Spirit on the Fence

Interviewer: Do you know any ghost stories or had anyone pass down ghost stories to you?


Informant: My Mama Lupe (Grandmother) got married to my grandfather when she was like 15 and my grandfather was much older like 20s or 30s. He was a really kind older man.  But she said that one time they were walking back in Mexico and they were staying in a little town.  But they had to get up really early to catch the bus to get home and she said it was still dark outside.  They were out in the country and they were walking along and she said she saw this lady and on the fence and the fence was there to keep the animals from leaving the fields. She said that my grandfather was walking ahead of her and she looked over and this lady was sitting on the fence and she went to catch up to my grandfather and asked, “what’s that lady doing on the fence?” And when she turned back to look at the lady, the lady was gone. And she said she could see the woman as clear as day.  And she talks about seeing things a lot, but that was the one that she would sit down and tell us about and it even gives me chills to think about it.


Interviewer: Would you say that she believed it was a ghost or a spirit or what? Or did it matter? Or was it more of just that she saw “something”.


Informant: No, it was like this very adamant belief that there was a woman there and that it was a spirit because just one moment it was there clear as day and the next it was gone.  She believed a lot in the spirits and recalled a lot seeing things throughout her life but not all of them she would share. She like to scare us and believed in a lot of Mexican superstitions that are still around today.  She was firmly based in tradition rather than making something up just to get a reaction out of someone.


Background: Maria Juarez-Reyes is the mother of the interviewer and a firm believer in the supernatural or in sci fi as a genre.  She often spent summers with her grandmother in Mexico and would listen to her many stories.  She still believes in the clear distinction of spirits and ghosts as her grandmother did and shares most of her experiences.

Context: This interview took place during a weekend at home with family.  The informant heard this story when she was young and would visit her grandmother in Mexico.  Her grandmother would share stories with her and her brother and often liked to scare them but still believed in the validity of the encounters.

Analysis: This account is considered to be a legend based on the time the story takes place and the debate about whether it is actually true or if spirits and ghosts exists. To those who believe, the story always has validity but varies according to belief. The performance also adds to the believe-ability and the informant also said to experience chills while telling the story which added to the truth of the account.