This story was told by one of my fellow folklore classmates (CM). She shared with me a personal ghost story that she experienced while camping with her family
Me: “Okay you can tell your story”
CM: “Alright, so this was a long time ago so it might be a little patchy but I want to say probably 10 years ago maybe 12 years ago my family and I went camping. My brother and I were very young and after we went camping, on our way back home we visited this ghost town. It was pretty cute; the ghost town had rides or these tours or you could just walk through it yourself, so that’s what we did. My family and I walked through the town and my brother, who’s younger than me, probably about 5 or 6 at this time, was a very giddy fun little cute kid you know just playing around and looking at all the cowboy stuff. As we’re walking we pass by this bar, this old saloon-type bar, and his demeanor suddenly changes like a complete 180. He points at the bar and he goes this is where my father died. Me being a little kid I was like what are you talking about your dad is right here like he’s right next to us walking with us, but he keeps this character, this demeanor. He keeps walking through the town pointing at different buildings and going this is where the Indians shot him and this is where he fought with so and so. He kept this demeanor throughout the entire strip of the town until we finally exited, and then he snapped back into his old self again. It was really weird because it was such a stark difference and my mom was very convinced that he was possessed in the ghost town.”
Ghost stories are often a way for people with similar beliefs to share their experiences. It can create a sense of community. They are also fun experiences to share. The audience also can choose to believe the story or not, which adds an entertainment level to these stories. In this case, I think the setting of a ghost town adds to this supernatural environment. Also, the fact that the informant’s family was affected adds to the ghost’s credibility since most people know their family’s personality well.