USC Digital Folklore Archives / general

The Alaskan Spirit

The interviewer’s comments are denoted through initials GM, while the interviewee’s responses are denoted by a PO.


The interviewee overheard my conversation with another student, and offered to provide me with a story of his own strange encounter.


PO: I have a story to tell you too if you’d like! It’s about this really weird trip I took to Alaska.


GM: Sure! Go for it. What happened?


PO: I went to Alaska for a school trip last year with a bunch of kids from my school. One night, me and 3 other friends were told by an upperclassman of this island nearby where we were camping that was once owned by an extremely wealthy man, but recently died. Being stupid and adventurous, we chose to take one of my friends’ boats and make the short trip to the secluded island late at night while the rest of the group was asleep. Upon reaching the edge of the island, we instantly noted a very weird aura in the area. While there was no human in sight, we began to observe some of the wildlife and their antagonistic attitude towards us. These were not vicious animals: crabs, birds, and insects. We chose to stay the night there (again, stupid adventure). I woke up in the middle of the night to find easily 10-15 crabs surrounding the four of us, as if they were in a cult. The screeching of birds and deafening cricket chirps made all of use jump up from our mats and start sprinting towards the boat. We all rowed back to the mainland at the fastest we’ve ever rowed, and never looked back.


GM: Did you see any person or apparition of any sort as you were leaving?


PO: No, but there was definitely a spirit possessing the nature of the area. All the crabs, birds, and crickets were in a sort of rhythm – under a kind of spell. They were synchronized and coordinated, as if under the control of a human. We all think it was because we trespassed into the deceased man’s territory, and his spirit thought of us as intruders.


Conclusion, written by the interviewer:


This story is one that shows no evidence of a human or ever transparent apparition: but it undoubtedly felt like a ghost story to the interviewee. He was terrified and held genuine belief that there was a spirit controlling the area, and all four of them felt it. For an outsider, it may seem like the presence was a long shot, made up in the mind of the subject. However, the significance of the story to him shows that the “spirit” was definitely present, and had a purpose: to keep his “master” and his land protected.


Positive Energy

The interviewer’s comments are denoted through initials GM, while the interiewee’s responses are denoted by a VA.

GM: Has anything happened to you or your family that you found strange and inexplicable?

VA: Like, a supernatural presence?

GM: Yes, anything along the lines of that. Can you tell me about a certain such incident?

VA: Okay, this isn’t really like a ghost story, but I still can’t think of scientific reasoning for it so I’ll tell you it. In 7th grade, my parents decided to buy a house in Gurgaon, just outside of New Delhi. The house was at a very good location at a very good price. The only reason the house hadn’t been sold yet because of the direction it faced. Really silly stuff for people outside of India to hear that, but it’s a very common thing in India to make sure your house faces north and east.

GM: Why do you think that is?

VA: Generally, it has to do with the sun. Since the sun rises in the east, and north is generally synonymous with “up” and “good”, both those directions are preferred. Having the sun rise in front of your house is considered a good omen, bringing positive energy in. This house, however, faced directly Southeast. Most of our relatives and friends strongly advised against buying the house because of the stereotype I just mentioned. However, my family, generally not religious, thought that it was a silly idea to only buy houses that faced a certain as all directions could be peaceful if the people inside remained happy. So, my parents went ahead and bought the house. Within a couple of months, we moved in, and initially everything seemed fine. Now, I don’t know if this was because of the paranoia stemming from our social pressures, but somehow strange things started happening in the house after a few weeks. The first night that something strange happened, my parents were awoken by loud sounds coming from the kitchen. I was young and deep sleepers so I assumed my parents were just being paranoid. However, more weird things started happening over the course of the next year. I found myself having weird nightmares. Sometimes, I’d wake up in the middle of the night and my bed would be covered in sweat. My parents at the didn’t feel comfortable: it didn’t feel like the type of house anyone wants to come back home from work every day.

