The Ghosts of July

Nationality: American
Primary Language: English
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Performance Date: 03/31/2024


“During the month of July, the gates between the afterlife and this world open, and ghosts come to the roam in our world at night. You have to close your windows and blinds, or they’ll come into your room.”


The informant heard this story from her roommate, who grew up in China. The informant was told this story one night when they were trading various cultural stories and legends, and recalls that this was a legend believes deeply in. She also recalls that her roommate felt a ghost in her room when she was a kid and didn’t close her window. The informant doesn’t necessarily believe in the story, but thinks that all ghost stories could be possible.


The context of this legend being from China adds a level of cultural significance as it is tied to the lunar calendar. This means that the story has been canonized in cultural lore, but continues to shift. For example, the informant was told a “quick” version of the lore, that holds deeper cultural significance, demonstrating the popularity and easy ability to spread ghost stories. This story spreads easily both as it as a ghost stories, but because families are likely to tell their kids this story in the culture out of caution and true belief in the story. I think that ghost stories are most certainly plausible, but the notion of a singular month of “ghosts” holds less plausibility for me.