D: Um, I mean, neighbors used to just gather in the front yard and you know, if they were both working in the yard, they, you know, people would gather in the street and just kind of, you know, chat and catch up. So I think my mom saw the neighbor one day, P, and she was like, what in the world happened to your plant? And that’s when she said, oh, every so often I’ll get up and it’ll look like somebody has walked through the middle of my plant and it was a big, huge plant. And when she did some research, she found out that the original front door to her house was where that plant was and they had taken the front door out and moved it to the side and put in a bay window.
Me: Oh, okay. So something was trying to walk through the old door?
D: Yeah. So she felt like it was, you know, they must have been trying to get through where the door used to be. Um, and so she would, you know, pull the plant, you know, nurse it back and get it all where it’s looking good. And she said, and then, you know, a few weeks later the same thing would happen. And so she ended up having to move her plant somewhere else because it would get trampled during the night and you could see footprints and stuff like that through it.
Background: D grew up in the southeast United States in the 1960s and 70s. Her mother and neighbor had both lived in the area for years.
Context: This story was told to me over a phone call.
Analysis: This reminded me of the trope we often see in supernatural stories, where spirits seem to be trapped in the version of a space that existed when they were alive. This is where we get the idea of ghosts walking through walls, or spending time around the place where they died. What was particularly interesting about this story, however, was the effect that the ghost had on the physical realm. I didn’t see that happening in the other supernatural stories I collected.