Author Archives: knmckeon

Haunted Winnie the Pooh Ride at Disneyland

KS is a cast member at Disneyland.

KS: Allegedly, in the New Orleans square/ Critter Country group of attractions the most haunted one is Winne the Pooh. You’ll hear little kids running. Winnie the Pooh, the whole building itself is super haunted because someone actually died in it. A cast member did. She was like crushed between two panels. (Upon my reaction) Yeah, it’s gross. So we hear like little kids running around. You’ll hear like laughter and shit. Sometime you’ll feel things like tugging on your clothing when it’s pitch black. Specifically in the Tigger scene, which I think is super ironic ‘cause he scares me in the daytime. Winnie the Pooh is the haunted building in that area.

Me: Do you have any experience with the hauntings in Winnie the Pooh. 

KS: One of my good friends was closing, and when you close a ride you have to do a walk through the ride. She was by herself for that part, and she felt something pull on her shirt. The shirts are billowy but not enough to even come close to getting caught on anything. So she looked over her shoulder and there was no one there, and then she heard laughter up ahead. The whole ride is completely powered off at this point. Only the lights are on so someone can walk the ride. There’s no reason or way she could’ve heard laughter, but she heard it. Then she ran out of the ride like a bat out of hell. She came back out and everyone was like “where the hell did you go?”, and she was like “there’s demons in there”.

Context:

Context:

I asked a friend who currently works at Disneyland if the Haunted Mansion was actually haunted, and this is what they had to say instead. 

Thoughts:

I find it very interesting that the “Haunted” Mansion, despite having a well known ghost attached to, is not regarded as the most haunted attraction. I’ve heard of the Haunted Mansion ghost, but never of the Winnie the Pooh haunting.

Danish Christmas Almond Game

A Christmas Eve tradition.

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Informant: As far as traditions like that. My aunts are Danish, and we do this thing on Christmas eve where every person gets this like lemon dessert. Everyone in the house gets one, and only one has an almond underneath. I’ve never known what it’s supposed to represent or whatever, but the person with the almond has good luck for the rest of the year. Also, the person who gets the almond has to host the party for next year. We do that on Christmas Eve.

Context:

I asked a group of friends if they had any holiday traditions. This was one of their replies.

Thoughts:

This is very similar to a game my neighborhood plays every year where a bundt cake is cut, and whoever has a plastic baby Jesus in their slice has to host the Christmas party the next year.

Irish Sleeping Superstition

An Irish belief about sleeping with socks on.

Informant:

Irish Catholics are super superstitious. We can’t sleep with our socks on or else you’re sleeping with the devil. Which is so weird to me. It was something that my mom told us growing up. Her aunt used to tell her that when she was a kid. It definitely goes back farther. I think what it has to do with is like if you sleep with your socks on, that’s what people would do if they’re having one night stands. They would sleep together with their socks on so they could get up and leave quickly. It symbolizes that you’re not where you’re supposed to be. 

Context:

I asked a group of friends about any superstitions they were raised with. This was one of their responses.

Thoughts:

I was also raised Irish Catholic, and I have personally never heard of this one, but both the superstition and the informant’s interpretation of it make sense to me given the deeply entrenched Catholicism in Irish culture.

Skinwalkers

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Informant:

My mom’s family came from Mexico and they moved up into California through the desert. They have these stories that have been passed down about skinwalkers. They’re kind of like witches that can take the shape of something else, but there’s something physically wrong with them. If they took the shape of your mom, the eyes would be too big or the teeth would be too sharp or the fingers way too long. There’d be something really weird that would let you know something’s wrong. That side of my family has always said one of the skinwalkers married an ancestor so we’ve partially got skinwalker blood in our veins. 

I was taught at a very early age to always keep every single seat in the car covered with something when you’re driving through the desert. If it is empty, that’s how they get in the car. I don’t know what they do though. (a beat) Marry your ancestor I guess. I don’t know what the threat is, but I still always keep every seat in my car filled so I never have to find out. 

Context: I asked a group of friends to share anything they knew about cryptids. This was one of their replies. The informant is of hispanic descent.

Thoughts: I am slightly familiar with the concept of skinwalkers as a Navajo legend, but not as a hispanic one.

For more on skinwalkers see: https://www.legendsofamerica.com/navajo-skinwalkers/

Indrid Cold

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Informant: Ok, so this guy. Oh my god. I’m obsessed with him. I love him. Basically, in West Virginia — the same place my boy Mothman is from– this guy got into a car accident. He was saved from the wreckage by this guy who had a really creepy smile. He just kept smiling. The guy who crashed his car was like “Woah who are you?”, and creepy smile guys was like “My name’s Indrid Cold”, but Indrid Cold didn’t use his mouth. He told the guy telepathically. The reigning theory on this guy Indrid Cold/ The Smiling Man/ The Grinning Man is that he’s come from a race of aliens who all smile and grin. He was the one to try and first contact Earth. I heard about him on a podcast years ago, and I’ve been obsessed with him ever since. While I don’t know if he was an alien, I know deep in my heart that he existed. 

Context:

I asked a group of friends to share what they knew about cryptids. This was one of their replies.

Thoughts: I’m considered myself fairly well-versed in the world of cryptids, but upon learning of Indrid Cold I learned that there were ones I had never heard of.

Buying Someone Else’s Dream

A Korean practice on buying dreams for good luck.