VA: You see, the people inside the house weren’t happy: there was no positive energy. Whether this was because of influences from others, or whether there was a genuine lack of positive energy in that house, I’ll never know. Despite the fact that my parents didn’t believe in the directional theory earlier, we were eventually convinced that there was some truth to this idea. So, the next year we moved to another house, strictly facing East, and sold the other one. We lost a lot of money in the process, but my parents have no regrets: today we live in a house that we all feel comfortable coming back to each night.

Conclusion, written by the interviewer:

This story shows the fine line between self-guided perception and the belief of a genuine supernatural force. Had there been no preconceptions going in to the house, this would have been a much more concrete ghost story: but such stories are never concrete in the real world. A “weird experience” is the name given to such events not only as a means to repress them but also to understand them. My interviewee still did not think there was a ghost present, but that they went against nature – a dark energy, in hindsight, was inevitable for him. This story is told by an international student from India, and I especially chose to ask him for a story because I knew that not only would the social views be different, but his reaction to the weird events as well. While loud noises in the US could be attributed to a poltergeist or spirit, he just noted a “lack of positive energy” –nothing more.

Folk Beliefs

Ghost and the Walkie Talkie

This story is told by a friend, Lauren, whose perspective on ghosts is not scared or intimidated, but rather Lauren seems to be at peace with ghosts and lives in harmony with them.

“My aunt and uncle have an old Victorian house is Redlands, California, and we’re pretty sure the ghost that’s in there is the ghost of the girl that died of Cholera in about 1833. Throughout time, every one of the kids when they’re little have seen the ghost. They’ve disappeared for a couple of minutes, and no one knows where the kids go, and then the kids will show up and say “I just saw the ghost”. No one really understands it. I did it, my little cousin did it, my second cousins have all done it. There’s kind of evidence that the ghosts exist and the house is probably haunted, but the ghost is pretty chill.

After my uncle passed away, my aunt and I were sitting there and talking about how sad we were, and we heard something that sounded like a sigh. We didn’t know where it came from, but we think it was the ghost sympathizing with us.

My cousin and I were probably about 15, and we were going up to the attic and we had walkie talkies with us, and as we were climbing up to the attic, they started getting scratchier and scratchier with the sound. We thought it was just because we were gaining altitude, it probably doesn’t have the radio connection. Then the minute we opened the door, the walkie talkies just shut down completely. It wasn’t that they completely lost reception, they turned off.

Later when went downstairs we took the batteries out and put them back in, and there was nothing wrong with the walkie talkies.

[Were you scared when it happened?]

It was a little freaky, but we’ve have encounters with the ghost before, and its never been a bad encounter so we didn’t really care. ”

It is common for children to see ghosts, perhaps because they are just more imaginative, but what are the odds that Lauren and each of her younger relatives all had the same exact experience? They all disappeared for about 45 minutes when they were very young, to return claiming that they had seen the ghost. This was stated very matter of factly and with complete confidence. It seems that in this family, ghosts are a common occurrence and not seen as a threat. This is very different than many ghost stories because often ghosts are seen as intimidating spirits or peaceful ghosts of recently deceased family members. This peaceful ghost that she speaks of is neither, but rather just a friendly ghost of perhaps the girl that passed away in that house.

The problem with the walkie talkies is very odd because after coming back downstairs, they realized that both walkie talkies were not dead. They had just turned off at the same time going up the stairs to the attic. The attic is a common location for ghost encounters because it is a liminal space. Could there have been a ghost up there that decided to mess with their devices? She did not seem to be bothered by this event, but rather accepting that ghosts have their place in the house. Many people would be scared of the common ghost experiences, but Lauren said that everyone in her family all feels the same way; ghosts are not something to be frightened of, but something to respect and accept.

This old house was the location for many ghost encounters, but the technological mishap was her most recent experience with the ghost of the house.

Folk Beliefs

Haunted Wifi?

A friend recounts a story of her friend falling down stairs after yelling at a ghost:

“In highschool my friend, Katie, moved into a house, it was a historical landmark in our town, Palo Alto. There were weird parts of the house, like the basement the completely concrete. The floor, the walls, the ceiling, all concrete. There were square holes in the walls that really just looked like a coroners office, like in TV shows, where they pulled the dead bodies out of it. It was really really wUpdatee

The wifi in the house was named TobeyHouse after the alleged original owner who died in the house. And they couldn’t change the name because they were renting it. There were always weird things happening. The owner of the house, my friend’s mom, really believes in ghosts, she holds seances and has ouija boards. The lady that lived in the back of the house, named Dylan, was super into it, super into connecting with the spiritual realm.

