Haunting (Light, Earthquake)

“I was staying with my grandmother in Arkansas out in the country. In the middle of the night, I started to feel the bed shake and immediately thought we were experiencing an earthquake. I jumped out of bed and then a blinding white light filled the room from the window. I held onto the bed as it continued to shake. Then suddenly, the bright light disappeared and the shaking stopped. My cousin was sleeping in the next room over and was sound asleep.”

Context: The informant, 61, grew up in western Washington; this event occurred at some point during her childhood. This was one of various events leading her to believe that the supernatural may exist.

Interpretation: There seems to be a supernatural quality associated with events experienced by one person alone while others close by are unaffected. Similarly (at least in the US), areas more isolated from civilization (“out in the country”) are more often associated with unexplainable events and strange creatures. This could be a way to mitigate anxieties about the unknown and being alone; an explanation, however vague and supernatural, is better than fear in isolation.