USC Digital Folklore Archives / Folk Beliefs
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.


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.

Folk Beliefs

Ghost in the Hallway

My informant is an American woman from a Long Island suburb who has two children and a husband.

“There was a deadly car crash that happened on our lawn one night where a college boy hit a tree.  One night about a month later, I was up very late typing on my laptop in bed a letter to the town to get more stop signs on our street so something like this wouldn’t happen again.  While typing the letter, I kept looking into the doorway in the hall because I swear I kept seeing this bright, mist… thing height of a man in the corner of my eye.  Then I would look over and rub my eyes and I would think it was gone and would continue typing, not thinking much of it.  But the next day, my son, who was only about eight at the time, came into my room and said ‘can I fall asleep in your bed tonight’ which I thought was strange but I said okay.  After a few minutes of watching tv with him he says ‘I saw something weird last night.’  So I asked him what he saw and he said ‘I think I saw a spirit in front of my doorway.’  To also put this in perspective, our doorways were across the hall from each other.  So then I asked him what the spirit looked like and he said ‘it was bright and misty and it turned, looked at me, and then walked down the hallway.’  I asked him what time he saw it and he said it was around 3:30am, the same time I thought I saw it.”

I find it very interesting the spirit seemed to appear through the doorway in both accounts of the sighting.  Not only did one person witness this, but another person was able to back up the sighting in an unrelated conversation.  When people have these thoughts late at night, many people forget about it and just think that they are seeing things because they are tired.  But to have two people witness the same thing on the same night could be a coincidence or a true sighting of a spirit.

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.

Folk Beliefs
Life cycle
Old age

A Death in the Family (Philippines)

Informant: Natasha is a 19 year old girl who grew up in Bangladesh but attended high school in Manila, Philippines and now lives in England as a college student. Her mother is Filipina and her father is British.


Original script: “Okay so my parents met in the Philippines whilst my Dad was working there, but at the time since my Dad was so busy with work and was constantly being called in on the weekends, both my Mum and my Dad would get frustrated at the little amount of time they got to spend with each other. Seeing as though my Mum was rarely with my Dad on the weekends she would often use the opportunity to go see her grandfather who was quite ill during this period, so she’d come along to take care of him as well as bring him medicine. Over time my Dad was quite frustrated with not being with Mum and in a slightly selfish manner was irritated with the amount of time she was dedicating to her grandfather. He then decided to take the initiative and plan a weekend away and so my Mum agreed and they went off. One night in their hotel my parents were lying down in bed and as they are laying there a huge black moth- which both of my parents say to this day was the biggest moth they had ever seen- flies into the room and lands on the wall facing my parents. Immediately my Mum senses and tells my Dad that something feels wrong and both feel very unsettled. 10 minutes later my Mum receives a phone call from her family telling her that her grandfather has sadly passed away. My Mum believes that the moth was a symbol of death and was warning her that her Grandfather was passing. At Filipino funerals it is common for them to be open casket. As my Mum approaches the casket she finds herself crying and blaming herself for being irresponsible and not being there to take care of him. As she apologizes over his body she says her last goodbye by kissing him on his cheek. Now one of the weirdest part of the story is what happens next. To this day my Mum swears that after she kissed him on the cheek her Grandfather cracked a small smile. After all of the events that have happened and the guilt she felt before, she now felt like all was ok as she believes this was a sign of his forgiveness. The end.”

Thoughts about the piece: This story is a great exemplification of how a person’s belief system can be shaped by people, in this case Natasha’s parents. Parents can be a huge influence on their children’s belief systems- most especially in early life where they are likely the single biggest influence. The way that Natasha’s parents believe so strongly in the presence of a supernatural being in this story, most especially her Mother, has definitely influenced the way that Natasha perceives things. To an outsider looking in, you may just think that the moth was a coincidence and that the Grandfather smiling is just something that her Mother convinced herself of in a moment of grief to try to overcome it. However, the fact that this took place before Natasha was born, that she has been told this story countless times since she was very young, and that her mother is someone who she trusts deeply are all factors which shape Natasha’s belief and consequently the way in which she tells the story. She has a deep emotional connection to the story and thus, she tells it as an absolute occurrence.

Something else to note is the Filipino culture that peeks through the story. Filipinos are generally very family oriented and they also have very strong belief in ghosts and superstition. The fact that Natasha’s father is British and was initially skeptical about the whole moth situation and did not look as much into it as her Mother but now completely believes in the supernatural aspect of the story shows how possibly being immersed in Filipino culture and such could have altered his belief system.

Folk Beliefs

Homemade Ouija Board

Informant Information:
Christine is a 19 year old student currently studying anthropology and human rights at the University of Southern California; she is also on the pre-law track. She was born and raised in Orange, California within a small, yet traditional, Korean family. Christine shared the following story with me after asking her if she had ever encountered a ghost before.

Christine: “I’ve never seen a ghost, but now that you mention it, I think one did kind of mess with my friends and I in middle school.”

Me: “Was your school haunted?”

