USC Digital Folklore Archives / March, 2018
Folk speech
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Protest Chats at March Against Trump LA

On a sunny Los Angeles morning, 8,000 people marched in protest of president-elect Donald Trump. The course of the November 1st march was from McArthur Park, through the 3rd street tunnel, ending on the steps of a downtown federal building. The march was led by a collation diverse Los Angeles organizations including Union del Barrio, Black Lives Matter Pasadena, Black Lesbians United, the Freedom Socialist Party, and the Palestine Youth Movement. Along with regular members of the headlining organizations, the protest included many novice protestors who were compelled to march by for the first time.

As one can imagine, this massive group of people did not have one single message or platform. Rather they were a coalition of many interest and values, brought together by their shared disapproval of Donald Trump’s impending term. As a result, the chants heard at the march were varied. We’ll examine these chats in particular, and the behavior of people at protests generally as folklore.

Here are the chats I heard:

Rhythmic chants:

“The people united will never be divided”
(The peo-ple — / u-ni-ted — / will ne-ver be / di-vi-ded)

Hey hey! Ho ho! Donald Trump has got to go!”
(Hey hey — — / Ho ho — — / Don — -ald Trump / has got to go)

“We reject the president elect”
(We — — re /ject — —  the /pres-i-dent e-/lect — — –)

“Love trumps hate!”

Call and response chants:

A:  Not my president
B:  Not my president

A: Black lives matter
B: Black lives matter

A: Sí se puede
B: Sí se puede

A: Say it loud, say it clear
B: Immigrants are welcome here

A: Say it loud, say it clear
B: Refugees are welcome here

A: My body my choice
B: Her body her choice

As a member of the crowd affiliated with no organization, my experience was that almost all of these chants were new to me. I learned them as I walked. The chants came sometimes from the people in front of me and sometimes from the people behind. Sometimes two chats would come at the same time or the same chant would be audible from two directions, out of synch with itself. The people in the middle were in the position to make a choice between the two chants.

The chants were brought to the protest, mainly, by leaders who had used them before, they are folklore because they are performed, learned from other people and they evolve over time. And in the march itself, you can expect the more popular chats to be repeated more often.

Since the march, I attempted to find the origin of some of these chants. Here are some of the most interesting finds.



“The people united will never be divided” is an adaptation of the 1973 Chilean song “¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!” (The people united will never be defeated). Since its creation in 1973 as an anthem for the Popular Unity political alliance, the song has been adapted for dozens of other causes around the world. The chant at the LA protest still had the distinctive rhythm of the line “The people united will never be defeated,” although the chant is spoken, not melodious.


A: My body my choice
B: Her body her choice

The group who began this chant phrased it as it is above. It was designed to be a call and response in which women call out, “My body my choice” and men respond, “Her body her choice.” That chat is an affirmation of a woman’s right to her own method of birth control, including abortion.

However, several people in the crowd switched the response to, “Their body their choice.” The change from the singular “her” to the singular “their” removes gender from the chant, thereby acknowledging that not all people with a uterus identify as female, and that some transgender men and other people who are not “hers” have the same right to choose.

At the protest, most people continued saying “her body her choice” while others said, “their body their choice.” The change is subtle enough that a participant not familiar with the transgender rights movement might not notice or not understand the meaning of the alternative wording. To me, the original chant embodies the point of view of mainstream feminism or “white feminism” which focuses on sexism but pays little attention to the distinct forms of oppression faced by women of color, trans women, and others. While the second chant seeks to champion a more inclusive kind of feminism.

External links:

Facebook Event

Life cycle

Ghost Mom and her Daughter: Car Guardians

Tim is a father of 3 children, and he currently lives in northern New Jersey. He went to Iona College in New York where he studied mathematics; after graduation, he worked for the family printing business before breaking off and starting his own. Now, he lives about 15 minutes from where he grew up, so many of the local legends he heard while growing up still apply. He told me this story while I was growing up.


Jack: “Dad, do you remember that road we used to drive down, the one that you said was haunted by a little girl and her mom?”

Tim: “Yeah, what about it?”

Jack: “Can you explain how that story goes again, and where you heard it?”

Tim: “Of course! So my dad actually told me and my siblings this growing up. The legend goes that this mom and her daughter were driving down that same road when suddenly their brakes gave out, but the problem was that the mom didn’t realize that until it was too late. When she got to the bottom of the hill and tried to brake, nothing happened, so they kept rolling into the middle of the road. Since it was early, there were some trucks going onto and off the highway, and one of them didn’t see the car so it smashed into it. The mom and daughter both died.”

