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Downey Middle School Ghost

Karishma Nagar
ARLT 100: Ghost Stories
11/10/11

This interview was with a current USC student who is a local from Downey, California. She will be referred to as “A” in this interview, and I will be “K”. One of her friends will be referred to as “R”. Below is the transcript verbatim of my interview with her:

K: Hey A!

A: Hey K!

K: Okay so tell me about the ghost story from your hometown.

A: Okay, well this is in Downey, California in West Middle School. There always been rumors that the boys’ locker room was haunted all the time. So on the campus, the boys’ locker room and the girls’ locker room are in big separate buildings, and they are detached from everything else in the school. And the campus is in California so it’s an entire outdoor campus. Uh so there’s like the boys’ locker room and the girls’ locker room. And I’ve only been in the boys’ locker room a few times for like weight measurements and stuff, but once you go right in there’s a big caged area where they keep like all the balls and equipment in, and it’s like this old building, the school was actually built in the 60’s, and it hasn’t really been upgraded. And so all the lockers are very old beaten down. And there’s always, well everyone always said it was haunted. And I haven’t been in there long enough to see anything mysterious happen, but I do know some people who say the lockers constantly squeak even when no one is opening them. And the lights also will randomly turn on. Some of the rumors told me the ghost was the guy. I mean the fact that it’s the boys locker room I guess it makes sense that it would be a guy. But yeah it was just always haunted. And these were all these rumors just like always throughout.

K: Wow, okay, so is there a type of premise or backstory behind how this ghost came about?

A: Honestly it is very unclear. Most of the rumors mainly talk about the encounters they have faced in the locker room. It talked about mostly an instance when one guy was running late to soccer practice and he was the only one in the locker room and the lights would go off randomly while he was there. Another boy pointed out that he heard water running as if someone left a shower or a sink on, but there are no showers in there. My friend R also went to the boys locker room and he said that one time he went to go get sports balls and he kept hearing a clanking noise. As if someone was like clanking pots together, but no one was there and he was all alone, so he doesn’t know where the sound was coming from. But I do know that the ghost it is in fact a student that went to West Middle. But from what I heard they say this ghost either died in the locker room or possibly just trapped there. I guess that is unclear and can even be left to interpretation. But this ghost has always just been there and so I think because of the rumors it sort of branched out with like lots of different interpretations.

K: So where did you hear this ghost story from?

A: When I was, actually, when I was in 5th grade, um they bring all the fifth graders over for a tour of the campus and you just kind of walk over around. We visited the girls locker room and the girls locker room, and I think that was the first time I heard of the ghost. Someone in my group started to talk about it. And then when I came to the campus in the sixth grade that’s when I heard it from so many people there.

K: Okay, now what’s your reaction to this ghost? How do you feel about this ghost?

A: Well since I have never really been in the boys locker room too much, I haven’t had a chance to really deal with ghosts. But I have been scared at night because I used to stay back for PTA meetings and events. And it is very scary to walk around the halls it’s like very creepy. Especially when you walk alone. But I never dared ventured into the boys locker room, at all, and I mean the doors are locked too, not that I have ever attempted to go in there or anything hehe. So yeah it is a very spooky to visit at night. I definitely think this ghost exists, and the fact that so many people are talking about definitely seems to confirm it even more. But yeah that’s about it.

K: Anything else you would like to add?

A: Yeah that’s pretty much all the details. I wished I experienced the ghost myself first hand though.

K: I know that would’ve been awesome. But great, thanks A!

My reaction to this ghost story: The fact that this story takes place in a middle school makes this ghost story interesting. Is it really a ghost or a rumor made up by a bunch of middle schoolers? I guess we will not know for sure. But it is interesting that it takes place in middle school because Middle school is a liminal period itself, it is the middle of your schooling years, where you are neither a child or an adult, but a preteen, a very small period where identity is really started to develop but still more likely unknown. So a ghost appearing at such a liminal age can also make sense too. I thought the context played a perfect role for this ghost story, the fact that it is in an old middle school building that has not been upgraded and the fact that boys locker room itself is isolated from the rest of the school makes it an excellent place for a ghost to haunt. All in all, I enjoyed hearing this story, and I think it was great to be able to apply our class leanings to such a story.

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Mary the Hotel Ghost

Karishma Nagar
ARLT 100: Ghost Stories
11/10/11

This interview was with a very close friend of mine who used to live in Massachusetts. My friend will be referred to as “B” for the interview and I will be “K”. Her sister that is mentioned in the story will be referred to as “J”. Below is the transcript verbatim of my interview with her.

