Woman in White– A Ghost Story

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Lebanese American
Age: 20
Occupation: Student
Residence: Long Beach
Date of Performance/Collection: April 27 2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Collector: Please, madam, pray tell us your ghost story.

Informant: Alright. I will tell you now this story of my ghost encounter, encounter with the paranormal. Ok, so, um, it took place in the Netherlands, um, we were going– me and four other girls that were studying abroad in Germany, we were gonna take a trip to Amsterdam, and, um, we took the overnight train, the cheapest option from Germany, which was like, seven different trains and all these transfers throughout the middle of the night, so, we get to, um, the Netherlands, um, to this little town about an hour outside of Amsterdam, where our AirBnb was, it was called [name]

So we get there around like, 11 AM, um, we, um, have a snack and we go check into our Airbnb, it’s like 11:30, 12, and what we didn’t know, but we didn’t mind at all, is that you have to walk through about a mile of forest to get to the airBnB, which it doesn’t say on the website.. [Laughs] Y’know, we’re not thinking anything of it. um, the forest is beautiful, there’s a nice path, the trees are nice and tall, so, we walk through this mile of forest, we don’t think anything of it, and we get to the AirBnB, check in, and we go straight to sleep, since we didn’t sleep all night. And we sleep, all of us, for maybe like 6 or 7 hours, um, and we wake up, and we’re all in great spirits and we all wanna go hit the town in Amsterdam and go party, and we’re all getting ready, listening to music, and by the time we’re ready to leave the airbnb and take the train to Amsterdam, um, it’s about 9pm, i think it was exactly 9 pm. So we have to walk back through that mile of forest to get to the train station to get to Amsterdam.

 So, um, this mile is just one straight shot path, through the trees, the eact one we had come on the way there, just one straight shot path. We set off on the path, and we quickly realize that it is pitch black– and i can’t stress enough that its pitch black, its like your eyes are closed because trees are so tall, they’re covering the moon and the stars, um, so the four of us, we’ve all got our little iphone flashlights, which are only so good, and we’re all spooked, but y’know, we’re big girls, its fine. Um, so, y’know, we’re walking through this very creepy, um, pitch black, literally– and i can’t stress enough how it was pitch black, as though your eyes were closed. It is– i never– Before, I had never seen such darkness in my life.

So, um, we get about halfway through, about a half-mile out, and we come to a crossroads. And, at the same time, all of our flashlights come upon the same thing– a woman, about 15 feet ahead of us, standing completely still, completely straight, she’s wearing a wedding dress, and she’s standing completely still, right in the middle of our path. And we all stop– and, it was about two seconds, all together, or less, that we’re standing there, um, and one of us goes “what’s that?” and we realize we’re all seeing the same time, we take off and run for our lives the way we came back to the airbnb, we are running absolutely for our lives, and we all were looking back, and, um, she didn’t chase us or anything, but when we got back to the airbnb, we were all freaking out, all in tears, crying, it was so scary. And, um, we confirmed that all four of us had seen the same thing, a tall woman in a wedding dress, um, like 15 feet ahead of us, standing completely still. 

Collector: Was she looking at you?

Informant: So the thing is, is that none of us could see a face. So, it’s not like– when I remember, i don’t remember, like, noticing a certain faceless-ness that, like jumped out at you, but looking back, none of us can recall seeing a face. But, my three other friends, they recall seeing, like, a sort of blueish greenish tint to her skin, which i don’t personally remember, but all three of them remember it. Um [laughs], so yeah.

Context: The informant is a good friend of mine, and is a Lebanese-American young woman studying music. In 2019, she studied abroad in Germany, and so had the opportunity to travel around Europe. This is her personal experience.

Analysis: I must admit that I am a little biased when it comes to this story, both because the informant is my friend, and because it is a frankly terrifying story. There were several things that I thought of first after hearing this experience. One was the location, taking place not only in a pitch black forest, but on a crossroads as well, which are considered to be liminal spaces, or places of transition. Traditionally, this is believed to be where many spirits can be found, in areas where ownership is uncertain, and so other entities are free to “cross over”.

Another element of the story is the woman dressed in a white wedding dress. Many cultures have a version of a woman dressed in white, lingering in forests, rivers, or other more rural areas where a scene of disaster supposedly happened. In many stories, these women in white have been scorned, or hurt in some way, and now wander the mortal plane in despair, or for revenge. The story is almost always connected to traditional cultural roles for women; For example, the woman kills herself after losing her husband to another woman, thus “failing” in her duties as a wife, or drowns her children in a river, therefore failing as a mother. I wonder if this story works as a sort of precautionary tale aimed at younger woman– to warn them of the monster they could become if they do not adhere to their roles. Another popular version of this story is La Llorona, an entity in Mexican folklore. For more information of the White Woman, please look at :

La Llorona (2020). Retrieved April 28 2020, 

from  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Llorona.

White Lady (ghost) (2020). Retrieved April 28 2020,

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Lady_(ghost)