Transcription: “I once was attacked by a ghost…I was staying at a haunted hotel with my girlfriend. I was asleep and something grabbed my arm. I think it was the Roosevelt in L.A. around midnight.”
This collection is a ghost story, which falls under the category of a legend since the story takes place in a real world setting. When I asked my informant if he had any folk stories to share, he quickly responded that he “was attacked by a ghost.” The setting is important to this story since my informant and his girlfriend chose to spend the night in a supposedly haunted hotel. The Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California is known for its ghost sightings.
The time that the event took place is also a key part of the story. Most people, I would argue, feel less comfortable at night than during the day time. Moreover, the night is supposed to be the time most ghost activity takes place. The timing of my informants “ghost attack” at midnight follows with the traditional ghost legend.
My informant started his story dramatically by saying he was “attacked by a ghost.” His wording was intended to intrigue the listener and pique their curiosity in the story. Ironically, the meaning behind “attacked” was really “grabbed.” He likely exaggerated the violence of the situation to communicate the surprise he felt at the time.
The Roosevelt Hotel’s reputation as a haunted hotel could have contributed to my informant creating a preconceived idea of what would happen during his visit. Since he knew of the hotel’s history, he could have interpreted any unexpected movement or sound as a ghost. For example, his girlfriend could have bumped his arm while he was sleeping, but his fear could have translated the movement into a ghost sighting.