general

El Paso Ghosts–Cheerleader

Main Piece:

The Participant is marked as BH. I am marked as LJ.

LJ: Can you tell me about El Paso High School.

BH: And there have also been tales of a cheerleader who committed suicide, ah, from a broken heart. Her boyfriend had, um. either broken up or cheated on her. And she decided to end her life by jumping from the third story balcony.

LJ: How did you learn about the ghosts?

BH: I would hear them all the time when I was growing up. Um…I think I heard them more around middle school. There were kids who would go out to the school at night. So sometimes they would hear things..

 

Context:

I had visited the participant and her family in El Paso in March. This was recorded after.

Background:

The participant is a fourth year student at the University of Southern California. She is a firm believer in religion and likes “scary stories,” including television shows and hearing about hauntings. She grew up primarily in El Paso, Texas with her mom and two sisters.

Analysis:

This is an example of how ghost stories are passed from one person to the next, immortalizing the event and history of the place. It is interesting to note that the location of the girls jump is specific, but not by enough. The participant states that she jumped from the “third story balcony.” However, I did visit this school during my time in El Paso. It is built so that the original entrance is now in the back, and another entrance was built in what used to be the back. There is also only one balcony, on the second floor, not the third. Maybe this is just a mix up in the story telling, or proof that there never was a suicide–which is not likely.

A high school with so much history, must have some bad stories to it. The legend of the cheerleader could serve as a way to acknowledge the way that women have been treated, or it might just be fun to tell to strangers visiting the city for the first time.

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