YZ was born in the family of a high ranking military official of the Republic of China. After the Communist Party defeated the Nationalist Party, her family did not flee to Taiwan. Instead, they settled in a village in the northeastern part of China and became farmers. During the Cultural Revolution, her father was executed, and her mother married another man, also a farmer. YZ grew up and had a family in the village, and spent a large amount of time in her life as a farmer, until her grandson was born. Her son had a job and created a family in the city, and when her grandson was born, she moved into the city to help take care fo the kid.
YZ learned of this piece of folklore from the stories told by other villagers when she was growing up. She also claims that she has seen the Big White Ghost herself.
The informant shared this piece of folklore during a family dinner on Sunday when the family was chatting about ghosts.
The Main Piece:
YZ: You know the Big White Ghost? I’ve told you when you were young.
The Grandson: Is it the big white shadow that walks around at night?
YZ: Yes. Sometimes at night, there’s a white shadow walking around the village. He’s very tall and very big. It’s like several people died together, and they merged into one ghost.
YZ’s daughter-in-law: Is it real?
YZ: Of course it’s real, there was one time that thing walked into my sister’s lawn.
I think that this piece of folklore reveals the people’s fear for death and people’s understanding of the process of beocming a ghost. The presence of the “Big White Ghost” might be a fact, but the idea that the “Big White Ghost” comes from a lot of people dying together is an analysis given by the villagers. I think it reveals that the villagers believe the souls of different people can merge into one single ghost.