K: Hey B, thanks again for letting me interview you! Okay, so tell me first about this ghost story, you said it was from your hometown correct?

B: Yep. As you already know K, I’m from Framingham, Massachusetts, but I used to live in Ashland, Mass. Both these towns are very old, created around the colonial times. Anyways so um there was this ghost that people talk about in Ashland, and she was called the “Mary Ghost”.

K: Alright, can you tell me what exactly the premise or story is behind the “Mary Ghost”?

B: Yeah, like supposedly there was this little girl named Mary, who died along the train tracks near Main Street, which is like a large populated street in Ashland, sort of like a ‘main street’ if you will, haha. Well anyways, so Mary was a little girl, about ten years old I think, and she was playing near these train tracks off Main Street and got hit by train. People found her lying there, and they took her to this nearby hotel where she then died. Now Mary’s ghost roams around this hotel, haunting its grounds.

K: Do you know what this hotel was called?

B: Well actually this hotel was bought over, and over time it converted into a public house for people to visit. It is now called Stone’s Public House or something like that. And Stone was the original owner of the hotel when Mary had died. And so people go there to visit this public house and look around. I don’t know, I think I heard from someone say that back in the day, the hotel was actually really bad, as in like a lot of crime like murders and underground activity happened in the hotel, including acts from the owner Stone himself, so they say that there was a lot of other ghostly spirits that haunt the hotel including Mary’s. Some also say that Mary’s death could in fact not necessarily be an accident but was actually like done on purpose. It’s not really sure because a lot of people say different things.

K: Who did you hear this ghost story from?

B: Well originally I heard it from my older sis J. She told me about it, and at first I thought she made it up, but then a lot of my friends in Ashland high talked about the same ghost of Mary story too. That’s why there’s varying belief as to whether Mary’s death was an accident or on purpose as well as whether it was in fact of the hotel’s past of crime, etc. But that’s essentially everything about the actual I guess premise is what you called it haha

K: Okay cool, and what was your reaction to this ghost story?

B: Well K, you know that I am like a total skeptic. I personally never believe in ghost stories, so when I heard it from my friends and sis I thought instantly like okay this is obviously something that you totally would say to someone to spread gossip haha. But then I actually decided to check out the place for myself with some of my friends and no joke K I was horrified. I could literally feel as if someone was constantly stroking my shoulder as I walked through. But obviously when I looked no one was there. But then it was weird, because I felt this warm sensation in my ear, as if someone was right near me sort of I guess breathing on me. And it was the creepiest thing ever. Like I don’t know I think it might’ve been a ghost, because it was weird how I could literally feel this presence around me but not necessarily see anything. I don’t know. But every since then I’ve honestly been scared to go back. What’s even scarier is that I know a lot of other people from Ashland high that also went to this public house and felt a similar sensation as me, with someone stroking them and caressing their skin. They never mentioned the warm sensation though, but I felt it. Ughhhh its so weird. So I guess I do believe in this Mary Ghost. And now I’m kinda freaked out. Like it’s such a hard thing to describe only because its one of those unexplainable things. But yeah that’s essentially what I know about the Mary ghost and my experience and others peoples experiences that I know of. I hope this helps your class K, sorry that’s all the info I know.

K: No, this is great, thanks B!

My reaction to “Mary’s ghost”: I found this ghost story to be quite plausible and believable. The very idea of a little girl who died before her time touches on the theme of spirits who did not get the proper rites of life. This little girl was unable to live the rest of her life and all the milestones that come with it because she was merely 10 years old. I personally thought it was interesting that this girl could have potentially been murdered rather than an accident as well as the murderous activity that went on in the hotel, which in a way could touch upon a more moral or social justice in relation to this ghost, that could in fact be a potential reason Mary is haunting the hotel itself. It was interesting to see how B at first was completely skeptical, but I think context also played a role that it is a rather old building and she did in fact go to visit it at nighttime, and it was surprising that she is now a believer. The very idea that the ghost interaction was based primarily on touch with this ghost was also extremely fascinating, and it’s makes it very personal and realistic in a way. When B said “Like it’s such a hard thing to describe only because its one of those unexplainable things” it clearly showed the liminality that ghost really are as a subject, unexplainable. All in all, I think it was an excellent ghost story that was told and I would be interested in visiting this place.

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