Christine: “No, the ghost wasn’t in our school; it just happened during middle school. We were messing around with a Ouija Board one day after school because we were all bored and had nothing else to do.”

Me: “Can you explain what happened?”

Christine: “Let me try to remember what happened (paused). It was at my best friend Jacquelyn’s house. It was me, Jacquelyn, and Johanna, and we were sitting on the ground in her room. It was late afternoon-ish but definitely already dark, and Jacquelyn was, like, ‘We should do a Ouija board!’. I don’t remember how it came up, but Ouija boards were kind of popular at the time. But the strangest thing was that we didn’t have a legit Ouija board, so we just drew one out and looked up some chant online to make it real. Then we just used some glass we found as the triangle replacement. Then all three of us put our hands on the glass, and we said the chant to make it start. Then the cup just started moving even though none of us started to push it – and it was weird because the triangle can move easily but this was a glass that you really had to push.”

Me: “Did the glass say anything, or did you ask it any questions?”

Christine: “The first question we asked it was whether or not we were talking to a good or bad spirit. It ended up being a good spirit; it was a girl.”

Me: “Did she say anything about herself?”

Christine: “We asked her a few more questions and found out she was from like the 1900s, but a lot of the other questions she asked her didn’t make sense and were basically gibberish. Then eventually we asked her how many other ghosts and spirits were in the house, and the answer was really high. We got really freaked out and I wanted to stop, so I took my hands off the glass but then all of a sudden the door slammed shut. It was probably just the wind but still the timing was just really freaky. I put my hands back on and we said goodbye. I don’t know if it was a ghost or not, but it was just way too coincidental and specific and we swear to this day that none of us were pushing the glass.”

Me: “Would you ever use a Ouija board again?”

Christine: (Immediately) “No. We used a homemade one and it freaked me out; I wouldn’t go near a real one because I don’t even know what might happen.”

It’s interesting that Christine seemed to bounce back forth between believing that she actually encountered a ghost/spirit and that she just witnessed a series of coincidences. For example, she specifically describes the fact that a ghost “messed with” her and her friends, but at the end of the story she blames the wind for the slamming door instead of the ghost. This can just show that belief—whether it is the belief in ghosts or in something else—is fluid and can therefore changes over time and between different contexts. In this situation, her and her friends were playing with the homemade Ouija board when it was already dark out, which might explain why Christine was so quick to call this experience a ghostly encounter; if they had done this during the day, perhaps Christine would not have been so bold as to start her story stating that a ghost messed with her friends. Another way to look at it would be to look at how Christine immediately dismissed my suggestion of using a real Ouija board. The experience with a fake/homemade board was creepy enough, so she would not want to put herself in a context/situation that involved a real Ouija board that has been used/discussed in other scary stories, movies, or the like. This context, in comparison, is much scarier/creepier.

Folk Beliefs

The Ghost of Lake Powell

When asking my college roommate, an 18 year old girl, about any ghostly experiences that she has had, she told me the following story:

“This summer going into freshman year of high school my family and I took a trip to Lake Powell, which I had never been. If you could just imagine, I mean, no one for as far as the eye can see on the shore at night. It’s really dark on the shore. So we had a house boat and we pulled up on the beach, once again it’s just rock and sand and there is no one around. So it was kind of creepy but we got out and we made a campfire and we sat on the beach. We talked and had so much fun! I had brought my big, super nice camera out and were all talking and laughing, everything is going great, and I’m taking pictures of everyone. My mom tells me that we are going to get back on the boat and start heading out, so start following them in. I told her that I was going to stay back to take some more pictures. So I stayed back, took some pictures at the beach with the fire in it. All of a sudden, I got a little creeped out and skeeved that I was alone on the beach and there is no one here. So I got back on the boat and uploaded the pictures on my laptop because we all wanted to look at the fun pictures we took. So we sat there and finally got to the pictures that I took while I was alone on the beach. We are all sitting there and my mom goes, “Boy, what’s that?” I asked her what she meant and she said, “What’s that in the smoke of the fire?” I didn’t know what it was, it kind of looked like a monkey. She asked me to zoom in and then asked me to flip the picture over. In the smoke of the fire, there was a very distinctive face. There was no one on the beach with me and it was pointed toward the ocean. It was a very clear face with very distinctive picture with wrinkles, lines, and teeth.”

Following the story, I asked her how she felt about the situation and Lake Powell after this experience.  She reported as follows:

“It was one of the creepiest things I’ve ever experienced. I haven’t been back to Lake Powell since that trip and I am not sure that I really want to. Not that anything happened other than the creepy feelings and super scary photo, but it definitely didn’t make it so I wanted to go back.”


Folk Beliefs

Motherly Spirit

A B was born in Sacramento, California and then raised in Seattle, Washington from ages 3 until 18. A B is a freshman undergraduate student at University of Southern California majoring in Business Administration. A was baptized christian and is also a confirmed christian.

