Author Archives: kosich

The Haunted Hotel Cecil

Main Piece

The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant, identified as BH, and myself, identified as GK.

BH: There is this hotel right by USC called “Hotel Cecil” that is supposedly haunted. There have supposedly been a ton of deaths in the hotel. The one that I can remember, is that there was a woman who was staying there, and she suddenly went missing for two weeks. No one knew where she had gone and the hotel said she never checked out. During this time many of the other hotel guests were complaining about an eery smell in the hallways. They also identified that the water coming out of the sinks and showers was brown. This lead to one of the hotel employees to check out the water tank, which is unreachable for hotel guests. Once they gained access, they found the women’s dead body. 

GK: Did they ever identify the killer

BH: Not that I know of. And it’s weird because the part of the hotel where the body was found is unreachable for guests and most employees.

GK: Have you ever stepped foot in the hotel?

BH: I have but very quickly. I just wanted to check it out while I was in the area. The first thing I noticed was that the lighting in the lobby was very dim. And the emptiness of the lobby was really creepy. I had to step out because I was pretty scared. Even when observing the hotel from the outside, you could detect the ominous presence to it. 

Background: The informant, who is a 24 year old USC graduate, likes this story because he was a film major and really enjoys a good mystery like the one he told me. He had originally heard this story from a friend of his while the two of them were eating dinner at a restaurant a block away from the hotel. He was so intrigued by it, that he read up on it right when he returned home. And eventually went to check the inside of the hotel out himself later on.

Context: The informant and I discussed this story on the way to dinner when we drove past the hotel. 

My Thoughts: This story told by the informant truly intrigued me because I love to hear creepy stories like that. I find it interesting that the hotel is still open today despite the fact that it has a haunted reputation. It also makes me wonder who would stay there. I feel as if some of the people who stay there want want to see if the legend is true. This speaks to a certain curiosity we all have as human beings as some of us want to get out of our comfort zone and possibly experience something that might frighten us. Just like the informant did when he stepped foot in the hotel. I also read an article on it, which talks about some of the other legends that are connected to the hotel. After reading it, a part of me wants to go and check it out myself!

Erickson, Steve. “Spending A Night at the Cecil Hotel, Where Serial Killers and Eerie Deaths Abound Los Angeles Magazine.” Los Angeles Magazine, 28 Oct. 2016, www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/spending-a-night-at-the-cecil-hotel-where-serial-killers-and-eerie-deaths-abound/.

Locking Eyes after saying “Cheers”

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from a dialogue with the informant, CG.

CG: A superstition I know of is that you must lock eyes with someone when you are drinking a cocktail after saying cheers. Supposedly if you fail to do so, you will have terrible sex for a year. 

Background: The informant is currently a Sophomore at The University of Southern California, and was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She heard of this superstition from a friend of hers while she was at a bar in Paris, France. Ever since she heard it, she has believed in it, as she follows that rule every time she drinks and someone gives a toast. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this superstition over Face Time. 

My Thoughts: This is a fascinating superstition to me. I feel like it is less serious than the other ones because the penalty for not doing it is so ridiculous. I don’t think anyone actually fears this superstition and instead thinks it’s kind of funny. I believe it is used as a way to make toasts more lively within college culture. It also serves as a great way to laugh at someone who doesn’t know about the superstition and fails to to follow it. This is due to the threat being so unrealistic in my opinion.

Infant Looking at its Reflection

Main Piece

The following is transcribed from dialogue between myself, GK, and the informant, MB. 

MB: One superstition I know of and believe in is to never show a baby that is younger than 1 year old its reflection in the mirror. If you do, it supposedly brings bad luck to your kid. 

GK: Where did you hear this from?

MB: My mother told me.

Background: The informant is a 26 year old women who is currently raising a baby. She says she was told about this superstition from her mother recently, who followed the superstition as well while raising the informant. This piece of folklore is very important to the informant due to the fact that she is a mother and she will always want what’s best for her kid. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this superstition face to face

My Thoughts: In my opinion, this superstition is not true. I believe kids at that age cry when they see their reflections because they are not smart enough to know what’s going on yet. Plus babies just cry a lot in general. I also think this way because while looking online, I was not able to find anything on this superstition, which makes me wonder where it originally came from. It could be something that is just spread amongst her family. That’s what makes small forms of folklore like this interesting. They are so small, that you just wonder what event must’ve happened to spark it and thus engage its spread. The closest thing I could think of, is the “Bloody Mary” Myth, which originated in England. It makes me wonder if this lore maybe originated as its own version of Bloody Mary. It’s interesting to think of.

Solly, Meilan. “The Myth of ‘Bloody Mary’.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 12 Mar. 2020, www.smithsonianmag.com/history/myth-bloody-mary-180974221/.

Harry Poter Joke

Main Piece

The following is transcribed from a joke told to myself, GK, by the informant, CZ. 

CZ: How does Harry Potter get down a hill? 

GK: I don’t know. How?

