Nationality: Irish, German, Portuguese
Occupation: Insurance Salesman
Residence: Redwood City California
Date of Performance/Collection: March 31st, 2017
Primary Language: English
Informant EB is 52 years old and recounted the story of a paranormal encounter he experienced last fall:
Have you ever experienced anything that you would consider to be of supernatural origins?
“As a matter of fact, I have. First some backstory. When my wife and I were purchasing our home we were told by the realtor that the prior owner, a contractor who had built the house himself, had committed suicide along the side of the house due to financial difficulties and his wife leaving him. Early last November, a day or two after Halloween, I was walking my aging dog whose hips are starting to fail around the walkway surrounding our property in order to avoid her straining herself by climbing up the stairs inside. Upon rounding a corner, which due to tree cover and a lack of windows on that side of the house was submerged in near complete darkness, I saw, for only a split-second, what could only be described as a face come rushing at me before passing right through sending a curdling chill down my spine. My dog started barking incessantly and I, obviously shake, continued on into the light of the front of the house and inside.”
Did your opinion regarding the existence of the paranormal changed after this experience?
“Yeah I’d say so. I wouldn’t say I didn’t believe in the paranormal prior to this experience but having never had any personal encounters I definitely had my fair share of doubts. I’definitely say this experience has solidified my belief in the existence of the supernatural to some extent.”
What context would you share your experience in?
“I have told several people in the month since. Whenever talk of ghosts has come up in conversation I’ve brought it up.”
How did people react to your experience?
“A mixture of fear and skepticism. I would be skeptical too had I not been the one to experience it. ”
Analysis: The story took place “a day or two after Halloween” meaning it quite likely could have fallen on November 2nd, which is also All Souls Day. All Souls Day is a day on which the Catholic Church remembers those dead that are now in Purgatory being cleansed of their venial sins and carrying out the temporal punishments for their mortal sins. November 1st or 2nd is also a part of the three days of Day of the Dead festivities popular in Hispanic cultures during which the souls of ancestors are remembered and are believed to return from the dead to visit their living relatives. As such the soul of a man who had died via the mortal sin of suicide would, according to the catholic doctrine and Hispanic customs be more likely to appear during this time frame. A motif common to many ghost stories and which also appears in this story is its occurrence in a liminal location, the property line between the former homeowner’s property and that of his neighbors.