Tobey had done some things like door slamming. But one day my friend Emma was standing at the top of the stairs, and a bunch of doors were slamming, the house was creaking, and my friend yelled “F you Tobey” at the top of the stairs, and she immediately fell down them. And my friend’s mom called ghostbusters and ghostbusters was like “theres definitely a spiritual presence in this house, there’s a bad spirit here.” But Tobey didn’t really do anything after that though.

[Were you scared when it happened?]

I wasn’t there, but my friends were genuinely freaking out.

[Was everyone sober?]

Yeah, but I think part of it was my friend was wrapped up in a blanket when she fell. So it totally could’ve been that she lost her balanced, but everyone said she got pushed.”

Was Katie really pushed by an angry ghost? Or did she just slip? Everyone part of the experience believes that it was the ghost that pushed her down the stairs, but that could have been a result of their preconceived notion about their location and because they were already scared from hearing the unexplainable noises, like the slamming doors.

This ghost encounter took place in an unusual house with a disturbing basement and a mysterious history. It is odd that this house even had a basement, as they are very uncommon in California. The residents of the house at the time of this event might have also affected the outcome. Katie’s mom was very convinced that evil spirits resided in their home, and the woman who lived in the separate house still on the property also felt a strong connection to the spirit world. These perspectives might have worked to convince Katie’s friends that a ghost had suddenly appeared and become violent, because the house reminded them of the ghosts that the residents believed so strongly in. But regardless of this, all of the witnesses to this were confident that a ghost had intervened.

It later turned into a running joke, but those at the scene maintain that a ghost really did become angry and violent.



It Runs in the Family

Ghost Story #1

“My grandmother died, my father’s mother, and her name was Emma Davenport. She lived in Cashmere, Washington, near Wenatchee. This was before Aya (her daughter) was born. It was about a month after she died and I can’t remember why but I was in a fight with my dad, and I was in bed. My grandmother’s house smelled like Downey Fabric Softener and Chester Filled Cigarettes, a bizarre mix of the two. I was laying in bed, I had fallen asleep early for some reason, and all of a sudden my room smelled like Downy Fabric Softener and Chester Filled Cigarettes and it was dark and I looked up and there was this dark shadowy figure on the ceiling and I heard her voice and I smelled her smell and she said “be nice to your dad” and then it was over and I got really, really sick and started throwing up.

How old were you when this happened?

I was about 32-years-old.

What time of the year did she die?

She died around November and I heard her voice around Christmas time a month later. Somebody told me that in Native American culture, it’s about 1 to 2 months that spirits return to talk to people after they died.

Were you frightened even though you knew your grandmother?

Yes, I was very scared, I think that’s why I got sick. She was always very intense […] she was very direct with me. She showed very little emotion. When she smoke it was a command more than anything. The strong smell and the intensity was very frightening. I have not had any other encounters with her since.

Were you nice to your dad after?

Yes, of course!

Ghost Story #2

My grandfather died, my mom’s dad, and I was talking to my grandma, they had been married for 70 years, I asked my grandmother if my grandad had come to see her and she said that it was about a week or two after he died and she was laying on the couch in the living room because she slept out there a lot. It was 3 or 4 in the morning and she woke up and saw him standing in the opposite corning of the room. I asked her if he said anything to her, and she said no and that he just wanted her to know that he was there, and that was it.

Did she have any other sensory sort of experiences besides just seeing him?

No, he was just standing there. She never had any other encounters with him.

