Tag Archives: ghost story

La Senora de Blanco

Informant: My informant is my Mexican dad, who grew up in Puebla, Mexico. Although he has had many experiences with seeing spirits or potentials ghost, he retells me an interaction that he had with potential with a ghost on a day that he went to work at the same apartment in which we have been living for the past 21 years. 

 Context: This event happened in 2019. The following transcripts come from a conversation between me and my dad (S). He retells the story of a potential ghost that he might have seen one day when he left to work, and how he recalls this interaction to not have been scary, but rather more of a surprise to him. He recalls that in this interaction, it felt almost as if he knew the woman in white, or at least they had interacted in the past. 


Me: Oye papá, cuéntame algo interesante. Nunca te has topado con un fantasma o has oído de una historia de fantasmas? 

S: Si, si me he topado con uno. No se si te acuerdas pero te había contado tu y tu mama de esa señora de blanco que me la encontre aca abajo de la escaleras donde vivimos. Eran las 4:30am de la mañana y ves que me voy temprano al trabajo. Pos ese dia era como cualquier otro dia. Me bañe, me cambie, y los dejó dormidos. Iba yo bajando las escaleras y luego vi una señora de blanco. Era con una estatura de casi igual que yo, flaquita y como con vibra buena. Bueno y cuando me la tope, le dije buenos días. Y medio me contestó pero no le podía yo ver la cara para nada, porque estaba tapada como con un reboso. Y ves como los que se ponen aya en pueblito. Después, le abrí la puerta, y se pasó. Nomas que vez que yo camino para el carro. Ella se fue de la tercera, y yo me fui para la seis. Ni un minutos paso y ya no estaba! 

Translations of the text: 

Me: Hey dad, tell me something interesting. Have you ever encountered a ghost or have you heard of a ghost? 

S: Yes, I have come across one. I don’t know if you remember but you and your mom had told you about that lady in white that I found here downstairs where we live. It was 4:30 in the morning and you see that I leave early for work. Well, that day was like any other day. I showered, changed, and left you guys asleep. I was going down the stairs and then I saw a lady in white. She was about the same height as me, thin, and with like-good vibes. Well, and when I ran into her, I said good morning. And she half answered me but I couldn’t see her face at all, because it was covered as if with a shawl of some kind. You know like those in my little town. After, I opened the door for her, and she walked outside. You know how I walk to the car. She left through third street and I left to the other side of our street. Not even a minute passed and she wasn’t there anymore! 

Analysis: I believe this ghost story because there are so many people who have claimed to have seen a woman in white as well. Although it is of course not with the same textures of clothes or in the same place, it all just seems to be really due to the fact that my informant remembers every detail of it. Due to the fact, that my informant states that they weren’t really scared of it, but much more felt some sort of warmth to this spiritual being came to a surprise. If I had been in the shoes of my dad, I would have tried to not even talk to the woman, due to the fact that she was stranger. However, based on his spiritual encounter it proves to see that not everyone is prone to be scared of these experiences.

The Grateful Dead – Band Name Origin

Main Piece:

While with my dad, JK, listening to the Grateful Dead music in the kitchen, he asked:

JK: “Do you know how they got the name Grateful Dead?”

Me: “No?”

JK: “They were sitting at their house at 710 Ashbury, and they were called ‘the Warlocks’ at the time. Jerry turns to the others, ‘We’ve gotta name this band. The Warlocks aren’t a good name.'”

Me: “They were called that?”

JK: “Yeah. Stupid. So they open up this dictionary there and there was an item called ‘Grateful Dead.’ And it’s basically a story that’s present in a ton of cultures. They read it and were like, ‘Hell yeah man.'”

Me: “What’s the story?”

JK: “The common story is that there is a weary traveler that encounters the corpse of someone who never received a proper burial. And they didn’t get one because they had unpaid debts when they died.”

Me: “Does the traveler burry them?”

JK: “The traveler pays their debts and gets them the burial. Then, later in life, their life gets saved by the soul of that person. So the grateful dead are the protective spirits that have been earned through charitable gesture.”


The informant has gone to many Grateful Dead shows and stays very versed in the lore of the band, still being an avid listener. The story, however, seems to cary more weight for him because of the connection to the band rather than it just being a regular tale. It’s been enhanced for him because of it.


Yet another example of music and musicians borrowing from folklore then creating a new interpretation of the lore. Examining the lyrics in Grateful Dead songs also shows many aesthetic parallels to this tale as they sing about being friends with the Devil’s friend, hauntings, and death (but all under an upbeat psychedelic rock tone). What’s interesting about this specific adaptation of the tale in borrowing the name of the subject of the story, it has made the tale more known, at least to me. For I would have probably never heard of such tale, if it weren’t for the Grateful Dead being tied to it.