Jack: “So how does the haunting come into play.”

Tim: “Oh, yeah. So the rumor goes that if you roll down that same hill, the mom and daughter will stop your car and hit the brakes for you, and if your brakes don’t work, they’ll just hold your car back. They’re basically trying to protect people from the same thing that happened to them. So these aren’t really your typical ghosts, I guess, because, you know, they’re nice. I guess ‘haunting’ is the wrong word. They’re more, like, lurking there and protecting the area or guarding the people that go there.”

Jack: “Can you see them?”

Tim: “I’m not sure about that. I haven’t seen them, but that doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t.”

Jack: “So you said that they’re guarding the area and the people there. Do you still think that they’re ghosts, or do you think that they might be something else?”

Tim: “You know, I’m not sure. They could be ghosts, but they also might be guardian angels. But then again, they’re both just spirits, so how different could they be?”


This was one of the first stories I had ever heard about a ghost possessing or controlling some sort of machinery. Since I was young when I first heard this, it’s possible that my dad made the entire thing up just to scare me or give me something to believe in, but the fact that he mentioned his dad telling him the same story gives it a bit more truth/realism. Also, my dad and his father are both very religious, so I doubt they would lie and I also doubt they would make something up about ghosts until he really thought it was true. The parallel between ghosts and angels, however, was very interesting. It is true that they are both entities, and I guess both could be characterized as spirits, but it’s strange that they could both be categorized as this considering they both carry such different connotations. Angels have a positive and friendly connotation while ghosts have a malevolent and scary connotation, but as my dad said, not all ghosts are bad.



The Ghost of Java

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


GM: Has anything happened to you or your family that you can tell me about regarding a weird text or something cyber-related that you couldn’t explain – like an anomaly?


BH: I was in my sophomore year of high school doing my computer science homework. I had to write a program for an assignment that we were given.  I had naturally started on it late at night being the procrastinator that I am. Around midnight, when I was about done with my program, I noticed something strange. I had failed to make my program run several times before this instance, but this time was different: it didn’t even compile.  I went back up to look carefully through the entire program and suddenly almost got a heart attack. One line of code that I had never written had somehow turned up in the Dr. Java program.


Normally when coding, you put two backward slashes before phrases not actually intended to be in the program. However, because these slashes were not placed in front of them, the program read them as actual code and therefore my program was not working. The haunting line said: “Geno is watching you.” Now, obviously I thought this had been a prank, and felt at ease for a second – before realizing that both my parents were fast asleep, and I had never left the computer since I began writing the program. I immediately shut down my computer and went off to sleep – I knew that I would be less scared to deal with this in the morning. Somehow, the next morning the line had vanished, and my program worked flawlessly – but that sentenced never left my mind. I asked my parents, my friends, and my cousins all about this name. No one could tell me anything, until my grandfather told me he had a long-deceased uncle with the name, who he barely remembered. I still have no clue how that line showed up, but if it was the ghost of my great Uncle, maybe I shouldn’t be a computer science major anymore.


Conclusion, written by the interviewer:


This story seems very unbelievable – how could such a random ancestor appear in his code. The natural assumption is that in his tired state, he miswrote some code. However, when he told me that the name Geno actually meant something, I was absolutely stunned. This is yet another example of the “cyber” ghost in our modern age – instead of chilly winds and flickering candles, these supernatural characters can find home in the screens that we spend our entire life around. My friend very genuinely believed that this was the work of a ghost, and was deeply nervous to tell me this story. The past themes of ancestors and late nights shows its evolution in this modern experience, and yet again, the only force to push away the ghost was the light of the following morning.



The Girl on the Computer

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


GM: Has anything happened to you or your family that you can tell me about regarding a weird text or something cyber-related that you couldn’t explain – like an anomaly?


CB: I was 12 years old and I was at my friend’s house playing flag football in his front yard. After a little while, I needed to use the computer so I went inside to my friend Joseph’s house. Joseph’s house is a large Southern style estate with very high ceilings and wood paneled offices. The computer I used was inside one of wood paneled offices. I spent almost an hour on the computer, and when I was about to shut down I saw someone on the screen. Not an image or screensaver, but a very real person on the screen. Naturally, I freaked out for a second and took a double take, but suddenly no one was on it.


