This story was told to me by a friend in college when I told him about my project and he mentioned that he didn’t know much folk lore but he had heard of one ghost story.
“In Yellowstone at Old Faithful theres the Old Faithful Inn which is this very historically significant place. It’s kind of synonymous with Yellowstone and there are a lot of ghost stories that take place within the Inn because its such an old artifact and theres one in particular about this lady that was murdered by her husband in one of the rooms in the second floor. The story goes that she was taking a bath and her husband came in one night very drunk and decapitated her with his big knife. So the legend is that every night at midnight she descends from the crows nest, which is like a very high place in the main cavern of the lodge, and she descends and floats down to the room, I think its room 129, and she stands outside the room holding her decanted head looking for revenge on her now dearly departed husband.”
Background information about the performance from the informant: “I heard about this story because I actually went to Yellowstone and I stayed at The Yellowstone Inn and I actually stayed in the room that it happened.”
Final thoughts: The piece is interesting for how it deals with the relation of ghosts to some kind of physical place. Most ghost stories seem to connect the idea of ghost to the idea of spacial memory. I think that these types of ghost stories relate to the idea of older physical locations that have a long past. The idea that the remnants of events which happened at a place could still have some tangible impact on the place in the present is powerful one and influences a lot of these ghost stories.