USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘hauntings’

The Mean Ghost

The following informant is a stay at home mom from Upland. Here she is describing interactions her good friend had with a mean ghost in their home. This is a transcription of our conversation, she is identified as KA and I am identified as K:

KA: Okay so my girlfriend is telling me about this ghost story that she lived in this house in Fontana and there was this ghost and he was like a mean ghost because he would like… it would be scary, you know, things would break and weird noises and stuff. and i think it was an old man that had died there, so she said that they got used to him, but it was not a nice ghost. and i think it was either in the garage or house, but he was there, and so they just lived with it

K: did they ever try to move or do anything about it?

KA: no they never tried nothing

K: do they think it was the previous owner?

KA: I think so, I think it was someone that probably lived there and died and he did not want to pass on to the other life so he stayed there . And she told me that and I was like what, no, but she said no we have a ghost. and I’m like okay

K: so did you believe her story?

KA: oh yeah, I believed her, I believe in ghosts, yeah most definitely they are out there. there are good ghosts and there are the ones that don’t want you in their… they feel like it’s their house, their ownership and you’re in their house so yeah

Context: The informant told me this story while we were sitting on her couch having a conversation at night, and as she was telling me the lights in her house actually started to flicker and make that buzzing noise.


I’ll be honest, I did not have much to say about this piece, frankly because I was little scared. She was telling this story at night and like her, I don’t necessarily believe wholeheartedly in ghosts, but as she tells me, the lights flickered and made noise, and I genuinely thought she brought that ghost into her house. It was a very strange experience, but it reminded me of the idea that you don’t have to fully believe in something to know something is not right. Like not believing a house is haunted but still not wanting to walk through it.


Demon sighting

This is a story about my informant’s Uncle Carlos.

“This one time, when he was a kid, uh, he was home alone. And in his room it was pitch black and he wakes up to the sound of someone whispering in his ear, like, ‘Carlos, look, look!’ At first he thought he was just, like, he was dreaming until he came to and he was, like, ‘Wait, what the hell is that?’ From his perspective, he turns around and from his doorway he sees, like, these two, these two diamond shaped eyes. And it’s, like, perched, like, you could see, like, there’s something perched, like, at the top of the corner, like, right there and he’s just kinda trying to wake up just kinda like, ‘What the hell?’ And the more he’s looking at it, the more he starts to feel like something’s literally looking right at him and there’s just, like, this eerie feeling, like, ‘What the hell is that?’ And, at this point, he’s just completely paralyzed, he has no— just out of pure fear. He doesn’t know what to do. And he manages to break out of the fear and turn on the light. Like, he gets up and turns on the light. For a solid three seconds, he saw this thing… The way he described it, it looked like a bat, a bat with—a brown bat with a lot of fur and this, just huge, just wing. You could see it flapping, like that, and it just it flapped and it went through, like, the hallway and it went back into the dark.” Laughs.

“And he got up and he looked at it and from the door, from the other um, doorway, he saw it perched there again. And from there, he, literally, just, he’s screaming, just turning on all the lights, every single light in the house and my grandparents finally get back and he’s probably thirteen, fourteen, and my grandparents, are like—having all the lights on in the house, in the middle of the night are you fucking crazy? So he comes—The way that my grandma told me, like, he—my grandma saw my uncle Carlos in the living room like this…”

(pulls knees to chest and wraps arms around shins )

“Just waiting for them to get back. And he was just, he felt it like, it was, like, in the house, just like staring at him. He had no idea what it was, but he said, like, ‘[informant’s name], it was this thing this, like a demon.’ And he didn’t know exactly what it was… you know, but, like, for him, there’s no bullshit. This, for him, it happened. It was there. You know, he still remembers it. And it was just really traumatizing.”


My informant seems to trust the word of his uncle Carlos and believes that this demon animal actually exists. My informant can’t explain how this could have happened, but his family is very open to the supernatural and he loves hearing about and sharing these stories.

This is a very specific example of an appearance of a demon. This is another common motif in legends about the devil.