When something of this nature happened, I obviously ran away from the computer and yelled out to my friend’s mother: “Sherry, Sherry!!”. I found her in the kitchen and told her I saw something.  She said, “what did you see?” and I said “I was on your computer and I saw something on the screen for a split second”.  She said “You saw something? Did you see a little girl in the mirror about your age (10 or so) with pigtails?” In the moment, my heart skipped a beat because she had described to me exactly what I just saw on the screen before I even yelled her name out. She went on to explain that I’m not the first person see someone on the computer, and that her husband and her husband’s father had both seen the little girl in different computers throughout the house. As far as they knew, no little girl had entered the house in years. From that day forward, going back to her house always terrified me because I thought I would see her again – but I never did.


Conclusion, written by the interviewer:


This story, although experienced by a 10-year-old, shows the incredibly real feeling that cyber ghosts can provide. His friend’s mother’s knowledge of the ghost and acceptance of its recurrence shows that in the modern day, this is how people believe ghosts must appear in our lives. Instead of a dead ancestor lying on the couch or a young girl in a cemetery, most ghosts can now show up on texts or on your local screen. The ghost on the screen was described as very realistic, but haunting and momentary – both elements that have persisted since old ghost stories, but simply in a new format for the 21st century.


Digital Ghost

The Case of the Ghost that Appeared in Photos

A good friend of mine, we’ll call him LG, is known as the lucky one in our friend group who often came in contact with the supernatural, and it is common knowledge among all of us that his family is a big believer of ghosts. When I asked if I could have a discussion with him on the topic of ‘cyberghosts’ he was ecstatic to share his story about how one time a ghostly looking figure kept appearing in his selfies (a picture of yourself). More specifically, LG is an avid user of Snapchat, which is a social media platform in which users can take and send photos that get deleted after being opened by the recipient.

LG claims that the night of Halloween of last year, he wanted to take a selfie of his costume (as a pirate) and send it to his friends in his snapchat. Right at the instant when he took the photo, he immediately saw something out of the ordinary. He says that there was some sort of “wispy, transparent figure” in the background, which at first sight made him run out of the room out panicking. I asked LG to give more context to better understand the situation, and he stated that “it was a dimly lit room with just my lamp on and I was alone because my roommate was already out partying. I remember sitting in my desk chair posing for the selfie and I swear I saw nothing odd before I took the picture. But the second I actually push the button to take the picture, I see this tall shapeless figure behind me and next to my drawer.” When I asked him to describe in further detail what he saw that night, he seemed to get a bit nervous, as if he didn’t get a good look.  The figure that LG saw on that Halloween night was a “smoky apparition or something that didn’t look at all human”, and he asserted that he didn’t stick around to get a better look because he was already running out of the room when he saw what had appeared on his cell phone.

Unfortunately, LG wasn’t in the room long enough to take multiple photos to make sure the appearance of this figure wasn’t a mere fluke. When I questioned the veracity of this “ghost” that happened appeared on his phone, LG assured me that there was not enough light in the room to create a figure out of light-blur, nor was he moving the camera when he took the photo. Conseuqnetly, I took his word and for now, I believe that this ghost only made an appearance when LG took a photo on his Snapchat camera and stayed invisible to the human eye. I am intrigued at how this ‘cyberghost’ functions, as it presented itself when it was captured by a camera. It really makes me wonder if there are invisible apparitions that we can only detect with certain forms of technology. This idea reminds me of the spiritualism movement in the 19th century, which is a time period in which individuals would use technological advancements such as photographs to verify the existence of ghosts (an effort to explain the phenomenon of ghosts and spirits through science).

When I asked if I could attach a picture of his selfie with the ghost at the end of this collection piece, LG became hesitant and declined my request, claiming that he was personally against letting a picture of himself go public.

Needless to say, LG didn’t sleep in his room that night, or the next night.


Strange iPhone

I recently saw a Facebook post from my acquaintance here at USC saying that something ‘strange’ was happening to her iPhone that she bought from craigslist.  Seeing this, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to arrange a meeting with my friend to discuss these occurrences, in hopes of discovering a potential cyberghost. Luckily, I was not left disappointed. The following is a transcript of the conversation between me and my friend.

