Haunted House

The informant is a 21 year old girl and one of my good friends.  She mentioned once living across the street from a haunted house, so when interviewing her, I asked her to give me details about this house.  The house in the story is located in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Informant: Back in the 20s or the 30s, everyone says that the house across the street- from my newer house in the past 10 years- was owned by a dentist and his wife and three kids [all below the age of ten]. It is said that he got really stressed at work one day and that he was bipolar and he came back home and locked his wife and kids in the garage and then burnt the house down. Like put gas all around the house and burnt it down. And they said that he went to jail and everything. No one really knows if it is true or not because it was back in the 20s but that is the haunted scary story around my neighborhood. People live in it now. And I think people just think that it is evil. It is one of those hosues that everyone points out when you drive by it. Since it is owned by people, you can’t go inside.

Me: How long have you known that story?

Informant: Known that story since I was in middle school.

Me: Who told it to you?

Informant: My old neighbor told it to me… their dad. He was like 40 at the time, and it was my old neighbor though, so that was like 15 miles away from the house. So it is not just in my area that people know about it.  It is all of Charlotte that knows that it is the scary house. It just happens to be across the street from me now.

Me: Why do you think people think it is haunted?

Informant: People think it is haunted because they think that the kids and the wife are haunting the house now because they were burned inside there. (lots of giggling)

Me: Do you belive it?

Informant: I believe that a guy did do that because so many people say that he did. I don’t know if I believe that it is haunted. I believe in ghosts. But mostly nice ghosts. I do not believe they are there to hurt people. I just think it scares people. Jeez you should ask [informant featured here] about ghosts.

Me: Okay, I will

Informant: No… I do believe in ghosts. I think they are just lingering spirits. Just remnants of souls are around, and I do not think they mean any harm. So I would not say it is haunted, but I do believe that there is probably spirits if that did happen.

My analysis: I think it is interesting how the informant chooses to believe only in nice ghosts, not in mean or scary ones.  She also mentioned believing that ghosts are lingering spirits and souls of the deceased. This too is interesting because there is no scientific evidence or hard data of any sort to prove that humans even have souls. The concept of souls, in and of itself, is a folkloric belief.  The informant’s belief in kind ghosts aligns perfectly with her personality.  Her beliefs are clearly molded by the way she was raised and her naturally bubbly, happy demeanor.