CZ: J.K. Rolling

Background: The informant is a 20 year old, who is a huge Harry Potter fan. He claims to have found this joke online, and loves to tell it because “it’s such a stupid joke”. If you are not a Harry Potter fan, the joke is J.K. Rolling is the author of the series, and the joke is simply just playing off her last name. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this joke over Face Time. 

My Thoughts: For me, this joke would qualify as a “Dad Joke”. I say this because the joke is really short, and the only reason it brings out laughter is because it’s so unoriginal and unfunny. However, I feel like “Dad Jokes” are becoming more popular amongst the younger generation. I say this because over the past couple of years, they’ve become their own category of jokes, and have a certain style that differs them from other jokes. The style I am talking about is, how the recipient is usually laughing at the person who is telling the joke rather than the joke itself.  The dynamic of the “Dad Joke” is certainly interesting in that way.

The Secret Lemurian Society inside Mt. Shasta

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from dialogue between myself and the informant, DH. 

DH: Up in Mount Shasta, there is a rumor that there is a Lemurian society living there. If you didn’t know, Lemuria is rumored to be a lost continent that was located in the Pacific Ocean a while back. Along with Atlantis, the continent was the most advanced in the world, and housed people who were supposedly 8 feet tall. This belief grew stronger as some people who have climbed Mount Shasta have claimed to come across the Lemurian people. For example, there was one guy who claimed to find an underground city inside the mountain, and got to meet some of the Lemurian people. Because of this strong belief, there have been some cults created and they claim that the Lemurians went to war with Atlantis, and were forced to build a secret society inside Mt. Shasta because their continent got destroyed.

Background: The informant is a 57 year old man who is really into outdoor activities. He in fact climbed Mt. Shasta when he was 25, and had heard about these stories from his father before the climb. However, he claims to have never came across any Lemurian people.

Context: The informant and I discussed this Legend face to face.  

My Thoughts: I personally do not believe in the secret societies up in Mount Shasta. I say this because there haven’t been too many witness accounts, and I feel like the people who claimed to see them only said so in order to profit off it. It is, however, a pretty interesting legend. There have been a couple of books written on the subject. One of them is titled, A Dweller on Two Planets, which talks about survivors from the sunken continent and how they are living in a series of complex tunnels beneath Mt. Shasta. Another one is titled, Lemuria: The Lost Continent of the Pacific, which talks about the battle with Atlantis and the road to Mt. Shasta. Despite the fact that I do not believe any of this to be true, I can’t help but feel the desire for it to be proven true. This is because having another culture of humans could lead our culture to more innovation and let us know what we are lacking in. It also makes me want to some day climb Mt. Shasta, and see if the rumors are true for myself. 

100% Successful Pickup Line

Main Piece: 

The following is transcribed from a conversation with the informant, CZ.

CZ: So here’s how the pickup line goes: “If I was to ask you out right now, would your answer to that question be the same as your answer to this question?

GK: I don’t really get it

CZ: It’s a bit confusing, but here’s how it works. First of all you need to split it up into the two questions because it could be a bit difficult to explain. So in this case: 

Question #1 Question #2
“Will you go out with me”? “Will your answer to (question #1) be same as the answer to this question”?

Question #2 will be the answer she gives you, because that is, in essence, the question you are asking her. And as it turns out, the answer to Question #1 will always be “yes”. Here is why:

Answer Answer in terms of Question #2 Interpretation Answer to Question #1
No No, the answer to you asking me out will not be the same to the answer I just gave you.  She said “no” meaning the answer to Question #1 is “yes” because the answers won’t be the same Yes
Yes Yes, the answer to you asking me out will be the same to the answer I just gave you.  She said “yes” meaning the answer to Question #1 is “yes” because the answers will be the same Yes

Background: The informant is a 20 year old college student from Indiana. Like a lot of people his age, he likes to use pickup lines to hit on women either in person or on dating apps. He says to have found this one online, and has has used it on Tinder before. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this pickup line over Face Time. 

My Thoughts: This pickup line is interesting because I feel like it breaks the mold of most other pickup lines. This one really makes you think about it, while other ones are cheesy and are easy to pickup on. That makes me wonder about the success that this has, because it took me a while to figure out what he meant by this. I would be inclined to think this would be more successful on a dating app because you are not talking to the person face to face, which gives the recipient more time to think about the question. If you were to try this pickup line in person, I feel like it would lead to an awkward silence, due to its complexity. This pickup line also made me reflect on how technology has influenced dating amongst a younger generation. People are now able to swipe on profiles, making it way easier to find love connections. I feel like this is bad for society because it takes away the human interaction that was needed to accomplish this before the rise in dating apps.

The Schuhplatter

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from dialogue between my self, GK, and my friend DH.

DH: The Schuhplattler is a popular German dance that I know of. I’ve watched it preformed a number of times but have never preformed it myself. But it is a very exciting and funny to watch because the song is played by an accordion and the dance moves are a bit goofy. 

GK: What are the dance moves? 

DH: There are different parts. First you stomp on the ground. Then you clap and bend your leg sideways in order strike the soles of your shoes. Right after that, you immediately go on to slap your thighs and then your knee caps. After completing those steps, you do it all again but this time with the other leg. 

