USC Digital Folklore Archives / March, 2018
Folk Beliefs
Folk medicine
Homeopathic

The Garlic Necklace

This touches on folk beliefs, folk medicine, and homeopathic cures for illnesses. The informant spoke about her grandma who was born in 1935. Her grandma was always told by her aunt (the grandma’s mother’s sister) that to not catch a cold or the flue, you would have to put a necklace of raw garlic on around your neck, kind of like warding of vampires with raw cloves of garlic. The grandma never got sick because she would do that. However, it was not really that the clove of garlic warded off disease. It was more so that it wards of people because of how bad it smelled. She heard this from her mom when she was and it was passed from generation to generation. The informant touched on the humor of this specific piece of folklore, saying that though it did work, she laughingly explained it was because no one wants to be around someone who reeks of garlic. For this version of folklore, see the Buzzle article below on “Home Remedies For Common Cold & Cough In Children.” This article features a garlic treatment on how to make the garlic necklace for warding off colds and illnesses. I like this story because of how absurd it is. Clearly no one is going to sick with a garlic necklace on, no one wants to be around someone who smells terrible of garlic.

 

Bhosale, Shalaka. “Home Remedies For Common Cold & Cough In Children.” Buzzle, Buzzle.com, 15 Mar. 2005, www.buzzle.com/editorials/3-15-2005-67110.asp.

Folk Beliefs

Cropsey

Ghost Story #2: Cropsey

Name: SR

Place/Location: New York, Upstate- took place at camp

Age: 8/9 years old, 19 years old now

Language: English

Occupation: Student

The story told: New York Ghost story

So, when I was 8 we had a campfire for my age group at the sleep away camp I went to and one of the girls was going to tell scary stories. This girl decided she was going to tell the story of “Cropsey”. Um, and everyone knew the story or had heard something about it but I did not know it yet. It is famous in New York state and people thought it was extra scary because it was so close to home. So, the story of Cropsey has a bunch of different versions but this is the one I was told. Um, on a highway in upstate New York there was a man driving alone. Something hit the man’s car, some being or dear, jumped in front of his car and he ended up in a car wreck because of that unknown object or person. And he ended up being severely disfigured in the car wreck and nobody ended up coming to help him because his car was the only car on the road in a rural area. So, he dragged himself out of the car and into the woods to try and like I guess heal and instead he kind of just didn’t die but remained severely disfigured. He then ventured amongst the woods and remained severely hurt living amongst the creates of the woods, and ended looking like somewhat of a “demon”. And he would just wander around the woods and then “THIS PART IS TRUE.” Small rural towns in upstate New York, started to notice that children were disappearing into the woods. The children would either be found dead or if they were found alive, they said they were lured into the woods by a man named Cropsey. And the children that were found dead or the children that would come back would be disfigured in some type of way. A lot of the children, to begin with, were born with some sort/type of disability. Throughout time it has become an urban legend or myth that in a lot of disappearing children’s cases, the name Cropsey continues to be used or brought up. The state isn’t sure if there ever was a man named Cropsey or if over time there has been different serial killers or criminals/murders that hide or play into this legend and story. I think that I would imagine that he looked or acted like some sort of zombie. Do you know the horror movie, Mama? Okay, I don’t know, I think it just plays into some sort of a witch like or zombie figure that should have died, but didn’t but is kind of dead roaming around in the woods. I do not know how he went from a regular man in a car wreck to desiring flesh or children so something had to happen. I think this is a ghost story but I would use the word zombie to try and describe him. I feel like um it’s like the way I heard it was around the campfire telling ghost stories and it qualifies and feels like “being undead is being a ghost” and he definitely qualifies as undead. I believe that there have been disappearances attributed to someone named Cropsey but I don’t believe necessarily the whole bit of the man becoming Cropsey. I don’t believe in ghosts like in the way that um, like I don’t know if you can really see them but I feel like like I want to believe in ghosts because that’s a way I think you can be in contact with the dead. Like when you hear those crazy stories about when someone they love passed away and you hear something or see something that reminds you of them, they will hear a song or randomly find a photo of that person where it shouldn’t be and they would like to think that the person who died, their ghost or spirit planted it there for them. I believe in that. If there are scary ghosts though I would hope they stay the hell away from me. I feel like in my life I have traveled to places like Anne Frank’s house, slave cabins, native American burial grounds and I feel like you can just feel a certain weight in the air because of what happened there and how many people died there. The death and what happened there is very tangible. I did not tell this story in a very scary way because I struggled to remember it, but when I was just told this it was told in a very creepy way. I was out in the woods at camp and the situation made it so crazy for me at the moment, I am a baby when it comes to stuff like that.

