This story is from a friend who lives in a very old house in New Jersey. Instead of being a traditional story that has been passed down, it is a personal experience of a ghostly presence.
“So, my house in Princeton is super old basically from when Princeton started, historical, and creepy as shit. It was just me and my sister and I needed to go in the basement to restart breakers because the lights went out. It wasn’t working so I walk back up the stairs and the temperature drops like 20 degrees on stairs. The lights turn off and on and so then I go back down, and the breaker was off, so the lights shouldn’t have flickered.
The same night, I go upstairs, and I have this plush Nemo in my sisters’ room. So, I’m looking for my sister, like shouting her name and looking around for her. I go into her room and sees Nemo on the bed, and I turns to mirror, and in the mirror, I see Nemo on the floor which freaks me out. I leave her room and see my sister in the kitchen, when I ask her says she couldn’t hear me yelling her name and I basically freaked out again.”
This story is not really a story about a ghost being explicitly seen but more of a ghostly presence in a house. These are very common in American culture and especially in horror movies. Stories like these are generally what start off horror movies, ones where unexplained things happen that scare the people living in the haunted houses. The fact that the house is from the founding of the town also lends itself to be a house that people think is haunted. Most of the houses which are haunted are from the founding of towns or where there is an unknown history of the house. The uncertainty of the history of the house leads to the feeling that something bad could’ve happened in the house and therefore the house has the possibility of being haunted.