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Informant:

There’s this Korean thing we do where we buy each other’s dreams. You can buy someone’s dream off of them. Dreams with pigs, dragons, or dreams where you poop or pee are considered good luck. I think the latter part originated back with farming when poop was good for crops. That’s why those are considered good dreams. So, if you tell someone about your dream, they could offer to buy it from you. You can name your price or work something out between the two of you. When someone buys a dream they also buy the luck that comes with it.

Context: I asked a group of friends to share any superstitions they were raised with. This was one of their replies. The informant is of Korean descent and was raised in both Korea and China. 

Thoughts: I find this a very interesting practice, especially since there’s nothing stopping someone from pretending they had a good dream.

Korean belief on Japanese Spirits

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Informant: The reason why Japan is such a hot spot for spirits and ghosts is because ghosts can’t cross water, and Japan is an island country. Korean people who travel to Japan, especially people who have a wider third eye, have to be very careful. They have to be very mindful of what kind of spirits they might accidentally carry back over the water. Spirits can’t cross water themselves, but they can cross on someone’s back or someone’s shoulder. I feel like it was made up to keep us from traveling to Japan ‘cause we’re supposed to hate each other.

Context:

I asked a group of friends to share any superstitions they were raised with. This was one of their replies. The informant is of Korean descent and was raised in both Korea and China.

Thoughts: The subtle xenophobia in this reminds me of the Mexican Pet story in that it teacher the listener to fear what comes from the other country.

Fancam Culture

An explanation of the origin and evolution of Fancam culture from the perspective of a k-pop fan.

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Informant: Fancam culture at the moment is in its most evolved form on Twitter. In which, people will reply to viral tweets, even if they’re unrelated to kpop, with a video that’s focused on a certain figure/idol/celebrity that they like. It started in kpop ‘cause there’s this thing called a direct camera or the fan cam where there’s one camera that doesn’t move and shows the whole performance, but there’s another set of cameras and each of those follows one specific member of the group throughout the performance. That one is where the fancam originated. Basically these videos are available for download on websites like Naver– it’s like Korean Google. On lot’s of fan sites they’re made officially and for download vertically. Nowadays they’re largely vertical videos so it’s like hella advanced. You can download these, keep them, and save them. I actually have like four on my phone right now. Anyway, people started posting them on Twitter. As the kpop fanbase became more populated, getting a lot of views on your idol’s videos became an achievement you unlock as you go through the ranks of being a stan. People started replying to viral tweets with a fancam because if anyone sees it the views go up automatically. So if a tweet goes viral, and you tag it there the views will go up. That was the origin of the dancing fancam. Those are the videos where you just see people dancing. Then k-pop fans started making edits. Edits are videos of a celebrity set to a song or an aesthetic. They’re often set to American rap songs by like Nikki Minaj or Cardi B. They subsequently became a part of, and often take the place of, the traditional fancam. Those two separate but similar fan edits merged to the more overall idea of “fancams”. The goal of fancams are now just to get the views up on every single kind of k-pop video, and recently it’s started to stretch out into all other fandoms.

Context: I asked a friend to explain fancams to me.

Thoughts: I only began to be exposed to fancams once they began to be edited to American music, and I think they have taken on a largely ironic nature after that. I’ve seen people make fancams as absurd as possible for very niche celebrities. Like green M&M and Kermit the Frog.

Korean Sink Ghost

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Informant: There’s this nice ghost who lives under the sink and if you leave leftover food in your bowl it will go down the drain and it will choke the ghost. The ghost will be miserable. It’s a happy ghost that brings joy and luck to the household, but if you leave food on your plate and it goes down in the sink then the ghost, it’s a very tiny spirit, will be choked. The spirit will die and it won’t bring any happiness to the home. I think it’s told to keep kids tidy because it’s very clean in Korea. Like we don’t even put food in the sink. That’s not something we do. We dispose of food separately, and I think parents tell their kids this to help them to learn to throw things away right. 

Context: I asked a group of friends to share any superstitions they were raised with. This was one of their replies. The informant is of Korean descent and was raised in both Korea and China.

Thoughts:

This is clearly a very modern superstition, but it feels old. It seems cleat to me that it was made by a parent to keep their child from clogging the drain.

The Golden Statue and the Crow

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Informant: This was this story I heard all the time as a kid growing up. There was this crow who lived in a city next to a golden statue. There were seven or so precious gems in the statue. Expensive big ones. One blue one for each eye, one in the statue’s sword, one in the belt,  three in the crown.  They were all different colors. The statue started to see all of these poor people and the statue got really sad. The statue was like “I’m made of gold and jewels, but all these poor people are suffering” The statue told the crow to fly around town and find poor people to give the gemstones to. It would pick off a stone from the statue and find a different poor person each day to give one two. There was a girl selling matches, a blind man, a seamstress, a bunch of different types of people. The blind man got an eye and the matches girl got the one from his belt.  Because the statue asks the crow to do all of these things, the crow can’t migrate for winter. By the time winter arrives, the statue has given away all of it’s jewels. Even though it was still gold, it stopped getting all of the attention that it had before. It became an abandoned statue. Because it got so cold, the crow dies right in front of the statue or in the arms of the statue. The poor people became happy, but the crow died and the statue was abandoned. I think it’s supposed to teach you to like not help people at your own expense or something which I think is pretty messed up.

Context: I asked friends to share stories they heard as children and this was one of their replies.

Thoughts: This story reminds me a bit of the Giving Tree story. I agree with the informant that this seems to be an anti-philanthropy and also anti-poor.