“I’m pretty sure I saw a werewolf or a witch or something once. In 5thgrade everyone went to some camp in Oklahoma called Camp Classen, and one night there was a bonfire. It was fun, we made smores and played games but then at the end we told some ghost stories too. So everyone was having fun but also thinking of all the weird stuff we heard about I guess, and on the walk back, we walked through the forest and it was really sketchy. Pretty much we were all 5thgraders so I was scared of everything after the ghost stories, but I’m sure I saw some animal at least the size of a human in the distance. Unless there were like bears or something at Camp Classen, I’m pretty sure it was a werewolf. And I told my friend and he saw it too. Plus I remember clearly there was a full moon that night so you know its plausible. Honestly it was probably just some counselor or groundskeeper or something walking around at night. Werewolves don’t exist, but I might have seen one at camps.”
This story highlights many aspects of childhood socialization and the nature of folklore. First, the informant goes to great detail to explain the setting: at camp, during the night after hearing ghost stories, and in the dark forest with a full moon. These are all factors that add to the credibility of the story, as they are the conditions in which werewolves and creatures thrive in popular culture. Thus, the informant has turned his story into an memorate, a story of personal experience that, combined with knowledge of popular culture and others’ influence fits a mold of stories that have been told before; in the case the werewolf.
Furthermore, it shows how folk belief can act as social glue for a group. The informant tells his friend who believes him and sees similar things. There is probably not actually a werewolf, but later on the group undoubtedly gossiped and discussed the existence of such a creature, further perpetuating the idea that they may be real, and setting the scene for future discussions and propagation of the folklore.