"American Ghosts" by Alan Bigelow is a digital short story created in Flash. When the reader first enters the site he or she hears faint spoken words with loud, bellowing noises that create a sense of paranormal activity. This mood is appropriate, since the title suggests that the reader is about to interact with ghosts from America's past. Bigelow's multimedia piece provides five fictional accounts of everyday people who share names with prominent historical figures. Paul Revere and George Washington are among the names. Each vignette is presented in a small video screen located in the center of the page. To its right is a stack of five rectangular boxes, revealing the names of five different figures from U.S. history, bridging the gap between those historical names and Bigelow's modern counterparts. When the user clicks on a box, a short digital story plays, explaining what impact he or she has on society.
As each video plays, a transcript scrolls beneath it detailing what is being said and they contain content that is both satirical and historical in nature. For example, the character Paul Revere speaks about his ability to know when trouble is coming. He says, "What I'm best at is natural catastrophes. Like hurricane Katrina--I saw it on the weather channel before it was on CNN."
When the five videos are finished playing, a sixth video plays, which unifies five singular narratives into one cohesive story at the end. It gives the user a vision and sound of information chaos and mimics how America has gone to the extreme in offering 24 hour news and information. The individual pieces are meshed together in that last video to create a scene of information overload. The beginning of the Declaration of Independence scrolls across the bottom as the final video is played, reminding the user that the people are still in control and that he or she can make a difference shaping the America and the U.S. Government.