Background: The informant is a 57 year old man who comes from German heritage. Their whole family are members of a German-American club which is the main reason why the informant became aware of this dance. He did not formally learn The Schuhplattler until he was 10 years old. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this dance face to face.

My Thoughts: In my opinion this dance is one of the more high energy dances that I have come across. I think the main reason for this is because it is a group dance and the dance moves are different from normal dance moves. I have not seen this dance spread into American culture as much, which surprises me because I feel like it would be very popular amongst the younger generations who tend to like funny dances like this. 

Here is a video of the dance being preformed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxRACYQAkgA

The Heidelmann Lodge

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from dialogue between my self, GK, and the informant DH.

DH: One of my favorite memories as a child was going to the “Heidelmann Lodge” with my family and getting to spend time with them. 

GK: Where is this lodge located?

DH: It is located at the Donner Summit, in Northern California. Trukee California to be exact, which is about a 7 hour drive from Los Angeles. 

GK: Tell me a little about the history of the lodge. 

DH: I think it was founded in 1947 by a man named West Heidelmann. It took about two years to build, and there were originally only 10 members at the time. It has always been a part of the San Francisco Nature Friends and now and days requires a membership for entry. 

GK: How does one become a member?

DH: It’s a pretty straight forward process. First you usually need to get a letter of recommendation from an active member. Then from there, you will be able to submit an application and have it reviewed by the board of trustees. And then if you get approved, you are required to put in five “work days”. This includes either cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the bathrooms, or working one of our special days such as: Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day Weekends. 

GK: What is there to do there?

DH: In the lodge itself, you could play ping pong, cards, there’s a piano, board games, and many other things. However during the day, we are usually outside. Depending on the season, we will usually be skiing, or going down to Donner Lake. Both are only five minute drives from the Lodge.  

Background: The informant knows of this organization through his family. They have been members at the Heidelmann Lodge for over 50 years and have been going during the summer each year. This place means a lot to the informant because it is where he got to spend a lot of time with his cousins and other family members. In addition to that, today it serves as a great place to visit his brothers and sister and get to see his nephews and nieces. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this face to face.

My Thoughts: I feel like this place is so much more than a lodge to the informant. It feels more like a gathering place for families to get to see one another. In addition it also feels like a bridge for different generations of a family. For example, the informant went while he was a kid, and got to enjoy all of the amenities and the fun times with friends. Now, he brings his own son to this place, and I’m sure he feels the same way his dad once felt. I’m sure the two have shared many of the same memories in the lodge, as it has supposedly not changed much throughout the years. 

Turkish Proverb – “Havlayan Köpek Isirmaz”.

Main Piece

The following is transcribed from a proverb given from the informant, AT. 

AT: A Turkish proverb that I know of is “Havlayan Köpek Isirmaz”. This translates to “the dog that barks does not bite”. This proverb describes the type of person who does a lot of talking but never backs it up. And it also serves as a lesson to never say you’re going to do something and not end up doing it. 

Background: The informant knows this proverb through his time spent living in Turkey. He says it is pretty commonly taught, and is usually done so at a younger age. It was taught to him by his father, and is something he says he tries to live by. 

Context: The informant and I discussed this proverb of Face Time. 

My Thoughts: I am a fan of this proverb because it perfectly connects the lesson to the inaction of the barking dog. It is very important to do what you say you will, because if you don’t you will lose credibility. People will believe you less if you are all bark and no bite. Another takeaway I have from this proverb is that the American version seems to be more dictated towards fights. A person who is labeled as “all bark and no bite” is usually someone who talks as if he wants to fight someone but when presented the opportunity declines to do so. It is interesting to see how proverbs are interpreted in different cultures. 

The Commemoration of Atatürkü

Main Piece

The following comes from dialogue between myself, GK, and the informant, AT. 

AT: One of my favorite Turkish holidays is called “Atatürk’ü Anma, Gençlik ve Spor Bayramî”, which translates to “Youth and Sports Day”. I like it because it is one of the most relaxing days of the year. Work is cancelled, school is cancelled, and everyone just goes outside and enjoys life. 

GK: What day does it fall on?

AT: It is celebrated on May 19. 

GK: How do you and your family usually celebrate the holiday?

AT: My brother and I usually go play soccer with our friends in the morning. Then we’ll usually go on a hike with our parents. And cook some dinner out side after. It’s a really great day to unwind and enjoy with friends and family. 

Background: The informant knows of this holiday by living in Istanbul for 13 years. His family would always celebrate it as it was a national holiday. And although he doesn’t live there anymore, he still chooses to celebrate it because he loves the holiday so much.

Context: The informant and I discussed this holiday over Face Time

My Thoughts: In my opinion, this holiday serves a great purpose in Turkish culture because it gives people the day to relax and spend time with their families. After doing some reserch, it looks like this holiday originated in 1938. It celebrates the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and his arrival in Samsun on May 19, 1919.  It celebrates youth and sports due to the wish of Atatürk, who loved sports growing up.