JJ: So my understanding is that you purchased an iPhone 6 on an online website called Craigslist, and you say that its acting like its “haunted”? Could you describe this scenario more in depth?

SF: Yeah I’m really glad someone paid attention to what was happening to me, it is totally something interesting. And yes, I needed to buy a cheap used phone as a temporary because my main cell had broken, and I’d needed to be in contact with family members that week. The transaction went smoothly and setting up my account was successful and that was that. But the next day, the iPhone began to act a bit odd, like unlocking the screen without me touching it or the screen lighting up even though I never received a notification, things like that. I simply brushed these off knowing that I had bought a used phone and it used phones go through that normal wear and tear.

JJ: Yeah I definitely understand that. That same sort of thing happened to me on my old iPhone; it was an apparent problem with the software.

SF: Oh definitely, like I said, it was a used iPhone and I sort of expected some problems to occur. But the phone began to act even stranger.

JJ: What sort of things started happening?

SF: Well you know how there is a built-in flashlight app for the iPhone? My phone’s flashlight began to flicker on an off without me even touching it. I don’t’ exactly know if there was a pattern to the flickering but it almost seemed like it was flickering on and off in Morse code. I started freaking out because I was thinking what the hell is going on with my phone?! I pressed the home key but the home screen looked normal to me but the flashlight kept flickering on and off. I panicked and didn’t know what to do so I dropped the phone on the floor without even thinking, which I know sounds stupid, but I was I was in a panicked state.

JJ: So what you’re saying is that your phone just flickered the light on and off randomly? Without you using your phone?

SF: Yes, I swear that is how it went. I was reading my textbook when all of the sudden my phone started flashing and I thought I had received a text but there were no notifications. To be honest, in my mind, I thought the phone was gonna explode or something because the flashing and flickering sped up, like it was systematically flashing.

JJ: What happened after you accidentally dropped your phone?

SF: The flashing suddenly stopped! It was the strangest thing that has ever happened with my phone.

JJ: In all honesty, what do you think had caused this incident? Do you believe that it was your phone just malfunctioning, or something else?

SF: I really wish I could say it was just a used phone breaking down, but my head keeps telling me something different.

JJ: Some supernatural entity caused your phone to act that way?

SF: Maybe, I’m not saying ghosts exist because there have been a couple ghostly encounters I’ve heard about from family members. But I’ve never heard of a ghost stuck inside a phone before, which is why I’m hesitant to say a ghost was behind the situation with my phone. But the flashlight flickering was almost too systematic that it couldn’t have been the phone malfunctioning. It was almost like Morse code with the dots and the dashes.

JJ: Ghost inside of the phone, like a cyberghost?

SF: Well that’s one way to put it. I just think a broken phone could have done all that on its own, there has to be something else behind it.

JJ: Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. It’s disappointing that we can never know for sure. Well, thank you for sharing your story with me and taking time to talk with me.


The Fax Machine

A verbatim dialogue of a conversation between me and my friend after she agreed to be interviewed to discuss her personal experiences.

JJ: When I say the word “cyberghost”, what comes into your mind?

AF: What do you mean? Like a hacked computer that sends communicates on its own?

JJ: Not necessarily, I use the word “cyberghost” in a very generalized sense. It could range anywhere from haunted servers, computers, cellphones, or tablets. Just as long as it’s a supernatural occurrence, not someone simply pulling a prank on you through your phone.

AF: Well, I might not have exactly what you’re looking for because the event I have in mind is not to the extent that I believe a ghost was behind it. But, it was significant enough in my life that it shook me for a few days.

JJ: If you don’t mind me asking, what was this event?

AF: It’s kinda silly to talk about, but several years ago, my dad opened a tutoring business back home in Maryland. We spent the first two weeks building the business up like decorating the walls, setting up chairs and desks, and setting up the phone lines. At that time, we needed a fax machine but it was not in our budget to buy a brand new fax machine. So we decided to find the cheapest used fax machine that would fill our needs for my dad’s business.  As we were driving home from the store that sold the machines, we saw a garage sale nearby and decided to try our luck. Coincidentally, the owners were selling a fax machine that definitely fit our budget and without hesitation brought it back to our business. Trying to set up and optimize the fax machine was a difficult process for us because it didn’t come with an instruction manual, so to the best of our ability we thought we had successfully set up the machine.

JJ: What do you mean when you say you thought you had set up the machine?