Ghost Story #3

The same grandmother (as in story #2) died last summer, this is my maternal grandmother. After she died, I was super excited that she was going to come and visit me, the same way that grandad had visited her and the way that my other grandmother had visited me. I was really bummed because I was lighting sage, putting her things in the living room and I was pissed because my Grammy wouldn’t come and visit me! I would hear her voice in my head, and you have to imagine a kind of old lady voice, and whenever I would call her, she would say “hello, love”. That was always her greeting to me when she was alive, too. And I kept hearing Grammy’s voice saying “hello, love”. I kept hearing it all the time, and that’s all she would say and I was pissed that she hadn’t come to visit me! So I started googling what I would have to do to get someone to come and visit you after they died. I read something about ‘Clairaudience’ which is when you just hear their voices in your mind, and that’s how they can visit you and I realized that’s how Grammy was visiting me, that’s how she was talking to me and it went on for months after she died, “hello love”. I kept on trying to get her to talk to me but that is all I would hear, and it was completely involuntary, I wouldn’t be thinking of her coming to visit me, I would just hear it. So then, she was quiet for a few months until Christmas Eve this year, we went to my aunt’s house and we were all together and I heard her. It was like she was screaming “Hello love! Hello love! Hello love!” really loudly all night! I realized that she was upset that she wasn’t there. I haven’t heard her since.

Have you always believed in ghosts, ever since you were younger?

I didn’t believe or not believe, I had never experienced it before so I didn’t know. I just find it super interesting that both of my grandmothers visited me in such different ways and I wasn’t expecting either of them. Both of them were completely out of my control, it wasn’t anything that I had conjured up.

After having experiences with ghosts, did you find that your religion or belief in the afterlife changed at all?

It didn’t really change anything as much is it solidified the fact that I am spiritual and open minded that I don’t really know what happens, but we’ve got this energy in our bodies, in our mind and our thoughts and our feelings, and that has to go somewhere. I guess I have always believed in the concept of the soul being made up of all of the intangible parts of us. That has to go somewhere. I think that’s what was still around when they visited me.



Lisa, the mother of my best friend, stated before the interview how excited she was to tell me all about her ghost story. As I asked her more about her spiritual views, it seemed as though she was very intact with her beliefs and that she has thought about how important her beliefs are to her. She stated also that she was not very religious, but I think that the way she spoke about her beliefs and how passionate she was about the soul and the energy in humans made her sound that she had constructed her own religion. Lisa was very open to talking about her experiences and was very comfortable asking all of my questions. It is fascinating that she had encounters with 3 different grandparents. Both of her grandmother’s seemed to have come to her in a very personalized manner, she could smell one of them, the other greeted her like how she did when she was younger. Her grandfather did not portray any characteristics of his life besides his appearance to her grandmother. All three of the encounters sounded very important to Lisa, and she sounded very comforted to know that her last memories with her loved ones may not always actually be her last. The sensory experiences that she had, between sight, smell, and auditory, all seemed to affect her in a different way. The lingering smell of her grandmother Emma made her very unsettled, while the soft voice of her Grammy comforted her a lot.

A key detail that came up was Emma’s appearance around Christmas time, as well as Grammy’s voice at Christmas Eve. I told Lisa about how Christmas is the Germanic Winter Solstice and about how it is a very liminal time period, similar to the liminal lives of ghosts in between the living and the dead. She immediately got excited about the information, hoping that next Christmas she may have another experience.

Folk Beliefs

Artificial Intelligence or a Spirit of the Deceased?

As soon as one passes over the Cascade mountains in Washington heading East, the land becomes very barren and rural. Wenatchee is a small town in Eastern Washington known as ‘The Apple Capital of the World’, and my mom grew up on a large orchard in the heart of the town. She was the youngest of three children, following 12 years from her older sister, so she practically grew up an only child and thought of herself as the most spoiled. Her parents were Betty Anne Recchia and Germano Recchia; her mom was Norwegian; her father was 100% Italian. Her father, a veteran of World War II, worked in Alcoa, an Aluminum factory as my mom was growing up, while also tending to their orchard and horses. My mom loved riding her horses and on sunny days in the summers, her fondest memories were of her and her dad riding through the orchard and afterwards sitting in lawn chairs, drinking iced tea that her mom would make, and listening to Jorge Negrete’s record. Her favorite song was ‘El Rancho Grande’. Her father was hardworking and often times very stern with her, so they butted heads a lot as she grew up. They were close, but he was also a stoic and had issues showing his emotions. She claimed that how they found common ground while she was growing older was by listening to ‘El Rancho Grande’ together.

