Native Ghost: The Figure of the Native American in Niagara Legend
May 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm$5
People of European descent took Native American land, but the land’s first tenants may still have a hold on the living. “Native Americans take supernatural possession of their dispossessors,” wrote Renee Bergland. Once the rest of us stopped slaughtering them, as folklorist Louis C. Jones observed, we started to supernaturalize them.
Almost as though speaking to our national conscience, the Native American ghost comes back to haunt us all over the United States. The figure is especially common in New York State, where almost every village or patch of city, checked hard enough, could come up with some related tale. As author Mason Winfield illustrates in his presentation for the West Seneca Historical Society, the Native ghost looms especially large in the supernatural folklore of the Niagara Frontier.
Sometimes this apparition comes to us in the form of a famous person. It may even be identifiable. At others, it may be a mere shade or shadow, a caricature standing for some event in a site’s historic or prehistoric past. Sometimes the form is ominous, and at other times sketchy and suggestive. Everywhere, though, the figure of the aboriginal ghost seems to remind us of something we ought to be remembering if not to point us toward something to which we ought to rise.
Famous ghosts, legendary haunts, traditional categories, and possible interpretations all figure in Mason Winfield’s lively presentation Native Ghost. Afterward, there will be a signing of several of Mason’s books.
This presentation is FREE to seniors, children, and members of the Society. For adult non-members, there is a $5 charge. Afterwere will be a signing of several of Mason’s books.
- May 23
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
- West Seneca Historical Society
- West Seneca Senior Center
4620 Seneca St.
West Seneca, NY 14224 United States + Google Map
- (716) 675-9288