AF: Well after we finished the set up, we decided to send a simple test fax saying “Hello!” to my dad’s business to see our fax machine would work you know, but our message didn’t go through. Instead, we received the strangest, most unsettling faxes. The first fax we received from our test was a message or something saying in all caps “you are” then a series a gibberish letters. Then, the next fax we received said “I see” in all caps then the same series of gibberish letters. I know when I explain this situation in words that it doesn’t seem spooky to you, but at that time, my dad and I were thoroughly shook and frankly haunted by the messages that our fax machine delivered. And just when we were trying to process what had just happened, a third fax arrived and it said in all caps “bye” followed by a different series of gibberish letters.

JJ: Oh wow, that is quite an experience. Do you ever think that the fax machine was just malfunctioning and that’s why you received those strange faxes?

AF: Yes, my family are rationalists so at that time our explanation for this unsettling event was that our fax machine was just broken and that is why we received those messages. But the more I tell myself that, the more I realize that a broken fax machine could not have sent the words like ‘you’ ‘are’ and ‘see” on its own. There is no way that the machine could have mixed letters together and coincidentally form those words. You know, I was hesitant to believe that supernatural forces were actually real, but it seemed like the only explanation. Thankfully, this cyberghost like you mentioned earlier seemed to be benign because it didn’t set out to destroy all the technology in my dad’s business or anything like that.

JJ: Do you still have that same fax machine in your dad’s business?

AF: No, after that incident we decided to toss it and save up for a brand new fax machine. Thankfully the one we have now isn’t like haunted.


AF’s story is certainly an interesting one, as it exemplifies cognitive dissonance. Because she is a rationalist, a situation in which a fax machine disobeys the commands of a human and sends a message on its own disturbs our sense of how our world works. She sent a test fax saying “Hello!”, but the message never went through, and instead received words that were created by the fax machine. Whether it was a machine malfunction or a supernatural entity that was trying to communicate through the fax machine exemplifies the uncertainty that is associated with encountering a cyberghost. Our rational mindset tells us that an inanimate object such as a printer or fax machine cannot be haunted by ghost, but when the machine begins to act autonomously, we begin to challenge the belief that the machine is merely malfunctioning. When AF began to talk about the messages that the fax machine began to print on its own, her tone of voice had some uneasiness to it, indicating that her encounter with the haunted fax machine instilled a sense of uneasiness to her. Because the machine acted on its own, AF felt as if the machine was trying to communicate with her, which is a very unsettling experience in my opinion.



The Digital Ex Girlfriend

About a year ago, my good friend Danny went through a rough break up with his girlfriend of three years due to something he labelled as a “distance issue”. He claimed that during the last year of his relationship, he and his girlfriend’s main form of communication was Facebook messenger and Snapchat. When he split with his girlfriend, she cut off all contact with him and blacklisted his phone number which created a huge empty gap in his life, in which he spent many hours blankly staring at his cellphone expecting texts from his ex-girlfriend. Danny admits that he was in a state of “psychological distraught” because he believed that he was still in a relationship with his ex, and he even went so far to believe that he was even communicating with her via text messages. Now this is where the story gets interesting; how on earth was he able to talk to his ex through text messaging when they cut off contact months after their breakup? Well, Danny was going through so much emotional trauma during this time period that he was fully convinced that he was still in a relationship with his girlfriend. But how do you explain Danny’s assertion that he was still texting her? Although he never admitted that a “cyber ghost” was communicating with his through his cell phone, the same idea can be applied in this situation. Danny claims that his girlfriend had sent him ordinary/casual text messages such as “I miss you” or “let’s go to the movies” or “let’s hang out”. Clearly, Danny was so intent on the fact that he and his girlfriend were still in touch, but from a rational standpoint, his belief seems implausible, as his number was blocked on his ex’s cell phone. This situation raises the question whether Danny’s conversations with his girlfriend is just a manifestation of his psychological and emotional state, or was really a unknown cyber entity that participated in Danny’s imaginary relationship.

From Danny’s perspective, a loved one who was a major part of his life suddenly ceased to exist, and an event as abrupt as this resulted in serious consequences to his mentality. The fact that his girlfriend sent him texts could be an unsettling “cyberghost” phenomenon that sent Danny text messages as a cruel ploy to make him think he is still in a relationship. More realistically, this “cyberghost” was merely a creation of Danny’s imagination as a coping method to deal with the emotional pain. Nevertheless, the fact that Danny received text messages from his girlfriend who blocked all forms of communication is a very intriguing and interesting story to be discussed.