My mom went to college at the University of Washington in Seattle and left the small town of Wenatchee behind. She visited her parents when she could, but their relationship grew very distant once she had kids and settled down in the city. Germano passed away in 2004 from a heart attack. My mom thinks it was because of how much Kentucky Fried Chicken he would eat. This past year, her mom passed away from Alzheimer’s. Having the death of another parent, my mom decided to look through their memorabilia box in our kitchen. She pulled out old photo albums filled with black and white polaroid pictures of her parents on road trips all over the country, her dad’s metals from the war, and all of her mom’s old china. As she was reminiscing, she heard a noise coming from the living room. She was startled and started walking into the other room to find that Alexa, a speaker and personal assistant device created by Amazon, had started playing ‘El Rancho Grande’ quietly. My mom was taken back to sitting with her dad in the orchard, and drinking her mom’s iced tea. She was convinced that it was her parents telling her they were still with her.


My mom is still very sensitive talking about her parents, her mom especially as she died this past summer. When she originally told me this story, she was beyond excited and would not stop talking about how her mom and dad were still with her. She had never believed in ghosts before, but she is incredibly religious. She always would remind my sisters and I after our grandma died that she would always be looking over us. Having this experience, my mom seemed even more convinced that the dead are always watching down over the living.


Text from the Grave

Ben grew up in a crowded suburb to the East of Seattle where three rival high schools sat within a mile of each other. In a small, conservative, and happy town, even a small high school party would get reported and shut down in a matter of minutes. In the summer of 2015, the three high schools decided to join together to have some of the biggest parties the Eastside had ever heard of. They were thrown at a secluded, rocky beach on the Snoqualmie River. The beach was difficult to navigate, with plenty of steep hills, rocks, and trees to climb through before arriving. The kids organized a DJ, booze, and even a professional photographer on top of that.

The parties happened on the first Saturday of every month and were the most highly anticipated events for most high school kids. Ben and two of his best friends, Joey and Brandon, had never been to any of the parties before, but Ben claimed that “the parties were said to be the best way to meet up with the hottest girls on the Eastside”, so naturally the three boys planned on going. The beach was about thirty minutes from Beaver Lake, the neighborhood where the boys all lived. The trip to the party consisted of windy roads on dark, back road streets. Joey drove them all to the party and Ben said it was the most fun he had all of high school. Ben and Brandon were juniors going into their senior year, while Joey had just graduated high school and was planning on going to the Arizona State University. The night was going well when all of a sudden Joey realized that he was going to miss his curfew, so he found Ben and Brandon and asked if they were going to come home with him. Both of them were talking to a group of girls and decided they would stay at the party and just spend the night in one of their friend’s car parked on the street. Despite having a few drinks, Joey decided that he was going to drive home so he wouldn’t get in trouble with his parents.

That was the last Ben and Brandon would ever see Joey. He died after speeding on a back road, only 10 minutes away from his house, and crashing into the tree. He died on impact and the car was practically  wrapped around the trunk of the tree.

The following week, all three high schools joined together for a vigil for Joey. Ben had been racking his brain all week about what he could have done to save his friend. On the day of the vigil, he received a text message from Joey’s phone saying ‘don’t forget to shoot’, a funny saying he and Joey had from their middle school basketball team, and Ben had an eerie but comforting feeling that Joey was standing with him on the football field that day. All of the students released white balloons into the sky for Joey, and that was the last time Ben had ever heard from him.


Ben and I went to middle school and high school together, and although I did not know the victim of the incident personally, it still had a huge impact on my community and many of my friends. Ben sounded still very traumatized by the experience, and as soon as he started speaking about the story, his voice had a hint of guilt in it. When he started talking about the text message itself, he got very restless and seemed very nervous about it. From he body language, it was unclear whether or not he was comforted by the fact that his friend had come back to reassure him, or if it only made Ben more upset. Another thing I found interesting is that Ben had told very few people from our high school about this experience. I remember he had told me this story right after it happened and he was very secretive about the experience, as if expecting that people would think he was crazy if they knew that he was getting texts from dead people.


