The following piece was collected from a nineteen-year-old female during a road trip from Los Angeles to San Jose, CA. As we were driving, she yelled out and pointed at an exit sign to “Hicks Road” leading off the freeway. Girl hereafter referred to as “Informant” and I will be referred to as “Collector”.
Informant: “Look, look! There’s an old ghost story about that road! Have you guys ever heard of Hicks Road?”
(Chorus of negative responses)
Informant: “So, the myth is that at the end of Hicks Road there’s an albino colony. The albinos all live up there in really creepy trailers. They say that the albinos really hate outsiders, or, like people that aren’t albino. So its supposed to be that if you ever are routed somewhere and you’re supposed to go through Hicks Road, you should reroute because if you go through there, the albinos will get you.”
Collector: “Do they just live on the road? What will they do to you?”
Informant: “No, they live in the dead end, basically a cul-de-sac of albino people. There are some parts of Hicks Road that are okay, but if you turn right at the dead end part, it will take you right to the albinos. Nobody knows what they’ll do to you, all you know is that they don’t take well to strangers.”
It was obvious that my informant found this story to be highly entertaining. While the Informant made it very clear that she did not truly believe that there was an albino colony living at the end of Hicks Road, she was still very adamant that we did not venture near it when I suggested we make a quick detour. The informant lives in San Jose and claims to have known the story for a very long time; she believes she heard it at school. When I asked her when she learned of it, or from whom, she couldn’t recall but remembers it as always being present. She remembers it because it is one of the signs she always sees on the drive from her home in San Jose to USC. She heard a theory that the story originated from a couple of people who were out at Hicks Road one night when they stumbled across a man. The kids ran away because they were scared of being caught trespassing, and apparently during an account of what they had seen, one of the kids claimed that one guy had been “very white”. Thus, the myth of the albino colony.
I was very interested in hearing this story. I similarly do not believe that there is truly a colony of albino people living on Hicks Road in San Jose, CA. Like my informant, I am inclined to believe that the myth began when the story passed from friend to family member after one of the originators claimed to have seen a “very white” man up at Hicks Road. I love the idea that whole myths begin by one person’s account of an event, that childhood horror stories can be created by a simple phrase.