The Lady in Red

My best friend, Maggie McMeans, is a current freshman at New York University studying theater performance. I have known Maggie since I was four years old, for we have lived 2 houses apart since then. As young kids, Maggie and I would play almost every day after school and always on the weekends. Maggie has always been an extremely animated, perky character, but some days as a kid she would seem a little “off” or disturbed by something. This would last for a couple days and then she’d go back to her normal self; I always asked her what was wrong but she wouldn’t tell me. One night when we went on a camping trip, 11 year old Maggie decided to tell me what had been bothering her for so many years at such random times. She told me about a “lady in red” that visited her about once or twice a year at night. I would continue to hear this story countless times over the later years of our friendship, so by the time I finally recorded this interview Maggie’s story was well rehearsed.

The story:

“When I was about 5 years old, I woke up to a strange sight. It wasn’t quite scary or anything; just…compelling? Compelling I would say…at least to a five year old. (chuckles) I remember having a bad dream and waking up…or at least I thought I woke up… that part I’m not sure of. Anyways, I sat up in bed to the sight of a young woman — probably in her late twenties — wearing a long flowing red dress. I couldn’t tell if she was floating because the dress covered up her feet, but her gown flowed with a breeze that was absent from my room. Like, there was no wind at ALL in my bedroom and her dress was still moving. I don’t remember what she said to me, but I do remember that she told me something that I later found out to be true. It was like she was a personal ghost psychic that came to predict my lame future. (sarcastically laughs) Every year that same ghost visited me on random nights — only a few nights a year though — until I was 12. When I was 9 I remember finally telling my mom about the lady in red, and she confessed that the SAME THING happened to her and her two sisters when they were children, and to their mother when she was a child. This ghost has apparently been (finger quotes) “haunting” the McMeans girls for generations, but we don’t know why. Perhaps it’s a dead ancestor paying her descendants a visit, or maybe we’re just cursed. (sarcastically) LOL.”

Maggie has been telling this story for years, and every time she tells it it becomes more like a performance. This is, as we discussed in class, an active barrier. The “Lady in Red” story seems to suggest that there was perhaps a past relative that died many years ago who feels as if she needs to look out for the women in her family, for she continues to come back and give them “psychic advice”. Stories from her mother and aunts seem to verify that this ghost must be real, but no women have officially recorded their experiences with the lady in red….until now…