The Box

Ghost Story:

I was about 2 -years-old and we were living in Long Beach, California, in a little one-story story house. It had 3 bedrooms and was in kind of a sketchy neighborhood, it was a few streets over from the Compton area. We were having the house inspected and appraised because we were selling it to move. They put this huge device in the guest bedroom. It measured something in the house, I really wish I could remember what is was but I’m not sure. It was basically just a massive, heavy box. The people told us that it had to stay in the room untouched for the next 48-hours and not to touch it or go into the guest room. My mom told them that neither of them were strong enough to move it anyways. My dad was out of town, and it was just my mom and I. A few days later, they came back and asked if we had touched the box or done anything to it. My mom responded that they hadn’t disturbed the box or had anyone over that might have accidently gone into the room. The workers said that on record, the device showed that the box had been lifted up and flipped over 148 times. Like completely picked up and rotated 148 times. I’m not really sure what ended up happening, but I know that that room was known to be haunted. Alarms would go off, the lights would flicker at random hours of the night.

Did you know anything about previous residents of the house?

No I had no idea, I don’t remember much because I was also really young. I know that there was just a lot of crime in our area.

Did your mom ever feel scared in the house?

Yea, she just felt unsafe, mainly because of the neighborhood. She felt especially scared when my dad was gone.



Sarah and I grew up in the same neighborhood in North Bend, Washington and continued to go to high school together. She has always been superstitious and easily frightened. When she was telling me her ghost story, she spoke of the events very nonchalantly, as though she had accepted what had happened despite having very few answers. The fact that she was so young when it happened could play a role, but she sounded like she was not affected by her experience at all. Although I know that she is very religious, I asked her how her experiences affected her religious beliefs and she couldn’t really explain it. It seemed as though she hadn’t even though that her belief in ghosts would influence her opinion of the afterlife. She seemed to not find a connection between the two at all. Once I asked her the question, she was very surprised and caught off guard that I would ask her a religious question, then she proceeded to brush it off. Sarah seemed to be scared when she said that her and her mom were alone in the house, and she made it very evident that her mom felt scared when her dad was out of town or at work. The fact that the box was placed in the ‘haunted’ guest room but her a lot on edge as well. Perhaps the fact that the room was for guests and did not really belong to anyone made it a prime location for a ghost to appear.


Ghostly Mirror

My informant is a 71 year old woman who grew up in Brooklyn, New York but later moved to Long Island, NY to raise a family.

“We moved into our new house and three days after we moved in I went down into the basement where there were many old things from the last owners.  One thing I found down there was this old mirror and on the back were newspapers from a time that was before Lincoln was president; it talked about the Whig party but I don’t remember the exact dates.  So I thought it was a nice mirror and hung it up at the end of our hallway, right out side my bedroom door.  That night I fell asleep but in the middle of the night woke up, sat up, rubbed my eyes, and as clear as day there were three people dressed in.. I don’t really know how to say it because it wasn’t colonial dress but it was old dress from that time period.  It was a husband a wife and a child all standing there staring at me right outside my bedroom door in front of the mirror.”

I find this interesting as it connects two different liminal places, both a mirror and a doorway, places where many ghost sightings seem to take place.  It seems there was a direct connection between the newspapers in the mirror and the appearance of the ghosts in the doorway, as they seemed to come from the time period of the newspapers.

Folk Beliefs

Ghosts of Paraguay

The following conversation is between myself (referred to as “N”) and a family friend (referred to as “L”).


N: Where exactly are you from again?

L: Paraguay.

N: Paraguay?

L: South America.

N: Are there like, kind of traditions, or ghost stories or anything?

