Author Archives: Carly

Cold Remedy

Main Piece:

Participant – “If you’re sick you put… you get hot water…. And then put honey in it and you put like a quarter of a lemon and you squeeze the lemon but then you also put the lemon in it and then a little bit of cayenne pepper and it gets rid of your cold. It actually works, I mean it doesn’t actually work but… it works… it makes you feel better.”

Context:

Participant and I were sitting in her dorm, sharing random personal home remedies.

Background:

Participant was born and raised in Mill Valley, California and is currently a second semester freshman engineering student at the University of Southern California. Participant was given this advice from her mother who has always made this for her when she was sick as a child. Now the participant makes this for herself and her friends to help them feel better.

Analysis:         

I have heard many home remedies similar to this one in order to help sooth someone’s throat while they are sick. Although the recipe varies slightly from person to person as everyone puts their own spin on it, many people, especially online, claim this folk medicine works.

Ghost Bride

Main Piece:

Participant – “We were staying at a lake place, and I was really little so my parents were there staying upstairs, and my dad like heard someone knocking around in the kitchen and my dad like got up, went down stairs, because he thought it was like one of us like Reid, my oldest brother had like gone downstairs and was out of bed. So, he goes downstairs and he sees a woman in like a white wedding dress sitting at the kitchen table and then gets up and like walks around the kitchen and my dad freaked out so he like… he like tried to say something to her like thought she was a real person, and then he went upstairs and like freaked out. Then the next night he heard it again but he was so freaked out he wouldn’t go downstairs, and I guess the house is haunted, like…it’s known that house is haunted.”

Context:

My friends and I were discussing the different ghost stories that we have encountered over our lives or any personal encounters with the supernatural. The participant shared this ghost story with us.

Background: 

The participant was born in and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and is currently a second semester freshman at the University of Southern California. She is a Law, History, and Culture major with a minor in Art History. This ghost story was experienced by the participants father than passed on to her.         

Analysis:

I find this ghost story to be very scary because it came from one of my closest friend’s father adding to the personal connection it has to me making it much more believable. In this story, we see another very common figure in ghost stories, a woman in a white dress. However, in this situation the women is tied to the house in some way. Originally the participants father lacked belief in the supernatural but after this encounter his opinions were vastly changed.

Haunted NOLA Cabin

Main Piece:

Participant – “So, my cousins were staying in New Orleans, which is like known for ghosts and everything and they were looking up there um… like they were in their house and they hear like a knocking outside and a lady being like ‘hey, like…this is my house, let me in’ and like the door handle kept turning so it was shaking. So, the people, people came, like my cousins and stuff came downstairs cause thought someone was trying to break in and they thought it was like a drunk woman or something like knocking on the door and everything, and they’re like ‘this isn’t your house’ and the door knob is shaking and they can hear it perfectly, like completely perfect. Then it was quiet for like… a short time and then it was gone…like it was actually moving! The door knob and the handle and they could perfectly hear someone and they open the door and there was nothing on either side like nothing was there and so they were like ‘what the fuck’ and so they look it up and the house is haunted and they’re like ‘oh my god’ and then it happened again the next night. The same exact thing, and like no one was there when they opened the door again and the neighbor says that it like happens a lot and it’s like a ghost it’s not anyone which is really freaky.”

Context: 

My friends and I were discussing the different ghost stories that we have encountered over our lives or any personal encounters with the supernatural. The participant shared this ghost story with us. 

Background:

The participant was born in and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and is currently a second semester freshman at the University of Southern California. She is a Law, History, and Culture major with a minor in Art History. This was told to the participant by her cousins who experienced it.         

Analysis: 

Ghost stories are much easier to believe when coming from someone you have a personal connection with. In this case the participants link to her cousin made her much more invested in the story.

You Don’t Ask

Main Piece:

Participant – “You don’t ask, you don’t get”

Context:

I asked the participant if she grew up hearing any common proverbs or life lessons from the people around her.

Background:

The participant was born and raised in Mill Valley, California and is currently a second semester freshman engineering student at the University of Southern California. She informed me that this proverb was extremely common in her household and told to her by her mother repeatedly.       

Analysis:

As a child, the participant was told this by her mother as a remind to use her words to get what she wanted rather than whine or pout. As time went on and the participant got older, the proverb gained more meaning and now stands as a piece of advice to work for the things you want and try your best because if you don’t fight for something and ask for it, it will never be yours.

Lake Shark

Main Piece:

Participant – “K well I live kind of by a lake, and there was this like myth or like belief that there was a giant shark that was like super big and was like swimming underneath the lake… and there was even like, someone made like a fake news website about it.”

Context:

Told to me while walking with the participant to class discussing various myths and legends.

Background: 

The participant is a freshman accounting major at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She grew up in Seattle, Washington where her family still currently lives. This legend was common amongst the kids in her town and common knowledge to most people. As the participant mentioned, it even gained enough popularity as to be turned into a news story.    

Analysis:

There are a surprisingly high number of different legends relating to lakes and the different monsters that lurk within them. Almost all substantial lakes have at least one legend about them, most famously the loch ness monster. Typically, you would believe legends like this to be mostly propelled by kids and their beliefs but in this situation even adults got involved with forming a news story about it.