The Woman In The Corner – Ghost Story

Main Piece

Informant KO recalled a memorate from when she was in middle school after moving with her family to a new home. While renovations were being performed on the home, she and her family found a number of strange things: “a child’s train tracks, a weird oil permit…a picture of this woman in the wall.”

KO and her family started asking and telling each other stories about who this woman in the portrait might be: “What if she was someone’s mistress? What if she was murdered? [My family and I] went to all the dark stuff first.”

One night, while asleep in her bedroom, KO randomly woke up in the middle of the night – unusual for her – and recalls that it was either exactly 3 or 3:30am. She looked towards the corner of her room and saw the woman standing there “in a long white dress, with long black hair.”

She recalls that she was very tired and more nervous than afraid at the time, and “hoped she’d go away if [she] just hid,” so she pulled the covers over her head and tried to go back to sleep. When she woke up in the morning, the woman in the corner was gone.

KO told her parents and a few friends about the experience. When told, her Mom said that she’d been “hearing footsteps down the hallway” but didn’t want to say anything and scare KO’s little sister.

KO and her family have been living in the house ever since, but KO has never seen the woman again. She questions whether the experience was just a dream.


Informant’s Interpretation: KO, as stated, questions whether the whole affair was just a dream and thinks her “brain was primed to see a ghost” because of what had been found in the house and her mom’s observations. She finds it to be a classic example of thinking you may have seen a ghost, and key to her uncertainty about ghosts’ existence.

Personal Interpretation: I see this story and experience as reactive to and inclusive of the environment it takes place in, similar to many ghost stories. The context of moving, renovation (altering the old), and being confronted with unknown pieces of physical history set the stage to wonder and consider who lived in this house beforehand, and speaks to a human curiosity towards trying to understand the unknown. I also feel that this experience seems like it sticks out in KO’s memory so prominently because of the age she was when it took place–at a time when kids are starting to process their own place in the world and sort out what is real from what is, an personal experience with one of these unknowns holds a great impact. The actual appearance in the corner being a woman wearing a long white dress evoked wedding-esque symbolism to me, and I can recall many ghost stories focused on brides / the marriage status of a woman, particularly in relation to death and household spirits.


Informant KO is a current student at USC pursuing a degree in Narrative Studies from Seattle, Washington. Her family (mom, dad, younger sister) still lives in the house noted in the story. KO remains unsure whether she believes in ghosts, but thinks of this as a key part of her belief that they “maybe” exist.

KO is white and of Canadian and Swedish descent, and is female-presenting.