greece being a very traditional society, this doesn’t surprise me