1. AG:Okay, So this is like a ghost story. In A small town in Michigan it’s called Marcellus Michigan. My family has had a house there for like several decades, And so, basically when my grandfather was living at our cabin on a lake in Michigan. It was winter, and the lake froze over, and some of the people who lived on the lake would build ice fishing huts on the lake when it froze over. During the winter, and one of the man who did was found shot in the head, and he murdered his wife and shoved her in the ice fishing hole and her body was never recovered. So my grandfather was sitting at the local bar, and one of his friends came in and said, John, you need to see this. And so he takes him to the carpet store in this tiny town where the back of the carpet store was also the morgue, because the carpet store owner was also the mortuary.
And This man was out on the table, and my grandfather was like, yeah, like what is this?
It’s just a dead body and the other man grabs the match box from his pocket, and my grandfather grabs it, opens up the match box, and 2 blue eyes are staring back at him because the man loved his wife’s eyes more than anything else, and before he shoved her in the ice fishing hole ripped them from his her skull.
ME: Oh, my God!
AG:So the lesson is that if you go on the lake in the middle of the night, and you have blue eyes
you’re endangered of being pulled under by the woman missing her blue eyes because she wants to replace them.
ME: Oh, my gosh, Okay, Yeah, that’s a good one and Okay so, Why does it remain significant to you like where you always told it from your childhood?
AG:Yeah, I was told this from my childhood. like, several times. Throughout my life. My dad, whose dad was the one involved in the story, would always like to tell it at night. When we were at our cabin, in Michigan, like sitting outside in front of the campfire, like right against the lake, and My brother and I both have like bluish green eyes, so he would always joke with us when we were younger that like Oh, like don’t go out on the lake in the middle of the night, because, like she’ll try to get you or something. And then it became a thing where, like my brother and I, we would have friends up there like we would tell them the story, and that was kind of fun.
ME: So do other people in your town know it?
AG: So it was pretty widely told, especially like right after, like the murder suicide happened.
Yeah like in the seventies. No, the sixties. And I don’t really know how widely said it is any more, because like a lot of people from that generation no longer like living. I know my 2 next door neighbors in Michigan know the story. Yeah. and like their families, know it. And anyone like that they have told.
2. The informant verbally performed this piece over zoom. They specified its origins in Michigan specifically a small town there, the informant explained it to be a story within the family specifically shared by their grandfather and father growing up. The folk tale serves as a ghost story with both entertainment factor and also a lesson to children to be careful on the frozen lake because of this legend.
3.The informant was told this Michigan specific folk ghost story/legend that incites fear of the frozen lake because of the haunting of the woman character. They talked about how it was passed on throughout the town for awhile but now since a lot of that generation has passed away it’s not as commonly shared although other family friends know and share it as well as their own family.
4. My reflection: This is a regional specific Legend that acts to entertain and also warn/ teach of the dangers of the ice through the use of ghostly characters with bad intentions. I found this piece intriguing because of how specific it is to the small town in Michigan and to the tellers family. I would have never heard it if I had not known the teller personally as it seems confined to their town but still just as impactful to their folk group especially children in the town. I drew connections of this story to my own stories that were used to keep me away from specific lakes in my hometown in order to avoid a creature that lived at the bottom of it. Across folk groups stories, specifically legends and ghost stories, are used to teach children to be careful and weary of certain places that may be dangerous by causing fear through storytelling.