 

I think this story was super cool because I had never heard of a state ghost story before that so many people know about that has been around for ages. I asked my friend if she had a ghost story that she knows or something that impacted her life and she told me this one. After listening to this story and how she phrased all of it, I felt as though I could be put in her 8-year old selfs shoes and be super scared at camp hearing this around the fire. I think it was interesting that she said this was a ghost story yet continued to tell me that he wasn’t a ghost, but she thinks he was some sort of zombie or demon-like creature that roamed around. The reason why it was a ghost story to her was the setting. The setting was around the campfire at night, passing around flashlights in the woods while being scared to death by the information said.  I would have been so scared if I heard this story while I was at camp, surrounded by the woods in the dark of night because of how the story dealt with missing children being taken into the woods never to be found again. She told me this in a very calm fashion, but then was reminiscing on the way it was told to her, she told me it was said in a very creepy/eery tone furthering the scary undertone. SR said she believes in ghosts but does not think you can see them, she believes in a sort of essence or energy presented by those who have died. When she said she went to places where mass murder or death has occurred, she felt as though she could feel like cool or dark energy and heaviness of the space throughout her body. SR said she does not want to believe in the bad types of ghosts but thinks that if they are real she does not want them anywhere close to her, which was very funny. The car crash, the disheveled figure and the missing kids all combined into this scary story that is now told from generation to generation. Do I think this is a ghost story? I am not sure, but it is up to interpretation.

general
Legends
Narrative

Ghosts of Prohibition Blues

In this story, our informant tells of a ghost story and/or legend that her aunt on her mom’s side has told her. Currently living in a small town in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, she and her husband moved out of their home after Hurricane Katrina. The informant explained that her aunt and uncle were the only people on their street to have survived the natural disaster. Considering the trauma, death, and destruction that they had experienced, they decided to move in 2009. That’s when they moved to a blues hall in Mississippi; this blues hall was special to the prohibition era that was in a dominantly black area. The locals would gather in this blues hall for music, dancing, and alcohol. Informant mentioned that “notoriously, when you do illegal things, bad things happen.” In this case, it was the consumption and making of alcohol. There were deaths in the hall because of it. So, moving in, informant’s aunt and uncle renovated half of the hall to make it into a house, and left the stage and parlor area, creating a business for throwing and booking events. After a year or so of living there, the aunt called her sister (informant’s mom) and told her “the craziest thing happened.” To which, she explained that she heard muffled voices coming from somewhere in the house. She also saw the dragging of a 12-ft. table across the parlor room. The aunt claims that these spirits aren’t harmful, but she does continue to hear voices and notices that things are always being misplaced. The informant first heard this eight years ago when these supernatural events happened in 2010. The informant enjoys telling this story because of how interesting the context of her family’s moving and its eeriness: coming from Hurricane Katrina to this setting is a different scenery, but still with an underlying tone of death. I personally think this is a super interesting piece of folklore and I wish there was more information on what kind of music was played and if there were ever any big names that came through the jazz hall. I also think it’s fascinating the context of why the family moved. They didn’t immediately leave New Orleans, but after they did, they went to another home where people were presumably murdered.