L: Yes, we have two language, this is the first and then we have… we have two language. We speak Spanish and we speak Guarani; is like a native language. But in most of the other countries its like a… its a dialect, but in my country you studied in the school. You have to read all the same like another’s language, so most the people speak both. In the city, people speak Spanish and Guarani like ‘Spanglish’ they say here, but most in other areas of my country speak like 90% only Guarani. And this is the first tradition we have, like, and we have so many foods that is only you can find in Paraguay, like you know the soup? Here the soup is like you can eat with a spoon. In my country Paraguayan soup is like a cake. They have the history too. The first president invited another president for the South America, and the lady who is cooking is putting too much corn, um, flour and they makes too hard the soup so that way they call it Paraguayan soup, like that. But its different. You know, like when people go in my country and say, “you want a soup?” And they, “Yes!” and you waiting for something like, and they bring like a, its like a corn cake, you say like “this is a soup. Yes, this a Paraguayan soup”. So… and what else you want, like…

N: Um, I was wondering if you had any, like, when you grew up, were you told any like traditional ghost stories, um kind of like to teach little kids lessons or anything. Like, were there any just like traditional ghost stories?

L: Ghost, like, yeah, we have, like, yeah so many.

N: Really?

L: So many. When we are kids, like moms say to… in my country most the people sleeping like 1-3, like nap, and the parents so the kids won’t go outside, they say is like one… guy… but then people say, somebody people say they saw this already, some people say that its like a myth like it don’t seem so real. But if you google him and you found like a Paraguayan ghost you’re gunna see so many they have all Guarani names. One of them is Pombero. One another is like… its hard to say in English because its in Guarani, but Yasy Yataré is the name. So its like uh three or four of them. One is coming out in the night. One is coming out, its like in the afternoon.

N: During like the napping periods?

L: Yes! Napping periods is for the kids. That little guy is looking for kids, they say. The other one in the night, if you whistling, like they coming at you. You have to leave a cigarette outside, and then like cigarette and then like um liquor. And its funny, but if you live there, next day you don’t find anymore. Okay?

N: Oh okay.

L: So most the people, its not doing in the city, this is all like people have a farm around the city.

N: Okay, so its not in the city?

L: Its not in the, in the city most the people just doesn’t believe in that, you know its different. It’s the same, you go here in New Year and its like too crazy and around, in here, more quietly, so you can know so many different things. But when we go in Paraguay, this is one dog is in the night, its only, they say it’s a black dog, its like a wolf, eat people, you know, so many. But if you… I never, never see that, but I just realized one… my uncle leave the cigarette outside and the next day, it, the cigarette… I don’t know if my uncle taken it back in, but its now not there. And you can hear the whistle, that one is the most funny. You can hear like when, in the night… if the guy doesn’t like you, they bother you with a whistle.

N: So the guy is the one who whistles?

L: Mhm.

N: Oh okay.

L: And that is the most that people say. When you are in the night outside, like they say, don’t whistle! Don’t whistle! Because this is the form that you call him. And if you, your wife is pregnant, and he take her, your wife. Like if she walking outside by herself, he always sees, like, take her.

N: and that’s only at night?

L: Only at night. And if you don’t leave the liquor and the cigarette outside, he’s mad at you. Okay? So he destroys something of your house. He kill your animals. If you have chickens, cow outside, he do something with your animals. You know, he is doing something to let you know, like why you don’t leave him what always needed? And the kids one is like is a little guy… they show the picture of people being is like that, its ugly! Its like a little kids, its like blonde hair but she’s walking like this…

N: Like on all fours?

L: Yeah, so when the kids is going nap time outside they always looking for him because they’re alone. No parents, no nobody around them and supposed he take them with him and kill them, yeah? But we have so many mythological, like ideas, but if you google in and put in like a Paraguayan, you gunna see so many, and you gunna have the pictures there, but we have, yeah. We have.

N: Thank you so much!

L: No problem!

N: Thank you.



It was so interesting learning about the ghosts children in a different country were told about so that they wouldn’t go and do something they weren’t supposed to. For example, in America children grow up scared of the Boogie Monster with their parents saying, “you better not do that or else the Boogie Monster will come and find you.” Whereas in Paraguay, there is this man who resembles an animal by walking on all fours, and the children are scared he’ll take them if they go wandering outside late at night. I got chills listening to my family friend tell this story.