Ghost of La Palma


B is a Mexican Immigrant from La Palma, Mexico. She goes back to her home state every ear and likes to bring back souvenirs as conversation topics. She enjoys talking about her village in Mexico and how it’s like to her friends.

The context of this piece was in B’s living room as I was telling her about an episode of Supernatural I had watched and the plot like had reminded her of the ghost of La Palma. Her dad was the first one to tell her about the ghost but it’s a common topic of conversation in La Palma


B: “So basically the story I’ve heard is that um in La Palma, you know there’s a Carretera to get to Sahuayo to La Palma and it’s not that long I’m going to say like 2 miles like I don’t know don’t factcheck me on that but anyway so supposedly there is this lady that appears between 12 and 3 in the morning and that supposedly um she only stops um when there’s like a single man in the car and its only between that time and only for a single man in the car. And so we have been on that Carretera in those times but we’ve never seen anything but people in the pueblo talk about her”

Me: “Do people ever try to see her? Like do they chant or do something specific?”

B: “Yeah so when people who supposedly want to see her go out onto the carretera and turn off their lights and roll all their windows down as a sort of like invite for her to come in with them”

Me: “Why does she haunt that highway?”

B: “Everyone has different stories about how she dies but its always because of a man. From what I’ve heard, she was coming back from Sahuayo with a guy when he tried taking advantage of her and after she said no, he killed her. People say that when she appears before single men, its because she’s still trying to find a way back home”


I really enjoyed talking about this legend of this ghost with B. Ghosts are a common occurrence in the Mexican culture. The events and experiences in the afterlife are said to be influenced by the way those people lived their lives before passing. Most of the time, when someone suffers a dark and grim death, the version of themselves in the afterlife are often depicted as looking for some sort of revenge. That is why I found B’s depiction of the ghost so interesting. B’s description of the ghost’s goal to return home and not seek vengeance was important in characterizing the way people from La Palma view the afterlife and ghosts.

The Whaley House

Context: Z is a 21 year old Filipino American man. Growing up with a close community of Filipino friends and family. Z went to an elementary school within California. This story was collected over a Discord audio call.

Z: “The one that I thought of the other day, which is ‘spooky’ but not really, is The Whaley House. Which is like the only ghost house I know of, like, a unified school district takes everyone in the school district out of class to go visit it for like a week. There’s like a bunch of weird stories, and I don’t know a lot of the history off of the top of my head, but I know there was a family that lived there in the 1800s, and they all had some untimely deaths. Then there was some guy who was hanged who got buried in the graveyard adjacent to it.” 

Intv: “So there were just a ton of stories surrounding the place?”

Z: “Oh yeah, and you know one thing that I think really contributed to that, were the people who would always be walking around in period dress, like era accurate garb to the 1800s and you’d wonder if you saw a ghost. You know, it’s supposedly one of the most haunted houses in America, but I’ve never seen a ghost there, and I don’t know if I really believe in all of it. I think it’s probably just an old house, but it at least made an old house fun.” 

Analysis: I find it very interesting that the Unified School District of San Diego actually pulls  children out of class for a week to go and study the myths of The Whaley House. While some historical activities are present (like children learning how early settlers panned for gold) it really is a week that glorifies to the children of San Diego just how important culturally folklore can be. As Old Town and The Whaley House are two major tourist attractions within an already tourist heavy city. 

Moth Man

Background: Informant was born and raised in California, right outside of Los Angeles. I was told this story in person.

Informant: Alright, so… the legend of the moth man is that people see him…it? On the street at night, in like, unlit country roads in New Jersey. They just see these glowing eyes. Ummm, and uh yeah. People would see these eyes and see it as an omen that they would crash afterwards or something like that. It was like… only people driving would see it. 

Me: Interesting… do you have any connection to New Jersey or?

Informant: Hellllll no. I think I just picked it up from somewhere, I just know some weird stuff.

Thoughts: These superstitions and ghost stories are the ones that affect me the most, personally. Something about the unknown and the dark always have a bigger affect, since it’s always in the dark and later at night where it’s easy to fabricate things and see things. I wonder if the “glowing lights” seen by people were headlights of other cars, or eyes of animals that are getting reflected from their own headlights, and it’s right before they crash. It’s always interesting to think about the tricks that your brain will play on you in those situations, and almost even more interesting to think about what those tricks may be in reality.