Original Script: “When we moved from Sacramento to Mercer island, the mother of the family that lived in the home before we did, died from cancer. The family had 3 kids and a husband who lived in the house 6 months after the mom died until deciding they needed change and moved to Seattle. About a month after moving in, creepy things began happening at night. The first thing that happened, we have a sink in the kitchen and in the laundry room and both faucets turned on and began running all night. At first my parents thought it was a plumbing issue because the house was new, my parents weren’t scared but rather just confused since the house was built so recently. A couple nights later, our big panasonic speakers (like as big as a door) began playing ‘Its A Small World’ (yes, the disneyland song) super loud and these speakers are so loud they will blow your eardrums out. My mom went to the neighbors the next day to ask if they heard the loud music last night and the neighbors said they hadn’t heard anything. This is odd because the speakers are so loud, there’s no way the next door neighbors wouldn’t have heard this music. Nothing happened for about a week until there was a huge bang noise onto the window, and when my mom went downstairs to see what it was it looked like the someone threw a ball at the window from the inside. The window wasn’t shattered but clearly damaged. My mom went to the neighbors again and the neighbors then informed her that the mom of the family before was dead and that maybe all the activity in their home was because the spirit wanted to find her family. So they then decided to write the address of the new place that the spirit’s family had moved to in order to help the ghost find her family. My mom left the note out and nothing ever happened again.”

Background Information about the piece by the Informant: The story takes place right after the family moved from Sacramento, CA to Mercer Island, Washington which is directly between Seattle and Bellevue. The informants new home in Washington was located in a living community in a sort of figure 8, so two loops, and three lakes in each loop, so basically a very closed and private community. At first they thought the activity was someone breaking in but realized it couldn’t be because there is only one entrance and exit from the island meaning that it is nearly impossible for someone to get in or out without being caught.


Thoughts about the piece: This piece is interesting in that the informant made it clear that the ghost wasn’t particularly scary, just noisy in a sense to get the family’s attention. In many ghost stories, the ghost is often that of a recently deceased loved one trying to say goodbye one last time. This major theme can be seen in this story when the spirit came back to say goodbye to her family and her family was gone, she began to get loud and make disruptions to get the new family’s attention to hopefully redirect her to her real family’s home.

Folk Beliefs
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Negative Energy

Informant: Isabella Milkes was born in Colombia and moved to the U.S. before 6th grade. Her immediate family does not follow a religion but they do believe in spirits; however, her mother’s side is very devoted Christians. Her aunts on her mother’s side live in Colombian and are leaders of their Church. Her ghostly experience takes place in her own home, where she later found out that before her family had moved in, there were already negative energy inside the house.

IM: “So what happened was that before New Years my mom likes to clean the apartment like really well to like start the year “fresh and new”, and so my mom was doing that and then she read something that if you want to clean all the negative energy in your home, you should clean everything with saltwater. So my mom did that and every since that happened, like weird things were happening to our apartment. For example, my brother would wake up around like 3am and open his eyes, but his body wouldn’t be able to move, and he would see a black shadowy figure with the outline of a human, or sometimes his bed would shake randomly during the middle of the night. Another thing strange that happened was that there were burnt cigarette spots on our carpet and it was freaky ‘cause NONE of us smoke and the burnt spots smelled like flavored cigarette. I also had an experience, where I woke up in the middle of the night and saw like a shadowy hand coming near me. Also my mom started getting really sick. So over summer, my mom went back to Colombia to visit her family and in Colombia, she and her family went to a one of those spiritual mediums who can contact the ghostly world. She told her that there was a stable bad energy in our apartment before our family moved in, and once my mom did the cleaning with salt water, it kind of awakened that energy and that negative energy needed to be released. She did some rituals and prayers during the religious cleanse in order to safely release the energy. And when that was over, and my mom came back to America, all the haunted things that were happening went away. My mom told us that apparently when you do those sort of cleanses, you have to shield yourself with something, like a prayer, before you do the cleanse, so that the bad energy doesn’t affect the person who is performing the cleanse.”

How did this experience impact you?

“Well, it didn’t really impact me in anyway. I mean me and my family don’t believe in ghosts, because we think of these things as negative energy. We also don’t believe in Western medicine. So, for example, when I’m sick, I don’t eat Tylenol or Advil, instead I drink homemade remedies my mom makes. If something is bothering us, such as something worrying us, or we’re not happy or stressed, then we do medication or therapy through a holistic credited psychologist, because we need to release the energy that’s making our body energy unbalanced.”

My thoughts:

This story scared me on multiple levels. Firstly, it makes me wonder what’s the difference between cleaning the house with bleach and salt water? Another thing I found scary about this story was the intensity of the presence of the ghost. The ghost affected her brother, mother’s health, her house, and herself. The ghost reminds me of the Japanese Gaki that are hurtful to or are seeking revenge on the living. Another aspect I found interesting was that usually one would see, hear, of feel ghosts, but in her story, the ghost gave off a smell from the cigarette spots. I also found it pretty amazing in that the rituals they performed in Colombia affected their home in America.