Folk Beliefs

Furby: The Friendly Ghost Story

Name: CG

Place/Location: Childhood home in Arizona

Age: 8-9 (1 year), 21 years old now

Language: English

Occupation: Student/Actress

The story told: Personal Experience

Basically, I moved into this new house and I had a huge room and a walk-in closet. I only lived there for a year because we move around a lot. That Christmas I got a Furby, which is a little pet toy that talks and their eyes blink, they move- they are lively stuffed animals, this toy was my favorite present. Um and then, do you know what a Furby is? Look at a picture, you will get a better idea of what I am talking about if you look it up. Anyway, I had a fear of having my doors open as a little kid so before I went to be every night I would have to close all of my doors, especially my closet. Um and when I woke up in the mornings, my closet door would always be open and the lights would be on, but I would close the door and turn the lights off before I would go to sleep. And Um, during the night, I would have super vivid dreams about an imaginary friend, not an imaginary friend, but I would have super vivid dreams that were reoccurring about the same person every night that I lived in this house, which I was only in for one year. I guess I kind of considered her an imaginary friend in some sorts. I started to notice it after a while but I was really young so I did not notice it right away. So, every night I would be closing my door and turning the lights off and would wake up with the opposite. And then in the middle of the night, the Furby on my dresser would always go off and would say “Furbyyyyy” waking me up, this happened nightly as well. I thought that was odd because the Furby was nowhere near my bed. I was not scared of it at all, it did not feel scared, I kind of felt comfortable? Yes comfortable. I felt as though someone was watching over me. I started to tell people I had a ghost in my room. The ghost was not the Furby, that was my favorite toy I got for Christmas it was something else. For this toy, you have to press a button to make it say the noise “Furby”, so the creepy part of it going off in the middle of the night is that it was not even near my bed, it was on my dresser on the other side of the room. Back to the person in my dream who is reoccurring. It was the same person in every dream but I do not remember what they looked like or who they were. I thought it was weird I had this same dream at the same time that I was having weird um things going on in my room every night while I was sleeping. None of these things occurred while I was not sleeping. I think that a spirit lived in that house. I do not like to use the word ghost, but somebody was in there occupying the space with energy. I think they were friendly because I was not scared of it, at that young of an age I would have felt bad energy but I was not uncomfortable, I was more comfortable than anything else but I am unsure why. Usually, these types of things scare younger girls but this wasn’t scary to me, it was different. I have not really thought about the relevance of all of these things coming together but I kind of believe it was a ghost or somewhat of a spirit. I have lived in 24 houses and not once has this happened to me- the reoccurring dream, the door opening and closing (the one specific closet in my room) and the lights turning on and off. Whenever people, um, are making small talk and ask if I believe in ghosts I say yes, I believe in spirits because of this.

 

I think this story was very interesting. Before my friend told me this story I asked her if she had a ghost story that has had an impact on her life and she said yes I had an imaginary friend when I was younger. After hearing this story, it was very interesting how she described this “imaginary friend” or spirit that lived in her house. Something that stuck out to me was that she did not like saying the word ghost, every time I would say that word or she would accidentally say it, it would make her uncomfortable. She felt much more comfortable saying the word spirit, to her that had a much more positive connotation than the word ghost. If I were 8 years old, I think I would have been terrified if these experiences were going on in my room and she seemed rather calm when telling the story and thought it was an interesting experience to have. Knowing CG, she is a very spiritual person, kind of “yoga lover or hippie” like, very centered. The part about how she talks about energy and space was interesting because, in some ghost stories, ghosts are described as light beams, balls of light or even an energy. This story was very cool to hear and learn other perspectives on if they do or do not believe in ghost. In this story, there are a lot of difference “weird” or “odd” experiences that all occurred at once that convinced her there was something in her house. The repeated noise coming from the talking stuffed animal that was not near her bed, the lights turning on and off and the doors opening and closing. All of these things allowed her to conclude something was going on in her house that was out of her control. Do I think this is a ghost story? It may be, but it is up to interpretation.

Festival
Folk speech
Musical
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:
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-macarthur-park-trump-protest-20161112-story.html

Facebook Event

Adulthood
Childhood
general
Life cycle
Protection

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.

 

general

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.

 

general

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.

general

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.

general

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.

[geolocation]