[S]: This is a ghost story…or at least what we considered a ghost story and have told many times. When I was younger, in the town that I live in there was this one old, abandoned manor. It was huge, built out of stone with moss vines up the side…like the definition of what you see when you picture old ruins, grown over colonial style housing. There was a huge, 8-foot by 4 foot wide stone wall that surrounded it so it was very blocked in and there were rumors surrounding the abandonment of this home. The story in the town was that it was last inherited by this woman who lived there alone for many years and was very reclusive and…I don’t really remember the specific details about this part but she was either a seamstress or somehow sewing or fashion or something related to that was very involved in the lore surrounding her. There was this story that she disappeared and barely anyone knew her so no one could trace her, no one could find her and or any trace of her and the property was foreclosed and left abandoned, but there was blood found in the bedroom that she disappeared from and so everyone had this rumor that she died and then of course the rumor became that she still haunted the place. Kids all the time would hop the fence or walk around it and kind of hang around the courtyard…oh and there were all of these really creepy statues in the yard space…kinda like I described before as Medusa’s garden in the Percy Jackson movie…me and my friends in middle school climbed the fence and were running around amongst the stones and when we were walking around the house…we tried to get in but all of the doors were super bolted and the windows were closed…from above us, cause it was a 3 or 4 story house, 2 of the window panes slammed shut and so we ran cause we were freaked out and as we went to go climb the fence one of my friend said “Look!” and so we looked back and I swear, to this day, again it might’ve been a real person…who’s to say…we saw a woman dressed in white like half watching us through one of the windows who disappeared behind the window very quickly. We freaked out and jumped the fence and ran away and the other weird thing that I remembered about it…this is the sewing thing…you know those plush tomatoes that people put sewing needles in? There were a bunch of them with needles stuck in them all over the yard, and it was really weird because they looked really new, not old and worn like everything else was so that was really weird and creepy…but we ran away so that was the story of when we saw a ghost.
S is a student at USC and told this story during our discussion section. We talked for a bit afterwards, and it seemed like this was one of those stories that kids come up with amongst themselves when they encounter something new or unknown.
The story contains several motifs that are common in ghost stories. These include the abandoned and decrepit building, the mysterious disappearance of a woman, and the blood found in the bedroom. These motifs contribute to the eerie and unsettling atmosphere of the story. Several supernatural elements make an appearance, such as the ghostly woman in white and the plush tomatoes with needles stuck in them. These elements add to the sense of mystery and terror surrounding the haunted house.