The Ghosts that Stop Your Car

Jack is currently a freshman studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He grew up in a small suburb in New Jersey, and because of this, it was very easy for local legends to form and be spread. This is one of the local legends he remembers hearing while growing up.
“My dad used to take me to this windy road about 10 minutes from where I lived. According to him, a little girl and her mom were driving down a hill when the brakes stopped working. Because of that, they ended up going down the hill and crashing into either a tree or another car; honestly I forget, but regardless of what they hit, both the mother and the daughter died. The legend, according to my dad, was that if you put your car in neutral towards the bottom of the hill, the ghost of either the mother or daughter would possess your car and hit the break for you. It was to make sure your car stopped so that you wouldn’t get into the same accident that they did. Like I said, my dad used to take me to that hill a lot when I was younger and we wanted to go a drive. He would put the car in neutral, and just as he said we would roll down the hill for a little bit, and slowly but surely the car would stop. Of course I was younger so my dad totally could have made this up, and he definitely could have just been hitting the breaks himself, and even while thinking about it now I didn’t even realize that ghosts could possess cars and other types of machinery, but regardless my dad is very religious, so I don’t think he would even entertain the idea of a ghost unless he truly believed it.”
The small town that Jack lived in is common amongst some ghost stories, especially the local legends that are well known by people living in the area yet completely foreign and unheard of by people living outside the town. Some of my friends had also heard of the legend, but again, they were my friends and our parents were friends, so the legend could have spread that way, regardless of whether or not it was true. Assuming the legend is true, it’s interesting that the ghost possesses the car in order to stop it before rolling into the middle of the street. In other stories, the ghost might simply possess just the driver and have him/her hit the bakes, but since the mother and daughter died because of a brake malfunction, it makes sense that the ghosts would possess the car. That is more related to their cause of death. This might show that mechanical ghosts are born if the death of the ghost is directly related to/directly caused by something mechanical. Possessing or becoming a part of that machinery makes the “haunting” closer to the cause of death, and as we’ve learned with other ghost stories, a lot of souls remain near the person/thing/place that killed them.


Facebook from a Deceased Relative

The informant wanted to remain anonymous, but she stated that it would be okay to share some general information about her. She is currently a student at the University of Southern California studying through the school for communication and journalism. She claims to be moderately religious, especially after growing up with a Christian family in a predominantly Christian area.
Informant: “So my brother died my sophomore year of high school. It was one of the hardest times of my life, and for the first few weeks after he died I always prayed and hoped that I would see him again. But one day, I don’t know if I was crazy or what, I saw him post something on Facebook. I didn’t get it. Like he was gone, but he was still on Facebook? At first I was angry. Did someone hack his account? Was this some kind of sick and messed up joke? Would someone really do this? But I did some thinking, and, I don’t know. Yeah it’s possible that my brother queued up that post weeks before he died so that it just automatically posted when it did, but I just hoped that maybe it was something else. I don’t really believe in ghosts, but do I believe in my brother? Yeah. Maybe it was his way of telling me he was okay, like the post was about basketball, and he loved playing it everyday. So maybe he was okay? Maybe this wasn’t as bad as I thought? I’m sorry I’m just still confused, and I’ve never really talked about it with anyone.”

Interviewer: “Did anyone else see the post?”

Informant: “I don’t know. I ended up deleting his Facebook later on. The post was there, but no one has liked it. Like I said I could’ve been crazy, or maybe everyone else was just as confused as I was that they just glanced over it and ignored it and hoped it would all go away.”

Interviewer: “So do you think it was your brother’s ghost?”

Informant: “I don’t know. I knew his password, and it wasn’t something someone could just guess and hack his account. I think it might have been. But not really a ghost; maybe an angel? Whatever it was, it was my brother.”
The idea that these posts could have been made by either the ghost of the informant’s brother or simply set up by the brother while he was still alive creates an interesting juxtaposition. The idea that someone could be dead in the physical realm while alive in the digital realm creates this liminal/limbotic idea of life and death, similar to Schrödinger’s cat. While the brother is dead in the physical realm, his “spirit” or “ghost” lives on in the Internet. Again, it is unknown whether these posts were made by a ghost or simply queued up by the brother before his death, but it still creates an eerie yet complicated situation.